Baking Class: 50 Fun Recipes Kids will Love to Bake, written by Deanna F. Cook, features a variety of sweet and savory baking recipes created for young cooks. A few highlights include Pumpkin Patch Muffins, Sweet Cinnamon Rolls, Coconut Macaroons, Dig in the Dirt Pie, and Mini Strawberry Shortcakes. I will also be sharing her recipe for Perfect Pie Crust following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Storey Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and statements are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Deanna F. Cook
Deanna F. Cook is a children’s book author and acquisitions editor for Storey Publishing. She has written many award-winning cookbooks for kids including Cooking Class and Cooking Class: Global Feast. Deanna is currently based in western Massachusetts.
Baking Class begins with an overview of basic baking skills and safety to get started in the kitchen. Deanna has even put together a guide to prep work, baking vocabulary, tools, and ingredients with photos to better understand the recipes.
I especially love the different layouts between the recipes made to inspire creativity with mix and match toast toppers, bread art with turtles and an octopus, pie crust designs, different ways to decorate cookies, and more.
The chapters are divided according to the following: Welcome to Baking Class, Good Morning Treats, Crackers & Quick Breads, The Bread Bakery, The Cookie Jar, Save Room for Pie, and Cake & Cupcake Factory. The contents have a list of the recipes in each chapter with page numbers for easy reference.
At the end of the book, there are a few bonus activities to add even more fun such as stickers and labels, design stencils, gift tags, cookie cutter templates, and bake sale signs.
Each of the recipes are accompanied by a rolling pin symbol to show skill level from 1-3. One rolling pin is for the easiest of recipes which can be created without an oven. Two rolling pins are a little more difficult and may require the help of a parent or older sibling or an understanding of oven safety. Three rolling pins are for the most difficult recipes with the use of sharp knives, electric mixer or food processor, and the oven.
The photography is provided by Carl Tremblay. Every single recipe has step-by-step photos paired with easy to follow instructions in large print. Measurements are listed in US Customary. Titles are written in English. Each recipe has a headnote with basic tips, oven temperature, skill level, and serving size.
Perfect Pie Crust
The kids enjoyed everything they tried from the book, but Claire asked to feature the Perfect Pie Crust for the review! She especially loved how easily the dough came together using simply the food processor.
Flour, sugar, and salt are pulsed together a couple of times in the food processor, followed by cubes of cold butter to create a sandy texture. Ice water is slowly added until the dough comes together. The dough is then divided in half, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 days until ready to use.
To help create that light and flaky texture, use cold butter and ice water. Take care not to overwork the dough. You want to pulse the mixture just until combined.
Claire used the pie crusts as the base for Toaster-Oven Tarts, but Baking Class also has a whole chapter on pie with other recipes such as My First Blueberry Pie and Teeny Tiny Apple Pies.
The kids also made Toaster-Oven Tarts, Fancy French Breakfast Treats, Garlic Bread Sticks, and Cocoa Cake-in-a-Mug.
After preparing the Perfect Pie Crust, Claire used it as the base to make Toaster-Oven Tarts. These rectangular tarts are filled with strawberry (or raspberry) jam, baked until golden, and topped with a sweet glaze.
The Fancy French Breakfast Treats were another favorite. A basic muffin batter is baked until golden, then dipped in melted butter and a cinnamon sugar mixture for the topping.
The Garlic Bread Sticks came together with only 4 ingredients. A baguette is cut into slices, then topped with melted garlic butter and shredded Parmesan cheese. They are baked for a few minutes until lightly toasted.
It has apparently been a while since I have made a mug cake, because both kids were completely fascinated with the idea of making cake in a single mug and cooking in the microwave. It was such a fun and easy activity! Deanna has also included stencils to top the cakes with different designs using powdered sugar.
Baking Class is a great pick for young cooks. With those between the ages of 8-12 in mind, the instructions are easy to follow with plenty of step-by-step photos and additional activities spread across the pages. There is a nice variety of sweet and savory recipes for every skill level.
Nearly all the ingredients are easy to locate in the average American grocery store.
Perfect Pie Crust Recipe
Excerpt from Baking Class
Perfect Pie Crust
- 3 cups (375 grams) flour
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 226 grams) cold butter cut into small pieces
- 8-10 tablespoons (120-150 milliliters) ice water
- Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse once or twice to mix it up.
- Add the butter, and mix in short pulses until it looks sandy.
- Sprinkle with the ice water and process in pulses until the dough starts to come together. It should still be slightly crumbly.
- Divide the dough in half, and place on sheets of plastic wrap. Pat each half into a ball, gathering up all the crumbs.
- Flatten each ball into a thick disk. Wrap the disks in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes (or up to 2 days).
- Before using the dough, let it soften slightly at room temperature. Roll it out between two pieces of plastic wrap, following the directions for the recipe you are using it for.