The following kid-friendly baking recipes are my suggestions if you’re baking with young & eager kitchen helpers. The purpose of this page is to help adults find recipes that are fun and manageable when baking with children. As always, young bakers should have adult supervision in the kitchen. Post includes recipes free from common allergens as well as average recipe times.
Baking is an exciting activity that everyone can enjoy. Not only is it quality time spent together, baking ignites creativity, teaches how to follow instructions, involves math & counting, and always brings smiles. Between my entire team and I, we’ve baked with kids enough that we understand what goes into the process. In this post, I’m sharing which recipes are fun yet manageable with children as well as the helpful advice I’ve learned along the way. What’s your best advice when it comes to baking with kids?
5 Tips for Baking with Kids
- Embrace the Mess: If you feel most calm in a tidy kitchen, set your expectations before starting. Baking with kids can be messy, but that’s the fun of it.
- Big Bowls: From experience– use very large mixing bowls so there’s plenty of room for stirring, pouring, splashing, etc.
- Pre-Measure If Needed: If you’re baking with more than 1 child, it’s likely helpful to have some ingredients pre-measured so all they have to do is pour into the mixing bowl. If you’re baking with 1 child who is beginning to understand math, it might be fun to have that child help measure so there’s learning involved. For example, “We have 2 cups flour and 1 cup cocoa powder needed, how many cups total do you think that is?”
- Allow Enough Time: Baking takes time and baking with kids takes longer. The recipes listed below include the average time, but including children in the process may slightly extend those times. Consider it a fun journey rather than a means to an end.
- Assign Jobs/Make it Fun: For example, if you have an 8 year old and 4 year old in the kitchen with you, give each a specific job such as the older child measures and the younger child stirs. If you’re baking with a child who is beginning to learn counting, have that child count all of the ingredients. To create excitement, you could call the child “chef” such as “please hand me the whisk, chef Sally” and label your kitchen tools with fun names such as “Sally’s Super Special Spatula” or “Dominic’s Mighty Mixing Bowl.” (This works wonders with super young bakers!) You could even pretend you’re doing a cooking show and make up a fun name for your show.
Kid-Friendly Baking Recipes
Muffins are my #1 suggestion if you’re baking with kids. Muffins are (usually) easy to mix together, fun to spoon into liners, quick to bake, and you can enjoy them right away. They’re handheld, manageable for young bakers, freeze well, and keep all week long for snack, lunchboxes, or breakfast. Versatile, convenient, quick.
- Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Cups & Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Cups (35 minutes; gluten free if using certified GF oats; dairy free)
- Any Flavor Muffins (45 minutes)
- Whole Wheat Mini Pumpkin Muffins (35 minutes)
- Baby Apple Banana Oat Muffins (1 hour; gluten free if using certified GF oats; dairy free)
And our go-to choice is this Banana Muffins recipe which usually takes 30 minutes. For a special treat, you can turn them into “cupcakes” by dipping the tops in chocolate ganache and adding sprinkles. I like using these naturally colored sprinkles for decoration.
Don’t limit yourself to just these! Browse all muffin recipes including these applesauce muffins which are packed with wholesome ingredients or these fun mini powdered sugar donut muffins.
The following 4 recipes are all quite different, but very fun for kids. Wholesome breakfast cookies require just 1 mixing bowl and we love to indulge in the mini no yeast cinnamon rolls and sprinkle pancakes. The giant cinnamon roll is a longer baking project, but kids love to help roll/assemble it.
- Breakfast Cookies (30 minutes; gluten free if using certified GF oats; dairy free)
- Mini (No Yeast) Cinnamon Rolls (30 minutes; uses store-bought dough). Or regular no yeast cinnamon rolls if you want a recipe completely from scratch!
- Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake (3 hours, 30 minutes)
- Sprinkle Buttermilk Pancakes (40 minutes)
Homemade Kid-Friendly Snack Recipes
The following 4 recipes would be a fun afternoon activity before snacktime.
- Homemade Cheese Crackers (1 hour, 30 minutes; egg free)
- Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars (2 hours; gluten free; egg free)
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars (2 hours; gluten free; egg free)
- Soft Pretzel Bites (1 hour; egg free)
Easy Treats in Under 1 Hour
The following recipes are easy desserts/candies that come together in 1 hour or less.
- Chocolate bark such as Lucky Charms Bark or Boo Bark (1 hour; egg free; gluten free; no baking involved)
- Cookies & Cream Puppy Chow (15 minutes; no baking involved)
- Candy Corn Pretzel Hugs & M&M Pretzel Hugs (25 minutes)
- Chocolate Lava Cakes (25 minutes) – fun to bake these in a muffin pan!
Yeast Breads & Quick Breads
The following 5 recipes are savory baked goods. When it comes to baking with little helpers, I especially love making biscuits because they’re quick, require few ingredients, and kids can get their hands right in the dough. I also suggest Greek yogurt zucchini bread or pumpkin bread— you don’t need a mixer for either.
- Soft Pretzels (40 minutes; egg free)
- Homemade Pizza Crust (2 hours, 30 minutes; egg free)
- Homemade Ham & Cheese Pockets (2 hours, 15 minutes)
- Biscuits (35 minutes; egg free)
- No Yeast Bread (55 minutes; egg free)
Kid-Friendly Cookies in 1 Hour (No Chilling)
The following 6 recipes are convenient because none require you to chill the cookie dough. Don’t limit yourself to just these! Browse all no chill cookie recipes.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza (1 hour)
- Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies (1 hour; gluten free if using certified GF oats; egg free)
- Mini M&M Cookies (40 minutes)
- Coconut Macaroons (1 hour; gluten free; dairy free)
- Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies (40 minutes)
- Giant Monster Peanut Butter Cookie (45 minutes)
Decorating Baking Projects
The following 3 recipes are fun for young decorators.
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake (2 hours)
- Small Chocolate Cake (3 hours)
- Sugar Cookies (4 hours)
Simple Baking Projects for Kids
I call the following recipes “baking projects” because each are a little more involved than a standard recipe such as rolling out dough or frosting & sandwiching cookies.
- Oatmeal Creme Pies (2 hours)
- Animal Cracker Cookies (4 hours, 30 minutes– most time is chilling dough & cooling)
- Homemade Dog Treats (40 minutes)
- Baked Apples (2 hours; gluten free; egg free)
Additional Simple Baking Projects
- Cinnamon Roll Cookies (2 hours, 40 minutes)
- Stained Glass Window Cookies (3 hours) – a lot of readers have mentioned how much fun their kids have with this one!
- Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches (50 minutes)
- Sandwich Bread (3 hours, 20 minutes; egg free)
Kids would also love making a small-batch cheesecake, a quicker cheesecake that you can bake in a loaf pan. Very approachable!
Involved Baking Projects
The following 4 recipes would be fun if you’re baking with older children. I wouldn’t necessarily call any of the recipes “advanced,” but they do require dedicated attention and guidance. All require some chilling or rising time.
- Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts (3 hours, 30 minutes)
- Monkey Bread (3 hours, 20 minutes)
- Apple Hand Pies (3 hours, 15 minutes)
- Gingerbread House (1 day)
Nut Free Recipes
Most of the recipes above are nut free with the exception of recipes for peanut butter baked goods. As always, double check recipe ingredients before starting.
Gluten Free Recipes
Here are all of my published gluten free recipes.
Egg Free Baking Recipes
Here are all of my published egg free baking recipes. Shortbread cookies are a favorite and also fun for little ones to decorate and make their own!
8 Ingredients or Less
If you’re looking to bake a recipe with few ingredients, I have an entire page dedicated to recipes with 8 or fewer ingredients, even some as low as 5 ingredients or less. I include dinners, desserts, breakfast, and snacks. Have fun!
Reader Comments & Reviews
I absolutely love your recipes! I started with the lemon meringue pie recipe and have been hooked since! The lemon curd was phenomenal to say the least. I recommend you to everyone!
Thank you for this post! I baked m&m cookies with my 2 year old daughter & 3 year old son on Friday and I made apple pie strudel squares with just my son today. Both from your cookbook. I agree when both kids are helping premeasuring is very helpful. If just one it’s okay to just slow down and do all the steps together. I have my son wash dishes while I do any cutting necessary (like with the apples). Thank you for sharing your talent with us and not forgetting about the kids!
So glad you and your kids have been enjoying our recipes, Jenna! Happy baking to you all.
My comment is not about this post…although al the suggested recipes look like they would be perfect for kid friendly baking.
I made your pumpkin coffee cake crumb muffins this monring to share with my brother and his wife. Today is his birthday and he is not a big dessert person but loves anything pumpkin so I figured muffins would work. I used the pointy top muffin tin liners to make them a bit more “fancy”.A big plus was that the high side prevent the crumb topping from falling off what can happen with regular liner. That said, I snagged one for my breakfast. This was my first 2021 pumpkin bake and sooooooo worth it. This recipe is so yummy. It has just the right sweetness, is perfectly moist and the crumb topping was perfect. Thanks so much for continuing to develop and post such delicious and guaranteed successful recipes. Please know you are very appreciated.
Thank you so much for your kind note, Nancy. We’re thrilled to hear that the pumpkin muffins were such a hit!
Sally, is there any chance of these recipes going into a cookbook for cooking with kids? My granddaughter loves cooking with me and then teaching her parents so they can “help her” make the recipes at home.
Hi Sherri! I don’t have plans to publish a baking with kids cookbook, but that’s such a wonderful idea for a possible future project. 🙂
I hope it’s something you consider, Sally! My daughter loves baking, but a book would be easier for her to navigate.
Hi Sally! My family is in real panic right now because we are going to have a guest over who is gluten free and dairy free…. Do you have any desserts that would follow that by chance?
Thank you for all your amazing recipes!
Hi Klai, we love these almond butter coconut macaroons!
Ooooooh my goodness this came at the perfect time! My 3yo is just becoming interested in helping out in the kitchen (sometimes) (othertimes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Cocomelon is more tempting), and I cannot wait to share these with her!
Sometimes she and my husband will bake together, and I’m only allowed to supervise and answer questions — do you have any tips for which of these recipes would be good for two inexperienced bakers?
Hi Liz! Definitely muffins. Or a quick bread that doesn’t require any special tools such as pumpkin bread or this Greek yogurt zucchini bread.
And if you’re interested in browsing, here are all of my beginner baking recipes.
My 3 year old’s favorite recipe to help bake is your monkey bread. I wouldn’t say this is only for older kids!
In my opinion, though, all recipes are suitable for baking with kids 🙂 My 3 year old has been helping me bake since he could sit on the counter and “help”. It is a bit harder adding my 1-year old to the “help” now, though.
Donuts are another kid friendly recipe. My grandkids love them.
This is a wonderful post. My 3 girls love baking with me and this will sure give us ideas! Thanks much
Wow, what an awesome post!! My daughter asks to bake every single morning, and this is going to make such an incredible resource. Thanks!!