Teaching kids how to bake cakes is a great way to prepare them for more difficult cooking tasks in later life, say the experts at Netmums.com. It shows them just how important homemade food really is and it teaches them how to achieve it in a safe, responsible way. Another plus is the fact that it makes young children feel very grown up. Baking can be dangerous if not done right, so it’s vital that parents teach their children how to cook safely and reliably. On a lighter note – it’s a whole heap of fun!
All kids love to get messy and it happens to be a big part of cooking, especially baking, points out The Stir journalist Adriana Velez. If you’re planning to make cupcakes with your little ones –try to look past the mess. Don’t chide them for being untidy if they’re trying hard and following your instructions closely. In other words, if you don’t want to deal with a messy kitchen, you shouldn’t be baking with your kids in the first place.
They are going to make a mess and that’s okay.
Try not to rush the preparation of your cakes. Make sure that your kids are able to follow all of the steps involved – weighing out ingredients, mixing cake batter, pouring into cake holders. Take the time to explain each step to them and let them have a go for themselves. Do teach your children the names of utensils. Baking is a fun and lighthearted activity, but it can be useful to try and slip a little bit of learning into things. They’ll be so enthralled with the whole thing that they’ll eagerly swallow everything you teach them!
The same can be said for safety procedures. Use the activity as a fun way to teach your kids about kitchen safety. Keep it light hearted but make sure that they know never to touch hot ovens, never to play with knives and never to eat anything that might be dangerous. Put a lot of emphasis on the separation of those things that it’s okay for them to do themselves and those things that they should never do without mummy or daddy’s help. Don’t forget to teach them how to wash their hands properly after preparing food.
Otherwise, have fun! Be creative, be free and let loose - your children will love you for it. Everything from fairy cakes, to apple crumble to cookies to Rice Krispie cakes is suitable for small hands. The very best kid friendly recipe though, has to be cupcakes – chocolate covered, chocolate smothered cupcakes with caramel inside and Smarties on top. Here’s how you can make them.
Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes
125 grams (4oz) of self raising flour
30 grams (1oz) of cocoa powder
125 grams (4oz) of soft brown sugar
400 grams of caramel sauce
2 medium eggs
150 grams (5oz) of soft butter
200 grams of plain chocolate
A tube of Smarties
Set the oven to 190ºC (380°F/gas mark 5).
Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl and stir in the sugar. Add half the caramel sauce, the eggs and the butter and beat until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the mixture into paper cases and place on a baking tray.
Bake the cakes in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they have risen and are firm to the touch. Remove the cakes and set them aside to cool.
To make the topping, carefully melt the plain chocolate and warm up the remaining caramel sauce. Stir both together. Leave the mixture to cool slightly and then spread it over the top of the cupcakes.
Decorate with Smarties or other brightly coloured sweets.
If caramel seems a bit too sugary for your little ones, replace it with condensed milk. Swap the Smarties for whichever sweets your children like best. Enjoy!
Author Bio: Lisa Jane is a mother of two who loves baking with the kids before a party. She recommends www.dnakids.co.uk great kids party entertainers. Lisa loves throwing her children birthday parties and making the day really special.