Baking with the children

Jet loves baking, and he is always asking to make things. Usually involving chocolate. I gave up trying to get Jet to embrace healthy cake – he never ate it, so it was just a waste of ingredients. And maybe he’s right – maybe baked foods shouldn’t be healthy, maybe they should be sweet and crumbly and delicious. Putting in the right quantities of butter and sugar results in food creations that my children will actually eat. So I’m going with that! 

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I don’t know where Katie from I Can Cook finds these children who eat her healthy inventions without saying “It’s nice. But it’s a bit horrible.” Throughout the process, I channel the multi-talented Katie but in a slightly lower key, and sing us through the hand washing and tidying up.


I am doubtful that beneath the counter she is trying not to trip over a small girl-child who has no understanding of the concept of personal space. Katie’s co-chefs seem to be aware of her need for elbow room. Also, Katie probably doesn’t gesticulate quite so emphatically. She maintains her calm aura at all times, with a healthy pinch of fun, whereas I can get a bit screechy when baking with the children.

Chocolate rock cakes – makes 10-12 generous buns


350g plain flour

a pinch of salt

2 level tsp baking powder

175g light brown soft sugar

175g cold butter

200g chocolate chunks

1 large egg

A splash of milk (as needed)

Preheat oven to Gas 5/190°/170° fan

1. Stir the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar together, breaking up the sugary lumps.

2. Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour and sugar mixture.

I have already combined the flour, salt, sugar and raising agent (yes, I did do the baking powder face on my own) and rubbed in the butter before I call the children in to help me. Rubbing in is my least favourite of all cooking jobs. I favour a flaky consistency, rather than fine breadcrumbs, mainly due to the fact I lose the will to rub before my ingredients ever reach that state.

3. Add the chocolate chunks.

Enter the children, to first act out their role as official chocolate samplers. After this, Jet breaks up the chocolate into outlandishly massive chunks whilst Stella is busy getting in everyone’s way a bit. I don’t see the point in the chocolate chip. Far too small and missable. We go large.

4. Crack an egg into a separate bowl and whisk it.

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Jet’s favourite job, after chocolate tasting, is egg cracking. I trust him with this, although he is yet to settle on a technique, and his experiments are usually flawed. Today, he tried to split the shell from bottom to top rather than horizontally, with explosive results.

5. Add the egg, stir to form a stiff dough.

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Jet, having performed his egg-cracking routine and showered himself in shell and albumen, has gone to wash his hands. Stella steps in to whisk the egg. I give what I think are clear instructions relating to hygiene and the handling of ingredients. Katie certainly doesn’t tend to repeat herself as much as I do.

6. Add a little milk, if necessary, to bring it together.

We combine it all together, to Stella’s protestations of “Oh, my egg! Oh, my chocolate! Oh, my milk!” at each addition. A quick stir and we are ready to mound the crumb-like mixture up on the baking sheet.

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7. Form mounds of the mixture on a baking tray, leaving space for them to spread.

I allow Jet to spoon the dough onto the tray, but to achieve anything resembling what Paul and Mary would call an ‘even bake’ it is necessary for me to redistribute some of the mixture afterwards.

8. Bake for 18-20 minutes, cool and store in an airtight container.

I found my stomach more than adequate for this purpose. They do taste best the day they are made, so it is best to eat them all up. You have my permission.


Serve with a cup of milk and a tray of Lego

These are a good size for an adult, but a little on the massive side for children. Although it goes against my nature, I have tried making them smaller, but they were dry. Best just make them huge and cut them in half for the little folk/less greedy amongst us. We took this batch on a picnic, for which they are perfect.

If you have enjoyed reading this, there are more recipe posts here, here and here.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Rhyming with Wine

41 thoughts on “Baking with the children

  1. Oh yum, the recipe looks and sounds delicious. I completely agree that attempting to bake healthy cakes is a waste of time. In fact, I reckon healthy cake is a bit of an oxymoron..! It’s always fun (and messy) getting the kids in the kitchen, I might have to do some baking with my tribe this weekend! #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now Mini R has turned two, i’m hoping to start baking with him…when i find the time, patience and energy! Pre-children i baked tasty and pretty cupcakes for family parties/occasions. I doubt they’d be so pretty with a toddler in tow so this recipe might be a good place to start instead! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have just baked with the kids this morning and spent pretty much the entire episode shouting “stop licking the spoon”, at which point Miss Tot spat out the lump of buttery sugar that she’d been chewing on, back into the bowl. Yum. At this point we decided that today’s baked goods would just be for us to eat at home and would not be shared with visitors. (Aw shucks haha). Thanks for the storage tip! I’ll definitely be embracing that one. Ooh and you know I think this post and my escapades this morning might have just inspired my next rhyme… (Hope that’s OK?) I’ll keep you informed 😉 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My mouth is watering, I need these in my life – especially love the massive chunks of chocolate! You are great to get the children involved and very patient by the sounds of things. Adding a glass of milk makes everything healthy, I agree and would do the same for serving 😁 #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A glass of milk for the kids, and a stiff drink for me 🙂 They (especially my boy) love baking so much, we do it fairly regularly, but it does require herculean efforts in the patience department! x


  5. This sound delicious! The cooking process reminds me of the few baking sessions I’ve had with my nieces and nephews. I’ll admit I can see why so many parents default to packet mixes when baking with little ones! #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I try to sneak in a few extra servings of vegetables where I can but my children also won’t eat the really healthy food. I agree with you that baking should be unhealthy. I always say the best frosting is the one that gives you a tooth ache (my dentist disagrees). I do not bake a lot with my children as it is my time to do something I love, but these look like a lot of fun.


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