Not only does learning to cook and bake give our kids the ability to feed themselves, but it’s also an avenue for creative exploration. Busting open a kids’ baking set is equivalent to setting up a science experiment — add the ingredients and see what happens! With so many online tutorials for cake decorating and cookie creation, our little chefs will be eager to test out the kitchen, even if they need a stool to help them reach, or a cooking dictionary for the new terms.
Purchasing a proper kids’ baking set, not a play kitchen toy, gives them tools that are sized right and sets them up for success. Some of our favorite gifts as kids were our first bakeware and junior cookbooks. It all seems very grown up deciding on a recipe and then doing it themselves (okay, with some/all of our help). Creativity and critical thinking as well as real-world problem solving skills are developed as kids learn to cook and bake. And let’s face it, we might get out of making dinner once or twice a week — win, win!
We’ve picked out our favorite selection of kids’ bakeware and kid-friendly cookbooks packaged for gifting, but many with next-day delivery if Mama has a weekend project to get done. Grab an apron and let’s get the kids ready for all the fall and winter holidays!
Best Kids Real Baking Sets
MindWare is known for providing all kinds of activity kits and gear to not only keep our kids entertained, but also get them learning. Young cooks ages 4-10 will delight in strapping on the included kids apron (fits kids’ size 4 and up) and getting to work with their measuring tools that are color- coded to match the included recipe cards. The recipes promote healthy eating and limited parental help by teaching new skills and tricks to kids looking to learn. Each of the utensils are sized right for small hands and pair well with the Playful Chef Safety Knife Set for Kids by MindWare.
One reviewer commented, “A birthday gift for my 3 year old granddaughter. She LOVES it, makes her happy so it makes me happy.”
75 pieces sounds like a hell of a lot of little parts to keep track of around the kitchen, however this children’s baking set from Handstand really is the ultimate baking set. This cutely packaged, giftable set includes the basics like spatulas and a rolling pin, but also extended gear that others don’t have, like 25 cake pop sticks and piping bag nozzles. We love the included cake mold, mini tart pan, and mini cupcake tray and aren’t shy about admitting we plan on using them too. Seriously, what’s cuter than a mini tart?
Geared for ages 6 and up, this set has everything you could possibly need for tackling any recipe, except an apron. Handstand’s Amazon shop has the cutest mommy and me matching aprons, as well as really cool cake molds, and seasonal bakeware. We want them all!
MasterChef with Gordon Ramsey is one of America’s favorite culinary shows, so it’s no wonder that our LOs will gravitate towards this pint- sized kids’ cooking kit. Each of the included tools have silicone handles for a non-slip grip and are big enough for real cooking, but small enough for junior chefs. We love that this set includes a few MasterChef recipe cards, but there is also a blank one for our kiddos to jot down a family favorite (peanut butter kiss cookies or Mom’s meatballs maybe?) to keep long term.
We love that this MasterChef Baking Set is one of five in a series of MasterChef cooking kits. Other kits include the Cutting Board Set, Pizza Cooking Set, Breakfast Cooking Set, and more, which all partner nicely with the MasterChef Junior Cookbook.
With Hapinest Kid’s Baking Set, our LO’s world really can be made up of rainbows and unicorns. We absolutely love the included corduroy and felt unicorn apron, which is so cute it will make anyone want to get into the kitchen and bake. All of the included bakeware in this kit is unicorn themed (a perfect gift for the little unicorn lover in your life) and packed with cookie cutters, recipes, and even a pint sized rolling pin.
One reviewer shared, “Bought this for my 5 year [old] daughter & she loved it! The recipes in the booklet that came with the set are super simple & easy to follow. I loved that that roller rolls the cookies out the same thickness every time. I’d definitely recommend buying this as a gift. It’s such a fun activity for kids to do & to watch them use their imagination while decorating the cookies!”
It’s all well and good when kids baking sets come in cute giftable boxes, but the panic of having kids cooking gear all over the kitchen once they’re open is real. Tovla has saved us mamas from the clean up headache by including a reusable tool box that stores everything in one spot. Next time our LO wants to make a batch of brownies, the need to ransack the kitchen will be gone. Some of our favorite included items (because there is A LOT) in this gender neutral set are a kids’ apron, color coded measuring cups and spoons, kid- specific nylon knives and cutting board, and a kitchen timer (meaning the iPhone won’t end up in the pancake batter).
One mama shared her enthusiasm for this set, writing, “My daughter got this for her 7th birthday and LOVES it! It has everything you need and comes with a case that makes storage simple! Had looked at buying items individually but it was more cost effective to purchase this as a set and everything matches as well. Would be purchasing again for future gifts for nieces and nephews!”
RISEBRITE’s Real Kids Baking Set may look like a dress up toy because of the included chef’s hat and apron (which is IG- worthy) but it’s actually a great starter set for a curious chef. One mama remarked, “I bought this for my 3- year old to dress up and help mommy bake. After opening the box, I was shocked! I almost love her baking utensils more than I love my own!”
What exactly is there to love? Everything from a kid- sized oven mitt (something we don’t think about until it’s time to take the pan out of the oven) to a full set of silicone baking cups in cute, fun colors (not to mention the eco- friendly aspect of this!). The cookie cutters are clearly designed with kids in mind from animal favorites (elephants and bears) to hearts and stars, but durable enough that Mama can use them too.
Kids cookbooks are designed with simpler recipes, fewer directions and lots and lots of pictures. It may be tempting to hand over our copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, but think twice. Just like us, kids need to learn the basics of how to do everything from setting the oven temperature to the best way to hold a knife. The best kids cookbooks do a deep dive into building these skills with delicious recipes that the whole family will enjoy.
Best Kids Cookbooks
Have a picky eater? One of the best ways to get them to try new foods is by having them make it themselves. Kids love to make and eat new things, things Mom doesn’t ever make (we’re rolling our eyes too). The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs from America’s Test Kitchen gives kids a wide variety of 100+ recipes for everything from cupcakes to breakfast tacos to family dinner. Not only are the recipes tested by over 750 kids for skill level and tastiness, we mamas love the 20 pages of culinary instruction included. There is even a glossary of terms to help our kiddos process directions.
One mama reviewer shared, “This was delivered on Friday and I woke up to avocado toast prepared by my 10 year old on Sunday. This book has boosted her confidence and encouraged her to try new things — Saturday night she made tofu and green beans!”
Food Network Magazine has been inspiring mama chefs for years (and the actual TV channel for even longer) but they have taken the dive into children’s cookbooks. The Big, Fun, Kids Cookbook is really just that. 150+ recipes designed specifically for kids whether they aspire to be the Food Network Kids Star or just want to make a super cool cheeseburger cake (yup that is really a recipe) to impress their friends. Mamas might find some surprising inspiration in this cookbook, too, for easy family dinners. We love that there is even a coloring book section for when we need them out of the kitchen but still want to encourage their food exploration.
One reviewer commented, “My 9 & 11 yr olds were in the sweet spot for this book! There was a nice discussion about kitchen safety in this book which was nice too. (Unfortunately this book does not cover ‘how to clean up your mess in the kitchen so mom doesn’t have to!’)”
Considered the sequel to the best- selling kids’ cookbook Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (And Eat!), is Baking Class, a kids baking cookbook specifically written to teach kiddos ages 8-12 how to do the exact science of baking with both sweet and savory treats. Step-by-step photos show budding bakers how to do things like knead dough, make pie crust, cut biscuits, and decorate cookies all while highlighting the importance of things like accurately measuring ingredients and following directions.
One mama wrote, “Immediately upon opening it my daughter brought out pen and paper to make her grocery list of ingredients needed for her new recipes. I had feared that the thrill would wane as soon as we returned home with the groceries but she immediately made bread that turned out BEAUTIFULLY!!! It was so delicious, she was so excited and cannot wait to bake her next items.”
Looking for more great gifting ideas for the littles? Check out all of our mom approved kids gear for year long entertainment.