Easter, baby showers, book club, St-Patrick’s Day, spring – regardless of the occasion, I LOVE baking with a theme.
I’m terrible at making decisions. I think it’s a product of growing up with endless options but if I’m presented with too many options, it takes me ages to make up my mind. If 6PM rolls around and I haven’t figured out dinner plans, I’ll open up Grubhub and stare at restaurant options for at least an hour before I commit to the one that was likely at the top of the list to begin with.
When I get in the kitchen to start baking, I often have a starting off point that helps drive what kind of baked good I’ll be making. Sometimes it’s an ingredient that I have on hand and other times it’s a craving I just need to satisfy. If I don’t have a starting off point though, there are just too many options and I quickly get overwhelmed. If there’s a theme though, I have direction and my options all of a sudden are limited. Perfect.
Sure I love baking with a theme because it gives me an excuse to buy cute cupcake toppers on Etsy. I also love it because it pushes me out of my comfort zone! For St-Patrick’s Day this year I made white chocolate pistachio cupcakes. Believe it or not I had never baked with pistachios but once I finished my third cupcake (I had to make sure they were tasty before bringing them to the potluck brunch), I was hooked on pistachios.
For those of you who are better than I am at making decisions, having a theme might seem restrictive. I promise it isn’t! There are so many ways to be inspired by a theme and bake a creative treat!
- Color. Most holidays and events have colors associated with them. Christmas? Red and green. Easter? Pastel everything. Halloween? Orange and black. You can use colors to make just about anything and still call it “on-theme”.
- Flavor. Just as holidays often have colors associated with them, many also have flavors or ingredients that fit into the holiday mold. You could make something peppermint-flavored for Easter but it is likely to make more sense in December.
- Decorations. If all else fails and your baked good doesn’t incorporate color or flavors of the theme, use decorations! Themed sprinkles, cupcake toppers and festive serving plates are just a few of the ways you can use decorations to tie your dessert into a theme.
Ready to bake on-theme? Here are a few of my favorite recipes for holidays one might need to bake for!
- Mini Vanilla Cupcakes
- Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cake Truffles
- Strawberry Cheesecake for Two
- Mini Chocolate Caramel Tarts for Two
- Mini Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Tarts
- Guinness Chocolate Truffles
- Mint Chocolate Mousse Pie
- Luck of the Irish Bark
- Mint Cheesecake Stuffed Oreos
- Red, White and Blue Chocolate Bark
- Red, White and Blue Pretzels
- Berry Good Mini Pavlovas
- Lemon Strawberry S’mores
- Bubbly Berry Lemonade
- Classy Black and Orange Halloween Cake
- Spooky Halloween Bark
- Halloween Macarons
- Extra Dark Skor Brownies
- Thanksgiving Ice Cream
- Maple Pecan Pie Shortbread Bars
- Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies
- Apple Cider Ice Cream Pie
- Candy Cane Brownie Ice Cream
- Eggnog Chocolate Truffles
- Candy Cane Truffles
- Peppermint Red Velvet Cookies
- Gingerbread Ice Cream