The Psychological Benefits of Baking

In the UK, we are not strangers to the feeling of stress. Especially with the turbulent time our nation has gone through in recent years. With the effects of countless lockdowns, numerous PM changes and the cost of living crises, we’re at our wit’s end.

Did you know that one in fourteen adults in the UK has admitted to feeling stressed every single day? This was found by Champion Health, along with the revelation that work is the most common cause of stress. Can you imagine how exhausting that must be?

At Cake Craft Company, we might be unable to help you create a budgeting spreadsheet or keep up with the latest politics, but we are experts in one field. So, sit back, grab a cup of tea, and allow us to tell you all about the benefits of baking to your mental health! Yes, we’re serious!

Does Baking Improve Mental Health?

The big question on your lips is, does baking actually improve your mental health? The answer is yes!

A survey conducted by the famous baking expert, Dr Oetker, found that two-thirds of respondents feel a significant improvement in mood when baking. It also reported that 61% of individuals felt happy when they were able to share their baked creations with others.

But if you’re a newbie to the baking world, you might wonder how this is possible. After all, representation in the media by the Great British Bake Off showcases countless stressed-out bakers on the verge of tears. But allow us to tell you otherwise and open your eyes to the world of baking as a stress reliever. Here’s how…

The Process is Therapeutic

Suppose you’re unsure about baking as a way to improve your mental health. In that case, it is most likely the anxiety over the process you might be wary of. You have probably glanced at a recipe and decided it is too much work for a mind overloaded with stress. But following the instructions is the perfect way to unwind your mind methodically.

As you work your way through the task list of a recipe, your thoughts are possessed by reaching the end goal and doing it correctly so that all other worries and concerns are pushed out for the time being. Just like distracting a crying child, baking is a way to give your mind something else to focus on.

It has been found previously that repetitive motions are also great for reducing stress, and so acts like mixing and rolling can provide you with that serotonin boost. Not to mention the different sensory inputs that can uplift the mind and soul. By focusing on scent and touch, which in itself is a treat for the senses, you might be transported back to memories of baking as a child and happier times.

Similarly, baking allows you to unleash your creativity, which is an outlet for stress. Focusing your mind and attention on creation will enable you to exercise your imagination and push your bounds on what you can bring to life. You might surprise yourself with what you can do!

Just remember that baking can look different from an episode of GBBO. You don’t have an unrealistic timer counting down, cameras in your face and the threat of competition!

The Rewarding End Result

So, we have established that the systematic process of baking is a great way to unwind and destress, but that is only one part of the process.

Once you have gone through the recipe and focused on following each step, you will be left with a finished result to be proud of. This is the reward of your efforts that will fill you with so much serotonin that any stress you felt with getting your bake right will make you feel better about finishing it yourself.

There is also the social connection that comes along with baking to ease the stress that encourages you to get talking to people more. Whether you’ve baked so many amazing treats that you just couldn’t possibly finish them yourself, or you’re looking for tips from other bakers, you will feel more comfortable speaking to those around you with purpose.

Not forgetting the pride and happiness you will feel at the praise your baked goods will bring you!

5 Reasons You Should Start Baking

If you’re still unsure if baking is the right course of action for you, maybe it would help to determine your current thoughts and feelings. Here are five reasons and signs that it might be time for you to start baking.

1. You Feel Irritable & Grumpy

We’re sure that if you have been feeling irritated and grumpy, the last thing anyone would expect you to do is to pick up a whisk and sprinkles. But unleashing your creativity is the perfect way to direct your pent-up emotion and energy in an outlet that allows you to exercise your capabilities.

2. You Feel Lonely & Uninterested in Life

As we mentioned earlier, baking is a fantastic way to improve your social life. Whether you choose to bake alone and share the finished results with friends and family or get them involved in the process, you can enjoy spending time with others and having a sense of purpose.

3. You Feel Overburdened & Overwhelmed

If everything in life is getting to be just a little bit too much, you might feel impacted by both work and your personal life. Baking is a way to switch off from these burdens and focus your mind on something that will make you happy instead.

4. You Feel Depressed & Unable to Enjoy Yourself

If you have suffered from depression and feel unable to unwind, baking can give you a task unusual from your regular routine for you to set your mind on. Baking combines the mental and physical exertion needed to shift your mindset and attention from the negative that can often consume your emotions.

5. You Feel Anxious and Nervous

Feelings of anxiety can often come from out of the blue, and for some of us, it is hard to shake this nervous tension. Baking allows you to control an entire project with a physical end goal that will give you a sense of accomplishment. This feeling of control and activity that allows you to be in charge will help reduce feelings of anxiety and worry.

Simple Butterfly Cake Recipe for Beginners

Are you ready to put these theories to the test and start feeling yourself again? To help you get started we have found one of our favourite baking recipes for beginners here to get you started on your baking journey.

Here is a simple recipe for butterfly cakes that will transport you back to childhood, delight your friends and family and, of course, be delicious. These cakes have just enough technique to challenge your mind while also being a great step-by-step process for beginners.

You Will Need:

Before you start, ensure you have the following ingredients ready.

  • 110g of Softened Butter
  • 110g of Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 110g of Self-Raising Flour
  • ½ tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1 tbsp of Milk
  • Strawberry Jam (Optional)
  • Sprinkles (Optional)

You will also need the following ingredients to create the perfect buttercream:

  • 300g of Icing Sugar
  • 150g of Softened Butter
  • 2 tsp of Vanilla Paste

Butterfly Cupcakes in 14 Simple Steps

Once you have the ingredients together, you can begin the fourteen-step process.

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. Line your cupcake tray with ten cupcake cases.
  3. Add the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder and milk to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Beat the mixture with either a hand mix or an electric mixer until smooth.
  5. Split the batter between the cupcake cases equally.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
  7. Cook until golden brown, and use a skewer in the middle of the cake to see if it comes out clean.
  8. Leave cakes on a wire rack to cool.
  9. For the icing sugar, beat the icing sugar, butter and vanilla until fluffy and smooth.
  10. Once the cakes are cool, use a sharp knife to slice off the tops.
  11. Cut each top evenly down the middle to create the butterfly wings.
  12. Pipe the buttercream into the space created atop each cake.
  13. Gently push the two halves into each cake at an angle.
  14. You can add a touch of jam or some sprinkles for further decoration.

Find your Creative Outlet Today

We hope we have opened your eyes to the world of baking as a stress-relieving hobby and that you feel ready to get started. If you’re looking for equipment and tools to help you get started as a beginner, don’t hesitate to shop our beginners’ baking collection. You can also shop for cake mixes that take the guesswork out of baking and a range of available tools and equipment.

If you want to get really creative, you can even explore cake decorating supplies and level up your baking. You can also find plenty more inspiration in our ideas lookbook to help get your creative mind working!


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