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12 Shortcut Cakes for Easy Fall Desserts

Need a great cake for a fall get-together but don't have the time or inclination to make it from scratch? That's where these shortcut cakes swoop in to save the day. They all start with a boxed cake mix, and then you just add a little of this and pinch of that to create crowd-pleasing desserts that'll get you rave reviews. Be sure to hide the box and no one will be the wiser.

12 Fabulous Cake Mix Cakes for Fall

1. Gingerbread Pear Cake

Simply pour gingerbread cake mix over sliced pears in a buttery pecan sauce to make this moist and tasty fall-flavored upside down cake. MrsDavis114 says, "This cake will make you look like a superstar chef. Nobody needs to know how easy it is!"


Pear Cake

Pear Cake | Photo by Meredith

2. Pumpkin Crumb Cake

Yellow cake mix and pumpkin purée create this lightly spicy cake with a nutty  streusel topping. "Tastes just like pumpkin pie but much easier to make and feeds a lot more people!" -- LynnInHK


Pumpkin Crumb Cake

Pumpkin Crumb Cake | Photo by lei

3. Great Pumpkin Dessert

KRANEY says, "Move over, pumpkin pie! So easy and soooo good. I have made this cake twice, and I prefer to use pecans instead of walnuts. For some reason this cake is much, much better if it sits a day or so."


Great Pumpkin Dessert

Great Pumpkin Dessert | Photo by Treats N Sweets

4. Easy Apple Coffee Cake

"Make this exactly as written and I promise you, you won't be disappointed," says naples34102. "Use ALL the apples called for, bake about 65 minutes, and cover it the last 10 minutes or so with foil if it starts to get too brown."


Easy Apple Coffee Cake

Easy Apple Coffee Cake | Photo by KIMMIE5474

5. Cranberry Cake

This colorful fall cake calls for cranberry applesauce in the mix. If you can't find it in the store, do what ANNMARIEDA did: "This was super easy. I could not find cranberry applesauce in the store so I mixed canned cranberries with applesauce."


Cranberry Cake

Cranberry Cake | Photo by Emily

6. Pumpkin Spice Cake II

Renee Ridgeway says, "I'm going to divulge the secret to making this to perfection...ready??? Follow this recipe exactly and DO NOT CHANGE A THING! It is fantastic and super easy too."


Pumpkin Spice Cake II

Pumpkin Spice Cake II | Photo by Deb C

7. Mexican Flan Cakes

You can bake this ooey gooey cake in a Bundt pan or a regular cake pan if you wish. pixiestardust102 says, "OMG, the flavors are spectacular! I love this cake!"


Mexican Flan Cakes

Mexican Flan Cakes | Photo by LatinaCook

8. Yummy Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

"Made this in a 9x13 glass baking dish and added 10 minutes to the cooking time. Turned out perfectly with great reviews!" -- Christina Grosshans


Yummy Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Yummy Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars | Photo by pomplemousse

9. Banana Butter Pecan Cake

naples34102 customized this recipe by adding mini chocolate chips to the mix and topping the cake with Satiny Chocolate Glaze.


Banana Butter Pecan Cake

Photo by naples34102

10. Turtles® Cake I

Melted caramels, nuts, and chocolate chips are sandwiched between layers of cake. Several reviewers opted to add yet another layer of deliciousness by spreading the whole thing with chocolate frosting.


Turtles® Cake I

Turtles® Cake I | Photo by Dianne

11. Sock it to Me Cake III

A hidden tunnel of cinnamon sugar and nuts is baked right into this scrumptious Bundt cake. MNM6467 says, "Awesome moist delicious cake! Only thing better is MORE of it!! This cake didn't even last a day at my house."


Sock it to Me Cake III

Photo by LibertyBelle78

12. Chocolate Candy Bar Cake

Here's a great way to use up some of that extra Halloween candy. JAZZY-GIRL says, "I made this once for a potluck at work and now, I'm not 'allowed' to ever bring anything else except this. Everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing."


Chocolate Candy Bar Cake

Chocolate Candy Bar Cake | Photo by Eoleksa



About Vanessa Greaves

Good food, friends, and fun are always on the menu. Find me as foodelicious on Allrecipes and vanny.gee on Instagram (but only if you don't mind cat pics and cocktails).