What to Bake if You’re Not a Baker

I am always so impressed by anyone that can produce Pinterest-worthy baked goods. I know that in their kitchen they carefully measured, OR EVEN WEIGHED, every ingredient. They followed every step of the recipe, and PROBABLY EVEN IN ORDER. And by the look of their baked goods I bet they even have yeast that hasn’t already expired in their pantry or fridge (where exactly is it meant to be kept, anyhow?). That is not how I bake, not at all. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be able to bring in a beautifully baked item to work to share, or to pass treats out to the neighborhood kids when they take a break from playing and need a snack. So, I’ve had to figure out a few no fail baked goods. Each of the below are quick and easy and don’t require fancy tools or ingredients. 


Elephant Ears 

This traditional French cookie (Palmier) is possibly the easiest baked good you can imagine. You only need four ingredients: thawed puff pastry dough, half a stick of melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar. To make, you first need to lay one sheet of puff pastry out on a floured surface, brush from edge to edge with your melted butter, and then sprinkle with your cinnamon and sugar until thoroughly coated. Next, fold in one edge about a quarter of an inch from the center. Repeat with the other side. Next, fold these two double layers on top of each other. With a sharp knife, cut into half inch slices. Lay them out a couple inches apart from each other on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake for eight to twelve minutes in a 400 degree oven. Cool and serve.


Pumpkin Spice Cake Loaf

I can remember the first time I had this loaf…smeared in cream cheese frosting and moister than any loaf cake should be. I wanted seconds immediately! This three-ingredient loaf is easy to replicate. You need one box of spice cake mix, a 15 ounce can of pumpkin, and one egg (the egg can be omitted but I think it makes it extra moist). Combine and cook in a loaf pan according to the box mix instructions. Make sure you slather this in-store bought or homemade cream cheese frosting before serving!


Dump Cake

A theme is beginning to develop- semi homemade is the apparently the only way I know to bake. Dump cakes once again star a premade cake mix, this time paired with a canned pie filling. The sky is really the limit for the flavors of this cake. My favorite is cherry pie with chocolate or crushed pineapple (be sure to only use half a can of pie filling if you’re adding in a second element like the chocolate or pineapple) and yellow cake mix. Preparing your dump cake literally COULD NOT be easier. Grease a 9×13 glass dish and empty your pie filling into the bottom. Next sprinkle your cake mix on top of your pie filling. Using a butter knife, gently incorporate the mix into the filling- you aren’t mixing here! Think of how you marble a cake to get the neat tie dye look. Finally, bake according to the directions on the box mix. Served with ice cream, it makes this quick baked dessert even better.

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