20 Expertly Tested Recipes for Bakers of Any Level

Forgo the boxed mixes and try your hand at these top recipes for cakes, cookies and doughs of all kinds, created by the chefs in Food Network Kitchen.

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Cheesecake

A buttery graham cracker crust lends just the textural contrast needed to balance the smooth, creamy cheesecake filling here. 

Get the Recipe: Cheesecake

Classic Brownies

These deeply chocolatey beauties are deemed "classic" for a reason. They're light but rich, and they boast a subtle crust on the top. Plus, they come together with only a handful of ingredients.

Get the Recipe: Classic Brownies

Butter and Jam Thumbprints

Using a fresh vanilla bean lends the fullest vanilla flavor to these fuss-free cookies. Top them with your pick of red-fruit jam: raspberry, cherry or strawberry.

Get the Recipe: Butter and Jam Thumbprints

Snickerdoodle Cake

Take it from the chefs in Food Network Kitchen, who say, "This comforting layered cake tastes just like the classic cookie." Not only is there cinnamon in the moist cake and fluffy buttercream frosting, but there's also a cinnamon-sugar mixture dusted on the top of the cake.

Get the Recipe: Snickerdoodle Cake

Classic Vanilla Cake

Consider this your back-pocket secret-weapon recipe. It's a crowd-pleaser, and it can be utilized for parties of all kinds.

Spiced Apple and Pear Pie

A dressed-up take on traditional apple pie, this one features apples as well as tender pears, which are complemented just like apples when warming spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg are added to the pie filling.

Get the Recipe: Spiced Apple and Pear Pie

Birthday Angel's Food Cupcakes

Every bit as light and sweet as the Bundt-shaped angel food cake you know and love, these individual-sized cupcakes are made party-ready with the addition of frosting and sprinkles.

Get the Recipe: Birthday Angel's Food Cupcakes

Healthy Carrot Muffins

You'll never believe that these moist muffins, laced with carrots and canned crushed pineapple, are healthy. 

Get the Recipe: Healthy Carrot Muffins

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Once the loaf has cooled, slather on top a sweetened peanut butter glaze to lend even more rich peanut butter flavor to this cinnamon-scented bread that was — wait for it — baked with peanut butter inside, of course.

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Multi-Grain Focaccia with Herbs and Garlic

The dough for this savory bread can be made days before you want to bake it, and — bonus! — you don't need special equipment to prep it. Jelly roll pans get the job done well.

Get the Recipe: Multi-Grain Focaccia with Herbs and Garlic

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

See that dark line running throughout the lower third of the cake? That's a decadent cinnamon-sugar-walnut streusel, which is used to top the cake as well.

Get the Recipe: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Whoopie Pie

Boasting cakelike chocolate cookies and a gooey marshmallow filling, these sweet sandwiches are a timeless dessert.

Get the Recipe: Whoopie Pie

Classic Pound Cake

It's up to you to decide in which pan you want to bake this buttery pound cake. Opt for either tube or Bundt pans, or make two loaves with this versatile recipe.

Get the Recipe: Classic Pound Cake

Magic Bars

It turns out there is a bit of magic in these top-rated bites. "The graham cracker crumbs and sweetened condensed milk magically come together to make an ooey-gooey bottom layer," say the chefs in Food Network Kitchen.

Get the Recipe: Magic Bars

Cinnamon Buns

A sweet lemon-cinnamon glaze tops these buttery buns, which can be mostly prepped the day before baking.

Get the Recipe: Cinnamon Buns

Strawberry Poke Cake

When it comes to serving this colorful cake, follow the lead of chefs in Food Network Kitchen, who say, "The cake tastes best just slightly chilled, so let it sit out to warm up a bit while you whip the cream for the topping."

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Poke Cake

Whole-Grain Biscuits

A combo of equal parts all-purpose and white whole-wheat flours guarantees the best flavor and texture in these buttery biscuits.

Get the Recipe: Whole-Grain Biscuits

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate lovers, this one is for you. The cocoa in the batter transforms these cookies from classic chocolate chippers into richly decadent treats.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Popovers with Mixed Berry Sauce

The chefs in Food Network Kitchen are so confident in the ease of these popovers, baked right inside a classic muffin tin, that they say even kids can lend a hand in prepping them. Plus, they note, "These light, easy puff muffins are equally delightful as breakfast or dessert."

Get the Recipe: Kids Can Make: Popovers with Mixed-Berry Sauce

Make-Ahead Dinner Rolls

Make mealtime easy on yourself by doing much of the prep for these rolls well before dinner. The secret lies in parbaking and freezing them until you need them, at which point you can move them to the oven to finish cooking.  

Get the Recipe: Make-Ahead Dinner Rolls

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