A DAY FOR BAKING: CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
“Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can!”
She spotted the delicious-looking cupcakes while we were reading this morning and my daughter decided it was time to do some baking. She ran to the kitchen, climbed up in her learning tower, and said ‘bake cupcakes!’. So, I will share our favorite chocolate cupcake recipe as well as some tips on baking with your little one.
What I love about this recipe is that it is simple - we can make everything by hand. There is no need for an electric mixer which makes it perfectly safe for little ones and gives them more independence and control in the process.
I would recommend checking your mixing bowls to make sure your little one can easily access them when standing in their learning tower. For mixing the wet ingredients, use a bowl with a handle to make pouring easier for your little one. If you don’t have a bowl with a handle, a lightweight pitcher can do the trick! Child-sized kitchen tools are a bonus, but a standard-sized whisk and spoon work too.
Chocolate Cupcakes - this recipe makes six standard-sized cupcakes.
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup oil
- 2 tsp. of vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk
Let’s get started!
Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. I like to give my daughter smaller spoons so she can have more scooping practice- as she rarely wants to scoop just one time! Just make sure to keep a mental note of how much has been added! (I usually give a tablespoon instead of a cup measurer and just remember 1 cup is about 16 tablespoons!)
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and milk. I like to let my daughter crack the eggs into a small separate bowl or cup, that way if the shells go in, it’s easy for her (or me!) to fish them out. I also like this recipe because it calls for two eggs, if she’s feeling unsure about cracking eggs that day I can do the first one to model for her!
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir. Once mixed thoroughly, spoon the mixture into the greased cupcake tin or line the tin with cupcake liners. This is a great way for children to practice one-to-one correspondence as they scoop into each cup, it also gives them some critical thinking practice as they try to fill each cup equally.
Place in a preheated oven (175°C). Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool before frosting or serving. Baking together with your little one also gives you the opportunity to teach about safety around the oven and for children to learn their limits as well as their abilities.
This recipe is really so simple and gives our little ones so many opportunities on sensory, practicing practical life and fine motor skills. As my daughter scoops the baking soda or cocoa powder she loves finding the clumps and crushing them in her fingers. It’s so important to remember to let these moments of learning and exploration happen according to your little one’s timeline- don’t interrupt their focus! It really is amazing watching their little minds working!
As this recipe does call for a typical amount of sugar, I usually give my daughter either a quarter or a half of a cupcake. For more healthy baking recipes look for our upcoming article! We at Góc Montessori hope you found this article and recipe helpful! Enjoy making and eating those cupcakes!
For further tips on using the learning tower effectively, please check out our other blog articles titled:
>> Products mentioned in this article: learning tower