Easy dessert recipes for kids are a great way to get them excited to learn how to bake cookies, brownies, cake, and more. These easy treats are perfect for any special event all year long.
Kids just LOVE to bake, don't they?
My girls have been helping me bake cookies and brownies since they were tall enough to reach the counter when standing on a kitchen chair.
As soon as they were able, they wanted to start baking all on their own and we needed easy dessert recipes they could manage by themselves.
I've gathered together my kids' favorite easy desserts to help inspire your kids to have a little baking fun!
Why These Are The Best Recipes for Kids
It is so easy to get kids excited about spending time in the kitchen when baking something sweet is in store.
These are the best recipes to bake with kids because:
- Easy: None of the recipes are overly complicated or difficult. Many of them are one bowl or a minimum of dishes.
- Flexible: You can change the flavors with simple swaps and give kids the freedom to make them just how they want.
- Totally Delicious: I dare any grown up at your party to not gobble up these treats. They're so tasty, I bake them with or without my kids in the kitchen!
Kitchen Tools They Need
From Day 1, I let my kids use the regular kitchen tools I use myself when they wanted to bake something special for the family.
That said, I naturally stocked up on easy kid-friendly kitchen tools.
Take a look through your kitchen supplies and have a chat with your kids about which tools they are allowed to use before they dig in.
Essential Skills for Teaching Kids to Bake
Most parents feel overwhelmed with where to start when it comes to teaching kids to bake.
When I wrote my best selling baking book for kids, the first thing I did was outline the essential kitchen skills kids need to learn to bake easy treats for all the special events throughout the year.
The recipes in the book build off those basics. As the kids' skills grow, the recipes become more deliciously complex but all along the way there are tricks for young bakers to make the treats their own.
The good news is, you can use that format and my printable lesson plans to guide your kids through learning all the kitchen skills they need to have success!
The Best Recipes to Start With
If you want to get your kids excited to bake, let them start with something they love to eat!
Let them page through a cookbook for kids and make their own selection!
But if you want to start with a kid-friendly recipe that MY kids have loved, I've gathered together some of our very favorites in the lists below.
Easy Brownies and Bars
My absolute favorite thing to let the kids bake all by themselves is a classic pan of brownies or cookie bars.
The batter is often made in just one bowl and then poured into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
There's just one thing to pop into the oven and watch to ensure it bakes properly. It is the fastest road to success for most kids.
Easy Homemade Brownies for Kids
These homemade brownies are rich and fudgy and absolutely delicious. They are my daughter's claim to fame and she makes them when family comes to visit.
They are perfect as-is but would be amazing with chocolate cream cheese frosting spread over the top once completely cooled.
You could also frost them with vanilla cream cheese frosting and decorate them with your favorite candies or sprinkles.
The easy dough for these butterscotch blondies bars is loaded with butterscotch chips and chopped pecans for a sweet and salty flavor that I find completely irresistible. My daughters agree but I secretly know they bake them for me when they want to give me a special treat.
Easy Trix Krispie Treats
Made with Trix Minis, these rainbow-colored marshmallow Mini Trix krispie treat bars are an easy no-bake dessert for kids to make.
Everything gets mixed together in one big pot and then transferred to a baking pan to form the bars.
Cookies and Cream Blondie Bars
These easy cookies and cream blondie bar are loaded with chocolate chips and broken up OREO cookies.
They make a nice big pan and the recipe is perfect for kids baking for a bake sale or bringing a treat to a potluck.
Easy Cookie Recipes for Kids
Cookies and kids go hand in hand and this is often the first treat kids will ask to make by themselves.
Pick the just-right cookie recipe and the kids will feel so proud when the perfect treat comes out of the oven.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
The most popular cookie of all time is the classic chocolate chip cookie.
My fantastic recipe for chocolate chip walnut cookies is the absolute best because kids can prep the dough and freeze a pan of cookie balls so that just a few can be baked at a time!
During the holiday season, kids often get their hearts set on cookie decorating with traditional roll and cut cookies like shaped sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies.
Decorating them is a fun family tradition for both the kids and you! Especially if you use my tips for baking sugar cookies with kids.
For beginner cookie bakers, I suggest you try one of these easy frosting recipes.
For more advance kid bakers, it might be try to dig in on the easy royal icing recipe!
Easy Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies
Made in just one batter bowl, this easy pumpkin butterscotch cookies recipe tastes a little like a cake married a cookie.
Soft and yet chewy, my girls have loved baking these since they were tall enough to reach the counter.
Peanut Butter Blossoms
What kid can resist pushing a chocolate candy kiss into the top of a warm pan of fresh baked peanut butter blossom cookies??
Often found on Christmas cookie trays, these easy cookies are great any time of year.
Mix and match the color of the candies and these M&M cornflake cookies would be a perfect fit for any holiday all year long.
We used a fun mix of pink, red, white, and green for a Cindy Lou Who-inspired Christmas cookie but kids could bake these in their school colors, a friend's favorite color, or the perfect holiday color combo.
Pretend Macaron Cookies for Kids
Real macarons are one of the most difficult cookies to bake because they require such precision.
My daughter and I had a ton of fun baking these "pretend" macaron cookies for kids based on her favorite American Girl character.
Cake mix in the batter makes them extra easy. They taste a little bit like super-fancy whoopie pies.
Easy Cakes for Kids
Shh . . . lean in. I need to tell you a secret:
I loooove boxed cake mixes.
I could make a cake from scratch, and sometimes I do. But for a classic vanilla cake?
Boxed mixes are phenomenal if you use my TOP SECRET TIP:
Use the cake mix, but make the frosting from scratch.
It is way easier and the frosting is what makes or breaks the cake. For real.
You can even turn a boxed cake mix into a gorgeous 2-layer cake if you use my trick for perfect cake layers using cake strips.
When your frosting takes as incredible as these easy recipes, no one is going to ask about the cake.
No Bake Desserts
Finally, it's always a good idea to have a few no-bake dessert recipes under your belt.
Sometimes the weather is too hot. Sometimes mom or dad don't want you messing with the oven.
In any case, these no bake treats are always a huge hit when we serve them at parties.
Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
Made with ice cream sandwiches, whipped topping, and ice cream sundae sauces, this easy ice cream sandwich cake is a favorite of one of our very special family members -- Grandma!
My kids love to make it for the 4th of July but it is a fun treat any time of year.
Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs
These adorable Harry Potter chocolate frogs do require a few extra tools, but are a super-fun introduction to easy candy making for kids.
We made them for a Harry Potter movie marathon complete with Harry Potter movie snacks. They'd be especially amazing for a Harry Potter birthday party.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Mix
Grab a giant tub of everyone's favorite pretzel nuggets at the warehouse store and get ready to make this deliciously easy chocolate peanut butter pretzel snack mix.
Decorate it with fun sprinkles, let it cool, and then put it in a big party bowl for a special treat.
Ultimate Homemade Hot Chocolate
Last but not least, for a big party like you might have at Christmas time, put the kids in charge of making the ultimate hot chocolate bar using a Crockpot!
What makes it extra special is all the yummy cocoa toppings you can set out for friends and family to customize their own hot chocolate mugs, just the way they like.
The BEST Baking Book for Kids
If you've loved these easy desserts for kids to bake, you will absolutely love The Ultimate Baking Book for Kids.
Filled with 60 recipes for fun and easy desserts, kids will love baking these treats for all the holidays, birthdays, and special milestones a family enjoys all year long.
This is the companion book for The Totally Awesome Ultimate Kids' Cookbook. Bundle them together for the ultimate kids cookbook set, they make an amazing birthday or holiday gift for your kids!
More Recipes for Kids to Make
Now that your kids are excited to be in the kitchen, how about you hand them one of these easy recipes for kids to make dinner??
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