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.
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.
Chocolate Fudge Sheet Cake With Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting
The addition of cinnamon adds a kick of “something special” to this rich chocolate sheet cake, but if you prefer, you can reduce the amount or leave the cinnamon out all together; you will simply have a delightful, classic chocolate cake on your hands. Once topped off with a decadent chocolate-cream cheese frosting, this cake is ready to please at virtually any event you bring it to.
Pineapple-Lime Upside Down Cake
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
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
How to Make an Easy Red Velvet Cake from a Box
Learn an easy yet impressive way to decorate a store-bought red velvet cake that will have everyone thinking you made it from scratch.
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 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.
Nutella S'mores Dip
This easy, 5-ingredient S'mores Dip brings campfire flavors to the kitchen in less than 10 minutes.
Easy Individual Apple Crisps with Oatmeal Crumble
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
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.
Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
These 5-ingredient basic chocolate cupcakes are super easy to make and perfect for chocolate lovers. To make the Chocolate-Mint Cupcakes pictured here, top with Chocolate Buttercream frosting and sprinkle with chopped crème de menthe mints for a pretty presentation and fantastic flavor.
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
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.
All-Time Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
When it comes to making cookies from scratch, these crispy-chewy chocolate chip cookies represent the best of the best. Simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions make this a recipe you'll come back to again and again. Whip up a batch of these all-time favorite cookies and they won't last long. Pro tip: Bake 10 minutes for a softer cookie or up to 14 minutes for a crispier cookie.
After you've made these craveworthy cookies, don't forget to try our fun variations. All sorts of goodies—from crushed white-chocolate pretzels to toffee candy—can be added to the batter to create other signature cookies.
Easy Strawberry Cobbler
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.
Blueberry Bread Pudding With Lemon Hard Sauce
Pre-made Sara Lee pound cakes are the perfect base for a creamy, decadent bread pudding. Once thawed, we cube and toast the all butter pound cakes in then oven before dressing them up with vanilla custard base, lemon zest, and fresh blueberries. After baking the pudding to custardy, comforting perfection, a drizzle of lemony hard sauce is just the right finishing touch. This delightful pound cake bread pudding is easy enough to throw together anytime, but impressive enough to serve for company.
Mexican Chocolate-Zucchini Bread
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.
Puff Pastry Summer Fruit Slab Pie
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
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.
Served hot or at room temperature, nothing says summer like a fresh fruit cobbler. When the dish first comes out of the oven, the fruit juice will be a little thin, but it will thicken as the cobbler sets and cools down. Peaches and blackberries come together in this easy to assemble recipe, but feel free to substitute your favorite berries or stone fruits. You can make the crumble topping mix ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.