Even though I’m not having too many sweeties these days, I’m a sucker for easy baking recipes. I’m teaching myself to bake so there’s always lots to learn and a quaint recipe to follow. Here’s how I find my favourites…
Finding easy baking recipes on Pinterest
When I want to know something about a dish I am interested in, I seldom use Google. I must not be good at Google searches because I always pull dated articles that don’t appeal to all my senses. Either the pictures are bad, or the information is presented in a way I do not understand or care to understand (lol). By using Pinterest as my search engine, I am able to find information which is usually more visually stimulating and aligned with what I am looking for. This strategy works out pretty well when I am looking for easy baking recipes, if the cake or cookie in the pin looks good, I’m most probably going to love or at least, be able to use the recipe provided!
Pinterest is also the place where I found the website that I feel provides absolutely easy baking recipes that even the most inexperienced baker can follow – ask my husband!
Carmela Pop’s easy baking recipes
Ana is the photographer and baker behind Carmela Pop. Before reading her stories, I was mostly using pre-mix and indulging in store-bought sweet treats. Now, I hardly buy dessert because, if I have most of the ingredients at home, it’s almost always cheaper prepare whatever I have a taste for in the comfort of my home! Plus, more servings! Ana has the following to say about her nifty space on the internet, “… if this is the first time you are going to make a cake in your entire life, if you love cute desserts but believe that they are too hard to make, or if you want to create a bakery style treat in no time you are in the right place.” She’s not lying you guys!
What are easy baking recipes?
To me, an easy baking recipe is one which yields what it says it will – granted you follow the instructions of course and perhaps even if you mess it up a little, lol! It doesn’t have a million and five ingredients and almost always includes items that you can quickly substitute with what you have in the cupboard at the time. An easy baking recipe has clear instructions, and if you’re lucky, it doesn’t include lots of baking jargon. Although I expect that from a traditional cookbook, I don’t want to be schooled when I look up a quick recipe to satisfy a craving or fulfil my catering requirements at a moments notice.
I don’t believe I’ve ever had a bad result when trying one of Ana’s recipes and this, my dear friends, is what us novice bakers are after, isn’t it? I feel very despondent when one of my attempts in the kitchen fails. The flop goes straight to the heart and sits there, forcing me to feel it in the pit of my stomach. On one hand, this happens because I rarely practice a recipe before I need it. When I bake something, it’s because I’m in the mood for it right that moment, and boy, oh boy, if it doesn’t go to plan. LOL! Who has the budget to buy twice as much as you need anyway?
My favourite easy baking recipes from Carmela Pop
A good vanilla cake recipe can set you up for life! I’ve managed to halve and double this recipe with no problem at all and it is unbelievably moist with the perfect crumb. In my home, we’ve mostly enjoyed it plain because toppings are optional (hey, budget). It’s also super easy to use this recipe as the basis of your own. I’ve done a Chai-tea cake, a cinnamon and nutmeg cake as well as a coffee cake, all off the back of this vanilla cake recipe.
I’m almost sure this was the first recipe I tried off her site, and it is by far my favourite. It has become one of my signature desserts and my husband and I absolutely love it! I grew up with a lemon tree in the backyard, so learning how to make a lemon cake was very nostalgic and practical. You can build the flavour by adding more or less lemon, adding lemon zest and lemon juice, I’ve even tried this recipe using lime! I do find that the flavour differs when using store bought produce and when picking lemons from a tree.
These peanut butter cookies were super soft and flavourful. I would use the exact amount of peanut butter called for in the recipe. I was heavy handed (because peanut butter) and the cookies were extremely rich. These are a great to have in the house when you can’t afford to bake up a storm.
Easy baking recipes I want to try
As most of my bakes are sans toppings, I would love to finally learn how to make proper frosting! I tried a butter-based (not buttercream) frosting once and though it came out fine, it was too buttery and best served the day after or so. And once you’ve had two or three slices (with breaks in between, of course, maybe, sometimes) it doesn’t taste that great. I think this Salted Caramel frosting would be yum on indulgent brownies served with chocolate bark and Oreo crumble. Ana has many options on her website, so you are spoilt for choice.
Since starting my journey as a novice baker, I’ve been petrified of cheesecake. Not only is good mascarpone and cream cheese between R40 – R60 but the process seems arduous. This isn’t a traditional cheesecake recipe but who can resist Oreos? I’m going to double up the ingredients and find a substitute for gram crackers. Let’s call this my cheat-cheesecake until I find an easy baking recipe that I am willing to try to make my cheesecake dreams come true.
Do you have an easy baking recipe I can try? Pop me a message in the comments below. 🙂