I’m always trying to teach my teens how to make their own way around the kitchen. And yes, there are plenty of TikTok recipe videos out there that can inspire your teen to whip up something trendy in the kitchen, but there is something really wonderful and rewarding about opening a cookbook, gathering ingredients and actually reading a recipe and following it through to the end.

The thing I have discovered when encouraging teens to follow a recipe is that it helps if the recipe is short, simple and easy to follow. That’s why I was pretty excited to check out The Ultimate Baking for One Cookbook. This book is filled with over 175 recipes that are remarkably easy, and designed to feed 1 or maybe 2 people, which was probably aimed at single folks or couples, but to me, it screams high schoolers and college students!

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Cookbook of the Month Club: The Ultimate Baking for One Cookbook

I love that the intro has some basic tips for baking for one, including baking techniques, food safety tips, how to avoid waste and advice for success such as “How to read a recipe” and “When is it done?” So really, when your kid yells from the kitchen: “how do I know if it’s done?,” you can yell back, “just read the book.” Another bonus to this cookbook is that you don’t end up with a huge tray of brownies that you end up tossing more than half of them out because they don’t get eaten before turning into doorstops.

Related: Check out our other Cookbook of the Month Club suggestions

While I am totally planning on sending The Ultimate Baking for One Cookbook to my college-aged daughters and every soon-to-be college student in my family, I am going to hang onto a copy for myself. It’s great for when you want to just make a little treat for yourself, too.


Bananas with mostly black skins are perfect for making banana bread. They have the most potent banana flavor. If you keep bananas in the freezer for making smoothies and shakes, you can use them for banana bread too. Let the banana thaw in the refrigerator until soft enough to mash, then use it as directed in the recipe.

1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 1⁄2 medium banana)
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1⁄4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, divided

1 Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 5″ × 3″ mini loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2 In a medium bowl, add flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

3 In a small bowl, combine banana, buttermilk, egg, butter, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and use a spatula to mix until just combined, about six strokes, then add chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons walnuts and fold to combine, four to six strokes. Do not overmix.

4 Transfer batter to prepared pan and top with remaining 1 tablespoon walnuts. Bake 30–35 minutes or until bread springs back when gently pressed in the center and top is golden brown. Cool in pan 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Excerpted from The Ultimate Baking for One Cookbook by Kelly Jaggers. Photographs by Kelly Jaggers. Copyright © 2021 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Used with permission of the publisher, Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved. We received a complimentary copy of this book for review. 

Top Image: Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash