Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Children's Baking Book

I received a review copy of THE CHILDREN'S BAKING BOOK from Dorling Kindersley this week. I cannot keep enough kids' cookbooks in the library. The kids love them and they are often checked out. My challenge is finding cookbooks with things that kids can actually make on their own. At first glance, this one looked like a great one.

Each recipe is on one two-page spread. The set-up of each spread is the same--a large photo of the item to be made, a list of ingredients and tools and step by step instructions paired with photos. There is also information for some recipe variations for each recipe. Recipes are usually 5-7 steps. The recipes are easy enough for kids to try but not so simple that they don't take some work. Included in the book are cookies, doughs, cakes and pastries. The first few pages give some tips on how to use the book and each section includes a section-specific page of tips. The directions are written simply and clearly and the photos help with the explanations.
(The only thing that is a little tricky is the fancy cursive font used in the ingredients and tools list.)

I gave the cookbook to my 10 year old last night. She woke up this morning wanting to bake. We told her that she needed to pick something she could do on her own. She has never baked anything completely on her own but she bakes with me once in a while and she has attended some great baking camps at our local bakery, OUR CUPCAKERY. So, she has a bit of experience. When she began putting sticky notes on all of the recipes she wanted to try, we laughed--there were more marked than unmarked. And I had to agree--there were many recipes that I want to try. These are definitely recipes meant for people of all ages.

Ana chose to make "Simple Sponge Cake". We agreed on the recipe but I knew she would need a bit of help. As I said, the directions are simple, but not easy. Patience in waiting for the cake to cool before she could add the filling was the biggest problem she had. Really, I didn't have to help much at all. Measuring the butter, and a few little things were all that were needed. And the cake was beautiful and delicious! (But I must admit, I didn't let her use my new mixer...)

I love this cookbook. I think I am going to have to purchase another one so that we have one at home and we have one in the library for the kids at school. I think Ana will be making lots of the recipes in the book and I feel confident that she can do them on her own AND they'll be things we can all enjoy. If I can talk her into the pizza dough, maybe she can start making dinner once in a while.

This is a great book. Great recipes and she knew that she made something good--not a little kid recipe. She worked hard but made something that we all enjoyed. Enough sophistication to the recipes with enough support for kids her age to be able to be successful. A perfect combination!


  1. Franki, please save me a piece! Yum. Thanks for the review. Jr. would love to try cooking on his own.

  2. I have a wee chef as well and she would love this book. I like that it sounds like real recipes and not kid snacks with just a few ingredients. I can't keep cookbooks on the shelf at my school either so this should be on my Fall order. Thanks for a great review and yummy pictures.

  3. If Ana ever needs a taste tester, I'd be more than happy to help!!


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