Baking Kits for Kids: a Perspective

Every year, I try to fill my kiddo’s holiday and birthday gift list with more experiences and fewer things. Over the last few years, we’ve shared lots of time in the kitchen working our way through different cookbooks and baking kits for kids.

My kiddo loves to cook and bake. On the blog, she has decorated cookies, cut out pastry for strawberry pop tarts, braided challah, and folded chicken empanadas and pot stickers like a pro. She even developed her own recipe for fig bacon jam pasta, which was absolutely delicious.

a baking sheet filled with fish shaped cheese crackers from one of the baking kits for kids

This is not the kitchen of an inexperienced kiddo.

Monthly subscription kits for kids

Of all the cookbooks and baking kits for kids we’ve tried, we’re the biggest fans of the America’s Test Kitchen Young Chef’s Club. Their monthly boxes are themed and contain recipes that aren’t just bland kid pleasers. It’s important to challenge developing palates and minds.

The recent box focused on cheese had a recipe for cheese crackers, homemade ricotta, and a make your own charcuterie plate.

The boxes also include kitchen tools that are kid-sized and functional. Things like rolling pins and whisks that I steal from her drawer when I need something small. And there are games and educational activities that provide a variety of challenges for kids of all ages.

playing cards showing different cheeses and lots of facts about cheeses.

It should be no surprise, however, that I will prioritize taste over appearance. So when I’m thinking about buying cooking or baking kits for kids, I prefer kits where we buy our own ingredients. If we are eating what comes from the baking kit, I mostly want to pay for the time and thought that goes into teaching my kiddo about food in a fun way.

The single box

Of course, if you’re not interested in a monthly commitment of cooking or baking kits for your kids, you can often buy a single box for the occasional project.

The single box worked out perfectly for us when kiddo wanted to build a gingerbread house. Not being a fan of gingerbread, and knowing that we weren’t going to be eating the structure, we bought an Oreo cookie house kit that was built for the reddit 52 weeks of baking challenge week 51: structure.

three images showing the construction and decoration of the oreo cookie house kit.

Choose your own baking adventure

But of course you can do many of these same activities and have all the fun without buying a whole kit. When kiddo asked to have a day of making gingerbread cookies, we chose a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction and decorated them with the royal icing from the same website.

Neither one of us is going pro at cookie decorating. But it’s the experience (and the taste!) that matters most when you spend time in the kitchen with your kids.

four panels of decorated gingerbread cookies.

FAQs about baking kits for kids

Based on what you’ve written, would you buy a monthly cooking or baking subscription for your kiddo again?

I would, and I did, although we probably cook and bake as much from her cookbooks as we do from her monthly boxes.

Which cookbooks for kids would you recommend?

We’ve bought, borrowed, or reviewed probably ten cookbooks for kids. The Test Kitchen Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs and Melissa Clark’s Kid in the Kitchen both have great instruction and variety.

What’s next

If you have any questions about baking kits for your own kids, please leave a comment or send me a note.

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Previous challenges

Week 1: New Year new recipe – blueberry galette
Week 2: seasonal – Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit pound cake
Week 3: Great British Bake Off – Kate’s sticky toffee apple caramel cake
Week 4: Australia – sausage rolls
Week 5: bite sized – bite-sized cookies
Week 6: Chinese New Year – mushroom bao
Week 7: new tool – baguette baker
Week 8: chocolate – chocolate peanut butter bonbons
Week 9: timed bake – under 1 hour! chocolate chip scones
Week 10: allergy/diet restriction – macarons
Week 11: quick breads – kale bread
Week 12: signature bake – purple cow bread
Week 13: enriched breads (kale and cheese babka fail)
Week 14: childhood favorite –fudgy triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting
Week 15: decorating challenge – purple velvet cake
Week 16: crispy crunchy – bacon cheddar popcorn
Week 17: p52 of a favorite cookbook, or your favorite blog – chocolate peanut butter drip cake
Week 18: pâte à choux – bacon cheese puffs
Week 19: veggies turned sweet – red velvet beet waffles
Week 20: plating – mini chocolate chip cookies
Week 21: Birthday Party! – chocolate orange cake
Weed 22: Scandinavian – Swedish apple cake v sourdough apple cake
Week 23: Layers – Pecan apple oat bars (post is pending)
Week 24: Tarts – rainbow fruit tart
Week 25: Bagels and donuts – maple donut cake
Week 26: Surprise inside – surprise heart yeast bread (pending)
Week 27: Local favorite – Rainier cherry crisp
Week 28: Seasonal ingredients – blackberry lemon bread
Week 29: French dessert – peanut butter banana clafoutis (a classic with non-classic flavors!)
Week 30: Savory baking – Ooni pizza dough recipe
Week 31: Unusual ingredient – juniper lime drizzle cake
Week 32: Gelatin (homemade marshmallows) and 33: Picnic – peanut butter Rice Krispie treats
Week 34: Brunch – spinach and feta muffins
Week 35: Laminated dough – puff pastry cinnamon twists
Week 36: Friendship challenge – chocolate chip marshmallow cookie bars
Week 37: Sweet and salty – salted caramel chip chocolate cookies
Week 38: Decoration challenge – royal icing
Week 39: Buns and biscuits – challah buns
Week 40: West Indies – mini banana muffins with coconut
Week 41: Pantry challenge – chocolate chip pound cake
Week 42: Celebrity or tread – ube crinkle cookies
Week 43: No oven – salted caramel pudding
Week 44: Diwali – rose syrup for burfi and a rose syrup French 75
Week 45: Fairy tale, novel, or TV – Miracle Max’s Miracle pill (coffee truffles)
Week 46: Alternative sweetener – pretzel bread (barley malt syrup and honey)
Week 47: Pie – apple and blackberry pie
Week 48: Curd and puddings – blackberry curd tart
Week 49: Russia – Russian rye bread
Week 50: Yeast – Nutella babka

Next week: Nemesis

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