12 of the best baking recipes

With shows like the Great British Bake-Off at the heart of British culture, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many of us enjoy getting creative in the kitchen. Not only is baking a form of creative expression that provides a tasty treat at the end – it can also help to keep feelings of anxiety at bay.

Psychology Professor, Donna Pincus, explains how baking can be used to help us stay in the present moment. She says, “Baking actually requires a lot of full attention. You have to measure, focus physically on rolling out dough. If you’re focusing on smell and taste, on being present with what you’re creating, that act of mindfulness in that present moment can also have a result in stress reduction.”

Several members of the Rest Less team have been busy baking in their spare time and between us, we’ve pulled together a list of our favourite online recipes. From cheese scones to millionaire’s shortbread and ultimate gooey brownies, here are 12 ideas for you to try at home.

12 of our favourite baking recipes

1. Millionaire's shortbread

Millionaire's shortbread​

Difficulty level: Easy

Total baking time: 1 hour

Try this when…

…you’re bored with your usual biscuits (or can’t get hold of them) or fancy treating yourself to something a bit different.

Make millionaire’s shortbread with BBC Good Food >>

2. Healthy blueberry muffins

Healthy blueberry muffins

Difficulty level: Easy

Total baking time: 35 minutes

Try this when

…you fancy a baked snack that’s lower in calories and packs a fruity punch! They also make for a quick and easy breakfast. These blueberry muffins use wholewheat flour and can be made with natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

Bake healthy blueberry muffins with Cookie and Kate >>

3. Classic cheese scones

Difficulty level: Easy

Total baking time: 35 mins

Try this when

…you’re looking for something savoury to have for brunch or lunch. Cheese scones can be treated much in the same way as bread and topped with things like salad, ham, or chutney!

Make cheese scones with BBC Good Food >>

4. Cinnamon rolls

Difficulty level: Hard

Total baking time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Try this when

…you fancy a soft, fluffy treat! These cinnamon-spiced rolls are best enjoyed for breakfast or brunch. This recipe will also show you how to freeze them to be enjoyed at a later date. If one of these won’t get you out of bed in the morning, we don’t know what will!

Make Cinnamon rolls with the Ambitious Kitchen >>

5. Lemon drizzle cake

Lemon drizzle cake

Difficulty level: Easy

Total baking time: 1 hour

Try this when

…you fancy something light and citrusy to enjoy on a sunny afternoon.

Make lemon drizzle cake with BBC Good Food >>

6. Banana bread

Banana bread

Difficulty level: Easy

Total baking time: 45 mins

Try this when

…you’re looking to make something quick, comforting, and not too sweet. Or if you just have a couple of really spotty bananas to use up! I recently shared my own banana bread recipe but it can easily be adapted by adding in or swapping out ingredients – depending on what you have in your kitchen cupboards.

Bake a banana bread with Rest Less >>

7. Butternut Squash Pie with Shallots, Radicchio, and Feta

Butternut Squash Pie with Shallots, Radicchio, and Feta

Difficulty level: Moderate

Total baking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Try this when

…you’re looking for a hearty, meat-free dinner idea. Sara, our chief techy, recently tried this veggie pie recipe and was really pleased with the results. She highly recommends it to others and wanted to share her photos (above).

Bake a butternut squash pie with A Beautiful Plate >>

8. Old fashioned sour cream doughnuts

Difficulty level: Hard

Total baking time: 2 hours

Try this when

…you can’t get hold of yeast, but you’re looking for a doughnut fix! These old-fashioned doughnuts are soft and cakey on the inside and crunchy and cracked on the outside. The cracks are perfect for soaking up the sweet glaze.

Make old fashioned sour cream doughnuts with Handle the Heat >>

9. Classic carrot cake

Classic carrot cake

Difficulty level: Moderate

Total baking time: 1 hour

Try this when

…you’re looking for a sweet treat to enjoy with a cup of afternoon tea. This family favourite recipe is characterised by flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, and walnuts!

Bake a classic carrot cake with Rest Less >>

10. Ultimate gooey brownies

Ultimate gooey brownies

Difficulty level: Easy

Total baking time: 45 minutes

Try this when

…you have a chocolate craving that needs satisfying or you’re looking to really indulge. These brownies are soft and gooey with a thick layer of chocolate and sweet condensed milk in the middle. They’re not exactly diet-friendly, but are great for an occasional treat!

Bake the ultimate gooey brownies with Handle the Heat >>

11. Croissants

Croissants

Difficulty level: Moderate

Total baking time: 14 hours, 24 minutes (14 hours prep time)

Try this when

…you’re looking for breakfast ideas. Croissants are the flaky, buttery continental breakfast that many of us love. They are best eaten warm and can be enjoyed on their own, or with butter and jam – or even ham and cheese! This recipe will also show you how to freeze them.

Bake croissants with Jo Cooks >>

12. Sourdough bread

Sourdough

Difficulty level: Hard

Total baking time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus proving a fermentation

Try this when

…you’re looking for an alternative to conventional bread. It’s easier to digest and is higher in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The process is a bit lengthy and consists of a lot of watching and waiting, but it’s definitely worth it!

Bake sourdough bread with Jamie Oliver >>

For more inspiration, you might also want to check out our article, 10 of the best bread recipes, which includes everything from bagels to French baguettes.

Final thoughts...

If you really want to up your baking game by mastering some new skills, then you might also want to check out our article, 8 technical baking skills you can learn from home.

Or, if you’re short on time and want to skip the oven, then why not check out 7 of the best no-bake dessert recipes?

Alternatively, if you love baking delicious treats but are trying to make healthier lifestyle choices, then our article 9 baking ideas with a healthy twist has plenty more ideas.

Do you have a baking recipe that you’d like to share with others? We’re keen to see your creations and hear about your baking experiences. Join the conversation on the food and drink section of the Rest Less community forum, or leave a comment below.

Links with an * by them are affiliate links which help Rest Less stay free to use as they can result in a payment or benefit to us. You can read more on how we make money here.

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