39 Things to Bake While It’s Still Cold Outside

Updated: Feb. 23, 2024

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but these homemade treats are so delightful! Preheat the oven and indulge in these winter baking recipes while the frosty winter air is still here.

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Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Monkey Bread

Time to give rum cake a little competition! If this boozy take on monkey bread is too strong for your taste, cut back on the bourbon or use milk as a non-alcoholic substitute. —James Schend, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

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German Apple Cake

With the long, cold winters we have here, this German apple cake recipe has warmed many a kitchen. The cake is perfect for breakfast, dessert or as an evening snack. I’ve made it for many parties, and I’ve always received compliments on it. —Grace Reynolds, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
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Dutch-Oven Raisin Walnut Bread

On a cold day there is nothing better than a warm, crusty Dutch oven raisin bread filled with walnuts. —Catherine Ward, Taste of Home, Prep Kitchen Manager
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Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

These jumbo Nutella cinnamon rolls will stand alone at your next brunch. Bursting with chocolate, hazelnut, espresso and cinnamon, they will please any palate and bring to mind your favorite coffee shop bakery. —Pam Ivbuls, Elkhorn, Nebraska
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Brownie Kiss Cupcakes

It’s fun to make these individual brownie cupcakes with a chocolaty surprise inside. My goddaughter asked me to make them for her birthday to share with classmates at school. She requested 32 treats. I later found out she needed only 27. I wonder where the other five went! —Pamela Lute, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
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Gouda and Roasted Potato Bread

Our family tried roasted potato bread at a bakery on a road trip, and I came up with my own recipe when we realized we lived much too far away to have it regularly. It makes for a really amazing roast beef sandwich and also goes well with soups. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Skillet Stout Brownies

These stout brownies are so rich and fudgy. I love how quickly they come together. They're perfect for a busy weeknight. —Mandy Naglich, New York, New York
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Bacon Parmesan Popovers

This recipe proves that simple ingredients often result in the best-tasting dishes. These popovers are a nice change from ordinary toast or muffins. —Donna Gaston, Coplay, Pennsylvania
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Peanut Butter Bundt Cake

This peanut butter bundt cake with frosting is heavenly to me. I use smooth peanut butter, but crunchy would work, too. —Karen Holt, Rock Hill, South Carolina
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Bread Pudding Pie

This unique dessert is a bread pudding-pie combo. It was created by my paternal grandmother's family. They had a farm and made their own bread, which made this a low-cost dessert. — Kelly Barnes, Lexington, Indiana
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Double Butterscotch Coconut Cake

I got this recipe for coconut cake from a co-worker years ago, then I changed it up a bit by adding a family favorite: butterscotch. It’s super easy to throw together and it makes a perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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Sage-Apple Cider Bread

Who knew sage and apple cider would create such a fantastic bread? This versatile loaf that has just a hint of sweetness makes wonderful sandwiches or stuffing. —Christine Wendland, Browns Mills, New Jersey
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Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies

Although these cookies require a little extra effort, they’re worth it. I make them for every family gathering—and they never last long! —Marie Kinyon, Mason, Michigan
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Chocolate and Cherry Stromboli

This melty, chocolaty spin on stromboli is delicious for both breakfast and dessert. Serve it with a cup of coffee, and even the coldest winter day instantly feels more snug. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Cheesy Cajun Cornbread Biscotti

This savory cookie is the bestseller at our Christmas cookie bazaar. Everyone requests the tasty biscotti every year. They're simple but very delicious. I will also serve them year-round as an appetizer. —Paula Marchesi, Auburn, Pennsylvania
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Fudgy Layered Irish Mocha Brownies

My husband and I are big fans of Irish cream, so I wanted to incorporate it into a brownie. I started with my mom's brownie recipe, then added frosting and ganache. These decadent treats are the result, and we really enjoy them! —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Josh’s Marbled Rye Bread

This impressive marble rye bread may look like it would be difficult to make, but it’s actually quite easy! The flavors of the bread are mild yet satisfying. And I enjoy eating it with just a simple spread of butter or on a hearty sandwich loaded with my favorite fixings. —Josh Rink, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Red Velvet Pound Cake

This delicious red velvet pound cake is the perfect combination of flavors. Make sure the cake has cooled before icing it, and for extra crunch sprinkle some roasted pecans on top. —Robin Smith, Old Fort, North Carolina
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Skillet Cinnamon Rolls

I love using cast iron to get a nice crust on these skillet cinnamon rolls! The pan also makes an impressive serving dish on the table without it looking as if you tried too hard. —Danielle Williams, Newport, Rhode Island
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Mini Chocolate Cakes with Caramelized Bananas

This was one of my first times spreading my wings with a recipe and trying to go a bit fancy. This is a breeze to make and a delight to serve. The recipe may look intimidating but after you try it once, you'll have it down pat. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Chai-Spiced Bread Pudding

Nothing says the holidays to me more than the warming spices of chai. This bread pudding incorporates those flavors to make a dessert that everyone raves about. —Jessie Apfe, Berkeley, California
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Fudgy Mint Cookies

Chocolate lovers will get a double dose when they bite into this cakelike cookie. The cookies are especially popular served alongside a big scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream! —Renee Schwebach, Dumont, Minnesota
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Mexican Chocolate Walnut-Cherry Biscotti

I love to combine flavors and spices from different cultures. These cookies have ground cinnamon in them, which is a classic flavor in Mexican chocolate. They are very crunchy and are loaded with maraschino cherries and toasted walnuts. —Nancy C. Evans, Phoenix, Arizona
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RumChata Cheesecake

I like to experiment and make new and unusual-flavored cheesecakes. When I tried RumChata at a friend's party, I knew it would make a great cheesecake. For a pretty presentation, drizzle it with caramel syrup or topping, or sprinkle on some toasted coconut. —Christine Talley, Hillsboro, Missouri
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Cast-Iron Apple Nutmeg Coffee Cake

I'm not a great baker, but I do love coffee. In an effort to practice my baking, I use up the morning's last bit of coffee to make this cake—literally. It is super moist and crumbly, and tastes as if you dunked your cake right into a cup of hot joe. —Darla Andrews, Schertz, Texas
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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm one of the cooking project leaders for my daughter's 4-H club, where these soft, delicious cookies were a huge hit with the kids. —Marietta Slater, Augusta, Kansas
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Big Soft Ginger Cookies

These nicely spiced, big soft ginger cookies are perfect for folks who like the flavor of ginger but don't care for crunchy gingersnaps. —Barbara Gray, Boise, Idaho
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Cran-Apple Pecan Crisp

Even folks who claim not to like cranberries rave about this dish. I cherish the recipe from my mother, who inspired my love of cooking. —Debbie Daly, Florence, Kentucky
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Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A pleasingly moist cake, this treat is the one I requested that my mom make each year for my birthday. It's dotted with sweet carrots and a hint of cinnamon. The fluffy buttery frosting is scrumptious with chopped walnuts stirred in. One piece of this carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is never enough—it's better than all the other carrot cakes I've tried! —Kim Orr, West Grove, Pennsylvania
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Chocolate Pecan Skillet Cookie

Bake up the ultimate shareable cookie. For variety, swap out the chocolate chips for an equal quantity of M&M's or chocolate chunks. Or go super fancy by mixing the chocolate chips and pecans into the dough, then gently folding in 1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries. —James Schend, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Banana Bread

Whenever I pass a display of bananas in the grocery store, I can almost smell the wonderful aroma of my best banana bread recipe. It really is amazingly good! —Gert Kaiser, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Chai Mini Loaves

This bread is irresistible! A friend gets mad when I make it because I give her a loaf and she can't help but eat the whole thing! —Lisa Christensen, Poplar Grove, Illinois
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Ginger-Walnut Tube Cake

My husband, Ken, loves this tube cake with its bits of crystallized ginger. Feel free to drizzle it with a lemony glaze. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, NJ
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Cranberry Pecan Cookies

These are so tasty and simple to prepare! Each delightful little cookie is loaded with cranberries, nuts and vanilla, giving them the taste of a treat that’s been slaved over. —Louise Hawkins, Lubbock, Texas
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Triple-Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Santa is sure to stop by your house if you leave these minty triple-chocolate peppermint cookies waiting for him. They're quick and easy for the whole family to make together. —Teresa Ralston, New Albany, Ohio
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Buttermilk Pecan Pie

This is the treasured "golden oldie" that my grandmother made so often whenever we'd come to visit. Grandma grew her own pecans, and we never tired of cracking them and picking out the meat when we knew we'd be treated to her special pie! —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
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Warm Chocolate Melting Cups

These little cakes have become a favorite of our guests. They are always surprised that such a chocolaty dessert is so light­—less than 200 calories apiece! —Kissa Vaughn, Troy, Texas
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Eggnog Bread Pudding with Cranberries

My parents love this bread pudding loaded with cranberries and pecans – and it uses up leftover dinner rolls. For eggnog lovers, it makes a divine dessert. —Emily Hobbs, Springfield, Missouri