3 Slow Cooker Recipes That Make Your Home Smell Like Fall

Dive into fall cooking nose-first.
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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cake

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg and ginger are familar smells of autumn.

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg and ginger are familar smells of autumn.

There are sure signs fall has arrived. The kids are back to school. Sweaters come out of storage. That big day when the thermostat switch is flipped from AC to heat. My favorite indicator, though, is the great smells that take over the season when the weather has cooled down and it’s safe to go back into the kitchen.

These slow cooker recipes offer three dishes that aren’t just delicious, they will drag you by the nose into fall as they fill the house with the spectacular scents that define the season.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cake

I won’t say the smell is the best part of making a cake, but it’s up there. This easy-to-make stand-in for pumpkin pie is impossibly moist, irresistibly delicious and fills the house with the lingering scent of seasonal spices. Cake in a slow cooker? You bet.

Serves 8-10

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon,salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl and set aside.

Cream sugar, brown sugar and butter together in mixer.

At medium speed, add eggs one at a time until fully combined.

Add pumpkin and vanilla extract.

Slowly add flour mix until fully combined.

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray and pour in batter.

Cook on high for 3 hours or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Serve with whipped cream or top with cream cheese frosting.

Slow Cooker Spiced Cranberry Pork Loin

Slow Cooker Spiced Cranberry Pork Loin

Slow Cooker Spiced Cranberry Pork Loin

Slow cooked pork loin cooked with cider, cranberry sauce and fall spices smells as good as it tastes.

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Slow cooking makes meat so tender it will almost fall apart when sliced. This fall entree flavors pork loin with seasonal cranberries, cloves and thinly sliced oranges in apple cider. A succulent and easy entree that’s sure to impress, the spices and cider have an aroma that provides the perfect “welcome home” on a cool fall evening. 

Serves about 6

  • 2-3 pound pork loin
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 orange, cut into thin slices
  • 1-1/2 cups apple cider

Place pork loin in slow cooker.

Stir together cranberry sauce, onion, salt, cloves, pepper and mustard and spread in a thick coat over top of pork loin.

Top with thin slices of orange.

Pour apple juice over pork loin.

Cook on low heat 6-7 hours.

Slice loin and ladle juices into a gravy boat to serve.

Slow Cooker Apple Slump

Slow Cooker Apple Slump

Slow Cooker Apple Slump

Kind of a crockpot cobbler, apple slump is an easy-to-make fall dessert.  

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Slumps are similar to cobblers, except they are usually cooked stovetop in a lidded pot so the biscuit topping is steamed rather than baked. Perfect for slow cooking, this sweet and tender dessert is easy to make and the house will smell like apples, baked goods and cinnamon all day long.

Serves 6-8

  • 3 pounds Fuji apples
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk

Peel apples and cut into thin wedges.

Place apples in slow cooker and drizzle with lemon juice.

Add brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and vanilla extract to apples and stir to combine.

For topping: In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and ginger.

Cut butter into flour mix and work with a biscuit cutter or fork until crumbs form.

Add milk to bowl and stir just until combined.

Divide dough into 6 golf ball sized pieces, press into flat biscuits and arrange on top of apples in slow cooker.

Cook 4-5 hours on low.

Serve hot with whipped cream or ice cream.

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