Our Best Baking Recipes for Beginners
It's never a bad time to start your baking journey. Whether you've struggled in the past or you're just too intimidated to pick up a mixing bowl, we're here to help! We rounded up some of our easiest, user-friendly baking recipes, as well as a few go-to classics every home baker should master, to jumpstart your baking practice.
Mexican Chocolate-Zucchini Bread
Mexican Chocolate-Zucchini Bread Recipe
Got a boatload of zucchini? A loaf of so-simple quick bread is a delightful, kid-friendly way to put it to use. This decadent twist spices up classic zucchini bread with cocoa powder, cinnamon, a rich chocolate glaze, and roasted pepitas. Easy-to-make, incredibly moist, and intensely chocolatey, this Mexican Chocolate Zucchini Bread is sure to be a new favorite.
Best Fudgy Brownies
Meet your new go-to recipe for homemade brownies. These decadent treats are extra rich and fudgy, thanks to a double hit of baking chocolate and bittersweet chocolate morsels. They're incredibly easy to make, plus you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. And while we're definitely not above boxed brownie mixes, these homemade brownies would certainly steal the show at any party or get-together.
Pineapple-Lime Upside Down Cake
Pineapple-Lime Upside Down Cake Recipe
Fresh lime zest adds just enough of a zingy "something special" factor to our foolproof take on the classic pineapple upside-down cake. This easy cake is a fan favorite for good reason—it's so simple to make and is loaded with a delicious balance of buttery-caramelized and tropically sweet flavors. Pro-Tip: Finish incorporating the ingredients by hand, this will prevent over-mixing your way to a tough cake. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for a perfect finish.
3-Ingredient Banana Bread
3-Ingredient Banana Bread Recipe
When you're baking a loaf of homemade banana bread, you no longer have to fuss with flour, baking powder, eggs, etc.—all of that stuff's included in just-add-water pancake mix. Okay, it might seem a little weird at first glance, but it's totally possible to make bread with pancake batter. (Uh, hello, it's darn cheap, too.) This budget-friendly banana bread is perfectly tailored for those of us trying to save a few bucks (a.k.a. all of us) since it just calls for three ingredients: pancake mix, banana, and peanut butter. It's also the perfect way to use up the overripe bananas that are all beautifully speckled and brown in your fruit bowl.
3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Braided Lemon Bread
The perfect recipe for spring. This slightly sweet, lemony, and tender braided bread lands somewhere between brioche and challah. Serve the impressive poppy seed-studded loaf with dinner, use it to for sandwiches, or make an unconventional French toast.
Quick Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole
Quick Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
Quick Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole is ridiculously easy and goes into the oven in only 10 minutes, thanks to sweet canned yams. To boost flavor and add richness, we counter the canned spuds with luscious creme fraiche; chunks of almonds bring big brunch to our sweet potato casserole.
Easy Individual Apple Crisps with Oatmeal Crumble
Easy Individual Apple Crisps with Oatmeal Crumble Recipe
You can also peel and coarsely chop the apples, if you prefer. For more tender apples, decrease the heat to 400° and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer.
Easy Dinner Rolls
Dress up store-bought dinner rolls into something special with one of the following flavor blends: Everything Bagel, Greek, or Old Bay. This smart trick for an easy and awesome upgrade to the average bread basket comes from our friends at Southern Living.
Classic Pumpkin Pie
Refrigerated pie dough makes this classic pumpkin pie recipe simple to prepare. Bake the pie on a baking sheet in the lower third of the oven to encourage a crisp crust.
Easy Apple Cobbler
Usher in the fall season with a warm pan of (almost too) easy apple cobbler. For this simple and delicious apple dessert, peeling and slicing the fruit will be the bulk of your workload. The combination of brown sugar and apples yields an exceptionally gooey-rich filling that was made to team up with a buttery, golden crust and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. While we preferred hearty Granny Smith apples for the filling, you can certainly use a different variety if that's what you have on hand. Regardless of the type of apple you pick, this warm and comforting cobbler is easy enough to make at the last minute, and is always a welcome addition to the holiday dessert spread.
Classic Sugar Cookies
Cut this dough into a variety of your favorite shapes. The dippable glaze will transform the cookies into works of art almost too pretty to eat.
Peanut Butter and Pretzel Brownies
Peanut Butter and Pretzel Brownies Recipe
Irresistibly nutty and salty, these peanut butter pretzel brownies are for the die-hard chocolate lover in everyone's lives. Incorporating Reese's candies, crushed pretzel bits, and a heaping spoonful of creamy peanut butter, these rich, decadent squares are perfect for you next potluck dessert party, special occasion, or late night craving. For an added bonus, go ahead and eat them warm out of the oven with a scoop of ice cream.
Easy Strawberry Cobbler
Easy Strawberry Cobbler Recipe
Just because it's easy doesn't mean this biscuit-topped strawberry cobbler won't impress. In fact, bursting with vibrant berry flavor (regardless of how perfectly ripe your strawberries may or may not be), we can just about guarantee that it will. We keep this stunning berry dessert stunningly simple by using Bisquick baking mix for the topping. The bottoms of each fluffy biscuit soaks up luscious juices from the berries while the tops bake up golden-crisp. And sprinkling the cobbler's Bisquick topping with a bit of turibinado sugar is a pro's touch for adding visual and textural interest. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for the full cobbler experience.
Coconut Cream Pie
When it comes to pie recipes, this classic coconut pie recipe takes the blue ribbon. Perfect for a warm summer night, this tropical filling is dense and not overly sweet. The use of a refrigerated pie crust makes it easy and the whipped cream makes it fun and stunning. We think the toasted coconut topping is a must, as it adds crunchy texture, nutty flavor, and a gorgeous golden-brown garnish.
Puff Pastry Summer Fruit Slab Pie
Puff Pastry Summer Fruit Slab Pie Recipe
This show-stopper is easy to assemble, but so impressive. The only component of this effortlessly elegant tart that needs to bake is the puff pastry base itself. Once it's baked and cooled, you'll top it with a creamy, fluffy spread of sweetened mascarpone cheese mixed with marzipan (i.e. almond paste), vanilla, freshly whipped cream. You'll want to wait until right before serving time to assemble your dessert. All of those glorious summer fruit juices are going to start seeping into your puff pastry and will lead to sogginess if prepared too far in advance.
No-Knead Lightly Rye Bread
No-Knead Lightly Rye Bread Recipe
Ready to try your hand at bread baking? This simple, no-knead bread is the perfect recipe to start with. The easy-to-follow recipe yields a delightfully chewy, crisp-crusted, bakery-style boule and is an excellent yeasted bread for a novice bread maker to build confidence (and impress guests) with. Small additions of whole-wheat and rye flours give the loaf a great depth of flavor and chew without affecting the bread's ability to rise. Beyond being simple to make, this no-knead loaf is ready to enjoy in a fraction of the time required to make many traditional yeasted breads. A touch of molasses not only adds a little flavor, but it speeds up the yeast growth, as does using warm water in the dough. Allowing a 4-hour proof time gives the yeast enough opportunity to grow and time to develop flavor. This bread is fantastic warm from the oven, would be marvelous served alongside soup, and absolutely sings when lightly toasted and served at breakfast. We love it with a simple smear of butter, as well as with slightly more dynamic spreads like this savory Pear, Olive, and Walnut Chutney.