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Back to Bake
Fall back into the kitchen with these September recipes.
September kicks off baking’s biggest season. After giving our ovens a break over summer, let me be the first to welcome you back into the kitchen. Grab your favorite apron, refresh your spice cabinet, update your baking playlist, and get ready to roll!
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As we ramp up our cozy bakes and celebration cakes from Thanksgiving to Christmas, remember to enjoy the process and all the things that made you fall in love with baking in the first place. This can be a fun, exciting season, but also a little hectic. Focus on the pastry coming together between your fingertips, the scents of cinnamon and apple that tap into our memories, creating something from scratch to feed your loved ones, or whatever it is that makes you feel like a rockstar in the kitchen after a successful bake.
Before you get too overwhelmed with pumpkin spice everything, here is everything I’ll be eating, reading, and baking for September:
What I’ve Been Eating:
Homemade Pizza - To round out summer, we had a family pizza party over the long weekend. I made Fig Prosciutto using the fruit from our tree, Hawaiian (yes, we are pineapple on pizza people), and a simple sausage and olive. I usually make my own pizza dough, but used the Whole Foods prepared dough as a shortcut and it was just as good.
Slow Cooker Dinners - Once after school activities begin to pick up, I rely heavily on my slow cooker. This Lentil Sweet Potato Soup has been a go-to ever since I had children. I never quite got the hang of my Instant Pot, but this Korean Beef recipe is pretty good in the slow cooker too.
Butternut Squash Soup - This is the only way my son will eat any sort of squash or potato. Orange Smooth Soup, as he fondly calls it. Come fall, we probably eat butternut squash soup every other week - often with grilled cheese or ham sliders using my favorite Hawaiian bread.
Cook your aromatics (onion, garlic, etc.) in olive oil then toss in the squash. Season with salt and cook until the squash takes on a tiny bit of color. Add chopped carrots or sweet potatoes if you have any of those lying around too. Fill the pot with stock (or water and bouillon paste/cubes) until the liquid comes to just slightly above the vegetables. Simmer until vegetables are soft then blend with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper.
M&M’s Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies - Last month, I put out a cookie round-up. These ones didn’t make it in time, but that definitely doesn’t mean you should miss out on the recipe. They are thin and chewy in the center with crispy edges. My only regret is that the recipe only makes 8 cookies, and they disappeared within a day.
What I’ve Been Reading:
Lessons in Chemistry - This was on last month’s round up too, but I am still cranking my way through it… If I don’t finish by the new year, then I’ll just have to catch the series.
The Home Baker’s Glossary - As we launch into the busiest season of the year, it’s helpful to brush up on our baking terms. Having a basic understanding of common baking terms will instantly upgrade your baking skills and have you reading recipes like a pro.
The Book on Pie - As we near Thanksgiving and all the fall pies of our dreams, I’ve been re-reading this gem of a cookbook.
What I’ve Been Listening To:
Warpaint - A couple weeks ago, I went to my first concert in a long while. The ladies of Warpaint rocked the old Hollywood Theatre here in Vancouver, and I’ve been listening to them non-stop ever since.
What to Bake this Month:
Figs - Just in case you missed my enthusiasm for our bountiful fig tree, fresh figs are now in season. Eat them straight out of hand, use as pizza toppings (I’ll have to write up the recipe for mine next year), make jam for stirring into yogurt or oatmeal, or one of these recipes:
Fig Jam Bars - Think of these jam bars as part tart/part biscuit with a layer of figgy jam in the middle. The dough for the base is the same as the crumble on top.
Honey Fig Cake - This gorgeous cake pairs olive oil cake layers with fig jam, honey buttercream, and honey caramel.
Apples - Apple season is just beginning. Overwhelmed with all the apple recipe options? Start here:
Apple Blueberry Pie - Bridge the gap between summer and fall with this blushing pie. Frozen blueberries work wonderfully here, so make it now but also all autumn long.
Caramel Apple Coffee Cake - This is the type of cake you’ll want to eat for breakfast and as an afternoon snack. It is extremely moist and perfect for busy weekdays.
Chocolate - Chocolate is always in season. Before we get wrapped up in everything pumpkin and spice, check out one of these chocolate-forward recipes:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake - I made this moist chocolate cake with creamy peanut butter frosting for my husband’s birthday last month. I know you will love it just as much as we did!
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies - With crispy edges and centers that stay soft and fudgy long after they’ve cooled, these giant Double Chocolate Chip Cookies are a chocoholic’s dream come true.
Chocolate Ganache Tart - This Chocolate Ganache Tart has a silky ganache center encased in a tender crust. Top it with the last of the summer berries, fresh figs, or a cloud of whipped cream. Sink your fork (or teeth!) into this luscious chocolate filling and feel the "snap" of the buttery crust.