Allowing your kids in the kitchen can be fun… aaaaand torturous. Teaching kids how to cook or bake comes with its own set of challenges and questions. Will they burn themselves or lob off a finger? Can they make something edible? Can they bake something more complex than just a 3-ingredient recipe? While your head is swimming with concerns, your heart is probably swelling at the chance to spend time with your little one and teach them a useful skill. Plus, if all goes well, you get to finish the family bonding with something scrumptious to eat. That’s a win in our book!
What you need, of course, are easy baking recipes for your kids to follow along with — something mostly harmless and, hopefully, delightful. Luckily, these delicious and easy baking ideas might do the trick. So pull out your fancy new silicone baking mold and get to work.
1. Cookie Cups
Is there a more classic dessert than chocolate chip cookies? No way. If you’re looking for a less-mess, easy baking recipe for your kiddo, chocolate chip cookie cups might be the way to go. You can work together as a family to make dough from a recipe. Or your mini-me can use pre-made dough to form around the bottoms of mini muffin tin cups, then bake them. Afterward, fill them with ice cream, marshmallows, banana slices, or anything else you think goes well with chocolate chip cookies.
2. Homemade (From The Box) “Brookie”
Another easy-peasy but fun and different recipe involving chocolate chip cookies is to make those yummy part-brownie, part-cookie bars. You can go from scratch, but box or bag mixes for brownies and cookies will totally do the trick. Just help your child pour brownie batter into the pan, then plop in spoonfuls of cookie dough. Bake and enjoy.
3. Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
In our family, peanut butter cookies are like gold. A batch of PBCs won’t last a day on our counter, and your house might just be the same. The “real,” from-scratch versions are the best. The bags or boxes are great, too. Even the break-and-bake cookies will do in a pinch. But peanut butter cookies became infinitely more attainable with the discovery of this easy baking recipe. You only need three ingredients: egg, sugar, and peanut butter. Even the tiniest chef can master this.
4. Banana Bread
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. Don’t get caught up in making a “loaf,” though. This recipe, for instance, works best in a sheet pan or muffin tin. Add ice cream to make it dessert or warm it up and schmear on some butter for breakfast.
5. Cake Mix Cookies Recipe
Another hard part about cooking with your children? Making sure you have all the ingredients when your kids get that wild baking hair. If they’re craving cookies and all you have is cake mix, you don’t have to say “no.” A couple of quick alterations can turn a boxed cake mix into some seriously scrumptious cookies.
6. Microwaved Mug Cakes
You might not be quite ready to let your littles use the oven. Understandable. But that doesn’t have to cut out the fun! The home can smell so delicious when you bake something in the oven — especially when it’s the overwhelming cinnamon smell that wafts through the house when making these microwaved snickerdoodle cakes.
7. Handheld Apple Pie Bites Recipe
Apple pies are delicious but tedious. This simple variation is as simple as wrapping strips of pie crust around apple wedges. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on your apple pie bites both before and after your bake them.
8. Fruit Pizzas
Want a slightly more healthy dessert option? Fruit pizza is the easiest of easy baking recipes. First, slice up your family’s favorite fruits. Next, let your kiddos use the slices to decorate pre-made sugar cookie “crust.” A cinnamon-sugar mix or simple icing drizzle will spice things up a little more.
9. Sorting Hat Cupcakes Recipe
Got a Hufflepuff in the house? Or maybe just a Potter-head in general? Take a simple vanilla cupcake recipe and, with a few alterations, turn it into an edible sorting hat. What could be better?
10. Rice Krispy Treats
Should this recipe count as baking? Maybe not. But they require only a few simple steps, taste delicious, and put your kids in the kitchen with you. We’ll take it!
11. Fruity Dump Cakes
Fact: If you add the word “cake” to anything, most kids will eat it. This “cake,” however, contains seemingly way more fruit than actual cake. Thanks, Pioneer Woman.
12. Pumpkin Bars
Nothing makes the holiday more memorable than including your child in the festivities and planning. Pumpkin pie is delicious (and worth a try, too), but pumpkin bars will seem more accessible to your kids both from a taste and execution standpoint.
13. Earth Day Cookies
If we know anything, it’s that nothing is as magnetic to kids than color. Use Earth Day as a chance to teach your kids about the climate crisis — then lighten the mood with some cookies that look just like our favorite planet. How simple can it be? Take a batch of sugar cookie dough and split it in half. Dye half green and half blue, then let the kiddos take chunks of each color and ball them together. Once they’re baked, they’ll look just like our big blue planet looks from space.
14. Unicorn Poke Cake
Poke cakes are, well, they’re magical. The mass of the cake comes from a boxed cake mix. To go full unicorn-mode, you’ll dye sweetened condensed milk in teal, pink, and purple, and pour them into poked holes. It’s glorious! Note: You can also make a chocolate cake and fill the holes with ooey-gooey caramel.
15. Nutella Croissants
Who doesn’t love ooey gooey chocolate croissants for breakfast? Happily, you can enjoy one without leaving your home using Pillsbury crescent rolls and a dollop of Nutella hazelnut spread. Kids will love playing around with the chocolate and dough, and you’ll know that no matter how messy they come out in the end, they’ll still be delicious. Just a tip, brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar before baking for that golden crispy look.
16. Puff Pastry Apple Rosettes
This seems way more complicated than it is, but trust us, it’s as simple as can be. Cut one sheet of puff pastry in half and line the long edge of each piece with thinly sliced apples. Fold over the other half of each piece so half the apple slice is showing through. Roll the puff pastry until what you’re left with is a rosette and bake for 20 minutes. Let slightly cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
17. Raspberry Ricotta Cake
Creamy, tart, and rich. That’s what you get with every mouthful of this easy, breezy cheesy raspberry ricotta cake. This super easy cake requires ingredients you already have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer and is super simple to fold together. So easy, in fact, kids can make it from start to finish, and you can step in when it comes time to tinker with the oven.
18. Vegan Chocolate Mousse
This four-ingredient chocolate mousse recipe can be yours for the tasting in five minutes flat! The recipe, courtesy of Spoon University, calls for a can of coconut milk, cacao powder, vanilla extract, coconut nectar (or maple syrup or honey if not vegan). Mix well in a bowl and spoon directly into your drooling and eager mouth.
19. Classic Blueberry Muffins
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.
20. Easy Peasy Sugar Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies may be the king of all cookies, but sugar cookies are the most versatile. These yummy, sugary concoctions are the blank canvas for your kids cookie decoration sessions for Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas, Easter — you name it. If you’re looking for a cookie that will hold up to sprinkles and icing and still taste delicious, this recipe from All Recipes should do the trick.