No, baking won’t cure your existential dread

Can baking make you happy—or at least stave off some of the dread and anxiety that most of us have been grappling with for the last two years? Lots of Americans have tried to cure their pandemic blues by spending more time in the kitchen. But if they are anything like freelance baker and writer Tanya Bush, chances are it hasn’t worked all that well. Since November of 2020, Bush has been posting pictures of her culinary triumphs on her Instagram page,, and chronicling whether delights like chocolate almond cake with black cherry jam or orange spiced cheesecake brought her joy. The answer was often … no. There have been a few exceptions, points out Dayna Evans in Eater: When baking was combined with a sense of community and purpose, it made Bush happy. But despite the Instagram-worthy results, no combination of butter, flour, and sugar can be a cure-all for the overwhelming existential angst in our daily lives. —Jessica Terrell