The smell of old leftovers.
The sound of a 3-year-old giggling.
Two things that I didn’t want to experience while trying to sleep.
“Mommy! I build a cake!”
He gets into these baking moods every once in a while. It doesn’t usually hit at 4 o’clock in the morning. And this is definitely the first time that he has tried to incorporate leftover noodles into his baking.
For clarity sake, to him, ‘baking’ means stirring in a bowl. So he was only stirring the noodles…in my room…by my head…at 4 o’clock in the morning.
I got everything cleaned up and put him back to bed with the promise of baking later that day. I didn’t scold him. I WANT my kids to cook and bake. I have made life skills an important part of our schooling and I really don’t ever want to kill the spirit of a child. That’s why I homeschool, to keep that wonderful curious spirit intact. So after we both got a little more sleep, we baked a cake.
I keep mixes on hand in case he gets in these moods. From my experience with the other two, 3-5 year-olds don’t always have the best attention span for making things from scratch. We use mixes.
Added an extra egg, used milk instead of water, butter instead of oil (double the amount when you do this), and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Plus sprinkles. You have to have sprinkles.
And when you add sprinkles, it becomes a rainbow cake. Rainbow cakes taste better. Ask any 3-5 year-old.
I also use frosting in a tub. I don’t recommend the frosting from Aldi’s though. No amount of extra stuff could make that taste better. I added powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Eventually, I had to add pink food coloring because it’s fun and it makes it taste better. Ask any 3-5 year-old.
He helped crack the eggs (into a separate bowl so I can get the shells out), added the milk, butter, and vanilla after I measured them, and of course, he stirred it all. He also tried to add the sprinkles but had difficulty shaking them out. Once the cake was out of the oven and cooled, he frosted it and demanded sprinkles for the top.
I wish I could say it was the best cake I ever had.
I wish I could say that everyone in the family enjoyed eating our rainbow cake.
But I can’t. I can’t because I left Daddy in charge of watching him while I took a nap. He ate 75% of the cake and crumbled the rest in the pan.
I have it on very good authority that “Mommy’s cake, delicious!”.
I did scold him for that. He should have at least waited until everyone had a piece. Just another reason why I was justified using a boxed mix. I would have cried if we had made that from scratch.
Another trick to baking with preschoolers, aluminum pans. If that had been in my Pyrex, he could have pulled it off the table and onto his precious little piggies. Then only the dog would have had cake.
I buy those in bulk via Amazon. 30 for $17. Affiliate link below.
Aluminum Pans, Half Size Deep, 9×13 Pans (30 Pack)
Baking with preschoolers is always fun because you never know what they are going to do. But as long as you remember the sprinkles, it’ll be fun.
Then you get a great grin like this one.