Need a Serious Weekend Baking Project? We’re Here to Help
From breads and cakes to bagels and muffins, try these recipes on your next free Saturday or Sunday.
The weekend is the ideal time to bake. A batch of cookies to break up a Saturday afternoon; a Sunday spent prepping treats and snacks to get through the week, like biscuits and crumbly scones. If you’re looking for new projects to tackle, we’ve gathered recipes spanning several categories to help give you inspiration. Want to make bagels from scratch? No problem. Craving croissants? We’ve got a recipe for that, too. Plus, the ultimate chocolate chip cookies, cakes, brownies, and more. Read on for some options and start carving out time on your calendar.
These crisp, chewy bagels are made using a poolish, a fermentation starter made with bread flour, yeast, and water. In about three and a half hours, you’ll have a dozen bagels at your disposal. Eat them as-is, or use them in recipes like Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper’s tasty “egg in a bagel hole” (no baking required)—skillet-toasted bagel halves with an egg cracked into the hole, served with your choice of toppings. Bacon and avocado? Delicious. Ham and cheese à la croque madame? Go for it.
If you decide to do sesame bagels, they also make a brunch-ready casserole.
Get the Recipe: Homemade Bagels
Get the Recipe: Egg in a Bagel Hole
Get the Recipe: Sesame Bagel Breakfast Casserole
Muffins are delicious, sweet or savory. Our zucchini muffins with coconut-cashew streusel get an extra punch of flavor from a lime-and-coconut milk glaze and ground cardamom; Colby and Megan Garrelts’ scallion-corn muffins only require 10 ingredients, and come together in just 45 minutes. And you can’t beat a classic like chocolate chip and banana muffins. (As an added bonus, the latter freezes well for up to a month.)
Need something gluten-free? Make these pumpkin muffins, which can also be frozen up to a month and are topped with a crumbly streusel.
Get the Recipe: Zucchini Muffins with Coconut-Cashew Streusel
Get the Recipe: Scallion-Corn Muffins
Get the Recipe: Chocolate Chip and Banana Muffins
Get the Recipe: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins
More Recipes: Breakfast Muffins
Pulling apart a flaky, buttery croissant is one of life’s simple pleasures. In this recipe from Erika Skolnik, the key is using high-fat, European-style butter. Once you’ve got them down, we also have a few recipes for croissant pudding, like this caramel version from Nigella Lawson.
Get the Recipe: Croissants
Get the Recipe: Caramel-Croissant Pudding
We have all kinds of bread recipes—quick breads including miso banana bread and zucchini breakfast bread; foccacia; flatbreads like this recipe from Maydan and Vikram Sunderam’s bacon-chile naan; rye bread; and so much more. If you’re looking to take the plunge and start making sourdough bread, we not only have a recipe for starter, but a helpful guide for using it as well, addressing all of your questions and worries. You can use starters to make breads like this country boule from Graison Gill of Bellegarde Bakery. It’s definitely a lengthy weekend project, but the end results are gorgeous.
Get the Recipe: Miso Banana Bread
Get the Recipe: Zucchini Breakfast Bread
Get the Recipe: Flat Bread
Get the Recipe: Bacon-Chile Naan
Get the Recipe: Easy Seeded Rye Bread
Get the Recipe: Sourdough Starter
Get the Recipe: Bellegarde’s Country Boule
More Recipes: 36 Classic Bread and Biscuit Recipes
The weekend is the perfect time to whip up a batch (or a few) of biscuits—the dough generally tends to freeze well, so you can pre-portion it and save for future baking, too. Try these buttery, super tender buttermilk biscuits, or two-bite Parmesan biscuits, which come with their own cheese skirt. (Cheese skirt!) Sweet biscuits are a thing, too, like these strawberry-filled biscuits paired with a tangy, strawberry-swirled crème fraîche.
Get the Recipe: Buttermilk Biscuits
Get the Recipe: Two-Bite Parmesan Biscuits
Get the Recipe: Strawberry Crème Fraîche Biscuits
More Recipes: Our 22 Best Biscuit Recipes
If you’re in the mood for classic chocolate chip cookies, we recently published a step-by-step guide to yielding the best results (hint: make sure you don’t overwork the gluten in the flour). But the cookie universe is vast and wide, so if you’d rather branch out, by all means. Our crunchy (and gluten-free!) peanut butter cookies require just four ingredients, no flour or butter needed. And Simon Bajada’s cardamom-poppy seed cookies from our May 2020 issue come out thin and crispy, with lacy golden brown edges impossible to resist.
Get the Recipe: Milk-Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Get the Recipe: Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies
Get the Recipe: Cardamom–Poppy Seed Cookies
More Recipes: Cookies
Cakes and Cupcakes
Snack cakes are perfect for well, snacking, and this banana-chocolate chip snack cake from Ann Taylor Pittman is a delight. Salted peanut butter frosting; browned butter in the batter for a caramel-like richness. You can also try this simple, springy cake from Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, studded with strawberries and raspberries, or our “Mom’s Chocolate Cake”—one of our 40 best-ever recipes. And cheesecake fans should give Marcela Valladolid’s dulce de leche cheesecake recipe a shot.
More of a cupcake person than a cake-cake person? Go for these black-and-white cupcakes from Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple. He has a neat trick for creating the two-toned frosting.
Get the Recipe: Strawberry-Raspberry Cake
Get the Recipe: Mom's Chocolate Cake
Get the Recipe: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
Get the Recipe: Black-and-White Cupcakes
More Recipes: 29 Essential (and Delicious) Cake Recipes to Master Now
More Recipes: Cupcakes
Pies and Tarts
Lisa Donovan’s dried apple hand pies rehydrate dried apple slices for a saucy, concentrated filling; for a quick dessert, try this whipped-cream-topped peanut butter pie from Keavy Landreth and Allison Kave, ready in just an hour and half (you only need to bake the crust, the pie filling chills). As for fresh fruit pies, you’ll want to take a cue from seasonal produce—right now, that means strawberries, which are delicious in a slab pie from Joanne Chang. Come summer, berries like blueberries are the way to go.
Tart-wise, Andrea Slonecker uses miso to add depth and umami to her chocolate tart, to delicious results—like the peanut butter pie, you only have to bake the crust, and the filling chills. Jamila Robinson’s elegant lemon curd tart is perfect if you’re looking for something citrusy (we recommend pairing it with this tart shell recipe). And rhubarb tart is a great spring dessert—Aaron Bertelsen’s recipe is ready in under an hour.
Of course, you can also make savory pies and tarts. Samantha Fore’s roasted curry tomato pie is perfect for peak tomato season during the summer; this free-form onion tart has a filling made with sweet onions, thyme sprigs, crème fraîche, unsalted butter, egg, milk, and salt and pepper. And this one-pan chicken pot pie comes together in an hour and 10 minutes.
Get the Recipe: Dried Apple Hand Pies
Get the Recipe: Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
Get the Recipe: Strawberry Slab Pie
Get the Recipe: Deep-Dish Blueberry Pie
Get the Recipe: Lemon Curd Tart
Get the Recipe: Rhubarb Tart
Get the Recipe: Roasted Curry Tomato Pie
Get the Recipe: Free-Form Onion Tart
Get the Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie with Leeks and Thyme
More Recipes: The Best Pie Recipes: 22 New Classics to Master
More Recipes: Fruit Pies and Tarts
We couldn’t get enough of Vallery Lomas’ salted caramel brownies when we made them in the test kitchen—they’re gooey and fudgy and would be perfect with an ice cream sundae. Gail Simmons’ black licorice chocolate brownies are irresistibly chewy and have a touch of salt, too. For a coffee kick, try our espresso-shortbread brownie bars, which have a resounding five-star rating from our readers.
Get the Recipe: Salted Caramel Brownies
Get the Recipe: Chewy Black Licorice Chocolate Brownies
Get the Recipe: Espresso-Shortbread Brownie Bars
More Recipes: 18 Decadent Brownie Recipes
For a mix of sweet and salty, Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook include chopped dates in their scone batter and serve them with fleur de sel whipped butter. Justin Chapple’s scone recipe, on the other hand, is a play on lemon-poppy seed cakes; pomegranate seeds add little bursts of flavor to these almond, coconut, and pomegranate scones.
Get the Recipe: Date Scones with Fleur de Sel Whipped Butter
Get the Recipe: Double-Lemon Scones
Get the Recipe: Almond, Coconut and Pomegranate Scones
More Recipes: Scones