Baking has at all times been my favourite pastime. Once I was little, I might stand in entrance of the oven counting down the seconds till the timer went off. Typically, I used to be so anxious to see the completed product that I might burn my palms attempting to drag the pan out alone. (I’ve the scars to show it.) The one factor that has modified is that now I keep in mind to put on oven mitts. Measuring the right quantities of flour, feeling the heart beat of an electrical mixer, smelling an almost-done batch of blueberry muffins—all of it calms me. Even when I’m baking for another person, it’s the course of of baking that I like essentially the most. Effectively that, and the stolen snitches of brownie batter and cookie dough. So, naturally, this passion signifies that a variety of pals flip to me after they’re in want of enjoyable issues to bake.
Featured picture by Michelle Nash.
24 Enjoyable Issues to Bake (Brownies, Desserts, Cookies, and Extra!)
I’ve discovered that baking is the reply to most of my moods. Once I’m confused, I bake. Once I’m excited, unhappy, or completely satisfied, I bake. However most of all, once I’m bored… I bake. Lots.
It’s a marvel that my mouth isn’t stuffed with cavities as a result of each time I don’t know how to spend a free hour, I go ahead and preheat my oven. I wish I had a running count of the desserts I‘ve baked (and ate) when I don’t know what else to do. And of course, I have to give my sincerest thanks to all the gluten-free, dairy-free desserts out there, because they’ve only expanded my culinary horizons.
My biggest problem, however, is choosing what recipe to make next. Do I go for a classic favorite? Try something new? Make something up? If you’re like me, this list might be your holy grail. From bread to brownies to biscuits, these are all of my favorite fun things to bake. So next time you’re stumped, treat this as your boredom-busting baking bucket list.
Flower-Pressed Shortbread Cookies
Why We Love It: This cookie combines all of my favorite spring and summer things: gorgeous botanicals, vibrant colors, and just enough sweetness to get me through the day. When I tell you that this is one of my favorite cookies that I have ever baked, I mean it. The recipe comes courtesy of chef, author, and the OG edible flower genius, Loria Stern. Belief me: these cookies went viral for a motive.
Hero Ingredient: On this recipe, edible flowers take the cake. Or, relatively, the cookie.
Cast-Iron Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookies
Why We Love It: If the look of this dessert isn’t enough to sell you, maybe the fact that you probably already have all of the ingredients will be. This cookie skillet reminds me of the BJ’s Chocolate Chip Pizookie my friends and I would order in high school, but better.
Hero Ingredient: If you want the full BJ’s effect, add a scoop of ice cream to the middle and eat it straight out of the skillet.
Chocolate Orange Linzer Shortbread Cookies
Why We Love It: These chocolatey, buttery cookies are quite possibly one of the best things that I have ever made. Period. They call for minimal ingredients and are one of my favorite fun things to bake when the weekend calls for a culinary project. Also: sandwich cookies simply reign supreme. Package some up for a beautiful homemade gift.
Hero Ingredient: The ganache’s (optional) splash of Grand Marnier infuses the chocolatey filling with bright and brilliant citrus flavor.
Vegan and Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Why We Love It: I owe Camille a big thank you for tracking down this recipe. I’ve never met a chocolate chip cookie that I didn’t like, but this one is my best friend. One of my sisters is allergic to walnuts, so I usually take those out and the recipe still holds strong.
Hero Ingredient: Again with the nuttiness, almond butter is a much-appreciated addition.
Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cinnamon Glaze
Why We Love It: Normalize eating pumpkin spice year-round. If you put a plate of these in front of me in the middle of the summer, I would not complain. These cookies are so chewy and warm, you won’t either. This recipe is one of Camille’s favorites—and it comes together in a single bowl.
Hero Ingredient: The cinnamon glaze amplifies those deliciously warm flavors.
Orange Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Why We Love It: This carrot cake makes the perfect centerpiece for any spring or summer celebration. It’s a great birthday or shower cake that guests at any party will rave about, trust me. With its citrusy orange flavor laced throughout, trust that this is not your run-of-the-mill carrot cake. It’s perfectly spiced and isn’t just a vehicle for cream cheese frosting (although the topping’s pretty crave-worthy, too).
Hero Ingredient: The orange zest and extract combo gives this cake all of its fresh and bright flavor.
Walnut & Honey Olive Oil Cake with Candied Citrus
Why We Love It: While it doesn’t always get the spotlight it deserves in baked goods, olive oil is my secret to helping my desserts shine. When you’re working with good olive oil (this is my go-to in the intervening time!), the deeply complicated, fruity taste lends a pleasant savory contact to each different ingredient. It really works with the walnuts to provide this cake a lightweight, fluffy crumb that you simply’ll love sinking your fork into.
Hero Ingredient: Whereas I simply waxed poetic about olive oil—and it’s key on this recipe—walnuts are the true winner. They let you use much less flour, giving your cake a nutty taste and packing it with extra vitamins than you’d anticipate from a dessert.
Lemon Ricotta Poundcake with Candied Lemon Slices
Why We Love It: Lemon ricotta is one of my favorite food pairings, and clearly, I’m not alone—this is one of our most popular recipes of all time! The cake is tender and moist, with a bright lemon flavor laced all the way through. While you can certainly purchase store-bought ricotta, this cake offers up a homemade version that couldn’t be easier. And truly, it does make a difference.
Hero Ingredient: Never underestimate the power of almond extract. It brings notes of cherry, vanilla, and chocolate to this wonderfully complex cake.
Rhubarb Meringue Cake
Why We Love It: This cake is so much easier than it looks and it makes the most of one of my favorite spring ingredients—rhubarb! The rhubarb compote calls for just four ingredients and is delicious spooned between the light layers of cake—sandwiched in there with freshly-whipped cream, of course. This cake’s a foolproof showstopper that looks its best with a wabi-sabi vibe. (That is to say, it’s all the more charming if your cake ends up a little lopsided.)
Hero Ingredient: A dusting of powdered sugar over top instantly adds a delicate, feminine charm.
No-Bake Mango and Cardamom Cream Icebox Cake
Why We Love It: My love of no-bake desserts reaches an all-time high come summer. When I want to enjoy something sweet and homemade but I can’t fathom turning on the oven, this is the recipe I turn to. Layers of perfectly ripe mango, cardamom cream, and pistachio crumble come together to create a work of beauty. Serve this at your next warm-weather gathering and be prepared to hand out the recipe—your guests will be begging for it.
Hero Ingredient: Pistachios are the most underrated nut. Almond, who?
The Best Classic Chocolate Pound Cake
Why We Love It: One bowl, 10 ingredients, and minimal hands-on minutes are all that stand between you and this gem of a cake. The usual components play a role (butter, sugar, eggs… ) but a heavy drizzle of chocolate ganache makes this pound cake something truly special.
Hero Ingredient: Once again, the two-ingredient ganache takes things to the next level.
Peanut Butter Banana Snack Cake
Why We Love It: While everyone was making banana bread in quarantine, I changed it up and perfected my snack cake skills. This recipe couldn’t be easier to make and is perfect as an afternoon treat alongside a cup of tea. (Or for breakfast with your coffee—I won’t tell.)
Hero Ingredient: You can top your snack cake any way you’d like, but I personally opt for a lighter frosting that elevates the entire thing. This two-ingredient frosting is at all times the reply.
Flourless Peppermint Sizzling Chocolate Cake
Why We Love It: If I haven’t made it clear already, I’m a giant chocolate fan. I’ve lengthy obsessed over flourless chocolate truffles for his or her pudding-like forkfuls, and this one is past moist. It’s like an enormous, gooey, undercooked brownie with a crispy high layer—aka heaven.
Hero Ingredient: Peppermint extract equals on the spot festivity.
Pumpkin Snack Cake
Why We Love It: Snack truffles are the most effective of each worlds, drawing upon the basic building of my favourite dessert whereas additionally being an ideal in-between-meals chunk. I’ll fortunately defend my opinion that pumpkin belongs in our treats all all year long, however this cake is especially particular when the primary chill units in and all you crave is consolation. The crumble topping is harking back to my favourite espresso truffles—which means sure, I will likely be having fun with this for breakfast.
Hero Ingredient: This spice mix is that this snack cake’s star. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Sufficient mentioned.
Citrus Olive Oil Muffins
Why We Love It: On the subject of enjoyable issues to bake, I’m all about discovering the right crossover recipes that draw equally upon taste and presentation. These muffins are actually a murals, highlighting stunning (edible) blooms that make for a easy standout topping. And sure, whereas these undoubtedly appear to be cupcakes—and style like them—there’s nothing stopping you from having fun with them for breakfast.
Hero Ingredient: Greek yogurt yields a young crumb whereas additionally bringing a pleasant little bit of tang to each chunk.
Vegan Banana Muffins
Why We Love It: I are likely to at all times purchase bananas however by no means use them up in time. It was once irritating, however this recipe is the right answer. These banana muffins are really easy to make and filling. They’re good for breakfast on the go.
Hero Ingredient: That crumble on high is to die for. You simply can’t beat that texture or taste.
Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric + Berry Muffins
Why We Love It: Bake these on Sunday and thank me while you’re grabbing one in your method out the door on daily basis of the week… and one other one while you get dwelling. These muffins are easy to make and full of loads of good-for-you substances (turmeric, cardamom, walnuts, chia seeds, berries—the checklist continues.) They’re the right breakfast or anytime snack.
Hero Ingredient: Turmeric is answerable for these muffins’ attractive golden hue.
Cranberry Orange Muffins
Why We Love It: Cranberry orange is a taste match made in heaven. There’s one thing concerning the tangy bursts of jammy berries paired with orange’s citrusy zest that at all times sends me again for extra. Wrapped in a buttery batter and laced with a easy orange glaze, these are the final word grab-and-go breakfast.
Hero Ingredient: Sprinkle on loads of coarse glowing sugar to assist your muffins shine all of the extra.
Bars, Biscuits, and Brownies
No-Bake White Chocolate Lemon Cardamom Slices
Why We Love It: Okay, so I do know you don’t technically bake these, however I couldn’t go away them off the checklist. Since our meals editor, Suruchi, developed this recipe final 12 months, I’ve made these bars upwards of 10 instances. The spice-to-sweet-to-citrus ratio is superbly balanced and the cookie crust serves as a scrumptious, buttery base. What extra might you need on your go-to spring deal with?
Hero Ingredient: Floor your cardamom contemporary. Belief me, the flavour is well worth the bit of additional effort.
Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake
Why We Love It: I by no means knew that selfmade biscuits have been really easy to make till I attempted this scrumptious gluten-free model. They’re so life-changing and make my favourite summer season dessert all the higher. (Severely, my mouth is watering as I write this.) If I might get up to the odor of those within the oven on daily basis, I might. Should you’re not feeling the entire shortcake building, merely heat one in all these biscuits within the oven and revel in with butter and jam.
Hero Ingredient: However nothing actually beats pairing these biscuits with dollops of dairy-free whipped cream. Coconut cream is your sweet-and-tangy answer to creating this whole dessert dairy-free.
Salted Caramel Cheesecake Brownies
Why We Love It: Cheesecake was by no means my factor—that’s, till these brownies got here into my life. Be warned: these are decadent and I assure you’ll be happy with one. Layers of wealthy, chocolatey brownie, tangy-sweet cheesecake, and a salty caramel topping come collectively for the dessert you’ve at all times dreamed of (simply me?). This isn’t your mom’s cheesecake—nor brownie, for that matter.
Hero Ingredient: At all times, at all times, at all times: add espresso powder to your brownies.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Brownies
Why We Love It: These brownies is perhaps gluten- and dairy-free, however you’ll by no means realize it. A mix of oat flour and almond flour ship a moist crumb whereas flax eggs function the right egg substitute. (To not point out, they add a wholesome dose of fiber to the combination!) I serve these with dairy-free vanilla ice cream and the mix of wealthy chocolate and funky vanilla is to die for.
Hero Ingredient: Should you haven’t heard, sea salt is the important thing to balancing out all of the flavors in each baked good.
Gluten-Free Lemon Bars
Why We Love It: Lemon bars are a basic that I really feel obligated to eat in abundance when spring and summer season come round. Fortunately, this recipe encompasses a gluten-free crust so everybody can indulge. Gluten-free graham crackers assist these bars come collectively in a snap, so you’ll be able to simply whip them up and revel in at your leisure.
Hero Ingredient: I’m tempted to say lemon, however it’s the eggs within the filling that give these bars their wealthy taste.
No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars
Why We Love It: Are you able to ever have too many pumpkin recipes in your life? I feel not (clearly). I’ll fortunately snack on these bars all all through the day, any time of 12 months. All the batch will disappear earlier than your eyes. One for breakfast, one as a snack, one other after dinner…
Hero Ingredient: Pumpkin butter, whether or not store-bought or selfmade, is the key to creating these completely sliceable bars.
This put up was initially printed on March 21, 2021, and has since been up to date.