For anybody gasping in horror at the idea of buying ready-to-use sponge cake mixes, just let me give you a quick rundown of the advantages when cooking with a toddler : (1) if you buy the supermarket own brand value range, they only cost about 25p a bag (2) it means you can get straight on to the cooking part without rummaging around for ingredients while an impatient toddler is causing havoc in the kitchen ! (3) it means your toddler can cook "all by themselves" and feel very grown up (4) you only need to add one egg and water so it's perfect for a last minute rainy day activity when you haven't got much in the crafts cupboard. Convinced yet? Well, I am so that good enough for me !
Just snip the top off the bag, give it to your toddler to empty the contents in a bowl, add a few spoonfuls of water and - if you're feeling really brave - put an egg into their little hand. I am always amazed at how perfectly 3-year-old Pierre can crack an egg without getting any shell into the mix !
I always like to add a little something to jazz it up if using the sponge mix to make fairy cakes. This time, we added these Sweetened Dried Cherries that I found in the baking aisle at Lidl and some white chocolate chips. Sometimes we add a little food colouring to make different coloured cakes !
I always used to balk at the idea of letting the kids lick the spoon with raw egg on it, then I remembered how much I used to love doing it when I was little. They haven't got sick yet and Juliette always licks the spoon, the bowl, the drips on the baking tray and anything else she can get her hands on !
Mix up the batter, add any extra ingredients, plop it into paper cake cases (and all over the floor/kitchen table/baking tray) and just ten minutes later, you can sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Or your little chef can while you clean up the kitchen !
The fairy cakes come out a bit drier and more compact than when I make them from scratch but the Madhouse Mini-testers are always really proud of having managed "on their own" so that more than makes up for it !
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