Learn About Baked Goods

We’ve divided up baked goods into easy-to-navigate categories so you can learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know, whether it’s exploring different types of cookies, cakes or puddings; finding tips for making the best yeast breads and pies; understanding the role ingredients play in candy-making and ice cream custards, or finding solutions to common baking problems. It’s all here!

If you ever have a question, come talk to us and other members in the CraftyBaking Community. We would love to help! 

Bread
There’s nothing like taking a loaf of fresh yeast bread out of the oven. Just the enticing scent alone makes one of the world’s most celebrated foods worth baking! From a handful of ingredients—at its most basic flour, yeast, water, and salt—to the finished product, learn all about the stages of bread baking here, including how to store your prized loaf. But some breads do not have yeast, such as flatbreads, and they, too, are discussed here.

Cakes
Layer cakes, cupcakes, snack cakes, roulades, and even cheesecakes—the cake category is vast. Most cakes are often classified into two categories: whether they contain fat, such as butter or oil (shortened cakes) or whether they contain little or no fat (unshortened or foam cakes). Find out more here about types of cakes, the ingredients used to make them, and plenty of tips for success.

Candy
Candy and confections range from chewy nougat and pralines to fudge, caramel, and toffee. The thing they share in common is sugar, and how that sugar is handled determines the category that candies fall into. There are essentially two categories of candies: crystalline or non-crystalline. Candies that are crystalline contain crystals in their finished form, like nougat and fudge, where as noncrystalline candies don’t contain crystals (think lollipops and caramels). 

Chocolate Confections
Chocolate is one of the most beloved ingredients in baking, and a true passion for many of us, especially when it comes to candy and confections. From cocoa to milk chocolate to bittersweet, understanding the different types of chocolate and when and how to use them can make or break your finished product. Find all this, along with how to melt and temper chocolate, and plenty of tips for success here.

Cookies
Whether you call them “cookies,” “biscuits,” or even “koekje,” cookies are loved the world over. They can be dropped, sliced, molded, rolled and cut, baked into bars, sandwiched with fillings, and decorated with colorful icings. They can range from simple to elaborate, an after-school snack or essential to your family’s holiday traditions.

Custard
Custards are thick, rich, creamy desserts typically made from eggs and milk or cream. They can be sweet or savory and flavored loads of different ways. Made on the stovetop or baked, they range from cheesecake and flan to ice cream, pastry cream, and even lemon curd. 

Frosting, Icings, etc
Frostings, icings, fillings, buttercreams, and glazes all add a finishing touch to our baked goods, whether you are covering a carrot cake with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting, pouring chocolate glaze over a custard-filled layer cake, or coating cookies with lemon icing. Frostings, icings and buttercream are not only used to finish a dish but can be used as filling along with curds, custards, jam and whipped cream. Read more about the different types and when and how to use them here.

Frozen Desserts
Is there anything better than a big scoop of creamy ice cream on a hot summer’s day? While ice cream might be the hands-down favorite, frozen desserts, in myriad forms—from gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbet and granita to semifreddo, frozen soufflés, and ice cream cakes, pies, and sandwiches—capture our hearts. Better yet, the flavors of frozen desserts are limited only by our imagination.

Gluten-Free
From pies to pastries, cookies to cakes, any baked good can be made gluten-free if you know what ingredients are available, understand techniques specific to this type of baking, and have great recipes at your disposal. 

Pastry
From the simplest pie and tart dough to more complex laminated doughs like croissant, Danish, puff, and phyllo, this is a broad category of bread-type baked goods that can be sweet or savory. Although they share a brief list of ingredients—flour, some kind of fat, water or another liquid, and often, salt—they can be intimidating in technique. We’ll show you the ins and outs so you can master this delicious category.

Pies and Tarts
Buttery, flaky, toothsome, tender, crisp: these are all words that can describe the most ethereal pie or tart crust. This relatively thin dough is used to envelope a sweet or savory filling and can take many different forms—lattice-topped double crust pies, hand pies, open-faced fresh fruit tarts, crostatas to name a few. Learn more about the variety within this category as well as ingredients, thickeners, toppings, and how to troubleshoot.

Pudding
The word “pudding” can be used to describe a whole range of sweet and savory dishes, from soft and smooth chocolate pudding and frothy citrus mousse to eggy bread pudding and cake-like steamed Christmas pudding. They are generally divided into types based on how they are prepared: baked, boiled, steamed, or chilled. Find out more about the variety of puddings here.

Quick-Breads
Berry muffins, banana bread, streusel-topped coffeecake, cinnamon-sugar doughnuts, and flaky buttermilk biscuits...what do these all have in common? They are quick breads, or baked goods that have a bread- or cake-like consistency and rely upon chemical leaveners such as baking soda and baking powder—rather than yeast—for their rise.

Special Diets
Whether you need delicious baking recipes that are dairy-free, egg-free, or low in sugar or fat, we’ve got you covered. Find out all about special diet baking and baked goods here.

Wedding Cakes
Traditionally, wedding cakes are elaborately decorated and tiered multi-layer cakes made to celebrate the big day. However, today some couples are breaking tradition, and serving all sorts of special desserts, from tiers of cupcakes, platters of beautiful cookies, or even displays of chocolate, fruit, and/or cheese. Find out everything you need to know about putting together a wedding cake—from simple to spectacular—as well as guidance on alternative treats for weddings.

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