20 Baking Recipes For Beginners

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:

Lastly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They are part of the fun. Happy baking!

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Holiday Party with Andrew & Zoë

My friend Andrew Zimmern and I are throwing a Holiday Party on Magnolia Network and we hope you’ll join us! Tune in Sunday 12/3 at 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT on Magnolia Network and streaming (HBO) Max and discovery+!

Put on your holiday sweaters (you won’t be alone, Andrew is in full holiday cheer) and come along for a hilarious afternoon of planning and preparing the party we’ve been meaning to throw for the nearly 30 years we’ve been friends. The menu is delicious and I haven’t laughed (or cried) like this in a while! I hope you’ll join us!

All recipes from the show below. Happy Holidays!

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Orange Poppyseed Mini Bundt Cakes with Chocolate Ganache & Gold Gelt

Mini bundt cakes as seen On Andrew & Zoe holiday special.

Every year for Hanukkah I make jelly doughnuts (Sufganiyot). They are fried in oil, which is the most significant ingredient of the holiday. This year I made an orange, olive oil, and poppyseed mini bundt cakes instead. Although they are baked instead of fried, they still have the oil in the batter. I finished them with a dark chocolate glaze and a bit of gold to give a nod to the gelt found on many Hanukkah tables. I used marmalade in these mini bundt cakes because it is one of my favorites, but feel free to change up the flavors to suit your taste.

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Crockpot Rolls with Rosemary

Crockpot rosemary rolls in a napkin-lined bowl next to a cutting board with rosemary sprigs, salt, and butter.

When you’re hosting, oven space is often a challenging feat of timing and choreography, so I “baked” the dinner rolls in the Crockpot. These Crockpot rolls are fluffy, rich with butter and the smell of rosemary will fill your house. The brilliant part is you can plug in your slow cooker anywhere so it is out of the way and your oven is free for the rest of the meal. Just before serving, I brown the tops under the broiler but that is an optional move.

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