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49 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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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’d like, sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar for a beautiful finishing touch.—Allison Bell, Hillsdale, New Jersey

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Focaccia Exps Cwfm22 263640 E10 05 5b

Focaccia

Focaccia is one of my favorite bread recipes. It’s one of the least labor-intensive since there isn’t any kneading. The dough is very wet, which is perfect for a tender, yet chewy, bread with a very distinct salt bite. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Olive Oil Cake

A good olive oil cake isn’t overly sweet, so it can just as easily be a breakfast treat or an afternoon snack as it can be a dessert. —Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Lemon Chess Pie Exps Ft21 41166 F 1103 1

Lemon Chess Pie

This bright and creamy lemon chess pie cuts beautifully and has a smooth texture. It’s one of my favorites. —Hannah LaRue Rider, East Point, Kentucky
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Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Doughnuts Exps5497 Cs163848b11 06 7b 2

Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Doughnuts

My relatives have been making these tasty doughnuts for years. The potatoes keep them moist, and the glaze provides just the right amount of sweetness. —Marlene Reichart, Leesport, Pennsylvania
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Jewish Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread Exps Ft20 237021 F 1117 1 17

Jewish Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread

This traditional Jewish mandel bread recipe has been passed down in my family for four generations. It tastes wonderful with a cup of coffee, hot cocoa or milk. —Monica Schnapp, Irvine, California
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Cranberry Spritz Cookies Exps Hca21 111519 C03 23 3b

Cranberry Spritz Cookies

Here’s a sure standout on your treat tray. The cheery cookies get their bright-pink color from cranberry-flavored gelatin.
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Cherry Chocolate Marble Cake Exps Toham20 8765 B11 07 14b 10

Cherry Chocolate Marble Cake

Cherries and chocolate are natural partners that make desserts such as this simply scrumptious! The marbled effect is easily achieved by layering the two contrasting batters. —Sandra Campbell, Chase Mills, New York
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Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Sandwich Cookies Exps Hcbz21 169555 B06 08 5b 3

Rosemary-Lemon Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

These beautiful shortbread sandwich cookies are always a welcome addition to our annual ladies holiday tea luncheon. The distinctive rosemary flavor, paired so well with the tangy lemon curd, has made them a favorite in our group for years! —Jamie Jones, Madison, Georgia
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Peanut Butter Cookie Knots Exps Rc21 263466 B06 23 6b 13

Peanut Butter & Cookie Knots

These braided pastries are filled with chunks of cookies and peanut butter. They are perfect for dessert or with your morning coffee. You could use any type of chocolate cookie or chocolate candy that would pair well with peanut butter. You can even substitute hazelnut spread for the peanut butter. —Daniel Carberg, Roxbury, New Hampshire
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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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Chocolate Hazelnut Magic Bars Exps Diyd21 265291 E07 14 16b 13

Chocolate-Hazelnut Magic Bars

This hazelnut bar recipe puts a Nutella spin on the classic magic bar! Drizzle melted Nutella spread on top for extra flair. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Giant Molasses Cookies Exps Hcbz22 38876 Dr 05 24 1b

Giant Molasses Cookies

My family always requests these soft molasses cookies. These chewy cookies are also great for shipping as holiday gifts or to troops overseas. —Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York
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Tiramisu Cookies Exps Ft19 246259 F 1101 1 3

Tiramisu Cookies

These tiramisu cookies bring out the delicious flavors of tiramisu, sandwich-style. Pack these treats in a decorative container for an easy edible hostess gift. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Soft Garlic Breadsticks Exps Thdj22 21379 B07 29 5b

Soft Garlic Breadsticks

I rely on a bread machine to mix the dough for this buttery garlic breadsticks recipe that is mildly seasoned with garlic and basil. I like to use this dough when making pizza, too. —Charles Smith, Baltic, Connecticut
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Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bread Exps Fbmz19 41704 B04 30 2b 15

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bread

This cranberry bread is tender and moist. The first time I made it, it immediately became a favorite for the fall and winter holidays. The tart cranberries complement the sweet chocolate so well.—Jessica Hornaday, Nampa, Idaho
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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 this lemon curd dessert with whipped cream and berries. —Kris Brill, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Braided Multigrain Loaf Exps Fbmz21 39439 B05 07 8b

Braided Multigrain Loaf

I love this hearty, chewy loaf that uses oats, rye flour, rice and sunflower seeds. It’s so robust, you could almost make a meal out of this bread with a little butter. —Jane Thomas, Burnseville, Minnesota
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Zucchini Walnut Cake Exps Ft21 7189 F 0610 1

Zucchini Walnut Cake

What gardener doesn't have extra zucchini? When it is abundant, I shred and freeze plenty so I have it on hand to bake this moist zucchini cake with walnuts all year long. The cream cheese frosting is yummy, and the big panful always goes fast at a picnic or potluck. —Marie Hoyer, Hodgenville, Kentucky
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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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Chocolate Babka Exps Tohdj20 242524 B07 30 1b 8

Chocolate Babka

I love this chocolate babka. It’s a rewarding recipe for taking the next step in your bread baking. Even if it’s slightly imperfect going into the oven, it turns out gorgeous. Look at those swirls! —Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Cherry Hand Pies Exps Tohfm20 244426 E09 27 2b 46

Cherry Hand Pies

There’s nothing better than a sweet, from-scratch delight like traditional cherry pie. These precious little hand pies always go fast when I sell them at my pie bakery! —Allison Cebulla, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Bananas And Cream Tube Pan Cake Exps Ft22 4457 F 0308 1 7

Banana Bundt Cake

This absolutely scrumptious banana Bundt cake needs no icing, just a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. Even though the recipe has been a family secret for years, I’m delighted to share it with my fellow home cooks. —Oma Rollison, El Cajon, California
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Pink Velvet Cupcakes Exps Gbdbz20 36503 B01 09  5b 3

Pink Velvet Cupcakes

My daughter loves all things pink, so this recipe was just right for her birthday. Even my teenage son (not a fan of pink) ate his share, too. —Paulette Smith, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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Wyoming Cowboy Cookies Exps Thca22 792 B E10 22 2b

Wyoming Cowboy Cookies

These cookies are very popular here in Wyoming. Mix up a batch for your crew and see why! —Patsy Steenbock, Shoshoni, Wyoming
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Peach And Berry Cobbler Exps Cwjj18 226954 B03 02 1b 8

Peach and Berry Cobbler

This is one of my favorite summer recipes because it features peaches and berries that are in season, but it is just as delicious with frozen fruit. The quick biscuit topping brings it all together. —Lauren McAnelly, Des Moines, Iowa
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Best Ever Crescent Rolls Exps Atbrs21 199388 E11 19 5b 1

Best Ever Crescent Rolls

My daughter and I have cranked out dozens of these homemade crescent rolls. It’s a real team effort. I cut the dough into pie-shaped wedges; she rolls them up. —Irene Yeh, Mequon, Wisconsin
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Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Exps Hc17 138374 D01 20 6b 11

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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Blueberry Banana Bread Exps Hca23 20953 P2 Md 08 02 4b

Blueberry Banana Bread

Blueberries and bananas combine in these tender, golden loaves. Whether you enjoy a slice as a snack or for breakfast, this bread is so flavorful, you won’t need butter. —Sandy Flick, Toledo, Ohio
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Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies Exps Fbmz21 50064 B05 07 4fbmz21 39439 B05 07 8b 4

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

Toasted nuts, Nutella and liqueur transform fudgy homemade brownies into a hazelnut-lover’s dream. They’re perfect for a casual meal on Christmas Eve or as a yummy gift.
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Coconut Pineapple Upside Down Cake Exps Tohrc20 252032 E06 23 11b 3

Pineapple Coconut Upside-Down Cake

This recipe is one of my favorites! The tropical flavors remind me of being on vacation with my family in the Caribbean—I have so many fun memories. —Stephanie Pichelli, Toronto, Ontario
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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 Exps Thca18 204479 C09 22 5b 5

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. These decadent treats are the result, and we really enjoy them! —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Pina Colada Zucchini Bread Exps Ugfbmz17 42315 C04 28 5b 7

Pina Colada Zucchini Bread

At my husband's urging, I entered this recipe at the Pennsylvania Farm Show—and won first place! You'll love the cakelike texture and tropical flavors. —Sharon Rydbom, Tipton, Pennsylvania
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Ginger Glazed Lemon Bundt Exps Fbmz18 229015 D05 15 4b 6

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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Gooey Butter Cake Exps Bwcr21 89961 E02 02 11b 29

Gooey Butter Cake

A friend gave me a quick version of this gooey butter cake recipe using a cake mix, but I prefer baking from scratch, so I came up with my own. My family can’t get enough! The middle will sink a little; this is normal. This dessert is delicious served warm or cold. —Cheri Foster, Vail, Arizona
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Dutch Oven Raisin Walnut Bread Exps Dodbz20 254856 B07 21 7b 27

Dutch-Oven Raisin Walnut Bread

On a cold day, nothing is better than a warm, crusty Dutch oven raisin bread filled with walnuts. —Catherine Ward, Taste of Home Prep Kitchen Manager
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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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Sour Cream Cheddar Biscuits Exps Ccrbz22 167694 Md 01 06 2b

Sour Cream & Cheddar Biscuits

Here’s my go-to recipe for biscuits. Brushing them with the garlic-butter topping before baking seals the deal! —Amy Martin, Vancouver, WA
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Frosted Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Exps Bobmz22 29830 E10 06 7b

Frosted Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Heavenly is a good description for this chocolate chip cheesecake, conveniently made a day ahead. When I don’t have a candy bar on hand, I melt 3/4 cup chocolate chips to use in the frosting. —Arlene Butler, Ogden, Utah
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Chocolate Chunk Walnut Blondies Exps Thd18 132978 B08 02 5b 4

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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Raspberry Moscow Mule Cake Exps Toham20 202310 B11 06 2b 2

Raspberry Moscow Mule Cake

This Moscow mule cake is my favorite cake I’ve ever made from scratch. It’s so moist and flavorful, and it reminds me of my favorite cocktail. —Becky Hardin, St. Peters, Missouri
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Spiced Rum And Pear Cake Exps Thca18 205635 D09 22 5b 2

Spiced Rum and Pear Cake

The flavors in this cake really make it stand out as a special-occasion dessert. 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 Exps Cwfm17 31138 C10 11 5b 5

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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Herbed Onion Bagels Exps Dodbz20 40079 B07 21 4b 19

Herbed Onion Bagels

I create my delightful bagels by adapting several other recipes. I enjoy them spread with cream cheese or onion and chive cream cheese. —Pam Kaiser, Mansfield, Missouri
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Orange Cornmeal Cake Exps Sddj19 226518 B07 19 4b 3

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
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Homemade Irish Soda Bread

Some people consider bread to be the most important part of a meal…and this Irish bread satisfies such folks! This recipe is by far the best soda bread I’ve ever tried. With the addition of raisins, it is moist and delicious! —Evelyn Kenney, Trenton, New Jersey
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Golden M M S Bars Exps Ft21  11521 F 0902 1 19

Golden M&M’s Bars

Our family loves to take drives, and I often bring these M&M cookie bars along for snacking in the car. —Martha Haseman, Hinckley, Illinois

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.