Baking With Kids: Top Tips
Chef, author and Masterchef finalist Dean Edwards shares his top tips on baking with kids below.
We love to bake as a family, and when I say bake My 12-year-old daughter Indie usually insists we knock up a batch of sweet treats like some bright and colourful Unicorn cupcakes or our absolute favourite family recipe, my Mum Vicky’s lemon drizzle cake recipe. This was a cake that learned to bake as a youngster and was one of the easy and simple recipes that ignited my lifelong passion for food and cooking, because of this I always promised myself that if I ever was fortunate enough to have kids, I would pass on this love of baking to them. Firstly, most of us tend to assume that baking with your little ones is a tricky, time consuming and messy pastime, I promise you that if you follow my tips and hints below then you will have a fantastic time. OK I lied about avoiding the messy part, that’s going to happen for sure but its party of the fun.
Dean and Indie’s top tips for baking with kids:
Baking takes time and a little organisation so let your little one choose what they would like to bake, go online or scroll through some cookery books for some simple and fun recipes. It’s important to let them choose what to cook or at least choose the direction. when I bake with my daughter Indie I’m basically her assistant, so if she decides to go for cookies, cupcakes or even something slightly more adventurous like a chocolate molten lava cake then she’s always buzzing to bake.
Be prepared for a bit of mess…
This is actually the part of baking I find fun. Okay, not the cleaning up, but if you are not covered in cocoa powder, icing sugar or flour by the end then you’ve not done it right! Make sure you all wear aprons to protect your clothes, but remember it’s important to have a laugh when baking.
Now for the serious part…
It’s important to teach the kids basic food hygiene and safety tips. When baking you can come into contact with potential hazards such as hot pans and sharp knives, so before you start to bake, explain the dangers of melted chocolate and hot baking sheets.
Make life easier…
By ordering all of your ingredients and bake-wares from Ocado, just visit the website to place your order, book a delivery and while you are there if you are stuck for some inspiration you can visit the recipe section where you will find delicious bakes such as ‘Apple crumble and custard cake’ and ‘Apple and pecan Muffins’. You know the whole family will enjoy these sweet treats.
Baking is all about confidence…
Don’t be afraid to start with something really simple like a cupcake or even a packet mix like the ‘Little Cooks gooey chocolate and caramel bites kit’ Just remember, no one is expecting a salted caramel chocolate fondant on your first bake. If you go to adventurous from the outset then there’s nothing like a collapsed sponge to knock the little one’s confidence and love of baking. I know first-hand how hard it is to keep the attention span of a little cook in the kitchen so start simple and work your way up to the showstopper baked goods.
Before you start to bake…
…it’s hugely important to all read through the recipe together, get to know and organise the ingredients before weighing them out carefully. If you are crafty you can even encourage your little bakers into a little maths lesson by getting them to divide and measure out the ingredients correctly. Baking is a science so it’s important to do things in the right order, using the correct weight in ingredients.
Include a top tip…
Myself and Indie love to find ingenious food hacks online and use them within our cooking at home, whether it’s using a plastic bottle to separate egg yolks from the whites when knocking up a meringue or how to line a baking tin correctly in order to help turn out those perfectly risen Victoria sponges. Social media platforms are a great place to start and find these before you put them to practice making your lives easier in the home kitchen environment. Just use a # hashtag when searching, it makes life easier.
In an age where it’s hard to drag the little ones away from their technology, we find baking to be an incredibly fun, therapeutic and altogether hilariously messy way to spend quality time together. So, whether you are knocking up a batch of fluffy American pancakes, some gooey and moist chocolate brownies or just some colourfully decorated biscuits, the most important thing of all to remember is to make it fun, happy baking! See some fun and easy recipes below:
Gingerbread is a classic treat for the winter months. Rich and warming with both sweetness and spice, it always goes down a treat with adults and little ones alike. Have fun decorating these gingerbread people with coloured icing and, if you’re feeling adventurous, perhaps play around with flavourings too, adding citrus or caraway seeds.
Get the recipe >
Banana, Coconut & Honey Cake
This moist, honey-drenched cake is made with coconut flour, so it’s gluten-free too. Coconut flour is really absorbent, so you will need less flour and more eggs than in regular cake recipes. Serve alongside a generous dollop of creamy ricotta, a drizzle of honey and a few slices of banana.
Get the recipe >
Need the essentials? Check out our kids baking kits and more.