One of my biggest passions in encouraging kids into the kitchen. I firmly believe that if you get kids involved in cooking food they learn to enjoy a much wider variety of flavours, they become more adventurous in their food choices and grow up with a healthy relationship with food. Thats how, a number of years ago, I started my after school kids club Funkilicious Food, we have covered numerous topics from creating simple suppers to learning how to bake and I have taught a wide variety of ages too – with even some requests from my grown up friends that we have cooking workshops at my house run by me or guest chefs. It’s all great fun.
Most of my cooking is learning about doing it from scratch but anything that entices children into the kitchen is good in my book, so I was delighted to be asked to try out a couple of Junior Bake boxes by My Bakes . The idea behind the boxes is that at the start of each month you are sent a box through the post (it fits through your letterbox).
Inside is and instruction sheet, some ingredients – although you do need to add fresh ingredients – and some additional items that you need to make your bake.
You can just get a one off box or subscribe for a period of 3, 6 or 12 months.
My kids are a bit grown up for this now so I ‘borrowed’ a couple of neighbours children Daisy 9 and Olive 7 to test run the boxes.
This months box was to cook some cupcakes with a coloured buttercream topping and sprinkles. We needed to provide the eggs and butter and you also needed a bun tin to put the cases in.
Daisy did a great job at reading the instructions for us, we made the cupcakes by hand and the girls had fun creaming in the ingredients.
But breaking in the eggs was definitely the fun part and folding in the flour brought a few more smiles.
With Olive passing a critical eye over her big sisters technique!
They filled the cases very carefully….
But we definitely found that the mixture made far more than the 10 cases provided could hold, so luckily I had a few spare to hand.
And it left plenty for licking out the bowl at the end!
The cakes baked really quickly but left just about the right time to make the buttercream.
We used the power tools this time – more excitement using the icing sugar provided and our own butter. We added the colouring from the little bag which was quite tricky but made it a lovely vibrant pink.
We scraped the mixture into the provided bags, but I let the girls choose a nozzle each from my kit so they could make pretty shapes – this would have been a nice keepsake to be included in the kit so the kids could have built up their own baking equipment store.
We draped the bags over a plastic cup to make it easier to fill them, my own tip, again little tips like this make baking easier for kids and maybe it could have been included on the instructions. We also put a plastic bag clip on the top of the piping bags to stop the mixture squeezing out of the wrong end of the bag – a top tip for kids and adults alike.
We piped swirls and stars on then added the little hearts and glitter which went down really well with Daisy and Olive
The girls were rightly super proud of their cakes
Both girls said said they had a fun time and that receding a box through the post like this would be a great thing to look forward to. My thoughts are that it would certainly encourage kids into the kitchen and especially suitable for families that don’t bake much themselves already. The instructions were clear and easy to follow and the packaging attractive. I do think it would be nice to provide something that was a keepsake or a baking tool that could be used again, once you have made everything, other than the recipe the box is finished with once you have made the cakes.
However I do think the boxes are a great way of getting kids baking, a subscription would make a wonderful Christmas or birthday present that give a skill to last a lifetime.
Check out Bake boxes for adults and kids by My Bakes here