During the depths of winter, I revel in the hours I spend baking in the kitchen, appreciating the great indoors. (Can you tell I’m not a skier?) Naturally, this month there will be plenty of chocolate for Valentine’s Day (or, realistically, just because it’s a Tuesday), but I’m also seeking comfort in the form of carbs — including warm, cheesy dinners and bright, bold flavors reminiscent of sunnier destinations. From project bakes to utilitarian weeknight dishes, here are the 14 recipes I’m most excited to bake this month.   

Old-Fashioned Coconut Cake Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Embrace the project bake, and go big with this coconut layer cake.

1) Old-Fashioned Coconut Cake  

The rich, creamy taste of coconut is incorporated into every element of Cheryl Day’s recipe: cream of coconut is the backbone of the cardamom-scented cake layers, coconut milk lends flavor to the buttercream and cake soak, and shredded coconut is plentiful in both the filling and all over the frosted cake. Adorned in a final bouquet of edible flowers, this classic Southern-style coconut cake is a comforting project bake to look forward to on a cold winter day spent indoors. 

Hot Bread Kitchen's Nan-e Barbari (Persian Flatbread) Liz Neily
Always keep pantry staples like flour and yeast on hand for flatbread at a moment’s notice.

2) Nan-e Barbari  

Flatbread recipes lean on pantry staples, so when inclement weather forecasts come rolling in, you can skip the treacherous trip to the grocery store. Basic and affordable ingredients like bread flour, yeast, sugar, and oil are the building blocks of this light, chewy flatbread. Topped with seeds for crunch and flavor, this Persian classic is the perfect accompaniment to dips, spreads, and cozy soups.

Rose-Pistachio Cookies with Cherries and White Chocolate Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Baker Dawn Konofaos lovingly calls these “goddess cookies”.

3) Rose-Pistachio Cookies   

These unique vegan cookies from Dawn Konofaos are packed with mix-ins that bring pops of color, texture, and flavor. Rose extract and dried petals lend a lovely floral aroma that could rival a Valentine’s Day bouquet, while pistachios and dried cherries give these soft cookies crunch and chew.

Triple Chocolate Coffee Cake Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
There's no such thing as too much chocolate. This coffee cake is proof.

4) Triple-Chocolate Coffee Cake 

Chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and chocolate milk are the trifecta that give this Recipe of the Year-worthy coffee cake its name. It’s intensely chocolatey yet remains incredibly tender (thanks to reverse creaming) — and is just as welcome on the dessert table as it is for breakfast.  

Japanese Chocolate Milk Bread Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
Give your typical sandwich bread a sweeter spin with chocolate.

5) Chocolate Milk Bread 

The only thing better than fluffy, feathery Japanese milk bread? Chocolate Milk Bread. The lightly sweetened bread contains both chocolate chips and cocoa powder; a final showering of sparkling sugar gives it an extra crunch. Toast it, or use it as the foundation for some killer French toast. 

Maritozzi Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne
A Roman maritozzo is the epitome of simple and sublime.

6) Maritozzi 

How do you improve upon brioche buns? Do as the Romans do: Split them in half and fill to the brim with whipped cream to make a batch of maritozzi. Customize each maritozzo with an array of toppings: chocolate shavings, fruit powders, or crushed pistachios are excellent choices.  

Rustic Olive Flatbread Liz Neily
If you like focaccia, you'll love fougasse, its ancient Roman cousin.

7) Rustic Olive Flatbread 

Olive oil and Kalamata olives give this fougasse bold, briny flavor, while the decorative slits provide a striking look. It takes about two hours to come together, so it’s ideal for pre-dinner snacking. This classic flatbread is just as appropriate for a dinner party as it is a cozy night in for two.

Mochi-Stuffed Ube Crinkle Cookies Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
A cookie like no other: a soft, crinkly exterior and gooey, chewy interior.

8) Mochi-Stuffed Ube Crinkle Cookies 

Ube is the star of the show here. Ube extract and ube halaya ensure there’s plenty of fruity, coconutty flavor infused into the cookie, while also giving it its signature purple tint. A surprise is stuffed into each of these eye-catching cookies: a chewy mochi center. (Heads up: At King Arthur, we only recommend the ingredients that we, as bakers, truly love. When you buy through external links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.)  

Pull-Apart Pizza Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
If your pizza routine needs a refresh, consider this family-friendly pull-apart version.

9) Pull-Apart Pizza

As tempting as it is to order a pie from my local slice shop, a bit of planning goes a long way to save some dough and eat something even better for dinner. The flexibility of this recipe — both in what pan you decide to use and the total proofing time (which can be as short as four hours or as long as three days!) — is ideal for a satisfying weeknight dinner that comes together without much fuss or expense.

Craquelin Cream Puffs Rick Holbrook
Don't stop at the whipped cream filling for these cream puffs. Lemon curd, store-bought pudding, and pastry cream await!

10) Craquelin Cream Puffs 

Cream puffs are far less intimidating than their impressive appearance would let on, especially when topped with craquelin (crispy cookie tops). In this recipe, hibiscus tea syrup gives them a brilliant magenta hue and a burst of floral flavor. 

Pandan Chiffon Cake Shilpa Iyer
Pandan Chiffon Cake and a warm cup of tea are the perfect pairing for an afternoon pick-me-up.

11) Pandan Chiffon Cake  

A bite of this pandan chiffon cake has the power to transport you to warmer, lusher climates where the Southeast Asian leaf grows in abundance. Pandan’s elusive flavor — grassy, coconutty, and vanilla-like all at once — shines in this feather-light chiffon cake.  

Savory Wool Bread Photography by Danielle Sykes; Food Styling by Liz Neily
This Wool Roll is delightfully shaped and deceptively easy to make.

12) Savory Wool Roll Bread 

Nothing says cozy like a knitted sweater ... or a shaped bread that resembles skeins of yarn. Think of this garlic and herb-filled bread as an upgraded version of garlic bread, ready for its centerpiece spotlight.

Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake Photography by Danielle Sykes; Food Styling by Liz Neily
This Bundt cake is a chocolate lover's dream come true.

13) Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake 

A Bundt cake is a guaranteed stunner, especially when it’s glossed with ganache. This cake’s pure, unadulterated chocolate flavor is a well-loved favorite — its stellar reviews (227 five-star raves!) say it all. If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day dessert, this is an excellent choice.  

Steamed Pork Bun Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
These buns are a classic Shanghainese breakfast, but they’re great for snacking at any time of day.

14) Steamed Pork Buns (Xian Rou Bao)

Prep your steamer and get ready to pack it with these fluffy bao, which are filled with succulent ground pork seasoned with ginger and scallions. Shaping these bao are half the fun, so feel free to double the batch to perfect your pleating — these freeze quite well for future meals.  

Cover photo (Mochi-Stuffed Ube Crinkle Cookies) by Rick Holbrook, food styling by Kaitlin Wayne. 

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Mochi-Stuffed Ube Crinkle Cookies
Mochi-Stuffed Ube Crinkle Cookies
4.7 out of 5 stars 6 Reviews
1 hr 50 mins
12 cookies
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The Author

About Tatiana Bautista

Tatiana Bautista is a writer, editor, and avid home baker and cook. She grew up on Long Island, New York, where her family helped instill a lifelong love of food through homestyle Toisanese dishes and weekly outings for dim sum. From a young age, she’s had an interest in baking thanks to her aunt, w...
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