Toddler Approved Chocolate Cupcakes
My daughter recently received a really great gift from my cousin in the shape of the world’s most beautiful baking set for kids. Upon first seeing it, as she had just unwrapped it, I thought she won’t take interest in it. She had received several gifts at the same time and this one seemed the most child unappealing of all. Much to my surprise, after joyously unwrapping and inspecting every and each gift, she chose the bowl and the spatulas and she started playing with those, over all the other stuff.
A couple of days later, after watching her meticulously and repeatedly pour juice, cereal, pieces of fruit or nuts in the bowl, mixing everything up and pretending to cook, I thought that it’s time to get down to some serious business. We put on our aprons (she’s wearing the one I used to have when I was little), set up her step stool, rolled our sleeves and decided on making chocolate cupcakes together.
Cooking with children is fun. It’s also a great way to encourage them to be independent. Kids have such limited power, that I really believe any chance we can give them to assert their independence and practise their skills within a safe environment is tremendous for their development and happiness.
I wil admit it sometimes feels like a patience test and after we’re done, I’m the one who’s left with cleaning a kitchen that looks like the tasmanian devil raided it, but it really is worth it. It’s fun, it’s rewarding for everyone involved and it gives children such a great confidence boost, that some spilled flour or a couple of melted chocolate chips stuck on the floor seem like nothing.
This recipe is the one that came with the baking set and it is enough to make 6 cupcakes. I chose it over my usual chocolate cupcake recipe, as it doesn’t require a double broiler and everything can be mixed by hand, because I wanted my daughter to play with the mixing and the whisking. You could definitely use a mixer if you like.
Double Chocolate Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
55g/2oz unsalted butter, softened
55g/2oz organic unrefined caster sugar (or any sugar you want to use)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tblsp milk
55g/2oz all purpose flour
2 Tblsp cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Place six cupcake cases in your muffin tray or butter six cases. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar (use a mixer if you like). Mix in the egg, vanilla and milk. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder in and beat until fluffy and soft. Using a spatula and a small spoon, divide the chocolate mixture between the six cupcake cases. Pop in the oven and bake for around 13-15 minutes, until the top is well risen and it springs back when pressed. Allow to cool on a wire rack.Chocolate Frosting
55g/2oz unsalted butter, softened
115g/4oz powdered sugar
2Tblsp cocoa powder
25g/1oz raw cacao nibs (you can chocolate chips instead), optional
Place the softened butter and milk in a bowl and beat together. Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa in, a little at a time and beat well until all the powdered sugar is mixed in. Spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes and decorate with the cocoa nibs or chocolate chips, if using. Eat with your hands, a big mouthful at a time, making sure your whole face is covered in chocolate!
A nice read about cooking with kids available here
Junior Baking Set available here