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5 Must-Eat Fall Desserts in New York City

Some New Yorkers look forward to fall for the return of sweater weather, or Pumpkin Spice lattes, while for others, it’s the first bite of an apple cider doughnut or perfect apple pie. It’s out with the strawberries and peaches and in with apples and pears when it comes to the season’s desserts, an indisputable highlight of fall. And New York bakeries and restaurants have no shortage of excellent options. Here are five must-eat fall desserts to try right now.


Cider doughnuts at Hearth

Cider doughnuts at Hearth (Photo: Courtesy of Hearth)

Apple Cider Doughnuts at Hearth
Sure, you can buy bags of apple cider doughnuts at farmers’ markets all over the city — and sometimes they’re great. But nothing beats doughnuts fresh from the fryer, which is how you’ll find them at East Village Italian restaurant Hearth. Served warm and glazed, with spiced apple compote and freshly whipped cream, they arrive at your table rich with the aroma of autumn; the bagged market versions just can’t compare. 403 E. 12th St., 646-602-1300,

Salted Caramel Apple Pie at Four and Twenty Blackbirds

While co-owners and bakers Emily and Melissa Elsen introduce a number of new pies with every change of the season at this Gowanus shop in Brooklyn, the Salted Caramel Apple is simply a perfect dessert for fall. It’s a classic double-crusted, lattice-topped pie, with the addition of a just-salty-enough caramel that’s a beautiful contrast to the sweetness of the apple. The filling is spiced up with allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and a genius addition — Angostura bitters, lending even more flavors of warm spice. 439 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, 718-499-2917,

Cinnamon rolls at Baked

Cinnamon rolls at Baked (Photo: Courtesy of Baked)

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls at Baked
What’s better than the smell of warm cinnamon rolls? Warm pumpkin cinnamon rolls. That’s what you’ll find at Baked, an excellent all-American bakery in Brooklyn’s Red Hook. The large, squishy rolls include pumpkin puree as well as all those warm spices — ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon — that the best pumpkin desserts have. 359 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn, 718-222-0345,

Pear Pastries at Lafayette
Fall means pear season just as much as apple season, and you’ve got options at Lafayette, Andrew Carmellini’s new brasserie with an incredible in-house patisserie run by Jennifer Yee. The Pistachio Pear Mille Feuille sandwiches the fruit between layer after layer of flaky pastry, while the Double Chocolate and Pear Tart tucks ample slices of glistening pear in a tart shell spilling over with chocolate shavings. 380 Lafayette St., 212-533-5000,

Pumpkin Soft-Serve and More at Big Gay Ice Cream
When is ice cream a perfect fall treat? When it’s pumpkin spiced soft-serve from Big Gay Ice Cream. And if you need something even more autumnal, get it as a Gobbler. Big Gay Ice Cream is known for its specialty sundaes, and the Gobbler is tailor-made for the season: toppings of streusel crumble, whipped cream and either apple butter and bourbon butterscotch (starting next week) or pumpkin butter and maple syrup (starting a few weeks after). Pumpkin soft-serve available at West Village location, 61 Grove St., no phone; Gobbler Sundaes available at West Village and East Village, 125 E. 7th St., no phone;

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