Cottagecore and the Beauty of Baking

Cottagecore and the Beauty of Baking
Abby Skye | Katie Mulcahy

Cottagecore is a peaceful way of life seen in the LGBTQ+ community; however, cottagecore tends to be observed primarily on the lesbian side of the spectrum, hence the title “cottagecore lesbian.”

It is full of – but not limited to –  nature, gardens, rural living, pottery, foraging, and wildlife with a general appreciation of the world around. Based on the idealization of Western farming, cottagecore is a calm way to spend life, bringing an emphasis on using what the Earth provides and making a simple beauty of it. People generally associate it with mushrooms, cabins, beautiful nature-esque landscapes, and baking. Of course, there are many different styles and subcultures of cottagecore life, which all deserve their time and appreciation.

One of the main staples of cottagecore life is baking and cooking with what the land has provided.

The food provided is possibly from a home garden or the nearby wild areas such as forests and other outdoor areas. Maybe you have seen videos on Tik-Tok, or come across freshly made jams or preserves at the farmers market that bring a sense of homeliness or remind you of days in the past. Pretty and natural colors, with a look of a homestyle aesthetic that draws people in every day. To many people, a homemade meal is like a breath of fresh air to get away from the stressfulness of everyday life.

Additionally, baking tends to be a stress reliever for lots of people around the world, and there is nothing like the sense of accomplishment that comes with making a meal from scratch. It is no wonder why people who lean more towards a cottage core type of lifestyle are happier – and healthier – it is all about the food they eat and it’s source. It is not a secret that fresh foods are a healthier option than fast food or frozen food, though it is okay if you do not always have access to fresh produce, we all take what we can get in life.

However, baking can be a difficult skill to master in the beginning. Being able to master such intricate skills is very impressive, and those who can bake need to receive more credit for their craft. Though it may not be easy to create culinary masterpieces to start, you should make sure to start small and never give up! Everyone starts somewhere— make a sandwich or a salad, and work your way up to bigger and better projects. Many people who follow a cottagecore baking style didn’t start with making hard dishes, so don’t feel discouraged if you’re a beginner. The most important thing to remember when trying new things is to have fun while doing it and be true to yourself.

Baking is a great way to spend time with others and get to know them as well. There are great bonding opportunities during the baking process along with finding recipes or ingredients – whether at a supermarket, backyard garden, or the woods. Please, stay safe and do not attempt to find your ingredients in the wild if you are unfamiliar with your surroundings or what you are looking to find— it can be very dangerous.  Spending time with people, especially in group activities such as baking, bring togetherness and happiness to those who participate. While baking, get to know your baking companion. Baking is an excellent way of strengthening relationships.

What about baking alone? That is perfectly fine too, many people who have a cottagecore lifestyle bake alone. Put on some music and find a fun recipe! Baking alone is a great time to get to know yourself. What baking techniques do you like to use? Do you have a favorite type of food to bake? What are your favorite ingredients? You can figure these things out as you find yourself through your baking.

Some of the most common cottagecore baked goods are loaves of bread, pies, candies, and jams. When people think of making bread, they tend to believe that it is very hard. Though there can be some truth to that, fruit type bread like banana, lemon, and raspberry can become increasingly easy to bake as you progress. As you become more comfortable with making these types of bread, it can lead you to make more complex bread and cakes for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Though many people struggle with gluten intolerance, there are lots of gluten-free recipes out there for you to try and enjoy.

Are you still not completely sold on baking from scratch? That’s alright.

There are plenty of things for you to bake from natural base ingredients that are not from box mixes or pre-made sweets. You could always learn to cook and preserve foods, such as canned garden vegetables, natural syrups, or turn fruit into jams to enjoy when those fruits are out of season. Blueberries and strawberries are great fruits when it comes to preserves and syrups because they are most common in those categories. With just fresh berries, water, sugar, cornstarch, and heat, you can make your syrup to enjoy. The syrup can be used for so much: oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, or even other fruit, not to mention that it is super tasty. There are no boundaries when it comes to what you can add syrup to! Homemade syrups and preserves also come with the added benefits of knowing what is in what you are eating as well as being healthier. There are many ingredients in store-brand blueberry syrup, including high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, blueberries, pectin, citric acid, xanthan gum, and natural flavor. The best part is that making it from scratch at home is simple, easy, and inexpensive, adding a homey touch to any meal.

With baking as one of the main focus of a cottagecore lifestyle, it is not a mystery as to why people who follow this lifestyle tend to be happier. There are so many options when it comes to what you want to bake and what you want to use in it. With so much freedom, many people find baking to be an excellent pass time and de-stressor, and it might be just what you are missing. Amidst the global pandemic and state of the world, it is easy to lose ourselves in trying to figure everything out. It is okay to take a step back and take time to yourself to stop and smell the roses – or pick the blueberries off of a store shelf, farmers market table, or bush outside.

With spring right around the corner, baked goods season is here. There is never a better time to start baking than now. Always remember that it is okay to mess up. Rome was not built in a day, and bread is not made in an hour. Make sure to stay safe out there, even if you are gathering supplies or just mingling!