Baking Vegan Muffins with My Toddler
When Wriggly and I made gluten-free vegan muffins, she was very much in charge. I only had to help a tiny bit.
Baking with toddlers is messy business. It’s a bit like having a tornado in your kitchen. You start with a reasonably tidy space and you end with a room that is barely recognisable: the sink is overflowing with utensils your toddler used to stir the dough, whether they were needed or not (11 spoons, 3 whisks, 7 spatulas, anyone?), your feet get stuck in place (sugar spillage!), every single cupboard door is covered in fingerprints and the toddler desperately needs a bath. Sounds like hell, but you know what? It’s fun, it teaches your toddler to follow simple instructions and it’s a great way to put their fine motor skills to the test.
10 Tips for Baking with Toddlers:
- Go with a quick and simple recipe you’ve tried before.
- Things will take more time than if you were doing it all on your own. Be patient, learning takes time.
- Give them instructions as they are doing it all and be as descriptive as you can. It will teach them the vocabulary for basic cooking skills, measures and ingredients.
- Embrace the mess and the chaos.
- Make it fun and enjoy the whole thing as well.
- Let them be in charge and keep reminding yourself they can do a lot more than you think.
- Provided you guide them and watch their every move, they should be able to do most of it, including chopping, grating, stirring, pouring or cracking eggs.
- Teach them about safety in the kitchen. They should stay away from the oven, never put little fingers near blades, or touch the hob. The earlier they learn and safety is drilled, the least likely it is they will injure themselves.
- Praise, praise, praise their efforts!
- Let them try the food as soon as it’s ready, even if it’s not time for a snack. There’s nothing like tasting what you’ve baked yourself.
Ready to bake with toddlers yet?
When we baked these vegan muffins, Wriggly and I had a couple of hours to ourselves and she was pretty poorly, but she loved baking chocolate muffins her sister could eat.
Check out her baking skills:
Those little vegan muffins went down a treat with the whole family, and I kept half of them to make allergy-friendly cake pops the next day. They were perfect for that too!
Gluten-free Vegan Muffins
These vegan chocolate muffins are quick and easy to put together. You can whip them up in minutes yourself, or bake them with toddlers.
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds
- 60 g gluten-free vegan chocolate (I used Moo Free)
- 185 ml coconut milk
- 65 g dairy-free spread (I used Pure Sunflower)
- 150 g gluten-free self-raising flour (I used The Free From Fairy)
- 90 g demerara sugar
- 25 g cacao powder
Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 (180º C / 350º F).
Blend the flax seeds to a fine powder. In a small bowl, mix the powdered chia seeds with 6 tablespoons water. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Roughly chop the chocolate and melt.
Place all ingredients to the blender and blitz until smooth. Scrape the sides of the blender and blend for another 10 seconds to ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Scoop the dough into a muffin pan lined with cupcake cases. Use an ice cream scoop to get the perfect quantity every time.
After 15 to 18 minutes, the muffins should be ready. Simply insert a knife in the middle of one of the muffins. It should come out fairly dry. These muffins taste a lot better slightly undercooked (fudge-like) than overcooked.
Leave to cool and enjoy!