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Baking with kids is one of the most rewarding and worthwhile activities families can engage in – particularly on those oh-too-frequent bad weather days. But what if engaging the little cherubs in some weighing, measuring and mixing ends up in a sticky, floury mess with little to show for your efforts?

Don’t worry though, we have plenty of hints and tips and also some baking with kids’ recipes below on how you can make it an enjoyable and productive experience. Not only is baking with your children a great way of making some special memories together but is also an engaging activity which can improve their skillset.

The Benefits of Baking with Kids

While it can be messy, inaccurate and a little bit stressful for those strait-laced bakers among us, baking with children has many benefits. Talk about the process and you’re increasing their vocabulary and speaking skills; use a recipe and there’s a reading lesson right there; discuss and encourage weighing and measuring and their skillset is expanded; allow them to mix, pinch and sieve and their fine motor skills are being developed.

Then there’s the more emotive benefits of spending time together and building bonds and relationships – never to be played down, it’s a crucial part of parenting. And then there’s the end result – something delicious to eat together and talk about the process over.

The Simplest Ways to Bake with Children

While the very thought of combining small children with simmering pans, hot ovens and scalding cake pans might send the bravest bakers running for the hills, there are loads of different ways to introduce baking into your family time without risking life and limb.

You bake, they decorate – try coaxing them away from the hot parts by lining up a tantalising array of colours, decorations and sprinkles for them to go to town with, once the hot, bakey part is out of the way. Whip up a batch of delicious biscuits or cupcakes and let them loose on the fun part. Your kids can even use readymade sugar cake decorations, so you won’t have to worry about making them in addition to the cake.

Tackle a no-bake recipe – banish the hot stuff and potential scalds to the naughty step and crack on with some crispy cakes, or a fridge tray bake that involves nothing more than melting some chocolate and butter with lots of mixing and stickiness. There’ll be a delicious end-result with none of the danger in the run up.

Get them involved in the weighing and measuring – allow them to pull up the chair, press the on button for the scales and chuck all the ingredients into the bowl (in a measured and precise manner, obvs). There will be maths and science learning aplenty. Add that to the pleasure of cleaning up the flour explosion and the icing sugar coverage and you’ve got some life skills in there too. Get them to stand aside while you do the hot bit then return to point one for the joy of decoration.

Bust out the cake pops – all the fun and deliciousness of cake, but without the baking. You’ll obviously need some leftover cake (is there ever such a thing?!) or (shhhh) nip out to buy a ready-made simple cake, blitz it and mix it up with buttercream or candy melts. Shape it, whack it on a stick, dip it in some melted chocolate and chosen sprinkles and Bob’s your Uncle’s Monkey’s sister’s cat.

It's okay to cheat (on this occasion) – Although we may tell our children that cheaters never prosper, there is the odd exception! If time is short or you’re worried that your child will get bored easily then you can always use cake mix. Instead of making the cake mixture from scratch, you simply add water to this cake mix and you’re ready to bake. There are a range of different cake mix flavours to choose from too, including chocolate fudge brownie, strawberry & cream and carrot cake. Using cake mixes means it will take less time to get to the best part, decorating the cake itself! 

Baking with Kids for Special Occasions

There’s always a good excuse to get everyone together for some quality family baking time, but when there’s a special occasion coming up there’s even more reason to get the pinnies on and the rolling pins out! We take a look at the special occasions throughout the year which provide a great opportunity for you to bake with your kids and also some recipes you can try.

 

Easter Baking with kids

One of the many activities you can enjoy together over the Easter holidays is baking with the kids. There are plenty of Easter baking recipes which are just perfect for getting your kids involved in and we take a look at one of these below.



Easter Baking Idea: Nest Cakes 

A real favourite at Easter are nest cakes, and these can be really fun to make with your kids. Easter nest cakes require just three ingredients, chocolate, shredded wheat and mini eggs. 

You will have to complete the first step yourself, which involves melting chocolate in a glass bowl above a pan of simmering water before pouring it over the shredded wheat but after that you can allow your kids to help you fill the cupcake cases with this tasty mixture. 

To add the finishing touches, place the mini chocolate eggs on top of each nest before chilling them in the fridge for 2 hours until set.

If you are looking for more ideas and recipes then don't forget to read our article on Easter Baking with Kids.

Baking a Birthday Cake with your Kids

Celebrate birthdays in style by baking with your kids to mark these special occasions. Whether they are helping to bake their own birthday cake, a cake for you, or someone else, your children can have lots of fun and learn new skills along the way. 

You have a range of different options when making a birthday cake. You might opt to bake a popular variety of cake, like chocolate or vanilla sponge. Another option is to create a bespoke birthday cake, such as one that centres around a hobby or interest of the person celebrating their birthday.

Whatever type of birthday cake you decide to bake with your kids, there are a range of options available when it comes decorating it. From edible sprinkles to sugar cake decorations and cake toppers you are spoilt for choice. And let’s not forget about the all-important birthday cake candles!

 

Halloween Baking with Kids

For a long time now, kids have had great fun dressing up in Halloween fancy dress as witches, ghosts, ghouls, monsters and various other scary creatures! Getting them involved in some Halloween baking can also add to their enjoyment at this time of year, and below we have just the recipe to help them hone their cupcake decorating skills.

Halloween Baking Recipe: Spooky Cupcakes

Line the cupcake tins with baking cases. For an extra spooky appearance, you can use Halloween-themed cupcake cases. 

The flavour of your cupcakes is entirely up to you with chocolate and vanilla being the most popular varieties. You could even make a tin of each to keep everyone happy!

This is a recipe you could get your kids involved with quite early on in the process. But firstly, you can create the cupcake mixture yourself, which begins with a combination of 110g of softened butter and 110g of golden caster sugar being mixed together in a bowl until its creamy. This can be done with an electric whisk. Then, stir in 2 large eggs, making sure you scrape down the side of the bowl to ensure the mixture is fully combined.

Now, you can get your kids to help you put the mixture in the cupcake baking cases. Then, you can place the cupcake tins in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 until golden brown. When removed from the oven, allow the cupcakes to cool on wire racking.

To make the buttercream icing, whisk 150g of softened butter and 300g of icing sugar and vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
 
Now comes the fun part. Split smaller quantities of the buttercream into different bowls and get your children to help you to add colour to this in relation to the spooky characters you are looking to create e.g. green for Frankenstein and orange for pumpkin. Colour Splash Food Colouring Gels are great for adding the colour you need.

To decorate these, your kids can get creative and add some spooky extras with Halloween sugar cake decorations and there you have it, a spooky Halloween treat, made with help from the kids!

Christmas Baking with Kids

Okay, so you might think Christmas is stressful enough as it is without having even more things to think about! Baking though, is a great way to keep your kids busy and putting some of that excited energy to productive use.



Christmas Baking Recipe: Festive Biscuits

Your kids can help you to decorate these festive biscuits which are the perfect snack over the Christmas period. You can make the butter mix and bake the biscuits first before getting your kids to help you decorate these festive treats.
Start making the biscuit mixture by mixing cream and butter until it has a fluffy consistency. Then beat in the egg and add the vanilla flavouring. Stir in flour and mix to create a soft dough. Place this mixture onto a floured surface before kneading gently. Then, place on a plate and cover before chilling for two hours in the fridge. 

Once taken out of the fridge, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of around 0.5cm. Using our Christmas cookie cutters you can supervise your kids while they cut the dough into festive shapes like snowmen, Christmas trees and Santa gloves. Don’t waste the dough trimmings, reroll these to use again and cut into more shapes.

Place these biscuits on lined baking trays and place in the oven to bake at 190C/170C fan/gas 5 for 8-14 minutes. Once the biscuits have baked for the required time, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Now it’s time for the exciting bit, decorating these Christmas biscuits with your children! An easy way of doing this is by shaping the icing, using the same Christmas Cookie Cutters as you used to cut the biscuit shapes. Simply, place these icing shapes on the relevant biscuits. You and the kids can then introduce additional elements with various sugar decorations. 

Baking with Kids Ideas

It’s not just the baking itself you can get your kids involved in but also the planning part as you both come up with ideas of what to bake together next. This can be a fun and creative part of baking with kids. Encouraging your kids to get their thinking caps on and come up with ideas for baking will help to ensure they feel an integral part of the entire baking process.

You could even write down a list of things to bake over the upcoming days and weeks. This is particularly viable during school holidays when there is more time to bake together. Baking a different type of cake or treat on each occasion really helps to keep things interesting too. One week you could bake a cake together and then it could be muffins, followed by cupcakes and then cookies and biscuits!

And these are just the tip of the baking iceberg when it comes to baking with kids – there are so many gorgeous and simple recipes out there. Or why not have a go at making your own up?

What’s your favourite way to bake with the kids? Share in the comments below – we’d love to know!

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