Here is a collection of the very best dessert recipes! Whether you’re looking for a layer cake for a birthday celebration, a quick and easy brownie, or chocolate truffles to wow during the holidays- you’re bound to find your new favorite dessert recipe below.
Here are my most popular baking science articles that will teach you must-have skills you can apply to just about any dessert recipe for the best taste and texture.
The easiest ingredient to mis-measure is flour. That’s because it can be so easily compacted into a container or measuring cup without you even realizing. Too much flour results in dry, dense, and even crumbly desserts. Check out my article for How to Measure Flour here.
I highly recommend avoiding dark colored nonstick pans as well as most glass pans. I use light colored aluminum for just about everything!
Dark metal pans will dry out the edges of your desserts, often before the center can cook through. Glass or ceramic baking pans will take LONGER to bake most desserts, and can even result in gummy textures.
If you’re curious about all my recommended baking equipment and tools, check out my Magic of Baking Course.
Here at Handle the Heat, we believe butter, eggs, flour, and sugar are magical specimens and should never be replaced (unless medically necessary due to an allergy/intolerance).
Dairy ingredients like cream cheese and sour cream are also difficult to substitute.
We highly recommend making all recipes exactly as written. If you do decide to substitute an ingredient(s), just know the final result won’t be the same in texture and/or flavor.
This *free* printable PDF contains my best buttercream recipe, my favorite piping tips, and lots more!
Step into my kitchen and bake these easy dessert recipes step-by-step with me.
Download our free Make-Ahead Baking Guide printable for tips on how to prepare all kinds of recipes from breads, cake, cupcakes, pies and more ahead of time!
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To keep your baked cookies soft, you can add an apple wedge, piece of bread, or a tortilla on the top and bottom of the cookies (not touching the cookies) to the container a day or two after baking them, or whenever you find the texture starting to harden. The moisture from the bread or apple will migrate to your cookies, making them soft and chewy again.
A tortilla is a new favorite of mine because it takes up much less room than a slice of bread, and doesn’t transfer any flavors or aromas like an apple wedge. Not to mention it fits into a round cookie tin pretty perfectly.
From my own personal experience, I’ve found cookies to be the most popular dessert among my friends and family.
Cookies are generally easy to make, can be customized in flavor and texture easily, and are simple to serve.
Be sure your butter is at a cool room temperature before beating with your sugar. It shouldn’t be greasy or overly soft, otherwise it’ll melt and spread the cookies too much.
The warmer your cookie dough is when it enters the oven, the thinner and flatter your cookies will be. To prevent flat cookies, try freezing your balls of cookie dough while your oven preheats. Learn more about how to bake THICK cookies here.
Better yet, refrigerate your cookie dough for 24 to 48 hours. This ‘marination’ process will transform your cookies by making them thicker, chewier, and more flavorful! Plus, this is a perfect way to make your cookies ahead of time. Read more about the magic of chilling your cookie dough here. NOTE: chilling is OPTIONAL for this recipe but will enhance your cookies!
If you’re baking at a high altitude, you’ll probably want to make some adjustments to this recipe. Since I live at sea level, I can only recommend following the advice in King Arthur Baking Company’s guide here.
Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. They’ll become more like a thick fudge in the fridge in the most delicious way. You can also reheat the brownies in the microwave until they’re gooey again, if you’d prefer.
I highly recommend checking out my Best Ever Pie Crust recipe and reading through all the tips in the pink tip box. This recipe is practically foolproof, so it’s perfect if you’re intimidated by making it homemade.
Don’t believe me? Here’s what one of our readers has to say: “I’ve been baking for 20 years. I’m also a chemist. Pie crust has been my NEMESIS. I swore it off on my last attempt 4 years ago, but for some reason I wanted to try this. And it WORKED!!! Holy crap!! It was so easy to work with and actually tasted good. FINALLY!”
Wrap unfrosted and cooled cake layers completely in several layers of plastic wrap. Place inside a freezer bag. Store at room temperature for up to 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Don’t defrost at room temperature or you will end up with mushy, sticky cake.
Since frosting acts as a protective seal that keeps the cake moist and fresh, frosted cakes can be stored at a cool and dry room temperature for up to 2 days. Cover with a cake keeper to keep the frosting intact. Don’t use plastic wrap, which will not only ruin your frosting but also create condensation that can cause the frosting to separate.
I personally don’t worry about keeping frosting at room temperature since the sugar acts as a preservative, but if this concerns you then just keep the cake in the fridge.
Be VERY CAREFUL about measuring your flour and cocoa powder correctly. Use the spoon and level method, or even better, weigh your ingredients to ensure accuracy. If you don’t, you’ll likely end up with dry brownies. See my full article on how to measure flour correctly here (applies to the cocoa too).