Genius Recipes

The 10 Most Popular Genius Recipes of 2022

It was a big year for cookies and cakes.

December 21, 2022
Photo by Julia Gartland

Behold! The Food52 community's Top 10 Genius Recipes of 2022.

As I tend to report every year, cookies and cakes strutted to the top spots of the list, but there were plenty of surprises, too—the very best chicken Caesar, a duo of Hawaiian pupus, and crispy chickpeas as satisfyingly sticky and spicy as Korean fried chicken.

This year, for the first time, we're including the videos, too, so you can see how these recipes earned their star status, and how they can easily fit into your kitchen. Which one will you make first in 2023?

Your Top 10 Genius Recipes of 2022

10. Epic Snickerdoodles From Jessie Sheehan

This chewy, crisp-edged bakery-style cookie is ready in no time flat. No surprise the author of Snackable Bakes (and long-reigning queen of easy-peasy desserts), Jessie Sheehan, knows all the genius tricks for making an utterly epic snickerdoodle, without an epic wait time. The one trick that delighted me most? Melting and cooling butter at the same time.

9. Shoyu Dip With Sesame Crunch & Kim Chee Dip From Sheldon Simeon

For the Super Bowl, we doubled down on dips with Top Chef fan favorite Sheldon Simeon. His creamy, salty, tangy pupus—both ready anytime from the pantry—are so simple and joyful, I had to give you two from his debut cookbook Cook Real Hawai‘i: Shoyu Dip With Sesame Crunch and Kim Chee Dip. Make one, make both, definitely make the sunshiny lemon oil and microwave fried garlic on repeat.

8. 5-Minute Tomato Sauce From Heidi Swanson

The star of Heidi Swanson's go-to tomato sauce? A subtle lift from lemon zest. It doesn't turn the sauce particularly lemony or more acidic, but will make any tomatoes taste brighter and juicier. Her other wrist-flick of efficiency is adding a good amount of olive oil, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt together to a cold pan before plunking it on the heat and stirring until it sizzles. The garlic and chiles start infusing into the oil from the get-go without the usual threat of burning.

7. Basic, Great Chocolate Chip Cookies From Tara O’Brady

Seven Spoons author Tara O’Brady made at least 700 cookies on the path to this internet-famous recipe. She'd tinkered with her chocolate chip cookie recipe since high school and—inspired by the one-bowl-and-go technique of your average brownie—discovered that instead of creaming softened butter with sugar for a standard, cakey cookie, she likes to pull butter straight from the fridge and melt it for a denser, chewy-crispy texture (that also happens to be easier to make the moment you want one). Because you don't need an electric mixer, this is the recipe that heroically kicks off the "Desserts Anyone Can Make" chapter of the Simply Genius cookbook.

6. Not Just Another Chicken Caesar Salad From Ali Slagle

It's fitting that in her debut cookbook, I Dream of Dinner, former Food52 editor Ali Slagle called this Not Just Another Caesar Salad, because it redefined what I've come to want in the classic. Ali's most notable trick is in using half of the feisty dressing for a quick marinade for chicken, then pan-frying with even more of the dressing—mayo, Parmesan, and anchovy all frizzling and browning along. Then she brings in bitter greens to balance the richness, and a clever crunchy crouton trick that means I'll never skip making them again.

5. Crispy Yangnyeom Chickpeas With Caramelized Honey From Eric Kim

Imagine all the crispy, sticky, sweet-hot joys of Korean fried chicken—but without the frying (and the chicken). The delightfully efficient yangnyeom chickpeas in New York Times staff writer Eric Kim's debut cookbook Korean American unlocks them for us, fast. Once you get Eric's sweet-spicy yangnyeom sauce—and the technique for a cooling, curling tuft of scallions—down, you definitely won't want to stop at just chickpeas.

4. The Best Potato Salad Ever From Monifa Dayo

While I was on a sabbatical earlier this year, guest host Brinda Ayer found this winner by chef Monifa Dayo; contributed to Bryant Terry's anthology Black Food. It's a light, even, delicate potato salad with Yukon gold potatoes for richness, aioli for velvety creaminess, yogurt and vinegar for tang, and—in perhaps the most dramatic deviation from grandma's—gently poached eggs, rather than the crumbling chunks of a hard-boil.

3. Caramel Crunch–Chocolate Chunklet Cookies From Dorie Greenspan

Also while I was on sabbatical, food stylist and author Samantha Seneviratne shared the genius of these charmingly-named cookies from Dorie Greenspan's most recent cookbook Baking with Dorie. The caramel in their name comes not from adding caramel chunks to the dough, but from the caramelization of the sugar and butter on the edges of the cookies themselves when baked. Dorie’s genius hack for baking these cookies in a muffin tin instead of on a sheet pan gives the sides and the bottom plenty of contact with hot metal, creating a toasty, all-around golden, edge.

2. Blueberry-Thyme Yogurt Cake from Dorie Greenspan

This French yogurt cake is so simple and ubiquitous; Dorie Greenspan explains in Baking: From My Home to Yours, that in France it’s usually measured simply by scooping up flour, sugar, and oil right into the yogurt container. But because yogurt comes in varied sizes in the United States, Dorie reverse-engineered a version of the recipe that could be baked worldwide—either by weight or with standardized measuring cups and spoons. For the Simply Genius cookbook, Dorie shared a brand-new riff with blueberries and fresh thyme. She smooshes the herb into the sugar alongside the lemon zest, releasing its fragrant oils to travel through your cake batter and, ultimately, your kitchen too.

1. Citrus Cake From Yasmin Khan

This citrus cake—inspired by the tangy orange version at the Home café in Nicosia, Cyprus—for Yasmin Khan's cookbook Ripe Figs is a stunner: It comes together in essentially one bowl and one step (two, if you count the extra-tangy frosting). And most shockingly, there's no need to cream softened butter and sugar, add eggs one by one, or pre-sift dry ingredients. It all goes into the bowl together, with mindful mixing and full-fat yogurt to keep the crumb tender.

What's your favorite Genius recipe of 2022? Tell us in the comments below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate, Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.
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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Smaug
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I'm an ex-economist, lifelong-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007, before returning to the land of Dutch Crunch bread and tri-tip barbecues in 2020. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."


Smaug December 29, 2022
I'm curious as to how many NEW recipes F52 published in 2022.
liz O. December 31, 2022
More high priced items for sale than recipes.
Sherry W. January 1, 2023
Has kind of turned into that.
Nyborg January 2, 2023
Do you understand how "free" things on the internet work? Would you like all the employees and owners on this site to take on outside jobs so that you can have recipes without any sales supporting the "free" recipes? Welcome to the world of algorithms.
Smaug January 2, 2023
Everybody understands how it works. However, this site got profitable by drawing readers with informative articles and recipes- much of the content (such as contest recipes) provided gratis by users. The current owners of the site seem to have no interest in the content. Neither writers nor editors have stayed with them, and the knowledgeable readers that provided recipes, Hot Line answers, informative comment sections that were often of more interest than the articles and recipes, and so forth are gone. The site is still billing itself as a "community", but those days are long gone. We're left with reprints of old content and articles that are little more than thinly veiled advertisements.
Catherine January 5, 2023
Thank you for bringing this up, Smaug. I rarely comment myself, but over the years have enjoyed reading your comments, tips, and insight here.

I agree with your observations- Food52 has changed significantly this past year, and not for the better... where is the content?!
Rosiebell December 22, 2022
It would be hard to pick just one of the recipes as my absolute star, but if the criteria was how much I've made it since discovering it and how many people I've made it for who have gone on to make it over and over themselves, I'd have to vote for Ali Slagle's brilliant chicken caesar. My it's delicious, and there are so many awesome tricks and methods combined in the one genius recipe.