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40 Baking Ideas for When You’re Feeling Bored

Want to get busy on a lazy weekend afternoon? Check out these fun baking ideas, including cakes, breads, bars and more, that you'll be glad you tried.

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Nutella Hand Pies

These pint-size Nutella hand pies made with puff pastry are too good to keep to yourself! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Plum & Hazelnut Pie

My mom taught me about Italian prune plums and pie. Sprinkling the crust with ground hazelnuts gives it a luscious flavor and also keeps it from getting soggy. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Key Lime Cupcakes

I made these light, tangy cupcakes on a chilly day to remind me of our vacation in southern Florida, where Key lime pies are star attractions. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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Bacon Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Blondies

If you're a sweet and savory fan like me, you'll go wild over this bacon cookie bar recipe. You just can't beat a cookie, brownie and cheesecake all mixed up and sprinkled with bacon. —Katie O'Keeffe, Derry, New Hampshire
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Meringue Shells with Lemon Curd

We love a dazzling dessert of meringue shells filled with sunny lemon curd. It’s sweet and tart, crunchy and fluffy. Top it with whipped cream and berries. —Kris Brill, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Makeover Traditional Cheesecake

Though softer than a full-fat cheesecake, this lightened-up dessert has all of the original's delectable flavor. It's sure to make any special event more festive. —Anne Addesso, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
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Mexican Chocolate Walnut-Cherry Biscotti

I love to combine flavors and spices from different cultures. These cookies have ground cinnamon in them, which is a classic flavor in Mexican chocolate. They are very crunchy and are loaded with maraschino cherries and toasted walnuts. —Nancy C. Evans, Phoenix, Arizona
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Banana Split Brownies

How's this for a dish—all the joy of a banana split without the mess. Everything in my recipe fits into one pan of delectable brownie bars. —Connee Sheckler, Chestertown, Maryland
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Grapefruit Poppy Seed Bread

I had grapefruits handy, so I used the zest and juice for this lovely quick bread. It's got a nice little tang and a tender crumb. —Lisa Moriarty, Wilton, New Hampshire
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Peach and Berry Cobbler

This is one of my favorite summer recipes, as it features peaches and berries that are in season. But it's just as delicious with frozen fruit any time of the year. The quick biscuit topping brings it all together. —Lauren Knoelke, Des Moines, Iowa
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Chocolate Orange Cookies

My three sisters like the combination of chocolate and orange as much as I do, so we all really savor these beautiful cookies. The candied orange peel on top is a special twist. —Ruth Rumple, Rockford, Ohio
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Red Wine and Chocolate Cupcakes

Red wine and chocolate make an amazing pairing, especially in these rich, elegant cupcakes made for my mother’s birthday. She adores them! —Candace Cheney, Fort McMurray, Alberta
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Not Your Mama's Seven-Layer Bars

The addition of dulce de leche makes this a decadent new take on traditional seven-layer bars. You can cut this recipe in half and make it in an 8x8-in. pan. —Andrea Barlow, Hot Springs, Arkansas
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Blueberry Quick Bread with Vanilla Sauce

This loaf is chock-full of blueberries—two whole cups! When you pour the vanilla sauce over the bread, it makes it moist--almost like a pudding. I suggest serving a robust cup of coffee with this delicious treat. —Sue Davis, Wausau, Wisconsin
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Snickerdoodle Cheesecake

My maternal grandmother preferred sewing and quilting to cooking and baking, but there were some things that she cooked and baked really well. She was the only person I knew who made snickerdoodles, simple but yummy cookies that I've always enjoyed. Since cheesecake is my very favorite dessert, I couldn't resist coming up with one that re-creates those flavors. I think of my grandmother each time I make it! Sometimes I'll drizzle the slices with maple syrup. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas
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Rum Raisin Creme Brulee

Inspired by a favorite ice cream flavor, I created this make-ahead recipe to free up some time in the kitchen. You can also serve this as a custard if you choose to not caramelize the top. —Eleanor Froehlich, Rochester, Michigan
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"From Russia with Love" Cookies

Delicate and refreshing at the same time, these cookies make everyone fall in love with them. No special baking skills necessary.—Elena Keesee, Albany, New York
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Bacon Walnut Bread with Honey Butter

My savory walnut bread filled with bacon bits and blue cheese dressing is complemented by the sweetness of honey-flavored butter. Cut yourself a thick slice, slather on the butter and enjoy!—Pam Ivbuls, Omaha, Nebraska
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Mini Blueberry Tarts

I served this recipe to my family while we were on vacation and they were all amazed! The best part: I didn't spend tons of time on it thanks to refrigerated pie crust. Watch your mini tarts around the 13-minute mark to make sure they don't brown too quickly. If you like, sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar for a beautiful finishing touch.—Allison Bell, Hillsdale, New Jersey
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Loaded M&M Oreo Cookie Bars

We’re all so busy and pressed for time that I find myself creating recipes that are generally fast to prepare, proving that you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen to obtain fabulous results. Here’s a favorite of mine that combines crunchy M&M's and gooey chocolate all nestled into a flavorful blondie. —Averie Sunshine, San Diego, California (www.averiecooks.com)
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Mini Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies

I love baking cookies to give as gifts to my family and friends. I created this recipe for my annual holiday cookie platter and it received rave reviews from both children and adults. If the buttercream doesn't come together after all of the butter has been incorporated, add some shortening one tablespoon at a time until the mixture starts to transform. —Julie Thomas, Saukville, Wisconsin
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Fudgy Layered Irish Mocha Brownies

My husband and I are big fans of Irish cream, so I wanted to incorporate it into a brownie. I started with my mom's brownie recipe, then added frosting and ganache. This decadent recipe is the result, and we really enjoy them! —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Pina Colada Zucchini Bread

At my husband's urging, I entered this recipe at the Pennsylvania Farm Show and won first place! I think you'll love the cakelike texture and tropical flavors. —Sharon Rydbom, Tipton, Pennsylvania
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Ginger-Glazed Lemon Bundt

Tangy ginger, tart lemon and puckery cranberries make this melt-in-your-mouth cake as crisp—and gorgeous—as autumn. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cinnamon White & Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wanted to put a spin on the traditional chocolate chip cookie, and who doesn't love cinnamon? Depending on what you use to drop your cookies, the serving quantity may change. —Cassie Colosimo, Reading, Pennsylvania
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Green Tomato Pie

When frost nips our garden, I quickly gather all the green tomatoes still on the vine and make this old family favorite. It's been handed down from my grandmother, and now my granddaughters are asking for the recipe.—Violet Thompson, Port Ludlow, Washington
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Arnold Palmer Cupcakes

These fun cupcakes take a favorite Arnold Palmer recipe and turn it into dessert. Add a slice of lemon on top for a puckery finish. —Jessee Arriaga, Reno, Nevada
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Two-Berry Pavlova

Here's a light and airy dessert that I first tried in Ireland. When I got home, I made this berry pavlova for my kids, who loved to build their own with their favorite fruits. The whipped cream makes for icing on the cake! —Norma Stevenson, Eagan, Minnesota
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Apple Stack Cake

Apple Stack Cake

My mom loved to bake this sky-high apple stack cake. Layer the apple goodness two days before serving. Later, a dusting of confectioners' sugar is the only topping you'll need. —LeVa Clement, Jackson, Missouri
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Chocolate Chunk Walnut Blondies

Put a stack of these beauties out at a potluck and you'll find only crumbs on your platter when it's time to head home. Everyone will be asking who made those scrumptious blondies, so be sure to bring copies of the recipe! —Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor
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Almond Cherry Cobbler

This bubbling cherry cobbler is one of my favorite dishes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. —Melissa Wagner, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
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Pineapple Upside-Down Muffin Cakes

A friend submitted this recipe to a cookbook our school district was compiling. The first time I made them, the whole family declared the recipe a winner. Delicious and healthy to boot, they remain favorites to this day. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Caramel Apple Pie with Streusel Topping

I developed this recipe through the years to get it exactly where we want it. I've entered several pie contests with it and placed first each time—one bite and you'll know why this pie's a winner! —Laurel Dalzell, Manteca, California
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Mom's Chocolate Bread

My mom made this divine chocolaty bread only for holidays or special requests, but it makes any old morning even better. I always think of our family when I smell it baking. —Rachel Rhodes, Bedford, Pennsylvania
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Rhubarb Berry Upside-Down Cake

I had leftover rhubarb and wanted to create something fresh. With blueberries, strawberries and dried cranberries on hand, I discovered I had a berry upside-down cake. —June Paul, Portage, Wisconsin
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Hoka Cheesecake

The Hoka Cheesecake, named for a beloved local theater, is pretty addicting. It's one of the first recipes I learned when I moved here. For a finishing touch, I sprinkle a few crust crumbs on top. —Beth Ziegenhorn, Oxford, Mississippi
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Spiced Rum and Pear Cake

The flavors in this cake really make it stand out as a special occasion cake—with raisins, fresh sweet pear chunks, rich spices, crunchy walnuts and rum, it's a fine finale for your holiday spread. If you don't cook with alcohol, try substituting apple juice for the rum—it will still be delicious! —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Rustic Cranberry Tarts

I like to serve colorful desserts for gatherings with family and friends. These beautiful tarts are filled with cranberry and citrus flavor, and they’re easy to make and serve. —Holly Bauer, West Bend, Wisconsin
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Apple Streusel Muffins

These apple streusel muffins remind us of coffee cake, and my husband and kids love them as a quick breakfast or snack on the run. The drizzle of glaze makes them pretty enough for company. —Dulcy Grace, Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania
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Orange Cornmeal Cake

This cake bakes up tender and light with a subtle orange taste. It tastes rich but is comparatively low in saturated fat. Serve the cake as is, or dress it up with a dollop of whipped cream and strawberries or raspberries. It is wonderful warm, but the flavor improves as it sits, so make it a day or two before you plan to serve it. Store the cake at room temperature. —Leigh Rys, Herndon, Virginia

Kristin George
Kristin George is a lifestyle + parenting writer and content creator living in Milwaukee, WI, with her husband and three boys. She is the founder of Dotted Comma, a marketing consulting agency driven to "cause a pause." In addition to her family and writing, she loves coffee, yoga, traveling, and making lists. You can connect with Kristin at dottedcomma.com.
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