Refined Strawberry Shortcake

Published May 1, 2016.

Loads of fresh berries were a given. But for a refined version of this classic dessert, the key was engineering a cake that could take the juice—and hold on to the berries.

Sticky Buns

Published May 1, 2016.

Sticky buns look inviting, but most are dry and overly sweet, with a topping that threatens your dental work. We wanted a version that fulfilled its promise.

Science: The Magic of Meringue

Published May 1, 2016.

See exactly how much difference proper timing makes—and why.

Lemon Posset with Berries

Published March 1, 2016.

This classic English specialty transforms cream, sugar, and lemon into a lush pudding with clear citrus flavor. It’s the easiest dessert you’ve never made.

Fluffy Dinner Rolls

Published January 1, 2016.

We thought the classic light, tender American dinner roll couldn’t get any better. Then we tried a cutting-edge Asian baking technique.

Pear-Walnut Upside-Down Cake

Published January 1, 2016.

The underrated pear makes for a more refined version of this simple cake—if you know just how to treat it.

Baked Alaska

Published November 1, 2015.

The classic cake, ice cream, and meringue combo is a science experiment you can eat. Our modern, less-sweet version is one you’ll actually enjoy.

Chocolate-Caramel Layer Cake

Published September 1, 2015.

The cake and frosting we weren’t worried about. But a caramel filling that was complex in flavor and spreadable, yet thick enough not to ooze out? That was another matter.

Cherry Clafouti

Published July 1, 2015.

This baked French custard studded with fresh fruit would be a simple and satisfying dessert—if we could nail its finicky texture and prevent the cherries from turning soggy.

New York Bagels

Published May 1, 2015.

It doesn’t get any better than the crackly-crisp shell, tender chew, and subtle malty flavor of a New York bagel. So what do you do if you don’t live in New York?

Foolproof New York Cheesecake

Published January 1, 2015.

Our recipe produced lush texture and a beautiful brown top—but not for everyone. To solve this mystery, we had to delve into the secrets of ovens.

Savory Corn Muffins

Published January 1, 2015.

We wanted a muffin full of cornmeal flavor. Could it also be moist and light-textured?

French Apple Tart

Published November 1, 2014.

Classic form and good looks are compulsory for a holiday centerpiece, but they don’t matter if the dessert falls apart when you serve it. We wanted integrity with the beauty.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Published November 1, 2014.

These eye-catching cookies are as much about looks as they are about flavor. The problem is, most are neither chocolaty nor crinkly.

Science: The Key to Crinkly Cookies

Published November 1, 2014.

We explain the science behind getting perfectly crinkly, cracked exteriors on our Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.

Perfect Latin Flan

Published September 1, 2014.

This cousin to crème caramel boasts a denser, sweeter profile and rich toffee-like flavor. Too bad its star ingredient can also be its biggest liability.

Florentine Lace Cookies

Published November 1, 2013.

The easy part about these cookies is that most of the work takes place in a saucepan. The harder part? Perfecting their delicate lacy shape and glossy chocolate coating.

Rich Chocolate Tart

Published November 1, 2013.

Most chocolate tart recipes have similar ingredients, but why do some turn out dull and others shine? We set out to solve the mystery.

Science: Helping Chocolate Keep Its Temper

Published November 1, 2013.

Traditional tempering techniques can be fussy and time-consuming, so we developed a far easier approach.

Fresh Peach Pie

Published September 1, 2013.

The juiciness of a perfect peach is sublime—except when you want to bake it into a pie.

Science: A Closer Look at Gluten

Published July 1, 2013.

See and feel gluten with this simple kitchen experiment.

Summer Berry Trifle

Published July 1, 2013.

To perfect this English classic, we’d need to ensure that the flavors and textures of each layer melded together—but without the whole thing turning to mush.

Marbled Blueberry Bundt Cake

Published May 1, 2013.

Tossing large, cultivated blueberries into a Bundt cake gave us big blue blowouts and little fresh flavor. We looked for a way to make the star of the show less of a problem.

Lemon Chiffon Pie

Published March 1, 2013.

While elegant and easy to make, this classic dessert is often marred by a texture that’s either too soupy or overly dense, along with lemon flavor that’s just so-so.

Best Butterscotch Pudding

Published January 1, 2013.

Our goal was to develop a fail-safe method for producing this dessert’s signature ­bittersweet flavor. While we were at it, we stumbled upon a better way to make pudding.

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