Alert to those craving autumn: the air is getting crisp, days are getting shorter, and we may have even spotted some yellow-orange leaves. It can only mean one thing: the season of wooly jumpers, hot drinks and comfort food is steadily approaching. While we’re not wild about saying goodbye to the summer sunshine, we do love a spot of cool weather cosiness. To help ease you into the seasonal mood, we’ve rounded up a slew of autumnal treats we’ve been craving (though consider yourself warned: the following list is intensely carb-heavy).
Kick off in festive Bavarian style and toast to autumn with freshly baked bretzen (oversized soft pretzels) at Oktoberfest. These chewy salted snacks, unsurprisingly, pair perfectly with a good German beer. And if you’re not keen on braving Munich’s maze of tents for your twisty treat, diminutive versions of the festivities pop up in other cities, including London, too.
In Scandinavia, it’s all about the warming-spice-imbued baked goods. Head to Sweden for kanelbullens dag (cinnamon bun day), for your fill of the deliciously sweet and fluffy pastries.
If you’re heading to Canada, keep in mind that Thanksgiving falls in October, which means an abundance of maple syrup-laced pumpkin pie will be aboot (excuse us…about). In November, a nearly identical orange-squash dessert will be on heavy rotation in Canada’s neighbour to the south, too.
Orange-coloured sweets of a different variety are also big in Japan. Sweet potato confectionaries are a favourite autumnal treat; it’s called daigaku imo, and comes in five main varieties, from honey-coated and caramelized to fried.
Although many associate Mexico’s Día de los Muertos with skulls of the sugar, painted, and papier-mache varieties, one of the holiday’s most important recipes is for pan de muerto, bread of the dead. This traditional, fluffy sweet bread is made with orange water or zest and formed to look like a pile of bones.
Few things taste as much like autumn as baked apples. Even better: cover them in soft, flakey pastry and serve them with a side of coffee – that’s apfelstrudel. This dessert from Vienna is particularly tasty after a nippy day walking around the Austrian capital.
The enduring legacy of New England’s harvest season, apple-cider doughnuts are a staple in Vermont and other northeastern states. Whether cakey or fried, these cinnamon-and-sugar-coated classics are as comforting as your favourite jumper.
Featured image is pan de muerto