Baking with your kids is a great way to help get them involved in the kitchen and help them gain independence in a fun way. For many families, the kitchen is the heart of the household, with hours spent cooking, eating, and enjoying each other’s company. Most kids enjoy cooking, too, especially if it means they get to reap the rewards of their hard work. No matter what the age, finding the easiest recipes to bake can set your kids up with lifelong skills and healthy eating habits.
The National Institutes for Health highly recommends getting children involved in the kitchen as it sparks creativity, independence, and diversified foods. “Cooking gives children a chance to measure, count, and see food change. This is early math and science learning. Your child can learn new words and symbols by cooking with you. Talk about the food and what you are doing. Read words on food containers together,” NIH writes.”Cleanup teaches responsibility. It is part of many creative, messy things we do. Cooking builds self-esteem. Most children feel proud and important when they help prepare food.”
Cooking is also an active and time-consuming activity that can offer a lot of personalized attention to your child rather than plopping them down in front of a screen. A recent study suggests that children around two years old who spent less than an hour a day on electronics and exercised daily showed better cognitive skills than those who did not, according to scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
The findings are in line with diet and physical activity recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Their guidelines advocate for less than 60 minutes of looking at screens every day, daily physical activity, eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding or at the very least, not drinking as many sugary drinks. Previous research found that children who adhered to the AAP recommendations showed better executive function in adolescence.
Finding the perfect baking project for your children is a great way to build skills, but you want to make sure the recipes are age-appropriate, mentally and physically accessible, and safe. StudyFinds searched the web to find the top baking recipes for your little ones, offering you a great opportunity to get in the kitchen with your kids and make lasting memories. After reviewing the top child-friendly recipes from 10 sources, we’ve compiled a list of the five best baking recipes and included some great concoctions posted on Instagram. Happy baking, and eating!
The List: Easiest Recipes To Bake With Kids, According To The Pros
1. Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
It doesn’t get much easier than three-ingredient cookies, and these are a great and simple option to get started baking with your kids, in addition to being gluten-free.
“Here’s another treat for all the peanut butter lovers out there. These peanut butter cookies are perfectly chewy, not too sweet, and only use three ingredients,” Insanely Good Recipes writes. “This recipe is so simple, I love making it when I’m having company. It’s definitely foolproof, and the kids can show off their sweet treats to friends and family!”
Additionally, as the only three ingredients are peanut butter, sugar, and egg– you could easily swap the sugar for coconut sugar or the peanut butter for almond butter to make it the ultimate health-friendly baking project. The kids will love pressing their forks into the dough pre-baking for that iconic cookie look.
“Fill your cookie jar with these simple, moreish biscuits. Using only three ingredients and no flour, this ingenious recipe is super quick and perfect for young bakers,” BBC Good Food writes.
2. Blueberry Muffins
Crunchy, chewy and delicious, blueberry muffins are a wholesome and easy go-to for baking with children.
“Muffins are my #1 suggestion if you’re baking with kids. Muffins are (usually) easy to mix together, fun to spoon into liners, quick to bake, and you can enjoy them right away. They’re handheld, manageable for young bakers, freeze well, and keep all week long for snack, lunchboxes, or breakfast. Versatile, convenient, quick,” Sally’s Baking Addiction writes.
Blueberry muffins are also extremely versatile as you can swap the flour for whole grain flour and add any fun additions like flaxseed or oats for an extra health kick.
“Real talk, what’s better on a rainy Saturday morning than piping hot blueberry muffins right out the oven? Maybe the only thing that could take this over the top is if your kids do most of the labor for this easy recipe from Inspired Taste. Don’t forget how to teach your little ones how to make that sugar butter crumble on top,” Scary Mommy writes.
3. Banana Bread (Or Muffins, or Cake)
Of course this list wouldn’t be complete without a banana-centric baking recipe. Between mashing, mixing, and pouring, banana breadis a perfect beginner’s recipe and packed with fruit and eggs.
“Grab some forks and let the kids go to town mashing bananas for this sweet-but-not-too-sugary cake. The cream cheese frosting really takes this dessert to the next level, and it can last in the fridge up to four days. What’s not to love?” Pure Wow writes.
For a more indulgent, special-occasion version of the iconic baked good, add some chocolate chunks.
“Got a kiddo who loves slices of pumpkin or banana bread from Starbucks? Teaching them to recreate it will not only help them be more independent, but it’ll also save you a pretty penny,” Scary Mommy writes. “Add ice cream to make it dessert or warm it up and schmear on for breakfast.”
4. Simple Iced Cookies
Short on ingredients but still want to keep your kids busy in the kitchen? Sugar cookies to the rescue! And bonus points if you have icing, as the decorating process is sure to add on even more fun.
“Use a simple biscuit dough to make some fun letter and number shapes. These tasty biscuits only take 20 minutes to bake before you can decorate them. So arm your kids with some coloured icing pens and let their creativity go wild!” BBC Good Food writes.
The options are limitless, with fun twists on the classic like a heart thumbprint sugar cookie.
“You already have their handprints immortalized in finger paint and clay—why not sugar cookie dough? Kids will enjoy turning their thumbprints into heart shapes and ‘coloring’ them in with jam. (Pro tip: Use seedless jam so it’s easier to spread,” Pure Wow writes.
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza
Who wouldn’t love a pie full of chocolate chips and gooey goodness in place of bread and cheese? It’s a child’s dream come true.
“Chocolate chip cookie pizza isn’t anything new or groundbreaking, but it certainly deserves a spot on our dessert tables. Why? It feeds a crowd, uses soft chocolate chip cookies dough as the base, and is one giant cookie in pizza form! Part pizza, part cookie, all pizookie (!!), all magnificent,” Sally’s Baking Addiction writes.
Have your kids sprinkle their favorite chopped candies on top for an extra special touch.
“Yes, this recipe involves a springform pan, but don’t let that intimidate you. In reality, it’s as simple as measuring ingredients, dumping them into the bowl of a stand mixer, and mixing them together,” Pure Wow writes.
- BBC Good Food
- Taste of Home
- Insanely Good Recipes
- All Recipes
- Pure Wow
- King Arthur Baking
- The Spruce Eats
- Scary Mommy
- My Kids Lick the Bowl
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.