Taste the Seasons With Krusteaz’s Seasonal Fruit Guide

You can find most fruits in the grocery store all year long these days, but there’s just something special about cooking with fruits at the peak of their flavor. A blackberry pie made in winter simply cannot compare to a warm slice of pie made with fresh, local blackberries in late summer. Making apple fritters with crisp apples straight from the orchard – that just tastes like the fall season itself.

Each season brings its own array of fresh fruits, and our Seasonal Fruit Guide is here to help our Makers make the most of them in their baking. Whether it’s the vibrant berries of spring, the sun-kissed stone fruits of summer, or the hearty favorites of fall, we’ve got you covered. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through selecting the ripest, most flavorful fruits for each season and provide you with tasty recipes to try.

Winter Fruits

As winter wraps its chilly embrace around us, there’s a surprising burst of flavor waiting to warm up our kitchens: citrus! Despite the frosty weather outside, nature has a way of providing us with a delightful array of fruits that are just begging to be baked into cozy treats.

During the winter months, citrus fruits take center stage, flaunting their vibrant colors and tangy flavors. Oranges, clementines, grapefruits, Meyer lemons, and more dazzle us with their zesty taste. But why are these fruits in season during winter?

Surprisingly, the cooler temperatures and reduced sunlight hours of winter actually enhance the development of citrus fruits, making them sweeter. Plus, exposure to sunlight enhances their pigmentation, giving them that characteristic burst of color we all love. So, when life gives you lemons, make citrus-infused crumb cakes, waffles, quick bread, or pancakes!

A winter fruit guide for December, January, and February detailing fruit freshness

Baking With Citrus Fruits

Baking with citrus adds vibrant flavors and a refreshing twist to a variety of sweet treats. Whether it’s the zesty brightness of lemon, the tangy sweetness of oranges, or the aromatic essence of lime, citrus can elevate baked goods to new heights. From cakes and pies to cookies and muffins, the versatility of citrus allows for endless culinary creativity in the kitchen. Here’s how citrus fruits can be used in baking, along with some tips for getting the most out of these flavorful ingredients.

  • Lemons: Lemons offer a zesty tang that infuses cakes, cookies and bars with a refreshing citrus flavor. Their zest and juice adds tartness to glazes, fillings and icings, balancing out sweetness and enhancing flavor.
  • Limes: Limes provide a refreshing tang that complements Key lime pies, coconut lime cupcakes, and more. Their juice adds zing to glazes, sauces and fillings, infusing desserts with tropical flair.
  • Oranges: Oranges offer a sweet and citrusy flavor that infuses cakes, muffins and tarts with a hint of sunshine. Their juice creates flavorful glazes, syrups and marmalades, brightening up desserts by giving them a burst of freshness. Orange segments can be served on their own or added to fruit salads and desserts for a juicy sweetness and vibrant color.
  • Grapefruits: Grapefruits offer a tangy-sweet flavor with a hint of bitterness, adding complexity to baked goods. Their juice can be used to create flavorful glazes, syrups and marinades for cakes, muffins and seafood dishes.
  • Tangerines: Tangerines have a sweet and tangy flavor with a hint of floral aroma, perfect for adding brightness to baked goods. Their juice can be used to create tangy-sweet glazes and sauces for cakes, cookies and poultry dishes.

Winter Fruit Recipes to Try

There are countless ways to incorporate citrus fruits into baking. Get inspired with some of our favorite citrus-infused recipes.

Spring Fruits

Ah, spring—the season of renewal, blooming flowers, and, of course, an abundance of fresh, flavorful fruits! As temperatures rise and days lengthen, strawberries, rhubarb (while technically a vegetable, we’ll call it an honorary fruit here), cherries, pineapple, and so many others reach their peak of sweet flavor.

Beyond their delicious taste, spring fruits also pack a powerful nutritional punch. Bursting with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, these colorful fruits are nature’s way of helping us reset after the winter months. Strawberries, for example, are rich in vitamin C, which can support immune health. Blueberries have high levels of antioxidants, which have been linked to improved brain function and heart health. And let’s not forget about the humble apricot, packed with vitamin A for healthy vision and skin.

A fruit guide for March, April, and May detailing fruit freshness in the spring

Baking With Spring Fruits

Baking with spring fruits allows for the celebration of the season’s bounty, infusing desserts with fresh flavors and vibrant colors.

  • Strawberries: Fresh strawberries can be folded into cake batters, muffins, and scones to add bursts of sweetness and vibrant color. They can also be used to create delectable fillings for pies, tarts and turnovers. Or simply slice fresh strawberries to top a stack of buttermilk pancakes.
  • Rhubarb: Rhubarb’s tart flavor pairs beautifully with sweet ingredients like sugar and berries. Rhubarb can be stewed and used as a filling for pies, crisps and crumbles, in which its tangy bite adds complexity to the dessert. Rhubarb can also be chopped and folded into cake or muffin batters, creating moist and flavorful treats with a delightful pink hue.
  • Apricots: Fresh apricots can be halved and baked into cakes, tarts and clafoutis, in which their delicate flavor intensifies with heat. They can also be simmered into preserves or compotes and used as fillings for pastries and hand pies.
  • Cherries: Fresh cherries can be pitted and baked into pies, cobblers and crumbles, in which their juicy sweetness shines. They can also be folded into cake batters or used to top cheesecakes and tarts, adding a burst of flavor and a pop of color.
  • Blueberries: These antioxidant-rich berries are perfect for adding to muffins, pancakes, coffee cakes, and crumbles for a taste of springtime.
  • Pineapple: This tropical flavor adds a refreshing twist to cakes (like our Mini Hummingbird Cakes), upside-down cakes and tarts. Pineapple can also be used in place of sugar in some instances.
  • Peaches: Although peaches are more commonly associated with summer, early varieties begin to appear in late spring. Their juicy, sweet flavor makes them a beloved addition to pies, cobblers, crisps and tarts.

Springtime Recipes

Ready to put those spring fruits to good use? We’ve gathered our favorite recipes that celebrate the flavors of the season. Experiment with different combinations and recipes to make your own culinary creations.

Summer Fruits

Summer brings with it an abundance of fresh and juicy fruits, ripe for the picking. From succulent berries to fragrant stone fruits, the offerings of summer are a testament to nature’s generosity. These fruits thrive in the warm temperatures and long days of sunshine, reaching their peak flavor and sweetness during the summer months.

A summer fruit guide detailing fruit freshness for June, July, and August

Baking With Summer Fruits:

Summer fruits offer endless possibilities for culinary creativity, from refreshing salads and smoothies to decadent desserts and savory dishes. Whether enjoyed fresh, grilled, baked or blended, summer fruits add a burst of flavor, color and vibrancy to every meal. Experiment with different combinations and recipes to make the most of summer’s bounty and savor the taste of the season’s freshest fruits.

  • Raspberries: Delicate and tart-sweet, raspberries add a pop of color and flavor to summer desserts and breakfast dishes. Whether folded into yogurt parfaits, sprinkled over pancakes and waffles, or baked into cakes and crisps, raspberries bring a refreshing brightness to every bite.
  • Blackberries: Juicy and bold, blackberries are a summer delicacy beloved for their tart-sweet flavor and plump texture. Whether enjoyed fresh or baked into pies and crumbles, blackberries add a delightful burst of flavor to a variety of culinary creations.
  • Plums: With their vibrant colors and tart-sweet flavor, plums are a versatile summer fruit that shines in both sweet and savory dishes. Whether sliced and added to salads, roasted with savory herbs, or baked into cakes and tarts, plums offer a burst of summer flavor.
  • Nectarines: Similar to peaches but with smooth skin, nectarines are prized for their juicy flesh and sweet flavor. Whether enjoyed fresh, grilled, or baked into desserts, nectarines, with their vibrant color and refreshing taste, add a touch of sunshine to summer dishes.

Summer Fruit Recipes To Try

We’ve gathered our favorite recipes that use summer fruits. From classic pies to decadent waffles, there’s something here to satisfy every sweet craving.


From the familiar comfort of apples and pears to the exotic allure of guava and passion fruit, fall offers a diverse array of fruits to tantalize your taste buds. But beyond their delicious taste, fall fruits play a central role in the cherished traditions of the season – from freshly baked Thanksgiving pies to cozy evenings spent by the fireplace with a warm mug of spiced cider in hand. 

Fresh fruit guide for the best September, October, November fruits

Baking With Fall Fruits

Incorporating fall fruits into your baking allows you to celebrate the season’s bounty and savor the natural sweetness and flavors of these seasonal delights. Whether you’re baking with apples, pears, cranberries, pumpkins, figs or a combination of these fruits, autumn desserts capture the essence of fall and provide a comforting taste of the harvest season.

  • Apples: Apples are a versatile fruit that can be used in a wide range of baked goods, from pies and crisps to cakes and muffins. Their natural sweetness and firm texture make them perfect for caramelizing, stewing, or baking into tender, fragrant desserts that capture the essence of fall.
  • Pears: Pears are a delightful addition to fall baking, adding a subtle sweetness and delicate texture to pies, tarts and cakes. Whether poached, roasted, or baked into pastries, pears infuse desserts with a unique flavor profile, making them a cherished ingredient in autumnal treats.
  • Cranberries: Cranberries add a tart and tangy flavor to fall baking, providing a burst of brightness and acidity to pies, muffins and quick breads. Whether used fresh, dried or in the form of cranberry sauce, these versatile berries lend a festive touch to autumn desserts.
  • Pumpkins: Pumpkins are a beloved ingredient in fall baking, used to create iconic desserts such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin spice cookies. Their rich, earthy flavor and creamy texture lend themselves well to a variety of sweet treats that evoke the cozy comforts of autumn.
  • Figs: Figs add a sweet and jammy flavor to fall baking, enhancing the taste and texture of cakes, tarts and pastries. Whether fresh or dried, figs lend a sophisticated touch to autumn desserts, infusing them with a unique flavor profile and visual appeal.

Fall Fruit Recipes To Try:

Ready for some fall baking? We’ve picked our favorite fall recipes for you to try:

Celebrate What Each Season Has To Offer

Baking with seasonal fruits is not just about creating delicious treats; it’s a celebration of nature’s bounty and a way to connect with the rhythm of the seasons. Whether you’re indulging in the bright flavors of summer berries, savoring the warmth of autumn apples, or embracing the refreshing tang of winter citrus, each season offers its own unique palette of flavors to inspire your culinary creations. 

So, next time you step into the kitchen, consider the fruits that are in season, and let their vibrant colors and tantalizing tastes guide you. Happy baking!

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