Food

What Baking Recipes Do You Love?

Best baking recipes

Question for the group! Recently, I’ve gotten really into baking, and I’m dying to ask: which recipes you swear by? The amazing (and easy) recipe that Anton and I make on repeat is…

Smitten Kitchen’s Strawberry cake. We tried it on Anton’s fifth birthday last year and have made it a dozen times since.

Smitten Kitchen Strawberry Cake

Smitten Kitchen Strawberry Cake

Smitten Kitchen Strawberry Cake

Smitten Kitchen Strawberry Cake

Smitten Kitchen Strawberry Cake

Smitten Kitchen Strawberry Cake

“There’s a pound of hulled and halved strawberries in a cake that can barely handle it. The strawberries take over,” says Deb from Smitten Kitchen. “The batter buckles around the receding berries, which dimple like a country quilt. The edges of the cake become faintly crisp. And your apartment will smell like a strawberry patch.” Here’s her recipe…

Smitten Kitchen’s Strawberry cake
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Adapted, only slightly, from Martha Stewart

You’ll need:
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 pound (450 grams) strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 10-inch pie pan or a 9- or 10-inch springform or cake pan. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.

Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer (though I had to overlap a few to get them all in). Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.

Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, loosely covered, but good luck with that.

Toby and Joanna baking cake at home

Anton making Simple Cake's chocolatey chocolate cake

The other big bonus of baking is that kids are often up for helping out. Who will dare turn down the possibility of cake or cookies or brownies? And running the beater and licking spoons and tasting batter? We’ve had the nicest time cooking off the cuff. (The bottom photo is chocolate cake with cream cheese icing from Simple Cake. Not that beautiful, but very delicious!!!!)

What else would you recommend? I’d LOVE to hear. We like these brown butter rice krispie treats and four-ingredient apple crisp, too. Also, lol at Anton’s face in this bottom photo.

P.S. A boxed brownie taste test, and 9 cookbooks that earn their keep.

(Top illustration by Alessandra Olanow. Cake photos and adapted recipe by Smitten Kitchen, republished with permission.)

  1. Sara-Lynn says...

    I make this cake every year since you posted it first way back when. A winner for sure!

  2. Saving the recipes!

  3. Kate Gilles says...

    Anything by Maida Heatter, who passed away this week at the age of 103, but especially her Palm Beach brownies. The fudgiest, deepest flavored bars with a crisp top. Yum! And also anything from Smitten Kitchen :)

  4. tlc says...

    Baking has always been one of the few activities that truly relieves my anxiety. Here are some of my standards:

    Chocolate cake for a party, best with fresh raspberries and unsweetened whipped cream: http://orangette.net/2004/08/and-then-the-cake-came-forth/

    Easiest raspberry ricotta cake: http://orangette.net/2015/03/doing-it-right/

    Dark chocolate/pistachio/orange cinnamon rolls, which I always make for my boyfriend’s birthday: https://joythebaker.com/2013/12/bonkers-awesome-pistachio-orange-and-dark-chocolate-cinnamon-rolls/

    My favorite banana bread w/ browned butter (EVERYTHING IS MIXED AND BAKED IN ONE CAST IRON SKILLET!!!!) https://joythebaker.com/2016/04/one-skillet-dark-and-stormy-banana-bread/

  5. Samantha says...

    We love Katherine Hepburn’s brownies!
    https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/10782-katharine-hepburns-brownies

    The genius desserts cookbook is also incredible and every recipe has a big photo, my son loves looking through and picking out something to make together. The Weird and Wonderful Banana Cake is a great place to start!

  6. E says...

    Finnish pie crust: This is a sweet crust, like a sugar cookie. I don’t like the taste of flaky pie crusts, and hate cutting in butter :) It’s delicious with fruit or pumpkin, but I wouldn’t use it with a very sweet filling such as pecan pie.

    1 stick butter, room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1 tbsp vanilla
    1 3/4 cup flour
    Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and add vanilla. Gradually add flour. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to 2 weeks. (Also freezes well.) Butter and flour pie tin and press in dough – makes 2 pies’ worth. Add filling, bake until done.

    Sour cream cake: Like pound cake, but better!
    3 cups flour
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
    2 cups sugar (I use brown)
    6 eggs
    1 cup sour cream
    1 tsp extract (vanilla, almond, lemon, etc)
    Mix flour and baking soda together. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately one-third at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in extract. The batter will be very thick. Spoon into a greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 325 °F for 1 hr 15 min. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Serves 12.
    You can make 1/2 the recipe in a loaf pan. I often make a sauce out of whatever I have (butter, cream, strawberry jam, cherry brandy, brown sugar, etc).

  7. Claire says...

    We bake a lot over here, so I have these 3 recommendations to share:
    King Arthur Flour’s classic birthday cake recipe (we serve w/ cream cheese frosting): https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-birthday-cake-recipe
    This excellent recipe called Louisa’s cake, that I got from the Food 52 site, with ricotta and grated apple in it. I have renamed it after myself because I’m the one that makes it and I got tired of people asking who Louisa was: https://food52.com/recipes/10436-louisa-s-cake
    These oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, also from Food 52, with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in the batter, are divine: https://food52.com/recipes/5804-crispy-oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies

  8. margaret says...

    Amanda Frederickson’s dutch baby! I love it, my kids love it and it makes you look like a baking genius. Dump everything in the blender and it cooks in the oven (it comes out puffy and dramatic!) – so good and so much less messy than the stovetop. I have her instagram post from a year+ ago saved and I reference it almost every weekend. Sooo close to memorizing that bad boy ;)

  9. Estelle says...

    YUM! I am def trying this with my strawberry obsessed almost 6 yr old!

    I have an off-the-topic question – your BEAUTIFUL living room rug!!
    Could you please share where it’s from? I’ve been looking for something just like that for our living room, with those colors… <3

  10. SB says...

    Two faves from Molly Wizenberg, writer of the Orangette blog:
    -my favorite banana bread (I reduce the sugar and use brown): http://orangette.net/2008/08/a-clear-sign/
    -these overnight pancakes are a SUPERB use of buttermilk, and buttermilk has many fantastic uses: http://orangette.net/2010/01/the-very-definition/

    Also, all rhubarb everything for as long as I can – I miss living in Iowa, the only place I’ve ever found frozen rhubarb!

    • Danielle says...

      Also my favorite banana bread recipe!

  11. Melissa Stark says...

    This Cran Apple Cake by Barefoot Contessa is as easy as the Strawberry Cake, but the flavour is amped up. It takes such little time and is always a crowd pleaser. I make it for every holiday and many random Wednesdays. Soooo good.

    https://barefootcontessa.com/recipes/easy-cranberry-apple-cake

  12. Valerie says...

    This is the perfect summer cake!! My bestie and I have been making this one for several years on repeat and I can’t even tell you how many text conversations have been centered around it!

  13. Joy the Baker’s Peach and Raspberry Crumble will forever be my favorite recipe. I make it probably once a month and swap whatever fruit is seasonal. In Ireland it’s really hard to find peaches (so many nectarines though!) so last week I swapped the peaches for apples and my husband said the apple/raspberry combo was his favourite yet. When in doubt, do a crumble – you likely have everything in the house already too!

  14. Lauren says...

    White House Berry Cobbler, so simple and the crusty edges are amazing
    http://www.circle-b-kitchen.com/food-and-recipes/2010/4/6/white-house-berry-cobbler.html

    Joy the Baker’s blonde brownies, although I mix in chocolate chips instead of candy brittle and jam
    https://joythebaker.com/2012/10/brittle-and-jam-blonde-brownies/

    Smitten Kitchen’s berry bundt cake, one of the few non-chocolate desserts that is requested over and over in my household
    https://www.plantoeat.com/recipes/542429/

  15. Em says...

    Two cakes that I love that get better on day 2-3:
    1. Marian Burros’ plum torte, which is simple and wonderful! The recipe can be found many places, including Smitten Kitchen: https://smittenkitchen.com/2013/10/purple-plum-torte/
    2. Marcella Hazan’s almond cake recipe (I make it with entirely almond flour, rather than a mix… and often use the leftover egg yolks to make a custard or lemon curd): https://www.elizabethminchilli.com/2010/08/almond-cake-in-todi/

    Other favorites include Ottolenghi’s apple cake from his Sweet book and his spice cookies (the best!!) from his Jerusalem book, as well as anything from Stella Parks’s BraveTart book. She is fantastic!

    Enjoy your baking adventures!

  16. Nadine says...

    I love to eat a sweet but healthyish breakfast with coffee, two of my go-to’s are brown butter espresso chocolate muffins from Sprouted kitchen blog & carrot quinoa oatmeal breakfast cookies from love and lemons blog…

  17. Sally K says...

    Smitten Kitchen’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. I omit the raisins. No mixer required!
    https://smittenkitchen.com/2009/02/thick-chewy-oatmeal-raisin-cookies/

    Wacky cake

    QUICK COBBLER
    3/4 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons sugar, divided
    1 cup flour
    3/4 cup milk
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    Pinch of salt
    1 stick butter (I’ve used half a stick with good results)
    2 cups fresh, frozen or canned (and drained) fruit

    Preheat oven to 350. Put butter in baking dish and put in oven until butter is melted, but not browned. Mix sugar, flour, milk and baking powder. Pour over butter in baking dish. DO NOT MIX. Put fruit on top of batter. DO NOT MIX. Sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons sugar as desired. Bake for 50 minutes.

    I’ve used all kinds of berries for this, peaches, nectarines, cherries (canned or frozen).

  18. Smitten Kitchen’s ‘I Want Chocolate Cake’ cake is seriously good – I reduce the sugar by about 1/4 to 1/3 and it’s still extremely sweet and indulgent. I’ve done it with brown rice flour to make it gluten-free and it works really well. Also the ‘Bill’s Rona oatcakes’ here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2007/oct/06/foodanddrink.recipes1 – savoury and very easy, very tasty (works with all porridge oats/oat flakes if you don’t have the oatmeal to hand).

  19. Sara Johnson says...

    Not really answering the question, but I’ve been doing baking challenges with my daughter this year. Sally’s Baking Addiction, Handle the Heat, Boston Girl Bakes, and Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt, and What the Fork all have them going. It has been a fun way to show my little one how you can participate online in a more meaningful way, and now we have a tried and true infinitely adaptable scone recipe!
    https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/scones-recipe/

  20. Emily says...

    How to I become a favorite at parties with minimal effort: box mix of chocolate cake or brownies, but substitute Guinness for the water. White or cream cheese icing mixed with some baileys, to desired taste and consistency . (Whiskey mixed into fudge and spread on before you dollop the icing- if you want that extra intensity)

  21. Sarah says...

    Thanks for reminding me of the strawberry cake! I made it last summer and it is so good. Other tried and true favorites:
    Alice Medrich’s Best Cocoa Brownies!
    https://food52.com/recipes/21007-alice-medrich-s-best-cocoa-brownies
    These Chocolate Chip Cookies!
    https://food52.com/blog/14647-plot-twist-the-most-genius-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe-is-also-vegan
    And these Confetti Cookies are very tasty and just fun!
    https://smittenkitchen.com/2016/05/confetti-cookies/

    • SB says...

      What a beguiling combo, excited to try them!

  22. Kara says...

    These blondies! So dense and delicious. The mix of pecans, white chocolate, and dark chocolate is heavenly. I especially love bar cookies because you can cut the squares larger or smaller, depending on how many people you need to feed. https://food52.com/recipes/28573-cook-s-illustrated-s-blondies

  23. Libby says...

    I love the Smitten Kitchen Chocolate Olive Oil Cake! https://smittenkitchen.com/2017/10/chocolate-olive-oil-cake-more-book-tour/
    It’s such a simple recipe, and I almost always have all the ingredients on hand at home. I love something you can bake that doesn’t require an extra trip to the store. And on top of that, it looks nice, and feels so decadent. Especially topped with some fresh strawberries.

  24. My go-to dessert for parties/potlucks. Unexpected, crowd-pleasing: https://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/italian-almond-tart.html

    Perfect scones recipe (hint: I grate a frozen stick of butter) that works well with any berry/citrus zest combo: https://www.chowhound.com/recipes/raspberry-scones-28560

    You will probably get this recommendation a few times over, but this chocolate cake is the absolute chocolate cake: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/beattys-chocolate-cake-recipe-1947521

    Happy baking!

  25. Sarah F. says...

    Oh my god; is there anyone more adept at describing the sensual pleasure of food than Deb from Smitten Kitchen? I mean, her description of that strawberry cake almost gave me an orgasm.

  26. Gina says...

    Aaron’s Tart Dough from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. Top with any seasonal fruit and her recipe for frangipane– OMG.

    • sarah says...

      That is my go-to brownie recipe. I actually just made her peanut butter swirled brownies this morning. Can’t wait to taste them!

    • Courtenay Spencer says...

      Completely agree! Always a crowd pleaser!!

  27. Jennie says...

    Yes, yes, yes, this strawberry cake is a weekly staple in our summer. It’s the very best. Deb has a raspberry one with buttermilk that is very similar, too.

  28. Steph says...

    Are waffles “baking”? If so, my 3-year-old and I make this recipe at least once a week:
    1 3/4 c. flour
    1 Tbsp. baking powder
    2 Tbsp. sugar
    2 eggs
    1 3/4 c. milk
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 c. oil (vegetable, olive, whatever)
    This yields seven fluffy waffles on our waffle maker, which is enough for two adults and one toddler to have breakfast for two days. I recommend.

  29. Malissa says...

    Smitten Kitchen for life over here. I make her Jacked up Banana Bread All of the Time! I’m sure it keeps me employed since my co-workers love when I bring it. Her blueberry muffins are insanely perfect, her brownies are the best, ETC.

  30. I love the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies from Kim Boyce’s book Good to the Grain. I always add chopped nuts, and I use a whole 10-oz. bag of bittersweet chocolate chips for extra chocolaty goodness!

    A quick note though — I recommend reducing the bake time to ~ 12-14 minutes. Otherwise, they can be too dry.

    https://food52.com/recipes/25844-whole-wheat-chocolate-chip-cookies

  31. Alyssa says...

    I make homemade egg bagels and french bread almost weekly! It feels good to eat things that have very limited ingredients and came from my kitchen.

  32. Lynn says...

    Crazy Chocolate Cake (some call it Wacky Chocolate Cake) https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/7475/crazy-cake/. It uses no butter, dairy or eggs so it is vegan and I always have the ingredients in the pantry. It can be topped with a hot fudge sauce (my mom makes the best) or nothing or peanut butter or Nutella – the list is endless. The best part? It’s made right in the pan so there isn’t even a bowl or mixer to clean!

  33. My favorite go-to dessert is the Favorite Brownies from Smitten Kitchen.

    I always load them up with chopped nuts, toffee chips, and (sometimes) Andes mint chips. A combo of nuts and toffee chips is my fave. I like to scale the recipe up, and I use less sugar, because I like a deep, rich chocolate flavor. I always freeze them, then cut them into tiny squares for serving. They’re a MASSIVE hit at every party!

    (I usually do a 150% version, in a 9″ square pan, for thicker brownies. I use 1 c. sugar for the base recipe, so 1+1/2 c. in my version. I use 1+1/4 to 1+1/2 c. of add-ins. Also, I also sometimes make a 50% scale version in a loaf pan — this was inspired by Nigella Lawson’s “emergency brownies,” from her latest book At My Table. That is a great way to liven up a weeknight!)

    https://smittenkitchen.com/2012/08/my-favorite-brownies/

  34. Jessica Camerata says...

    That strawberry cake looks insanely delicious and easy! The one baked good that I feel super confident making and make time and time again is a simple banana bread. Sometimes I add chocolate chips to make it extra special. I am however attempting something fun this week before July 4th. I am learning to test a recipe first because I lack patience in the kitchen! I’ll be making puff pastry shells with ricotta and fruit on top! If it comes out great I’ll be posting it to my blog!

    xo Jessica

  35. Nicole says...

    Two comments here: First, I actually made this same strawberry cake a few weeks ago! I subbed out half of the all-purpose flour for buckwheat flour and it made for a deliciously nutty flavored breakfast cake. Highly recommend! Second, the baking recipe I probably make the most often is actually one I found here on COJ years ago! It’s the “Best Banana Bread You’ll Ever Have”. (I just looked and it was posted back in 2012. I didn’t realize I’d been reading for so long. Wow!!) It really is the best banana bread I’ve ever had. Highly, highly recommend!!

    • SB says...

      I love buckwheat flour – so pleased by all the people recommending it here!

  36. Dana says...

    Made this last night and it was DIVINE. The strawberries turned to jam. It begged to be topped with whipped cream. I complied… No one complained.

  37. Laxshmi says...

    Nigel Slater’s lemon and thyme cake

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      looks SO GOOD!

  38. K says...

    Joy the Baker’s brown butter chocolate chip cookies! A simple extra step to brown the butter but makes a world of a difference!
    https://joythebaker.com/2014/05/the-best-brown-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies/

    And this recipe for pie crust. So easy and foolproof. Seriously the best pie crust I’ve had:
    https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/07/easy-pie-dough-recipe.html
    Fill it with any fruit and it tastes so good. I especially love peaches in the Summer.

    Love the Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread mix when it’s in season, and Ghirardelli brownie mix.

    I love that strawberry cake! It’s so pretty too!

  39. Lisa says...

    Smitten kitchen, the best

  40. Anna says...

    French yoghurt cake, chocolate and zucchini has a great version of it on her website. The ingredients are measured out in a yoghurt pot, a true classic!
    https://cnz.to/recipes/cakes-tarts/yogurt-cake-recipe/
    She adds a tablespoon of rum for an aromatic twist.

    Another fantastic foolproof one is Nigella’s chocolate olive oil cake, so simple but unbelievable deep in flavour. I must have made it 10 + times!
    https://www.nigella.com/recipes/chocolate-olive-oil-cake

    And one from my heritage, a russian apple cake called ‘sharlotka’ or charlotte in english. It is full of apples but has a beautiful light texture. Kids and adults love it.
    Gooseberry Mooseberry has a very good basic recipe
    http://www.gooseberrymooseberry.com/2012/11/apple-charlotte-easy-spice-apple-cake.html

    Good luck on all your baking adventures!!

    I’m going through a very difficult time (my mum was diagnosed with Stage 3 bowel cancer when she was only 49) but it’s the little things in life (like good cake) that I feel keep me together and moving forward. Baking is wonderful therapy for the anxious mind:)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so sorry to hear about your mom’s diagnosis, anna. i agree it’s about the little things. sending you so much love. xoxo

    • Carly says...

      I hear you on that, Anna! My boyfriend’s mom was just diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer at age 52. Such a shocking and scary diagnosis at a young age. Life is truly about the little things.

  41. These cookies:

    https://topwithcinnamon.com/2013/09/twc-feat-sorted-video-salted-caramel-nutella-stuffed-double-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

    Salted Caramel – Check
    Nutella – Check
    Double Chocolate – Check
    a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel on top – CHECK

    If you want to bake them with the kids, skip the caramel-making part and use caramel sweets instead (or make the caramel ahead of time). Caution: One of these is a full meal, do not attempt to eat a second. Maybe even split one with a friend.

    • Oh wow, I have to make those. They look amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  42. Kris says...

    The best set of recipes I have come across, and I have been cooking and baking for more than sixty years, is Gemma Stafford”s. Bigger Bolder Bakers. Her recipes are delicious and she has shown me short cuts I would never have thought of. The microwave in a cup recipes are super for a quick lunch, and her cakes recipes are easy and always turn out well.

  43. Oh I made this strawberry cake a few weeks ago for the first time and it was totally delicious!

    I love baking for my kids – I do a lot of simple loaf cakes that I can double up on (we are a family of 7, so cakes go fast!) – I normally like to have one out and freeze one.

    But my absolute favourite bake for any slightly off-kilter morning – or just a morning that needs a little perking up – is this super easy scone recipe:

    https://themumandthemom.com/2018/02/12/smug-and-lazy-scones-revisited/

    (Or google, ‘smug and lazy scones’) …they freeze well too – unbaked – so if I am feeling extra prepared (smug) I try to keep a batch in the freezer ready for those particularly rough mornings :)

    Hx

  44. PJ says...

    Holy oven! Now I need to print these comments as my own baking recipe book.

    • Kat says...

      Great idea!!! I am going to print them – thanks

  45. Kate says...

    Ina Gartens Mocha Icebox cake- use gluten free Tate’s cookies and your gluten free friends will love that they can eat dessert at a dinner party!
    Epicurious “ Our Favorite Banana Bread”
    And NYTimes Plum Torte the recipe is very similar to your Strawberry Cake Jo.

  46. stacey says...

    I haven’t tried this one yet. I love Deb’s Triple Berry Summer Buttermilk Bundt though. These two cakes seem like kissing cousins.

  47. Lorena says...

    I love the Smitten Kitchen strawberry cake you posted!

    Here is a recipe for a maple pudding cake. It is ridiculously easy and it’s always a hit with friends and family:

    http://bitebymichelle.com/2014/04/16/maple-pudding-easter-cake/

    Thank YOU for all the amazing baking recipes over the years. My favourite apple crisp recipe (or is it a crumble, I don’t know), is courtesy of your blog!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      any recipe with the words “pudding cake” is a winner in my book :) thank you!!

    • Elizabeth says...

      Lorena, I made the maple pudding cake this evening, and everyone loved it! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  48. Sweet Laurel Bakery’s vanilla cake recipe. It’s o my online on their blog, not in their cookbook, and it has become the cake I am known for. Everyone asks for the recipe and it’s so ridiculously easy. It’s healthy enough, that I serve cake for breakfast the day after a party. Almond flour, coconut oil, eggs, maple syrup, baking soda, vanilla and Himalayan pink sea salt. Plus coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla for the frosting. http://blog.sweetlaurel.com/2017/10/04/our-classic-vanilla-cake-sweet-laurel/

  49. Tine says...

    PLEASE make Ree Drummond’s (The Pionner Woman) cinnamon rolls. These are absolutely magical little pillows of cinnamon goodness. I made them last Christmas and EVERYONE loved them and came back for at least one more…I cannot eat just one either. They take some time but are very easy and SOOOOO worth the time. I think your boys would love making these with you as well!

    https://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/cinammon_rolls_/

  50. Amanda says...

    Minnesota grown, we love our BARS!
    O’Henry bars *Combine and melt special k cereal, peanut butter, sugar and karo syrup, press into a pan and top with a melted chocolate chip butterscotch chip topping. (Grandma would turn the cereal box inside out, retape it, package up what seemed like 10 dozen of them and mail them as a care package when I was in college♡)
    Cookie Bars with Meringue *Chocolate chip cookie recipe pressed into a pan, use only the egg yolks for the dough and whip the whites to top the dough with a meringue before baking. (My dad bakes every night as a way to relax, these are in consistent rotation and always stored in the oven. Friends would habitually head to the kitchen, right to the oven, peak inside and help themselves to dad’s baked goods!)

  51. witloof says...

    This peach tart! I have been making it several times a year for almost 20 years with different fruits – apples, blackberries, apricots, peaches, rhubarb, nectarines, sour cherries.

    https://food52.com/recipes/14217-peach-tart

  52. Alexa says...

    Emeril’s Banana bread is consistently delicious, and so easy to adjust for vegans, chocaholics, and even gf friends. I love that it’s naturally dairy free and pretty much comes together in just two small bowls (gotta consider the cleanup!) I usually use Smart Balance or another vegan butter instead of vegetable shortening, since I tend to eat vegan :)

    Here’s the recipe:
    https://www.emerils.com/122887/ruth%C3%ADs-banana-nut-bread

  53. Laura says...

    After college I went to pastry school (because for a short moment there I thought I wanted to be a pastry chef) and even though I learned to make all of the classic and fancy French desserts, ten years later I still continue to make the same easy American classics because at the end of the day it’s something warm and gooey with chocolate chips that everyone in my house wants. Smitten Kitchen’s Blondies are my go-to to favorite. I add two kinds of chocolate chips and flakey sea salt on top. I mean it when I say they are the EASIEST things to make (I have the recipe forever memorized) and everyone raves about them and I promise them, they don’t need a pastry degree to make. They’re perfect for summer gatherings, quicker to bake when you’re craving chocolate chip cookies and my number one go-to!
    But on that note, you really can’t go wrong with anything Deb Perelman makes!

  54. Kamina says...

    I’ve made this fat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free chocolate pudding cake approximately 1000 times in the past 15 years and OMG. It’s a huge favourite with my husband (who is the type to run a mile at the mention of fat-free anything).

    When hot, it’s like a gooey self-saucing pudding. When cold, the sauce sets into a firm, creamy, delicious cold mousse-type layer at the bottom of the cake. YUM.

    https://fatfreevegan.com/blog/2010/02/28/chocolate-pudding-cake/

  55. Liz says...

    Stella Parks’ Glossy, Fudgy Brownies from Bravetart. Never ever fails.

  56. Jenny says...

    My daughters and I just used the Taproot Magazine recipe for meringues and made a classic with chocolate chips and crushed pistachios on top. It is amazing for kids (and their grown-ups) to see egg whites transform. Magical and delicious and the oven temp is low so ideal for a summer kitchen!

  57. Allison says...

    I love making fruit crumbles with whatever mix of fruit we have on hand. Berries, apples, peaches, rhubarb. Any mix I’ve tried is tasty and so quick. Eat with yogourt or ice cream or on porridge. The “anti-depressant brownies ” recipe in Clueless in the Kitchen is amazing. I was dubious because it has oil instead of butter and cocoa instead of chocolate but they are so quick and so so good. And my new favourite is the biscotti recipe from “cupcake Jemma” on youtube.

  58. Alexandra says...

    Anyone know how the strawberry cake would turn out with gluten-free flour? Sounds so delicious but I have an intolerance!

    • Daniela says...

      I’m wondering the same thing. I often use a 4:1 blend of rice flour to almond flour which I’ll try for this too!

    • SB says...

      I’ve had great luck subbing regular flour with bob’s 1:1, can’t imagine it would be bad…

  59. Sarah says...

    Thank you for the inspiration! I made this today. Too bad we all have noroviris and no-one wants to eat it! We have a ton of strawberries so maybe I’ll make some more after the house has been bleached. My cake sure looks pretty though!

  60. Lucia says...

    Chris Morroco’s chocolate chip cookie recipe is so good! I’m obsessed with the Bon Appetit folks. Please, please do a beauty uniform with Claire Saffitz.

    • kate says...

      I second this!

  61. Kate says...

    i LOVE LOVE LOVE my grandma’s brownie recipe. they’re chewy and delicious and made with the magic of cocoa and boiling water! They turn out every time, and take minutes to make. Other recipes i’ve made over and over:

    Moist, perfect pumpkin chocolate chip bread by Sally
    https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-bread/

    The tastiest easiest whole lemon tart by the one and only Deb
    https://smittenkitchen.com/2009/02/whole-lemon-tart/

    Alexandra’s unbeatable blueberry breakfast cake
    https://alexandracooks.com/2011/06/29/buttermilk-blueberry-breakfast-cake/

  62. Um, you are speaking my language: instagram.com/laborofloaf.

    • Amanda says...

      That sounds so good!! Adding it to my list :)

    • SB says...

      A NC classic! I should work harder to make it suit my dietary restrictions, in warm weather there’s nothing better!

  63. My most Popular recipe is for pumpkin bars it’s the same recipe that Paul Deen has in one of her cookbooks I don’t remember which one though google it. It’s to die 4!!!

  64. Leah says...

    Giada’s Lemon ricotta cookies! Are a major hit every. single. time.

    • ali says...

      OMG!! I was just looking at that recipe of hers. Lemon ricotta
      pound cake looks amazing too.

  65. Erin says...

    One of my favorites is actually the No-Bake French Silk Pie that you shared a few years ago – Such a great option when it’s 90 degrees in my SoCal kitchen!

    I also made this Lemon Cake recipe (https://smittenkitchen.com/2006/10/lemon-cake/) as a holiday gift for all my new neighbors when my husband and I moved into our house last winter. I’m still getting compliments about that cake!
    You really cannot go wrong with Smitten Kitchen!!

  66. Alex says...

    Alexandra Stafford’s (Alexandra’s kitchen) peasant bread, dories world Peace cookies.

  67. Alyssa says...

    We love smitten kitchen’s blueberry muffins. The lemon zest makes it. I make a batch every week. It immediately boosts the kids’ moods in the morning.
    And in the summer I make this peach pie A LOT! https://www.saveur.com/summer-peach-pie-recipe/

  68. Sara says...

    I love Smitten Kitchen’s Brown Butter Nectarine Buckle! It’s a like a cross between a fruit crisp and coffee cake and the brown butter smells amazing. I make it least twice a year when nectarines are in season. Sometimes I serve it with yogurt and eat it for breakfast (ok, all the time. But only because it is sort of like coffee cake) 😂

  69. Elizabeth says...

    I love making my own brioche hamburger and hot dog buns. They taste amazing and a pot sturdier than store bought buns. Plus, they make a fantastic bread pudding with any leftovers.

    • Amanda says...

      Ooh thanks for sharing Kirby!! Definitely saving this recipe – I love this kind of cobbler but when I’m in need of a recipe all I can find are ones with crisp-like toppings…

  70. kim says...

    Lazy daisy oatmeal cake, from Vintage Cakes, is my absolute favorite go-to cake. It turns out perfect every time and is super easy to mix up. Everyone who eats it loves it – there’s no resisting the “icing” made of coconut, butter, pecans and brown sugar that is broiled over the top. Made it for my family recently and it’s now one of my sister’s go-to cakes, too.

  71. Michaela says...

    Two of Jessica Fechtor’s dessert recipes are staples in my house (and if you haven’t read her memoir, Stir, it’s a truly lovely book and filled with even more recipes.) Both are fairly simple: her whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, and Marcella’s Butter Almond Cake. Recipes can be found on her website.

    The cake is so unique and delicious, and turns out impressive results that belie how simple it is to make. And the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies are actually the ones my friends request, over any other kind! I guess I assumed that the “healthyish” swap (there’s no AP flour in there, unlike other whole wheat recipes) would create something tasty but not classic, but they adore it so much, and I do too!

  72. Raquel Goldman says...

    Check out Nick Malgieri’s Supernatural Brownies!

  73. Alison says...

    Literally everything from Sally’s Baking Addiction. She never fails me!

    • Alex says...

      Oh God I forgot her brownies too. They’re amazing.

    • Beth says...

      Yes! Alice Medrich’s cocoa brownies!

  74. Krysten says...

    -Not Without Salt’s brownies from her first cookbook Date Night In. We’re not big peanut butter fans so we skip the frosting.
    -Cheesecake (we like the King Arthur Flour Baking Book recipe (the whole cookbook is amazing).

    • Claire M says...

      Will try the brownies for sure! I love Not Without Salt and Date Night In so much. For me the always repeated baking is her burger buns recipe! So good!

    • Rebecca says...

      The Frugal Girls brownies made
      With 1/2 Dutch cocoa 1/4 Mexican cocoa from Savory spices and 1/4 Black Onyx Cocoa. Yum. Also her French Bread recipe is fantastic.

  75. Jenifer says...

    Supernatural Brownies they’re the bomb! Can find the recipe on Nee York Times cooking site. You can dress them up or down!

  76. Christy says...

    Baby Anton is one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen. I think about him a lot, but not in a creepy way, haha.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha that’s so cute :)

  77. Mallory says...

    Hilarious that you posted this! I’ve been making this and taking it to every potluck lately! I also love a good brown butter rice krispie treat–delicious and simple, but a little elevated.

  78. Bernadette says...

    Love just about everything Deb makes! This one is a family favorite, game changer & fun to make with kids.
    We usually have it for New years and when we have special guests. My French in laws adore this (as do we!). Love the “ugly but delicious cake” !

    https://smittenkitchen.com/2014/11/date-cake-with-toffee-sauce/

  79. Annie says...

    Hands down, Alison Roman’s Salted Butter and Chocolate Chink cookies. I’m not usually one to eat ½ a batch of cookies at a time but there’s no stopping me with these ones.

  80. Julie says...

    Dorie Greenspan’s French yogurt cake is easy and you can fold in seasonal fruits. Mark Bittman’s biscotti with dried cherries and slivered almonds or crushed anise and orange zest.

    • Beth says...

      Just made Dorie’s French yogurt cake—always easy and always delicious. Made it in the 9 inch round and layered with with strawberries and whipped cream.

  81. kate says...

    Toby on the couch in the top right pic – so sweet and so funny! What a darling.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes haha! An impromptu nap!

  82. Milk Bar Cornflake Marshmallow Cookies! It’s definitely a “patience is a virture” type recipe since it takes 2 days to make, but they’re well worth it. I make a huge batch and freeze them and then pop them in the oven for any surprise visitors. Also: Rice Whiskey Treats.

    • Rose says...

      LOVE this cake! I use fresh/ frozen rasberries or whatever berry and it is always amazing.

  83. Karen says...

    Milk Bar’s Chocolate Chip Cookies!

    Super easy, as there’s no creaming the butter and sugar – you melt the butter and hand-mix with the sugar. I make it in cookie-form (bake half now, freeze the other half in raw dough balls) or skillet form (straight into the oven, or made the night before and put the skillet in the fridge, bake upon return home from work). Throw spinkles and a candle on it, and your birthday cake is ready to enjoy.

    https://www.foodiecrush.com/milk-bars-salted-chocolate-chip-cookies/

  84. MM says...

    Cooks Illustrated Thick and Chewy salted Choc Chip cookies. The best! plus they have a trick for creating insta worthy shape for the cookies (once you form the cookie ball, rip ball in half, turn ripped sides up, put halves back together), it’s worth the time.

    • Lynn Trahey says...

      Cook’s Illustrated is my go-to for new recipes. Their anise biscotti is truly amazing. Thanks for the recommendation!

  85. Jen says...

    My favorite is Molly Yeh’s Peanut Butter Snack Cake.

    Seriously awesome. No icing or fuss. I don’t even sprinkle on the powdered sugar. It makes my list of perfect foods. Sometimes I eat it for breakfast because it’s not any sweeter than other morning worthy treats.

    http://mynameisyeh.com/mynameisyeh/2015/4/peanut-butter-snack-cake

  86. Alyssa says...

    Love Simple Cake!! I’m actually not a big fan of cake, as most cake is usually wayyy too sweet and overpowering. But I’ve fallen in love with Odette Williams’ Milk & Honey Cake, Versatile Coconut Cake, and Lemon Yogurt Cake. All three are super quick to throw together and taste delicious even without any frosting or icing if you’ve got a hankering for a less-sweet treat.

  87. I just made a delicious spaghetti squash bake last night for all my girlfriends while we watched The Bachelorette! Although it can be time-consuming, I love being able to cook for others because it saves money and creates a more relaxed atmosphere. Does anyone else feel this way?

    • Amanda says...

      Yes! I had a good friend unexpectedly in town the other day and rather than spend money on a meal out, I had her come over and cooked for her – a simple lemony goat cheese pasta with a side salad. Food is my love language, and I always love being cooked for so I hope she felt the same!

  88. Nanette says...

    I will obey anything that Deb tells me to do, but my regular standby is her salted chocolate chunk cookies. I think hand chopping the chocolate takes the cookie to another level. I probably make this recipe a couple of times a month for birthdays, other special occasions, and of course, when I really want a cookie. My friends keep telling me that I should sell them. But honestly, it’s just a really fantastic recipe. https://smittenkitchen.com/2015/04/salted-chocolate-chunk-cookies/

    • Emily says...

      Those are the best! And if you can get your hands on espresso salt to sprinkle on top they are even more amazing. (If you like coffee that is.)

    • Kristin says...

      This is our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. We weren’t thrilled with Alison Roman’s famous recipe, or the recent BA’s best by Chris Morocco (though we DID find his dough to be the tastiest!).

    • Yes, the Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins are the only ones we make! So easy and delicious!

  89. Paige says...

    Oh man! This is a hard question- my most “wow” factor dessert is Ina Gartens mocha icebox cake. It’s easy and delicious. Kind of expensive to make (Ina has no budget!). Another favorite is Pillsbury oatmeal Carmelita’s. It’s amazing and it makes a ton of chocolatey caramel bar cookies. Mmmm. They are great for potlucks, my husband requests them all the time.

  90. Diana Alvarez Gorby says...

    Every fall these 3 ingredient cookies. ….One box of spice cake mix, one can of pumpkin, one bag of mini chocolate chips. Stir. Place on cookie sheet in 2 inch blobs. Cake at 350 for 15 minutes. Couldn’t be easier, softer or yummier. Play with add ins like oats, or sub butterscotch chips. https://www.sugarhero.com/3-ingredient-pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies/

    • Bonnie says...

      Diana – Game changer! I make them just plain and NEVER added anything except frosting but your suggestion of butterscotch (or other) chips sounds delectable. Ooohhh… putting this on my October calendar page!

    • Marci says...

      I make these on the first day of school every year. My kids have loved the tradition and I love the simplicity on a busy morning. (I’m not a morning person!)

  91. Stephanie says...

    Yum! So many good ideas here!
    I LOVE baking, and get a huge kick out of trying new recipes.
    I’ve noticed, though, that no matter what elaborate, time consuming dessert I make, my family tends to say, “This is pretty good, but you know what’s REALLY good? Your Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes!”
    It’s the simplest recipe ever, and so hard to mess up!
    You use a whole oreo as the crust, so there’s no tedious forming of a cookie crumb crust for each cupcake.
    I got the recipe from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes book years ago, and have made it dozens of times and they’re always a hit. I’ve also fancied them up for special occasions by piping white chocolate mouse on top.
    Honestly, I’m a bit bored of them by now but my family requests them constantly!
    Here’s the recipe: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/oreo-cookies-cream-cheesecakes/

  92. Lori says...

    Everyone who has ever had this chocolate cake agrees it’s the best chocolate cake. Moist, delicious. Try to use a good quality cocoa powder for the best flavor. You won’t regret it making it!
    https://barefootcontessa.com/recipes/beattys-chocolate-cake

    Also, my son loves these and I make them for every potluck. Use a good quality jam for the best flavor. Super easy and SO delicious!
    https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/raspberry-crumble-bars-recipe-3381164

  93. Rose says...

    The chocolate cake recipe (+ frosting) on the bake of the hershey cocoa powder box is one of the easiest and crowd pleasing recipes. Every time!

    • Miriam says...

      Thank you for sharing! I’m gluten free & this is genius! It looks so easy & yummy.

  94. Valentina says...

    I LOVE carrot cake. And a friend’s mom gave me a recipe that now I bake every chance I have. Is so simple! And I can make substitutions easily.
    In a big bowl, you put 4 eggs, 1 cup of brown sugar (it can be white sugar, or honey, and the original recipe called por 2 cups, but I thought it was too much) and 1 cup of oil (coconut, olive, it’s up to you). Mix well with a wood spoon and then I just place a strainer on top of the bowl and put 2 cups of flour (oat, regular, ww, ANYTHING works, I don’t know how), as much cinnamon as you can handle, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of baking powder, then you mix it with the egg mixture and add 2 cups of grated carrots (1 cup finely grated and the other one bigger). Mix well and into the oven for 1 hour at 180º C (350 F I think). And that’s it.

  95. Katie says...

    I seem to like watching the Great British Baking Show more than I like actually baking. I want to like it! I just haven’t figured out when to fit it in with a 15-month old and an almost 4-year old.

  96. Emily O. says...

    seriously, anything Deb posts I trust will be delicious. her soft oatmeal raisin cookies, and her perfect blueberry muffins are my two standbys!

  97. Megan says...

    My go to baked good is “brookies”. Make a batch of boxed brownies (whatever kind you prefer) but before you bake it add lots of drops of pre-made cookie dough throughout the pan. Bake according to the box directions! Always a crowd pleaser! I like to top it with vanilla ice cream :)

  98. Ceridwen says...

    This looks beautiful! My daughter Whois 10 loves to bake. She made the best choc chip cookies on the weekend. We wanted to have American style ones (we are in Australia) that you see on American tv shows. The recipe I’ve loved baking is the olive oil one by Hetty that you posted. My mother was seriously ill,and we were all going through a very uncertain, stressful time. I needed to do something that required one simple step after another to rest my mind. Baking that cake, especially rubbing the orange rind into the sugar, was the most beautiful, life affirming and calming act. I smiled into it, cried a little but felt such pleasure in the thoughtfulness and simplicity of that moment. Then my house smelled so fresh! I added in dark chocolate chunks instead of the rosemary. I took the cake with me on our drive to be with my parents and my brother and I devoured it during the trip. It’s a wonderful cake for sharing and now making it brings me complete calm and joy.

    • Cyndi says...

      Thank you for sharing your beautiful memory ❤

  99. Ashley says...

    French yogurt cake. Cookie+Kate’s banana or pumpkin muffins. Granola (does that count as baking?). And on special occasions, Martha Stewart’s apple cider donut cake.

    • Cecile says...

      French yogurt cake is a beloved cake in France. Kids typically measure all ingredients with the actual tub of yogurt. Fun and yummy :)

    • Saved! I’m making this for my next gettogether, it looks amazing!

  100. Eliza says...

    I don’t have a great recipe to recommend, but I love making peasant bread – so quick and easy and tasty. The year before my husband was diagnosed with celiac disease I was ALL ABOUT homemade bread and was excited to get into making sourdough. I tried to transition but gluten free bread making has been an expensive disaster over a dozen times.

    • Adrienne says...

      America’s Test Kitchen has a gluten free cookbook (actually, two now) with some bread recipes. Perhaps they have some secrets for you.

  101. Tori says...

    I really trust Alexandra Cooks. Her site and recipes are so yummy. Also, the King Arthur flour blog is reliable (best brownies). Mark Bittmans banana bread recipe is my no fail, I make it about every other week. Lastly, after much trial and error the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the Trader Joe’s chocolate chip bag is my fave. There, all my secrets are out.

  102. Jackie says...

    Hello! Really enjoying all the comments here. I agree with another person on Julia Turshen’s Afternoon Cake. I have made it with lots of different citrus (orange, grapefruit, blood oranges) and have served plain with powdered sugar as well as glamming it up with whipped cream and fruit compote.
    https://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/afternoon-cake