Baking is a pretty nice way to spend a weekend afternoon. You get out your flour, baking soda, butter, and whatever else you're using to create your sugary masterpiece, and you know that in just a little while, you'll be enjoying a homemade treat. While it's definitely fun to buy a muffin or a pastry from a high-end, fancy bakery or order dessert at a fancy restaurant, there's something both special and satisfying about baking in your own kitchen.
Some people are better bakers than others because it's something that they've grown up doing. Others are great at eating sweets and treats but not super comfortable when it comes to measuring and mixing. It's honestly all good because all's fair in love and baked goods that are made with love (not to get all cheesy or anything), and no matter what your skill level, there's something that you can make.
There are tons of treats out there that absolutely anyone could make and be super proud of for mastering, just like there are a few that might be too trying for the average person. Here are 14 desserts even rookies can master and 6 that should probably be saved only for cake bosses.
20 Anyone Can Bake: Three-Layer Chocolate Cake
At first glance, a three-layer chocolate cake seems pretty intimidating. Three layers? How does one even do that? Don't worry, The Spruce Eats has an awesome recipe for a Three-Layer Chocolate Cake that'll bake in just over half an hour and will only take 20 minutes to put together.
Sour cream plus cocoa powder, butter, sugar, and the like create a chocolatey dessert, and we'll be mixing the ingredients together in a bowl. We can totally handle this, even if we're the most beginner baker around and even if we honestly didn't think that we could. Look at us, being so impressive.
19 Anyone Can Bake: Lemon Cake With Cream Cheese Buttercream
Lemon is a really underrated cake flavor. It's found in lemon poppyseed loaves and muffins, sure, but it should be more popular in cake form... especially if it's in the form of a layer cake.
This Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream from Sally's Baking Addiction looks too good to be true... as in, could you really make it? Really? Even if you're not a cake boss? Oh yes, you can. You'll bake two cakes and then layer one on top of the other, and whisk together all of the ingredients. You can also use a mixer as suggested in the recipe. The frosting is simple as well and totally looks delicious.
18 Cake Bosses Only: Rainbow Layer Cake
Serious Eats has a recipe for this Rainbow Cake. Yes, it's absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. And yes, we would love to eat it and are super curious about what it tastes like.
But it pretty much goes without saying that this is one cake recipe that's for serious cake bosses only. The recipe writer even notes that this involves a lot of cake layers and then calls it "not difficult to make, but it is time-consuming and requires two batches of cake batter." The frosting itself has 12-14 cups of confectioners' sugar, so we're pretty sure that this would take a while (and a lot of ingredients) to make.
17 Anyone Can Bake: Carrot Cake Cheesecake
Calling all big fans of cheesecake and all big fans of carrot cake—here's an epic dessert for you. And best of all, it's not hard to make at all (yay).
This recipe for Carrot Cake Cheesecake from Jane's Patisserie has both a carrot cake component and a cheesecake filling. It's got lovely flavors like orange, ground cinnamon and ginger, carrots, and raisins. And best of all, this is something that we can absolutely make. The recipe has great and simple-to-follow instructions, so even though we're basically making two cakes and then putting them together, we can do this, no problem.
16 Anyone Can Bake: Super Soft Sprinkle Pudding Cookies
Have we seen a pudding cookie before? Probably not, and that's why this is such an exciting and fun idea.
This recipe for Super Soft Sprinkle Pudding Cookies from Cookies and Cups is a sprinkle cookie recipe that has pudding mix as one of the ingredients. It's vanilla instant pudding mix, and we can see how this would be totally delicious. The other ingredients are our faves: butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, and so on. The best part will definitely be adding the rainbow-colored sprinkles. It's really a shame that kids get all the sprinkles and we get none, so let's agree to start eating (and baking with) sprinkles once again. Cool.
15 Cake Bosses Only: Polka-Dot Strawberry Cake
This Polka-Dot Strawberry Cake from BBC Good Food is equal parts adorable and beautiful. It's also strictly for cake bosses only.
We can probably tell from the fact that this cake has a polka-dot pattern that it's for professionals. Even the description of how to create polka dots kind of hurts our heads: "To make the polka dots, whisk the egg and sugar using a hand-held electric whisk until thick, pale and the mixture leaves a trail when the whisk blade is lifted. Sift in the flour and fold in using a spatula until well mixed, then fold in 1 tbsp of the strawberry purée and a few drops each of the pink and red food colouring."
We'll get a master baker that we know to make this... and we can eat it. That, we can do.
14 Anyone Can Bake: Almond Joy Cupcakes
Thanks to Taste and Tell, we have this awesome recipe for Almond Joy Cupcakes. If we're fans of almond joys, we're going to be really excited to make these in our own homes.
The cupcake batter has unsweetened cocoa, coconut milk, shredded coconut, and more, and the frosting has coconut extract, coconut milk, salt, powdered sugar, and butter. "Yum" is all we have to say about that. We'll also have a good time frosting these babies and then adding coconuts and almonds to the top of each one. It's so nice when baked goods taste amazing and look pretty, too, don't you think?
13 Anyone Can Bake: Easy Strawberry Cake
Natasha's Kitchen has this beautiful recipe for an Easy Strawberry Cake and Strawberry Sauce that we can definitely make. The sauce is made from granulated sugar and strawberries, and the cake batter can be mixed with a stand mixer or electric mixer (score).
A strawberry cake is a truly lovely treat. It's pretty and will always be welcome on a dessert table or as an after-dinner sugar-fest. What's so great about this particular recipe is that there are strawberries in the cake batter and also in the sauce. Double the berries, double the fun... and double the people asking for second slices.
12 Cake Bosses Only: Macarons
The Huffington Post Canada counts macarons among the toughest desserts, and it's hard to see that anyone could think differently.
Made with egg whites, icing sugar or powdered sugar, and almond flour, these may be gluten-free, and therefore, people with food allergies can eat them. But of course, that doesn't mean that they're easy to make. It's safe to say that macarons will stump even the best bakers, so those of us who aren't that comfortable making sweet confections will want to take a pass on giving these treats a try. But eating them? Yeah, of course, we'll still do that.
11 Anyone Can Bake: Simple Blueberry Lemon Birthday Cake
With a recipe title like Simple Blueberry Lemon Birthday Cake, we can be certain that even if we don't bake much, we can handle this. PaleOMG has given us this amazing cake recipe with a batter made of eggs and coconut flour, plus a few other delicious things and frosting made from lemon, raw honey, and coconut butter.
Since this is a Paleo dessert, it's grain-free and gluten-free. We'll be happy that we can eat it if we have allergies or follow a healthy lifestyle or if we know people whom we can bake this for. We're going to be so proud that we made this gorgeous and delicious cake.
10 Anyone Can Bake: Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies sound delightful, and anyone can bake this recipe from the Food Network.
We'll whisk together the dry ingredients and then use a mixer to add the wet ingredients, then scoop and bake and enjoy with a smile on our cookie-loving faces. Sure, there are tons and tons and tons of chocolate chip recipes out there, but what makes this one special (and especially good for people who aren't the most confident bakers) is that it can be prepped in five minutes. We like that... because it means the faster we make these, the faster we'll be eating chocolate chip cookies.
9 Cake Bosses Only: Chocolate And Caramel Ombre Cake
This cake from BBC Good Food may look so cool, but we're guessing that most of us are staring at this and thinking, "How could you make a cake ombre?!"
It just seems like way too much work and like those of us who aren't the best bakers would get kind of bored halfway through and wonder if this was even going to work. We'd be more than happy to stand and watch someone make this, though, because it looks super awesome, and it's a real stunner of a cake. Plus, chocolate and caramel are always a wonderful combo.
8 Anyone Can Bake: Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Putting chocolate and avocado together is like the cauliflower rice of desserts. It might sound gross and strange at first, but it's actually delicious and also good for you. It's pretty amazing when those things can happen at the same time.
Making a chocolate avocado pudding (or mousse, in this case) isn't only a perfect healthy dessert for anyone who loves these two foods but also simple to make. Chocolate Covered Katie has two recipes for Avocado Chocolate Mousse on her blog. One involves mixing chocolate chips with milk, salt, vanilla extract, two avocados, and a sweetener that you want to use, and the other involves cocoa powder.
7 Anyone Can Bake: Chewy, Buttery Brown Sugar Cookies
Serious Eats is a super respected and beloved food website, and so we could assume that it's for professionals only and that we beginner bakers shouldn't go near any of their recipes.
Not so. This recipe for Chewy, Buttery Brown Sugar Cookies is definitely one that anyone can bake. It's made with only one bowl and will have us mixing the ingredients together and scooping out the cookies onto two baking sheets... then baking and eating. Really. That's it. How impressive are these cookies?! Just try showing up at a friend or family member's house with cookies that look like this and not getting showered with compliments.
6 Anyone Can Bake: Easy One-Bowl Fudgey Cocoa Brownies
There isn't really a moment when someone would offer us brownies and we would say, "No, thank you." A breakup? Well, of course, we need chocolate, and brownies are a great way to consume chocolate. An engagement? We need to celebrate. Chocolate is a beloved thing that's eaten in both romantic and sad situations, and we could never go without it.
Gimee Delicious has this amazing recipe for Easy One-Bowl Fudgy Cocoa Brownies. The fact that this recipe uses one bowl means that it's totally great for any beginners, and it has only a handful of simple ingredients. We'll be eating brownies in no time (yes, brownies, plural).
5 Cake Bosses Only: Creme Brulé
The Daily Meal notes that Creme Brulé is a seriously complicated and tough dessert, and we can totally agree.
While this is fun to eat since you have to crack into the topping, we can't really imagine making it in our own kitchen. You have to use a blow torch or some kind of utensil, and that just seems dangerous. Only cake bosses and total dessert experts should even think about making this kind of dessert. Everyone else should stick to making cakes and cupcakes and muffins... and ordering Creme Brulé at a fancy restaurant whenever they see it on the menu.
4 Anyone Can Bake: Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potato pie might not be as popular on Thanksgiving tables as pumpkin or even pecan, but it's beloved in the South and is a great dessert in its own right. While it sounds hard to bake any kind of pie, it's really not, and even a beginner baker could knock it out of the dessert park.
This recipe for Sweet Potato Pie from Taste Of Home involves boiling sweet potatoes and then mashing them, then mixing the mashed sweet potato with the other ingredients. Because it uses an unbaked pie shell and you don't have to make pie dough from scratch (hallelujah, right?!), you can totally do this.
3 Anyone Can Bake: Fresh Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
It's always lovely to bite into a piece of cake that has fruit in it, whether a coffee cake or pound cake. A Fresh Raspberry Buttermilk Cake sounds delightful. Seasons and Suppers has this beautiful recipe, and it won't take very long to put together or bake. The ingredients, such as butter and an egg and buttermilk, are easy to find, too.
This recipe has a 15-minute prep time, which is the best news ever not only for bakers who are only just starting to bake but also for those of us who aren't very patient. (Okay, none of us are very patient when it comes for waiting for dessert.)
2 Anyone Can Bake: Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes With Salted Buttercream
Oh She Glows is known for her wonderful vegan recipes, both sweet and savory, and we love that these treats are called "Fail-Proof." See, it says that in the recipe title, which means that we can totally do this.
A vegan and dairy-free chocolate cupcake recipe is always welcome, and this recipe really shines with the magical addition of the salted buttercream frosting. It's made from almond milk, powdered icing sugar, vanilla extract, and vegan butter. Best of all, this recipe is made using an electric mixer, so anyone can make it. Chocolate cupcakes, coming right up, and sharing is optional (but probably nice).
1 Cake Bosses Only: Chocolate Soufflé
According to The Daily Meal, one of the hardest desserts is the chocolate souffle. Were truer words ever spoken?!
It's tough to imagine even making a chocolate souffle. We feel like ours would deflate pretty much as soon as we put it into the oven, and that's not exactly the point. This dessert is sophisticated and fabulous but should probably be left to professional bakers and restaurants. While maybe one day we'll master it, we'll be here in the meantime making the other treats on this list that are easy to make, so we won't be crying over spilled milk (or a deflated chocolate souffle).