mother helping daughter stir chocolate cake mixture in kitchen

Baking with the kids

We’re here again – it’s the start of the summer holidays. How did that happen?

This summer, it’s time to whip out the mini aprons, dust off the rolling pins and get creative with the kids in the kitchen. Yes, we’re talking about baking. With the kids.

If the very thought sends shivers down your spine, you’re not alone. Baking solo can be pleasurable, even relaxing. Throw kids into the mix and things can get a little messy and stressful. But that’s part of the fun, right?

This month’s blog is all about the best ways to get creative with your baking, with your children in tow. Fear not, we’ve explored different options so there should be something for every age and ability level.

My kids LOVE baking. We have our favourite recipes but also love to experiment with new recipes every now and again.

Right, let’s dive right in…

The benefits of baking with children

Whether they fancy a sweet treat, you’re running out of indoor activities (yes, we know the British weather can be unpredictable…) or you just want to introduce your younglings to the concept of baking, it’s one of the most rewarding, flexible and engaging activities families can do together.

Embrace the mess, slightly inaccurate measures and the mountain of tidying up and get cracking. There are tonnes of benefits, aside from spending precious time with your smalls. Talking about the process, reading recipes, exploring different ways of weighing and measuring, testing out the fine motor skills. These are all excellent examples of keeping up the school curriculum even in the holidays!

You’ve learned something, you’ve spent time together and you’ve baked something delicious to enjoy as a reward – what’s not to love?

Leaving out the heat

Yes, we agree. Simmering pans, hot ovens and bubbling cake batter don’t mix well with children. Fine for older children who can understand the dangers, but a nightmare for anyone with really small angels.

Find a no-bake recipe – there are loads of recipes out there that require no baking at all. Krispie cakes, fridge tray bakes, cake pops… take your pick. Here’s our favourite:

Mars Bar cake is a classic. Whether you arrange your treats in cupcake cases or slam the whole mixture into a tray and slice it up – it’s bloomin’ delicious every which way and takes very little heating and no cooking at all. Encourage the kids to decorate the top and you’ve had a lovely hour or two baking with the kids…

You bake it, they can decorate it – if your kids are anything like mine, it’s the decorating of the baked goodie that they love the most. Avoid small fingers near hot ovens and bake a batch of delicious cupcakes or a small cake then set them free with bowls of melted chocolate, royal icing, sugar paste, cutters and sprinkles – the end result could be chaotic and messy, but it’s guaranteed the kids will love it.

Try their hand at weighing and measuring – let the little cherubs contribute before the need for heat. Get them cracking eggs, beating butter and sugar, measuring flour and sifting icing sugar. Maths, science, measuring – it’s all there. Get them to clear up after the inevitable explosion of ingredients and you’re encouraging their skills for life too! Here’s the perfect, simple Victoria sponge recipe to tackle with the kids…

Rolling and cutting – biscuits and cookies are always a winner in our house. Simple to mix, easy to cut out or shape and quick to bake too. No hanging around waiting for the timer to ping! These classic fork biscuits are delicious and SOOOO simple to make you could whip up a batch before the kids’ friends arrive at the door… The other favourite is this delicious cookie recipe. Chewy, rammed with chocolate and gooey in the middle, there’s everything to love about this recipe. You can make the dough ahead of time and chill it in the fridge for 2-3 days and have deliciously moreish cookies on hand!

What’s your favourite recipe for baking with the children in tow?