Entertaining kids can be a slog at times, especially with good old English weather. Autumn half term in particular can be a trying week for parents who want to keep the nippers happy, but don’t want to be spending a fortune on days out or to get caught out in the inevitable bad weather. There’s only so much daytime kids TV anybody can take, so we need to get creative if we are to keep the monsters occupied without breaking the bank.
Baking with kids is a great pastime in the colder school holidays. It keeps them entertained, it doesn’t cost much, they learn a bit about cooking and you get to eat cakes and treats at the end of it. Winner!
We all know kids love to have their own tools for whatever task they’re turning their little hands to, and Mason Cash have come up with the delightful kids baking sets. Available in blue or pink, these gorgeous sets make great presents for kids who love to be in the kitchen, and they are a fantastic way of getting them involved and helping out, safe in the knowledge that they have their very own baking kit.
The Gingerbread Baking Set includes a gorgeous pastel blue bowl, with embossed gingerbread men around the outside, a mini rolling pin and wooden spoon and a gingerbread cookie cutter. The Fairy Cake baking set includes a pink bowl, with embossed fairies in place of the gingerbread men, a miniature silicone spatula and reusable silicone cupcake cases. These cute kids’ mixing bowls are crafted to the exact same standard as the iconic Mason Cash cane mixing bowl, with fun twists to make them even more appealing to the little ones. The heavy earthenware clay helps make sure the bowl doesn’t slip during mixing, while the size is perfect for small hands to keep hold of and get the job done properly.
If you need a good, easy recipe for the kids to follow, why not try one of the following:
350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
175g/6oz light soft brown sugar
1 free-range egg
4 tbsp golden syrup
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfim and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. When cooled decorate with the writing icing and cake decorations.
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g unrefined golden caster sugar
100g self raising white flour
For the icing:
100g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3.
Whisk together the butter, eggs and vanilla extract.
Add the sugar and flour and mix until well blended.
Spoon the mixture into your baking cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden on top. Insert the tip of a knife into the cakes and it should come away clean if they are ready.
Allow to cool on a rack. Once cooled draw a sharp knife, slightly in at an angle around the top so you cut a little section away. Cut it in half to make wings.
To make the icing, slightly warm the butter to soften and add the icing sugar a little at a time until all of the icing sugar is incorporated.
Spoon the icing onto each cake, making sure to place the wings at angles into the butter icing. Dot the sprinkles over each cake.