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20 Best Baking Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Bread and Baked Goods


Happy weekend. If Monday through Friday is all about quick and easy (and did I mention quick?) dinners, Saturday and Sunday are about leisurely baking projects: warm bread, buttery scones, gooey blondies, extra-chocolatey cake. Treats you plan to share with your neighbors, but end up eating most of on the couch while binge-watching You on Netflix. Here are 20 recipes on our must-bake list right now.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

Cornmeal-Cherry Scones

Cornbread, meet scones. Scones, meet cornbread. You two are gonna love each other. Note: This recipe calls for dried cherries, but feel free to swap in fresh ones (or even any berry).

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Nancy Silverton’s Bran Muffins

A bran muffin for people who think they “don’t like bran muffins.” Chef Nancy Silverton uses raisins two ways: first, pureed as a natural sweetener, and second, folded in.

Photo by Ty Mecham

Morning Person Zucchini Bread

This early-bird zucchini bread is here to help avoid the mid-morning slump—thanks to whole-wheat flour, oats, olive oil, walnuts, and golden raisins.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

Any Fruit Upside-Down Cake

This buttery, brown sugary, crème fraîche cake is ready to host any seasonal fruit that catches your eye. Think strawberries and rhubarb right now, but keep this recipe on file for when peaches and blueberries arrive.

Chocolate Dump-It Cake

This chocolate cake is famous in our co-founder Amanda Hesser’s family for good reason: It’s dump-it easy and second-helpings good. You’re going to want to start putting chocolate–sour cream frosting on everything (and you should).

Photo by Julia Gartland

Jodi Rhoden’s Sour Cream Pound Cake

To me, a pound cake is the perfect fallback dessert. With butter and jam. Or whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Or topped with chocolate ice cream. Or dredged in sugar and pan-fried in a slick of olive oil.

Photo by Rocky Luten. Food & prop stylist: Alexis Anthony

Jami Curl’s Strawberry & Butterscotch Whipped Cream Cake

This is really one of the simplest stir-and-bake vanilla cakes out there, and super-forgiving, to boot (Greek yogurt’s a great stand-in for the sour cream, and we hear cup-for-cup gluten-free flour works a treat, too). Once you’ve got the base down, go ahead—play around with the toppings!

Marie-Hélène’s Apple Cake

Cookie queen, Dorie Greenspan, created this cake recipe based on that of a beloved—and equally gifted—friend. It’s got a satisfyingly low number of ingredients, yet a super special, dramatically delicious result.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

Danielle Oron’s Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fact: You can never have too many favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes. This one is salty and nutty, thanks to a big pour of tahini. (If you want an all tahini—yep, like no butter—version, head here.)

Photo by Julia Gartland

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

These chewy oatmeal cookies from our baker-at-large Erin McDowell are perfect for ice cream sandwiches. I love pairing them with fruity flavors like banana or strawberry.

Photo by Julia Gartland

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

From the outside, these look like sugar-crusted chocolate cookies (and they are!). But when you bite inside, there’s a gooey peanut butter filling. You’ll see…

Photo by James Ransom

Cook’s Illustrated’s Blondies

Best blondie recipe ever. There, I said it. The key here is melting the butter (just like with brownies), which yields a dense, chewy, gooey result. Err on the side of underbaking.

Photo by Posie Harwood Brien

Magic Cookie Bars

They’re magic! Graham crackers, shredded coconut, condensed milk, toasted nuts…where can we sign up? BYO glass of milk.

Photo by Ty Mecham

Lemon Bars With a Salty Olive Oil Crust

Usually the shortbread base for a lemon bar is made with butter. This salty update uses olive oil instead, as a fruity counterpart to the sour lemon curd.

Photo by James Ransom

Alexandra Stafford’s No-Knead Peasant Bread

If you think you can’t make bread, try this one. Alexandra Stafford’s no-knead recipe calls for instant yeast and almost no effort on your part. Plus, there are a million ways to vary it!

Photo by James Ransom

Potato (Peel) Focaccia

You’ve probably tried potato bread, but have you tried potato peel bread? It’s chewy and fluffy and crusty, perfect to serve alongside an oversized salad or warm bowl of soup. Feel free to add mix-ins to the dough, like grated cheddar cheese, chopped scallion, and crumbled bacon.

Christina Tosi’s English Muffins

Buttered and slathered with jam. Sandwiched with scrambled eggs and cheese. Blitzed into breadcrumbs and turned into meatloaf. Is there anything an English muffin can’t do? No.

Lemon Meringue Tart

Don’t be intimidated by the fancy-looking meringue topper on this tart (or the fussy reputation meringues have, in the first place)—cookbook author Danielle Kartes is here to help you master it.

Photo by Ty Mecham

Miso Caramel Tarte Tatin

This personality-packed tarte tatin was a semifinalist in our recipe contest, “Your Best Recipe Starring Butter,” and for good reason—flaky, buttery crust envelopes juicy apples with a hint of umami from funky red miso.

Sweet Potato Tart With a Coconut Pecan Crust

Tangy, crunchy, and creamy all at the same time, this richly spiced tart’s very welcoming of substitutions and customization. No coconut sugar? Brown sugar’s perfectly fine. Don’t like coconut milk? Try milk kefir. And as for that maple whipped cream that on top? It’s not required, but highly encouraged.

What are you going to bake this weekend? Tell us in the comments!

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