I love baking. I love seeing how happy it makes people. I love how you can take such simple ingredients and turn them into so many different things. But I know baking can be intimating for so many people. A little while back I shared my 5 Reasons You Should Bake, now I want to share 5 things I think everyone should know how to bake. Not only will these impress people, and are things you can be proud of, but they can help you save money too, and for me, that’s really the ultimate goal!
1. Cake – Birthday cakes from bakeries, or even the bakery counter at your fav grocery store, are expensive. Everyone has a birthday, so learning to bake a simple cake can save you loads of money! And boxed cake mix is fine! I use them all the time! I swap out the oil for apple sauce, and use milk instead of water. This makes the texture a little nicer, and closer to a scratch made cake. ANd please don’t stress about icing the cake! Icing doesn’t have to be complicated either, the homemade/rustic look is super trendy after all. And if you don’t think it looks that great, cover the top with fresh fruit or candies and sprinkles to hide any mishaps.
2. Artisan bread – Homemade sandwich bread is delicious, but those loaves only cost a dollar or two, so baking your own isn’t really a money saver. Fancy crusty artisan bread though, that can cost $5 or $6 dollars a loaf, or even more. Super simple ingredients, and it doesn’t need (or knead 😂) to be difficult! I love the recipes from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes. Simple yet guaranteed to be a total show stopper, I promise! Any time you see me posting on Instagram about making bread, I’m using their classic recipe!
3. Cookies – This is a broad area, since there are a million different kinds. Learning a great chocolate chip cookie recipe is a great place to start though! Once you get the basics of a classic recipe, your add-ins can be swapped out to create all new flavours! Dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips (my personal fav!) even white chocolate! Add in m&m candies (seasonal colours are fun!) Or even dried fruits like raisins or cranberries! It will totally change the flavour and look, and all you did was stick to the same classic recipe. My go to chocolate chip cookie recipe is the Original Toll House Cookie Dough one. I always swap out for milk chocolate chips, because I prefer the extra creamy texture.
4. Muffins – Have your kids ever talked you into those mini muffins from the grocery store? The ones that are basically white cake with 3 tiny blueberries in them? So many people eat muffins for breakfast, or as a snack, but most of the time they are just a cupcake without icing! Baking a great muffin is easy, and you can make them super healthy, delicious, and for next to nothing! Having a go to recipe is great, something that can be whipped up in a pinch for a quick addition to your kid’s school lunches. I also love the Quaker Muffin mixes, preferably something like an oatmeal muffin, so it’s not just white cake. Here is a simple and delicious Orange Oatmeal Muffin recipe that we love.
5. A signature dessert. This can be anything! My husband makes incredible Nanaimo Bars, my mom can bake anything but her Butter Tarts are famous! I too can bake just about anything but think I’m known for my Fudge and Mud Pies (and trust me, the are both super super simple!). Pick something you know your friends and family will love, or even just something for you! As we approach the Holidays, this can be something you bring along to Holiday parties, or wrap up as a gift for teachers and neighbours!
Hope this inspires some of you to get baking!