Home right arrow Grandparenting

Baking with grandchildren

Baking with kids 

We know that two thirds of gransnetters enjoy spending quality time in the kitchen with their grandchildren. Hardly surprising: not only is baking with little ones fun, but you'll also end up with a mostly edible delicious bake that you can eat together afterwards! So whether they're a mini Mary or a pint-sized Paul - or have never picked up a rolling pin or licked the bowl - here are some fun recipes for baking with kids. 

 

Cake recipes 

Crispy chocolate squares

children's brownies

Ingredients

  • 4 Mars bars (or chocolate bars with caramel)
  • 10g butter
  • Rice Krispies 

Method

1. Melt the chocolate bars and the butter over a gentle heat until well melted (you will need a big saucepan). This will take a while and quite a bit of stirring - and make sure the mixture doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan. 
2. When it has melted, add enough Rice Krispies so that you can still stir them into the mixture, and stir until they are all covered. 
3. When they are well coated, put into individual cake cases and lightly press down. Alternatively, pop into a brownie tin and cut into squares when cooled. For extra creativity, add marshmallows to the mixture or brightly-coloured Smarties. For added luxury and to make them a bit more grown up, you could add a chocolate top or chips to the mixture. 

 

Bunny carrot cake 

fun carrot cake

Ingredients

  • 300g plain flour
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 200g carrots (grated)
  • 250ml vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • Zest of an orange
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the topping

  • 340g cream cheese
  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 340g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Grate carrots.
  2. Sift flour with bicarb, baking powder, mixed spice and cinnamon.
  3. Beat eggs with orange zest.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then add carrots. Put in prepared 20cm (8") cake tin and bake for approx 1hr 15mins.
  5. To make the icing, mix butter and cream cheese till smooth.
  6. Add icing sugar gradually and mix in.
  7. Add vanilla extract and beat until smooth. 
  8. When the cake is cool, spread the topping mixture evenly and decorate with carrot and bunny decorations - perfect for baking with kids! Tip: to make the decorations yourselves, add a little food colouring to marcipan and shape away! 

 

Grandma's fun chocolate cake

Chocolate cake

N.B. They may be bouncing off the walls after this one.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 250g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 400g golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 85g cocoa powder
  • 220ml flat cola

For the decoration:

  • 150g strawberry jam
  • 300ml double cream, whipped until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed
  • 100g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
  • Jellied sweets/chocolate buttons or fresh berries/grapes

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3. Grease a 25cm cake tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale and light.
3. In a separate bowl, stir the sunflower oil and vanilla extract into the beaten eggs.
4. Gradually beat the egg mixture into the butter and sugar mixture, adding only a little egg mixture at a time and making sure it is well incorporated before adding more, until all of the egg mixture has been incorporated and the mixture is well combined.
5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder until well combined.
6. Gradually fold the flour mixture to the cake batter mixture, a spoonful at a time, until all of the flour mixture has been incorporated into the cake batter.
7. Add the flat cola to the cake batter and stir carefully.
8. Pour the cake batter into the greased lined cake tin. Level the top of the cake out with a palette knife or spatula. Transfer the cake to the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, checking regularly, or until the cake has risen and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. If the top of the cake browns too quickly during cooking, cover it with a sheet of aluminium foil. 
9. Carefully remove the cake from its tin and set aside on a wire rack to cool.
10. When the cake has cooled, cut the cake in half or thirds horizontally to create the layers.  
11. Spread the jam over one of the cakes, then spread the whipped cream over the jam layer. Place the second cake on top to create a sponge sandwich.
12. Bring a little water to the boil in a pan, reduce the heat to a simmer and suspend a heatproof bowl over the simmering water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Add the chocolate to the bowl and allow to melt.
13. Spread the melted chocolate over the top and sides of the cake.
14. While the chocolate is still soft, place the decorations over the cake. Set aside to cool.

 

Dairy-free fruit cake

Ingredients

  • 340g dried mixed fruit
  • 300ml fresh apple juice
  • 175g non-dairy margarine
  • 175g soft light sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/Gas mark 2 and line a 20.5cm round tin with greaseproof paper and grease with oil.
2. Place the mixed fruit into a large saucepan, pour over the apple juice and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 20 minutes, then allow to cool.
3. Cream the margarine and the sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale. Gradually beat in the eggs, then fold in the flour and mixed fruit.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 3 hours and 15 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and leave for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire cooling tray. Sprinkle the top of the cake lightly with brown sugar whilst still warm.

 

Cupcake recipes

Fairy cakes 

Fairy cakes for baking with kids

Ingredients

  • 110g self-raising flour
  • 110g sugar
  • 110g butter
  • Milk/vanilla flavouring
  • 1-2 eggs (depending on size)

Method

1. Cream the butter and sugar. 
2. Add one egg and a tablespoon of sieved flour, then the other egg (if using). 
3. Blend in the rest of the flour and add a teaspoon of vanilla flavouring. 
4. Add milk until it drops off the spoon (may not be necessary). 
5. Put the mixture into 16-18 cases. 
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/Gas mark 4 for 10-15 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched.
7. Decorate as desired.

 

Lemon curd cupcakes

lemon cupcakes

 

Ingredients

  • 115g butter
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 115g self-raising flour
  • Zest and juice of ½ a lemon

Lemon curd topping:

  • 140g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 30g butter (room temperature)
  • 55g cream cheese (cold)
  • Zest of ½ a lemon

Method

1. Preheat oven to 190°C/Gas mark 5. 
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, mix in the beaten eggs and fold in the flour. Carefully fold in the lemon juice and zest. Spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Leave to cool completely.
3. Using a knife, cut out a small piece on the top of each cupcake and spoon in a small amount of lemon curd. Trim the removed cake and replace on top of the lemon curd. Repeat until all cakes are 'curded'.
4. Using an electric whisk, beat the butter into the icing sugar until it looks like fine breadcrumbs and add the lemon zest. Tip in the cream cheese and beat until light and fluffly (be careful - if you overwhip it will go runny and cannot be used).
5. Top each cake with the cream cheese icing, eat and enjoy!

And if you're in need of some cake decorating inspiration - your grandchild will think your cakes look oh so pretty with these piped roses... 

 


Check out our recipe store cupboard and add your favourite to the shelf 


 

Scone and brownie recipes

Scones

 

Banana and sultana scones

Ingredients

  • 255g self-raising flour
  • 55g sunflower margarine
  • 55g sugar
  • 85g sultanas
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • Milk

Method

1. Rub the margarine into the flour. 
2. Stir in the sugar and sultanas. 
3. Mash the banana and add milk to volume 150ml. 
4. Stir into mixture. 
5. Knead lightly. 
6. Push onto floured work surface - until about 1.25cm (0.5in) thick and cut into rounds or stars. 
7. Paint lightly with milk.
8. Cook at 180°C/Gas mark 4 for about 10 minutes until golden and yummy. They taste even more delicious when warm.

 

Chocolate brownies

Ingredients

  • 115g butter
  • 115g dark chocolate
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 115g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 115g chopped walnuts
  • Pinch of salt

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4 and grease shallow oblong tray (18cm x 28cm). 
2. Break the chocolate up into a bowl, add butter and melt over a pan of simmering water.
3. When it has melted, take off heat and mix in all the other ingredients.
4. Spread the mixture into the tin and bake for about 30 minutes.
5. Let the mixture cool in the tin for 10 minutes. It will sink a little bit. Then cut into squares and cool on wire rack.
6. Store in a biscuit tin.

 

Biscuit and cookie recipes

Kids gingerbread

 

Easy gingerbread recipe 

Ingredients

  • 75g margarine or butter
  • 2 rounded tbsp golden syrup
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1-2 level tsp ground ginger (to taste)
  • 1 level tsp mixed spice
  • Sparse half tsp baking powder - the less you use the less the mixture rises and deforms, so if you want crisp clean shapes be mean with it.

Method

1. Heat margarine/butter with syrup and sugar in a small saucepan until mixed and melted, but not boiling.
2. Sift the spices and flour into a large bowl.
3. Mix the baking powder with a little cold water and add this to the warmed margarine/syrup/sugar mixture. Take care when dealing with the melted fat and syrup mixture.
4. Add this (now frothing) mixture to the flour and mix to a dough. Let it cool for about an hour and then use as needed for biscuits or houses. If it gets too dry, add a little water. If its too wet, add a little flour. It's pretty foolproof.
5. Cook on baking parchment at 170°C/Gas mark 3 in a fan oven. Small shapes only need about 10 minutes, large a little more. You can cut holes and add broken boiled sweet for window panes. Make hanging holes with a sharp tool when they come out of oven and are still soft. They crisp up as they cool and will keep for a good week in an airtight tin.

 

Basic cookies 

Ingredients

  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 255g margarine or butter (use soya if required) 
  • 255g brown sugar (soft brown is best, but demerara also works well)
  • 135g white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • Vanilla essence (or flavouring)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. 
2. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and then place onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper - you can make your cookies any size you fancy but, as a guide, a heaped tablespoon makes a good sized cookie. Be sure to leave a reasonable gap between each cookie to allow them to expand during baking.
3. Bake for 12-15 minutes until light golden brown in colour. When cooked, place onto a cooling rack. Decorate if required.

The great thing about this recipe is you can add anything you fancy: chocolate or chocolate chips, dried fruit (currants, raisins, sultanas), nuts, oats and/or cereals (for cookie-flapjacks), mixed spice cinnamon or nutmeg. You can also use almond essence rather than vanilla if preferred.

 

Our pick of the best baking accessories for children 

 

Children's apron

 

Cookie cutters  

3 Blonde Bears Personalised Apron  Taylor's Eye Witness Cookie Cutters 

A fabulous and thoughtful gift for budding bakers made from 100% cotton.

This colourful assortment will add some extra fun to home baking. 

Buy: £15, notonthehighstreet.com

Buy: £5, John Lewis

 

 

 

Icing pens

 Teddy bear starter kit

  

Edible Cake Decorating Brush Pens  Teddy Bear Birthday Cake Starter Kit

Bring colouring to the kitchen with these fine-tipped pens. Ideal for adding decoration to icing. 

A six-piece set, including a baking pan and candy eyeballs, to create the ultimate teddy bear cake. 

Buy: £9.99, Lakeland

Buy: £15, Hobbycraft

 


Sign up to Gransnet for more baking inspiration and grandparenting tips  


 

 

 


 

 


 

 

Images: Shutterstock