Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network

Zoë François standing in her Minneapolis kitchen.
Photos by Wing Ta of Canary Grey

I was working on another show concept when I heard that Chip and Joanna Gaines were starting Magnolia Network. I called the producer I had been working with and said something to the effect of “THAT’S MY DREAM NETWORK!”

Yes, I said it in all caps.

I have always admired the passion and intensity that Joanna and Chip have for the work they do, but still impart so much joy into their projects. That resonates with me.

Baking is a craft I LOVE and want to share that with the world. I couldn’t think of a better platform to do that on than Magnolia Network and I am sooooo grateful they felt the same way when they saw my audition “sizzle” and invited me to join their community of creators.

Zoë François measuring ingredients in her Minneapolis kitchen

Zoë Bakes is more than a show about baking, although there is lots of that too. It is an ode to my entire food community in Minneapolis. I am excited to share this town with people, who may not know its long tradition of baking.

Minneapolis sits on the Mississippi river and was developed as a wheat milling town. Those old mills (now museums and restaurants) still stand on the banks of the river as a reminder of our roots. My house is in a neighborhood built by the wheat barons. The history is everywhere. The current community of farmers, millers, and bakers have rich stories to tell and I am so honored to share them on Zoë Bakes.

Episodes Available Now | Zoe Bakes on Magnolia Network

Watch Zoe Bakes on Magnolia Network on discovery+ or on the Magnolia Network | Time Well Spent app

Zoë François sits with neighbors and family on her porch in the Porch Parties episode of Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network.

Episode 1: Porch Party Pies

Zoë François bakes up a table full of irresistible pies and cooks up one of her favorite desserts to share with friends and family on her porch as they kick off their annual tradition of welcoming spring back to Minnesota.
Recipes: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie | Strawberry Fool

Zoë stands with a tray of biscuits made with Justin Sutherland at Handsome Hog on Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network

Episode 2: Biscuit Bake

Zoë is invited to a backyard barbecue and visits a local chef known for his biscuit baking. She incorporates his tips into her own recipes as she makes two of her favorite Southern-inspired sweets.
Recipes: Tender & Flaky Homemade Biscuits | Banana Pudding | Biscuit Topped Cobbler

Zoë François of Pie and Mighty, showing Zoë François how to make her grandmother's angel pie on Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network

Episode 3: Making Meringue

Zoë dives into the magic of meringue when she bakes it into a Pavlova (from Zoë Bakes Cakes), a whipped cream and fruit-filled dessert, for a dinner party with friends. She also visits a local pie maker who has mastered the art of meringue and uses it as a crust.
Recipes: Pavlova | Stephanie Meyer’s Beef Stew

Pastry chef Minda Ringdahl shows host Zoe Francois decorating techniques, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 1.

Episode 4: Decorating Cakes

Zoë surprises her best friend by making a devil’s food cake (from Zoë Bakes Cakes) topped with champagne buttercream for her anniversary. She also shares her tips for piping roses and borders, and explores current trends in cake design at a local cakery.
Recipes: Devil’s Food CakeSwiss Meringue Buttercream

Host Zoe Francois tastes different honey varieties with Brian Fredrickson, owner of Ames Farm

Episode 5: Buzzworthy Bakes

Zoë bakes a beehive-shaped birthday cake (from Zoë Bakes Cakes) for her beekeeper dad, complete with marzipan bees and a variety of honeys from her visit to a honey farm. Then, she whips up baked doughnuts with a honey glaze.
Recipe: Beehive Cake

Host Zoe Francois and baker Sarah Kieffer

Episode 6: Cookie Delivery

Zoë wants to give her college son a taste of home by baking delicious chocolate chip cookies that highlight a friend’s fun technique. Later, she sends everything but the milk when she includes a variety of customized brownies.

Recipes: Sarah Kieffer’s Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies | Zoë’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sarah’s Book: 100 Cookies

Host Zoe Francois with friends at her backyard pizza party.

Episode 7: Pizza Farm

Zoë visits a pizza farm to learn about her new wood-fired pizza oven and how to use it for baking at home. Then, she gets inspired to create a pizza farm experience in her own backyard for a group of friends.

More information about my Fontana Forni Pizza Oven and Copper Olive Oil Cruet.

Host Zoe Francois with Stephanie March and orchard owner Gretchen Prebix, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 1.

Episode 8: Apple Classics

Zoë kicks off apple season by visiting an orchard and picking new varieties to put a twist on her classic Apple Bundt Cake. She also whips up a few childhood favorites like a Dutch Baby and pink applesauce to share with a friend.
Recipes: Apple Cake with Honey Cider Glaze, Dutch Baby, Pink Applesauce

Host Zoe Francois enjoys coffee and dessert with a friend, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 1.

Episode 9: Coffee Break

Zoë explores a Scandinavian tradition called fika, a coffee break with sweets, when she visits a local bakery and finds inspiration for a new twist on her Cinnamon Braid. Then, she makes a Cardamom Pear Cake and enjoys both with an old friend.
Recipes: Pear-Cardamom Cake | Brioche Braid

Host Zoe Francois meets with Wes Gardner, head baker at Baker’s Field Flour & Bread in Minneapolis, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 1.

Episode 10: Easy Breads

Zoë shares her passion for baking bread daily with a simple recipe anyone can master. She explores the benefits of using fresh flour when she visits a local mill and reveals tips for shaping boules, baguettes and epis.

Resources: Bread in 5 Master Recipe | The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day | Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day | The Best of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (Pre-Order Now!) | artisanbreadinfive.com

Zoe’s bread baking tools can be found here!

Host Zoe Francois and her son Henri pick out sugar pumpkins at Barten Pumpkins, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 1.

Episode 11: Pumpkin Treats

When Zoë’s sons come home for a visit, she heads to a pumpkin patch to get ingredients for their favorite fall desserts. Charlie joins her in the kitchen to make sweet scones with squash they picked, and Henri enjoys pumpkin creme brulee.

Recipes: Pumpkin Creme Brulee | Squash Scones

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Zoë François sprinkling salt on warm chocolate chip cookies

The Fundamentals of Baking: Cookies

Check out my first Magnolia Workshop, now available on the Magnolia Network app! Download the app “Magnolia | Time Well Spent” and watch my cookie workshop series to learn all about the fundamentals of baking cookies. There are nine chapters that will guide you through some of my favorite recipes and help you create YOUR perfect cookie! This course is basically my Chocolate Chip Cookie 101 blog post on steroids where I bring you step by step through my process of changing a cookie to the texture and flavor profile you love. To find my course, open the app, find “Create,” then click “Workshops” and you’ll see me there!

Zoë’s Homemade Vanilla Recipe

Photos courtesy Magnolia Network