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.

Cardamom Poppy Seed Cookies Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

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.


Homemade Bagels
© Con Poulos

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.


Scallion-Corn Muffin
John Kernick

Muffins are delicious, sweet or savory. Kansas City chefs 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. Need something gluten-free? Make these apple-spice muffins, which can be frozen for up to two months.


Tara Fisher

Pulling apart a flaky, buttery croissant is one of life's simple pleasures. In this recipe from our associate food editor, Paige Grandjean, 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.


Zucchini Breakfast Bread
Jen Causey

We have all kinds of bread recipes — quick breads including miso banana bread and zucchini breakfast bread, rye bread, focaccia, pull-apart bread, and so much more. If you're looking to take the plunge and start making sourdough bread, we not only have a method for making starter, but a helpful guide for using it as well, addressing all of your questions and worries. It's definitely a lengthy weekend project, but the end results are gorgeous.


Two-Bite Parmesan Biscuits
Caitlin Bensel

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.


Cardamom Poppy Seed Cookies Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

If you're in the mood for classic chocolate chip cookies, we have 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 that are impossible to resist.


Strawberry Raspberry Cake Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

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 Mom's Classic Chocolate Cake — one of our 40 best-ever recipes. And cheesecake fans should give Marcela Valladolid's dulce de leche cheesecake recipe a shot.

Pies and Tarts

super flaky apple hand pies
Victor Protasio

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 — in the summer, that means strawberries, which are delicious in a slab pie from Joanne Chang. For the fall, perhaps try Apple Flambé Pie.

Tart-wise, Andrea Slonecker uses miso to add depth and umami to her chocolate tart with 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).

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.


Salted Caramel Brownies
Jennifer Causey

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.


Double-Lemon Scones
We suggest Montana residents take a break from this royally delicious Pinterest search to try their hand at Justin Chapple’s Double-Lemon Scones. © Marcus Nilsson

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. Pleasantly dense cranberry-studded scones get a toffee-like flavor from light brown turbinado sugar, which has large, crunchy crystals.

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