Though my mind is on Halloween tricks and treats, I know that it won’t be long before the holidays—and holiday baking season—are here. I’m a bit tired of serving the same few things I feel comfortable baking holiday after holiday, so I’ve decided to sign up for the new, free online baking course from our friends at The Kitchn. So far, I’m loving it and am feeling like it will get me whipping up impressive goodies in just a few short weeks. I bet it can do the same for you, too.

The Kitchn Baking School kicked off earlier this week, but there’s still plenty of time to jump into this comprehensive, self-guided course that will cover four major ingredients: eggs, butter, yeast, and sugar. You’ll learn about the ingredients and how they make baked goods so darn yummy. Then you’ll delve into different recipes that make those ingredients shine, like the flaky pâte à choux and delicate meringues highlighted in this week’s egg unit.

Related: How to store baked goods, from cakes to pie, so that they taste great even 3 days later.


The Kitchn Baking School's free online course

The Kitchn Baking School's free online course: Making meringues

Baking School will cover 20 lessons in 20 days that you can review at your own pace. So far, I really enjoy reading each day’s wealth of information and gazing—make that, drooling—over the gorgeous photos. Learning the difference between French and Italian meringues and how to turn pastry cream into chocolate pudding (hello!) makes me feel like I’m becoming a better baker before I’ve even picked up a whisk.

But if things go terribly wrong, like the puffs won’t puff or the cream starts to curdle, you can always reach out to the bakers at The Kitchn in the comments, at least if you’re doing the course in real(ish) time. They appear to be very responsive and helpful. If you join soon you can also keep up with other students in The Baking School by following the #kitchnbakingschool hashtag on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. It’s nice to see how others’ assignments come out.

Related: 9 awesome bake sale recipes, so you can win parent of the year.


The Kitchn Baking School's free online course: Chocolate soufflés

The Kitchn Baking School's free online course: Making croissants

If you are new to baking or just want a better idea of what will be covered, check out The Kitchn Baking School syllabus and shopping list so that you can make sure you have the major items on hand before getting started. Then, get into the kitchen, follow the step-by-step instructions, and test drive some new recipes as you prepare to wow everyone this holiday season.

Oh, and if you feel like sending any extras my way, I won’t turn them down.

Visit The Kitchn Baking School for information on this free, 20-day online course.