“Every day I would go home and bake, because that’s what you do when you love to bake–you bake.”Christina Tosi
About the bake off blog
Ever wondered which of the 100,000,000 chocolate chip cookie recipes online–half of them claiming to be the best–is TRULY the best? Me too.
That’s what inspired the bake offs featured on this blog–a strenuous testing (with data-driven feedback) of some of the most popular internet recipes in a side-by-side comparison to find the best.
Basically, I got tired of sifting through hundreds of gorgeous recipes on Pinterest in hopes of finding a recipe that tasted as good as it looked.
In each bake off, I test anywhere from 8-16 recipes against each other (yes, usually I make all or most of the recipes myself on the same day!) and invite as many people as possible over to be my taste testers to judge and rank each recipe. Then I analyze the data to determine the crowd favorite.
So far, I’ve tested chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and brownies, and many more. If you’d like to see a specific bake off subject in the future, drop me a line at erika at thepancakeprincess dot com or via instagram! You can check out my live reviews on YouTube!
I started The Pancake Princess in 2012, right after I graduated from college. Originally from near San Francisco, I moved to Houston for school and never left! I was an English major in undergrad, received my MBA in 2016 and have enjoyed applying my skills to baking spreadsheets ever since.
Since starting my blog, I’ve been honored to be named the reader’s choice winner in the 2019 Saveur Food Blog Awards for Best Baking and Sweets and as a 2021 Cook of the Year for Southern Living!
My dessert of choice? Any Milk Bar layer cake. My pancake of choice? I’m still on the hunt for the perfect recipe!
Thanks for visiting!!
Southern Living | Saveur | Buzzfeed | Taste Cooking | Houston Press | Huffington Post | The Kitchn | Houston Chronicle | Yummly | Daily Burn | Fitness Magazine
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Hi Erika ~ I’m getting into the Christmas Sugar Cookie mood, and was intrigued with your comments about The Kitchen’s sugar cookies. When I clicked on the link, the web page didn’t seem to mesh with your description.You mentioned the cookies were soft and that they had a glaze – there was no glaze recipe provided in The Kitchen’s recipe, and they looked really thin
and crispy – not like a softer style sugar cookie. Is the link correct – what happened to the glaze? Did they eliminate it after your comments about how hard it was to apply? The glaze is not a necessity, just wanted to confirm that this is the recipe you described – for the basic cookie. All the Best to you, your blog is SO much fun to explore!
Can I put together Julia moskins Mac and cheese the night before?
Hi, Love your blog. wondered of you have thought about a bake off sweet dough Cinn rolls or Kolaches?
Erika, first of all you are awesome! REALLY want to make a coconut cake but can’t decide which recipe to use. Have it narrowed down to Sally’s Baking Addiction and Sweetest Menu. Would you do a recipe showdown for coconut cakes? REALLY need your help!
Ahh how fun!! Coconut cake is on my list, I would definitely love to do a bake off for that!
I love ❤️ your photos and all the brilliant information you provide. I just finished making your number one picks for chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies. I plan on making the brownies next I would love to be on your email distribution list! I’m enjoying all your adventures!!! ❤️😊
Of all the blogs I follow, I like yours the best. It’s very educational and I get a lot more out of it than a recipe. The comparisons of the recipes from various blogs/books are very helpful in determining the differences between them side by side. Maybe one day we will see a Rugelach bake-off (hint, hint)
Love your site! Do you have an email distribution you could add me to?
You have a amazing blog..
thanks for all of your good work sifting through the multitudes!!!
In regards to your chocolate cake bake-off, was your Gold Medal AP flour bleached or unbleached? Also in you Ina Garten cake recipe how did you measure the flour – dip and sweep or spooned into a cup. Or if you have the weight that is even better.
Thank You : )
Can’t find a direct email for you, but I’m reaching out from Bon Appétit about photos you may have from House of Pies. Please email me to chat more!
Out of curiosity, what is your favorite pancake to make and could you provide me the instructions in incredible detail?? Thanks so much!! I love you!!
Thanks for all your work on CCC! Amazing data and I like your winner in the first list. I think tastebuds mature over time and become more discerning of flavors over time.
Joanne, I completely agree! It was really interesting to see actual data that potentially showcases this difference in tastebuds.
Just discovered you and very interested in reading about your results … you will save me lots of time & disappointment, not to mention raising the enjoyment quotient. Thanks for what you do!
Thanks for the kind words Christine! <3
Enjoyed reading about your pumpkin bread comparisons. I’ve done the same for blondies! After reading your post, I tried Tartine’s recipe to see if it was better than the one I’ve used for 45 years. It was first published in the Oregonian newspaper in 1978 and contributed by Pat Straub, wife of the Oregon State Governor. Her recipe still reigns supreme. It has no eggs, milk, or cream and 1/3 less fat than Tartine’s. I’ve made a few small changes, but is still the best recipe with the best pumpkin flavor. It makes 3 loaves so you best have two large bowls and mix it by hand because it is too much batter for the stand mixer.
5 cups flour, 4-1/2 tsp baking powder, 1-1/2 baking soda, 2 tsp. Ground cloves, 1T salt, 1 T. Cinnamon, mix these dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl mix 4 cups sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, and 4 cups Libby’s canned pumpkin purée. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Blend well but don’t over mix. (Optional add-ins are 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted, 1 cup chopped crystallized ginger, 1 cup raisins or currants that have soaked in bourbon overnight.) the last add-in makes them drunken pun’kin loaves! Divide batter between 3 9×5 loaf pans that have been sprayed with cooking oil and lined with parchment. Sprinkle the tops with 1 cup chopped pecans and 6 Tablespoons Swedish pearl sugar or Demerara sugar. Bake at 350 F for metal pans or 325 F for glass pans for 1 hour. Test for doneness with toothpick or at 195-200 F internal temperature.
Peggy, thanks so much for the comment! I am so excited to try this (particularly since I prefer baking without dairy when possible)–thanks so much for sharing!! (Also: have you had luck cutting down this recipe to smaller proportions? I think I may give that a try unless you don’t recommend it…)
Traditionally Modern Food
You have a amazing blog.. Pics r mind blowing.. Being a pancake lover happy to know ur blog through Fiesata Friday .. Looking forward for ur future post:)
What a wonderful blog you have!!!! I am glad I found it.
Can’t wait to see more & more. 🙂
“Two Red Bowls” mentioned you on her FB, and it led me here 🙂
Karen @ The Food Charlatan
“meatier pastures” lol Erika!
I just found your blog and I like it, many nice pictures and appetizing recipes, great job!
I love to cook but am not much into baking or making desserts so I will definitely be checking out your recipes for some help!
Definitely my favorite blog name I’ve stumbled on in ages.. and that’s before I read any post! Just love it.. you had me at “cake.” Look forward to reading more!
Well thank you!!! You just made my day 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by–always happy to meet fellow cake lovers! 😉
Rebecca @ To Bloom Happiness
Hi Erika! I’m new to blogging and while browsing, I came across your blog (love the blog name!). I’m loving all of the high quality pictures you have and I’m going to make the pickled onion salsa tomorrow! I can’t wait to read more 🙂
Thanks so much Rebecca! Welcome to the blogosphere 🙂 Let me know how you like the salsa!!
Hey Erika, Just wanted to let you know how quickly I’ve fallen in love with your blog already haha! Love every part of it – the name, the piccies, the words! Looking forward to many more posts from you 🙂
Beautiful, I LOVE your updated profile photo! Keep up the fantastic yummy recipes and I’ll send through that gluten free brownie recipe through Tweet Tweet Twitter xx
Awww thanks Sky! What a compliment, coming from miss fitness model…you are unbelievably toned!! Thanks for the recipe–it’s on my list! 🙂
You have a wonderful blog!
Thank you so much, Irena!
Okay, so can we please be friends?! I’m in love with everything about your blog, the layout, the photography, your writing style, I’m obsessed! Can’t wait to follow through more of your adventures and of course see all of the drool-worthy recipes you share 🙂
Omg! I didn’t want to say anything right off the bat buttt…that is exactly what I was thinking when I visited your blog! So um yes, blog friends most def 🙂
I enjoy reading your sweet blog a lot and am passing you the Super Sweet Bloggers Awards. Please visit http://cookingwithmamamiyuki.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/super-sweet-bloggers-award/ for the rules. Happy Blogging
Nicole @ LiveEatSmileRepeat
so glad i stumbled upon your blog 🙂
Looking forward to reading more of your posts!
Thanks girl! Looking forward to checking out your blog as well 🙂
christina @ smallkitchenchronicles
Erika, love the new look for your blog! Tagline is fabulous and awesome for you re: your detox commitment and look forward to your new journey =)
Thanks Christina!! Sweetest 🙂
Katie @ Oh Shine On
Just happened to stumble upon this little gem of a site this morning as I was making pancakes — WHAT?! Rad. I totally love this blog — and you. Is that weird? So sorry (not sorry).
And girl, I love everything you said on your other “About Page” about your view on food and nutrition… You’re preaching to the choir and I totally agree with you 100%.
Keep rocking and detoxing and cooking pancakes. And invite me over so I can have some 🙂
Katie, you totally made my day! Thanks for the super sweet, totally awesome comment. I’m so glad we have agreeable food views 🙂 And the fact that you stumbled across my blog while making pancakes? I think this means we’ll have to be friends 🙂
I love the idea behind your blog! I just made some cupcakes last night that called for 1.5 cups of olive oil… whaaat?! One of future conquests is to discover some new ways that I can slim down my desserts. I completely agree that a little less butter isn’t going to make or break a recipe!
You have a lovely blog, it is very inspiring!
Thank you so much for stopping by! You are too sweet 🙂
Hannah @ Dispatches from the Gypsy Roller
Hi Erika, I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award! No pressure to accept – the award is just to let you know that I enjoy reading your blog 🙂
I love your writing style and you provide so many intriguing recipes! I can’t wait to try a few 🙂
Aww thank you so much! You are too kind 🙂 Do let me know if you try any of the recipes out, would love to hear from you! Can’t wait to check out your blog 🙂
Hey, I have just awarded you the Kreativ Blogger award! Check out the details here! Congrats 🙂 http://lillysuesbitesandbrews.com/2012/12/15/so-many-goodies-d/
Hi Erika, I enjoy your blog and so I want to present you ‘The Sunshine blog’ Award. Please do visit following link for further details http://vinicooksveg.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/thanks-for-appreciation-and-awards/
Aww thank you so much Vini 🙂 You are too sweet!
What a lovely blog! And fabulous recipes! So happy to follow 🙂 xx
Aww thank you! I’m excited that I found YOU!
Likewise!!! Lovely to meet you 🙂 x
The Perky Poppy Seed
I love your #4 … I am a list maker.. all kinds of lists are everywhere… for everything..LOL 🙂 very cute blog:)
Thank you, Ms. Perky Poppy Seed! Funny thing–I’m really not THAT organized of a person, but I love to make lists. I often make lists of things to do and get a quarter or half-way through before getting bored/distracted and misplacing the list!
Anyway, thanks for stopping by 🙂
The Perky Poppy Seed
LOL:) I have been known to lose my lists too:)
christina @ smallkitchenchronicles
Hello, Miss Erika,
You and your blog have just been nominated for the One Lovely Blog & Very Inspiring Blogger Award!
Thanks for being so lovely!
I have nominated you/your informative/creative blog for the Liebster Award!
Pick up your badge and information/rules on how to pass the torch at:
You have a wonderful blog! I am looking forward to many more recipes!
Healthy Glow Nutrition
Thanks for stopping by and following my blog Erika 🙂
That’s awesome that you co-taught a baking class and even wrote some food articles! I’m so impressed! My back-up plan for grad school is to open a bakery. Btw, your glasses are so cute!
Eva @ Eva Bakes
Thanks for dropping by my blog! Yours is so fun and filled with awesome recipes that I will need to try out soon!
Thanks Eva 🙂 Yours too!!
Thanx a lot for stopping by my blog and a very encouraging comment. Love your space and your style. Totally going to follow from now on 😀
Thank YOU Anuja! I really enjoyed your blog post and will definitely be reading more from you as well! You have so many interesting recipes on your site 🙂
Hi! Thanks so much for dropping by my blog and your lovely comment. Your blog looks great and I look forward to reading more! Lovely to learn more about you in this section, I looove pancakes too! hehe
Aww thank you Christine! I’m looking forward to reading more about you and your crusades also! <3
Hi, Your blog looks fantastic 🙂 , I have just nomimated you for the Liebster Award! Find out what it’s all about here:
Thank you so much Candy! You made my day 🙂
Mich - Piece of Cake
Hello Erika, I was just checking out your blog and noticed you are from TX! Years ago, I studied in Austin, so TX is always close to my heart. We drove 3 hours from Austin to Houston so that we can get decent Chinese food, so that’s how desperate we were.
That is so funny! Were you at UT? Austin is SUCH a cool city. Well, that makes me feel better about living in Houston–I guess we do have pretty decent Chinese food! But I’ve always been envious of people who got to go to school in Austin!! Are you in Cali now? (I was checking Daiso locations to see if they have locations in Houston…no go 🙁 )
Laura Dembowski (@piesandplots)
I also would totally rather make a layer cake than cupcakes, even if they are slightly imperfect. Very interesting that you are vegetarian. I don’t think I could be either vegetarian or vegan.
Hi there! Just dropping by to tell you that you’ve been nominated the “One Lovely Blog Award.” =D
Congratulations! I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award :). Check it out here: http://inspireandindulge.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/humble-beginnings-my-1st-award/
Sorry to hear you lost your prince. However, I have to say i absolutely LOVE the name of your blog – so cute 🙂
Thanks so much Leah! I appreciate the comment 🙂 And I have to say–I love your quick facts section on your blog. I could identify with so many things (pop punk + food network = some of the better things ever)! Can’t wait to read more 🙂
Hey Erika – Can you share your e-mail? If you don’t want to post it online, can you e-mail me at [email protected]?