Tessa Huff

Tessa Huff is a Vancouver-based specialty chef and food stylist/photographer. She is the author of her forthcoming book "Layered," from Abrams Books. You can find more of her work at www.stylesweetca.com
How To Make Pâte Sablée for Tarts and Pastries
Imagine the tines of your forking breaking through, almost snapping, the velvety crust of a fruit tart. It crumbles a bit, but is far from dry — each bite more rich and buttery than the last. That tender crust is typically known as pâte sablée. Unlike a flaky pie crust, pâte sablée is crisp and more cookie-like. The name literally means “sandy,” although it’s anything but.
Jul 28, 2023
How To Make a Cake from Scratch
Have you graduated from boxed cake mix? Want to step up your cake-making game? Lucky for all of us, baking a cake from scratch is completely doable for the home baker. If you are just starting out, we have some great tips and just the right recipe for you. Classic yellow butter cake straight from your own oven – what’s better than that? Let’s get started!
Mar 8, 2023
Homemade Cornbread Mix
Whether you need a quick side to go along with a lunch salad or something warm and tasty to bring along to a BBQ, keeping a jar of this cornbread mix around will always come in handy. Made with only a few, common dry ingredients, this mix is easy to use and even easier to put together. Say “so long” to store-bought mixes, and start making your own cornbread mix this summer!
Oct 7, 2022
How To Use a Piping Bag
Do you find yourself flummoxed every time you come across a recipe that calls for a piping bag? Stranded with an empty piping bag in one hand and a half-dozen piping tips scattered around the counter, and don’t know where to start? Do you wish you could pipe delicate ruffles or intricate details on your birthday cake and pastries, or pipe a batch of luscious pastry cream inside an eclair? It’s time to befriend your trusty piping bag.
Sep 21, 2022
How To Make Buttercream Frosting: The Easiest Method
This buttercream whips up super fluffy super quickly, and is literally the icing on the cake of any homemade treat.
Sep 8, 2022
Baking School Day 1: All About Eggs and Baking
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 1: Learn all about eggs. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Welcome to Baking School! In day-to-day cooking, eggs can be scrambled, poached, or boiled to create easy, straightforward dishes all on their own. But when it comes to baking and pastry, the importance of their role changes from breakfast food to a vital ingredient for giving structure, texture, and flavor.
Sep 2, 2022
Recipe: Everyday Pancake & Waffle Mix
When it comes right down to it, we are all just trying to find the best way to feed ourselves and our families. Somewhere in the middle of the frozen food aisle and foraging for our own fresh produce, the “best way” appears a bit fuzzy from time to time. If you are trying to find a balance between convenience and homemade, cost efficiency and saving time, then start with this simple recipe for pancake mix.
Jan 22, 2020
Recipe: Apple Zucchini Muffins
Zucchini bread was one of the first things I learned how to bake from scratch. It was full of oil and topped with a mound of cream cheese frosting. My 20-year-old self was in love. Nowadays, especially since I bake so often, I try to look for healthier options. These apple-zucchini muffins are the perfect compromise — with their oat crumble topping and dollop of sweetened crème fraîche, that super-rich cream cheese frosting is hardly missed.
Jan 21, 2020
Recipe: No-Bake Berry Cheesecake Verrines
Let’s get real. Nobody wants to turn on the oven during these hot summer months. But that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying some sweet treats every now and then, especially when they involve sun-ripened berries. While this recipe does require a few minutes spent over the stove, it is completely worth it. Served in individual glasses, this creamy cheesecake custard is paired with a strawberry-raspberry gelee, all atop a graham cracker crust.
Jan 21, 2020
Recipe: Chai Sweet Potato Cupcakes
These spiced cupcakes bring the flavor of masala chai to every bite, from the black tea-laced frosting to the fragrant sweet potato base.
Jan 21, 2020
Recipe: Candy-Topped Chocolate Cupcakes
When it comes to Halloween, I don’t joke around with my treats, and these cupcakes are no exception. It is a holiday that revolves around getting candy, after all! With a classic chocolate cake base and mounds of fluffy frosting, these cupcakes are super festive and easily customizable. Grab some friends, your favorite candy, and make a batch of these treats. These cupcakes start with an easy chocolate cake recipe and quick meringue frosting.
Jan 21, 2020
Recipe: Chocolate Coconut Cake
Want to make a stunning layer cake, but lack confidence in your cake decorating skills? Well, here’s a secret — you don’t need to be a professional pastry chef to create gorgeous layer cakes at home. Of course, practice makes perfect, but there are some tips and tricks for making beautiful cakes now! If you want an elegant layer cake with some added insurance in the decorating department, then this chocolate coconut cake is for you.
Jan 21, 2020
The Best Way to Get a Stuck Bundt Cake Out of the Pan in One Piece
Ever fill your favorite intricately-designed bundt pan with homemade cake batter and wait the 50-60 minutes for it to bake, only to have the cake stick to the pan? I know I have. There is nothing more crushing than trying to invert a yummy-smelling cake from its pan and having it stick or fall out it clumps. Well, those sad times are over! Try this “steam” method with your next stuck bundt cake.
Jan 21, 2020
Recipe: Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake
I am always trying to think of new dessert recipes to have on hand for easy entertaining. Recipes that are fresh, simple, and allow you to spend time with your guests instead of being stuck in the kitchen. When Anjali asked me to help her with a cake for her Grown-Up Baby Shower, I knew this Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake would be a winner. With summer just around the corner, this no-fuss recipe is perfect for whatever backyard gathering or barbecue is heading your way.
Jan 21, 2020
Holiday Recipe: Spiced Cinnamon Eggnog Rolls
There was always music playing in my childhood home, especially around the holidays. Once the tunes turned to holiday jingles, it signaled that there was fun to be had and cookies to be made. My mom would always mix it up, from the classics to her favorite R&B artists. Years later, I’ve inherited her eclectic tastes while adding my own favorites, so my Christmas baking happens to a soundtrack of Frank Sinatra, Burl Ives, Mariah Carey, and yes, Alvin & The Chipmunks.
Jan 21, 2020
Baking School Day 5: Sweet & Savory Soufflés
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 5: All about dessert soufflés. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Soufflés tend to get a bad rap for being fussy and finicky — so why bother making them, you ask? Are they worth all the trouble? The answer is a resounding yes, and as you’ll learn in today’s lesson, they are not nearly as difficult as you might think.
Sep 11, 2019
Recipe: Apricot-Vanilla Bean Jam
The simple art of small-batch jams is something to celebrate and share. It’s like saying, “Hey, I have all this delicious, ripe fruit that I am going to whip up, and you — lucky recipient — are so special to me that I am going to share all this goodness and love with you.” When words alone can’t send the message strong enough, say it with jam!
Jun 14, 2019
How To Make French Meringue
The cookie you can totally eat three or four of!
Jun 9, 2019
Recipe: Rose, Orange, and Cardamom Mini Layer Cakes
The sun is finally shining high up here in the Pacific Northwest, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that spring is here to stay. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate spring and times of renewal than with a delightful layer cake. A slice of one of these rose, cardamom, and orange mini layer cakes is like a little slice of sunshine on every plate.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Raspberry-Coconut French Macarons
Most days are spent running around between work and errands, throwing dinner together at the last minute, and whipping up a quick one-bowl batter or treat if time allows. But some days are specifically reserved for baking projects, kitchen experiments, and fancy pastries. French macarons definitely fall into the latter category. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, these Raspberry-Coconut French Macarons are the perfect treat.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Lemon-Lime Curd with Rosemary Sables
Sometimes you just need a moment to treat yourself. Whether that be a nice, breezy walk outside, a superb homemade latté (I’m talking with real steamed milk here), or a special snack. These buttery cookies with citrus curd are just that treat. Forcing yourself to take a beat out of a busy day in order to sit down and swirl the luscious curd onto each buttery cookies allows you to savor the moment — as well as each delectable crumb.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Raspberry Lemonade Bars
During the summer months, I love making homemade lemonade with a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice, some ice cubes, and sweetener shaken up in a cocktail shaker. I like to mix it up by adding either mint simple syrup, sliced strawberries, and honey. My favorite? Adding raspberry puree. Hello, pink lemonade! And then I got to thinking…. What about raspberry lemonade bars? A sweet and tart twist on the ol’ classic dessert. You can’t beat a tried and true recipe.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Caramel-Pear Upside Down Cake
Are single-layer cakes all the rage right now or am I just little behind the times? Either way, I am in love. Bake them with seasonal fruit, top with fresh whipped cream, and add a drizzle of this or that — or even a scoop of ice cream. This caramel pear upside down cake is the perfect way to combine this flavorful fall fruit and a mound of your favorite toppings. When I owned my bakery, I only made layer cakes for weddings and special occasions.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Deep-Dish Pumpkin Meringue Pie
Food trends come and go, but there will always be pumpkin pie. Whether it’s a traditional recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation, or one with a modern twist, no Thanksgiving is complete without this classic. Piped high with fluffy, toasted marshmallow-like topping, this deep-dish pumpkin meringue pie will spice up your dessert table this year. Traditions evolve and your annual feast may not even include a turkey on the table this year.
May 1, 2019
From Christmas Cookies to Dolly Parton’s Birthday, Baked Occasions Has You Covered
Cookbook: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito Overall Impression: No matter the season or day of the year, there is a sweet and innovative recipe to help celebrate every occasion — even the ones we didn’t know existed. The brilliant duo from Baked NYC are back with their fourth book, Baked Occasions, celebrating Easter to Halloween, and everything in between.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Holiday Nut & Fruit Brittle
Every year around this time, I start making big batches of cookies, candies, and other edible gifts, package them up with festive bows and baker’s twine, and give them to friends and family. This season, I made this Holiday Nut & Fruit Brittle. It’s perfect for gifting and so versatile, using whatever nuts or dried fruit you have around. Enrobed in caramelized sugar, the nuts and seeds in this Holiday Nut Brittle look like little gems.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Peppermint Red Velvet Cake Roll
Searching for a festive, whimsical dessert to serve a crowd? This red velvet cake roll is not only surprisingly easy to put together during the busy holiday season, but it will look stunning on any dessert table. With tender red velvet sponge cake and a silky peppermint buttercream, this is a fun spin on a classic, crowd-pleasing dessert. Trying to roll up a sheet cake might sound impossibly daunting, but this really is a simple dessert.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Raspberry Lemon Curd
Great gift-giving is an art form — finding a present that is the perfect balance of thoughtful, practical, intimate, and memorable. Sometimes this process can be a bit overwhelming. However, if you love to DIY, then the idea of a homemade gift can make things a whole lot easier. I tend to follow the edible gift route, as I find that making treats is a sensible, personal — and not to mention delicious — way to spoil loved ones.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Strawberry Syrup
With BBQs and the season of outdoor entertaining upon us, don’t get caught empty-handed heading into your next get-together. When a bottle of wine won’t do, try making your own hostess gift! At the peak of strawberry season, turn a basket of these juicy gems into some DIY strawberry syrup to gift to friends and family. An edible gift is one of the most practical yet personal items worth sharing.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Herby Lemon Salt
This Herby Lemon Salt is one of the most practical and multipurpose seasoning salts you can have in your cupboard. The fresh citrus brightens up everything from poultry to hummus — even fresh fruit! Mix up the herbs to create new flavors or just stick to your favorites. I’ve used fresh thyme, rosemary, and oregano, but I bet some cilantro or even mint would be great additions. Try sprinkling it on some buttered corn on the cob!
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Espresso Pepper Salt
This Espresso Pepper Salt is quite robust, with its earthy and spicy flavor profile. Dark espresso is combined with fresh oregano, black pepper, and a touch of cayenne pepper for a little extra kick. It is perfect on ribs and other grilled meats, and it would make an excellent dry rub mixed with a bit of brown sugar for pork loin. I bet it would be great to rim the glass of a Blood Mary, too. Be sure to keep a jar next to your grill all summer long!
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Herbes de Provence
This Herbes de Provence Salt uses a combination of fresh and dried herbs that are typically found in southern France. Like many of the seasoning blends of the same name, I’ve also added lavender to the mix. Try it on fish, poultry, grilled meats, and in stews. A good pinch added to a homemade vinaigrette would make for an excellent dressing on salads and vegetables, too! Although this blend uses fresh herbs, it will keep quite well in the cupboard for several weeks — at least!
May 1, 2019
Baking School Day 2: Pâte à Choux
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 2: All about pâte à choux. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments It’s the second day of Baking School and we’re diving straight into our first French pastry lesson. Pâte à what?
May 1, 2019
Baking School Day 3: Pastry Cream
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 3: All about pastry cream. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments Take your standard vanilla pudding. Now imagine that pudding taken to the next level — even richer, creamier, and more luxurious. That’s pastry cream. It is so good, you could eat it with just a spoon — or better yet, use it as filling in a multitude of pastries and baked goods.
May 1, 2019
Baking School Day 4: Meringue
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 4: All about meringue. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments In its most basic, stripped-down definition, meringue is egg whites whipped with sugar. Air is quickly whipped into the egg whites, which makes them billow up to as much as eight times in volume. Pretty neat trick, right? When sugar is added, it not only provides sweetness, but it also helps stabilize the egg whites.
May 1, 2019
Baking School Day 6: All About Butter and Baking
The Kitchn’s Baking School Day 6: All about butter. Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments It would be near impossible to talk about all these pastries and baked goods without discussing one big key ingredient: butter! Want tender biscuits and a flaky pie crust? Butter is the answer. Looking for moist, delicate cakes? You’ll need butter. Creamy frostings? Yup, you guessed it — butter is the key.
May 1, 2019