We are adding a new space in The Foodies’ Kitchen! We are delighted to present Little Foodies, a spot where you can turn to find recipes your kids can make by themselves (with a little help from you, depending on their age). Little Foodies will feature Kristen, our 6-year-old sous-chef who has always been a behind the scenes part of our blog. We turned to cake mix and a tub of vanilla frosting for this first post because we think it’s important to build the child’s confidence in the kitchen. The first recipe they try should be a success, and we know that a cake mix from Betty Crocker (or your favorite brand) will result in good-looking cupcakes that your child will be proud of.
A simple recipe to follow, like that of a cake mix, can be a great tool to help our children with basic skills, but to them it’s just fun in the kitchen with a parent which provides a great opportunity to spend quality time with them. By having them read the recipe, follow the procedure, get the tools and ingredients you can practice reading, math, following directions, sequencing, organization, time management, independence, cause and effect, and fine motor skills. It also builds their self-esteem and confidence and you are helping them develop a life skill: cooking for themselves. They’ll thank you later.
I translated the recipe to Spanish from the back of the box with clear instructions for her to follow, starting with a list of ingredients and kitchen tools she needed to organize before getting started (mise en place). You can download it below. We recommend you print it out so that a child that is already on reading level can easily follow the instructions and cross off the steps as they go along.
We also used a tub of frosting, because I wanted her to have fun piping it on the cupcakes by herself (for smaller kids, you can do it together) and we took out a bunch of different types of sprinkles to let her creativity flow. Next day, she took the cupcakes to school to share with her classmates.
When cooking with children, every recipe will take longer to make. Having the store-bought frosting ready to be used to focus on filling the pastry bag and making the swirls by herself was more important to me for this particular cooking session. As they get more confident around the kitchen you can start making everything from scratch.
We will mostly feature recipes that don’t require too many stove-top procedures, for safety. Never leave children unattended in the kitchen, and when using the oven, if you let them turn it on, the adult should be the one who puts the molds inside the oven, as well as taking them out when they are done. It might get a little messy in the kitchen, but that’s part of the learning process. Be patient! Set aside enough time to cook with your kids, don’t rush it. All recipes will take longer to make so you should be relaxed about the time it might take to finish. Teach them to clean up as they go, which is an important part of cooking. It’s not fun to finish cooking and then have a big pile of dirty dishes to wash!
We hope you like this new space and that your children have fun trying out Little Foodies recipes at home to share with their families!
Helga & Kitty
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
Yields: 24 cupcakes
1 ¼ cups water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 Devil’s Food cake mix
2 Vanilla frosting tubs Sprinkles, to decorate
1 pastry bag (disposable)
1 pastry tip (round or star shape)
24 cupcake liners
2 cupcake tins for baking
measuring cups and spoons
large bowl, for mixing
cake tester (or wooden toothpick)
Instructions, for the Cupcakes:
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Place a cupcake liner inside every hole in your cupcake baking mold.
- In a mixing bowl, add: cake mix, water, oil and eggs. Mix with hand mixer at low speed for 30 SECONDS, then switch to medium speed and mix for 2 MINUTES.
- Distribute the batter in the prepared muffin tin, filling each space with the equivalent of 3 TABLESPOONS of batter on each.
- Bake for 14-19 MINUTES, or until a cake tester comes out clean (you can also use a toothpick).
- Let the cupcakes cool completely before decorating.
Instructions, for Decorating:
- Place a decorating tip inside the pastry bag.
- Place the pastry bag inside a tall glass, so its easy to fill it half way through with the frosting. To close the bag, twist tight and hold the top of the bag with one hand.
- To frost, make circles from the outside to the inside of the cupcake, raising the pastry bag at the end when you reach the center. Add the sprinkles.
To download a printable version of this recipe, click the button below!
Reference Video to fill the pastry bag with frosting:
Cupcake cartoon, by Kiro Telexia
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