13 Simple Cake Recipes for Every Baker

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Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

While today's carrot cake is definitely American, the origins date back to medieval palaces where a sweet carrot pudding was made.

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Chocolate chip cookies

Sure, you can buy a packet, but nothing beats the taste of a homemade cookie. Our top tips? Buy good-quality chocolate; allow the cookie dough to firm up for a few hours in the fridge before baking

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Madeleines

Madeleines are popular all over France, from where these moreish little cakes originate. They're known for their signature shell shape so you'll need a special tin, but beyond needing this basic piece of kit, they are simple to make,

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New York cheesecake

It's unclear who actually invented the baked cheesecake, but many accounts point to Arnold Reuben, a Jewish-German immigrant who owned a Manhattan deli and restaurant in the 1920s.

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Apple pie

It's better to use cooking apples for pie, as they become soft and fluffy in the oven. Our easy and tasty version is for a skillet or cast-iron frying-pan pie, where the apples are cooked in butter and cinnamon on the stovetop

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Lemon drizzle cake

Everyone loves a lemon drizzle, which dates back to the 1960s, with its mix of sweetness and tart, lemony acidity, with a welcome crunch from the drizzle. It's an easy cake to make and will keep for up to three days in an airtight container

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Chocolate brownies

A proper brownie has to be dense, intensely chocolatey, gooey and fudgy. Our ultimate brownie recipe has just five ingredients and is very simple to make. As a bonus, they taste amazing the day after baking

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Strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake is always a popular dish to serve in summer. It does need to be eaten warm from the oven, but you can prep ahead and keep the cut-out unbaked dough in the fridge for up to two hours before baking.

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Blueberry muffins

Better than anything you'd buy, homemade muffins hit the spot as an afternoon pick-me-up or a special weekend breakfast treat. A simple batter with added blueberries takes minutes to make.

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Bundt cake

Bundt refers to the tin it's baked in, rather than the cake. Its origins are in Germany, but it became popular in the US at the beginning of the 20th century. A bundt cake certainly bring wow factor to the table.

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Macarons

These gorgeous little bites of almond meringue with a creamy filling have been popular in France for centuries, way before chic French pâtisseries jumped on them. They are very expensive to buy

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Pineapple upside-down cake

This classic cake became popular in the US in the 1920s when a pineapple company ran a recipe competition. Here's our updated version with fresh pineapple, cooked in sticky caramel.

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Victoria sponge

A cake which has been around since the reign of Queen Victoria (and named after her), it's still an easy and much-loved treat today. Two light, airy sponge cakes are sandwiched together with raspberry jam and whipped cream

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