In these strange times, we’re all trying to find ways to fill our days and find joy in how we spend them. It’s more difficult now than ever with our options being so limited for how we can spend our time. It’s no wonder that so many people are choosing to take up baking during quarantine! Baking is the perfect way to remain focused and productive, while also taking some time for yourself and loved ones to do something fun. Putting on an apron and getting to work in the kitchen is something the whole family can get involved in.
Baking some sweet treats is a great way to spend time for so many reasons. During this quarantine, these reasons are more important than ever. Baking could be a brand new skill that you pick up during isolation, or it could be something you’ve done your whole life, and quarantine is just an opportunity for you to get back into it. Baking is an act of self care in that it can be helpful in mindfulness and remaining grounded. It’s easy to let worries melt away into the very back of your mind when you’re busy mixing away in the kitchen. It’s especially important to try to be mindful in these difficult days, when it’s easier to ruminate and worry about things. Baking helps me feel like I’m getting things done and being productive, when otherwise I might feel stagnant and bored. The process of creating something new and wonderful out of ingredients that, on their own, are nothing special, is a feeling that can’t be matched.
Quarantine has more people baking, also, because people are craving some normalcy and predictability. The great thing about baking is that if you put the ingredients together correctly, you know what you’re going to get. There’s no guess-work, and in these uncertain times, we all need a little bit more of that. Baking helps us flex our creativity muscles and keep our brains at their best. All of these reasons to bake, and I haven’t even mentioned the fact that afterwards, you get to enjoy some delicious baked goods!
Here are some of my favorite recipes from Lehman’s Sapphire Cookbook Collection:
Carrot Cake (by Valerie Steiner)
- 3 cups chopped carrots
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 cup oil
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Blend chopped carrots and oil in a blender to form a puree. Place in a mixing bowl and add dry ingredients. Stir together. Add eggs and beat on medium-low for 3 minutes. Bake in a greased 9×13″ pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes or until done.
Blueberry Coffee Cake (by Mary Lou Moeller)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg. Add sifted dry ingredients with milk. Pour into a greased 9×9″ pan. Sprinkle with topping. For topping, mix all ingredients. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 50 minutes.
Lemon Supreme Cake (by Grace Unzicker)
- 1 box lemon or yellow cake mix
- 1 package lemon instant pudding
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
Mix and beat ingredients for 2 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and make 1″ slashes at intervals with a knife. Stir together glaze ingredients and pour over hot cake. Let cool.
Allison Ervin, granddaughter of company founder Jay Lehman, is passionate about the powerless – children, animals and anyone in need. A freshman at Kent State majoring in international business with a minor in non-profit management, she has served in Indonesia and Central America, teaching English in daycare centers and orphanages. A committed vegetarian, when not studying or cat-cuddling, Allison enjoys painting, listening to the latest music, and thrifting (shopping at thrift and vintage stores).