Bake it Forward for the Holidays
This season, make an extra batch of treats for friends, coworkers, charities, or just someone who could use a lift—and pay it forward, sweetly.
We're baking double batches of cakes, cookies, muffins, and bars—one to enjoy and one to share. Join us!
HOW TO DOUBLE UP: Mix up a double amount of dough in a large bowl. Bake the first batch of cookies on 2 baking sheets in the oven as directed, and keep the unused dough in the fridge as the first batch bakes. Cool baking sheets completely before proceeding with the rest of the dough.
HOW TO DOUBLE UP: Double the filling, but for quality control, make two separate batches of shortbread dough. Also know that these delicious, buttery cakes are a labor of love—and absolutely worth the time you'll spend making them. The most time-consuming part is shaping the cakes; break up the process by making the filling and the dough a couple of days ahead.
HOW TO DOUBLE UP: If you can accommodate 24 muffins at one time, double the batter and bake all at once. If you can only accommodate 12, make just one batch of batter, bake, and start over: Baking powder will lose its efficacy if extra batter has to sit while the first batch bakes.
HOW TO DOUBLE UP: Double the batter in a large bowl, and bake everything at the same time. Make a standard-size Bundt for yourself, and for gift-giving, do the second batch as mini Bundts: Spoon about 6 tablespoons batter into each of 6 mini Bundt molds coated with baking spray. Spoon remaining batter into a 10-cup Bundt pan coated with baking spray. Bake both pans on the middle rack. Rotate pans after 15 minutes; the minis will be done in about 20 minutes, and the large one should take the time indicated in the recipe.
HOW TO DOUBLE UP: It's easy to double this recipe all as one process—double the crust, double the filling, divide between pans, and bake both pans together at the same time on the same oven rack. You may find that you need to add a couple of extra minutes to the bake time; cook until almost completely set.
HOW TO DOUBLE UP: Double the crumble mixture and the cake batter in large bowls. Bake cakes together on the same oven rack, rotating pans halfway through the cook time. If the cakes don't test done after 30 minutes, cook an extra 2 to 6 minutes, checking them every 2 minutes. Either give a whole cake to a friend, or package individual pieces.
Fresh ginger in the cookie crust really kicks up the flavor.
HOW TO DOUBLE UP: Mix up a double batch and bake off two pans of these bars at once. Place pans on the same (middle) rack of the oven. Hand-deliver the delicate bars, packed in a single layer in a box that doesn't allow them to slide around. Keep bars chilled by placing the closed box in a slightly larger box with chill packs and padding.
View Recipe: Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Gingersnap Crust
Take a break from dessert with these fruit and nut breakfast bars.
HOW TO DOUBLE UP: A large bowl can hold a double batch of the dough, and the hearty mix will perform just fine. Bake bars on the same (middle) rack in the oven. The bars can be a little crumbly, so wrap them individually and pack with plenty of padding to transport or ship overnight.
View Recipe: Whole-Grain Breakfast Bars
Zucchini squash is available year-round and is the secret to keeping this cake moist.
HOW TO DOUBLE UP: If you have two loaf pans available, then double the mix. Cool and wrap baked cakes whole and unglazed in plastic wrap. To ship overnight, pack securely in a box, or gather a pretty cloth around the cake to hand-deliver. The icing is wet; pour it into a zip-top bag and include instructions to snip the corner and drizzle onto the cake.
View Recipe: Chocolate-Zucchini Loaf Cake
Tender almond cake surrounds a raspberry filling in this playful riff on classic linzer torte.
HOW TO DOUBLE UP: Double the muffin batter only if you have two (12-cup) pans. Alternate pans on the middle and top oven racks, and rotate halfway through baking. (You'll need to bake them an extra minute or two.) Ship these muffins without worry by dividing a batch between two large zip-top bags and cushioning them with tissue paper in a box.
View Recipe: Linzer Muffins
You can bake this cake in four mini loaves. Reduce bake time to 30 to 35 minutes, checking for doneness with a wooden pick.
HOW TO DOUBLE UP: Because this batter should not sit around waiting to go in the oven, make sure two Bundt pans will fit on your oven's middle rack before doubling it. To transport or ship overnight, cool and wrap the cake on a cardboard cake circle or plate using plastic wrap; place in a box with little wiggle room.
Perfectly spiced and wonderfully tender, these molasses cookies were a staff fave at tasting.
HOW TO DOUBLE UP: Double the dough and bake these cookies without a hitch. To mail, wrap small stacks together using plastic wrap. Nestle the stacks in a box with plenty of padding, or stack in a wide-mouth canning jar with crumpled parchment or wax paper in the headspace under the lid. Place the jar in a box with padding for mailing overnight.