In reality, baking is a fairly productive way to procrastinate.
Basic Vanilla Macarons
Credit: Beth Branch

Procrastination—we’re all guilty of it. We busy ourselves with another activity avoid “real” work or a looming task that really needs to get done. Many people tend to clean, rearrange things around the house, take a nap, watch television, or mindlessly surf the web. However, if you are going to procrastinate, you might as well do something that’s mentally stimulating and meaningful... like baking.

Procrastibaking is the act of putting off important tasks that you legitimately need to accomplish by baking tasty treats instead. Procrastibaking has become a hashtag-level popular go-to for those looking to get their mental wheels turning and their creativity stimulated with an activity that feels pleasant and less intimidating (compared to what they’re putting off). I’ll say, I have been an active procrastibaker more times than I can count and oddly enough, I still feel accomplished at the end of the days I have opted to go to the oven instead of my desk. My avoidant actions may not have positively impacted the work that I should have been doing; however, I come out with a cake, pie, or batch of cookies that I can enjoy and share with others.

It makes sense that the habit of procrastibaking has become notably popular among people who primarily work from home. The key logic of many procratibakers is that they can still do their work during the down times of the baking process—such as proofing, resting, decorating, and the time their creations are spent baking. Thus, the best baked goods for procrastibaking often have multiple, and sometimes complicated, focus-demanding, steps that require intervals of dedicated attention. If you feel as if procrastibaking may be the right distraction for you, here are a few recipes to tackle the next time you need to avoid real work.

Millennial Pink Lemonade Pie

Credit: Darcy Lenz

The signature rosy pink color of the millennial generation is everywhere, including in this pink lemonade pie. There are several steps involved that you can break up over the course of the day starting with dying your butter pink. (This is how you achieve the heavily pigmented crust.) There is plenty of time for breaks while making this pie and by the next day, you can enjoy it while sending off your almost-but-not-late work assignments.

No-Bake Strawberry Nutella Cheesecake

This recipe does not involve any baking at all (making it excellent for summer procrastibaking), but you most likely have the ingredients to put it together. Incorporating strawberries in the base of the cheesecake is a great way to highlight the season’s favorite berry. There is a good amount of rest time in the refrigerator after you assemble all of the ingredients, so in the meantime, you can get back to work, feeling accomplished.

Best Carrot Cake

Best-Ever Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is always trending no matter the season and it’s a cake that I regularly bake when I want to get my mind off of things. There is something meditative about grating a boatload of root vegetables and transforming them into a cake. And, you most definitely have to go the extra mile to make a decadent cream cheese frosting, which can be made ahead of time or while the cake is in the oven.

Sourdough Bread

sourdough bread loaf
Credit: Paul Williams/Getty Images

Paul Williams/Getty Images

Making sourdough bread is a tedious process, especially when you have to deal with a sourdough starter. This is the perfect procrastibaking task as it allows you to hop back and forth between the bread and your day-to-day work. By the time you have reached dinner, you will (hopefully) have a lovely loaf of bread to dip in olive oil or to make a sandwich with.

Elderflower Macarons

Elderflower Macaroons
Credit: Daniel Agee; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Macarons are very delicate cookies that you have to pay close attention to as you mix the ingredients together. Being that the base starts with egg whites and sugar that are warmed together, and then mix until stiff in a stand mixer, the cookies demand a bit of focus. These are best to make when you need to completely remove your brain power from work and unleash a stream of concentration that’s dedicated to making a batch of stunning and delicious confections.

Dark Chocolate Brownies

Dark Chocolate Brownies
Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio; Prop styling by Audrey Davis; Food styling by Torie Cox

Brownies from the box are great, but from-scratch brownies are a lot more satisfying, especially when you are ducking from other responsibilities. Take a moment to step away from the computer and put your hands to work making a pan of rich, fudgy brownies... that I’m sure your neighbor won’t mind you sharing. If you need to get your creative juice flowing, play around with the type of chocolate that you use and the additions/mix-ins that you add. In the recipe linked to above, you can swap out walnuts for another favorite nut, or skip the nuts entirely in lieu of swirling a nut butter into the surface of your brownie batter before baking.