Sure, everyone has heard of stress eating, but what about stress baking? It can be calming to have the smell of fresh cookies or vanilla wafting through the house. Baking involves following a list or routine, which is something humans naturally crave.

“There is a rhythm or pattern to baking,” says Dr. Mary McNaughton-Cassill, a clinical psychologist with a disaster stress management background and a professor of psychology at the University of Texas, San Antonio. “It feels familiar and can even lead to a mindful state.”

Now, more than ever before, we have extra time on our hands. Why not try some new recipes? Here are my personal top 10 favorite recipes to bake. 

1. Peanut Butter Brownies

These brownies have a cake-like texture (unlike the fudgy variety below), but they are still moist and satisfyingly thick. You’ll definitely need a glass of milk on the side and need to be a fan of peanut butter, as the flavor is very present in these brownies. This recipe requires melted chocolate, which takes a little skill, as chocolate can burn easily. The mixture of the sweet chocolate and savory peanut butter leaves you wanting more. 

Find the recipe here

Skill level: Medium

Total time to make: 25 minutes

2. S’mores cookies

While S’mores are a very American thing, we think anyone would enjoy these unique treats. The original recipe for these cookies make s’mores cookies (which are also amazing), but the base is the best chocolate chip recipe you will ever find (just exclude the graham crackers and marshmallows). These cookies are chewy, crispy, perfectly buttery and sweet, doughy yet fully baked, with melted chocolate to top off the best cookie ever. 

Find the recipe here

Skill level: Medium

Total time to make: 50 minutes

3. Vanilla Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Of course I had to include my favorite cake recipe: a classic vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting. I recently made this recipe for my brother’s birthday, as it’s his favorite. It was so moist, airy, and delicious that everyone had to have two slices. And the tart frosting makes it absolutely craveable.

Find the recipe here

Skill level: Medium

Total time to make: 4 hours

4. Breakfast Cookies

Want dessert for breakfast? Well, with this recipe you can! These cookies are healthy, low in sugar, taste incredible, and only have three ingredients. I added chocolate chips, but you can also add nuts, raisins, nut butter, seeds, or dried fruit.

Find the recipe here

Skill level: Easy

Total time to make: 20 minutes

5. Blueberry Lemon Popsicles

With summer around the corner, these popsicles are the perfect refreshing treat to help you keep cool. They’re also healthy, naturally sweetened and are so easy to make!

Find the recipe here

Skill level: Super easy

Total time to make: 3 minutes (plus 4 hours to freeze)

6. Blueberry Orange Bran Muffins

These muffins are a great afternoon snack or healthy breakfast. Full of fiber with a hint of orange and plenty of blueberries! These muffins are buttery, soft, and moist with a delicious sugary crust, made with common household baking ingredients.

Find the recipe here

Skill level: Medium

Total time to make: 35 minutes

7. Pear Almond Tart

There is no doubt that the best part about this tart is the crust. Crunchy, sweet, and buttery… honestly, it’s almost like a cookie (the dough is also amazing). Although this recipe seems super fancy and difficult, don’t be scared; it’s easier than you think. The pears are golden-brown and perfectly soft and juicy. The almond cream filling is smooth and bursting with flavor. You definitely won’t have any crumbs left over. 

Find the recipe here

Skill level: Medium/hard

Total time to make: 1 hour 30 minutes

8. Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe definitely calls to all the chocolate lovers out there. They are best straight out of the oven, when the chocolate chips are melted and warm and the cookies are soft, gooey, but just a little chewy on the outside. Perfection. These cookies give your house a perfectly sweet chocolatey aroma that no one can resist. Make sure you have a glass of milk ready to help wash it down because these are definitely a chocolate bomb. 

Family Recipe:

  • 1 1/4 cups margarine (or butter)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (not vanilla essence!)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C. In a large bowl, blend 1 1/4 cups of margarine (or butter) with 2 cups sugar, using a standing mixer. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and stir with a spoon. Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto a greased (or parchment paper-lined) cookie sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until the top of the cookies are set and slightly brown.

Skill level: Medium

Total time to make: 30 minutes

9. Salted Cream Cheese Cinnamon Buns

Image source: Joyfoodsunshine.com.

Cinnamon buns have always been a breakfast treat in my family. Usually, we make the classic variety, but recently we’ve been opting for this amazing salted cream cheese frosted version. They are soft, velvety, sweet, and just the right amount of saltiness to bring it all together.

Find the recipe here

Skill level: Medium/hard

Time to make: 1 hour 30 minutes (plus rising time)

10. Fudgy Brownies

This is by far my favorite recipe. The brownies are moist, fudgy, and gooey in the middle while chewy and crispy on the edges. There is absolutely nothing I would change about this recipe. Everyone claims you need to melt chocolate on a stove in order for the brownies to be good, but this recipe is an exception and it only requires one bowl. I have made so many brownies that I feel I have tested every single recipe out there, and this one is by far the winner.  

Find the recipe here

Skill level: Medium

Total time to make: 50 minutes


Tell us: Have you been baking in quarantine? If so, share your favorite recipe below!

*All images taken from the linked recipes unless otherwise stated.

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