Baking has always been my favorite pastime. When I was little, I would stand in front of the oven counting down the seconds until the timer went off. Often, I was so anxious to see the finished product that I would burn my hands trying to pull the pan out on my own—I have the scars to prove it. The only thing that has changed is that now I remember to wear oven mitts. Measuring the perfect amounts of flour, feeling the pulse of an electric mixer, smelling an almost-done batch of blueberry muffins… it calms me. Even if I’m baking for someone else, it’s the process of baking that I love the most. Well that, and the stolen snitches of brownie batter and cookie dough. So, naturally, my baking tendencies mean I get a lot of friends asking me what to bake when 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 wonder that my mouth isn’t filled with cavities because whenever I don’t know how to spend a free hour, I go ahead and preheat my oven, knowing that I’ll end up baking something. I wish I had a running count of the desserts I baked (and ate) while bored during quarantine, and I have a feeling that I’m not the only one. I have to give my sincerest thanks to the creative bakers out there who have come up with gluten-free, dairy-free desserts and bread, because now when I’m eating a cookie, I can tell myself that I’m still being healthy. (Whatever helps me sleep at night, right?)
My biggest problem, however, is choosing what recipe to make next. Do I go for a classic favorite? Try something new? Make something up? If you’re like me, this list might be your holy grail. From bread to brownies to biscuits, these are all of my tried and true favorites. So next time you want to know what to bake when bored, treat this as your boredom-busting baking bucket list.
These brownies might be paleo, but you would never know it. Their secret ingredient? Half a teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper. I serve these with vanilla bean ice cream and the combination of the spiciness, chocolate, and vanilla is to die for.
If the look of this dessert isn’t enough to sell you, maybe the fact that you probably already have all of the ingredients will be. This cookie skillet reminds me of the BJ’s Chocolate Chip Pizookie my friends and I would order in high school, but better. If you want the full BJ’s effect, add a scoop of ice cream to the middle and eat it straight out of the skillet.
This cookie combines all of my favorite things to bake with: chocolate, peanut butter, and oats. When I tell you that this is one of my favorite cookies that I have ever baked, I mean it. Bonus points for being healthy. I posted a photo of the first batch of these I ever made on my Instagram story, and I have never gotten more requests for a recipe. Run, don’t walk, to make these.
If I haven’t made it clear already, I’m a big chocolate fan. My sister and I made this chocolate brownie pudding for my mom’s birthday last year and I swear that I can still taste how good it was. It’s like a giant, gooey, undercooked brownie with a crispy top layer… A.K.A. my version of heaven.
Normalize eating ginger cookies year-round. If you put a plate of these in front of me in the middle of the summer, I would not complain. These cookies are so chewy and warm, you won’t either. This recipe is a family favorite, but Suruchi Avasthi also tried out five others earlier this year, so read this to find out her winner.
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 that you need this recipe in your life. This loaf will disappear so fast because you will be eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dessert. Definitely don’t skip out on the cinnamon butter, either. It’s so easy and so worth it.
I owe Camille a big thank you 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 those out and the recipe still holds strong.
Okay, so I know you don’t technically bake these, but I couldn’t leave them off the list. My family found this recipe about two months ago and has made them upwards of 10 times since. I like to use cashew butter instead of almond butter (any nut butter works) and add cinnamon to the nut-butter mixture. Keep them in your freezer or fridge for the perfect low-calorie sweet-tooth cure.
I tend to always buy bananas, but never use them up in time. It used to be frustrating, but this recipe is the perfect solution. These banana muffins are so easy to make and are so filling. They are perfect for breakfast on-the-go.
I used to be anti-Apple Pie because something about the idea of a hot apple freaked me out. It wasn’t until I tried the apple crisp-esque dessert from Oliver’s in Montecito that I realized how much I had been missing out on. This Healthy Apple Crisp will be on repeat this summer.
After one too many sibling arguments, I have learned that the way to my little sister’s heart is through churros. Specifically, these homemade churros from Just a Taste. She’s taste-tested churros from just about everywhere and gives these a 10/10.
Bake these on Sunday and thank me when you’re grabbing one on your way out of the door every day of the week… and another one when you get home. These oatmeal cups are so easy and so delicious that you seriously have no excuse but to try them right now. If you’re more of a chocolate chip muffin girl, just make the swap.
Half of you may have stopped reading after “avocado,” but I urge you to read on. These fudgy cookies are quite possibly one of the best things that I have ever made. Period. They take less than 20 minutes from start to finish and will have you thinking about them forever. My favorite part about this recipe is that I truly can’t decide if I like them better when they are fresh out of the oven or from the freezer 5 days later. Hot or cold, these cookies take the gold in my book.
One of my favorite things to do with my mom growing up was going to lunch at the Zodiac Café at Neiman Marcus for chicken broth and popovers. I would drink the chicken broth with my pinky out and slather way too much strawberry butter onto my popovers. When I can’t get the real thing, these popovers cure my cravings and take me back. To recreate the strawberry butter, which in my opinion is a must-do, add either mashed fresh strawberries or strawberry jam to softened butter, and voila.
I never knew that homemade biscuits were so easy to make until I tried these delicious rosemary goat cheese biscuits. They are so life-changing that my mouth is watering as I’m writing this. If I could wake up to the smell of these in the oven every day, I would. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
While everyone was making banana bread in quarantine, my mom and I were making this focaccia bread. It was my first time making bread that wasn’t banana or 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 recipes to bake when you’re bored?