Katy and I went out to lunch last week, while her daddy was at work and her brother in school. It was a little girl time and produced some great conversation. Anytime you get an almost-four year old to sit still long enough to be able to express their thoughts, you know you’re in for a treat!
“Mama, when I get big, can I do anything I want?”
This seemed like a trick question to me.
“Well, kind of, Katy. What do you want to do when you get big?”
Her face lit up and she stared off a bit, as if seeing something truly wonderful in her mind’s eye.
“I want to put icing on cupcakes all by myself”
My heart melted and this JR Bake kit was born.
There are a lot of baking kits for girls on the market now. Easy Bake Oven and Gourmet Girl Cupcake thingiemabobber (just watch tv for ten minutes and you’ll see a commercial!). I looked into them both and couldn’t help but think of how quickly the chintzy little pans rust and how expensive the odd tasting mixes are. I decided to make my own Junior Baking kit, stocked with economical and easy to find ingredients, quality and kid friendly tools, and just the right amount of creativity! Add to this the fact that one mix out of my kit makes enough for your junior chef to provide dessert for his or her entire family and you’re sure to have one proud little chef peacocking around your kitchen!
I started out with Jiffy Cake mixes, which cost only .52 each. These little gems have always been a handy helper around the busy mom’s kitchen, at least since I was a little girl! One box of mix will make a single layer eight inch round cake or six cupcakes. I got some yellow, but mostly white. Kids can then use food coloring easily to create all sorts of colored cakes and cupcakes!
Its always fun to make a tie dyed cake. Simply take 1/4 cup of cake mix and dye it on its own with whatever color you like. Repeat with another 1/4 cup and a different color. Then pour carefully into your batter and swirl before baking! This is very pretty when you cut into it! I bought ready made icing but if you have older jr bakers you might want to let them make it from scratch or use a Jiffy Icing Mix. My icing cost 1.09 after I used the coupon on the package. If your bakers are a bit older, you could let them make icing from scratch or even buy jiffy icing mixes. Katy just wants to ice the cupcakes, she’s not that concerned with how she got the icing!
These cookie mixes were .50 off when I used the coupon which came on my ready made frosting, making them $1.00 each. Quick and simple, kids will love making their own cookies “from scratch” ~winks~. Each package makes about a dozen and a half so there will be plenty to share and even take to their teachers if they like!
Our baking kit could never be complete without sprinkles! I LOVE SPRINKLES! These just cost .98 and the food coloring set was only 1.88. Now your Jr Chef can color their frosting, their cake mixes, and even their cookies if they like!
These are miniature cake pans, nonstick and dishwasher safe. In my house, the only way a dish can avoid the dishwasher is to be older than I am. Other than that, if you aren’t dishwasher safe, you have no home among me and mine!
Each package has two pans in them. These are so much better than the little rinky dink, rust easy pans which came with my Easy Bake Oven back in the day.
These color coded measuring cups and spoons are a must have for Jr. Bakers, especially those just learning how to read fractions or for those who are too young to read at all. While preparing a mix, you can refer to the spoons and cups by their color instead of measurement! At only 1.97 for the cup set and 1.47 for the spoon set, I picked up an extra one for me, too!
Red seemed a good color for my kitchen tools. This plastic mixing bowl was found on the seasonal aisle for 1.64. The spoon is heat resistant silicone and I just love it. Since I already own two myself, I didn’t fret over spending 3.50 for my Jr Chef to have one, too.
I picked out a Sterlite brand container to put it all in. This will make storing it an keeping it all together easy peasy! Mine was a bit pricey at 6.50, but I love this type of container and have a few in my pantry already which I keep cookie cutters, cake sprinkles (I have that many!) and cupcake papers and such in. There are certainly less expensive options though!
And everything fits perfectly. mixes, icings, food colorings, and sprinkles on the bottom.
Then add your mixing bowl with measuring cups and spoons inside.
Put the lid on and you’re done!
Jr. Bake Kit
jiffy cake mixes 5 @ .52 each
latch box 6.50
sugar cookie mix 1.00
sugar cookie mix 1.00
chocolate chip cookie mix 1.00
vanilla frosting 3 @ 1.09
chocolate frosting 2 @ 1.09
color coded measuring cup set 1.97
color coded measuring spoon set 1.47
two heart shaped non stick mini cake pans 2.67
two six cup nonstick mini muffin pans 2.67
GV food coloring 1.88
Jr. Bake Kit (Less Expensive Option)
Wooden spoon .99
3 Jiffy Cake Mixes 1.56
2 icings 2.18
1 set Nonstick mini pans 2.67
food coloring 1.88
Measuring cups 1.97
measuring spoons 1.47
Total (before tax) $18.84
Food science is also a great subject for homeschooling, and we all homeschool at least a little! I know very few parent’s whose child’s education begins and ends in the classroom! Food Science is an invaluable life skill, teaches math, chemistry, art, and builds a great sense of confidence and accomplishment. Teaching a child to cook with you is a lesson which can be tailored to any age (as long as they can sit up and hold a spoon!). Whether you make a junior bake kit, buy something ready made, or just let your kids use your own tools and help out, I strongly encourage you to get them involved in the kitchen.
*All items for my JR Bake Kit were found at Wal Mart, a great chain that REALLY needs to sponsor Southern Plate by giving some things away to my readers!