Review - Storybake children's recipe books from Anges De Sucre

AD Do you bake with your children? From an early age I was often found busy in the kitchen and it has made me the confident cook I am today. I was taught the basics like the differences between how yeast and baking powder work, how to thicken sauces and how to cream sugar and butter together and I was then able to explore and experiment. Baking with your children can be a bit messy, but it’ll be worth it that first time they bring you a cake they have made all by themselves.

a preschooler in apron and chefs hat making muffins using a child's story recipe book from Anges De Sucre
Baking a child's recipe from Anges De Sucre new children's book

5 Simple Steps To Start Baking With Children

1. Inspire Them With Anges De Sucre

Do your children like the idea of eating cakes, but aren’t too sure about the making part? Well reading Xavier and his Magical Blueberry Muffins by Anges De Sucre might help. The luxury bakery have written a series of recipe books to inspire children to get baking. In the first book Xavier makes some muffins and the book contains the recipe so you recreate the cakes at home. 

The recipe makes delicious muffins and they are really easy for children to make. The recipe uses oil and milk (which we switched for soya milk) instead of butter so you don't have to worry about creaming the butter in and children just need to mix it all up.

Xavier and his Magical Blueberry Muffins is the first in an exciting series of “StoryBakes”, recipe story books aimed at children age 2 to 6. Each book will get children rushing to the kitchen excited to recreate the recipe they heard in the story.  You can buy the book on the Anges De Sucre website.  There is also a book about Lemon Loaves and the next to be published in the series is about Banana Bread. The books help the recipes come to life in a fun way and make children excited to get cooking. You can read more from Reshmi about writing the book here.

an example page of the first anges de sucre children's story and recipe book

2. Bake At Their Level

When baking will small children they wont be able to stand at the kitchen counter so you have two options: stand them on a step or chair so they can reach, or do the cooking on a lower surface. I find it easiest to use a play table so my children can stand on the floor and I don’t have to worry about them balancing.

a preschooler standing behind a table mixing cake ingredients together
When baking with a preschooler we use a low table so her can reach easily

3. Make It Age Appropriate 

My children range in age from 3 to 10 so the way I bake with each child varies. With my preschooler I normally measure the ingredients out into bowls before we start but let him do all the pouring and mixing. Initially I would crack the eggs for him, but now he does it himself (I often have to remove a few bits of shell though). I also put the food in the oven and take it out.

When cooking with my 6 year old I read the recipe and talk her through each step, showing her what to do where necessary. She weighs out ingredients and measures, but I support her in doing this.

When cooking with my Tween we read through the recipe together first and I check her understanding of the processes. I then let her get on with it, but stay nearby so I can suggest she rereads the recipe if she has missed something or advise her about better techniques.

A preschooler with flour on his face mixing a cake together
I pre-measure ingredients out when cooking with my preschooler so he can pour and mix

4. Be Careful With Heat and Height

It  goes without saying that one of the most risky parts of cooking with children is using heat. Baking works well because you often only need heat at the end when you put it in the oven, but some recipes require the use of the cooker. While children will be aware that they have to be careful not to touch hot things, their height often puts them at a disadvantage eg when stirring a pan my arms are angled downwards away from the edge of the pan, depending on the height of the step used children’s arms are often at a lower angle taking them nearer to the hot areas. It can be the same when putting food in the oven, unless the oven is at floor level, the oven door is closer to their arms. Add in shorter arms and it makes it even more of a challenge. 

I ensure my children always have a long sleeve top on under their aprons and that we both wear oven gloves. This means I can quickly grab a hot pan or tray if necessary. 

A preschooler with cake mix on his hands and face putting mixture in a muffin case
Eating the cake mix or baking muffins? It's a mixture of both

5. Cleaning Up

Generally my children’s level of interest drops once the food is in the oven. They happily lick the bowl,  but the rest of the cleaning is less interesting. Cleaning up is part of baking through so I make sure they contribute to tidying up. How much I ask them to do depends on their age, but at a minimum I ask them to collect all the dirty bits together and put them by the dishwasher before they wash their hands and disappear.

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