Tips for Baking With Kids

Melissa Bahen

Baking with kids can be so fun! And messy and maybe a bit maddening. Our tips for baking with kids will leave you smooth sailing in the kitchen.

With the holidays just around the corner, many of us are entering the season where we spend evenings, weekends, and school holidays baking with kids.

Baking with little ones can be so fun! And also terrifically messy, loud, and even frustrating.

Baking with Kids Photo

As a mom of four kids, I’ve done my fair share of baking with children. Over the years, I’ve figured out what does and doensn't work when baking with kids.

Here are some of the things I do to make baking with my kids less chaotic and more successful:

Keep It Simple

Unless your kids are at the upper end of teenager-hood and/or very experienced bakers, considering leaving the complicated recipes to the pros when baking with kids!

Or at least save them for a time when you don’t have little hands helping out.

Recipes that are easy to make, with relatively short ingredient lists and just a few steps, have all of the fun and none of the stress of more complex kitchen creations.

These No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls, for instance, are a perfect recipe to make with kids.

Baking with Kids Picture

Let Them Help Choose the Recipe

Nobody wants to get roped into doing work they have no interest in!

Let the kids flip through a few cookbooks, or give them a list of a half dozen pre-approved recipes, and let them decide what sounds fun to make and good to eat.

My kids always have opinions on what treat we should make, and having a say in what activity we spend time doing leads to fewer grumbles and more smiles.

These Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies are simple to make and kids tend to love chocolate chip cookies!

Be Prepared

Make sure you have read through the recipe before you start so you know what you’re doing.

This will help you avoid mistakes, redos, and help you to prepare yourself for the steps involved and the most effective way to oversee the little ones.

Let the kids help get out ingredients and equipment like measuring cups and spoons and put them on the counter.

Baking with Kids Image

Give Kids Age Appropriate Tasks

Whne baking with kids, think about assigning them age appropriate tasks. This will help them have fun and feel empowered.

Younger kids can measure and dump ingredients into a bowl, stir with a wooden spoon, and help scoop cookie dough.

Their tiny hands are also perfect for unwrapping Hershey's kisses when making things like peanut butter blossoms.

My youngest loves being in charge of carefully opening or closing the oven door, which doesn’t require him to touch anything on the oven other than the handle.

Older kids can use a mixer, help cook ingredients on the stove top, and even carefully chop things like fruit and nuts.

Baking with Kids Pic

Make Peace With the Fact That It Will Be Messy!

Baking with kids is going to be messier than baking by yourself. That’s just a fact.

Baking with kids might not go as quickly as baking by yourself. Also a fact.

But the point of baking with kids is to make memories, spend time together, and have fun. The extra mess and time are just part of it, and in my opinion, totally worth it!

Get Everyone’s Help With Clean-Up

While your brownies are baking, or before diving into those no-bake cookies, enlist everyone’s help in cleaning up the mess.

Kids can help put ingredients away and carry dirty dishes to the sink.

Besides cutting down on the amount of work you’ll have to do, it will help the kids form that most-precious-of-all-habits of cleaning up after themselves.

Easy Baking for Kids Photo

Tips for Baking With Kids

Baking with kids is a cross between magic and chaos. That's part of the fun! Remember these tips to make for a great time:

  • Keep it simple!
  • Let them help choose the recipe.
  • Be prepared.
  • Give kids age-appropriate tasks.
  • Make peace with the fact that this will be messy!
  • Get everyone’s help with clean-up, too.
Easy Baking for Kids Picture

What Are Some Easy Baking Recipes for Kids?

There are basically unlimited delicious options for easy baking for kids, from no-bake favorites to cookies to cakes and more.

Here are some favorite easy baking recipes for kids to get you started:

Planning a dinner party and need some inspiration?

How about looking for a new slow cooker dinner idea?

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We’re chatting cooking techniques, dessert ideas, and everything in between. If you’re already a member, invite your friends to join us too!

Melissa Bahen

About Melissa

Melissa is an author and blogger living with her husband and four kids on a darling hobby farm in western Oregon. Her cookbooks, Farmhouse Weekends and Scandinavian Gatherings, and her blog, Lulu the Baker, celebrate her love for food and modern country life.