This week on the Baking with Children guest post series I am very excited to have Lauren from Sophie’s Nursery. Lauren is a teacher and mum to Sophie who, in her words, is “the most amazing, funny and LOUD toddler”. Lauren loves to create imaginative sensory play for Sophie in her living room essentially turning it into a nursery which was the inspiration for her blogs name. Sophie’s nursery is a place for Lauren to document her daughters amazing personality and curiosity. It is a fabulous blog and i recommend you go and check it out!
So without more waffle from me here is Laurens post:
As a teacher and lover of all things educational, baking with kids (in my case a toddler named Sophie!) is a brilliant way to start a lifelong love of food whilst providing many beneficial learning experiences! I’ve noted some ideas for the different areas of learning baking can contribute to (from the UK Early Years Framework we use in school):
COMMUNICATION & LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Children can learn lots of new words as you talk and bake with them!
Show them what a recipe looks like and explain how they need to follow the instructions. Point out the names of different cooking words, e.g. whisk, sieve etc. and show them what each word means by doing the action.
Learn new food words as you find and use each ingredient.
Even younger toddlers will start to get a notion of following a plan and doing specific actions to help make or bake something, especially if it’s a favourite food of theirs.
Cooking and baking provides an excellent opportunity to learn new mathematical words such as ‘more than’ and ‘less than’ as you add or weigh out ingredients.
Let your child feel how heavy items are, such as a 1kg bag of flour!
Talk about the shape of your food and utensils e.g. the round cake, the square tin.
Let your child help as much as possible during the baking process (apart from knife work!). They can mix, beat, fold, whisk, pour, roll – all of these skills will significantly support their gross and fine motor development.
UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD
Cooking and baking provide an exciting opportunity to talk about where food comes from e.g. eggs from chickens, milk from cows.
You can also point out how the ingredients change through a cooking process e.g. with cakes you could let them watch as the wet mixture turns into a solid cake in the oven!
So, what did I decide to bake with Sophie for this post? Carrot Cake!
This is a simple Carrot Cake recipe with delicious results and lots for your child to get involved with!
I initially weighed out all of the ingredients into separate bowls so Sophie could easily help pour them in as needed.
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 50ml vegetable oil
- 60g sugar
- 130g plain flour
- 10g baking powder
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 3 grated carrots (large)
- 100g raisons
- Pinch of salt
- 200g mascarpone cheese
- 30g Icing sugar
- 2-3 tsp of vanilla extract
- For decoration a handful of chopped walnuts or for younger children sprinkles or similar.
Help your child crack the 2 eggs into a mixing bowl. Show them how to beat the eggs – see if they can have a go!
Add the sugar and oil to the mixing bowl and beat well.
With a sieve, show your little one how to sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into the mixture. Sophie loved tipping each ingredient out into the sieve and giving it a shake!
Fold in these ingredients.
Now a favourite part for Sophie!
Add the grated carrots, raisins and a pinch of salt.
Pour the mixture into a greased or lined cake tin (we used an 18cm tin).
Sophie did her ‘I’m concentrating hard stance’ with tongue to one side and a determined look.
Put the cake tin into a pre-heated oven – 160°C (fan) or 180°C (conventional).
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn the cake out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the topping:
Put the mascarpone cheese into a bowl with the vanilla extract and the sieved icing sugar. Mix well.
Try not to let your child eat it all before putting it on the cake – we had a slight battle!!!
Spread the topping evenly on the cake and scatter the chopped walnuts on top. For younger children who aren’t old enough to eat nuts use an alternative like sprinkles or marzipan/icing shapes. Walnuts are a favourite with our family, but for Sophie we cut a piece of the carrot cake minus the walnuts just in case!
Thanks so much to Winnettes for allowing us to take part in this guest post series! Hopefully this post has given you some ideas as to how educational yet fun baking with your little ones can be!
Lauren & Sophie @ www.sophiesnursery.com
Thank you so much Lauren for sharing this with me and my readers. It is a brilliant post.