7 Stress-Free Baking Projects to Try This Weekend
Follow along with Food Network's biggest stars...there will be cake!
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If your big weekend plans involve staying inside, chances are you may get a little stir-crazy at some point. Enter: baking breaks! When you want a change of scenery from the TV binge-watching, book reading, puzzle solving activities currently filling your days, head to the kitchen, pull out the mixing bowls and preheat your oven.
Not much of a baker? We got you! With the Food Network Kitchen app, you can enjoy the company of cooking pros and FN stars as they walk you through each recipe step-by-step. Start out with one of these easy cake, pie or cookie recipes, all available on the app (along with so much more!). Beat boredom and satisfy your sweet tooth? Win-win!
Vanilla Yogurt Coffee Cake (above)
Worried your baking breaks will lead to an overflow of sweets? Consider this breakfast. Jessie Sheehan, author of The Vintage Baker, takes inspiration from her collection of vintage recipe booklets and updates the classics with a modern twist. Here, she takes a traditional coffee cake and adds a little Greek yogurt instead of the traditional buttermilk, plus a generous amount of vanilla.
While this one may look tricky to execute, Molly Yeh shows us how simple it is to bake a beautifully multicolored cake. All you need is food coloring and your favorite cake batter (so yes, you can start with a boxed mix), plus a few more ingredients to make the frosting. Then, you're really just stirring yellows, oranges, reds and blues into different cake pans filled with batter and baking them off.
To turn this baking time into happy hour, look not further than Damaris Phillips' Bourbon Ball Brownies class. Taking a cue from a few Kentucky favorites, she spikes icing with bourbon, then layers it on a tray of freshly baked brownies and tops it all off with a smooth and shiny chocolate ganache. This recipe has a few more steps than the others, giving you extra time to enjoy the cocktail of your choice (our pick: an Old Fashioned).
Baking can be a challenge in itself. Now, you take butter, eggs and milk out of the equation? No stress! Joanne Chang, owner of Boston's Flour Bakery, proves that vegan desserts don't have to be rocket science. These chewy cookies are both delicious and easy enough for anyone to pull off. The secret? Aquafaba: the brine you can find in a can of chickpeas that doubles as an egg replacement.
Stocked up on peanut butter? Put that extra jar or two to good use with this brilliant idea from Erin McDowell, author of The Fearless Baker. Spread some of the PB onto a piece of parchment paper in an even layer and freeze. Then, cut it into cubes and mix it into the pie dough the way you would butter. For an extra dose of peanut butter flavor, whip a spoonful with sugar, heavy cream and vanilla for a smooth and creamy topping.
Raise your hand if you own a Bundt pan and it's still in its original packaging. In this class, Jeff Mauro serves up a delicious reminder of how great this baking dish actually is. "Who doesn't love a Bundt cake? Every piece is identical. It's the most democratic dessert out there," says Jeff. And, it's easy to achieve showstopping results when there's no crumb coat or fancy frosting skills required. The pan does most of the work for you.
For a sophisticated update to the classic carrot cake, Chef Gabe Kennedy adds brown butter and caradmom to the batter, then tops each slice with a decadent espresso-cream cheese frosting. Have your cake, and coffee, too!