During the holidays or any time of year, baking with your kiddos can be a fun way of learning! Use these opportunities to learn math, science, home economics, and even perseverance! (After all, baking is fun, but cleaning up is something we have to teach them to stick and around and do even if they aren’t really excited about that part!)
My kids and I love to bake, but not necessarily together. Baking can be overwhelming. Just thinking about all the measuring and mess can make a mom want to run and hide. Baking with your kids doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, baking with kids can be fun if you do it the easy way. Here are some easy ways to have fun baking with your kids.
Doctor Your Box Cake
I love a mouthwatering, buttery goodness, made-from-scratch cake. The moist, soft, texture. The rich, decadent flavors. Memories of the cakes my mother and grandmother have made over the years set my mouth to watering. A good “scratch” cake is worth its weight in gold. Unfortunately, I don’t always have the time or patience to spend hours in the kitchen teaching my kids how to meticulously measure and separate ingredients. Sometimes we just have time for a quick cake so we can spend time doing the really fun stuff – decorating. What do you do when you want that “made-from-scratch” cake taste, but you just don’t have the time? Doctor your box cake.
There are some great books and recipes out there for doctoring a box cake. However, the simplest way I have found is to use a boxed cake and substitute some of the ingredients. Does the recipe call for oil? Substitute butter. Does it call for water? Substitute milk. Want to make a snickerdoodle cake? Throw in some cinnamon extract and a couple teaspoons of cinnamon. There are so many variations. Play around with your favorite boxed cake and see what you can come up with.
Use Fun Cupcake Liners and Wrappers
Kids love cupcakes. They are just the right size for their hands, and they require no use of a knife. Find some cute cupcake liners or wrappers. I pick them up on sale, so I always have a supply around the house. Don’t save them for special occasions like birthdays. Use them for cupcakes you make for just the family. Mix and match. Let the kids have fun picking out their own wrappers. Mom Tip: Personalized cupcake liners means no fighting over cupcakes later. 😉
I keep a lot of cake decorating supplies on hand because I like to do some cake decorating myself. But, by far, my kids’ favorite decorating item is sprinkles. They love to douse cupcakes with sprinkles. So I have a lot of different colors and shapes in the pantry. Just make sure they sprinkle their cupcakes over a bowl or cookie sheet, or you will be sweeping sprinkles for days!
Pull Out the Chef Hats and Aprons
The most important part of baking with kids is having fun! Chef hats and aprons make your little baker feel important and “like mom.” Give them frosting in a tube and let them decorate till their heart’s content. You will be amazed at what they will create, and they will be filled with a sense of pride.
What plans do you have for baking with your kids this holiday season? Let us know in the comments.