How to Make Spoon Pie

I love to eat sweets. I love to bake. (Which came first, the chicken or the egg?)

My older two girls have inherited my sweet-tooth I am proud (and horrified) to say. So when the publishers of “Bon Appetit Desserts” asked if they could mail me their new 689 page cookbook full of only (you guessed it) desserts to review, I said, “Heck YEAH!!!” The deal was sealed when they agreed to send an additional cookbook to pass on to YOU.  (Just comment – gotta play to WIN!)

Described on the cover as the cookbook for “all things sweet and wonderful”, I’d have to agree. A forty dollar value and I don’t know how many pounds heavy, you’ll want to sit down with a cup of coffee and flip through this eye-pleaser thanks largely to award winning photographer and frequent Bon Appetit contributor Con Poulos.

This 50 second video from when the kids and I took it on a “test run” this past Thanksgiving holiday weekend will give you a good look at what you could win! (Did I mention 689 pages?) We poured over our new, easy to follow and pretty-to-look-at cookbook and picked three non-fussy recipe to make. The winners? Pumpkin-Butterscotch Pie (page 231), Apple-Berry Pie (page 209) and Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies ( page 530) minus the chips in one dozen for my eldest child who somehow does not like chocolate. (Is that even possible?)

This is where I teach you how to make Spoon Pie, which became the fate of our pies long before they were photographed for the end of the above video. My mother-in-law, who bakes a mean cherry pie, taught me this recipe which she learned growing up on a farm in Northeast Arkansas.


Step One: Make a great pie.

Step Two: Serve it to your family.

Step Three: Set what’s left on the kitchen counter with a few spoons.

Step Four: Your beautiful pie is now fair game to anyone walking by. (It won’t last long— trust me.)

If you like non-fussy baking, what I consider classics with a twist, and you want a book you can someday pass down to your children full of what will soon become family favorites… you will L-O-V-E this cookbook. For a chance to win this baker’s dream cookbook, simply share a memory with me of baking with your mom or dad or your kids. (I love a good story!!!) I’ll pick a winner randomly from the comment section below from stories received through midnight Wednesday, November 30th.

Bon Appetit!!!

WINNER UPDATE: December 1st is HERE and the winner is… comment number SEVEN!!! not counting mine of course as I already HAVE the book. That’s you EMMA. We’ll email you the details and you can expect your copy of Bon Appetit Desserts to arrive soon!

Thanks to everyone who opened their hearts to share their stories of connection — baking — and love. (That was the best contest ever from where I sit… I really enjoyed your entries.)

Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy

Suzanne is the Co-creator of My Mommy Manual and the online parenting course, Yoga Parenting. Ready for parenting to help make your life more a-parent to you? Sign up for free weekly parenting tips from Ria and Suzanne by joining the MyMommyManual community.


  1. BTW… One of my favorite baking memories with my mom is dragging a chair over to the counter so I could climb up there and help— AND wait for a beater (of course)… not any easy thing to get when you are the fifth born in a home of seven kids and mom’s mixer has just two beaters!

  2. Sooooo, I am SUPER excited at the chance to win this. 1) Because in my list of to-do’s for becoming ‘domesticated’ is learning to cook more things and 2) I LOVE sweets/desserts.

    Unfortunately I can’t share a story of baking with my mom because she never baked with me=( And not my dad either, double sad face. I haven’t started baking with Walker just yet, so that’s out too. What about a Baking With my Great-Grandma story? That’ll work, right? 😉

    I’d say I was about 6 or 7. I was staying the night with my G.G- Ma and I wanted chocolate chip cookies. I think I had seen one of those TollHouse commercials and thought it would be super awesome to bake with someone. G.G-Ma agreed to let me make cookies, because she pretty well agreed to letting me do whatever I wanted. She was somewhere in her 70’s- I’m pretty sure she just didn’t feel like putting up a fight. I asked her where her cookbook was so we could look up the ingredients but she told me she didn’t need to look them up- she knew EXACTLY how to make them. I was so impressed that she could remember how to do such a thing without instructions. It must have been her many wise years of cooking. We mixed up all the ingredients and put the cookies in the oven. When they were done they smelled SO yummy and I couldn’t wait to eat them.

    Except they were HORRIBLE. I think Memaw might have, um, forgotten a few things, or something.

    But I ate them anyway rather than tell her they were nasty. Love, *sigh*. =)

    Also, CLEARLY I neeeeeeed this cookbook. The end.

  3. For me, baking sweets is almost entirely a Christmas thing. My daughter’s birthday is Christmas day, so she picks the dinner. She asks for PIES for her birthday. Usually pumpkin and apple. Generally, I enjoy eating the pies so much I make another several in the week after that.

    Also, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my mom, sister & her kids, plus my wife and kids all get together for a massive cookie baking marathon. As of late, we’ve been donating all of the cookies to a charity cookie walk at our church, but this is a tradition that has been going on for almost 35 years, now!

  4. Its no secret I love to bake. The problem is I like eating it too! Some of our best memories in our house is making brownies, cakes and cookies with my two boys. Nothing like licking the beaters and bowls. yum yum

  5. oh wow… i was coveting the book this past week-end at the bookstore, what an awesome chance 🙂

    Ok so story:
    The time: 5am on Christmas morning, circa 1980-ish. I am dying to run downstairs to look for what Santa brought for me…but it’s so early! I run downstairs anyways…and…there’s my dad placing gifts under the tree and I am shocked. Then he smiles and hugs me and says: “honey, you know what? you just discovered the magic of Christmas: it’s making something special for the ones you love. Let’s go bake some croissants for everyone in the kitchen and pretend that Santa brought them together with the gifts!!! It will be special and you will be making magic happen in the house” Off we go and start a racket in the kitchen: flour dust flying, butter softening, rolling the dough and a warm cup of hot chocolate made especially for me to sip while we cook, and talk, and laugh and sing too. The scent of baked freshly made croissants spreads through the house and forever Christmas morning will be associated with that wonderful scent.

  6. We didn’t do a lot of baking around my house, and my little one isn’t big enough to wield a spatula yet, but I have some recent fond baking memories. Like when I was pregnant and made a batch of angel food cupcakes… then proceeded to eat seven of them before the next morning. I mean they were angel food- that only counts as like two right?

  7. Molly Veltz says:

    My Mom baked A LOT and I have many childhood memories of sitting on the counter and licking sweets off of the beater or spatula. Once she left some cookie dough unattended and left to take a nap. I was under strict confidence to leave the bowl alone. But I couldn’t resist. Then I lied about it. I remember the guilt…probably the first lie I ever told to my Mom. (sadly, not the last) Anyway, I like the spoon pie idea as long as there is no double dipping!!! That could have dire consequences – an entire family sharing germs, it’s flu season, ya know!

  8. HA, Molly, I’m cracking up at the flu – germ comment. Yes, Spoon Pie has it’s risks… it’s living life on the edge— maybe that’s part of what makes it so fun — it’s so CRAZY. This would normally would be SOOOO OFFFF LIMITS in most homes — for a kid to just pick up a spoon and hack away at a cake or pie.

    Do it with your kids and let me know what they thought about it. Probably “My normally health conscious mom has gone MAD!@#!” 🙂

    Kim, Gregg, Amelia, Jennifer, thanks for the stories. I love reading them. So intimate hearing stories from people’s childhoods – or in your case Melody recent pregnancies!!! I truly loved each story. Keep ’em coming folks! They don’t have to be long to enter you to win! Even “I love to bake with my kids” will qualify you for the drawing though I’d MUCH PREFER a story like the awesome ones above.

  9. These stories are awesome! Given the short term memory I now enjoy since having kids, I can’t remember a thing about baking with my mom. In my family, I’d be more apt to remember baking with my dad, actually….maybe that’s why I can’t call to mind a baking-with-mom memory. Let’s open the door to baking with dad and then my memories start to take shape.
    My favorite baking-with-dad memory is of oatmeal cookies in the country, in the winter. I remember lots of brown sugar and raisins in the mix. Being my dad –and me being his daughter– we aren’t the follow-the-recipe type (although I’d still love a big beautiful cookbook!). We would add whatever called to us: nuts, seeds, dried fruit, spices.
    Some creations were better than others, but all were very tasty in the company of warm cider, warm-sugar baking scents, and daddy-warmth of togetherness. Thanks for taking me down this road, MyMommyManual 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  10. What a great contest! And, I LOVE that it’s about taking the TIME to bake/cook anything with/for your family….because to me that was the biggest learning experience of my childhood that has shaped who I am today…an unapologetic “non-processed food, cook-it-yourself-from-scratch person. My mom never taught me to cook in the traditional sense…her response when I asked her to teach me, was “watch me”, which frustrated me to no end. I wanted to get in there and measure, make a mess, cook it up, etc…and all I could do was watch. Today I have thanked my mom countless times, for I am a good cook. What I have learned is that the TIME involved in cooking the food, is in itself an act of LOVE…and those two things cannot be separated. In this world of “faster”, “bigger”, “better”, taking the time to make something delicious not only warms the belly of the recipient but the heart and soul as well.

  11. Mary Epplin says:

    I love baking, and especially making Christmas cookies! I have great memories of baking with my mom and siblings. We would make the same ones every year and if we forgot one, someone would definitely complain. The biggest job was always the almond crescents. We would all gather around the dining room table to roll them out, put them in the oven and then gently dip them in powdered sugar with a vanilla bean stick…a requirement according to my mom. IT was a challenge to keep them the same size…otherwise some would burn and others wouldn’t cook enough. Some of varieties would have to cool to harden so we would just stick them on the back porch and poof they were cooled! Mom would hide the cookies until Christmas Eve, when we were allowed to have our first taste of the yummy goodness. Christmas Eve was cookies with rasberry sherbet for dessert and then the rest of the cookies were eaten on Christmas. We were lucky to have some left over for the remaining days…they went fast! Thanks for the happy memories!

  12. I didn’t bake much with my mom growing up but I do have a particularly special memory. One Easter my mom and I made a complicated Easter Bunny cake we found in a magazine (I forget which one). We decorated it with gum drops and licorice. I guess it was so special because my mom didn’t play with me much and it made me feel really special to bake with her. I love baking and hope to bake with my daughters a lot in the kitchen as they grow up.

  13. My mom and my sister and I used to have a marathon cookie baking session on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in preparation for our annual Mother Daughter Cookie Exchange the first weekend in December. What started as a fun one time event turned into a 15 year tradition that only a transatlantic move broke. While a girls only event wouldn’t be appropriate for my family now as I have two sons, I’m hoping to form a similar new tradition with them soon!

  14. Suzanne Tucker says:

    I had no idea how much I would love this contest. My heart hurts in a good way tonight as i sit here reading all of your stories.

    One more day of stories to go and we’ll pull a name for a winner. I’m going to be sad when this one ends…

  15. My mom was an organic, health food hippie ahead of her time. We were not allowed to eat any sweets or sugar growing up. So sweets and desserts were always the forbidden fruit. On rare occasions, we would make brownies and I always begged to mix the batter so I could sneak spoonfuls of the batter into my mouth and of course lick the bowl clean. When I went away to college, no longer under the watchful eye of my mother, I would bake brownies and eat an entire batch for dinner or make a cake and eat it in 2 days flat as my roomates sat in amazement. To this day, people are amazed at my ability to consume extraordinary amounts of sweets!

  16. I remember watching my grandmother roll out crusts to make cobbler out of the blackberries we’d spent all day picking. 🙂 How I miss those simple days.

  17. YAY!!! I’m so excited that I could eat a cupcake or 15 🙂 Thanks MyMommyManual!!!
    Yippee yi yay!!!

  18. I like this guide, the way you describe it really took my attention. I think my family will have spoon pie.

  19. Thanks Janet. I think your family will l-o-v-e them some spoon pie… and YOU for doing it. 😉 Enjoy and happy New Year!