Please note: This post was created in collaboration with Chase Freedom Unlimited. All opinions, images and content are my own.

I’m checking in today on my “be a better baker challenge” in collaboration with my friends at Chase Freedom Unlimited, and this week I tackled summer desserts: mini angel food cakes with berries and whipped cream. I find one of the issues I’m facing with this baking challenge is finding the motivation to take on complicated recipes. In cooking, I’m always looking for smart shortcuts to save time, cut down on dishes, and get delicious healthy food on the table fast. Shortcuts in baking are a big no-no, so I struggle to take on those harder recipes – the joy of baking is a daunting one!summer desserts Cake-making is one area of baking that I really want to get better at, so I ordered a beautiful new cake cookbook, Icing on the Cake by Tessa Huff online with my Chase Freedom Unlimited card (hooray for earning 1.5% cash back on all purchases!). There are some amazing cakes in this book, and it totally inspired me! I decided to take baby steps though and worked on a simple angel food cake recipe. Back to the store, of course, for some new baking supplies before I got started! I found the cutest mini-bundt cake pan for the recipe that I purchased with my card – I’m always earning on every purchase with this cash back credit card, bringing me one step closer to my goal! The recipe was designed for a cupcake tin, so I was a little worried at first that the cooking time wouldn’t translate exactly. I used it as a learning experience though, testing the pan and the cooking times to find the perfect balance (my second batch came out taller, fluffier, and stuck to the pan less — a win in my book!). Just learning how to experiment with the recipe a little bit was a great milestone in working towards my goal; that’s something I’ve always been uncomfortable with when I’m using baking recipes.The results weren’t perfect but I’m making progress, and the experiment was a tasty one! I used an old styling trick for the cakes that had imperfections: a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and some berries on top. The sugar and berries covered up a few spots where the cakes stuck to the pan, and now they look picture perfect! I think I might be ready to take on some more complicated cakes now, and start tackling breads and pastries! The baking confidence is building – keep following along for more progress!summer desserts