My kids are newly obsessed with those kid baking competition shows. They watch and think that they can make their very own dream recipe…from scratch. It’s hilarious actually. Of course until they say, “So, mommy, can we go to the store to get the ingredients to make______ (fill in the blank)?”
So what we decided to do this summer was bake something yummy every single week while they’re out on school break. What I agreed to was starting with boxed mixes. While I absolutely LOVE to bake, I’m not exactly thrilled with baking everything from scratch. Especially when it comes to adhering to the food allergy needs of our household. To be honest, baking for my food allergy kiddo can be intimidating at times.
Then there’s Pillsbury to the rescue! I have to tell you all…they are getting good! Eating yummy, allergy-free, home baked goods that doesn’t taste chalky just keeps getting better.
Today I’d like to share with you my tips and tricks for baking with children and more specifically, How to Make Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins with Kids.
We seem to always have some overly ripened bananas hanging out in our kitchen and I ALWAYS have chocolate chips on hand. So we decided to put the two together with our Pillsbury Classic Yellow Cake Mix to make our muffins.
Why didn’t we use a muffin specific mix? It’s simple really…muffins are just cupcakes without frosting, right? I always use Gluten-Free cake mixes for baking all of my son’s muffins. They just taste better and I like that it already has all the “stuff” in it. You know, like 3 different types of Gluten-Free flour, baking soda, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum (what?!). This way I don’t have to drive all around town to the various health food stores to get it all. Those lovely folks at Pillsbury do all the work for me!
Now, onto my No Fuss Tips…
Use Gluten-Free boxed mixes that already have all the goodness inside the mix!
Give older children the “muscle work” of baking. For this recipe, I had my 10 year old do the banana mashing. I showed her how to use the back of the fork to smush the bananas and then mix them up like a puree. She worked those little arm muscles real good!
Give the little ones the job of filling up the cupcake tins with cupcake liners. My 6 year old loves to do this job and truly feels like he is contributing!
This tip is related to allergy-free baking. Not only is my son severely allergic to wheat, peanuts and tree-nuts, he’s also mildly allergic to eggs. Which can be a little tricky when it comes to baking, since eggs make everything beautiful and fluffy! Here is my opinion and tips for substituting eggs while baking. I don’t care for “egg-replacer powder.” It doesn’t seem to actually help with rising the batter to fluffiness. So instead I prefer to use one of 3 things…
- applesauce (1/4 cup per egg)
- banana (1/2 mashed per egg)
- yogurt (1/4 cup per egg)
Since I almost always have these 3 ingredients in my house at all times…it works! For this recipe I decided to go with applesauce. We use cinnamon flavored because we like the added flavor but you might also try unsweetened applesauce for your recipe.
Most children are capable of dumping ingredients into the mixer. So in our house we give each child a chance to dump in an ingredient. They just love to watch as their contribution changes the overall smell and look of the batter. Here’s my 6 year old adding in his Gluten-Free cake mix to start us off!
Give older children the job of measuring. It’s the perfect real life math problem for them to work out and builds their confidence!
My 10 year-old daughter was responsible for measuring and dumping in our chosen egg-replacer, applesauce.
She also added in the mashed up bananas as her little brother looked on.
Discuss the importance of kitchen safety with children of all ages. Give older children the opportunity to turn on the oven and set the timer and let younger children operate the electric mixer (of course with a lesson in keeping hands away from the spinning whisk!).
Here is my 6 year old, locking the mixer and then setting the speed.
Once mixing is complete, little brother adds in his favorite ingredient last…the chocolate chips!
Use an ice cream scoop to fill muffin cups for less mess!
Enjoy yourselves! Try to let messes happen and laugh it off. I still remember teaching my daughter how to crack eggs for breakfast one morning…oh boy it took a lot of patience on my part! These are times that your children will treasure and remember forever.
Pour a glass of milk and enjoy!
Written by About a Mom contributor, Mandy Mae. Mandy is a wife, mother, teacher, and frugal-DIY-enthusiast. Hoping to inspire mothers to take action in making a positive influence in the lives of their children with simple DIY, crafting, thrifting, and teaching projects. You can see more from Mandy Mae on her blog MissMaesDays.com.