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30 Fun Things to Bake When You Need a Treat

by insanelygood

Looking for fun things to bake when you’re bored and craving a treat? You’ve come to the right place!

Baking can be pretty rewarding enough as it is, but when you make things like gumdrop cookies and butterfly cupcakes? It becomes an event!

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Cupcake with Sprinkles

Whipping up sweets that are more creative than standard chocolate chip cookies is also a great way to entertain the kids when you’re stuck at home.

If you have some spare time on your hands, these 30 recipes are fun to bake and even more fun to eat!

1. Funfetti Cupcake Recipe

If you have kids, this is the one to try. There’s just no substitute for rainbow sprinkles and cake!

To ensure that your colors don’t run into a big old mess, only add the rainbow jimmies when you’re ready to scoop and bake.

That way, the color doesn’t sit in the moisture and streak when you stir the mix. 

2. Sheet Pan Nachos

I think we can all agree that nachos are the king of appetizers.

From the crunchy chips to the melted cheese and all the trimmings, I’ve never seen a plate go back with a single bite left. 

Unfortunately, some restaurants get a little sneaky.

They pile the chips high to make it look like a mountain of nachos, but only put the toppings on the top! Scandalous!

This recipe is a genius way to serve a crowd and ensure a maximum chip to cheese ratio.

You can even split the tray in half and keep one-half free from toppings. That way, people can pick their own dips and extras. 

Millionaire Pie with Cherry and Pecan Toppings

3. Millionaire Pie

My guess is this pie gets its name from the fact that every bite tastes like a million bucks.

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It’s the perfect blend of creamy, fruity, and tropical, and it’s so easy to recreate at home.

I love the piña colada feel from the pineapple and coconut, but it’s so effortless to switch things up. I think raspberries would make a colorful contrast. 

4. Funfetti Brownies

Full disclosure: these aren’t real brownies. They’re soft, fudgy, and tough to resist, but they aren’t chocolate… or brown.

But they are genius! For me, half of the attraction to brownies is the texture. It’s why I can’t resist digging into the warm pan. 

This recipe needs just six ingredients and about 15 minutes of prep to turn a simple boxed cake mix into a tray of colorful fudgy faux-brownies.

Lemon Cake

5. Sprite Cake

I’m sure you’ve seen many recipes that call for some kind of soda to be added.

In some cases, it adds flavor and sugar, and in others, it’s used to make certain things more airy. 

In this case, you’ll be using the bubbles to help the cake rise. Plus, it has a lovely citrus flavor that will infuse into every bite.

6. Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels

Do you order the pretzel as a bar snack when you go out?

Can you just taste that unique, salty, soft, warm delight right now? Then you just have to try this recipe.

It’s a yeast-based dough, which means kneading and resting/proofing.

There’s also the extra step of boiling your pretzels in a baking soda and water mix. It’s the key to their unique flavor. 

I know it sounds a little complicated, but if you do it once, you’ll see it’s pretty straightforward, and you can have a batch on the table in less than an hour.

Earthquake Cake

7. Earthquake Cake

German chocolate cake is a super moist cake filled with heavenly coconut and pecan frosting.

This cake incorporates all of that, plus some cheesecake swirls that just push it over the edge.

I like to add coconut and pecan to the batter, so you’ll get a lovely texture inside the cake. Plus, you can always add the frosting to the top!

8. Baked Potato Chips

If you’re anything like me, then you’ll eat potatoes in any and every form. That being said, is there anything better than a crunchy, salty potato chip?

Making your own is a double-edged sword.

They’re baked and super easy to add flavor to, but they’re also a little too easy to eat. Just be prepared for them to fly off the tray.

Cowboy Cookies

9. Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy cookies perfectly incorporate everything you love about a good cookie.

They’re crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and are loaded with chocolate and oats. 

You’ll need both white and brown sugar for this, plus baking powder and baking soda.

Every ingredient works to create the perfect cookie, so I wouldn’t recommend substituting anything. 

10. Best-Ever Baked Donuts

One thing’s for sure: donuts are the cutest baked treats out there.

Their cartoony appearance and bright colors will always make them a hit with kids and adults, and they’re so versatile. 

For this recipe, you’ll start with a fantastic vanilla base. This can be enhanced with everything from mini-chocolate chips and sprinkles to fresh fruit. 

As for the glaze, the possibilities are endless.

I’m a massive fan of using fresh fruit juices to make vibrant and flavorful icings, but you can’t go wrong with chocolate or peanut butter. 

11. Baked Brie with Jam and Nuts

This dish is not only insanely beautiful, but it’s sinfully simple to throw together.

Baking the cheese will really amp up the flavor and makes it a little too easy to eat, especially when you add those amazing extras.

The trick is to bake it with the rind on, which is absolutely edible. If you don’t like the rind, you can always cut it off and wrap the whole thing in pastry or bacon.

Either way, it needs something to keep all that sensational gooey filling from oozing out.

Cake With Walnuts And Coconut Icing

12. Do Nothing Cake

Despite the name, there are a couple of steps for this recipe, but they are minimal and will leave you with something pretty special. 

It’s as easy as mixing it all in one bowl for the batter. There’s no need to pre-mix or separate anything.

The icing is just as straightforward, needing to be warmed through until thick. Pour it over the baked cake and let the whole thing cool. 

13. Maple Vanilla Baked Pears

I served this to friends once, and they were bizarrely impressed. Apparently, baked or poached pears aren’t easy? What?

Granted, with poached pears, you’ll have to make a poaching liquid and be careful not to overwork the fruit.

But these are crazy simple. Just slice, season, and bake!

14. Baked French Fries

Having worked in a few restaurants, I picked up some incredible tips and tricks. My favorite has to be to soak your fries!

Soaking your fries, even just for 30 minutes, will help remove starch and make them ultra-crisp.

I even make a load ahead and store them in water in an air-tight container. 

The next tip might seem counter-productive, but they need to be dry.

Yes, you’ve just soaked them, but now you need to dry them out, so they don’t steam in the oven. Trust the process!

Homemade Classic Gumdrop Cookies

15. Gumdrop Cookies

Gumdrop cookies are chewy, fruity, colorful, and super fun to bake. 

The cookie itself is a lovely almond-flavored cookie that is light and crumbly with crisp edges. But it’s the candies that make this recipe pop.

16. Decadent S’mores Brownies

From the graham cracker base to the toasted marshmallow top, these brownies aren’t going to last. 

One tip from me to you: make a graham cracker crust like you would for a cheesecake.

I find it to be much better than merely layering graham crackers on the bottom. 

17. Vegan Baked Savory Donuts

Savory donuts? Um… are you sure? Yes! I’m so sure.

I told you before that donuts are the cutest, and that goes for these babies, too. 

The vegan bites are such a fun thing to add to your next gathering, and they’re the perfect finger food. Just don’t get them mixed up with the sweet donuts!

Mexican Wedding Cookies In A Bowl

18. Mexican Wedding Cookies

Russian tea cakes, butterballs, snowballs, polvorones: these cookies go by a lot of names.

Whatever you call them, they’re melt-in-your-mouth amazing, and super buttery.

This recipe uses almonds in the dough, but you could substitute them with your favorite nuts. Just be sure to chop them pretty fine.

19. Unicorn Banana Bread

This recipe makes me so happy. It combines my deep love for banana bread with my adoration for anything vibrant and beautiful. 

As if the sprinkles inside aren’t cute enough, this gets a sweet little glaze and plenty of extra colors scattered over the top. 

Now, I love this rainbow baby, but you could also use chocolate jimmies for this. Maybe add a peanut butter glaze instead?

20. How to Make Chocolate Scones

Scones are great for breakfast or a sweet little snack. So, I’m standing by these chocolate pillows as breakfast food. 

They’re so tender and perfectly moist, and the chocolate is just what you need in the morning to start your day.

The peanut butter glaze from above would work wonders here. 

Sliced Pineapple Cake Pin

21. Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake is light and airy, and its mild flavor complements pretty much any filling.

On the other hand, it can be a touch boring if you don’t dress it up.

Enter: pineapple! You can’t deny that pineapple is sweet, tart, fresh, fruity, and super tropical.

And one can is all you’ll need to make this cake. Seriously. No oil or eggs or melted butter.

You’ll only need the cake mix and a can of crushed pineapple. 

22. Butterfly Cupcakes

In the UK, they call these fairy cakes, and they’re what every kid used to make growing up. The simple recipe is a light vanilla cupcake with a simple buttercream.

The fairy part comes in when you gently slice the dome off the cake and cut it in half.

Once you’ve piped your buttercream on, place the “wings” on top and dust with powdered sugar. 

23. Italian Rainbow Cookies

You must’ve seen these babies in bakeries before? They’re mostly found in New York, though I’ve seen them all the way in California. 

Although they’re called cookies, they’re essentially a mini-almond cake, layered with different colors and raspberry jam.

But the addition of almond paste makes the texture more cookie-like. 

Chocolate Slutty Brownies With Cookies Inside Pin

24. Slutty Brownies Recipe

The name alone is enough to encourage you to make these. But if you’re still on the fence, let me push you over!

They’re made with thick, chewy, chocolate chip cookie dough topped with a layer of thick, double stuffed Oreos, topped with a sinful layer of fudge brownies.

You know you can’t resist!

25. Brownie Dessert Pizza

This is the ultimate Friday night treat. It’s just too fun not to try, and I know you’ll be asked to make it again and again. 

I think the Nutella, marshmallow, Milky Way bars, and M&Ms make for a sensational topping combo, but you can’t change this up however you like.

Reese’s? Chopped nuts? Cookie chunks? Go nuts!

26. Rainbow Shortbread Bites

These little rainbow bites are just so cute! Did you see that picture? I would eat that whole bowl – right after taking a hundred pictures for Instagram.

The key to getting those beauties even is to press the dough into a pan and chill.

Cut before you bake, and be sure they’re cold when they go in the oven, so they don’t spread.

Chocolate Trifle with Whipped Cream

27. Death By Chocolate Recipe

If I’ve gotta go, it better be after devouring one of these insanely good desserts.

These individual trifles are gorgeous and loaded with chocolate goodness. I ate two!

You can make your own brownies or buy those tender little bites from the store.

I think the chocolate on chocolate is what this trifle needs, but you can lighten it up with some whipped cream or vanilla pudding.

28. Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread

Because why would you want to take the complicated route?

Did you know that we only knead dough to speed up the proofing process? Instead of all that work, you can just mix the dough and leave it in the fridge overnight. 

You’ll need to start this the day before, but it’s so worth it!

You can keep it classic with some olive oil, herbs, and sea salt, or throw on sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, and black olives. I’ve even used this to make deep-pan pizza. 

Peach Cobbler With Ice Cream On Plate

29. Peach Cobbler with Cake Mix

Sometimes, a fun recipe is just something you’ve seen online that you have to make yourself to believe. This recipe definitely falls into that category. 

All you’ll have to do is pour a can of peaches into a baking dish, cover it with the cake mix and some butter, and bake. It’s really that easy.

Kitchen Sink Cookies with Crushed Pretzels and Chocolate Chips

30. Kitchen Sink Cookies

These cookies get their name from the idea that they have everything in them but the kitchen sink. 

The classic recipe calls for chocolate, toffee, and crunchy pretzels, and that is seriously all you’ll need.

That being said, I’ve added a number of fun things, like different types of chocolate, chopped nuts, M&Ms, and Reese’s. There are no wrong additions here!

30 Fun Things to Bake When You Need a Treat

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Fun Things to Bake

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