Sweet Treat Shelter-in-Place Relief

Sheila Teker, Staff Writer

Under shelter-in-place orders and perhaps fearing for our lives, sweet treats can be a calming influence, help us focus on online schoolwork, and literally satisfy our hunger. Baking is something that practically anyone can do with the right ingredients, free time, and an easy recipe – 1 which can be varied for personal taste.

We’ve compiled 5 easy recipes to get you through these unusual times:

5. Banana (and other fruit) “Nice Cream.” Frozen smoothies and ice cream have been in competition for quite a while now, so why not combine the two for a healthy, delicious snack? And, based on the ingredients you add, this recipe can easily be converted into an acai bowl.


  • Bananas (1 serving = 2 bananas)
  • 4 tbsp – 1/4 cup milk, depending on desired consistency (this is for 1 serving, however, so you want to multiply by the number of servings you want to make)
  • Any other add-ins you would like! Some suggestions are 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp of jam, or any favorite berries.


  1. In advance, cut up the bananas into slices and place them into a large plastic bag, careful that the slices do not stick together. Add in any other berries that you will use, then place the plastic bag into the freezer.
  2. The next day, take out the bag of frozen fruits and put as many as you want to your blender, depending on the number of servings.
  3. Initially, add about 4 tbsp of milk and blend. If your blender gets stuck or you want a smoother consistency, add more liquid.
  4. Add desired toppings, and enjoy!

4. Chocolate Pudding Cookies. I came up with this recipe when I was trying to make chocolate chip cookies and then realized I had run out of chocolate chips. Although chocolate pudding cookies may not be the same as chocolate chip cookies, they provide the same sweet, soft texture as the latter.


  • 1 box (about 3.9 oz) of chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/8 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • about 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Soften the butter in a bowl and add the sugars, mixing until combined.
  3. Add the eggs as well as the vanilla and baking soda, then mix again.
  4. Put in the pudding mix, and about 1 cup of flour.
  5. Once fully combined, look at the texture of the cookie dough, which should have the consistency of play dough. If it is still too sticky, continue adding in flour until reaching the desired texture.
  6. Grease a cookie tray, and roll up approximately 1 tbsp spheres of cookie dough to place on. Then, gently flatten each cookie on the sheet.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

3. Mosaic/Icebox “Cake.” Both beautiful and incredibly easy to make, mosaic/icebox “cakes” are perfect on lazy days. Not only do they have few ingredients, but it takes barely any effort or skill to make a masterpiece.


  • 11 oz (1.5cups) preferred cookies or biscuits
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Break up the cookies/biscuits into medium-sized pieces, careful not to crush them into a powder. This is easiest done by placing them in a plastic bag and hitting them with a wooden roller or drinking cup, or simply place them into a bowl and mash them with a wooden spoon.
  2. Pour the melted butter, sugar, and milk into a separate bowl. Mix.
  3. Add the crushed biscuits to the bowl, and mix everything together with a spoon.
  4. Take a small loaf pan and cover the inside with 1 to 2 large sheets of plastic wrap, then place the “batter” in it. Cover the exposed top of the pan with plastic wrap as well.
  5. Gently apply pressure to squish the top as well as the sides. Continue shaping the “cake” until as desired.
  6. Place the loaf pan into the freezer for 2-3 hours.
  7. Enjoy!

2. Muhallebi. Pronounced “moo-hall-ebee,” this soft, creamy, sweet dessert is not only historical – from as far back as the Middle Ages – but delicious. Legend has it that a Persian cook served it to an Arab general who liked it so much, he named it after himself! Despite its Middle Eastern origins, this treat is known by a variety of names around the world, including blancmange in France.


  • 4.5 cups milk
  • 1 heaping spoonful of cornstarch
  • 2-3 tbsp flour
  • a little less than 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla (optional)


  1. In a small cooking pot on the stove at medium heat, add the milk, sugar, and cornstarch, mixing well until all clumps disappear.
  2. Add the flour, and continuously mix the pudding, letting it cook.
  3. After starting to boil, let the pudding continue to cook for several minutes; continue to mix.
  4. Once taking the pot off the stove, divide the pudding among small bowls.
  5. After the bowls of pudding have cooled down and are now warm at room temperature, place them in the fridge until serving time (or, in general, place them into the fridge for approximately 1 hour to fully cool).
  6. Enjoy with cinnamon sprinkled on top or plain.

However, if you’re like me, and chocolate is your best friend, then a chocolate sauce on top brings the dessert to another level. While waiting for the pudding to cool in the fridge:

  1. Pour 1 cup of milk to a small pot at medium heat.
  2. Place 1/4 tbsp flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon vanilla into a separate bowl, and whisk them together.
  3. Add the mixture from the previous step to the milk, and cook the sauce until it darkens — make sure to stir continuously. As it cooks, if you would like, add several squares of chocolate or a few handfuls of chocolate chips.
  4. Once ready, take the sauce off the stove and let it cool.

Now, pour as much chocolate sauce as desired onto the pudding – be sure that the sauce isn’t too hot! Place the pudding bowls into the freezer, and, once completely cooled, enjoy!

1. Orange Cake. We all love lemon pastries and cakes – especially those lemon pound cakes from Starbucks – but in the citrus world, oranges do not get enough credit for their ability to make incredibly sweet treats. Not to mention, an extra dose of Vitamin C to boost our immune system doesn’t sound too bad!


  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • a little less than 1 cup of sunflower oil
  • 1 cup orange juice (I recommend freshly squeezed)
  • the zest of 2 large oranges
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Whip the eggs and powdered sugar together in a bowl until they form a white “foam.”
  3.  Add the orange zest and mix, then the orange juice and oil.
  4. Mix in the dry ingredients.
  5. Once the batter is ready, grease your cake pan, preferably with butter.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top has risen and browned.
  7. Once out of the oven, let it rest for around 10 minutes, then take it out of the pan. If you would like for presentation, sprinkle the top with sifted powdered sugar.
  8. Enjoy!

Bonus! Tea. A sweet, throat-soothing beverage, tea is perfect for the cooler weather as well as feeling better in regards to illnesses.

  1. Boil 1 cup of water.
  2. As you wait for the water, cut a piece of fresh ginger about 1/2 an inch thick and grate it into your cup.
  3. Once your water has boiled, pour it into your cup with the ginger and add about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, as well as a teaspoon of honey (or as much as you would like). Mix.
  4. Although optional, a dash of cinnamon adds great flavor.
  5. Enjoy!

Notes and Substitutions. Due to the lack of materials during the shelter-in-place, as well as allergies, diets, and the like, there are several ingredients that can be omitted or replaced with others:

  • If you do not have enough eggs (or none at all), you can substitute it with milk – unfortunately, there is not a set or official amount, you “measure” by the consistency of the batter as you add a little of the liquid at a time. If you prefer to be more specific, 1 egg is equal to 1/4 cup applesauce, or 1/2 a mashed banana with 1/2 tsp baking powder. You can also make a flax or chia egg by combining 1 tbsp ground seed and 3 tbsp water.
  • Milk can be substituted with any other types of milk, such as soy, almond, etc.