Sun Shine and Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Very ripe bananas are the key to good banana bread. If come baking day yours are not quite ready, put the un-peeled bananas in the Sun Oven when you set it out to preheat. It will take about half an hour to “ripen” them in the sun. Let them cool a bit before mixing them in with the other ingredients. This is also a good time to melt the butter. Put it in a glass measuring cup and set it in the Sun Oven with the bananas.

Sun Oven Banana Bread


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

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Solar Blueberry Cobblers

Blueberry Cobblers

Any type of canned pie filling will work here. And, if you don’t have metal mugs, ovenproof ceramic mugs or ramekins work too. I bet you could even use a different brand of baking mix.

Crazy Easy Blueberry Cobblers


1 can (21-ounces) blueberry pie filling

1 cup Kodiak Cakes Buttermilk and Honey Flapjack and Waffle Mix

1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar

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Solar Pumpkin Treats

Muffin Tins 2

More like individual mini, crustless pies or custards than cupcakes these little treats are as easy to whip up as they are to eat.

Sun Oven Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes


1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

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Solar Baked Apples

AA Oval Roasting Pan

These baked apples are easy to prepare with ingredients you probably already have and are delicious on a cold winter’s night.

Sun Oven Baked Apples


4 Granny Smith apples (or other tart baking apple)

1/3 cup raisins

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice or cinnamon

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Solar Slow Cooked Apples

Apple Cup

This lovely fall dessert is good served warm or chilled.

Sun Oven Slow Cooked Apple Stacks

(adapted for the Sun Oven from the L.A. Times)


1/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

4 apples, peeled

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Solar Peach Crumble


These inexpensive metal mugs can be found in the camping department and are a great addition to your Sun Oven.

Single Serving Sun Oven Peach Crumble


For the filling:

4 peaches, cut into thin wedges

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the topping

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

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Solar Cheesecake

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Solar Chocolate Cake

I first heard about baking a cake with sauerkraut at Weight Watchers a few years ago but dismissed it thinking it couldn’t possibly be any good. Then my interest was piqued when I found another version of it in a cookbook called “America’s Best Lost Recipes”. Seems it wasn’t just some wacky weight loss gimmick after all.

Sun Oven Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

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Sun Oven Blueberry Pastries

I subscribe to the King Arthur Flour company’s emails and every now and then I find a recipe in my inbox that I just have to try immediately.

This one for hand-held pies is one of them. The pastry dough is rich and flaky and they’re almost as much fun to make as they are to eat.

The complete recipe, with detailed instructions on how to execute it, can be found here. They use something called instant ClearJel as a thickener for the filling. I used cornstarch instead.

The baking time in the Sun Oven was about 40 minutes. I used the stackable baking racks, if you don’t have them you could use two cross-stacked rimmed baking sheets or bake the pies in two batches.

I believe they’re meant to be breakfast pastries, but for us solar chefs they make a great afternoon treat.

Solar Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Another frosting free cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart. Plus, it’s vegan. Perfect for those days when I forget to take the butter out of the refrigerator to soften. The batter is very thin, so be sure to get the leveling tray as straight as possible before put the pans in the cooking chamber. It’s a good idea to plan on baking around midday when the Sun Oven won’t need to be tilted.

Sun Oven Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes)


1 1/2 cups cake flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups water

Powdered sugar for dusting


Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line two 6-muffin pans with paper liners.

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until well combined. Add the flour mixture and continue beating until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins, filling each one three-quarters full. Using a rack to separate the pans, cross stack the muffin tins in the Sun Oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of one cupcake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes (the top cupcakes will cook slightly faster).

Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and cocoa just before serving