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9 Baking Recipes that are Perfect for the Summer, Recommended by Editors

Cookies, muffins, and tarts are the sweet and jammy treats to bake during the summer months

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By Bon Appetit US | October 26, 2023 | Recipes

June is an underrated month for baking. Sure, it’s warm and turning on your oven can feel out of season. But with plenty of early summer fruit to revel in, like sun-kissed strawberries or pick-your-own blueberries, possibilities for sweet treats abound. Here’s what our staff has been whipping up this first month of the summer—from fluffy sponge cake to golden berry galettes. It’s worth heating up your kitchen for these stunners.

One-bowl blueberry cake

A fruit stand upsold me on blueberry pints, and I pondered in dread whether all three would mold before I could do anything about it. I was not in the mood to do some elaborate project or buy other groceries that would also inevitably spoil—and then I remembered this one-bowl blueberry muffin cake. Squishy, not too sweet, and with a crackly granola top, this is a recipe that I know will be a go-to. And to all the reviews that are aghast at one cup of oil: How do you think a snacking cake stays moist for several days? Oil! Don’t be afraid of oil in baked goods. Oil is your friend. —Serena Dai, editorial director

One-bowl blueberry cake recommended by Serena Dai, editorial director. Image via Pexels.

Gulab jamun cake

You know those recipes that you always keep stashed in your back pocket for the unexpected? Hetal Vesavada’s gulab jamun cake is one of those for me. I whip it out for potlucks and cookouts as a low-stress option when I’m asked to bring a dessert. I’ve made it so often from her cookbook that the binding is bent there and it automatically flips to its page. The cake is impressive because of the Bundt pan mold. But most of the effort is spent dumping things into a stand mixer and jamming to music while making a syrup to douse the cake in. It combines all the saffron-y, cardamom-y, rose-y fragrance you get from gulab jamun, without the effort. It’s also easier to transport. —Urmila Ramakrishnan, associate director of social media

Jammy, sweet strawberry galette

I could smell them before I saw them. In a sea of green at the farmers market, these bright red strawberries stole the show. I grabbed a carton, before I could even decide what to do with the fruit beyond eating them on the spot. Surprisingly, I was inspired to bake (a mood as rare as a solar eclipse) Christina Chaey’s Strawberry Galette, which we just published. Made with a quick-assembly crust enriched by a bit of cream cheese, and topped with some slightly sweetened strawberries, this jammy galette is a summer stunner. —Dawn Davis, editor in chief

Jammy, sweet strawberry galette recommended by Dawn Davis, Bon Appetit editor in chief. Image via Pexels.

Foolproof blondies

I’ve made these blondies from Cook’s Illustrated, via Food52, so many times. It’s hard to imagine a better landing spot for a scoop of ice cream. Thanks to melted butter, they are both enormously easy and exceedingly fudgy. You can use pecans or walnuts, white or bittersweet chocolate, or mix and match. Like every batch before it, I ended up with too many—but this is a good thing. Just stick the extras in the freezer and eat one, still cold and chewy, when you need a late-night snack. —Emma Laperruque, senior cooking editor

Light, fluffy Victoria sponge

A recent heat wave where I live in Texas meant it was way too hot to go outside in the afternoon. So what’s an antsy girl to do on a day off without plans? Bake a cake. I’d never made a Victoria Sponge Cake before and I thought it might be a bit intimidating, but Shilpa Uskokovic’s recipe made it approachable and achievable. I made a 1.5 batch for three layers instead of two since I wanted my cake to be a little extra exciting. It was perfect: light, fluffy, and not too sweet. And I’m now an instant vanilla pudding mix convert. I’ll add it to any whipped cream I make in the future. —Olivia Quintana, associate social media manager

Light, fluffy Victoria sponge reccomended by Olivia Quintana, associate social media manager. Image via Pexels.

Centerpiece blueberry pie

A few years ago, I gifted my mom a gorgeous ceramic pie dish for Mother’s Day. I don’t think she’s used it once, but every time I visit, I find an excuse to bake a pie. This month, it was this stunner of a blueberry pie, which I baked for a dockside family reunion. I used frozen wild blueberries instead of fresh ones in the filling, and their concentrated sweetness worked so well with the warm undertone of cinnamon. (I couldn’t tell you how much cinnamon I used: The recipe is foolproof enough that I eyeballed all the measurements.) The long bake time—we’re talking an hour and a half—allowed the crust to crisp and the filling to set to a jammy, sliceable consistency. My family dubbed this pie the star of the dessert spread, a high honor when competing with my grandma’s famous lemon squares. —Zoe Denenberg, associate cooking & SEO editor

Brown butter chocolate chip cookies

I have always been more of a cake baker than a cookie baker, but after seeing a whole bunch of cookie videos on TikTok, I had quite a craving. I turned to these brown butter chocolate chip cookies and they did not disappoint. They were easy enough to whip up after work, had the ideal crisp-to-chewy texture, and did not require any special equipment. And the brown butter definitely added a caramelly, toasty oomph. It’s my new go-to cookie recipe for whenever I need some chocolate chips in my life. —O.Q.

Brown butter chocolate chip cookies. Image via Pexels.

Eight-year-old-approved birthday cake

This isn’t a story about me baking this cake and it being incredible. Don’t get me wrong, I did and it was. This is, in fact, a story about me actually following the recipe for this cake instead of trying to mess with it like I have every other time I’ve made it. My kids’ birthdays follow a familiar pattern in which for weeks they wrestle with the existential question of whether they want chocolate or vanilla. My eight-year-old became so overwhelmed with the choice that he decided he didn’t want anything at all. So I made chocolate, and rather than use melted butter or olive oil, as I have many times with this cake, loudly proclaiming (even though nobody listens) that I prefer to use fats with flavor in my baking, I used the neutral vegetable oil it calls for. It was light, the most tender it has ever been, and with a thumping bass of chocolate flavor rattling my taste buds. It was easy enough to make on a Monday night at 6 p.m. and be eating it by 8 p.m. Don’t get me wrong—I devised my own ganache-inspired chocolate glaze rather than make the frosting in the recipe. But there is always next year. —Chris Morocco, food director

Moist, tangy vanilla cake recommended by Carly Westerfield, recipe production assistant. Image via Pexels.

Moist, tangy vanilla cake

A cake is a cake is a cake—right? That’s what I thought before I baked this no-mixer vanilla cake. When making it, you’re probably going to think at least once that you’re doing it wrong. You’re not. The method is counterintuitive, if intuitive baking is even a thing. But the result is the most moist, delightfully tangy cake I’ve ever baked. The frosting is cream-cheese-based, which cuts the sweetness of the cake itself beautifully. And between the layers is a vibrant pink smear of frosting that gets its color from pulverized freeze-dried raspberries. I’ve lost track of the number of pastry chefs I’ve made it for who have begged me for the recipe, as if I personally had something to do with its genius. I can’t take any credit. But I will happily revel in its existence. —Carly Westerfield, recipe production assistant

Eight-year-old-approved birthday cake recommended by Chris Morocco, food director. Image via Pexels.