Warm, gooey cinnamon brown sugar apples piled on and between fluffy, just out of the oven pumpkin (yes pumpkin! ) biscuits. Giant creamy twists of whipped maple cream cheese capping this lush holiday tower. Do we have your attention? Good, because you’re not going to want to miss this.
This was described around the POY kitchen as a “maximalist approach to seasonal baking” – lol, and that is *very* accurate. Nothing about this is minimal. It’s a real wow-the-table, unite pumpkin pie and apple pie lovers alike, absolutely next-level approach to a holiday dessert or, importantly, brunch – and we are here for it.
Why You Need To Make This For The Holidays
Yes, yes we understand. Maybe you always make pumpkin pie or maybe Aunt Fran is just NOT HAVING IT unless there is apple crisp on the table and sure, those can all still sail through this holiday season at some point but, can we just please oh please convince you to brag a little at the Thanksgiving table this year?
These autumnal sweetstacks are every good dessert thing wrapped into one. The brown sugar cinnamon apples are just the right amount of soft and sticky and saucy and sweet. All the best parts of pie. The pumpkin biscuits are light and subtle and cozy and delicious. Why waste your chomps on pie crust when you could have these.
That thick smooth airy maple whipped cream? We’d eat bowls on bowls on bowls of just this for dessert but like we said, maximal. You can’t stop at just whipped cream when you can set down a literal tower of sweet holiday goodness at each place setting. SO beautiful and unbelievably delicious.
Get ready, because Aunt Fran is seriously gonna lose her beans when she lays her eyes on these. Promise.
What You Need For These Shortcakes
As with most any dream come true, it starts with ALDI. Seriously friends, if you’re not already doing your holiday meal shopping at ALDI, get on it! You can get everything you need to make a traditional Thanksgiving meal – like a whole Butterball turkey, sides, pumpkin pie, all of the essentials – all from ALDI and all for less than $30.* Count us in! And while we’re there, we’re picking up everything we’ll need for these dessert stacks happen. Along with some pantry staples, here’s the all-star lineup to make this gem:
Apples (we used honeycrisp because we’re Minnesotan like that)
Baker’s Corner Canned Pumpkin
Specially Selected Pure Maple Syrup
Simply Nature Organic Ground Cinnamon
Grab your reusable ALDI bag and gather your cream, your flour, your sugar, your butter. Your pumpkin pie spice and your dose of holiday cheer and let’s get baking.
How To Make These Delicious Shortcakes
These beauties will take a few steps to bring together but what are the holidays for if not taking a little quiet time to think about what you’re grateful for. Might we suggest doing this while bringing together some homemade biscuit dough and slowly caramelizing some apples?
Make the pumpkin biscuits. Bring the dough together speckled with brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and canned pumpkin. Press it out, have at it with a cookie cutter or jar lid and then bake until golden brown.
Get your apples going. You’ll get your apples cooking first in some brown sugar, butter and spices and then thicken things up a bit with a cornstarch slurry so you will have warm gooey sauce drizzles at the ready.
Maple whipped cream meets cream cheese frosting. Has there ever been a more beautiful sentence?! You’ll whip the cream and the cream cheese first until smooth and airy and then fold them together with the maple syrup and your tears of joy.
Stacks on stacks. Cut one of your warm biscuits in half, pile with apples and a big ol’ dollop of the whipped cream. Other biscuit half on top, more apples, more whipped cream, more caramely drizzles, you get it. Repeat Repeat.
We hope you’ll give these a whirl for your holiday dessert, fancy weekend brunch, sneak-in-the-night when the house is finally calm. The apples and biscuits are like your coziest sweater, your warmest family hug, that maple whipped cream is the quiet satisfied smiles when you look around your table at the people you love best.
Everything about it feels special, and oof, we’re all so looking forward to something special this year.
Pumpkin Shortcakes: Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of apples do you recommend?
Honeycrisp apples are really perfect here. Pink Lady or Braeburn apples can also work though.
Can I prep this ahead of time?
It works to prep the cream cheese and the biscuits the day before. Store the prepared cream cheese in the fridge and the biscuits in a sealed container at room temp. Just give the biscuits a quick rewarm treatment before assembling.
Can I use salted butter?
Unsalted butter is best in this case, if you have it. The salt in salted butter isn’t standardized, so you just want to make sure you have the right balance of salt here, which is why unsalted is key.
Pumpkin Shortcakes with Cinnamon Apples for you! Warm and gooey cinnamon brown sugar apples piled between fluffy pumpkin biscuits that YOU made. Pile on the creamy twists of whipped maple cream cheese and yes, this is exactly the over-the-top brunch/dessert/snack you need.
2cupsChef’s Cupboard All-Purpose Flour
1/4cup packed Chef’s Cupboard Brown Sugar
1 tablespoonbaking powder
1 teaspoonpumpkin pie spice
6 tablespoons cold Country Creamery Unsalted Butter
1/2cupBaker’s Corner Canned Pumpkin
5 large apples, peeled and sliced
1/2cup Chef’s Cupboard Brown Sugar
1 teaspoonSimply Nature Organic Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspooncornstarch + 2 teaspoonswater
Maple Cream Cheese:
4ouncescream cheese, softened (see notes)
3 tablespoonsSpecially Selected Maple Syrup
Pinch of Simply Nature Organic Ground Cinnamon
Shortcakes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together. Grate the cold butter into the flour and gently stir to coat the specs of butter in the flour. Be careful to not fully incorporate the butter. The goal is to still see specs of cold butter in the dough once the biscuits are ready for baking. Whisk together the milk and pumpkin and gently stir it into the flour mixture. Turn dough out onto a clean counter. The dough will look a bit messy, but do your best to bring it together by patting it down and folding it over about 7 times. Do not overwork the dough. Flatten the dough to a ¾ to 1-inch thick layer. Use a 2 ½-inch biscuit cutter or the opening of a glass to cut out 7 or 8 rounds. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown.
Apples: Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir until the apples are coated. Add in the water, and cook the apples for about 10 minutes until soft. Combine the cornstarch with a couple teaspoons of water to make a slurry. Add to the apple mixture, and bring to a boil, stirring until the mixture thickens. Take off the heat (you want these to cool down a bit before you layer them onto the stacks so they don’t melt all the whipped cream).
Maple Whipped Cream: Using a hand mixer, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Slowly beat in the maple and cinnamon. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream.
Assemble: Slice the biscuits in half. Add a layer of apples and maple whipped cream and place the other half of the biscuit on top. Top with more apples and whipped cream. Drizzle with the extra sauce from the apples.
The cream cheese needs to be really soft and warm to ensure a smooth, lump-free consistency. We put the cream cheese in an oven-safe bowl and warmed it up in the oven for 5-ish minutes to get it really nice and saucy. You could also do this in the microwave. Once it’s warm, we’d recommend beating the cream cheese on its own before incorporating the maple syrup and cinnamon into the mixture.
* Based on the items and quantities included in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Survey for dinner for up to 10 with a 12lb Butterball turkey and additional miscellaneous items (e.g. coffee, butter, flour, sugar, eggs) not included in the survey. Available in-store and online. Tax and online fees not included.