Baking is a fantastic activity to do with children. From creating savoury treats to delicious sweets there are many different things you can make with your party guests. But, it can soon dissolve into a chaotic mess if you aren’t prepared beforehand. So, what do you need to do to ensure that your baking party is a delicious success?
Hosting a Successful Baking Party
Baking is domestic science at its very best. The right mix of ingredients, using the correct mixing methods and baked at the optimum temperature can produce tasty results from a relatively small list of ingredients.
Baking with party guests needn’t be complicated but, to produce stunning results and to keep a handle on the chaos, you need to be as prepared as possible. And this means bearing in mind the following factors. Get it right and you have a recipe for success…
1. Age Range
First on the list is to determine the capabilities of your party guests when it comes to following instructions, understanding the task at hand and so on. In effect, this comes down to age. For younger guests, you will need to simplify the baking task.
With younger children, why not have the goods baked already and let them decorate their own fairy cake, biscuit or another tasty treat. Older children could make the recipe from scratch, with a patient adult to supervise! They will often need help when it comes to using equipment, hot stoves and ovens.
Many hands make light work…
The success of a baking party also rests on having plenty of adult helpers who can hover and supervise, as well as help with the tidying up. Cleaning up after a party isn’t the greatest job. Although, with encouragement and prizes for the fastest tidier-upper your party guests could do most of it.
2. Guest Numbers
The baking activity will also be decided by the number of guests you have although this doesn’t mean that a baking party is not for a larger number of guests – it just means you’ll have to bake in batches.
In terms of optimum guests for a baking party, there isn’t one, but you will need to ensure you have enough space, ingredients and equipment so that everyone is included in the activity all at once. If you decide to stagger the baking party, you will need some kind of supervised entertainment for the other half of the party.
Keep it simple…
Try not to split your party, or you will find that you have two separate groups of children to supervise and that’s not really the idea behind a child’s birthday party, is it?
Choose recipes carefully. Stick with simple ones, such as roll-able biscuit dough or a simple fairy cake mix. Add an extra bit of zest with flavouring and/or food colouring, rather than aiming for the lofty heights of the Great British Bake Off.
Having all the ingredients ready is ideal, so weigh your ingredients and have an ingredients bench so that guests go and get what they need and take it to their workstation. Type up and print out child-friendly recipe cards, with plenty of graphics and pictures to help them out.
Tried and tested…
Stick with recipes that you have made countless times before, such as a Victoria sandwich cake mix for fairy cakes or a super-simple, but deliciously sweet biscuit recipe that gives great results each and every time.
4. Essential Equipment
You will need basic equipment but thankfully, you can buy a range of value plastic bowls, dishes, spoons and the like, as well as a plentiful supply of baking trays and muffin tins. Invest in some pretty muffin cases for your party guests if you are making fairy cakes. Another great investment is shaped biscuit cutters, perfect for making a plentiful supply of biscuits.
Focus on taste…
… and not on complicated recipes that aim to impress. Possibly the simplest in terms of equipment and ingredients would be to create your own pizzas. Substitute making your own pizza bread with slices of delicious bakery bread or baguettes. Make a list of essential baking equipment and add to your catering party supplies shopping list.
5. Party Bags
In effect, you have your party bags all sorted: simply add a few of their party-made biscuits or fairy cakes to their bags alongside a small gift and a thank you note for bringing their best baking skills to your party!