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Apr 23, 2020

Why Is Everyone Baking Right Now? (Plus 10 Recipes)

During your grocery runs since the start of widespread COVID-19 lockdowns, you may have noticed some peculiar items have become harder to find. We’re not talking about toilet paper, Lysol and hand sanitizer. It’s flour and yeast. Why?

Amid social distancing and stay-at-home orders, Americans are in a baking frenzy. Many are resorting to simple classics, like brownies and chocolate chip cookies, while others are getting more adventurous and baking their own bread. Even homemade sourdough bread, which requires cultivating wild yeast, has seen an explosion in popularity. It’s one of the most interesting trends emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic – well, aside from Tiger King.

If you’re curious why so many people are finding solace in baking right now, read on. And if you’d like to jump on the quarantine baking bandwagon yourself, we’ve included 10 classic recipes as well. Get your apron and rolling pin ready.


Baking is a task with a clear-cut beginning and end, offering a strong sense of accomplishment when it’s finished. And the best part? You can see, smell, touch, hear and taste the result. Small victories can make a big difference in a time when our freedoms are limited, and nothing spells “victory” more than pulling a perfectly risen soufflé out of the oven.


When the world feels out of control, we take comfort in the things we can control. Baking relies on formulas, with precise measurements and instructions to follow for the best results. In other words, baking loves control. You may not be able to control what’s going on outside your home, but you can control how crispy or soft your chocolate chip cookies come out.

Stress relief

Ever heard of stress baking? Stressed is “desserts” spelled backward, after all. Baking has numerous psychological effects that can relieve stress and anxiety. It provides what the human brain often craves: creativity, routine, mindfulness, distraction, escape. Not to mention, kneading dough is a great way to take out your aggressions in a productive way.


Even for the most seasoned bakers, there’s always a challenge to be found. If you’re brand new to baking, challenge yourself to make cupcakes, brownies or cookies from scratch. More experienced bakers can try their hand at bread, soufflés, macarons, handmade pie crust or a Baked Alaska.


Who doesn’t love the intoxicating aroma of baking up a batch of chocolate chip cookies? It’s like a warm hug. In fact, smell is the human sense most closely tied to memory. There’s a reason that aroma makes you reminisce about your childhood and baking cookies with your family.

Speaking of family…


If you’re quarantining with loved ones, there’s no better way to bond than baking as a family. You get to create something together while working on your communication, patience and teamwork. Even if it’s just you and your significant other, or roommates, take the opportunity to become closer with each other. Better yet, you’ll have delicious homemade treats to munch on for the next few days.



Yeast is a living, breathing organism. It needs oxygen to grow, as well as sugar to feed on. Sourdough bread requires cultivating wild yeast and allowing it to ferment, which is just as much an art as it is a science. Therefore, making bread has a nurturing element to it. It requires caring for a living thing and helping it grow. It’s enough to give you a sense of purpose, which can go a long way when our lives have been limited to our homes.

Boredom busting

If Netflix, puzzles and home workouts just aren’t doing it for you anymore, baking is a fun and productive way to stave off boredom. From searching through recipes to buying the ingredients to decorating the finished product, you can dedicate a whole day to baking up a storm. Throw on a podcast, audiobook or repeats of The Office while you’re at it, and the entertainment is endless.


Let’s face it: comfort food is needed now more than ever. Nothing says “self-care” more than making yourself some home-baked goods to enjoy without guilt. Treat yo’self!

10 classic baking recipes

As promised, here are five go-to recipes for what everyone seems to be baking lately.

Further reading

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