ZoëBakes Academy

Host Zoe Francois, as seen on Zoe Bakes, Season 1

A New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to be about giving something up, it can be about setting out to create new things. What if we shake things up a bit and resolve to get into the kitchen to try a new cooking or baking technique this year? No matter where you are in your baking journey, there’s always something new to learn. That’s one of the things I love most about this craft.

I bought my husband a book on cheese making for Christmas and I cannot wait to see what he creates. I am already dreaming up all the cheesecake, danish, bread, cakes and pies I can make with his fresh cheese. Stay tuned for the journey in cheese making. As you’re creating and experimenting in the kitchen, you may want to share the fruits of your labors with neighbors, family, and friends. Trust me, when you bake as often as I do you make lots of friends that way!

It’s National Baking Month, so what a perfect time to try something new! I used to teach an extensive baking and pastry course, which included all of the basic techniques of pastry. I’ve broken it into the various categories of baking: cookies, quick breads, basic doughs, pies and tarts, cakes, decorating cakes, custards, laminated doughs, meringues, and pantry staples. Here are some recipes for beginning bakers and those who want to push their baking game to the next level with projects that have more steps. There is no timeline, just a fun way to learn some new techniques.

No matter where you start, just remember that it is okay if something doesn’t turn out exactly as you’d expected the first time. In the failures come the most learning, which eventually adds up to experience. All crafts take time, so give yourself the gift of patience and have fun, that is the most important ingredient of all!

Cookies & Bars

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  2. Sugar Cookies
  3. Oatmeal Cookies
  4. Peanut Butter Cookies
  5. Fruit Bar
  6. Coconut Bar
  7. Lemon Bar
  8. Macarons

Muffins & Quick Breads

  1. Blueberry Muffins
  2. Nutella Swirled Banana Bread
  3. Banana Bread with Pecans
  4. More recipes and techniques found on my Magnolia Network Workshop

Basic Doughs & Batter

  1. Dutch Baby
  2. Popovers
  3. Crêpes
  4. Pie Dough
  5. Vegan Pie Dough
  6. Tart Dough
  7. Biscuits
  8. Pate au Choux:
    1. Eclair
    2. Profiterole
    3. Croquembouche

Pies & Tarts

  1. Lemon Meringue Pie
  2. Peanut Butter Pie
  3. French Silk Pie
  4. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
  5. Lattice Top
  6. Pear Tart
  7. Chocolate Tart
  8. Mango Tart

Cakes & Frosting

  1. Devil’s Food Cake
  2. Best Ever Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake
  3. Grapefruit Pound Cake
  4. Carrot Cake
  5. Gluten-Free Hot Chocolate Layer Cake
  6. Poached Pear Cake
  7. Strawberry Passion Fruit Sheet Cake
  8. Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  9. Chocolate Frosting
  10. Cream Cheese Frosting
  11. Ganache

Cake Decorating

Find more information and instruction in my book, Zoë Bakes Cakes.

  1. How to Layer Cake
  2. Crumb Coat
  3. Final Coat of Frosting
  4. Decorating with Simple Piping
  5. Buttercream Flowers on a Cake
  6. Mirror Glaze Cake
  7. Rolled Fondant


  1. Pot de Creme
  2. Flan
  3. Creme Brûlée
  4. Ice Cream Base
  5. Cheesecake
  6. Cheesecake Bars

Laminated Dough: Puff Pastry, Croissants & Danish

  1. Puff Pastry
  2. Croissants


  1. Meringue Basics (French, Swiss and Italian)
  2. Pavlova
  3. Baked Alaska
  4. Dacquoise


Find more information and instruction in my new book, The Best of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

  1. Basic White 5-Minute Boule (round loaf)
  2. Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf
  3. Brioche
  4. Cinnamon Rolls
  5. Star Bread
  6. Pizza
  7. Sourdough Starter

Pastry Pantry Basics

This is also a great time to think about making some of your own kitchen staples. You’ll never enjoy ricotta, crème fraîche, or vanilla extract more than when you make them from scratch yourself. And these premium ingredients are actually really simple to make on your own and SO worth the minimal effort. Why not try it out? You may never go back to the store-bought versions again.

  1. How to Make Homemade Yogurt (Plain and with Fruit)
  2. How to Make Homemade Crème Fraîche
  3. How to Make Homemade Jam, Jelly and Preserves
  4. How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract
  5. How to Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese
  6. How to Make Homemade Granola

How to Make Your Favorite Desserts

Excited to try something new? Learn all my tips, tricks and techniques for each of the following desserts before you dive in. Plus, bonus tips for storing leftovers and baking at altitude.

  1. How to Make Cheesecake
  2. How to Make Pie Crust
  3. How to Make Sorbet
  4. How to Make Ice Cream
  5. How to Make the Best Cookies
  6. Tips for Baking with Chocolate
  7. How to Store Leftover Baked Goods
  8. Tips for Baking at Altitude

Share this post

3 thoughts to “ZoëBakes Academy”

  1. Hi Zoe, just started watching you on discovery plus, I love the show . I was just wondering when you buy your clothes and necklaces they are beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *