#SisterhoodatHome Gamma Phi Beta Baking Challenge

Week 1 : Loaf Cake

Clockwise from top left:

  • 4 medium bananas (20 ounces; 565g), ripe but not fully black
  • 4 ounces plain Greek yogurt (1/2 cup; 115g), preferably nonfat
  • 2 large eggs, straight from the fridge
  • 1/2 ounce vanilla extract (1 tablespoon; 15g)
  • 10 ounces all-purpose flour (2 cups; 280g)
  • 5 1/4 ounces sugar (3/4 cup; 150g), preferably toasted
  • 3 ounces oat flour (3/4 cup; 85g), such as Bob's Red Mill (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg
  • 5 1/4 ounces coconut oil, virgin or refined (3/4 cup; 150g), creamy but firm, about 70°F
  • 6 Reese’s peanut butter cups
  1. Line a 10 1/2– by 5 1/2–inch loaf pan with a 9- by 13-inch sheet of parchment paper, or two 9- by 5-inch loaf pans with 7- by 13-inch sheets of parchment paper. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350°F. Peel bananas (for roughly 12 ounces or 340g fruit) and mash with Greek yogurt, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl. If bananas are underripe, cover bowl with plastic and let mixture stand 30 minutes.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and coconut oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low until coconut oil disappears into a mealy powder. Add banana mash and continue mixing only until the floury bits disappear. Fold in peanut butter cups with a flexible spatula, scrape into prepared pan(s), and spread into an even layer. Bake until well risen and golden brown, or to an internal temperature of around 206°F (about 70 minutes for a large loaf or 45 for small). Wrapped tightly in foil, banana bread will keep up to 3 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge.
Adapted from Serious Eats
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 small very ripe bananas mashed (approx. 400g total weight with skins on)
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF and get started on the rest.
  2. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the peeled and mashed bananas.
  4. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the almonds and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit. Scrape into a loaf tin (9 x 5 x 3 inches) and bake in the middle of the oven for 1-1¼ hours.
  5. When it's ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe
  • 1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
Lemon Glaze:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper or lightly grease with butter.In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set Aside.
  2. In bowl of an electric mixer, blend together melted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix until well combined.
  3. While slowly mixing, add flour and milk in two batches (some flour then some milk) Stop mixing as soon as combined.
  4. Rinse off blueberries (if using fresh) so they have just a bit of moisture of them, then in a small bowl toss in 1 Tablespoon on flour. The flour coating will help prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of your loaf. Gently stir into mixture, by hand.
  5. Immediately pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 30 minutes, then move to a wire rack with a baking sheet below (to catch the glaze you’re about to add).
  6. Prepare glaze by simply whisking ingredients together. Pour or spoon glaze over bread, allow to set for a few minutes and enjoy!

Week 2: Cookies

Clockwise from top left:


  •  2 cups+ 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  •  ½ teaspoon baking soda
  •  ½ teaspoon salt
  •  12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  •  1 cup light or dark brown sugar
  •  ½ cup granulated sugar
  •  1 egg
  •  1 egg yolk
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  cups semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Roll a scant ¼ cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough's uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2½ inches apart.
  5. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown and the outer edges start to set, yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets. Once cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. These can also be wrapped in plastic wrap, placed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 2 months.
(recipe from Brown Eyed Baker)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 chai tea packet
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray the baking sheet with cooking spray
  2. Using a mixer beat the butter in a large bowl on medium speed for about one minute. Add the vegetable oil and mix it in. Add the granulated sugar, powdered sugar, egg, vanilla, and chai tea packet. Beat these on medium until ingredients are fully incorporated. Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Since the dough will be soft, refrigerate the dough for 1 hour or freeze for 15 minutes.
  4. Use 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie and press the dough evenly with fingers to 1/4-inch thickness.
  5. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool.
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons eggnog
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and put on top of cooled cookies. For more of a glaze, add more eggnog or some milk. Sprinkle some cinnamon over the icing at the end.
  2. One batch makes about 2 dozen cookies, so you could eat them all yourself (I would highly recommend this) or share them with your family and friends!
(recipe from Taylor Swift)
  • 1⁄2 pound butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 3⁄4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1⁄4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 1⁄4 cups flour
  • 1⁄2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 2 2⁄3 cups Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 3⁄4 cups chopped walnuts
  1. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl.
  3. With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Don’t overmix.
  4. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  5. Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart.
  6. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.
  7. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour.
Cook’s note: You can freeze the unbaked cookies, and there’s no need to thaw. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and place frozen cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.


  • ½ cups butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  •  teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Or cover with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice. Scrape sides and mix again.
  3. Stir in flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder slowly until just combined. Scrape sides of the bowl and mix again briefly.
  4. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
(recipe from Lauren's Latest)
Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies reflect the Texas background of President and First Lady Bush and take their name from the President’s term as the state’s governor. In the Lone Star tradition that everything is large, these cookies are also huge in flavor. Bursting with the delectable combination of chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut, they defy anyone’s intention to eat only one! Ingredients:
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon ( I OMIT THIS!)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 ½ cups of Butter (3 sticks) at Room Temperature
  • 1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 ½ cups Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 3 Cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 3 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 2 Cups Sweetened Flake Coconut
  • 2 Cups Chopped Pecans (8 ounces)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, and Salt in a bowl.
  3. In an 8-quart bowl (I use a Stand Mixer), beat butter on medium speed for 1 minute until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in sugars to combine for 2 minutes. Add Eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in Vanilla. Stir in Flour Mixture until just combined. Add Chocolate Chips, Oats, Coconut and pecans.
  4. Drop ¼ Cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3” apart. Bake 17-29 until edges are lightly browned, rotate sheets halfway through (aprox. 10 min). Remove Cookies to a rack to cool. For 6 dozen smaller cookies, use 2 Tablespoons dough for each, baking at 350 for 15-18 minutes.
I’ve also substituted dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, and macadamia nuts and called them Island Girls! Enjoy this recipe!
  • 1 cup peanut butter (smooth, opt for something like jiff or skippy over a nicer brand)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Scoop 1 tbl spoon size ball of dough onto a lined baking sheet. Use a fork to press down on each mound.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let cool on sheet to help set. Enjoy!

Week 3: Childhood Favorites

From left to right:

  • Graham Crackers
  • Mashmallows
  • Milk Chocolate Bars
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Assemble graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows.
  3. Bake for 3-5 minutes.  
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 T cocoa
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 2 cups water
  1. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a bundt cake form. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 
Ingredients for Crust:
  • 1 ½ Cups Graham Cracker Cookie Crumbs
  • ¼ Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Melted Butter
Ingredients for Topping:
  • 8 oz. Crème Cheese
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Milk
  • 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 2-4 Serving Packages of Jello Instant Pudding (I LOVE CHOCOLATE!)
  • 3 ½ Cups COLD Milk
  1. Combine Crumbs, ¼ Cup Sugar and Melted Butter Press firmly into 13x9 pan and chill 5 minutes or for firmer crust bake at 375 for 8 minutes and cool completely.
  2. Beat Cream Cheese with sugar and milk until smooth. Fold in ½ of Cool Whip. Spread evenly over crust. Prepare pudding as directed using 3 ½ cups COLD Milk. Pour over Crème Cheese layer and chill for several hours or overnight. Spread remaining cool whip over pudding.
Serves 12 in squares. **This was my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE dessert as a child. When my parents moved to Australia when I was in College, my mom hand wrote recipe cards for my sister and me to make our favorites for each other. On this recipe card she’s written….”This is Cidnie’s favorite and will always be a special memory of her childhood xoxo Mom”.**

Week 4: Bundt Cakes

From left to right:

CAKE Ingredients
  • 3 medium-size ripe bananas, or 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1 package (18.5 ounces) plain butter recipe golden cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • ½ cup light or dark rum
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
GLAZE Ingredients
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light or dark rum
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust it with flour. Shake out the excess flour.
  2. Peel bananas and place them in a large mixing bowl. Beat bananas with an electric mixer on low speed until mashed. Add cake mix, pudding mix, ½ cup of rum, ½ cup of water, and the oil, vanilla and eggs to the bananas. Beat on low speed until ingredients are combined, 1 minute. Stop. Scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined.
  3. Pour the batter in the prepared Bundt pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula.
  4. Bake the cake until it is just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer the Bundt pan to a wire rack and let cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Make the glaze:
  5. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, rum and water. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture boils, 3 to 4 minutes. Let glaze boil and continue stirring until it thickens, about 3 minutes longer.
  6. Remove saucepan from the heat and set the glaze aside to cool 10 minutes.
  7. Run a long, sharp knife around the edges of the cake, shake pan gently, and invert the cake onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool 10 minutes longer, then place it on a cake plate with raised sides.
  8. Using a long wooden skewer, poke 12 to 16 holes in the top of the cake and slowly spoon the warm glaze over warm cake. Keep spooning until most of the glaze is absorbed (see note below). Let the cake cool to room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes, then slice it and serve.
note: This makes a generous amount of glaze, and the glaze contributes to the moist and flavorful cake. But if you like, spoon only half of the glaze over the cake and save the other half to reheat gently and spoon over the cake slices when serving them with ice cream. Store: Wrapped in foil or plastic wrap or placed in a cake saver, store at room temperature for up to 5 days. Freeze, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Let the cake thaw overnight on the counter before serving. ** Recipe Source: The Cake Doctor RETURNS **
Cake Ingredients
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 c. boiling water
  • 3/4 c. Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus extra for pan
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 c. walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 c. (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pan
Glaze Ingredients
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. water
  1. To prepare cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess. Place bittersweet chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Add boiling water, whisk until smooth, cool to room temperature and reserve.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, walnuts (or pecans), powdered sugar and salt and reserve.
  3. In a large measuring cup, whisk together eggs and vanilla extract and reserve.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add egg mixture and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. Add chocolate mixture and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth batter with a rubber spatula and bake until edges are beginning to pull away from pan, about 45 minutes; do not overbake (do not use a cake tester, toothpick or skewer to test the cake).
  6. Remove to a wire rack and cool, upright, for 1 1/2 hours. Invert cake onto serving plate and cool completely, at least 2 hours.
To prepare glaze: Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine cream, granulated sugar and water and bring to a boil. Pour liquid over chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds. Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, gently stir chocolate and cream together in small circles, starting at center of bowl and working your way out in increasingly larger concentric circles. Leave glaze at room temperature until it thickens just enough to pour in a ribbon, about 20 minutes. Drizzle glaze over cake and let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Week 5: Pie (coming soon)

Clockwise from top left:

Week 6: Breakfast Baking (coming soon)

Clockwise from top left:

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