Passionate Baker is 10! A Look Back

Hello friends, happy Friday! Today is a particularly happy Friday, because Passionate Baker turned 10 years old this week! My little corner of the internet has been steadily growing, expanding, and thriving for a whole decade! I can barely believe it! Because these milestones don’t roll around very often, I thought it would be fun to do a retrospective post of sorts! You know, have a look back and shine a little light on a couple of my favourite recipes and travel guides from years past. There are actually a grand total of 280 published posts on the blog, so it’ll be fun to have a look back at a few we might have forgotten about! Shall we?

For the most part, I’ve limited myself to two favourite recipes and two favourite travel posts a year, highlighting 33 posts in total. It was actually quite hard choosing a favourite from certain years, I’m really rather proud of what I’ve been sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you enjoy this little look back, friends – I’m so glad you’re here!

2022

.

I’m totally aware that there’s only been one original recipe so far this year – Homemade Dune Blanche, looking at you! – but, aside from that, there’s a couple travel posts I’d like to highlight. I love every single one of my travel guides, but I have a handful of favourites from over the years. One such favourite is the first travel guide I published this year: Eating Our Way Around Bordeaux, France. It was just one of those posts that flowed right out of me when I sat down to write, and I love the finished product! I also have a soft spot for my Long Weekend in Luxembourg post; the tiny country was unknown to us before visiting, but we were very pleasantly surprised by what we found there. Can you believe that was my first time visiting a new-to-me country since 2016? Mad!

2021

.

If I may say so, I shared some real recipe gems in 2021! I devoted the year to getting creative and learning new baking techniques, and I’m pretty pleased with what I put out. That said, I am especially proud of my cute little S’mores Baked Alaska! Biscuit crumbs, frozen chocolate fudge, and a toasty meringue hat – yes! please! In search of a little everyday luxury, my Small Batch Almond & Hazelnut Granola is on near-constant repeat in our house. There’s just nothing better than a bowl of yogurt and granola in the mornings – unless it’s Chocolate Pillows, which are my kryptonite.

Also! There are some absolutely stellar recipes from the Cookbook Club Archives! Stand-outs for me include: Violet’s Cinnamon Buns and Dreamy Lemon Curd.

Travel-wise, this is such an easy choice for me: Ravello Travel Guide | Visiting the Amalfi Coast Part I. Similarly to my Bordeaux post, I definitely have a soft-spot for my Ravello post! Maybe it’s because Ravello was the first place we visited since Covid shutdown travel? It could also just be because we explored to our heart’s content and ate so much good food. Whatever it is, looking back over the post – which I do often! – makes me feel so happy and whole ๐Ÿ™‚

2020

.

It would appear the beginning of the pandemic was wonderful for my creativity in the kitchen! I have a soft spot for a lot of the recipes from 2020, but my Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting is a firm favourite. Boyfriend loves it so much that he asks me to bake it every month or so – literally. I’m also exceptionally proud of my Blood Orange Choux au Craquelin; the recipe testing stage for them was a LOT and the end product turned out better than I could’ve imagined! I just love finding ways to incorporate blood oranges into my bakes.

Considering 2020 was the first year in a long time that I didn’t actually leave the country, I shared a lot of travel guides! My two favourites would have to be 24 Hours in San Gimignano and Berlin Travel Guide | 4 Days in the German Capital. The San Gimignano guide is a little shorter than what I normally share, a little more fast & fun, which was a nice change to write. The Berlin guide, on the other hand, is a behemoth! It’s jam-packed with tons of recommendations, and it’s the in-depth-ness of it that I love. Berlin is probably the city I get asked about most, so I put a lot of effort into that bad boy.

2019

.

Ah 2019, the year my blood orange addiction began. There was a blood orange curd, an attempted cocktail, and, eventually, this Blood Orange Bundt Cake. I’ve yet to come across anything blood orange-y that I don’t like, and this cake is so buttery, delightful, and cute! Have you seen the pink glaze? I’m obsessed. Another cute bake: I’ve made this Salted Maple Pie several times over the years and have never been let down! It’s perfectly sweet and salty, and we’re always looking for an excuse to eat more pie.

Travel-wise, it’s gotta be my first two La Dolce Vita blog posts, Italian Adventures Part I: Florence and Part II: Bologna. Boyfriend & I first visited Florence & Bologna together in the summer of 2016 and quickly became besotted with both cities. We’d returned to the cities twice more before I sat down to write these guides, so you better believe that they’re filled with our very best recommendations. They’re the two places we’re always day-dreaming about getting back to. Don’t you just love Italy?

2018

.

Okay, so far, 2018 has definitely been the easiest year to choose two favourite recipes from. Hands down, it’d have to be first my Pear Spice Cake with Brown Butter & Dark Chocolate Drip and then Kladdkaka, Swedish Chocolate Cake. Both are recipes that I make religiously every year: the pear cake around October, and the Kladdkaka during December. While the two are quite different flavour/texture-wise, they’re both super comforting treats during their respective seasons! Also, making cakes with pears from your very own pear tree just never gets old – we love you Percy!

I have a few loves from the 2018 travel archives, so this was a tough-y. Ultimately, while I think they’re all pretty great, my two best are probably the Munich City Guide and Paris: A Wander Guide. Munich – and Germany, as a whole – is so underrated and it’s genuinely one of my favourite countries. I tried to pack as much information as possible into the guide, picked up over several return visits, and I’m very happy with the end result. As for the Paris guide – it’d be hard not to include it in my list of favourites because honestly, who doesn’t love Paris? The boulevards, the little romantic alleyways, the pastries; you get the picture.

2017

.

We’ve gone far enough back in time now for me to feel overwhelmed at how badly the photos are edited, cringe. Looking beyond that – 2017 was the year that I discovered how juicy & delicious perfectly ripe strawberries could be. I must’ve been living under a rock for this knowledge to have eluded me, but I’m glad I finally crawled out. These Cardamom, Strawberry & Apple Mini Pies were my first strawberry bake, and they were quickly followed by this Strawberries & Cream Naked Cake. I remember being extremely pleased with both at the time – perhaps it’s time for a re-bake!

Looking back through the archives now, I’m rather pleasantly surprised by how many different travel guides I shared back in 2017. There are some real gems hidden back there, but my two favourites are Bremen, Germany and Exploring Copenhagen, Denmark. Bremen because a) again, Germany is so underrated and ignored and b) it’s such a beautiful and untainted-by-tourism little city! Copenhagen because it’s probably one of the nicest, most safest cities I’ve ever been to.

2016

.

The 2016 recipe archive is home to one of my absolute favourite recipes in the whole world: Raspberry Swirled Cheesecake. I’m sorry, I know this sounds bigheaded, but this is probably the best cheesecake you’ll ever eat. Every single person – including cheesecake haters! – that has ever had the privilege of tasting this all say the same thing: it’s divine. Besides that, I also have a soft spot for these Coffee Doughnuts – the photos of which mercifully had a facelift last year. Brioche doughnuts stuffed with a coffee flavoured pastry cream; a good second place to the world’s best cheesecake, no?

After years of thinking about it, 2016 was the year I started sharing travel guides to the blog! There are two from that first year, both of which are about London: Notting Hill Workshop and London, UK. I hadn’t yet figured out what kind of style or format I wanted the posts to be in, so I find them somewhat cringy to look back at nowadays. Either way, I’m so glad I finally made the leap and started sharing travel guides here – I love writing them now!

2015 & 2014

.

It would appear that 2015 saw exactly zero new recipes hit the blog; there was, in fact, only one conversational-type post shared over the course of the entire year. It’s a shame, but now we get to skip right on through to 2014, where my two favourite recipes both got a refresh last year! Peach & Almond Frangipane Tart is the absolute best thing to bake with juicy summer peaches, and Lemon & Blueberry Heart Pies are cute even outside of Valentine’s weekend. I made the little heart shaped cuties with homemade puff pastry when I reshot the photos and I just love how butter drunk they are!

Okay, technically, I didn’t share my Walking the Camino de Santiago post to the blog until 2021, but I’ve backdated it to reflect the actual dates we started the Camino: May 2014. Walking the Camino was one of the most mentally and physically challenging things I’ve ever done in my entire life, for sure. I love having a condensed version of my walking journal up here on the blog – it feels weirdly comforting to me!

2013

.

2013 was my most productive year as a baking blogger, it would seem! Despite the fact that I was a full-time college student with a very time consuming part-time job, a whopping 43 new recipes hit the site that year! Forty three! Given the sheer volume of content, I’ve chosen three recipes to highlight! First, my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans. These are Boyfriend’s favourite cookies of mine, they’re crispy, chewy, chocolatey and nutty. Next, Classic Apple Pie, because who doesn’t love pie? So simple and so satisfying. Finally, Cinnamon Sugared Almonds. Crunchy almonds, oven roasted and coated with a cinnamon-y sweet shell. They’re insanely addictive, and especially great around Christmas time!

2012

.

Finally, we’ve made it all the way back to my first ever year blogging! There were actually only two recipes shared to the blog in 2012, and they both more than deserve a mention. First came Julia Child’s Tarte Normande aux Pommes, followed shortly by Honeycomb Ice-Cream. Julia’s Tarte was the first ‘serious bake’ I ever made, and it definitely opened my eyes to the world of good baking. The ice-cream is one I still make today; with just 4 ingredients, it’s a ridiculously easy no-churn recipe.

Good lord – if you made it this far, congratulations! Did you enjoy having a look back over some of our earlier moments online together? What was your favourite recipe and/or travel guide from the last decade? I’d love to know! Hit me up using the comment box below ๐Ÿ™‚

LASTLY! Just a really quick note to say thank you for being here! I love sharing recipes and travel guides, and I’m so glad Passionate Baker has stuck around for this long! Here’s to another 10!

Happy weekend!

Vicki xo

PS, let’s not forget where the blog started! Here’s a link to the OG version, all the way over on Tumblr. We’ve come a looooong way!

related posts

Chocolate Birthday Cake
Triple Chocolate Birthday Cake
Rhubarb Panna Cotta



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.