Chefs in Des Moines are heralding the harvest season by using Iowa's fresh produce in sumptuous fall desserts. There's no shortage of delicious sweet treats that bring out the flavors that are synonymous with this time of year. Here are five desserts to get you started in a tour of fall desserts in the metro area. Brian Taylor Carlson
Fall is finally here. And pumpkins, apples, cranberries and sweet potatoes are in peak season. Des Moines metro chefs are using these ingredients to create all kinds of tasty treats.
From tarts to custards to bread pudding, most desserts are also flavored with warm pumpkin spice.
Celebrate the taste of Iowa's harvest season with these five desserts from around the Des Moines metro.
Crème Cupcake + Dessert
Perfect Pumpkin Cupcake
The Perfect Pumpkin cupcake makes its return to the cupcake lineup for its fifth year at Crème Cupcake + Dessert. Quickly becoming a staff and customer favorite, this vanilla cake filled with pumpkin spice mousse and topped with a pecan cream cheese frosting, a dusting of cinnamon and toasted pecans. The cupcake is available through November ($3 each or $33 per dozen).
Location: 543 28th St., Des Moines
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Saturday, 10 a.m. to midnight; closed Sundays and Mondays.
Caramel Apple Bread Pudding
This caramel-apple bread pudding from Bubba is like autumn on a plate. It's layered with Granny Smith apples cooked in bourbon-caramel apple pie spices and South Union brioche, baked, and drizzled with a house-made caramel sauce. It comes to the table warm in a cast-iron skillet (not shown here) with vanilla bean ice cream to cut the richness ($8).
Location: 200 10th St., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Apple Tarts with Miso Caramel and Sake Lees Ice Cream
Timeless Prairie Orchard apples are the star of the show in this tart from Harbinger. Chef Joe Tripp considers these apples the best in Iowa. A drizzle of lightly-salty miso caramel is served alongside, paired with a homemade sake lees ice cream that tastes similar to rice pudding. It's garnished with flowering oregano ($9).
Location: 2724 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 4 to 10 p.m.; closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Table 128 Bistro and Bar
Sweet Potato Panna Cotta
Table 128 is heralding the fall season with Chef Lynn Pritchard's own creation — a silky sweet potato panna cotta custard with a crunchy cinnamon toast crumble. It's served with a homemade gooey pomegranate and goat cheese caramel ($7).
Location: 12695 University Ave., #140, Clive
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m.; closed Sundays.
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
Enjoy a decadent ending to a great fall meal at Bonefish Grill with its seasonal pumpkin crème brûlée. The pumpkin-flavored custard has hints of warm cinnamon and nutmeg and it's finished with a signature seared sugar crust and house-made whipped cream.
Location: 650 S. Prairie View Drive, West Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
When he was 13, he was addicted to drugs. Now at 30, he's the epitome of physical fitness. Humankind
She thought she was just getting a name change. Instead, her biological parents had an even better surprise in store for her. Humankind
Tommy DiPaolo couldn't make his son's wedding in Disney, so his nursing home arranged an impromptu ceremony. There was hardly a dry eye in the place. Humankind
People with autism are typically underemployed or struggle finding work, despite being more than capable of doing the job. JPMorgan Chase is expanding its autism program. Humankind
When Kate McClure's car ran out of gas on an interstate, Johnny Bobbitt Jr. came to her rescue in an unexpected way. Now she's surprising him with something even bigger. USA TODAY
When a man stood on the edge of a building, regular citizens gathered on the ground to hoist encouraging signs and sing words of support. Humankind
Daniel helps foster kids in need of a permanent home by capturing their personalities in his photos.
When Bailey Sellers turned 21, she got one birthday present she'll never forget. Sellers' dad passed away when she was 16 but before he died, he preordered birthday flowers. Wochit
The relationship between a woman who survived a horrific car crash and a preschooler with cerebral palsy leads to a breakthrough in his recovery. Humankind
Jessie celebrated the end of her chemo with an emotional rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Humankind
Pastor Humberto “Bert” Pizarro is delivering supplies and hope to people after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico. Humankind
Officer Arnold set up a surprise gifting of a 2007 Ford Taurus to help out Meade who rides her bike to and from work for a total of 16 miles. Humankind
This little sister can't wait for her big brother to get home! The minute he steps off the bus, they run to each other.
Derek surprised his sister Miranda at her high school graduation. Her reaction is priceless.
He thought he was there to meet his favorite Disney characters. But they were all there to deliver the most magical surprise. Humankind
Chris Norton suffered a severe spinal cord injury in 2010. He inspires all of us with every step he takes. Humankind
Bob Carey started taking pictures to make his wife laugh during her treatment for breast cancer. Now, he's making millions more feel the same way with his photos. Wochit
Tommy Kirschbaum was locked up four times. When he started his tattoo business, Mid-West Tattooers, he found a passion and a vocation that has helped him change his life. Humankind
Usually this band performs at high school football games. This time, their performance was outside the home of someone who deserved an entire band’s love and support. Humankind
Rik Zortman never liked running but his 3 year old son Armstrong did. When he died from cancer, Zortman used GPS to track a run spelling out his son's name. He started getting more names to run and hasn't stopped since. Humankind
For the children and families in the UI Stead Family Children's Hospital including 6-year-old Will Kohn, the end of the first quarter marks the beginning of their brief escape from the hospital walls. Humankind
When the beat dropped, this principal stunned the entire student body in the best way. Humankind
Diving coach Cliff Devries was diagnosed with a brain tumor two decades ago. The tumor left him paralyzed on his right side. But once a year, on his birthday, he climbs back up the diving board. Humankind
Cliff's annual birthday dive was an incredible feat, but many people were also inspired by his 5-year-old daughter's sweet reaction on the sidelines. Humankind
Marcus has a very special relationship with his stepdad Paul. For Paul’s birthday, Marcus came up with the best way to show his gratitude. Humankind
- From homeless drug addict to epitome of health
- 39 years later, parents and daughter are officially a family again
- Son’s surprise wedding moves terminally ill dad to tears
- Doors are opening for workers with autism
- Homeless man who gave away last $20 richly rewarded
- Strangers band together to support a man in trouble
- This photo led to a boy’s forever family
- Girl's father dies, leaves unforgettable birthday gift
- Preschooler races with peers thanks to unlikely friendship
- Woman sings emotional ballad to celebrate end of chemo
- Pastor brings hope to Puerto Ricans
- Officer uses own money to get a car for hardworking woman
- These siblings have one incredible bond
- Sister in tears after her Airman brother surprises her at graduation
- Boy is surprised with adoption in the most magical way
- Once paralyzed, Chris Norton vows to walk his fiancee down the aisle
- A man, a camera and a pink tutu fight breast cancer
- God and ink saved this man's life
- Marching band shows up for epic chemo-completion celebration
- Father runs to keep children's memories alive
- The Iowa Wave through a child's eyes
- High school principal nails the step team performance
- Paralyzed coach takes an exhilarating high dive
- This little girl cheering on her father just stole our hearts
- Stepdad blown away by stepson’s incredible surprise