We've been on COVID-19 quarantine for 36 days now, and doing our best to make the most of it. Baking has been one of the activities I've enjoyed the most these past few weeks, and I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes with you. From fudgy brownies to tangy lemon bars, these are some of the best and most delicious treats I've baked recently. Give them a try, and let us know what you think!
Just to note - there is nothing particularly healthy about any of these recipes (although several involve fruit!). These are good old-fashioned baked treats made with flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. I've experimented with healthier baking recipes such as gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free options, but I have yet to find a recipe that I truly love. Please let us know if you have any favorite alternative healthy baking recipes to recommend. We'd love to hear your suggestions. I started following the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet last year to heal from a mysterious skin condition. (You can read that story here.) Although I no longer follow the diet strictly, it's still something I strive for.
Anyways, let's get on to these tasty and delicious recipes. Enjoy - just not all in one sitting!
1 - Super Fudgy Brownies
From Food52, this super-easy brownie recipe strikes the perfect balance between cakey and fudgy. Double the recipe for double the fun.
2 - The Best Lemon Cake You'll Ever Have
It's a bold statement, but I don't disagree. This delightful lemon cake was a big hit in our household. Fun fact: I used to be addicted to the lemon loaf from Starbucks, and this is like way better that.
3 - Frozen Blueberry Muffins
I like this recipe because it's a good size batch that makes two dozen muffins. Easy and delicious, these muffins turned out big and fluffy just how I like them.
4 - Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This recipe from Taste of Home delivers a decadent carrot cake that's delectably moist and spicy. I prefer this cake served cold. Pro-tip: If you don't have confectioner's (aka powdered) sugar, I recommend this cream cheese frosting recipe instead. It can be sweetened with honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar, and has the perfect not-too-sweet flavor. I used regular sugar to make the frosting featured in the original recipe, and it turned out grainy and sickly sweet.
5 - Best Ever Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This cake is light and creamy, with a crunchy touch of walnuts or pecans. Best served cold. If you don't have buttermilk, you can use any type of plant-based milk mixed with a touch of acid such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to get the same effect. See how to make a buttermilk substitute here. I would also recommend substituting the cream cheese frosting with this healthier recipe here.
6 - Perfect Lemon Bar Recipe
My sister shared this recipe with me, and it was quite a delight. Made with a buttery shortbread crust and topped with tangy lemon filling, these are quick and easy to put together. We used lemons from the lemon tree in our yard, and the flavor was sublime. These went fast, so I recommend doubling the recipe.