Ten Tips for Baking Success with Kids

1. Always wash hands and countertops before starting.

2. Stay safe! Have an adult show how to do age appropriate baking tasks.

K-2nd graders:
(ages 6-8)
  • Clean surfaces before and after; washing fruits or veggies.
  • Gather ingredients, pans; grease baking pans
  • Stir dry ingredients, spoon into dry measure cup; level off Measure liquid ingredients
  • Add measured dry and liquid ingredients into mixing bowl
  • Crack eggs
  • Cut fruit, margarine or butter sticks with plastic or table knife on cutting board; grate cheese
  • Stir batters (pancakes, muffins)-a thick dough may be too stiff
  • Knead dough
  • Preheat the oven (adult help load products in hot oven)
  • Wash dishes, put away ingredients or utensils

Get adult help with sharp knives or peelers, opening cans/bottles, stirring thick mixtures, loading and unloading the oven and handling baking pans

3rd-6th graders:
(ages 9-12)
  • Learn safe knife skills for chopping and cutting
  • Handle food equipment safely-place oven racks and load oven
  • operate mixer, microwave, bread machine, food processor
  • Follow a recipe, measure accurately and prepare a product
  • Read and interpret ingredient and food labels
  • Handle and store food ingredients and finished products safely.
  • Clean up

3. Read the recipe top to bottom first - together with an adult or on your own.

Be sure you:
a) understand the steps and methods
b) have all the ingredients and equipment
c) take it one step at a time, finish each step and double check to be sure nothing was left out.

4. Gather all the ingredients and equipment. Make sure ingredients are fresh.

5. Use the right tools. Use measuring spoons (not eating utensils) for small amounts. Stir dry ingredients (flours, sugars, cornmeal, cocoa) and spoon into dry measuring cups and level off with a flat edged utensil. Pour liquids (water, oil, milk, honey, corn syrup) in a clear liquid measuring cup placed on the countertop.

6. Use a food thermometer to measure liquid temperatures before adding to yeast. Always cover bread dough and place it to rise at room temperature (or about 80 degree F). Be sure to punch it down when it doubles in size.

7. Ingredients tips: Use large eggs in home baking. Use only butter or margarine (read the package label), not a spread or reduced fat product.

8. Use the size of pan the recipe recommends for best results.
(For substitutions, see pan substitution chart)

9. 1-2-3-4-5 in the Oven: 1. Make sure the oven racks are in the right place. Move them while the oven is cold. 2.Always preheat the oven as the recipe directs. 3. Place pans in the oven so they are not touching each other or the oven sides. Do not place pans on racks right above or under another pan. 4. Keep dry oven mitts or pads close by. 5. Have a wire cooling rack ready for the pans and to cool the baked food on.

10. Clean up spills immediately. While the product bakes, finish cleanup.