15 Homemade cake recipes, delicious, simple and easy to make
Sometimes you want to bake a special dessert for a celebratory occasion — and other times you just want to surprise the kids on Saturday night. So we rounded up the best cake recipes for you, no matter the reason you’re in need of a baking recipe. Is someone in your family getting another year older? We have the best birthday cake recipes (and the best birthday Instagram captions to go with ‘em) to fill with candles and enjoy with loved ones. But that’s not all — we have all types of cakes on our list, whether you prefer vanilla or chocolate or all the flavors in between.
So, which is the most delicious? That’s up to you to decide! Sometimes the best easy cake recipes for beginners are super simple with just a few ingredients, while the best picks for more experienced bakers might involve getting creative or piling on the layers. And since pumpkin spice is great any time of year, we have plenty of warm, spicy and seasonal fall cakes to enjoy with your next afternoon cup of coffee. So preheat your oven, because the exact-right recipe is coming right up.
Cookie recipes might just be our favorite baking recipe (sorry, layer cake!). They’re easy to make, use just a few ingredients, and can often be made in under an hour — especially if you keep emergency cookie dough in the freezer at all times like our Test Kitchen editors. So if you need dessert inspiration ASAP, look no further than our round-up of the best cookie recipes of all time, including plenty of easy ideas (snickerdoodles, anyone?), unique treats (just wait ‘til you try the Gingerbread Wands), and so many different types of cookies that you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy … batch after batch.
Nuts for peanut butter cookies or looking for the perfect chocolate chip cookie? We’ve got you covered! Looking for festive Christmas cookies or spicy fall cookies to celebrate the season? We have a recipe for every holiday, celebration, or hey, just a Monday. If you run into any troubles along the way, we’re here to help, with guides on the best baking sheets you can buy, ideas for egg substitutes if you need ‘em, and of course, plenty of chocolate chip cookie baking secrets.
With so many delicious recipes to try, there’s absolutely no reason to skip dessert tonight. Plus, cookies are easy to share with friends and family — just wrap them in a cellophane bag and tie it up with a bow, or stack them in a cute jar, tin or box. After all, the more you give away, the more reasons you have to bake another batch.
Revamp movie night: Turn plain popcorn into a gooey-good snack with this easy homemade caramel corn recipe. With extra sauce for drizzling, it’s sure to be a family favorite; perhaps even a new holiday tradition that the kids will request every year!
Here’s how to make the best caramel corn recipe:
Start with your favorite plain popped popcorn— and lots of it. 8 cups should be enough for about 8 people. Be sure to pick through and remove any un-popped kernels. Next, make the caramel. If you’ve never made caramel before, get pumped! This delicious confection is easy to make as long as you pay attention to it. So at this point in the recipe, don’t walk away from that stove!
Once you’ve boiled together some sugar, butter, light corn syrup and molasses to make caramel, you’ll divide that mixture into two saucepans. Half of the caramel is for stirring into the popcorn right away and half is for drizzling on top at the end. Trust us, it’s worth the extra dish.
Just toss the popcorn with half of the caramel, spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet (so that it doesn’t stick!) and bake for about an hour. Serve with the extra caramel, or save it for dolloping on top of your favorite dessert recipes.
The words "healthy" and "dessert" aren't often uttered in the same sentence, but there isn't a written rule that desserts can't be part of a balanced meal. The lightest desserts pare down on all the extra sugar and dairy you find in overly sweet treats, but they still taste downright delightful. Tucking into a slice of cake or pie (or even a bowl of creamy mousse!) feels great when you know you've swapped carb-heavy ingredients for healthy fruits and veggies that can be naturally sweet all on their own.
Don't be fooled! Our favorite desserts taste decadent but are not loaded with sugar. Enjoy a frozen treat or a freshly made sorbet, using fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, pineapple and watermelon. Using fun popsicle molds is a great way to create fun desserts for the whole family; but you can also simply grab a bowl and use your freezer to make DIY ice cream on the fly. How do you sneak veggies into dessert, you might wonder? In pies and cakes, of course, as fresh produce like beets can help add a nutritious punch to any batter.
Follow up your healthy weeknight dinner with one of these good-for-you dessert recipes. Some of these dessert ideas are vegan-approved, nearly all are low in sugar (maybe even sugar free!), and a few are designed to fit into trendy diets like Whole30, paleo and the keto diet as well. Supercharge your favorite sweet treats with these nutritious dessert recipes.
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