What Plano West Students Have Been Whipping Up During Quarantine

3 Recipes That Have Students Baking 24/7


Gabby Pippins, Writer

With the world on pause and everyone inside, several people have developed new hobbies. Some knit, others sew…but some students of Plano West bake! Here are three recipes anyone in the Wolfpack should get their hands on.


  1. Star-Spangled Berry Pie(by Junior Eliana LaRosa)                                                         


Although the Fourth of July has passed, this berry patriotic recipe is perfect for any event. 


  • 1-2 packages of 15 oz refrigerated pie crust(depends on how much you want to cover the top with stars)
  • 2-3 lbs of mixed fresh or frozen berries (for fruit jam)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of cornstarch
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon of water   


“The only thing I want to add is that the fruit jam needs 3 pounds of fruit,” junior Eliana LaRosa said. “You can just buy a 3-pound bag of frozen fruit from the store.”



  1. In a large saucepan, combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer for 5-10 minutes or until thick, gently stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in lemon zest and lemon juice. Let cool.
  2. Arrange the rack in the middle of the oven and place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Unroll 1 pie crust to fit in a 9-inch pan, crimping or trimming the edges. Unroll remaining pie crust (and second pie crust if more stars are wanted) onto a lightly floured surface. Cut with star-shaped cookie cutters (all one size or a variety if desired).
  4. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water. Scrape filling into the pie dish. Top with star cut-outs and brush top of crust and stars with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar and place on the baking sheet in the oven: bake 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. If needed, shield edges with foil to keep edges from over-browning. Cool on a wire rack. Serves 6-8.


This pie is perfect for any occasion, no matter if you are with friends or family.



  1. Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake (by junior Eliana LaRosa)

This is the perfect dessert for chocolate lovers. Not only is the cake chocolate, but the frosting is chocolate and there are chocolate chips inside! It makes 12 servings (or eight if you’re really hungry). Here is how you can make this at home.


  • 1(15.25-oz.) package of Devil’s Food cake mix
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1(3.4-oz.) package of vanilla instant pudding mix
  • ½ cup and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 cup of miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar, plus more for serving
  • Fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream(if desired for decoration)
  • ½ cup of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of water


“Bundt cakes can be really hard to get out of the pan,” LaRosa said. “My recommendation is that you first butter the pan (and literally grease the entire thing, except for the outside, with butter), then lightly flour the inside. I always use regular white flour for all my baking, you do not need anything fancy.”



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Combine cake mix, yogurt, eggs, ½ cup warm water, pudding mix, and ½ cup vegetable oil in a large bowl. 
  3. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium, and beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the mixture into a bundt cake pan.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.
  6. Remove cake from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer cake from pan to wire rack; cool completely, about 1 hour. 
  7. Combine cocoa, 2 tablespoons of water, corn syrup, and remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until blended, 1-2 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar, whisking constantly, until smooth 


“Also I added a note on the recipe, but the glaze solidifies really fast,” LaRosa said. “So after you make it, dump it immediately on the cake!”


  1. Drizzle glaze over the cake. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar. Serve with strawberries and vanilla ice cream, if desired.


“Also, when glazing the cake, pour the glaze from the saucepan(where you made the glaze) over the middle of the Bundt, and move the saucepan in and around the cake, making sure it stays in the middle,” LaRosa says. “This will get an even glaze all around, plus it helps drizzle it down the sides.”


All of these recipes have been great so far, but now it is time to appeal to the Gluten-free community. This last recipe is going to be delicious, even for those who can eat gluten!



  1. 3. Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cookies(by Junior Isabel Kerry)


  • ½ cup of Unsalted softened butter
  • ½ cup of coconut oil
  • 1½ cups of sugar and ¼ cup of sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¾ cups Gluten-free flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt

“The best brand of gluten-free flour I have found is King Arthur, but Bob’s Red Mill is an honorable mention,” junior Isabel Kerry said. “Also, the softened butter is better than melted and the coconut oil replaces shortening since we don’t normally have any on hand.”


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  2. Mix the butter, coconut oil, 1 ½ cup sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Combine the two bowls and mix until dough-like. Roll the dough into balls and set aside.
  4. Combine the ¼ sugar and cinnamon to create a mixture.
  5. Toss balls of dough into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Put dough balls on a greased pan and bake in the oven for 9 minutes.

So, this is what people have been doing during this time! I am glad it was something productive and filling. I hope you guys will try these recipes!