Though Valentine’s Day certainly has romantic connotations, it’s not just for adults. Kids love the holiday and celebrate by spreading the love in their own way (i.e. glitter…everywhere). This year, get the littlest members of your family involved with Valentine’s Day baking with kids. They’ll love spending time with you in the kitchen cooking up treats to enjoy themselves or share with loved ones or classmates. Read on for some tips for baking with kids, some fabulous tools to make your treats feel even more special, and of course some recipes to try out with the kiddos.
Tips for Valentine’s Day Baking with Kids
If the idea of getting your kitchen messy just for a few misshapen heart-shaped cookies doesn’t sound like your cup of hot chocolate, then it’s time to reframe your thinking. Even the smallest children can get involved if you break up the steps into age-appropriate, kid-sized tasks. And there are ways to share a memorable experience without needing to call in a professional clean-up crew:
- Look through a cookbook with pictures or favorite recipe site and have them help you pick out something to make. Kids loving having a sense of ownership over their projects
- Put a plastic placemat or even old newspaper down under your mixing bowls to catch the inevitable stray ingredients and make for easier clean-up.
- Pre-measure the ingredients and let your kids dump them into the mixing bowl (depending on their age they can do it themselves or you can guide their hand).
- Give kids a wooden spoon and let them stir. Sure, they may get a little overzealous and some flour may fly out of the bowl, but things like that are important teachable moments (and make for happy memories). How else will they learn?
- Alternately, give your kids their own set of tools and ingredients to play around with. While you are making the real recipe, they can work on their own concoction alongside you.
Valentine’s Day Baking with Kids Recipe Ideas
With the right baking tools, you can turn any favorite recipe into a Valentine’s Day treat. Snag some special items like heart-shaped cookie cutters, bundt pans, pie dishes, cakelet pans, Dutch ovens, and more. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite V-Day appropriate recipes that are fun to make (and eat) with your kids:
You can put pretty much anything in a heart-shaped pan and call it a wrap when it comes to Valentine’s Day, but this special bundt cake is truly festive. Red velvet gives it that rich, irresistible flavor and dark red color. This is a great recipe to make with kids because it’s super simple (thanks to our red velvet cake mix) and uses the stand mixer, which little ones tend to love. Though a heart-shaped bundt pan will certainly thrill the kids, any bundt pan will work and still provide the magic of flipping it and revealing your masterpiece within.
If a member of your family has Celiac’s or gluten intolerance, baking can seem more like a frustrating proposition than a fun one. But these jam-filled linzer cookies are made with rice flour, oat flour, and buckwheat flour so are totally gluten-free. They are fabulous regardless of the shape, but our heart-shaped linzer cookie cutters make them even more loveable.
As parents, we always want the best for our kids – especially when it comes to what goes in their bodies. Which is why this naturally pink glaze is so awesome. Made with beet juice instead of artificial red dye, it gives you one less thing to worry about – and is a fun project to take on with kids as well! Beet juice is an incredible, vibrant natural dye and the kids will get a kick out of seeing their white icing turn a pretty shade of pink (you can assure them that your sweets will not taste like beets). Drizzle on cakes or sugar cookies for a fantabulous Valentine’s Day treat.
Pizza for Valentine’s Day? You bet! Simply take your favorite pizza recipe and shape it into a heart instead of a circle, and you’ve got one of the kid-friendliest Valentine’s Day foods around. The kids will love helping to make their own dough, and when they see that heart-shaped pizza come out of the oven, they’ll know just how much you love them. For an extra special touch cut pepperoni into heart shapes as well.