Annual inflation came in at 6.5% in December, making six straight months of diminishing price increases. Though prices are still rising, those increases have been getting smaller.
But then there’s food. It’s up 10.4% and has risen faster than overall inflation each month since July. That’s particularly true for cereal and baked goods. Even cookies — yes, the Bureau of Labor Statistics actually tracks cookies — are up 18%.
So why are baked goods costing so much more dough?
A good number of ingredients go into doughnuts: Flour, milk, sugar and, of course, love. But the secret ingredient is inflation. Donna Siafakas has owned Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, New York, for 30 years.
“The ingredients have gone up, and the one I would say the most is eggs,” she said. “At one time, they were 99 cents a dozen, and now they’re close to $4 a dozen. That’s wholesale.”
Flour’s up too. So are a lot of things. “I used to pay $47 for a cube of shortening,” Siafakas said. “Now, it had gone almost to $100 a cube. Now, it’s settled, it’s like in the $80s.”
Siafakas said she’s absorbed the costs as much as she can. During COVID, she refused to raise prices. “But when COVID settled down, we went from $15.99 a dozen to $17.99 a dozen, ’cause everything was ridiculous.”
Baked goods are special, in a way, because so many of the main ingredients have seen exceptional inflation. Eggs are up, in part, because bird flu has killed 60 million birds. Plus corn futures and soy and wheat are all trading near record highs, according to Naomi Blohm, senior market adviser for Total Farm Marketing.
“Supplies of food, not only in the world but in the United States, are still tight from year-ago levels,” she said. “It’s not gonna get fixed quickly. It’s gonna take perfect weather this spring and summer in the United States to get it fixed.”
It’s not just weather and bird flu that have driven up prices; there’s also demand.
“When we look at the holiday period we’re just coming off of, that’s where a lot of the baking takes place, so there’s increased demand,” said David Ortega, a food economist at Michigan State University.
“The prices of these staples tend to go up when the price of inputs go up, but they don’t change downward,” said Colin Carter, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of California, Davis. “They’re sticky in terms of moving downward.”
Back at Peter Pan Donuts, Donna Siafakas refuses to raise the price of a cup of coffee, at least. It’s $1, she said, and always will be.
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Courtesy Outliers Baked Goods
Ask soname their favorite type of cookie, and you’ll most likely hear some pretty standard responses: chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, etc. Ask Tierney Larson, owner and lead baker for Outliers Baked Goods, and you’ll find her tastes tend to lean a bit more toward esoteric ingredients.
“I’ve always loved cooking and baking,” Larson says. “My great-grandmother owned an Italian restaurant, and I remember trying to replicate her desserts in my family’s home kitchen. Last year, I took an online class that really changed my perspective on cooking, and that’s what spurred me to take things to the next level by starting my own business.”
That class was an online baking course hosted by Christina Tosi, who owns and develops the menu for the world-famous Milk Bar. “It sounds cheesy, but it was a really inspirational moment,” Larson says. “Hearing her talk about her passion for and approach to developing recipes really opened my eyes. It was sort of a light-bulb moment for me—it made me step back and say, ‘I can do this.’”
Taking that class taught Larson to trust her instinct and not be afraid to try more experimental ingredients. She started thinking of how she might transform this inspiration into a career.
This was easier said than done. Larson and her husband had just started their family in New York City, and the cost and risk of a new, unproven business venture didn’t add up. They started the hunt for a new home with a lower cost of living, and her husband—a jazz musician—had a few Kansas City connections that encouraged him to check the city out.
“He traveled here and met his dad to check out a few houses, and I held down the fort in New York,” Larson says. “He loved the city and was holding up his phone as he toured homes and walked around. It was a big leap, but we decided to go for it!”
Soon after moving to KC, Larson really began to put in the time for what would become Outliers Baked Goods, her first foray into professional baking. Her elevator pitch might say it’s the celebration of dessert lovers who enjoy salty or savory flavors as their end-of-meal indulgence—people they affectionately refer to as the “weirdoughs.”
She explains that the breakthrough moment came from her class with Christina Tosi. “Tosi described that she approaches recipes by trying to capture memories and feelings with her desserts. So I started thinking of some of my favorite memories growing up—many of which are food-related—and how to fully recreate that moment within the flavors of my cookies,” says Larson.
Though Outliers rotates cookies within their monthly subscription box, a few of Larson’s most successful recipes are always available to order separately.
Another option always available is the Banana Pudding Graham Cookie, based on one of Larson’s favorite childhood desserts—a banana trifle. This goody boasts a homemade marshmallow sandwiched between two banana cookies topped with graham cracker crumbs and rolled in mini chocolate chips.
Besides the outside-the-box flavor combinations, Larson is also committed to using the highest-quality organic and natural ingredients. She also uses locally-made and sourced ingredients when possible—for example, she gets her flour from Marion Milling, headquartered in the West Bottoms.
Each box contains a dozen cookies of four different varieties. They are available on the Outliers website and can also be purchased on Saturdays at the Overland Park Farmers’ Market. In addition, Larson offers a monthly “Weirdough Box” shipped anywhere in the country.
Larson enjoys selling her desserts online but plans to one day open a brick-and-mortar location. “Maybe once the kids are in school,” she muses.
You can find Outliers Baked Goods online and on Saturdays at the Overland Park Farmers’ Market, located at 7950 Marty, Overland Park, KS 66204.
Giving baked goods as gifts is a labor of love. Once you’ve chosen your DIY gifts and strategized your baking game plan, the final step of wrapping them all deserves just as much attention. Here, we’re sharing seven ways to store and wrap your baked gifts that will help reduce single-use packaging to boot.
Bonus: Add a handwritten recipe to homemade baking mixes for another thoughtful touch.
1) Glass jars (and other sturdy containers)
This no-brainer “gift box” may already be sitting in your kitchen cabinets, such as old soup jars and empty oatmeal canisters. You can fill clean, unused paint pails with your favorite giftable granola, while Mason jars can house a portable cheesecake or thoughtfully assembled homemade baking mixes. Once empty, it’s infinitely useful for food storage, homemade butter, or better yet, as a vehicle to make whipped cream without any special tools.
2) Tea towels and wrapping cloths
To wrap your baked gifts, take inspiration from furoshiki, the traditional Japanese wrapping cloths used to wrap and carry objects. Plus, whatever fabric or tea towel you choose can double as a second gift.
Even after the holidays, empty cookie tins are a useful way to stay organized in the kitchen.
3) Reusable cookie tin
Photography by Danielle Sykes; Food Styling by Liz Neily
Choosing a pan with a decorative gold finish ensures your gift is holiday-ready.
4) Cake pan and mixing bowls
Gifting gear with your baked good is an impressive and practical two-in-one gift. Make a beautiful Bundt cake in a decorative braided pan so your recipient can savor the cake now, then use the show-stopping pan for all future bakes. Plus, including a handy Bundt cleaning brush is an extra-thoughtful touch. Or, upgrade their prep setup with stylish mixing bowls filled to the brim with caramel corn or cheesy crackers and sealed with a reuseable wrap.
Wrap, rinse, and repeat.
5) Bee’s Wrap
These beeswax-based wraps are attractive and reusable, perfect for wrapping all of your baking gifts, from biscotti to mini scones. Best of all, they’re easy to wash by hand, and they’re an indispensable tool in the kitchen. If you prefer something with more structure, try these produce bags made of the same material.
Photography by Danielle Sykes; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
No wrapping paper, folding, or tape required.
6) Reusable gift bag
As someone who prefers stuffing gifts into a bag instead of agonizing over wrapping paper, I find opting for a reusable bag is even better for a zero-waste approach. Choose a bag made with a sustainable fabric, such as jute, organic cotton, or recycled fabrics.
Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Parchment paper is a baker’s (and gift giver’s) secret weapon.
7) Parchment paper
Sometimes, the best gift you can give is convenience (and the aroma of freshly baked cookies). That’s where a frozen cookie dough log comes in. Wrap your homemade log in an extra sheet of parchment and finish it off with a bow so your recipient has everything they need to bake cookies on their own schedule. Encourage your recipient to reuse parchment paper — you can bake with it more times than you’d think.
Still searching for the perfect present? Check out these best baked goods for gifts.
Cover photo (Maple Shortbread Sandwich Cookies) by John Sherman.
About Tatiana Bautista
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One of the most incredible things about home baking, versus the professional variety, is the ability for low-risk play and experimentation in the kitchen. For those looking to up their home baking game, here are some excellent tangy ingredients to consider adding to your next kitchen adventure, guaranteed to yield significant, if not slightly surprising, results.
Not just for lasagna, you can use ricotta cheese in all kinds of ways, from pancakes to baked goods. Mild-mannered ricotta hails from Italy and is often paired with lemon to create a tangy and citrusy flavor that helps to balance out any sweetness and add a satisfyingly savory component.
Ricotta is not actually considered a cheese, but rather a dairy product and a byproduct of making other cheeses. In keeping with the foundation of Italy’s waste-free culture when it comes to cooking, ricotta is made from whey leftover from the making of other cheeses, as the milk used to make the cheese will be heated until it naturally splits from the whey, leaving the whey to be cooked once more to create ricotta. Ricotta can be made from cow’s and sheep’s milk to produce slightly different-tasting products. Local preference will often be dictated by the region in Italy in which it is made.
While there are many outstanding artisan producers of ricotta, it is also a product that is easily made at home in just a few steps. It is a beautiful addition to baked cheesecakes and added to pancakes for a light and fluffy texture. It is traditionally used in various Italian and Sicilian sweet and savory dishes to add richness and depth of flavor.
It’s hard to come up with an instance where adding cream cheese wouldn’t improve the results. From sauces to bagels to baked goods, this creamy, slightly tangy dairy product seems to improve everything it touches.
Originally brought to market by the still-famous brand Philadelphia, which incidentally was started by a dairyman from New York and not Philly, it has been improving dishes since it first became widely available in the late 1800s, (via Philadelphia Cream Cheese). By adding it to baked goods, not only will cream cheese increase the depth of flavor with its tanginess but using its brick form in baked goods can also add a softer texture to your crumb. You can substitute cream cheese for butter in all kinds of baking, even pie crusts, for richer results. Still, you will need to consider a few things, including temperature and fat content.
That said, you can find all the tang your heart desires without a need to substitute in our tiramisu cheesecake, which combines two of our favorite dairy-rich desserts into one spectacular result.
If one tangy dairy product were to rule them all, our money would be on the rich, tangy French-born “fresh cream” ingredient known as crème fraîche. Think of it as sour cream’s older, slightly more subtle, bacterial-cultured cousin. Its naturally sour and somewhat nutty flavor, thick texture, and high-fat content (approximately 30%) make it an absolute dream to add to everything from taco fillings to tarts. Crème fraîche, a few tablespoons of sugar, and a drop of vanilla make the perfect topping for fruit pies or decadent chocolate cakes.
Are you struggling to find it in the dairy section of your grocery store? You can also make it at home with just a few ingredients: cultured buttermilk, heavy whipping cream, and citric acid. The acid works alongside a bit of time outside the refrigerator to help the mixture ferment, creating the slightly sour and tangy flavor that makes it a dream ingredient, even when eaten just by the spoonful.
What about a coffee cake that makes us love it so much? Several elements have us hooked, the first being that it allows for the perfect excuse to have cake for breakfast. Many of the coffee cakes we love most contain sour cream, an MVP of an ingredient that makes a coffee cake so exceptional. If you aren’t adding sour cream to your coffee cakes, consider this the sign to start. Add it to the next thing you bake; it works a treat in many different kinds of baked goods for several reasons.
One of the things that make sour cream a must-have ingredient for baking is its ability to add moisture. Nothing is more disappointing than biting into a muffin or cake you’ve been looking forward to devouring only to discover it’s dry and leaves you scrambling for water. Sour cream not only helps add moisture to your coffee cake but also creates a tender crumb and balances out sweet flavors with its tangy, savory properties, creating a perfectly balanced sweet treat.
Want to go all out? Add a dollop of sour cream to your next batch of freshly whipped cream, then top your freshly baked sour cream-enriched coffee cake with the stuff for the ultimate experience.
Like ricotta, buttermilk is a dairy byproduct that makes our pancakes tastier, fried chicken more moist and tender, biscuits more satisfying, and sponge cakes much more moist and decadent. Buttermilk is made by culturing cows’ milk, which thickens the texture and results in a tangy, slightly sour taste that makes the drink so distinctive.
Tamarind is an incredible ingredient, used widely across India and the Caribbean for its natural sweet-and-sour flavors. It has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties by various cultures. It is known for being rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavonoids which all have immune and health-boosting properties, (via BBC Good Food). It is often sold as pulp or paste in many Asian supermarkets. Depending on how it is purchased, an easy way to use it at home is by adding boiling water to loosen its consistency for sauces, dips, and curries or to create a drizzle to be poured over the cake. Tamarind pods can also be roasted or have their seeds ground and used within cakes.
Tamarind plays well with many ingredients, including ginger and dates. It is often paired with rich and creamy coconut milk to create an excellent balance that makes palates exceedingly happy. Nik Sharma’s recipe for date and tamarind loaf, from his cookbook “Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food,” comes complete with a tamarind glaze to coat the loaf spiced with black pepper and ginger. It has us firing up our ovens and running through the ingredients list to make sure we’ve got everything on hand.
When life hands you lemons, use them in your next baking project. The origins of the lemon are unknown, but its use and prevalence in cooking are celebrated worldwide. Thought to be native to South Asia, the fruit likely traveled to the Mediterranean, then through Persia and into the Southern Levant, which is why the flavor is so heavily used within cuisines from these areas.
Not only are lemons bursting with bright, tart flavors, but did you know their juice can also help make better-baked goods? Adding just a teaspoon and a half of lemon juice, when paired with baking soda or powder, helps to activate the leavening agents, leaving your muffins bouncier and your cakes fluffier.
We suggest using fresh lemon juice when working with intensely sweet flavors like honey. The liquid will help to bring out fresh fruit flavors like apples or cherries, especially in a pie. We suggest lemon zest for a slightly more subtle, but still bright, lemony zing. You’ll find many of these forms in these lemon bars, but you can incorporate separate elements into different doughs, crusts, cookies, and crumbles for great results.
Like lemon juice is reported to do, adding greek yogurt to a bake that uses baking soda or bicarb can help to supercharge its effect, leaving you with fluffier cakes, muffins, and more. Do you want to add richness without sweetness to a chocolate cake, boxed or homemade? Adding a few dollops of Greek yogurt should do the trick. If you are using the whole-fat kind, you can also try substituting butter in your next batch of cookies for protein-enhanced results that will taste just as rich and decadent.
One thing to keep in mind when shopping for your next secret baking weapon at the grocery store; keep it simple. Yes, the apple and cinnamon-topped Chobani sounds dreamy, and you should buy a few containers. However, stick to the plain, whole-milk, unsweetened variety for best results when enhancing your next pound cake or Betty Crocker-assisted bake sale item.
Is there anything better than a bowlful of pasta topped with a heap of freshly grated Parmesan cheese? Absolutely not. However, that is just the beginning of all the ways you can use this salty, funky cheese from the gods. If you’re searching for ways to incorporate its irresistible tang and depth of flavor into other dishes, maybe it’s time to think outside the box, or rather, bowl.
We suggest adding a few good greats of Parmesan into your next mousse or soufflé for an unexpected savory dessert that will wow your guests. And all cheese is good cheese, so you can opt for dill and gruyere parker house rolls or a herbed goat cheese tart that will please any palate with sharp, tangy flavors. They’re perfect for balance when accompanied by sweet fruits like grapes.
Many kinds of cheese, especially hard, aged cheese, contain naturally occurring MSG, which is why our palates crave them and love them so much. Want to know why a sharp, aged cheddar pairs so well with tomatoes? It’s the same reason: Both contain naturally occurring MSG when coupled, making for irritable tangy, umami flavors we cannot resist. The more you can use them in your baked goods (allergies and dietary preferences aside), the more mouths you’ll make smile.
Vladimir Soldatov/Getty Images
Citric acid, when used sparingly, is the equivalent of gold dust. And a little goes a long way. That is precisely why chefs will add a tiny sprinkle of citric acid to help bring out sweet flavors and create balance. Like MSG (monosodium glutamate), citric acid is not harmful in small doses and works wonders to help enhance sour flavors and balance out sweet ones.
Citric acid doesn’t just come in powder form; it’s naturally occurring in all of the sour citrus fruits that make you pucker. Let your taste buds lead the way when consuming citric acid in its naturally occurring state by telling you when you’ve had too much. Citric acid is also found in savory food items we love, such as cheese, wine, and sourdough, all of which have more subtle but still significant sour notes.
When it comes in manufactured form, though, it can be a real game changer to create tangy baked goods. But do sprinkle with care, as too much will leave more than just a bad taste in your mouth; it could do a bit of damage to your teeth, as well, (via Healthline).
R W Walpole/Shutterstock
Adding acidity to foods, even ones that are meant to be sweet, actually helps to bring out the sweetness and create a pleasing balance for our palates (baking is all about balance, after all). Nothing could point this out more clearly than Samin Nosrat’s award-winning book, with its title “Salt Fat Acid Heat,” clearly illustrates the point.
Berries are a great way to add complexity and break up the sweetness of many baked goods, whether baked right into the sponge or macerated and spooned on top of the finished, beautiful dish. Berries, especially tart, sour, or tangy ones, are a fantastic way to add vitamin C, fiber, potassium, antioxidants, and a splash of color, too, to your baked goods. Berries also pair well with other fruits, with combinations like blueberry and lemon, rhubarb and strawberry, or blackberry and peach amongst our favorites. There are hundreds of berry varieties and combinations for you to consider.
Frankly, we do not think preserved lemons are given the attention that they deserve. In a time when all things fermented are considered essential to support a healthy gut biome, preserved lemons do all that and more, according to Healthline. These salty and sour fermented condiments, originally from North Africa, were made to protect the food and, created for their unique flavor (think of them like pickled lemons).
Preserving lemons at home is relatively simple, requiring only salt, lemons, and sometimes oil, and, at the very least, two weeks for the curing process. They make an excellent addition to many foods, from salad dressings to pasta, and even cake benefits from the preserved lemons’ pucker power. Add them to lemon bars, homemade ice cream, preserved lemon meringue cake, cheesecake, and more! Anything that lemons can do to a baked good, preserved lemons might just be able to do better (shocking, we know).
These days, you can’t throw a stone fruit without hitting something fermented with koji. Though it might be trending at the moment, the fungus known formally as Aspergillus oryzae is far from new. Evidence of its use in Japan and China dates back thousands of years. Forbes notes its first evidence of migration from China to Japan was around the third century. You can find proof of koji in the ingredients list of your favorite soy sauce, miso paste, and sake, all of which are associated with the sixth flavor profile known as umami, or savoriness.
You can use koji for a myriad of things, from aging or curing meat or fish, using it to transform vegetables into vegan charcuterie, and even in baking. You can even use it in making a sourdough starter. But that’s not all! Try using amazake, a liquid form of koji, in your next rye bread to enrich those sour, earthy flavors.
2020 may have been the biggest year for sourdough starters the U.S. had ever seen. And while there was good reason to take up the hobby at the time (and ample reason not to for anyone with children or an essential worker status), the signature tangy flavor of sourdough is timeless. It can and should be considered, at any moment in time, part of an at-home bread-baking hobby.
As science catches up with our taste buds, touting the benefits of fermented foods on our second brain, aka our gut, perhaps now is the time to tinker around with growing a sourdough starter at home and seeing where it leads. Don’t panic; we have collected plenty of tips and tricks from sourdough bakers and bakeries to help coach even the timidest home baker to help direct you toward the road to success and keep your brains, guts, and tastebuds happy.
Oleksandr Todorov/Getty Images
If you were to ask us to make a top ten list of things never to put in a cake, many people would put mayo high on the list. But, as history and our research has shown, these very reasonable instincts are less founded than you might think.
It does make some sense when you look at the facts. Eggs and oil, two of the main ingredients in any good jar of mayo, homemade or Hellman’s, are also mainstays in many cakes. According to NPR’s The Salt, mayonnaise has been a secret ingredient since the Great Depression, when eggs were scarce and home cooks looked for other ways to make do. It became so commonplace that Hellmann’s decided to claim a monopoly over the idea by creating a recipe for a mayo-laden Super Moist Chocolate Mayo Cake, which included its boxed chocolate cake mix and mayonnaise. Talk about cornering a niche market!
Not just for chocolate cake alone, there are bakers secretly adding the stuff to everything from chocolate chip cookies to banana bread.
Grandma always knew how to make tried-and-true baked goods, and these recipes prove it! Feel like a kid again with recipes for cakes, cookies, breads and more.
Grandma’s Yeast Rolls
My grandmother use to make these rolls for family get-togethers and holidays. The applesauce adds so much flavor. —Nancy Spoth, Festus, Missouri
Contest-Winning Chocolate Potato Cake
I won grand champion honors in a potato festival baking contest with this moist chocolate cake. The icing recipe can be doubled for real sweet tooths. A great-grandma, I’ve spent over 85 years on the farm.
Granny’s Spice Cookies
Granny always had a batch of these delicious, crispy cookies waiting for us at her house. When I miss her more than usual, I make these cookies and let the aroma fill my house and heart. —Valerie Hudson, Mason City, Iowa
Learn how to make grandma’s classic spritz cookie recipe!
Classic Blueberry Buckle
This blueberry buckle recipe came from my grandmother. As children, my sister and I remember going to Pennsylvania for blueberry picking. Mother taught us to pick only perfect berries, and those gems went into this wonderful recipe. —Carol Dolan Mt. Laurel, New Jersey
Skillet Herb Bread
We had a lot of family get-togethers when I was growing up. My grandmother, aunts and mom were all good cooks, and each had her own specialty when it came to bread. But Mom’s was my favorite—she started making it 40 years ago. The flavors call to mind the taste of cornbread stuffing! —Shirley Smith, Yorba Linda, California
Wild Rice Bread with Sunflower Seeds
I loved skipping the boring school cafeteria meals and going to my grandma’s house for lunch. She spent most of her life in northeastern Minnesota, which is reflected in this bread’s ingredients. Now my family uses this for our holiday stuffing. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
Blueberries and Cream Coffee Cake
This blueberry coffee cake is my go-to recipe for all of our holiday get-togethers because it’s perfect for breakfast or dessert. It’s easy to make, and it’s the most delicious coffee cake I’ve ever had. —Susan Ober, Franconia, New Hampshire
Grandma’s Pecan Rum Bars
My grandmother handed down the recipe for these gooey bars that we all love. The candied cherries are a must. —Deborah Pennington, Falkville, Alabama
Strawberry Buttermilk Skillet Shortcake
This scratch-made strawberry buttermilk cake is a family favorite. My grandma even carries out our family tradition by making this old-fashioned recipe each summer. —Claudia Lamascolo, Melbourne, Florida
Chocolate Chess Pie
This is one of my mother’s go-to recipes. It’s a yummy spin on classic chocolate chess pie. — Ann Dickens, Nixa, Missouri
Grandma’s Carrot Cake
My grandma was very special to me. She had a big country kitchen that was full of wonderful aromas any time we visited. This was one of her prized cake recipes, and it continues to be a favorite from generation to generation. —Denise Strasz, Detroit, Michigan
Oat & Coconut Icebox Cookies
This recipe was passed down through my family from Grandma Irene and is a favorite of my dad and cousin Dennis. It’s a true cookie lover’s cookie: crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and perfectly dunkable. —Lori Rowe, Tigerton, Wisconsin
Grandma’s Onion Squares
My grandma brought this recipe with her when she emigrated from Italy as a young wife and mother. It is still a family favorite. —Janet Eddy, Stockton, California
My grandmother made this zucchini banana bread for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been making it ever since I learned how to bake. Children love it for a snack, and it’s good to serve at any meal. It’s another delicious way to use zucchini, which is so abundant in late summer. —Eva Mae Hebert, Lafayette, LA
Minty Chocolate Cream Cheese Bars
I always looked forward to my grandma’s gooey rich cream cheese bars while I was growing up. This version includes mint, which is one of my favorite flavor add-ins. —Jill Lutz, Woodbury, Minnesota
Cast-Iron Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
I love this cast-iron banana bread because it cooks evenly every time. The end result is so moist and delicious! —Ashley Hudd, Holton, Michigan
Pecan Shortbread Tea Cakes
My Grandma Ellis made her shortbread cookies only at Christmas because the ingredients were so indulgent. The results are, too!—Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
Grandma’s Blackberry Cake
A lightly seasoned spice cake lets the wonderful flavor of blackberries shine through in this delectable blackberry cake recipe. —Diana Martin, Moundsville, West Virginia
Winnie’s Mini Rhubarb & Strawberry Pies
Every spring, we had strawberries and rhubarb on our farm outside Seattle. These fruity hand pies remind me of those times and of Grandma Winnie’s baking. —Shawn Carleton, San Diego, California
Lemon Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
I won a baking contest at Purdue University with this recipe for lemon bars with cream cheese frosting. I think you’ll love the dreamy topping. —Michael Hunter, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Grandma Pietz’s Cranberry Cake Pudding
For generations, our family has handed down this cake recipe starring cranberries. Simple and unusual, it remains a treasured family heirloom. —Lisa Potter, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin
Caramel-Apple Skillet Buckle
My grandma used to bake a version of this for me when I was a little girl. She would make it using fresh apples from her tree in the backyard. I’ve adapted her recipe because I love the combination of apples, pecans and caramel. —Emily Hobbs, Springfield, Missouri
Grandma’s Molasses Fruitcake
This dense, dark, moist fruitcake was my grandmother’s recipe. The flavor just gets better and better as it sits in the fridge, so be sure to make it ahead! —Debbie Harmon, Lavina, Montana
Flaky Butterhorn Rolls
The recipe for these dinner rolls, slightly sweet and so very flaky, was my mother’s. They are simple to prepare because kneading skills are not required and the dough is easy to handle. My grandchildren have renamed them “Grandma’s croissants”! —Bernice Smith, Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota
Spiced Upside-Down Apple Pie
My grandma taught me to make this pie when I was 4. Over the years, I’ve kept it about the same with just a few changes. Flip it out the second it stops bubbling. The glaze makes it look especially delicious. —Francine Bryson, Pickens, South Carolina
Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies
My mother insisted that my grandmother write down one recipe for her when Mom got married in 1942: the how to make peanut butter cookies from scratch recipe. That was a real effort because Grandma was a traditional pioneer-type cook who used a little of this or that until it felt right. This treasured recipe is the only one she ever wrote down! —Janet Hall, Clinton, Wisconsin
Mamaw Emily’s Strawberry Cake
My husband loved his mamaw’s strawberry cake recipe. He thought no one could duplicate it. I made it, and it’s just as scrumptious as he remembers. —Jennifer Bruce, Manitou, Kentucky
Grandma’s Sweet Potato Biscuits
The recipe for these mild-tasting biscuits was my grandmother’s. They’re a family favorite that we always serve at holidays. —Nancy Daugherty, Cortland, Ohio
I remember coming home sullen one day because we’d lost a softball game. Grandma, in her wisdom, suggested that maybe a slice of hot apple pie would make me feel better. She was right. —Maggie Greene, Granite Falls, Washington
My granddaughter nicknamed my mother Cookie Grandma because she made wonderful cookie—including these crisp and chewy treats. —Donna Grace, Clancy, Montana
Having lived in Germany, I try to keep my German cooking as authentic as possible. This lovely lebkuchen recipe is a culinary Christmas custom. —Cathy Lemmon, Quinlan, Texas
Gran’s Apple Cake
My grandmother occasionally brought over this wonderful cake warm from the oven. The spicy apple flavor combined with the sweet cream cheese frosting made this recipe one that we treasured. Even though I’ve lightened it up, it’s still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California
This kolache recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law, who received it from her mother! It was a standard treat in their family, made nearly every week. Now I make these kolaches for my own family for special occasions. —Maxine Hron, Quincy, Illinois
Grandma’s Honey Muffins
I can remember my Grandma Wheeler making these delicious muffins—we’d eat them nice and warm, fresh from the oven! She was a “pinch of this and handful of that” kind of cook, so getting the ingredient amounts correct for the recipe was a challenge. Now it’s a family treasure! —Darlis A. Wilfer, West Bend, Wisconsin
Grandma Krause’s Coconut Cookies
Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake
With a tart kick from fresh spring rhubarb, this coffee cake is an irresistible way to start the day—or end it! —Roberta Schauer, Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Grandma’s Star Cookies
My husband’s grandma would make these butter cutouts only with a star cookie cutter. I use various shapes for celebrations throughout the year. —Jenny Brown, West Lafayette, Indiana
Sour Cream Rolls with Walnut Filling
When I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me how to make these rolls. I remember feeling so special when “we” served them. If you have never worked with yeast, this is the recipe for you. —Nadine Mesch, Mount Healthy, Ohio
Gingersnap Crumb Pear Pie
This basic recipe was one my grandmother used for making crumble pies from fresh fruit. She simply substituted oats, gingersnaps or vanilla wafers depending on the fruit. Pear was always my favorite, and I added the ginger and caramel to give it a new twist. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
Grandma Nardi’s Italian Easter Bread
My Grandma Nardi’s bread with dyed Easter eggs represents family and tradition. I fondly remember how she taught me the recipe when I was a little girl. —Pat Merkovich, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Cookie Jar Gingersnaps
My grandma kept two cookie jars in her pantry. One of the jars, which I now have, always had these crisp and chewy gingersnaps in it. They’re still my favorite cookies. My daughter used this recipe for a 4-H fair and won a blue ribbon. —Deb Handy, Pomona, Kansas
German Black Forest Cake
As far as I know, this cake recipe can be traced back to my German great-grandma. When I got married, my mother gave me a copy and I hope to someday pass it down to my children. —Stephanie Travis, Fallon, Nevada
Apple Cake for Passover
Adding a dollop of whipped cream is a sweet addition to this Passover apple cake! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Lime & Spice Peach Cobbler
This was my grandmother’s favorite recipe to make when they had bushels of peaches. Now I love to bake it whenever I can for my family and friends. —Mary Ann Dell of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Iced Orange Cookies
Hungarian Nut Rolls
It isn’t officially the holidays until I’ve made this treasured nut roll recipe from my husband’s grandmother. The apple-walnut filling is moist, subtly sweet and flavorful. —Donna Bardocz, Howell, Michigan
Buttery Orange Sugar Cookies
My husband’s grandmother made a variety of cookies every year for her grandkids at Christmastime. She would box them up and give each child his or her own box. This crisp, orange flavored cookie is one of my favorites from her collection.—Heather McKillip, Aurora, Illinois
Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Baking a fun treat is a must when my four grandchildren come to stay for “grandma camp.” Sometimes the grandkids help by piping the cake batter. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin
Raspberry Custard Kuchen
Back where I grew up in Wisconsin, people have been baking this German treat for generations. We love it for breakfast or as a special dessert. It’s no fuss to fix and impressive to serve. —Virginia Arndt, Sequim, Washington
Wholesome Wheat Bread
My sister and I were in 4-H, and Mom was our breads project leader for years. Because of that early training, fresh homemade bread like this is a staple in my own kitchen.
-Karen Wingate, Coldwater, Kansas
Crisp Sugar Cookies
I love this chocolate babka. It’s a rewarding recipe for taking the next step in your bread baking. Even if it’s slightly imperfect going into the oven, it turns out gorgeous. Look at those swirls! —Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Lemon Raspberry Buckle
I’ve given a fresh summery twist to the classic blueberry buckle everyone loves by swapping out the blueberries for raspberries (my favorite) and adding sweet and tart lemon curd. This berry buckle cake recipe tastes great with vanilla ice cream! —Jenna Fleming, Lowville, New York
I asked my grandmother for this recipe after trying these irresistible spice cupcakes at her home. I love their creamy caramel frosting. They’re such a scrumptious dessert, you actually forget you’re eating your vegetables, too! —Virginia Lapierre, Greensboro Bend, Vermont
Grandma Brubaker’s Orange Cookies
At least two generations of my family have enjoyed the recipe for these light, delicate orange-flavored cookies. —Sheri DeBolt, Huntington, Indiana
Black Forest Upside-Down Cake
The divine flavors of this simple Black Forest cake will impress your guests and leave you with many requests for the recipe! —Kimberly Campbell, Wheeling, West Virginia
Poppy Seed Cheese Bread
This easy-to-make bread goes well with a salad luncheon or a casserole dinner. But I especially like to serve it with spaghetti and pasta dishes. The cheese topping is its crowning glory! —Elaine Mundt, Detroit, Michigan
Best Red Velvet Cake
It’s just not Christmas at our house until this festive cake appears. This is different from other red velvet cake recipes I’ve had; the icing is as light as snow. —Kathryn Davison, Charlotte, North Carolina
Danish Coffee Cakes
There’s no brownie recipe or mix I’ve ever tried that’s better than this! And it’s so easy—you can mix it in one bowl in just a few minutes. My husband’s grandmother passed the recipe on; now our son makes these brownies for after-school snacks. —Becky Albright, Norwalk, Ohio
Apple Raisin Bread
I’ve been making this bread for many years. It smells so good in the oven and tastes even better. I make bread almost every Saturday, and it doesn’t stay around long with our sons home from college in the summer. —Perlene Hoekema, Lynden, Washington
Double Cranberry Banana Bread
We love quick breads, and I’ve found that they freeze nicely if properly wrapped. This is a scrumptious recipe to make before the holidays and freeze for last-minute guests or gifts. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
Meringue-Topped Pecan Custard Pie
I only use this recipe on special occasions. It’s an amazing variation on the pecan pie everyone knows—the filling is a custardy delight, and the meringue gives the whole thing a lightness that’s the perfect ending to a multi-course feast. —Therese Asche, Maple Grove, Minnesota
Mama’s Blackberry Cobbler
Alabama has some tasty fresh blackberries. Decades ago, my mama was heading out to pick blackberries to make a cobbler, but she ended up going to the hospital to have me instead. This is her mama’s recipe. The blackberries start on top, but then end up tucked under a golden brown crust after it’s baked. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama
This cookie recipe from my 91-year-old grandmother was my grandfather’s favorite. She still makes them and sends us home with the dough so that we can make more whenever we want, I love to make a fresh batch when company drops in. —Chris Paulsen, Glendale, Arizona
My family’s best carrot cake recipe dates back to my great-grandmother! We bake up a few of these carrot cakes for special occasions to make sure there’s enough to go around. You’ll love the texture this pretty, moist treat gets from pineapple, coconut and, of course, carrots! —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
Grandma’s Rosemary Dinner Rolls
My grandma (I called her Baba) made these in her coal oven. How she regulated the temperature is beyond me! She always made extra rolls for the neighbors to bake in their own ovens. My mom and aunts would deliver the formed rolls at lunchtime. —Charlotte Hendershot, Hudson, Pennsylvania
Double Butterscotch Cookies
This is a very old recipe that’s been in the family for generations. Sometimes I’ll omit the toffee bits and add miniature chocolate chips or coconut instead. —Beverly Duncan, Lakeville, Ohio
7UP Pound Cake
My grandmother gave me this 7UP pound cake recipe. On top of being delicious, this 7UP cake represents family tradition, connection and love. —Marsha Davis, Desert Hot Springs, California
Homemade biscuits add a warm and comforting touch to any meal. My grandmother makes these tender biscuits to go with her seafood chowder. —Melissa Obernesser, Utica, New York
Sufganiyot are believed to have first come from Spain, adapted from a similar treat, the sopaipilla. Others say the sopaipilla was borrowed from the Jews. Either way, as a tradition, doughnuts are an easy one to adopt, especially with this easy sufganiyot recipe. —David Feder, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Breakfast Apple Cake
Baked in a pretty tube pan and drizzled with icing, this breakfast cake will be a highlight of your holiday menu. I adapted the recipe from one of my grandmother’s. —Shaunda Wenger, Nibley, Utah
Grandma Russell’s Bread
I remember as a child always smelling fresh homemade bread and rolls whenever I walked into Grandma’s house. The warm slices were delicious and melted in my mouth! —Janet Polito, Nampa, Idaho
Old Fashion Gingerbread
My dad would always tell me his mother made gingerbread with hot water and that it was dense and rich with molasses. Over the years I looked for such a recipe, to no avail. Then one day I was given a book compiled by an elderly woman who recalled recipes from her childhood in Virginia, and there it was! I made one slight change, substituting shortening for lard. For gingerbread lovers, this classic version is wonderful, whether you eat it hot and dripping with butter or at room temperature. &mda
Rich Fruit Kuchens
This German classic is such a part of our reunions, we designate a special place to serve it. Five generations flock to the “Kuchen Room” for this coffee cake. —Stephanie Schentzel, Northville, South Dakota
Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars
These cheesecake bars layer a buttery pecan shortbread crust with a rich and creamy filling and sweet-tart strawberry rhubarb jam. For larger squares, cut into nine bars instead of 16. —Amanda Scarlati, Sandy, Utah
Chocolate Pear Hazelnut Tart
As a teenage foreign exchange student in the south of France, I was horribly homesick. Then my host family’s Grandmother Miette arrived and asked if I’d like to help her bake this nutty tart from scratch. It turned my trip around and inspired my lifelong passion for baking. Weighing ingredients, roasting nuts, kneading dough—the art of baking transcends language. —Lexi McKeown, Los Angeles, California
Jelly Bean Cookies
It’s a family tradition for my grandmother and me to make these colorful cookies every year for the holidays. —Cheyenne Fink, Pleasantville, Pennsylvania
Oma’s Apfelkuchen (Grandma’s Apple Cake)
Frosted Spice Cookies
This recipe has been handed down through many generations of my husband’s family. The cookies were always in his grandmother’s cookie jar when he’d visit. Today, he enjoys them more than ever—and so do I. —Debbie Hurlbert, Howard, Ohio
I remember my mom making these rolls almost every Saturday so they’d be ready to bake on Sunday for company or someone just dropping by. Although they take a little time to prepare, they’re really not all that difficult to make. And there’s nothing in the stores that can compare to them! —Jean Fox, Welch, Minnesota
Italian Lemon Cookies
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without my grandmother’s cookies. A plate full of these light and zesty cookies is divine!—Elisabeth Miller, Broadview Heights, Ohio
Cast-Iron Apple Nutmeg Coffee Cake
I’m not a great baker, but I do love coffee. In an effort to practice my baking, I use up the morning’s last bit of coffee to make this cake—literally. It is super moist and crumbly, and tastes like you dunked your cake right into a cup of hot joe. — Darla Andrews, Schertz, Texas
Dipped Chocolate Logs
When my sister and I were little, we used to beg my mother and grandmother to make these buttery chocolate cookies during the holidays. Now, as moms ourselves, we get together every year to make Christmas cookies, and the chocolate logs are always on the top of our list. —Deanna Markkos, Western Springs, Illinois
Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake
I can still remember my grandma serving this delicious cake on the big wooden table in her farm kitchen. Every time I bake this unusual cake, it takes me back to those special days at Grandma’s. —Diane Ganssle, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Glazed Strawberry Cookies
Raisin Pecan Pie
I remember my Grandmother Voltie and Great-Aunt Ophelia making this southern-style pie for Thanksgiving. It was always one of the many cakes and pies lined up for dessert. —Angie Price, Bradford, Tennessee
Triple Berry Shortcake
My great-great-grandmother handed down her shortcake recipe. I’m sharing it because it’s way too fabulous to keep it a secret! —Sara Kingsmore, Vadnais Heights, Minnesota
Mexican Chocolate Sugar Crisps
My grandma loved these so much, she would hide them from my grandpa! I think of her every time I make a batch. Like Mexican spice? Try stirring in a little chili powder. —Michele Lovio, Thousand Oaks, California
Cinnamon Coffee Cake
I love the excellent texture of this easy cinnamon coffee cake recipe. Always a crowd-pleaser, its pleasing vanilla flavor enriched by sour cream may remind you of breakfast at Grandma’s! Make it the night before a holiday to save time in the morning. —Eleanor Harris, Cape Coral, Florida
Herbed Oatmeal Pan Bread
This beautiful, golden pan bread is especially good with a steaming bowl of homemade soup. The oats give it a distinctive flavor, and we really like the herb and Parmesan cheese topping.—Karen Bourne, Magrath, Alberta
Nana’s Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Frosting
Even though Nana is no longer with us, her treats bring me so much joy every time
I bake them. For a more indulgent version, double the frosting and pile it on high! —Chekota Hunter, Cassville, Missouri
Favorite Mexican Cornbread
I love to cook and my supportive and encouraging mom finally convinced me to submit this recipe. I often serve this cornbread with chili. —Donna Hypes, Ramona, California
Chocolate & Coconut Cream Torte
My grandmother passed this recipe down to me years ago and now I make it for my own grandchildren. When preparing, make sure the chocolate layer is properly chilled before adding the next layer, or the coconut will sink into it. —Jason Purkey, Ocean City, Maryland
Pecan Coffee Cake
My mom serves this nutty coffee cake for Christmas breakfast each year. The simple recipe is a big timesaver on such an event-filled morning. Everyone loves the crunchy topping. —Becky Wax, Tuscola, Illinois