Kids love to get involved in whatever mum or dad is up to around the home, especially in the kitchen! The kitchen is a great place for sparking their creativity and they can learn so much from simple baking tasks and easy recipes.
Whether it’s making savoury snacks or sweet treats, baking is a great activity that can be done as a family and there’s (hopefully) something delicious by the end of it too…just be prepared to see more mix on the floor than in the bowl! Baking with kids is also a great opportunity for them to learn new skills and enjoy their own creations.
Check out our top ideas for getting creative in the kitchen…
What do they love to eat?
If your kids have favourite treats or snacks, teaching them how to make them from scratch can be a great way of increasing their understanding of the importance of healthy eating. If you’ve got a herb garden or vegetable patch – even better! Get them interested in where their food comes from by gardening with the kids right from the start. Believe it or not there’s loads of tasty recipes with herbs and veg included. Try a lemon and thyme shortbread, orange and rosemary cake, a traditional carrot cake or a courgette cake (sounds odd but tastes delicious!).
Make baking with the kids fun and easy
When you start baking with kids, look for simple recipes that have a small number of ingredients to keep their interest focused on the job at hand. Cupcakes are a great place to start as you really only need 5 ingredients; sugar, butter, self-raising flour, eggs and vanilla essence. Add a fun twist by letting your little one do the decorating. Get creative with icing, sprinkles, sweets and whatever else they fancy!
Gingerbread men are also an easy recipe to start with. The best thing about baking gingerbread treats is the decorating! Head over to our gingerbread men recipe blog for an easy to make recipe. It’s completely vegan too!
Gluten free chocolate cake recipe
This gluten free cake recipe is sure to be a hit with all the family. The recipe makes enough for everyone to enjoy and it’s so simple that you can get the kids involved too!
350g unsalted butter
350g caster sugar
100g unsweetened cocoa powder
200g gluten-free self-raising flour – Ground almonds work really well and make for a more ‘fudgy’ nutty texture
2-3 tbsp milk
For the buttercream:
50g dark chocolate
175g icing sugar
Fillings and toppings:
200ml double cream
Handful of strawberries and blueberries
Tips for the grown-ups: Pre-measure all the ingredients, so your little ones can be the chef, under your supervision of course!
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F. Grease 2x 20cm tins (if you only have one tin simply cut the cake in half once cooked)
- Add butter and sugar into a bowl and blend. You might need a grown-up to help with this, as it can be quite tricky. The mixture should be nice and creamy once combined. Add one egg at a time, whisk then repeat
- Add pre-sieved cocoa and flour of your choice. The mixture is quite stiff, so at this stage add the milk a spoon at a time, it should just loosen the mixture up a little
- Divide the mixture into the tins. If using 2 tins bake for 20-25 minutes. If using 1 tin bake for 45-50 minutes. Leave to cool.
Melt the chocolate over a pan of warm water, ask a grown-up to help with this one. Whilst the chocolate is melting, add the butter and icing sugar to a bowl and mix together. Leave the chocolate to cool slightly. Add to the butter and icing sugar. If the mixture is a little runny, pop it in the fridge to firm up before spreading.
Whisk the cream until it forms light stiff peaks. Spread on one half of your cake. Lift the other half on top and press gently. With the back of a spoon spread the buttercream on top. Finish with some strawberries and blueberries. Enjoy!
Learning to bake is a great life lesson, especially for older kids who are becoming more and more independent. Teaching the basics of baking shouldn’t be overlooked but it needs to be fun as well. Pick a recipe a week to teach them how to bake…and by the time they’re fully grown and off to uni or moving out, you won’t have to worry about them going hungry.