Baking with Toddlers: Muffin Edition


I am the Queen of Carbs. I love to bake and I’ve been involving my kids in the process since my older son was a baby. We mostly bake cookies, muffins, bread, and cakes, and this is our favorite muffin recipe. It started as a blueberry doughnut recipe that my mom found and shared with me (I know! DOUGHNUTS! It’s a really good recipe). She suggested making it into muffins for my older son who was about one and a half at the time.

Long story short, these are the easiest, most delicious, most adaptable muffins ever! I make them multiple times a month and this is the recipe that I use now. It’s an extremely simple recipe and you can add or substitute most of the ingredients with ease. For example, the yogurt can be switched out for applesauce or pumpkin puree if you’re feeling feisty in the fall and Pinterest has all kinds of ideas for sugar substitutions (including ratios and quantities) if sugar is not your jam. So, without further ado, here is the recipe:

1 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp ground flax seed

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup milk of your choice (I use almond milk or flax seed milk)

1 cup of fruit of your choice (I’ve used fresh berries, frozen berries, dried cranberries, chopped apples)

Combine dry ingredients, stir in wet ingredients, and then add the fruit (told you it was easy).

Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes.

Now here are my top 3 tips for involving your kids in the baking process:

  • Get on their level. Set yourself up at the kitchen table or on another low surface where they can watch and be involved without you having to worry about them falling off the counter or finding all the fun knives.
  • Give them specific jobs based on their skill level and your stress level. For example, I measure all the ingredients and my 4 year old pours. I can trust him not to dump a cup of flour on the floor and he gets to be involved in every step of the process, which he loves. My three year old’s special job is to distribute the muffin liners in the tin because he cannot be trusted not to dump the entire bag of flour on the floor. You know your kids. Do not make this harder on yourself by imagining Kids’ Baking Championship winners where they do not yet exist.
  • Clean up as you go! This is a good life skill to teach your kids as well as something that will help keep the mess to a minimum when little hands are involved. For example, we add the flour and sugar and immediately put the large containers away so I don’t have to worry about them being accidentally knocked off the table. I learned this one the hard way.

There you have it! Baking with your kids can be fun and educational, and at the very least there is a delicious muffin waiting for you when the dishes are done.