There’s nothing children love more than feeling helpful, but in many situations, their age, small size, and relative lack of expertise makes them less-than-desirable assistants. While you probably shouldn’t enlist your kids’ help when you’re rewiring a chandelier or finishing your floors, there’s one place in your home where their help can be a serious asset: the kitchen. Instead of picking up some bland, store-bought desserts for your kid’s birthday this year, enjoy some quality time together by making the treats yourself. Check out these easy, kid-friendly desserts for inspiration:
Cake pops: Instead of making massive cupcakes that will give you a sugar high followed by an inevitable crash, make some yummy miniatures by crafting a batch of cake pops with your kids. You can do this two ways: bake a batch of regular cupcakes and cut them down to size, or use an inexpensive cake pop machine to make a perfect batch every time. When they’re cooked, decorate using fondant, frosting, sprinkles, or fun adornments like edible gold leaf, sugar snowflakes, or candy.
Whoopie pies: Turn your kids’ favorite cookies into delicious, decadent desserts by whipping up a batch of whoopie pies. To do so, you can either use pre-made cookies or whip up a batch from your favorite recipe. Once they’ve baked or cooled sufficiently, scoop ice cream between two cookies, shape, and freeze in wax paper for a cool treat. For a more traditional take, whip up a batch of buttercream frosting with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract and spread evenly between the cookies before sandwiching.
Smoothie pops: If you’re a health-conscious parent, smoothie pops are a great way to indulge in some dessert with your kids without going overboard on refined sugar. Whip up a batch of your favorite fruit smoothies and pour them into silicone popsicle molds, allowing them to freeze overnight, letting your kids pull them out of the mold to witness their creation for a fun dessert that’s great on a hot day. If you’re looking to make things a bit more Pinteresty, layer fruit by color and pour in your favorite no-sugar-added juice and freeze for a striped pop.
Ice cream cone cupcakes: Take your cupcakes up a notch by making them in ice cream cones. Let your kid stir together cake batter ingredients and carefully spoon them into a wafer ice cream cone until the batter reaches the inner rim. Bake until golden brown and decorate with frosting, sprinkles, or fresh fruit.
Banana pudding: A southern classic, banana pudding is as easy and fun to make as it is to eat. Make a boxed pudding mix according to directions and let your kids fold in a generous amount of whipped cream, until it reaches a consistency and sweetness you can both agree on. Refrigerate the pudding overnight to firm it up a bit, then let your kids spoon it into Mason jars, layering it with Nilla wafers and banana slices until you reach the top. Refrigerate again until the pudding has soaked into the cookies and voila! A pretty, delicious, and easy dessert that the whole family will love.
Whether you’re a cupcake connoisseur or have a taste for ice cream, making a birthday dessert with your kids will help you save money, enjoy the taste of something homemade, and get your little ones involved in a fun family project that you can work on all together. Say so long to those boxed baked goods and make this birthday one you won’t soon forget.