Bake Your Way to Popularity (Baking food, that is—don’t freak out.)


How to make more people in the office notice you, plus recipes + more

Let’s kick this off the way you probably kicked off 90% of your high school five paragraph essay assignments: Oxford dictionary defines popularity as the state or condition of being liked, admired or supported by many people. We’ve all longed for popularity at some point or another in our lives, whether you’ll admit it or not. I can recall understanding this principle from as young as age six, if not sooner. Popularity is a funny thing—we often attribute the game of doing things simply so others like us to middle and high school, but truly, it follows us into adulthood. And with the rise of social media and the insatiable desire to have a certain number of followers, likes, and other forms of gratification, being popular (or influential) is something constantly on the minds of most Americans. 

As I’ve aged, I’ve come to the realization that adulthood does not imply maturity, nor does it mean we are exempt from the feelings we had as teenagers. It mostly means that, besides being on our own, we must portray our emotions or desires in a way that is acceptable for someone of adult age…so if we want to be popular, we can no longer rely on our football skills, bubbly personalities or on-trend Abercrombie & Fitch hoodies to get people to like us. It takes much more for people to support and admire you as an adult…unless you have food to share

The best anecdote to this effect is the episode of How I Met Your Mother featuring Marcus DeNesco, better known to the office as Food Guy. Marshall is struggling to be well-liked in his new position with Goliath National Bank, so Barney tells him about Food Guy, an otherwise mediocre coworker who achieved immense popularity by bringing food to the office to share with everyone. (Watch the clip here if you don’t remember.)

And I’m here to tell you it’s absolutely true, even if you don’t work in a stuffy New York City high rise; and although you probably don’t have the time or money to become a Benihana-expertise level Hibachi chef so that you can wow your coworkers with onion volcanoes and flying shrimpies, bringing something as simple as muffins or cookies will definitely earn you, wait for it, brownie points. 

We’ve gathered a few recipes that are perfect to bring into the office, no matter what baking skills you have. We’ve even included an inspo list for those of you who detest baking but are willing to pick something up to share, in the name of being cool.

For the Bakers:

Classic Banana Bread – Lure them in with the smell of your nanerz. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies – Because, obviously. 

Chocolate Cake – It’s not even your birthday… You’re just in the mood for some cake, cake, cake, cake, cake. Top with fresh, local strawberries for added…sweetness. 

For the Give-me-a-box-with-mix-and-I’ll-add-the-eggs-and-stir Bakers 

Simple Mills Mixes – You can’t go wrong with any of their mixes. Plus, these are great for anyone at the office who can’t eat gluten, so they’ll think you’re cool, too. Up the ante by adding fresh berries to the batter from the farmers market…

Double Chocolate Brownies – These are especially effective on Monday or Wednesday when tensions are high. 

Muffins – There’s something about butter and muffins, but I forget what it is. Regardless, these are surprisingly delicious for being gluten free! Again, make these even better (and more nutritious, because, you know, health and whatnot) by adding fresh berries to the batter from the farmers market.

For the Just-tell-me-what-to-buy Fake Baker

Really wanna wow those suckers? Pick up some baked goods from your local farmers market! No one has to know they weren’t made in your kitchen.

Bite-Sized Chocolates – Keep these stocked in your work bag. When you’re sitting with a potential pal, pull out two and offer one to your friend. If chocolate doesn’t strengthen your relationship, nothing will. 

Donuts – The easiest and probably most effective way to win over the hearts and bellies of your coworkers.