Are you a beginning baker wondering what to try first? This list of 20 baking recipes for beginners is a great place to start. It’s by no means comprehensive, but I included some of my favorite desserts that anyone can make, divided into four categories: Cookies and bars, breads, cakes and pies.
Otherwise, do you want to start with a gorgeous show-stopping recipe that’s much easier than it looks and will wow friends and family? Try my most popular recipe: Pavlova. It’s an ethereal meringue with a crisp exterior and a soft, light interior.
Before you start, I also highly recommend you make your own vanilla extract. It’s easy, fun to make, and one of the most common baking ingredients.
Or, if you’re looking for tips about a specific dessert, I have helpful guides and FAQs on a variety of topics:
These chocolate chip cookies are the result of what I learned making countless batches for decades. I also explain what the ingredients do to a cookie and how baking can change them. You can tweak your cookies to be just how you like them using my cookie guide towards the bottom of the post.
Delicate and brittle on the outside with rich buttercream or ganache in the middle, macarons are not as difficult as you think. You can color them for any occasion and they're just beautiful, delicious and fun. Note: This recipe does require a scale, otherwise there is too much variability in the measurements to come out well.
A shatteringly thin crust and a super light and stretchy interior is the bread most beloved by my family. This loaf delivers on all of it. The simple ingredients mixed with a short autolyze (just a fancy word for making a slurry of flour and water, then a quick rest), gives the bread the beautiful interior texture.
Cinnamon rolls are a classic breakfast treat for any special occasion. You'll be surprised how easy this recipe is to make, and the resulting cinnamon rolls are pillowy and delicious, with the perfect amount of cinnamon and sweetness.
This pizza dough is such a simple recipe that provides wonderful results every time. High-quality ingredients are also really important to making your pizza restaurant-quality. So go for the good stuff and don’t overload your pizza with toppings!
I've spread Nutella on just about everything, but one of my favorites is freshly baked banana bread. In an "aha! moment" I decided to swirl the nutella right into the batter and bake them together. I'm not claiming to have discovered this combo, but I believe this may be the tastiest pairing ever there was.
Cake recipes should be in every baker’s repertoire, and even the stunners can be pretty easy to make. You can also check out my book Zoë Bakes Cakes to get more detailed tips and a whole bunch of cake recipes.
This Devil's Food Cake from Zoe Bakes Cakes (this version is just slightly different because I am always tweaking) is the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever tried and believe me, over the past 20+ years, I've tried them all. The dark chocolate cake has a texture that is smooth and rich. The flavor is not overly sweet, because of the coffee (you don't actually taste the coffee, it just cuts the sweet) and the rum (the Devil in "Devil's Food cupcakes" perhaps? the alcohol burns off in the oven.), which make it a great match for cream cheese frosting sweetened with Lyle's Golden Syrup (honey works, too, if you're in a pinch).
This carrot cake is perfectly spiced, moist and unbelievably good! Using candied carrot peels as decoration (optional), cream cheese frosting and sweetened shredded coconut, this cake is simply the best — I make it all the time!
With its perfectly moist texture, soft crumb, and depth of apple flavor, this apple cider bundt cake is perfect for any occasion. I like to use a variety of apples in this cake such as Honey Gold, MacIntosh, Haralson and Prairie Spy. Drizzle with a simple honey-cider glaze and serve.
Based on recipes from Zoë Bakes Cakes.Classic, white cake, with a big messy pile of perfect strawberries resting on passion fruit buttercream. It is super easy to put together, but looks like sunshine and happiness, so no one will care that you didn't have to work that hard.
Pie may scare some beginning bakers, but I promise you can take it on! The hit for holidays requires a little more patience on the crust, but it’s worth learning to make your own. Once you have it down, you’ll be ready to make all the pies!
This peanut butter pie recipe is oh-so delicious. With a graham cracker crust, a smooth peanut butter filling made with cream cheese, a layer of chocolate ganache, and a whipped cream and candied peanut topping, this dessert is deluxe and irresistible. Be sure to chill this pie for two hours or overnight before serving.
This is really a rustic blueberry pie, made without a tin and given a more romantic name. It’s simple, delicious, easy and contains little more than plump, sweet-tart blueberries. A galette need not be complicated, you can use fresh and/or frozen blueberries.
This chocolate tart is so delicious—I want to make it a new tradition at the holidays. I had to pipe the whipped cream into fleur de lis to guild the lily and you must garnish with chocolate shavings! If you don't want to include the Irish cream, you can omit it.