No, not eating for two. I know that is what some of you were thinking when you saw the title. Right? No how sweet spawns anytime soon.

That I know of, at least.

This most asked question on this site? How can you bake so much and not eat it all?

Well, it’s not rocket science. I’m here to share some tips with you.

It is no secret that I love sweets. In fact, I must have something sweet everyday after lunch and dinner. Sometimes this is as simple as some fruit with nut butter, but more often it’s a small piece of chocolate or a few tablespoons of chocolate chips.

But I do have to laugh when I see someone say that my blog is all about sweets. I do not consider smoothies (made with fruit or nut butter or dairy), muffins made with whole wheat flour, granolas made with whole grains and dried fruits, or whole wheat pancakes to be “sweets.” I consider these snack foods that are healthier, and I find a way to fit them in. It may not be daily, but if I make a batch of whole wheat muffins, I will be having one with some greek yogurt. Same with granolas. But that is just me.

Also, you can bet you bottom dollar that I am not baking something everyday. I do have a job! And I kinda have a life, but not really.

If you see more than one super-indulgent recipe on this blog per week, I probably had a party or event to go to the weekend before. It is as simple as that. As much as I want you all to believe that I lay around eating bon-bons, it’s just not true. At least not every day.

So here are my thoughts on baking for 2. These come from my own experiences, as I moved out of a house of 5 and into a house of 2. And while Mr. How Sweet has more of an appetite than the 5 of us did growing up combined, he doesn’t use that appetite up on sweets. Unless they taste like chicken.

1. 1/2 (or even 1/4) the ingredients! This is my #1 tip. Almost everything you see on this blog is 1/2 of a recipe, though I will post the full recipe. There are only 2 of us, after all. The only exception is when I make treats on the weekend or am baking for a party/family gathering/entertaining purposes, etc. If it is just for the 2 of us, I always cut the recipe in half, if not more.

I made a half batch of these cookies:

2. Choose wisely. If you are going to bake and 1/2 a recipe, choose an easy one. I have had many mishaps with recipes that I’ve attempted to cut in half, most often in recipes that call for odd buttermilk/vinegar/baking soda combos like red velvet. If you have successfully cut a red velvet cake recipe in half, please come make it for me. Today.

In my opinion, the easiest recipes to cut in half are cookies and muffins.

3. Always measure. This is true for any baking venture, but if you plan on cutting a recipe in half, you must measure (weighing would even be better) all ingredients. If not, expect a screw up. If it works, you are lucky and I need you to do my baking from now on.

4. Determine the “why.” Why do you want to bake? More often than not, I just love to bake because it is relaxing, comforting, reminds me of my grandmother, and fun. I love having my hands in dough and being covered in flour. If you want to bake just for the sake of baking, make a healthier recipe. You still get the same feeling of comfort, without all the calories!

5. Find a substitute. Not a substitute for ingredients, but a substitute for the flavors you are craving. If you haven’t been able to stop thinking about a peanut butter and chocolate combo and are dying to make better-than-crack brownies, but aren’t sure if cutting the recipe in half will work, look elsewhere. Try to find another recipe (like peanut butter and chocolate muffins) that can easily be cut in half. Save the calorie-laden recipe for the weekend when you can share more of it with friends and family. Trust me, being alone in a house with better-than-crack brownies will widen your waistline fast.

6. Check your schedule. If you have a party or gathering coming up on the weekend, save the recipe you really want for that day. In the meantime, bake something that only yields half a dozen cookies, or have fruit for dessert. I won’t lie. I never consider fruit dessert. But if I know I’m going to make something really sinful on Saturday, I can live with fruit for a few days. But I may complain.

7. Make a list. Make a list of the baked goods you really want to try. Determine which recipes can easily be cut in half, and which must be made in full. I have many recipes listed in my favorites, but if I want to bake during the week, I may choose something that is easy (don’t want to have lots of clean up time, even though I always make Mr. How Sweet do it), on the healthier side, and can be cut in half.

8. Pick one a week. I tend to choose one healthier baked good and one indulgent baked good a week. I may bake the healthier one during the week, and save the indulgent one for the weekend. Or I will bake only half of the indulgent one if possible, so we aren’t swimming in chocolate all week. Though that would be dreamy.

So those are my rambling thoughts. Do you ever bake for 2? Have any secret tips you’d like to share?

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55 Responses to “Baking For Two.”

  1. #
    The Blue-Eyed Bakers — August 30, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

    Excellent tips! We just are thankful we have hungry co-workers, friends and boyfriends!


  2. #
    VeggieGirl — August 30, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    GREAT tips! I always just share with others :)


  3. #
    Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine — August 30, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

    Great tips!! I love to bake too, but now that I’m back at school and living on my own, it would be bad news to have entire pans of cookies around. I guess I could always pass them off on the BF though!!


  4. #
    liane — August 30, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

    Great tips! :)
    When I get the urge to bake (which is often right now), I tend to make items I can gift (i.e. give away) to friends and coworkers.
    Usually I’ll eat a serving, put a serving or two in the freezer and then I rid the house of the rest of it.
    I made your chocolate cobbler recipe last week, and I kept 1/3 of it for myself (and portioned it into 4 smaller servings) and then gave the remaining 2/3’s to my friends family.
    Win for everyone! :)


  5. #
    Kath — August 30, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

    I had wondered what you were doing with all of those yummy things you bake. Now I know that you’re baking for 2! Thanks for sharing these great tips.


  6. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — August 30, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

    great tips girl…i really need to do the halving thing as i continue to bake more!


  7. #
    homecookedem — August 30, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

    Great tips on how to bake and not eat it all up! I wondered about how you baked all that yummy stuff, but yet you still look so slim and amazing!! :)


  8. #
    Kim @ Two Good Cookies — August 30, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

    My favorite – have a Gent that works with a bunch of guys (many of whom are single) and who LOVE it when you send in your baking. It makes it much, much easier. And then I only eat one (okay, two) pieces of it!


  9. #
    Callie @ Callieflower Kitchen — August 30, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

    I’m usually baking for one, and I also aways halve or quarter the recipe so I don’t have huge pans of baked goods sitting around. I’ll also tend towards things that I can throw in the freezer after and take out without too much hassle, like cookies or biscotti. Cookies don’t even need to be defrosted – you can just grab and go ;)


  10. #
    mags — August 30, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

    Excellent blog post! I love to bake but know that the really rich stuff has to get itself out of my house so that is why I started baking weekly for the co-irkers. The rest of my blog posts are fairly healthy but don’t grab anywhere NEAR the attention of the sweet posts. Even people who don’t eat rich and fattening foods love to look at them, I’ve found out.


  11. #
    Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) — August 30, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

    This is such a great blog post, thanks for sharing! I definitely agree that you have to pick a simple recipe. If you are cutting a recipe in half that calls for all sorts of crazy ingredients, you’ll still end up with those ingredients in the end and nothing else to make with them.


  12. #
    jen — August 30, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

    i probably missed this somewhere-but what is the name of that dessert in the last picture?? it looks wonderful!

    i usually only bake the really heavy stuff when i know i can share them with others or i send it to work with my husband. i am home all day long with our 9 month old everyday and would not be able to control myself if kept everything i baked! i also will freeze cookies, brownies, muffins, etc if i can’t get rid of them somehow.


    • Jessica — August 30th, 2010 @ 4:26 pm

      Brownie pizza!


  13. #
    kay (eating machine) — August 30, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

    i make the husband something sweet for his lunch every week that usually also ends up being desserts for us. i divide out his lunch desserts into ziplocks or containers when i make them (so that there’s less sugary things hanging out and also so that he doesn’t give himself three cupcakes. believe me, he tries).
    if i make a whole lot, i send it with him to work so it’s gone, or i put them into ziplocks and freeze for later lunches. i hate frozen cookies so I won’t touch them.


  14. #
    Emily Marie — August 30, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

    Thank-you so much for these tips! I especially like tips 7 and 8. I like the idea of a healthier baked good during the week and an indulgent one for the weekend!


  15. #
    Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl — August 30, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

    I LOVE to bake, but I have a hard enough time getting the measurements right when I’m making the whole recipe so I don’t usually go halvsies. What I DO have to do is send them to work with the hubby…immediately. If they go to work with me, I know they are there and I hear them quietly calling my name from the breakroom. No bueno.

    Great tips!


  16. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — August 30, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

    Great tips Jessica! People always ask me about this too! It is definitely all a balance.


  17. #
    Alycia [Fit n Fresh] — August 30, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

    Awesome tips! I almost always follow rule number one. I just don’t need that many cookies tempting me! I also will freeze 1/2 of what I make as well to 1. keep me from eating the whole batch and 2. have sweets for a later date when I don’t feel like baking! Win win.


  18. #
    Katie — August 30, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

    Great tips! I bake for 2 all the time, and the freezer is my best friend. Chocolate chip cookies freeze the best, and our freezer is full of them. :-)


  19. #
    Sara — August 30, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

    Great tips! I’m also big on freezing things, as well as using whole wheat flour where possible to add at least a little tiny bit of something nutritious. Oh, and my husband does all the dishes in our house too :)


  20. #
    Wei-Wei — August 30, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

    Eeeeeexcellent. I’m often baking for myself and for others to “taste”, so these are very very useful tips. :D


  21. #
    Tina — August 30, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

    I really liked reading this post and learning more about how you realistically manage all the awesome baking you do. I loved getting a peek into the How Sweet kitchen secrets.


  22. #
    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — August 30, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

    Awesome tips!! I always want to bake more, but worry about having huge baked goods in the house with just me and the hub. Thanks for this post!


  23. #
    Eunice — August 30, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

    But a How Sweet spawn would be super cute! And then you could make baby food and things like that haha.

    Thank you for the tips. Whenever I bake (usually your recipes), I half them because I’m the only one who eats dessert over here (crazy I know). And I don’t need to be eating 12 cupcakes or an entire batch of cookies by myself. :)


  24. #
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — August 30, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

    Love the tips!! I need to start baking for two :)


  25. #
    Jenna — August 30, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

    I seriously needed this post because I could bake every single day but then it all goes to waste. You should see my freezer.

    But the ‘why do I bake’ question is a good one. I bake for relaxation more than anything. Yes, I like a bite or two, but more than that, I like to bake for others. I need to start bringing in my baked goods to work! I also bake usually once a week. Sundays are usually my day. :)


  26. #
    Rowie — August 30, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

    Something that works well for me when baking is to remember my freezer! When I make cookies, I scoop a dozen or so to bake, then scoop the rest and freeze the dough, all ready to go. When I want cookies in the following weeks I’ll just pull the scooped dough, place it on a cookie sheet, and bake off as many as I want! Muffins freeze well after baking, and even crisps freeze well. I make a whole recipe for a crisp, but distribute it between 2 dishes. I bake and eat one, and freeze the other for whenever!

    Not only does this keep us from eating HUGE batches all at once, but it allows us to have fresh baked goods when we don’t have the time to mix everything up!


  27. #
    Sues — August 30, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

    I love sharing with others!!!Though it’s tough because lots of people in my life are watching what they eat. Sometimes I think they hate me because I’m always forcing baked goods upon them :) I clearly need some more grateful people in my life!


  28. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — August 30, 2010 @ 10:18 pm

    I think other than your wedding post (which was special and beautiful b/c of very diff reasons) this was possibly your best post ever!

    “a party or gathering coming up on the weekend, save the recipe you really want for that day.”–you mentioned a few times in this post, parties or gatherings. Clearly you have a much better social life than i do. I cant tell you the last time I had either. Lol. I have a hubs who travels, a kid, and a job. And a blog. I have no parties, events or gatherings. It’s pretty much lame times ’round here.

    As for cutting the recipe in 1/2. I TOTALLY agree!!! one of the things even in raw unbaking is i would see these receips that would yield 24 or 48 cookies/balls. Yes they are small,but who needs 2 or 4 dozen of anything. When i was doing tons of raw unbaking (for the blog), I always would take what i saw, get an idea, then cut in 1/2 or even 1/4 of what i saw so the yield was 12 to 15. No one wants more than a taste anyway. Cut it wayyyyyy down, agreed!!

    Girl best post ever. I could go on and on…

    Your writing too as i read this with a critical eye, is stellar. Muah!! I can feel your passion and expertise. It’s all there. Perfect job!!!


  29. #
    Naomi(oneFF) — August 31, 2010 @ 2:52 am

    amazing tips!!! i remember someone asked you the question do your really eat all of the food you make just you and Mr How Sweet. Haha

    this was seriously so insightful and helpful! i love it! I wish I had your baking skills, but I try my best in the kitchen!! :)

    my mom always will bake something and then freeze a whole bunch of it to save it!


  30. #
    Amanda — August 31, 2010 @ 5:22 am

    Great tips! I will have to bookmark this post for 20 years from now when its just hubby and me. ;)



  31. #
    Lauren at KeepItSweet — August 31, 2010 @ 5:28 am

    These are great! I also will bake and freeze when I know that will work. That way, I can have a taste of something now and a batch of something for when I am have a party or holiday.


  32. #
    megan — August 31, 2010 @ 5:37 am

    great post. I’m terrible at this. I always make full batches of everything, but I give a lot away. Mike loves to take stuff to work, and my coworkers don’t normally turn down sweets either :) It’s harder on my grocery budget, but my hope is to eventually start selling some cookies/baked goods as a small side business, so I feel like it’s in my best interest to keep offering up those free samples :)


  33. #
    Tracy — August 31, 2010 @ 6:27 am

    I loved this post! I also bake for 2, and I think you’ve perfectly summed up everything that I do as well. I halve recipes a lot, or I bake things to bring to events or even just to work to share with co-workers so that we don’t end up eating it all. I believe in “everything in moderation!”


  34. #
    Courtney @ Bread & Bokeh — August 31, 2010 @ 6:36 am

    This was so helpful!!! I am newly married and love to bake, however, I have already gained a few pounds…I am definitely going to try 1/2ing or 1/4ing recipes.


  35. #
    Courtney @ Bread & Bokeh — August 31, 2010 @ 6:39 am

    Oops, I commented but forgot to share my favorite baking for 2 tip. I like to save my husband about 4 to 6 baked goods from the batch and then take the rest to our veterinarian, dentist, doctor, etc. office. These individuals often welcome them with open arms, and we feel like they take a little better care of us on our next visit! :)


  36. #
    Melissa — August 31, 2010 @ 6:41 am recently did a half red velvet cake — it looked pretty delish!

    Thanks for the tips…I definitely try to only make the indulgent stuff when I have somewhere to take the goodies, or I know I’ll be soooo tempted! I also insist my boyfriend eat double my share ;)


  37. #
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — August 31, 2010 @ 7:09 am

    Love these tips. Sometimes even if I’m just baking/cooking for two and there are still a lot of leftovers that I don’t trust myself with (aka cookies), I give them to friends and they are always happy to receive them!


  38. #
    DessertForTwo — August 31, 2010 @ 7:25 am

    Of course I bake for two–it’s my thing! But I love your tips. Sometimes when I’m craving a batch of triple chocolate brownies, a spoonful of Nutella has to substitute. I get my chocolate fix without having to wash all the dishes!
    But I really enjoy the challenge of scaling a recipe down to serve less. It makes my heart go pitter pat! But be careful! Some things (even when cut in half exactly) can still not turn out right. Dough is a good example of this.


  39. #
    Kristy — August 31, 2010 @ 7:38 am

    Great tips, I’ve always wanted to break down a baking recipe but have never been brave enough! lol I would def prefer to bake for 2 then 12 and my waistline would have to agree! :)


  40. #
    Kat — August 31, 2010 @ 10:34 am

    I tend to refrigerate extras or even freeze things. But most of the time I just bring whatever I don’t think will be eaten into the office and let the others enjoy!


  41. #
    Terri A. — August 31, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

    I love the idea of halving a recipe! Why didn’t I think of that? For those of you who put things in the freezer, how do you keep your hands out of those items? A frozen chocolate chip cookie tastes just as good to me! I usually bake a whole batch of something and then take it to work.


    • Jessica — August 31st, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

      Terri – I am the same way! I will find a way to eat the stuff out of the freezer even if it means breaking my teeth. I also like to bake so often that if I froze it all, my entire freezer would just be filled with baked goods. I guess that isn’t a bad thing? ;)


  42. #
    Aubri @ Tried and Tried Again — August 31, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    Great tips! I could bake every day of my life. I love to bake. I usually freeze stuff, but I love how things taste when they’re fresh, so halving something is a great idea! When I really shouldn’t be eating treats and I want to bake something, I will bake some whole wheat bread and then put a little butter and home made freezer jam on a slice…and that usually helps…well, until the next day :)


  43. #
    Lauren — August 31, 2010 @ 6:21 pm

    Awesome tips! Thanks for sharing and showing the world that eating sweets sensibly can be achieved! :)


  44. #
    Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) — September 1, 2010 @ 4:32 am

    I always halve too, since even though I have 4 people in the house, the eaters are only 2. I’ve never come across a recipe I can’t half, though.


  45. #
    Natalie (The Sweets Life) — September 1, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

    Great post! I should take some of these tips and incorporate them..I’m way too bad about having tons of dessert around the house and I HATE letting food go to waste so inevitably, I decide to eat it :) I try to give lots away and bake for “events”, which helps a lot!

    I definitely don’t think your blog is only all about the sweets, but people say the same thing about mine or that I never have anything healthy. I beg to differ! ;)


  46. #
    AGS — September 12, 2010 @ 6:14 am

    EXCELLENT — thanks for sharing this. I have noticed many indulgent recipes on your blog and sometimes wondered that you could make these, and then practice such self-restraint to only eat 1/day, or something. I started half-ing cookie recipes awhile ago, and found that a terrific way to handle things when my husband and I really had a desire for cookies. I see I am not the only one! The only other option is to send them off with my husband to his office, where they gobble up any and everything!


  47. #
    Lorin — August 26, 2011 @ 2:49 am

    How would you halve something that needs to go into an 8×8 dish? Like your pb oatmeal chocolate chip snack bars needs to go in an 8×8 dish, what would I use to decrease it? Thanks and great post, it all makes sense but it’s nice to hear.


    • Jessica — August 26th, 2011 @ 6:51 am

      I usually don’t halve anything that needs to be made in an 8×8 dish because it’s already usually pretty small – only making about 9 bars. If you found a smaller square pan you could try, but other than that I’m not sure.


  48. #
    Desdemona — March 30, 2012 @ 6:51 am

    Thanks for sharing those tips! My roommate already threatened to kick me out if I’d continue baking BATCHES of chocolate-somewhat every other day and forcing her to eat it all :)


  49. #
    Ellie — October 9, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

    I am a huge fan of your blog! I use a lot of your recipes when baking for my husband. I saw this recipe on another site I frequent and I thought that you would like to see it. I haven’t tried it yet, but it is one my list of recipes to try. It’s a small batch of red velvet cupcakes. It makes 4 cupcakes.



  50. #
    Cynthia — November 6, 2015 @ 4:19 pm

    I recently discovered this site, and I LOVE IT!! …(I also recently started a “food for 2 blog”)… I am a big fan of baking/cooking for small families–it’s cheaper, and it actually saves time!! In my opinion, 2 people is definitely a family!! Thanks so much for posting these awesome recipes, Jessica!!!!



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