Kids In The Kitchen, Independently

Baking with kids can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! As your kids spend more and more time with you in the kitchen, they will start to gain their confidence. When you let your kids cook real food or let your kids help you in the kitchen, it also leads to curiosity and independence—and not to mention, a whole lot of fun!  

I knew that my girls wanted to make a special treat all on their own, so I started looking for ideas on things parents and kids could bake together. I knew they would love baking a cake, so I surprised them by bringing home a box of cake mix and a tub of frosting.

Cake mix is an easy recipe for kids to follow, especially at my girls’ age. I sat at the table close enough to be within earshot, but not helping, as the girls put on their aprons and got to work preheating the oven, preparing the cupcake pan, measuring the liquids, cracking the eggs, and using the whisk. Williams-Sonoma has the cutest designs for kids’ aprons, and best of all, they have matching adult and kid sets too! 

While it may have been quicker for me to jump in with the electric mixer,  helping kids cook on their own means stepping back and letting them take the lead! They knew I was right there if I had questions. Did things get a bit messy? Of course, but that’s all part of the fun. And as my kids learn more about baking, I’m excited to teach them to safely use tools like mixers—this one from KitchenAid is well worth the price and does it all. Hamilton Beach has great-quality options as well if you’re looking for one a bit cheaper.

After the batter was mixed the girls scooped the batter into the pan and put it in the oven, using oven mitts that went to their elbows. You could tell by their smiles that they felt so proud! They set the timer and waited. Then another wait as the cupcakes cooled enough to add the frosting!

Letting your kids bake is also a great opportunity to teach them about cooking and share tips they can use—like stirring up the frosting so it spreads more easily. After the cupcakes were frosted it was time for the best part: the sprinkles! The girls definitely needed no help there. Then the final product was ready: chocolate cupcakes and very confident and capable kids. They’re already asking me what they can bake next! 

Looking for tips to make baking with kids even better? I found this list of great ideas from the Food Network.

The Food Network also shared some really good advice on how to safely invite kids into the kitchen, whether they’re two years old or 10 years old. 

Looking for more from me on including your little ones in the kitchen? Check out my post on Beginner Tips for Kids in The Kitchen.