The Ultimate Kids’ Baking Book: 60 Easy & Fun Dessert Recipes for Every Holiday, Birthday, Milestone and More, written by Tiffany Dahle, features a variety of fun and seasonal recipes perfect for the fledgling baker. A few highlights include Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sweet and Smooth Strawberry Jam Sauce, Apple Cider Donuts, Sticky Pudding Trifle Parfaits, and Witch’s Cauldron Brownie Bites. I will also be sharing her recipe for Reindeer Munch following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Page Street 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.
Tiffany Dahle is the founder of the cooking blog, Peanut Blossom. Her work has been featured in Country Living, Parents, Woman’s Day, and Buzzfeed. She is also the author of The Ultimate Kids’ Cookbook and is currently based in Charlotte, North Carolina with her two daughters.
The Ultimate Kids’ Baking Book
Chapters are divided according to theme: Becoming Bakers, Baking School, Sprinkle Party Time, Spring Parties, Summer Celebrations, Fall Fiesta, Winter Festivities, and How to Be a Party Pro. You will also find a helpful holiday index with a list of the recipes for easy reference.
Tiffany begins with inspirational notes to young bakers and their parents. Before getting to the recipes, she includes guides on how to stock a kitchen, safety tips, helpful equipment (including different types of pans), and when to ask for help. There is even a section devoted to sprinkles and decoration tips (Claire’s favorite part of any baking project- if there is a way to add sprinkles, she will find it). I especially love the attention to detail and clear, concise directions. Following the recipes are even more tips on presentation, parties, gift giving, and holiday fun.
Tiffany also provided the photography. Every single recipe is accompanied by at least one full-page photo of the finished treat. You will also find step-by-step photos demonstrating the techniques for creating the Ginormous Elegant Elephant Ears, Epic Chocolate Layer Cake, and decorating tips. Measurements are listed in US Customary and Metric. Each recipe begin with a headnote highlighting personal stories, yield, notes, and helpful tips. They also have one or more of the following icons for easy reference: Be Careful! (hot ingredients in a step or two), Chill It! (needs time in the fridge to set or cool), Make it Ahead! (can be made a day or two in advance), and Take It Along! (perfect for taking on the go).
The Ultimate Kids’ Baking Book is a great pick for those looking for fun baking projects with their children. The clear, exact instructions are perfect for older children to follow. My daughter is four, but she still loved how much she was able to do on her own with just a bit of guidance. The recipes are on the sweet side with plenty of options for cakes, cupcakes, doughnuts, snacks, pies, bars, and more. Most of the ingredients are readily available in an average American grocery store.
To go along with the review, I am sharing Tiffany’s recipe for Reindeer Munch! The kids were immediately drawn to this recipe for its festive inclusion of holiday sprinkles and M&M’s along with plenty of their favorite treats.
Popped popcorn, Rice Chex, pretzel twists, and cashews are combined in a large, resealable plastic bag. Peanut butter and salted butter are melted in the microwave and poured over the mixture. Then comes Evan and Claire’s favorite part. After each addition, the bag is sealed and shaken to combine the ingredients. After fully coating in the peanut butter, sprinkles are added and shaken, followed by the powdered sugar. The mixture is transferred to a large bowl and red/green M&M’s are folded in for a final touch.
Tiffany mentions that this sweet and salty snack mix is perfect for a Christmas movie marathon or can even be used as a homemade gift by wrapping in clear bags tied with a pretty ribbon.
We also made the Giant Birthday Cookie Cake, Sprinkle-Dipped Crispy Treats, Red Velvet Donuts with Cream Cheese Glaze, and Mini Monkey Bread Muffins.
Claire decided she wanted to make Chad’s birthday cake this year and chose this Giant Birthday Cookie Cake. The cookie cake is studded with white chocolate chips and rainbow sprinkles, then baked until golden. Once cooled, she decorated the top with the Sweet Buttercream Frosting (tinted blue- his favorite color). She even made a flower before covering the cake with lots of additional sprinkles.
The Sprinkle-Dipped Crispy Treats were another favorite. After forming the rice crispy treats and allowing to cool, they are cut into squares, dipped into melted candy melts, then topped with sprinkles. We followed the tip to insert paper straws into each of the squares to make pops.
We are big fans of baked doughnuts (see my Cookies and Cream Doughnuts and Baked Funfetti Doughnuts) and I loved seeing such a variety in The Ultimate Kids’ Baking Book. The buttermilk-based batter with a hint of chocolate is piped or spooned into prepared donut pans and baked until set. Once cooled, they are topped with a cream cheese glaze and sprinkles. These would also be a fun treat for Christmas morning.
The Mini Monkey Bread Muffins was the only recipe we made that didn’t include sprinkles (that didn’t stop Claire from adding a pinch to a couple of them while I wasn’t looking though)! We usually start Christmas morning with some cinnamon rolls and this is a fun, easy variation. Refrigerated cinnamon rolls are cut into pieces, shaken in a bag (another favorite part) with even more cinnamon sugar, divided among muffin tins, and drizzled with melted butter and brown sugar. They are baked until golden and topped with a delicious cream cheese glaze.
Reindeer Munch Recipe
Excerpt from The Ultimate Kids’ Baking Book
- 3 cups (30 g) popped popcorn
- 4 cups (108 g) Rice Chex cereal or similar product
- 1 cup (64 g) pretzel twists
- 1/2 cup (70 g) roasted cashews
- 2/3 cup (173 g) peanut butter or your favorite nut or seed butter
- 3 tablespoons (42 g) salted butter
- 2-3 tablespoons (20-30 g) holiday sprinkles
- 2 cups (240 g) powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup (150 g) red and green M&M's
- Place the popcorn, cereal, pretzels and cashews into a gallon-size (3.8 L) resealable plastic bag. Set aside.
- Place the peanut butter and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 20 seconds and use oven mitts to remove the bowl for stirring. Continue to heat in 20-second sessions and stir until the mixture is melted and smooth.
- Pour the peanut butter mixture over the popcorn mixture, seal the bag and gently shake to coat everything in peanut butter.
- Open the bag and add a few tablespoons (20 to 30 g) of sprinkles, seal the bag and shake again.
- Open the bag and add the powdered sugar, seal the bag and shake again.
- Pour the snack mixture into a serving bowl and gently stir in the M&M's.