As 2013 draws to a close, I want to thank everyone who reads my blog and visits my site.

Averie Cooks wouldn’t exist without readers, and I am so very, very thankful and grateful for you. Whether you read my posts in stealth or you leave comments, I am appreciative. Thank you for your pins, tweets, shares, and for your support and loyalty.

It makes my day when I wake up to your comments saying you’ve tried a recipe, you loved it, it made you look like a star among your family, friends, and co-workers, and that you’re head-over-heels with what you made. Thank you for trying my recipes, for buying the ingredients, making it, trusting that it will work, and then coming back to tell me about it. That’s truly the best part of blogging.

Some recipes are more popular than others, and I’m highlighting the 10 most popular according to my Google Analytics’ top landing pages. The first slot is people who land on my homepage without landing on a specific post.

Noteworthy is that many recipes from 2009-2012 were in the top 25, but for this post, I’m only including recipes that were made in 2013. I had to go down to #23, just to get the 10 most popular from this year.

Recipes that were made earlier in the year do have an advantage to gain more popularity, and notably, the majority of the top 10 were made January through March.

Recipe rankings

1. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies – These are some of my favorite cookies on my blog, and I wish I would have put them in my cookbook, Peanut Butter Comfort, but there’s a similar recipe, minus the chocolate, in the book. I attribute the popularity due to the peanut butter and chocolate combo, the photography, and the tagline on Pinterest, “Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (GF) – The BEST PB Cookies I’ve ever had. There’s NO Flour, NO Butter, and NO White sugar used! Soft, chewy & oozing with dark chocolate. Crazy good!”

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2. Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies – The cookies became a Pinterest hit and I think the tagline and melty chocolate did the trick. “Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies – Move over butter. Cream cheese makes these cookies thick & super soft!”

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies - Recipe at

3. Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies – The Pinterest text says it all, “Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies – NO butter, NO white sugar. Made with coconut oil. So soft that they’re bendable!” So true and one of my favorite cookies on my site. I adore these cookies.

Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies

4. Skinny Caramel Frappuccino – “Skinny Caramel Frappuccino (GF) – Just like Starbucks except only 50 calories per serving! Sweet, creamy, easy & guilt-free!” I posted this in June and I think the warm weather, and because everyone likes healthier and cheaper alternatives to storebought, contributed to the popularity.

Skinny Caramel Frappuccino - Only 50 Calories Per Serving - Recipe at

5. Loaded M&M Oreo Cookie Bars – I think the photography helped these bars take off. I loved every picture in the post (almost never happens) and apparently others did too.

Loaded M&M Oreo Cookie Bars - Easy, No-Mixer Recipe at

6. Thick and Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (GF) – I don’t know why these became as popular as they did. They don’t seem that ‘special’ to me, but I make so many cookies, and am a very tough critic. I attribute it to, “Thick & Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (GF) NO butter, NO white sugar, & NO flour used. Soft, moist, rich & boldly chocolaty. Almost like brownies!”

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (GF) - No butter, No white sugar, and No flour used

7. Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls – Better than any other rolls I’ve ever had, including Cinnabon. In general, I think people love cinnamon roll pictures and recipes. They’re soft, fluffy, and pure comfort food. These have a make-ahead/overnight option built in. “Overnight Buttermilk Soft & Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls- The best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had! And no need to get up at 5am to start them!”

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls

8. Soft and Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies – I believe coconut oil is gaining popularity among mainstream Americans, and this recipe and recipe #3 help validate that point. “Soft & Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies – Soft, light, puffy, & very peanut buttery. NO Butter & NO White Sugar used!”

Soft and Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies

9. Nutella-Swirled Peanut Butter Chip Blondies – I made these when I was in Aruba in August and cried after the photo shoot because I thought the pictures just looked like a hot, melted mess. I felt like I just wasted precious vacation time baking, doing dishes, staging, styling, and taking food pictures when all I wanted to be doing was be at the pool with my daughter. I was so close to not posting these, but I literally had no backup recipes, and the thought of re-doing the photos was never going to happen. So I went ahead and posted them, and within a day, I knew I had a hit on my hands. Go figure. “Nutella-Swirled Peanut Butter Chip Blondies – One bowl, no mixer, soft & gooey. Peanut Butter & Nutella is always a win!”

Nutella-Swirled Peanut Butter Chip Blondies - Easy One-Bowl No-Mixer Recipe at

10. Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars – These are some of the my favorite bars on my site. “Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars – Fast, easy & worth every last minute of cardio you’ll need to do. Soft, chewy, rich & gooey!”

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

It’s interesting that 5 of the 10 most popular recipes include peanut butter. I guess that my cookbook with 100 peanut butter recipes was right on the money.

6 of the 10 include chocolate. Not shocking.

Any tagline in which I say something to the effect of, “NO Butter & NO White Sugar used!” or use “Skinny” tends to get a lot of attention. The downfall is that I get a zillion comments from people telling me that brown sugar is really just white sugar with molasses added. I try to explain that I am not making a health claim, but rather a taste claim; brown sugar has a different taste, but people become highly irate when it comes to sugar claims, so I measured my words a bit more carefully the second half of 2013.

I have my own set of favorite recipes. It’s really hard to narrow them down because I post between 20 and 25 new recipes per month, every month, so that’s closing in on 300 recipes last year.

I really do love all the ones that made the top 10 list, especially Peanut Butter Cookies #1 and #8, the Softbatch Coconut Oil Dark Brown Sugar Cookies, the Nutella Blondies, and, Cinnamon Rolls, and the PB Cup Bars.

But if I close my eyes, and say, quick, what do you love, a few that come to mind as My Favorites of 2013 include:

Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, GF) – Everything I want in a bar. Chewy, gooey, dense, peanut butter, chocolate, fast, easy. I remake this bar, and versions on the theme, all the time on my blog and in my cookbook.

Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Bars (vegan, gluten-free) - Recipe at

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Molasses Chocolate Chip Bars – Dense, bold, gingerbread fudge-like. You have to love big, bold, powerful molasses and ginger flavors to enjoy these, along with a love of uber-rich desserts and a penchant for dark chocolate, but if all those things are a yes, you will love these. I love molasses yearround and plan to make these in July.

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Molasses Chocolate Chip Bars - Dense, rich and like eating a piece of molasses fudge. Easy no-mixer recipe at

Blueberry Muffin and Buttermilk Pancakes Cake – “Soft, fluffy & tastes like a big buttermilk pancake that ran into a blueberry muffin on the way to the oven! Easy, one-bowl, no-mixer recipe”. I love this cake base so much that I adapted it for many other cakes, including Peaches and Cream Fluffy Muffin CakePeanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake,  Cream Cheese-Swirled Cherry and Mixed Berries Cake, and Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Bliss Cake. Rich, fluffy, flavorful, one-bowl, not fussy, and makes a modest 8×8-inch cake.

Blueberry Muffin and Buttermilk Pancakes Cake

Another cake/muffin base that served me well is this (vegan) pumpkin base. From it, I made Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting - Fast, easy cake you'll never guess is vegan. Recipe at

 Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel Crust

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel Crust - You won't miss the eggs or the butter in this fast & easy bread from

and Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins. If you like pumpkin, this base recipe, which just happens to be vegan but you’ll never miss one bit of flavor, is the best base for soft, rich, flavorful muffins, quickbreads, and cakes that I’ve ever tried, and I’ve made a whole lot of pumpkin stuff. I have news in 2014 to let you know about. Stay tuned.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins - Easy Recipe at

Lofthouse-Style Soft Peanut Butter Chip Sugar Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting – Just like the real Lofthouse cookies, but with peanut butter! They’re perhaps my favorite cookie on my blog, tied with the others previously mentioned. Soft, light yet dense, extremely satisfying, and one of the best things that’s ever come out of my kitchen. I really wish I had thought of these when I was still writing Peanut Butter Comfort. They are without a doubt cookbook-worthy and would have gone on the cover!

Lofthouse-Style Soft Peanut Butter Chip Sugar Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting - Same soft texture as real Lofthouse cookies, but with PEANUT BUTTER! Easy recipe at

What was one of the best things you made in 2013?  

If you made anything from my blog in 2013, I’d love to hear what it was and what you thought of it!

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