Last week I baked a gluten-free lemon chiffon cake for the Baking with Julia challenge. Turns out, this is a great recipe to bake with kids.
What I love about baking is it’s a great activity to do with kids because it teaches them math, patience and teamwork. Gluten-free baking takes a little extra prep time on your part in terms of mixing the flours but once you’ve got that down to a science, you’ll find the workflow takes care of itself.
Here are my tips for seamlessly baking with kids:
- Mix your dry ingredients ahead of time. Grab your scale, your flours, your starches and a sealable container, and weigh and mix. Especially if you’re just starting to bake gluten-free or use a scale, you’ll find having little ones around is a bit distracting (did I get exactly 10.25 ounces of sugar into the bowl?). I’ll do this in the morning or whenever I have 10 minutes to spare.
- Prepare your wet ingredients. About an hour before the kids come home, separate your eggs, measure your water and your oil, drag out the measuring spoons for the lemon extract – then place everything onto a single baking sheet. Kids are visual creatures and are used to viewing lessons as a contained unit.
- Think like a cooking teacher. Have multiples of everything: whisks, aprons, measuring spoons and cups.
- Plot out the recipe steps per child. I had the six-year-old and eight-year-old whisking the designated wet ingredients into the dry ingredients – working together over a large bowl, they each had a whisk and therefore, equal time at the counter. Meanwhile the 10-year-old worked the stand mixer beating the egg whites.
- Plan activities for baking time. An hour in the oven is like three kid hours, at least. The girls did their homework, played cards and built a massive tower out of plastic cups kept just for that occasion. By the end of playtime, they were ready for their treat!
Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) says
I used to bake a lot with my mom (and dad), and I hope that parents still do this with their kids today … I get the feeling from things I hear and people that I talk with that many parents don’t do much cooking or baking in today’s age, and even less so with their children.
Liz @YUM at first bite says
I LOVE this post. The boys are always asking to help, and I let them. In small amounts. The way you’ve broken this down has inspired me to let them get more involved.
awww it’s so true that one hour to us is sooo long to a kid! Smart to think of something to do while the cake is baking away in the oven.
Jersey girl cooks says
Great tips. I love baking with my kids and now by daughter is old enough to make a cake by herself.