Baking has always been my favorite pastime. When I was little, I would stand in front of the oven and count down the seconds until the timer ran out. Often times I got so excited about the finished product that I burned my hands trying to pull the pan out myself – I have the scars to prove it. The only thing that has changed is that I now think of wearing pot holders. Measuring the perfect amount of flour, feeling the pulse of an electric mixer, smelling an almost finished amount of blueberry muffins … it calms me down. Even when I’m baking for someone else, it’s the process of baking that I love the most. Well, that and the stolen snacks from brownie batter and cookie dough. Because of my baking tendencies, of course, many friends ask me what to bake when I’m bored.
I’ve found that baking is the answer to most of my moods. When I’m stressed, I bake. When I’m excited, sad, or happy, I bake. But most of all, when I’m bored … I bake … A LOT.
It’s a miracle my mouth isn’t filled with cavities because if I don’t know how to spend a free hour, I preheat my oven and know I’ll bake something in the end. I wish I had a running count of the desserts I baked (and ate) bored during quarantine and I feel like I’m not the only one. I have to say a big thank you to the creative bakers who came up with gluten-free, dairy-free desserts and bread, because now when I eat a biscuit I can tell myself that I am still healthy. (What helps me sleep at night, right?)
My biggest problem, however, is choosing the next recipe. Do I choose a classic favorite? Try something new? To invent something? If you’re like me this list could be your holy grail. From bread to brownies to cookies, these are all my time-honored favorites. So next time you want to know what to bake when you are bored, treat this as your boring baking bucket list.
1 of 16
These brownies might be paleo, but you would never know. Your secret ingredient? Half a teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper. I serve this with vanilla ice cream and the combination of heat, chocolate and vanilla is a dream.
2 of 16
If the look of this dessert isn’t enough to sell you, it may be the fact that you probably already have all of the ingredients. This cookie frying pan reminds me of that BJ’s Chocolate Chip Pizookie my friends and I would order in high school, but better. If you want To get the full effect of BJ, add a scoop of ice cream in the center and eat it straight out of the pan.
3 of 16
This cookie combines all of my favorite baking things: chocolate, peanut butter, and oats. When I tell you this is one of my favorite cookies I have ever baked, I mean it. Bonus points for health. I posted a photo of the first series of these I ever took on my Instagram story and I have never had any more requests for a recipe. Run, don’t go to do this.
4 of 16
If I haven’t made it clear yet, I’m a huge chocolate fanatic. My sister and I made this chocolate brownie pudding for my mom’s birthday last year and I swear I can still taste how good it was. It’s like a giant, sticky, uncooked brownie with a crispy top layer … AKA, my version of heaven.
5 of 16
Normalize eating ginger cookies all year round. If you brought me a plate in the middle of summer, I wouldn’t complain. These cookies are so chewy and warm that you won’t either. This recipe is a family favorite, but Suruchi Avasthi tried five others earlier this year as well read this to find out their winner.
6 of 16
While you might think I’m crazy to tell you to bake pumpkin bread in the middle of spring, trust me when I tell you you need this recipe in your life. This bread is disappearing so quickly because you eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dessert. Don’t miss out on the cinnamon butter. It’s that easy and it’s worth it.
7 of 16
I owe a big thank you to Camille for tracking down this recipe. I’ve never met a chocolate chip cookie that I didn’t like, but this one is my best friend. One of my sisters is allergic to walnuts so I usually take these out and the recipe is still going strong.
8 of 16
Okay, I know you technically don’t bake these, but I couldn’t cross them off the list. My family found this recipe about two months ago and have done it more than ten times since then. I like to use cashew butter instead of almond butter (any nut butter will work) and add cinnamon to the nut and butter mixture. Keep them in your freezer or fridge for the perfect low-calorie sweet tooth.
9 of 16
I always buy bananas, but I never use them on time. It used to be frustrating, but this recipe is the perfect solution. These banana muffins are so easy to make and so filling. They are perfect for breakfast on the go.
10 of 16
I used to be an anti-apple pie because something freaked me out about the idea of a hot apple. Not until I tried the crispy apple dessert Oliver is in Montecito Realizing how much I had missed This healthy apple crisp is repeated this summer.
11 of 16
After one too many arguments with siblings, I learned that the way to my little sister’s heart is through churros. Especially these homemade churros from Just a Taste. She has tasted churros from almost everywhere and gives them a 10/10.
12 of 16
Bake these on Sunday and thank me if you grab one on the way to the door every day of the week … and another when you get home. These oatmeal cups are so simple and so delicious that you seriously have no excuse but to try them now. If you’re more of a chocolate chip muffin girl, just do the swap.
13 of 16
Half of you may have stopped reading after “Avocado”, but I encourage you to read on. These fudgy cookies are probably one of the best things I’ve ever made. Period. They take less than 20 minutes from start to finish and make you think of them forever. My favorite part about this recipe is that I really can’t decide if I like them better when they come fresh out of the oven or out of the freezer 5 days later. Hot or cold, these cookies take the gold in my book.
14 of 16
One of my favorite things to do with my mom was having lunch at the Zodiac Café at Neiman Marcus for chicken broth and popovers. I would drink the chicken broth with my pinky finger and put way too much strawberry butter on my popovers. When I can’t get the original, these popovers cure my cravings and bring me back. To recreate the strawberry butter, which I think is a must, add either soft fresh strawberries or strawberry jam to soft butter and voila.
15 of 16
I never knew homemade cookies were so easy to make until I tried these delicious rosemary goat cheese cookies. You are so life changing my mouth is watering as I write this. If I could wake up to the smell in the oven every day, I would. Perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
16 of 16
While everyone in quarantine was making banana bread, my mom and I made this focaccia bread. It was my first time making bread that was neither banana nor pumpkin and this recipe was so easy to follow that I felt like a pro. It was so good that the rest of our family thought we got it from Central Market.
What are your favorite baking recipes when you’re bored?