Last year I tried to wax a little cheerful about 2011, but I was really ready to move on. I had no idea that 2012 would bring some of the happiest times and some of the hardest times of my life to date. To say I’m ready to move on from this year is an understatement, and yet I know there are friends and even strangers who have had a much harder year than I’ve had. I also know that even my hardest times are part of a story God is weaving around me, and I thank Him for His faithfulness and sovereignty over everything that has happened this year. Never once did I ever walk alone.

How can we make 2013 the best year of our lives so far? I wonder if I can persuade you, while making your New Year’s resolutions, to make living with empathy a goal. I’m going to try it: in everything I do and every way I interact with others, I’m going to try and make a sincere effort to see their point of view, to imagine myself in their shoes.

My other resolutions? Focusing on scripture each day, continuing my newfound enjoyment of exercise. But I think living with empathy is what actually has the potential to change me.

To conclude a wonderful year on Willow Bird Baking — a year in which I have so appreciated befriending you and all of our lovely discussions — here are the top 12 recipes from ’12.

12. Gooey Butter Strawberry Shortcake
11. “Magic” Chocolate, Coconut, and Pecan Pastry Braid
10. Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Coconut Cake & Coconut Whipped Cream
9. Buttery Coconut & Almond Morning Buns

8. German Chocolate Cheesecake
7. Milnot Cheesecake Cheesecake
6. Tres Leches Coconut Cake Trifle
5. Chocolatey Red Velvet Pull-Apart Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze

4. Chocolate & Coconut Cream Pie Bars
3. Red Velvet Cheesecake-Stuffed Cake Balls
2. Brownie-Bottom Coconut Chocolate Cream Cake

And the top Willow Bird Baking recipe of 2012 is . . .

1. Gooey Chocolate Skillet Cake Ice Cream Sundae!

Happy New Year!

11 Comments on Willow Bird Baking’s Top 12 Recipes of 2012

  1. Kathy
    December 31, 2012 at 10:03 pm (10 years ago)

    The Chocolate Skillet Cake is to die for! I’ve made it several times. My family loves it!

  2. Foodiewife
    January 1, 2013 at 12:57 am (10 years ago)

    Happy New Year, Julie. It’s been a fun year of drooling over your recipes, reading snippets and musings of your life and just getting to know you. My New Year’s goal is to read more scripture, myself. I’ve gotten lazy about it, and I want to change that. I’m grateful that my year has been pretty blessed. Looking forward to another year of adventures in the kitchen and enjoying life. All the best, Debby.

  3. Gloria Kemp
    January 1, 2013 at 2:39 am (10 years ago)

    Happy New Year to you Julie! I do love your stories! 🙂 And, your AWE-some recipes! This is gonna be my birthday cake to myself this year~ Happy belated! Many blessings for 2013~

  4. Emmie
    January 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm (10 years ago)

    I have been so glad to find your blog this year. I have used your recipes and loved them. I use baking as a way to reach out to those around me in love. Many times I silently pray for those I bake for as I am in the kitchen. Thank you for sharing your recipes and your heart with us.
    Peace and love,

  5. Jen @ Savory Simple
    January 1, 2013 at 1:24 pm (10 years ago)

    Everything looks just incredible! That strawberry shortcake is calling my name. Happy New Year!

  6. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen
    January 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm (10 years ago)

    I’m not surprised at all with your most popular recipe! That looks seriously wicked! Happy New Year!

  7. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    January 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm (10 years ago)

    I don’t know how I missed that tres leches trifle, but I have it now! I love these year end posts. All the best in 2013!

  8. Megan
    January 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm (10 years ago)

    Happy new year! I think living with empathy is the best resolution I’ve heard… and it would definitely be the way to make 2013 an amazing year if everyone had that resolution. And I think my other resolution needs to be finally making that chocolate-coconut braid. Wishing you all the best in 2013!

  9. Sarah
    January 2, 2013 at 12:44 am (10 years ago)

    Good luck moving on intot he new year. Your cast iron skillet cakes make my day. Love your work.
    xx Sarah

  10. Gina
    January 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm (10 years ago)

    I just found your blog, and I can’t wait to start cooking all of these!!! I think I’ve found someone who loves coconut as much as I do!!


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