7 Oven-Baked Desserts to Kick the Cold

Winter’s wrath is preparing to wreck havoc across the country yet again, which is the perfect time to bake up a storm. Baking will not only heat up your home, but fill it with that delicious fresh-from-the-oven scent. Keep your kitchens and yourself hot with these seven recipes.

Praline Pull-Apart Bread

Southern Living’s Praline Pull-Apart Bread is the perfect sticky-sweet food for your brunch table. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to prep — the dough needs to be chilled in the freezer for 8 to 18 hours.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 (2-pound) package frozen bread roll dough
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar

Directions: Stir together granulated sugar and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon. Coat each roll in butter; dredge rolls in sugar mixture. Arrange in a lightly greased 10-inch tube pan; sprinkle with pecans. Cover and chill 8 to 18 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; stir in brown sugar and remaining 1 tsp. cinnamon. Pour mixture over dough. Place pan on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes; invert onto a serving plate, and drizzle with any remaining glaze in pan.

Chocolate Dessert, cake

Source: iStock


Molten Chocolate Cakes

The oven won’t be on too long for the Molten Chocolate Cakes from Food & Wine, but they are served immediately after baking, and the gooey chocolate centers will easily warm your spirits. It yields 4, six ounce cakes.


  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and lightly flour four 6-ounce ramekins. Tap out the excess flour. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet. In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the egg yolks, sugar and salt at high speed until thickened and pale.

Whisk the chocolate until smooth. Quickly fold it into the egg mixture along with the flour. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and bake for 12 minutes, or until the sides of the cakes are firm but the centers are soft. Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 1 minute, then cover each with an inverted dessert plate. Carefully turn each one over, let stand for 10 seconds and then unmold. Serve immediately.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock


Spiced Oat and Pear Blondies

Most pears are in-season during the winter, and this blondie recipe from Bon Appétit is a delectable way to use the fruit’s flavor. The topping needs to be chilled, and may be prepared ahead of the rest of the recipe.



  • ⅓ cup cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cup old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoon tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1½ cups cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoon teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1¾ cups cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cups (¼-inch) cubes cored peeled firm pears (such as Bosc or Bartlett; about 2 large)
  • Powdered sugar (optional)
Directions: To make the topping, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in butter until moist crumbs form and no dry flour remains. Cover and chill. Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
For the blondies, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 13 by 9 by 2 baking dish with nonstick spray; set aside. Stir butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until melted, deep golden brown, and dark brown bits form at the bottom of pan (do not burn), 7 to 8 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl; let brown butter cool slightly.
Whisk flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Whisk brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in another large bowl until mixture is smooth. Slowly stream brown butter into brown sugar mixture, whisking constantly; whisk until well blended. Add pears to dry ingredients; toss to coat. Stir into brown sugar mixture (batter will be thick). Using a spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth top. Scatter chilled topping over batter.
Bake blondie until golden brown, edges pull away from sides of pan, and a tester inserted into the center comes out almost clean, with a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let blondie cool completely in pan. Cut blondie into squares. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving, if desired.
Meringue, toasted, marshmallow, topping, pie

Source: iStock


Sweet Potato Cake

You’ll heat up twice as much with Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, because the sweet potatoes need to be roasted before baking. Want even more heat? Pipe dollops of the marshmallow frosting onto the cake, and toast the tops with a kitchen torch.



  • 1½ pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 to 3 medium or 2 large)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (more to taste) ground ginger
  • 2 pinches (more to taste) ground cloves
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract2 large eggs


  • 3 large egg whites
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: To roast the sweet potatoes, heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prick potatoes all over with a fork. Rest on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning once or twice, until soft. Let cool completely. Can be kept in fridge for up to 3 days if baked in advance.

For the cake, heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of an 8- to 9-inch square pan with parchment paper, then butter the paper and sides of the pan.

Peel cooled sweet potatoes and run flesh through a potato ricer, or mash until very smooth.Measure 1½ packed cups (about 12 to 13 ounces) from sweet potato mash; you may have a little extra, which you should warm up with a pat of butter and sprinkle of sea salt and not share with anyone.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until just combined. Mix in sweet potato puree, then stir in dry ingredients just until they disappear.

Spread batter in prepared pan, and bake cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cake rest in pan for 5 minutes on a cooling rack, then invert onto cooling rack, and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, Place egg whites, granulated sugar, a pinch of salt and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Whisk mixture for 3 minutes, until whites are warmed and sugar granules feels mostly dissolved. Remove bowl from top of saucepan, then, with an electric mixer, beat egg white mixture on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 to 7 minutes longer. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Frost cooled cake as desired.

Bread Pudding, French Toast Casserole

Source: iStock

Banana Raisin Bread Pudding

Challah is a traditional Jewish bread made with eggs, and braided before baking–and probably isn’t an ingredient you have on hand. Although it is what was used in Martha Stewart’s recipe, a number of other breads can be substituted. White sandwich bread or Italian bread will work just as well. Brioche is another potential substitute because it also has a rich flavor profile.


  • Butter, room temperature, for baking dish
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • 12 ounces challah bread, cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 3 bananas, sliced 1 inch think on the diagonal
  • ½ cup raisins

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack set in lower third. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, salt, and ½ cup sugar until combined; whisk in milk. Add bread, bananas, and raisins; toss gently to combine. Set aside to let bread absorb liquid, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish; sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of bread pudding comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Mexican Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies

A kick of heat is exactly what any winter’s day needs. Inspired by Mexican hot chocolate, Wishful Chef whipped up these cookies which are a blast of flavor and a twist on the traditional chocolate chip cookie. It yields about 2 dozen cookies.


  • 3 ounces unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • 3 ounces good quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a microwave or double-broiler, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on low heat and stir on and off until smooth. Cool mixture to room temperature. In a bowl, mix brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until smooth. Stir in the chocolate mixture. In another bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ancho chili, baking soda, salt and cayenne pepper. Add the dry ingredients to the wet batter and mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop dough into heaping tablespoon sized balls onto a parchment or silpat-lined sheet pan. Leave about 2 inches spaced between each cookie. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Place cookies on cooling rack before serving, about 10 minutes. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days but best eaten on the day they were baked.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Easy Batter Fruit Cobbler

It may be winter outside, but the sweltering days of summer are only a bite away with this recipe. Heat up your home with All Recipes’ cobbler, which uses fresh or frozen fruit.


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 cups of sliced fresh peaches or nectarines, or whole blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a combination of fruits (or a 12-ounce package of frozen berries)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Directions: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, and heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Put butter in an 8-inch square or 9-inch round pan; set in oven to melt. When butter has melted, remove pan from oven. Whisk flour, ¾ cup of sugar, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Add milk; whisk to form a smooth batter. Pour batter into pan, then scatter fruit over batter. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Bake until batter browns and fruit bubbles, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

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