10 Most Viewed Recipes of 2012


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And the people have spoken with their clicks.

These are the ten most viewed posts on my site in 2012:

10. 15 Recipes Using Cake Mix (and none of them actually make a cake)

cookie butter funetti bars

9. Homemade Thin Mints (no-bake, vegan)

Homemade Thin Mints

8. Old-Fashioned Butter Mints (no-bake, gluten-free)

Old-Fashioned Butter Mints

7. No-Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles

No-Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles

6. Avocado Cream Cheese and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastry (vegan)

Avocado Cream Cheese and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastry

5. Homemade Peanut Butter (vegan, gluten-free) – Make in minutes

Homemade Peanut Butter pic collage

4. Pumpkin Spice Latte (vegan, gluten-free)

Pumpkin Spice Latte

3. Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars

Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars

2. Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free)

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

And the most popular recipe is…

1. Orange Pushup Smoothie (gluten-free with vegan option)

Orange Pushup Smoothie

In general I’m not that surprised per se, but the findings are interesting.

Some of the food wasn’t made in 2012 but continues to make the top ten list annually. For example, the Cookie Dough balls were made in 2009 and each year they continue to be in the top ten; as does the Pumpkin Spice Latte and No-Bake Cake Batter Truffles, both of which were created in 2011.

If given more time, I think the Old-Fashioned Butter Mints and Thin Mints could have surpassed other recipes and ranked even higher, but I didn’t make them until June and July 2012, respectively. I suspect they’ll do well in 2013.

It’s also interesting that two recipes with mint made the top ten and #11 was Triple Layer Fudgy Mint Oreo Brownies

Two beverages made the list and the beverage that took the top spot was an afterthought of a post. I had just returned from Aruba early last January, was swamped, didn’t have time to actually bake something, but needed to make something. So I made a citrus-ey, summery smoothie. In early January. Clearly, I still had Aruba on my mind, but apparently the timing worked.

Things that can be made in a blender or food processor are popular from Peanut Butter to Smoothies to Cookie Dough.

No-Bake is always popular and all but three items on this list are no-bake. The Smores Bars are technically baked, but barely. The Avocado Puff Pastry although it requires baking, it’s more of an assemble-and-bake rather than a baked-from-scratch recipe. The other baked post is the Cake Mix Recipes post.

Cake mix and things that taste like cake batter are always popular. No matter what people say about cake mix and claiming to want to shun it, they click on it. From my 15 Recipes Using Cake Mix post to the No-Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Truffles, cake mix has been around for generations because it’s easy, it works, and it gets the clicks.

Chocolate is present in five of the ten recipes, not surprising. Peanut butter turned up twice; three times if you count the 15 Cake Mix Recipes post.

There’s only one savory recipe that made the list, the Avocado Puff Pastry. Savory or ‘healthy’ recipes never get the clicks that the sweeter recipes get. My vegetable-based recipes, family-friendly casseroles, dinner options, and savory food only ever get a fraction of the clicks on both my site or on the food sites that my desserts or sweeter options generate.

As I look at this list, I feel like many of these recipes are a little underwhelming. They’re not complicated, they’re not involved, I don’t know if they’re ‘classics’ that people will make over and over for generations to come, but they’re what the people wanted in 2012.

It’s a reminder to me that in 2013 I shouldn’t necessarily try to reinvent the wheel with multi-step recipes or things that are too involved. When it comes right down to it, easy, simple, straightforward, and on the sweeter side seems to be what you want.

Thanks for the Elegant Food Gift Box Giveaway Entries

Are you surprised with the results?

Any recipes you’d like to see more of in 2013?

What did you make in 2012 that was memorable?

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. I tried to get to the pumpkin spice latte recipe you link to, but I think the link may be wrong – there are two urls in the link. Can you please let me know what the correct link is?

  2. Well selfishly I’d love to see anything gluten-free. But your pictures continue to be amazing, even if I can’t eat the food! Happy New Year’s Eve!

  3. Since I haven’t been following you for years, it’s fun to see some of your older recipes. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure I discovered your blog from your avocado and cream pastries on Pinterest. That smoothie must get made this week. I have an overwhelming amount of citrus and a brand new Blendtec. Match made in heaven….

    Also, you can’t go wrong with thin mints! You did such a fabulous job with that one. Can’t wait to see what you do next year. I’m sure you’ll continue to blow us all away!

    1. That’s funny that you think you discovered me via the avocado puff pastry recipe! And thanks for all your comments & have a happy new year!

  4. Man, oh man, this is a sweet roundup! Those avocado and cream cheese pastries have always been one of my faves of yours, along with your peanut butter, so I’m really not surprised that they’re so popular! And the cake mix recipes… drool and swoon and drool some more…

  5. I’m not surprised with the results–everything you make looks insanely delicious and the photographs are gorgeous! I see your pictures on Pinterest all of the time, including the smoothie–so I’m not shocked it made the list! :) Happy New Year, Averie! Here’s hoping 2013 is your year!!

    1. Here’s hoping 2013 is your year, too! And thanks for not only seeing my stuff on Pinterest but thanks for the stuff of mine you pin, too :)

  6. I could truly go for that orange push up smoothie right now! Yum! It is quite tasty looking. Happy New Year!

  7. I always think it is interesting to share what the “viewers” click on the most…you sure had a lot of recipes that I pinned and pinned…thin mints that one is so easy and so good. I want to make the butter mints…now that orange smoothie that would be perfect to help wake me up this Monday morning. What I am surprised about is no bread and that sure has been a favorite of mine…I just love reading what you write about the recipe and the process…I haven’t made yeast bread yet but I sure love oogling over your photos! and actually I made your banana bread recipe last night does that count for “bread” aka no yeast…LOL

    1. People I think are a bit intimidated by bread and it doesn’t seem to make the cut like other recipes do – it’s the easier, realllllllly simple stuff that seems to make the list. I am so glad to hear you like reading about the recipe and process and that you just made banana bread last nite! I wish I was sharing a piece with you!

  8. Wow, I can see why these were the most clicked! My most favorite has to be the Avocado Cream Cheese and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastry – I have some leftover puff pastry lingering around in the freezer so you know I’ll be making this soon!

  9. A lot of vegan stuff here! The vegans must love you =) I still want to try those Thin Mint thingies too.

  10. You know I love this kind of analysis and could talk/write for hours about what it really means or says about people. Bottom line, I think, is that people want to look at beautifully styled and decadent desserts, so those get the hits, but they don’t want to make them. The easy, straightforward, no-bake, etc – those will get the hits too, from those who are actually reading the recipe. So this top ten list really isn’t that surprising. A nice mix.

    That the bread isn’t on there isn’t shocking eeither. As much as people love fresh bread, it is so readily available, and there is such a stigma around it that people probably just don’t want to be bothered.

    Personally, I’ve made a lot of your recipes, or used a lot of them as “jumping off” points, and most of them fall into the easy, no-bake desserts (the cookie dough balls, the butterfinger bars, the creme de menthe bars, and I just made the browned butter RK bars) or the savory recipes. I love all the dips and spreads and soups and casseroles. That’s 90% of what I eat anyway.

    I guess I did write a lot. :D

  11. OK…here goes! My top 5 of yours:

    1) White Chocolate Marshmallow Cake Bars
    2) Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
    3) Baked Vanilla Donuts with Vanilla Glaze
    4) Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache
    5) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough & Marshmallow Stuffed Rice Krispie Bars

    Honorable mentions:

    1) Coconut Spice Cheesecake Bars
    2) Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

    Good grief, who am I kidding? I could go on and on! I love your honey dinner rolls, all of your donuts, your banana breads and your maple oaties that I seriously have made over 15 times. Not even kidding!

    I love your blog and I say, more of the same! I will keep reading every day! Always look forward to your posts! :-)

    1. And thank you for your daily readership (and friendship!) and that you’ve made more of my stuff than anyone – you and one other lady, hands down, are my #1 tried-and-true and actually make it readers. I bet you’ve made over 50 DIFFERENT recipes of mine, and some …many, many times. You’ve made the oaties now more than me. Ha!

      Coconut PB Magic Cake Bars – those make the cut for me too, in addition to both of your #1’s. Variations on a theme.

      And yes the brownies and the pumpkin bundt are total keepers. I mean, yes, without a doubt in my own personal top 10 on my whole site, ever, recipes.

  12. My most popular recipes involved cake mixes too! It must be a big trend this year : ) Hmm…what would i like to see in the upcoming year? I love all the no bake balls that you make! Keep those coming!

  13. Averie, what a fabulous analysis! “and the people have spoken with their clicks” ha! Love that line. Isn’t it SO funny that literally thoughtless, last minute recipes can truly be the real winners in our reader’s eyes? Both of our #1 recipes this year were made in a pinch, no baking involved, and quite honestly… made just to “make” something! Where I spent hours photographing and styling my gingerbread cake in November, a 4 ingredient puppy chow trumps that by over 150K views. It’s so interesting to me! And it really is something to keep in mind as we plan and strategize 2013 recipes and posts.

    I am NOT surprised by a few placements on your top ten. Your cake mix round up – brilliant. simply BRILLIANT. Wonderful post. A one-stop shop for people who want to get a little creative in the kitchen but still use the ease and convenience (and taste) of a boxed mix. The peanut butter – an obvious staple. No surprise it’s up there. People also LOVE their cookie dough. A post from 2009 still ringing in strong. Love it girl – that’s a golden recipe right there. Geez… another remind to freaking make the PB S’mores Bars! I’m truly missing out. If it were me choosing, I’d put your honey dinner rolls, your pumpkin bundt cake, the chocolate cake, nanaimo bars, and cranberry bliss bars!

    congrats on an amazing year! I know BIG and wonderful things are in store for you in 2013. :)

    1. ” I’d put your honey dinner rolls, your pumpkin bundt cake, the chocolate cake, nanaimo bars, and cranberry bliss bars!” — first the fact that you can even remember all of my recipes (I try really hard to & sometimes can’t LOL) is impressive and I do have a lineup of about 5 of yours that mentally jump off the page at me and none of them were in your Top 10 list – or maybe 1 or 2? But it’s b/c people are not into cake or complicated bars and not bread! They want simple – at least on my site. It’s just a fact that’s a statistic on my site and yours and no doubt, many others.

      The gingerbread cake, my chocolate molasses bundt cake, the recipes I work my tail off developing – those Nanaimo bars..whoa nelly just the photos alone – that it’s smoothies and puppy chow that win the race. Yep. Thought you’d enjoy this little analysis. I could talk for days with you about it. Next post coming up is more of this type of discussion. I can’t resist.

  14. I’ll take one of each, please! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in 2013 :). Happy New Year!

  15. What a spectacular Year in Review. I can see why these are the favorites. They all look delicious. Here’s to a great 2013!

  16. I can see why these are the favorites! You’ve had an amazing year with recipes. Very inspiring :) Happy (early) new year!

  17. This post was fascinating, and I love that you ‘de-constructed’ the findings for us. Just the other day I was looking at foodgawker’s most gawked list for 2012 (you’re on it, by the way) and I was surprised at the types of food that were most popular. Just like you say, sometimes it’s the easy basics that are the most popular. Here’s to a really fun year of blogging in 2013!

    1. On my site it always is the easiest and the most basic – I mean, smoothies, coffee, and peanut butter. It doesn’t get any easier. Almost the non-recipe recipes. Which begs all kinds of other questions…Thanks for the heads up about FG. I know that sometimes I’ll be on their Most Gawked list of the past 7 days or Most Favorited list of the past 7 days, then they have breakdowns by month, etc. So many ways to look at their stats! But the bottom line is that I too am surprised by what is popular off all time (sometimes even with pictures that if were submitted today, they’d be declined!) Happy 2013, Sue!

  18. Your most viewed recipes from ME are the amazing blondie ones :D

    Please make more blondie and brownie varieties!

    What I made in 2012 that was memorable = homemade Twinkie cupcakes.

  19. I agree with your analysis . . . personally, I’d be one of the people that falls into the “easier, simple and straightforward” group. Those are the recipes I’d try out myself. However, I do have a great appreciation for he complicated recipes–how do you do it?!? :) Thanks for such a great blog–I have enjoyed reading it over the years, and look forward to what’s to come. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Michelle, about what you’re inclined to make and of course, for reading & your sweet comments you leave!

  20. Great round up! I’ve made a few of the items on that list in the past few months. Looking forward to what you come up with in 2013. My favorite recipe did not make the list; Outback Steakhouse Bread.

  21. Well, if I wasn’t going to make all of these recipes before, I surely will now! All laid out with pretty pictures everything is just so tempting. Thanks for the roundup! I think the orange pushup smoothie is first on my own list, as well!

  22. It’s very surprising to me that some of the recipes weren’t made this year. All of the recipes look great and are so wide ranging in terms of flavors and recipe categories. I am surprised some of the fab looking cookies and cakes you made, not to mention breads, didn’t make the list.

    1. I’ve learned that people don’t make cakes much, and definitely not breads. Or shall I say, they may get ‘made’ but they don’t get clicked on. The avg person I think is a bit too intimated and they don’t generate the clicks that the easier and simpler recipes do. That’s my very rudimentary analysis, of course!

  23. I always love seeing what dessert you dream up and make but also like your savory recipes! Everything I’ve tried has turned out great and has been easy to replicate exactly or sub in something else with excellent results as well. Your recipes are time efficient, easy to downsize or double, and don’t use hard to find ingredients, so making something last minute or on a whim is easy for me. Just tried the nutella truffle bites yesterday. I bought a sample pack of Justin’s choc hazelnut butter at our local natural grocery, halved the recipe and was in heaven at first bite! They are delicious and satisfy my love for fudge and truffles!!

    1. That’s awesome about the Fudge Bites (favor – can you write it on that post?) I think you’re the first person who’s written to say they’ve made them! Woot!

      And all the comments you leave, on all the posts, and all the recipes you try – thank you! I am so glad to hear what you like about my recipes and why they get made (…excellent results as well. Your recipes are time efficient, easy to downsize or double, and don’t use hard to find ingredients…) and that’s so helpful for me to know these things! I hope you have a wonderful 2013 and thanks for your loyalty, Paula!

  24. Well since I’ve made 5 of the 10… not surprised that so many others love these and love the ideas you share with us ;-). Are you kidding ? I have not bought a jar of peanut butter in the store since that post came out..love it. So I don’t have so much trouble scooping peanut butter out of the blender each week. Thanks so much for these and all your recipes Averie :-). Have a fun safe New Years Eve with the family !

    1. Sorry. The part of my comment telling you I asked for one thing, a food processor to make your peanut butter seems to be stuck in lala land :-X

    2. You’ve made 5 of the 10 – wow! I knew you’d make a lot but didn’t know it was that many – and thank you! And so glad you don’t need to buy PB anymore :)

    1. Probably some of my earliest posts in early 2009 get got the least views in 2012 when I had no readers and there are certain posts I’ve announced a giveaway winner on in 2012 that hardly get any views based on it b/c it’s just an announcement.

  25. I can see trough your recipes that it was a sweet year for you. I like the one for an old-fashioned butter mints the most. Happy New Year and can’t wait to see your new recipes in 2013!