Tips for Baking With Kids (Plus a Three-Ingredient Cookie Recipe)

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One of my family’s favorite traditions is baking cookies! There’s something so special about enjoying warm, freshly baked treats with your loved ones.

It can get a bit tricky having kids in the kitchen, but I’m delighted to share a foolproof three-ingredient cookie recipe that is ideal for little helpers. You just need a box of cake mix, butter, and eggs, and they’ll come out soft and delicious every single time!

Before you get started on those cookies, here are a few tips for baking with kids:

Set Expectations Ahead of Time

Don’t do anything until you’ve set the tone and stated rules or guidelines that you want your children to follow. My kids are six and four now, but ever since they were big enough to hold a spatula, I’ve emphasized that we can have fun as long as they’re being safe. Now, I just remind them not to touch anything without permission, to follow all directions, and not to taste anything until it’s done baking.

Grab a Stool

To make sure that everyone can see and reach the ingredients, have stools for each kid who’s helping.

Give Equal Turns

Since I have two kids, they’re quick to inform me if the other one got to “help more.” Try to disperse the tasks as evenly as possible so that there isn’t any bickering, and all of your kids feel like they contributed the same amount.

Bake for Yourselves

This is not the time to bake gifts for everyone you know. Yes, the cookies will taste fantastic, but it’s difficult to make desserts look uniform and beautiful when kiddos are involved. Instead of being stressed about the cookies looking appealing (or whether or not your toddler sneezed into the dough), allow yourself to relax and just enjoy making memories with your family.

Messes Happen

When you bake with kids, expect your kitchen to look chaotic. They rearrange things, they spill things, and they stick their fingers in literally everything. You can always tidy up once the cookies are in the oven!

Three-Ingredient Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 15.25 box of cake mix, any flavor or brand
  • ½ cup of room temperature butter (1 stick)
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until the dough is smooth. The ingredients blend easily so I stir by hand, but you can use a mixer on the low setting.
  3. It’s time to put the dough on the baking sheet! We use a 3 tablespoon scoop because we like big cookies. Put about six onto a baking sheet so they have room to breathe and spread.
  4. Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are firm (for smaller cookies, you may only need to bake 10-12 minutes). They’ll puff up in the oven and then flatten out a little once they’ve cooled down.

*Yields 12 cookies

The cookies pictured above are from butter pecan cake mix and red velvet cake mix. You can always let your kids add sprinkles, chocolate chips, M&Ms, or nuts to your dough to make your cookies look and taste more festive!

Do you have any other tips for baking with kids? Share them with us in the comments!

 

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Tasheena is a California native who moved to Columbia in the Fall of 2018. She has been married to her college sweetheart since 2013 and together they’re raising two feisty little girls. Tasheena has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a minor degree in Child and Family Science. She worked as a kindergarten teacher until her second daughter was born in 2017 and she transitioned to life as a stay-at-home mom. Although being home full time has its challenges, she loves being her girls’ first teacher and experiencing the world their eyes. Tasheena enjoys yoga, impromptu dance parties, exploring the community, solo trips to the grocery store, and sharing pieces of her life on her blog, The Cinnamon Mom. With so many transplant families in Columbia, she hopes to share a newcomer’s perspective and connect with more mommies in the area!

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