It’s Fall Y’all! I just love this time of year. The crispness of the air, family and football every weekend, and time spent dining outside while the weather is still pleasant here in the South are a few of my favorite things.
Family style dinner parties are a great way to get together. You can have each of your guests bring a dish to share. Sharing a meal together makes friends feel like family and that is always special. I’m sharing recipes and tips after the photos so don’t miss my easy tips to host your own harvest dinner party.
Okay, now on to more details for your harvest dinner party. I just love to create personalized place settings using fresh florals and gourds for fall. I popped into my local flower store and picked out a few stems and then used them in small votive holders for individual floral arrangements. This can be a great take home favor too, or after the party put them throughout your house and enjoy their beauty for a few more days.
When you are planning your dinner party, shop your home! And don’t be afraid to mix in some unexpected touches of color like a mint cake stand.
Let your dessert be your centerpiece. I created a Spiced Pecan Pie Layered Cake, and served it with vanilla ice cream mixed with M&M’s® Pecan Pie candy. I also set out a few extra M&M’s® Pecan Pie for my guests to nibble on while we gathered.
Fresh flowers in small votives are paired with artificial pumpkins and gourds found at my local craft store. Then I just used our free printable harvest place cards to personalize each place setting and to let my guests know where they will be sitting for the night.
Hot apple cider is always nice on a cool fall evening. You can make it the morning of your dinner party and keep it warm in your crockpot until your guests arrive. You can see my recipe below.
So now that you are ready to invite your friends and family to a harvest dinner party, here are a couple of recipes and ideas to make the night even sweeter.
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To start, at my local Walmart I picked up a few ingredients to make my dessert, and some apple cider to keep us warm outside on a crisp fall evening. The new flavor of M&M’s® is so popular that I had to look high and low for it, but don’t give up! It is so worth finding. One of my stores had it in their seasonal aisles and another one had them on an end cap by the registers. So if you don’t see them right away, ask about it. Yummy!
So easy to do! Now here is the recipe:
Spiced Pecan Pie Layered Cake
For the cake:
- 1 box of Pillsbury™ Moist Supreme® Cake Mix
Follow the instructions & ingredients on the back of the box & add in:
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
For the filling:
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cup chopped pecans
For the frosting:
- Begin by making the filling first. You can do this night before, or just before preparing the cake.
- In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, dark corn syrup, heavy cream, butter and salt. Heat over medium heat until mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly.
- Once boiling, continue to stir and boil for one full minute. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla extract and chopped pecans. Chill in the refrigerator until it thickens, at least two hours (or overnight).
- For the cake, preheat the oven according to the box. Prepare 1- Bundt cake pan by spraying with non stick baking spray. Set aside.
- Follow the instructions on the box to prepare the batter. Add in the spices and mix until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake according to directions on the box. Then invert on wire racks and cool completely.
- For the frosting, chop up the M&M’s® and add to the frosting. Mix until combined.
- To assemble the cake, cut the cake in half. Lay one layer of cooled cake on a cake plate. Add thin layer of icing. Add a layer of the chilled and thickened pecan pie filling (about half of your filling). Spread thin layer of icing on the underside of the second cake layer and add to top of cake.
- Add a little bit of water and heat up the remaining filling to thin it out a little. Keep stirring while you are heating to make sure it doesn’t burn. Once it thins out, pour filling over the entire Bundt cake as a glaze.
And for an added treat to your dessert, mix in some chopped M&M’s® Pecan Pie candy into your vanilla ice cream and refreeze until ready to serve. So good!
Hot Apple Juice Cider
Take 1 gallon of Mott’s® Apple Juice and pour it into your crockpot. Add sliced oranges, whole allspice, whole cloves, and whole cinnamon sticks. Heat in your crockpot for several hours before your party for a perfectly spiced apple juice cider!
And for a fun drink for the kids, you can serve up Snapple® Apple Single 16oz bottles. For a fun fall touch, just wrap a little ribbon around them and tie on a cinnamon stick and let them sip from a fun party straw!
After you have made a delicious cake for dessert, top it off with our 60 second DIY ribbon cake topper. Y’all this is so easy and quick to make!
Step One: Gather your supplies:
- Glitter letter stickers
- Party Straws
- Glue Dots
So don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes to win your very own mixer just in time for all your holiday baking! (You’ll find a link to the entry form in near the top of the post.)
Be sure to check out more delicious Fall-inspired recipes here. I’d love to hear your favorite! What is your favorite fall tradition?