Stress Baking: A Yummy Alternative to Worrying

With the Covid-19 pandemic upon us, and uncertainty infiltrating every facet of life, there is common thing that it appears everyone is partaking in: a delicious phenomenon known as “anxiety baking,” a term that entered the popular lexicon several years ago, but has become more in vogue amidst the stay at home orders. It’s a concept that encompasses both worry-induced baking and its therapeutic benefits. And with the global pandemic, online school, and being cooped up inside with just your family, it’s no surprise stress baking is making a comeback!

On Instagram, there are currently more than 34,000 posts for #stressbaking, 39,000 for #coronacooking and 98,000 for #quarantinebaking. These numbers will only continue to go up the longer quarantine goes on. 

“It’s a fun way to be occupied all day and not be interrupted by family,” says sophomore and avid stress baker, Katie Krueger, “It also takes a long time which makes me busy for a whole day instead of being bored all day.”

Food, cooking, and baking can be a lot of things, but food experts and psychiatrists alike can both agree that baking is more than just a mindless act. According to Julie Ohana, creator of the Culinary Art Therapy website, it quiets an inner dialogue. It’s a zen-like action that inspires control. 

“Baking is mindful. Mindfulness means paying attention to yourself in the moment and not being in the past or the future, but really being there,” describes Philip Muskin, a Columbia University psychiatry professor.

This isn’t the first time stress baking has found its way into people’s kitchens. In the book, “September 11 in Popular Culture: A Guide” authors Sara E. Quay and Amy M. Damico note that after September 11, 2001, the purchasing of baking supplies surged, similar to the current supply and demand trends. Unfortunately as the demand for supplies goes up, there are often empty shelves in the baking aisle of grocery stores. 

 “I feel guilty for asking my mom to buy special ingredients for what I want to make,” confesses Joyce Yu, a senior who has made 20+ recipes since quarantine started, “I’ve modified my recipes by substituting or leaving [hard to find ingredients] out.”

Whether dealing with stress, baking to connect with family, or delivering goodies to friends from six feet away, stress baking is the ultimate coping method. Some favorite student recipes are mocha chip muffins and banana bread- recipes are attached below! Send in your favorite recipes or results to!