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Sep 16, 2013 11:31 AM

One bowl baking

I just had a baby and it seems like we have tons of visitors at 3/4pm. I like to have tea/coffee at that time and something baked (banana bread, coffee cake, etc.). I need help finding easy 1 bowl breads/cakes. By 1 bowl I mean I will only dirty 1 bowl. So many baked goods require you to mix wet/ dry separately or have a stand mixer. I'm looking for easy easy baked goods recipes. Any suggestions?

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  1. I try to bake one-bowl whenever possible. I melt butter or virgin coconut oil, cool slightly, then whisk in room-temperature eggs and any other liquid ingredients, plus sugars. Then I dump in the flour and put other powdered dry ingredients atop it, tossing them in with a fork before mixing the whole thing together with a wooden spoon. This works fine for quickbreads, brownies, muffins, and the like. I like crisp cookies, not cakey ones, so melting the shortening works for that style.

    Other than for cookies, I would encourage you to bake in muffin or mini-muffin tins. It's quicker. If you do not already have spring-release ice cream scoops, they make filling the wells neater (no drips) and assure uniform portioning.

    1. Some recipes for 'crazy cake' call for mixing the dry ingredients, making 3 wells in the mix, and pouring vinegar in one, vanilla in another, oil in the third, and finally adding the water and mixing.

      With conventional quick bread (muffin) recipes, the main reason for using two bowls is to mix the eggs well with the other liquid. Two bowls are make it easier to combine semisolid ingredients like pumpkin puree and shortening. But in a pinch you could just dump the eggs, milk, and oil directly on to the dry ingredients, and mix a little more vigorously.

      I listed oil because that would entail less cleanup than melting butter.

      Frankly I thinking using two large mixing bowls is less effort. Mixing will be so much easier, and more than make up for the extra work of washing the 2nd bowl.

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj

        I melt butter in the microwave in the same bowl I'm using for everything. I lay the wrapper from the butter atop the stick as it melts on low power, so it contains any butter that spatters.

      2. Baker's One Bowl Brownies. Doesn't get much easier.


        But while it is very nice of you, with a new baby I would not worry about serving food to your guests!

        5 Replies
        1. re: valerie

          I agree - they should be bringing the traditional food gifts to you.

          1. re: valerie

            I know. I know. It's so funny. People bring gifts for baby but no food. Maybe it's a NYC thing?! Oh the other night I had girlfriends over and they did bring much needed wine and we ordered in.

            1. re: NYCTX2001

              Must be something in the NYC air. I was in the same boat!

              I made coffee cakes. (Make a triple recipe of the crumble). Use the same bowl for the batter. Freeze the extra portions of crumble - that way you only have to make the batter next time.

              Brownies. Chocolate chip cookies. Smitten kitchen buttermilk cake. Nutella/banana turnovers. Apple crisp.

              1. re: NYCTX2001

                There are some great options from freshdirect.com if you are not ambitious/too exhausted/can't deal. Their blondies and brownies were a pleasant surprise!

              2. re: valerie

                This brownie recipe does not include baking powder or soda. That's the main dry ingredient that you want to mix uniformly with the flour (as opposed to the liquids). Without that, simply adding the flour to the wet works. Self-rising flour could also be used this way. Sugar (when not creamed with the butter) can be added directly to the wet, as can salt. Spices like cinnamon are better mixed with the dry.

                Melting butter and chocolate in the microwave with a large glass bowl works. But it won't with a steel bowl. Steel, though can be used over boiling water (double boiler style), or possibly an induction burner.

              3. Buy Rhodes frozen bake & serve dinner rolls. Take a dozen out of the bag. Keep the rest frozen for next time. Roll each ball in melted butter, then a mix of cinnamon and sugar. Place in a greased funnel pan, put in a warm place to rise and then bake. Rinse out the dish and use it to make a drizzle of powered sugar, water and a dash of vanilla and drizzle over the rolls. Instant pull-apart cinnamon rolls, with almost no work.

                1. I think most quick bread and cake recipes can be made in one bowl so long as you don't have to whip eggs to a certain peak or melt chocolate. I generally limit my baking to one bowl and measuring cup. Although I use a lot of spoons...