Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The air becomes brisk, and the leaves change colors. Pumpkin patches and apple orchards open, and caramel apples, cider and pie are abundant. 

My least favorite thing about fall: pumpkin spice. It's everywhere — lining the shelves at grocery stores, at Starbucks (obvi) and even on T-shirts. Sure, that's fantastic for everyone who loves pumpkin spice. But there are far better things out there for people like me who aren't fans.

Take apple cider—apple juice's slightly heartier cousin. It's liquid gold. Sure, it's just a drink. But I promise you, anything that can be pumpkin spice-flavored can be made apple cider-flavored. I also promise you it will taste better. (Or at least, in my opinion it will.) 

Here are some recipes for all the other pumpkin spice haters out there that prove apple cider is way better.

Apple Cider Donut Bites

sweet, pastry, candy, chocolate, cake, beignets, bread
Christian Stafford

These apple cider donut bites are bomb. They make the perfect small snack, or can be a quick fall breakfast. They taste like autumn, and they don't even have pumpkin in them. 

Apple Cider Donuts

dough, flour, pastry, bread, cookie, pizza, sweet, cake
Phoebe Melnick

If you can't get enough of the donut bites, take the plunge and try these full-sized donuts.

Homemade Sea Salt Apple Cider Caramels

candy, milk, chocolate, sweet, milk chocolate, caramel
Photo by Holly Birchfield

Ever have pumpkin spice-flavored caramels? Didn't think so. Your tastebuds will thank you for these.

10-Minute Apple Cider Oatmeal

Claire Waggoner

This oatmeal has so much going for it: it's quick, delicious and warm—which is perfect for those fall mornings when you really don't want to walk to class. I can assure you, it tastes 50 times better than its pumpkin spice counterpart, and it's 50 times less basic.

Apple Cider Sangria

juice, apple, cider, sweet, tea
Anna Arteaga

While you could easily go the apple cider and Fireball route, this is a better way to booze up your cider. Since the recipe makes a lot of sangria, it's perfect for sharing with friends. If you want more boozy ways to drink apple cider, check out these recipes

Apple Cider, Pear and Pomegranate Sangria

apple, sweet, juice
Rebecca Buchanan

Take that apple cider sangria up a notch by adding other fall fruits. I'm pretty sure pumpkin spice doesn't pair this well with pomegranate.

Hopefully these recipes have you convinced that there are far better things out there than pumpkin spice. But hey, if you're still on the bandwagon, here's how to save money by making your own PSL.