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11 Low-Key Amazing Baked Goods That People Made On Repeat In 2020

When all else fails, bake.

Hands up if you stress-baked your way through 2020.


Whether you're a newbie who attempted making bread for the first time or a seasoned pro who turned cake into everyday objects, you are not alone.

I asked people at BuzzFeed to share the recipes that helped them get through the year — so here are 11 baking ideas to try next time you're feeling a little uneasy, bored, or hungry.

1. Levain Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

a hand holding a giant lumpy chocolate chip cookie
Melissa Jameson / BuzzFeed

"Levain Bakery in New York City is considered by many (including me!) to serve the best chocolate chip cookies in town. They’re craggy on the outside, chewy and just-baked-enough on the inside, and low-key ginormous. A few months into quarantine, I started craving them. Research pointed me to a super well-reviewed copycat recipe by Modern Honey, and several batches later, I can confirm the blog’s recipe totally holds up to the real deal. It nails the taste and texture, and (just like the bakery's version) these cookies are comically large. To that point, know that one batch makes eight — so you can either size them down, or freeze half as dough balls, then bake off as the craving strikes. Fair warning, though, that it’ll probably strike often." —Melissa Jameson

Recipe: Levain Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

2. Blood Orange Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Alex Naidus / BuzzFeed, Crystal Hatch & Karlee Rotoly / Tasty / Via

"I'm new to baking, so I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to try a recipe with all these elements, but I couldn't resist the combination of flavors! I was worried I'd mess it up somehow, but it came out great and was freakin' delicious. There are a bunch of interesting contrasting sensations that make this a bit more special than your average cake, in my humble opinion — the sweetness of the chocolate, the bitterness of the blood orange, the savory and sharp kick of the olive oil, and the added crunch of the chopped pistachios. It just works, people!" —Alex Naidus

Recipe: Blood Orange Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

3. Beginner's Sourdough Bread

Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

"I love to cook, but until I found myself quarantining with my family for six months, I never really enjoyed baking. When my entire Instagram feed was made up of people making sourdough starters and homemade bread, I figured I'd see what all the fuss was about. At first, the process was intimidating, but after a few attempts, baking sourdough became like second nature. The act of baking, of kneading and playing with dough, comforted me, de-stressed me, and calmed me down. And sitting down at the table with my family, cutting into a loaf of fluffy, freshly baked bread became one of our favorite quarantine pastimes. Now that I'm back in New York, my starter also made the trip back with me...and I'm still baking bread all the time." —Hannah Loewentheil

Recipe: Beginner's Sourdough Bread

4. Best Ever Vegan Brownies

Celina De Jesus

"I'm always in the mood for brownies, but I hadn't ever attempted to make them up until this year. These were surprisingly easy to bake, and, while I would make them slightly more gooey next time, they tasted amazing!" —Celina De Jesus

Recipe: The Best Ever Vegan Brownies

5. Banana Bread

a loaf of banana bread sprinkled with walnuts
Yrbenka Arthus / BuzzFeed

"Banana bread and banana bread alone have gotten me through this past year. It's pretty low stakes, it's fun to make your own by adding nuts and other fun ingredients (ginger!), and it doubles as a breakfast and a dessert — depending on how much chocolate you want to add. I've made this Simply Recipes banana bread 42 times since March (seriously, I've counted), and each loaf has brought me pure joy." —Yrbenka Arthus

Recipe: Banana Bread

6. Paleo Chocolate Chunk Cookies

A stack of five small but nuggety chocolate chip cookies, topped with a sprinkle of salt
Monique / Ambitious Kitchen / Via

"These cookies are supposed to be paleo, but I substitute the coconut sugar for regular granulated sugar. This makes them less paleo, but more suited to an afternoon sugar high, which is always what I’m looking for. These are so delicious with coffee — I recommend doubling the recipe because it only makes a few and they will not last." —Ayla Norris-Smith

Recipe: Paleo Chocolate Chunk Cookies

7. Robert The Doll's Killer Key Lime Pie

Kemi Ajisekola / Via

"I've made a lot of recipes during quarantine, but the one with the best story is Robert The Doll's Killer Key Lime Pie. When I went on a ghost tour in Key West a few years ago, I learned about Robert the Doll, one of the most famous cursed dolls in the world. The doll was gifted to a little boy named Robert Eugene Otto who lived in the historic Artist House, steps away from the now-famous Duval Street. Naturally, the doll was extremely haunted and odd things started happening around the house (if you want to learn more about Robert the Doll, which I highly recommend you do, you can read up here). Anyway, on the tour, I learned that Robert's mother, Anne Otto, was famous in Key West for her key lime pie. Now, I love key lime pie and creepy stuff (obviously), so I scoured the internet until I found her original recipe! It's super simple and so delicious. I added a little cream of tartar to my meringue, but otherwise, I think Robert and Anne would be proud." —Kemi Ajisekola

Recipe: Robert The Doll's Killer Key Lime Pie

8. Banana Toffee Cake

Jessica Probus, Smitten Kitchen / Via

"While everyone else was making banana bread, my household took it up several notches and made this Banana Toffee Cake from Smitten Kitchen. It's a perfect quarantine recipe because you can swap many things in or out depending on what you have and it's still delicious — I used coconut milk and lemon juice instead of buttermilk, threw in a different number and size of old bananas every time I made it, and alternated ice cream and whipped cream as the topping (because we had this so many times, we got to try both). You can also freeze the individual cakes and reheat when you're ready to eat them." —Jessica Probus

Recipe: Banana Toffee Cake

9. Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

A hand holding a two golden oatmeal biscuits sandwiched together with buttercream icing
Betsy Carter / Via

"There's something nostalgic about biting into an oatmeal cream pie. Maybe it's because you enjoyed Little Debbie's version as a kid or it's the homey smell that fills the kitchen, but for me, these two perfectly soft and chewy cookies sandwiched together with sweet vanilla buttercream — it's the invisible hug I didn't know I needed." —Betsy Carter

Recipe: Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

10. Salty Caramel Peanut Butter Cake

A slice of cake with caramel icing and a sprinkle of sea salt flakes
Matt Dorville / Via Instagram: @madebymattbk

"For me, the stress of 2020 meant baking cakes. Lots of cakes. And the best kind of cakes are honestly snacking cakes. They lie around your house waiting to give you a boost of serotonin whenever you need it, and I love them so much for that. This salty caramel peanut butter cake is one of my favorites. I found it on the wonderful Cup of Jo as a teaser recipe for Yossy Afrei's Snacking Cakes (which I highly recommend). And if you'd like more cake pics, please follow my baking Instagram!" —Matt Dorville

Recipe: Salty Caramel Peanut Butter Cake

11. Shockingly Easy No-Knead Focaccia

Louise Khong, Bon Appetit / Via

"I tried the whole sourdough thing during lockdown, but I quickly discovered I don't have the patience or dedication for it (RIP my starter). Making focaccia, on the other hand, is the kind of bread baking I can get around. This recipe really is shockingly easy — honestly, the hardest part was finding yeast at the grocery store — and you can even skip the last step of adding garlic butter and just slather a slice with regular butter, dip it in olive oil, or eat it straight-up. It's soft, oily, salty, and just plain delicious. You'll end up with a pretty massive loaf, but it freezes well and crisps back up if you reheat it in the oven. " —Louise Khong

Recipe: Shockingly Easy No-Knead Focaccia

What's the best thing you baked this year? Let us know in the comments!