Pumpkin-Cranberry Tea Cake

Photo: Erin Kunkel

1. A Sweet-Tart Treat That Requires No Extra Trips to the Supermarket
This cheery bread from California baker Mani Niall's new book, Good Morning Baking, combines two delectable flavors—cranberry and pumpkin—that are traditionally associated with fall but have become popular year-round. You can keep almost all of the ingredients, including canned pumpkin puree, in your pantry. The other two items you need—cranberries and walnuts—keep well in the freezer, so you can make a batch (which yields two loaves) whenever the mood strikes...or the doorbell rings.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin-Cranberry Tea Cake
Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Walnut Streusel

Photo: Evan Sung

2. The One-Bowl Coffee Cake
Over the years, veteran cookbook author Yvonne Ruperti realized that when she created desserts at home, she often condensed steps in a recipe to make baking easier and to avoid washing unnecessary bowls and equipment. Her latest book, One Bowl Baking, is all about streamlining the process—as seen in this coffee cake recipe. Sour cream keeps it rich and moist, and baking the thick batter in an angel food cake pan helps the cake cook evenly.

Get the recipe: Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Walnut Streusel
Lemon-Pear Breakfast Bread

Photo: Sang An

3. A Variation on the Familiar Lemon-and-Poppy-Seed Combo
Whether in a muffin or bread form, lemon-poppy seed is pretty much as standard a flavor as blueberry or corn. But this mouthwatering, fruit-filled bread also contains pear puree, which has a sweet yet mellow flavor that happens to pair fantastically with tart lemon. (You can buy the puree from a specialty food store or make it by steaming four peeled, cored, cut-up pears until soft, and then blitzing them in a blender until smooth.)

Get the recipe: Lemon-Pear Breakfast Bread
French Vanilla Coffee Cake with Creme Anglaise

Photo: Anna Williams

4. A Cake That's Delicious With or Without an Over-the-Top Sauce
We love the twist of adding a few tablespoons of finely ground vanilla coffee to cake batter—it adds a wonderful deep and subtle flavor. If you've got an extra 15 minutes, make a crème anglaise (aka a pourable custard) to drizzle on top—but even plain, this dessert will still be a hit with guests.

Get the recipe: French Vanilla Coffee Cake with Crème Anglaise
Bacon and Cheese Quick Bread

Photo: Johnny Miller

5. A Treat for Those Who Prefer Their Breads Less Sweet
If you can fry bacon, you can make this savory bread, which pastry chef Christina Tosi loves to give as a gift. You just combine the usual flour, egg, etc., with grated Gruyère, chopped bacon and caramelized onions, and bake. Tosi serves slices with concord grape jelly—the fruity flavor enhances the smoky meat and sharp cheese.

Get the recipe: Bacon and Cheese Quick Bread
Cherryvale Farms Blueberry Muffin Mix

Photo courtesy of Cherryvale Farms

6. The Last-Minute Savior for When You Don't Even Have Time to Run to the Quickie Mart
Boxed baking mixes can be a harried host's best friend; keep one or two in the pantry, and then all you need are staples like milk, oil and eggs to make a delicious, homemade-ish treat. We're fans of are Cherryvale Farms, which just introduced three new flavors to its certified organic "Everything But The" line: cornbread, blueberry muffins and brownies; and, Krusteaz, which recently expanded its crumb cake and muffin mix to include chocolate-swirl and blueberry-swirl varieties.

Next: The one pie anyone can bake


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