21 Essential Baking Recipes Every 20-Something Should Learn
From basic muffin batter for breakfast to a flourless chocolate cake that's guaranteed to impress during date night, build your baking skills with these essential recipes.
Baking is a science. It's crucial to follow a recipe closely when whipping meringue, forming chocolate chip cookies, or building a layer cake. If you're a new baker or just want to get back to basics, these essential recipes are the ones you want to spend some time perfecting.
Let's start with the ultimate in basic baking recipes: the Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies pictured here. Some recipes promise a thin and crispy texture or extra-cakey chocolate chip cookie, but this version offers the perfect balance of both. When prepping your ingredients, make sure to use room temperature butter and eggs, which will help them to incorporate more evenly into the cookie dough. Another classic cookie recipe is Snickerdoodles, the cinnamon-sugar duo that's a guaranteed winner in this sweet, spiced, and everything nice treat.
Of course, there are a couple of classic pie recipes that everyone should master. Our Old-Fashioned Apple Pie is standard, but absolutely spectacular. A combination of spices and the zest and juice of a lemon build all the flavors of fall in the filling. Another autumnal classic is our Perfect Pumpkin Pie, which has the creamy texture everyone at your Thanksgiving table will love. Achieve the perfect crimped edge, crispy bottom, and golden brown crust with our versatile pâte brisée recipe.
Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you're a fan of soft, chewy, and completely decadent chocolate chip cookies, you need to commit this recipe to memory. These buttery cookies, which use a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar for moistness, have a sweet surprise hiding on the inside—each cookie is stuffed with an individual caramel.
Test Kitchen's Favorite Banana-Chocolate Chip Bread
Vanilla Sheet Cake with Chocolate-Ganache Buttercream
This is one of the easiest and most crowd-pleasing desserts that you can bake. The yellow cake batter gets a double dose of vanilla from both the bean and extract. Plus, spreading the easy chocolate frosting on a sheet cake is much easier than frosting a layer cake.
Classic New York-Style Cheesecake
Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
Vegan Chocolate Cake
Perfect Citrus Bars
Milk-Chocolate Pudding Pie
This chocolate pie is a particularly easy recipe for beginners because the press-in crust is made with just three ingredients—vanilla wafer cookies, granulated sugar, and butter. That's right: No rolling required!
Angel Food Cake
This light and airy cake gets its heavenly texture from 12 egg whites and cake flour. Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream, powdered sugar, and macerated berries.
Perfect Sugar Cookies
Use our all-star recipe to make these classic cookies. They're the perfect combination of crispy, chewy, soft, and sweet. Best of all, they're made with just a handful of basic ingredients, so you can whip up a few dozen whenever a craving strikes.
Can't decide between baking blueberry or chocolate chip muffins? With this all-purpose muffin recipe, you don't have to. Divide the batter into separate bowls and mix in chocolate chips, cherry and pecans, raisins, blueberries, or whatever your heart desires.
The ultimate springtime dessert, this moist, spiced cake is made with an entire pound of shredded carrots, which add subtle orange color, plenty of moistness, and a bit of texture. And what would carrot cake be without cream cheese frosting? We have a recipe for that, too.
Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
Soft and chewy with the perfect coating of cinnamon sugar, these cookies are an absolute classic. A combination of vegetable shortening and butter creates the signature texture without compromising on flavor.
Perfect Pumpkin Pie
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Who doesn't love a decadent chocolate dessert that also happens to be gluten-free? Made with four-ingredient, flourless chocolate cake is rich, romantic, and super easy to prepare. Be sure to use very good quality chocolate, such as Valrhona, for ultra-luxurious flavor.