Can’t Bake, Won’t Bake.

IMG_8679Ok, brace yourselves for this bombshell, but I have never baked with my almost-four-year-old son. In all 46 months of his life, I have not once got out the flour and rolling pin, made any kind of cake mixture or even attempted to cut out cutesy-wootsy cookie shapes together. I can almost hear the gasps as I write this. Bad mother, I know.

We’ve done loads of other things together, most of which seem to centre around his inherent desire to climb and jump. But never cooking, baking or anything else kitcheny that ends in ‘ing’. He’s never been that interested in it and usually just wants to throw things or smear them on places they shouldn’t be (you can imagine how often we get the paint and glitter out in our house).

But my Facebook newsfeed is often strewn with ‘3 Simple Recipes to Bake with your Child’ type posts and suddenly I started wondering – what if my lack of baking might stunt his emotional growth and ability to connect with others, therefore limiting the capacity to hold down any meaningful relationships and quite possibly damage him for life? OK, probably not, but this weekend, I did think, “what the hell, let’s give it a go” – and so we did.

Having done this once, I of course now consider myself a baking expert, so here is my guide to baking at home with your child:

1. Spend an hour arguing with your child in order to convince him that baking with mummy will be fun.

2. Convince him that cooking naked (him, not me) is not a sensible decision and spend another half hour trying to get some damn clothes on the child.

3. Spend the next 20 minutes debating the importance of washing your hands before cooking. If all else fails, drag child to bathroom, wash hands and ignore the urge to wonder why the hell you are bothering to instigate these baking shenanigans in the first place.

4. Having weighed out all ingredients, get child to tip each one into the mixing bowl, whilst explaining why he can’t eat a lump of butter or stir the mixture with Spiderman’s leg.

5. Allow your child to crack the eggs and show him how to gently prise the shell apart with his thumbs and drop the egg into the bowl. Fight the urge to yell, “Stop, you’re getting shell everywhere!” and remember to praise his efforts, whilst digging out said pieces of shell from the mixture.

6. After another argument with your child over who should start the stirring of the mixture, encourage him to gently stir the ingredients together. Remind yourself that having cake batter flicked all over your kitchen walls and your new kettle is the sign of a happy home.

7. Once {what’s left of} the mixture is the right consistency, show your child how to carefully spoon it into each paper-cup-cake-holder-thingy.

8. Realise that you are actually somewhat of a control freak when it comes to cooking and there’s a reason that you’ve never baked with him before – because it’s jolly annoying when he smears the cake mix everywhere but the cake paper cup thingies and it takes every ounce of self-restraint not to rip the spoon out of his hands and finish the job properly yourself.

9. Pop the mixture into the over. It is vital at this stage that your child changes in to his Buzz Lightyear costume, to ensure the even cooking of the cupcakes.

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10. Once cooked, allow cakes to cool. When your child begs to hold one, despite you telling him it’s still too hot and then proceeds to drop it on the floor; implement three-second-rule, brush it off and set that one aside for daddy.

11. Ice (ready-made Betty Crocker, of course), serve and enjoy the fruits of your labour whilst listening to the sound of your children argue over who got the biggest cupcake. Beautiful.

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You Baby Me Mummy

11 thoughts on “Can’t Bake, Won’t Bake.

  1. Thanks for this really fun to read blog. Well tried Crumbs but think baking not in your genes! Think you might have more success with Little Monkey. Have always found baking a great trial and it never seemed to ‘ catch on ‘ in our house. Try your luck on Shrove Tuesday with this.
    Buy 1 packed of ready made pancakes, stick them in clean dry pan and let both monkeys ‘toss and catch’.to their hearts content. Have a few pancakes spare for warming in microwave, spread with jam and eat. A Shrove Tuesdat success.! This tip to keep you going until next baking session.. EASTER Cakes?

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  2. So true, it’s not easy to let go whike cake batter is going over the kitchen. My 2 tips would be: 1. Cook on a separate table (a low child’s table or even base of a chair if they’re very young) and only give them what they need for each step. Helps keep the mess contained and means they’re not irritating you by fiddling with/getting distracted by all sorts of things/ingredients on your worktop that they shouldn’t. Use silicone cupcake cases because they are much easier for young kids to fill; I find the paper ones just get stuck to the spoon and then it all goes everywhere. They came out great and Buzz looked pretty happy So I say result, even if you needed a glass of wine! #TheList Over from http://www.cookwithtoddlers.com/community

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  3. hannah mum's days says:

    Ha! This is hilarious! totally spot on. I don’t blame you for not baking with your son. Whenever I start I always wish I hadn’t!!! I LOVE that photo of Buzz post baking. It certainly makes it all worthwhile 🙂
    Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

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