Nothing gives me more pleasure than baking a cake that I can then eat. Now the children have come along I still love baking I just don’t get to eat as much cake as I used to. I’m trying to pass on the love of baking and so far I’ve succeeded. The Baking with Children series of blog posts have one aim in mind. They can do nearly all of it by themselves. So if you have very young children use a packet mix, as they get older then they can start to measure out ingredients.
I have a 7 year old and a 4 year old. This week they used a packet sponge mix to make a cake with no input from me. My son did the water measuring, cracked the egg in and argued over who had stirred the longest. They then slathered the finished cake in Nutella and their body weight in sprinkles. All oven related jobs are done by me, they are nowhere near sensible enough to be allowed near any form of heat!
I’m going to show you our favourite recipes, our favourite baking techniques and decorating ideas. I’m a normal person I don’t have cupboards full of fancy baking gear but I have built a fairly useful collection over the last two years.
So what are the very basics you need?
A bowl (plastic preferably), large enough that the most vigorous stirrers don’t completely coat the kitchen in flour.
Measuring spoons and measuring cups (helps their accuracy when they measure it themselves until my son has done weights in school I’m sticking with cup measurements only. It’s easy to convert weight to cups by using an online conversion chart).
Whatever cake tin or muffin tin or baking silicone mould that you have.
And an oven!
You can bake a perfectly good cake with just those simple tools. I’ve added to mine over the last few years with different baking moulds, and a nice set of child size implements including a whisk that was destroyed by our dishwasher, some piping tips so they can really go wild with the decorating.
How about the basic ingredients?
If you’re keeping it simple packet sponge mix, otherwise use your favourite sponge mix recipe.
Water from the tap
The above will produce a lovely sponge with vanilla buttercream and jam filling. Nice. When you get more involved in baking add food colourings, piping tips for professional looking piping, experiment with different cake batters with more and more ingredients.
Baking doesn’t have to be expensive or full of gadgets. Just you, your children and one huge mess to clear up when you’re finished. I hope this blog post has given you some inspiration to just try it. There will be some kid friendly recipe posts coming soon from cakes to chocolates and no-bake desserts.