The Big Mamaville Bake-off – Baking with kids; recipe for disaster!

Okies, so before I draw you into my *lovely* tales of baking with Little Man (not a sous-chef-kind-of-person nor a do-it-yourself-baking-kit; just what I call my son), you need to know this: I’m not particularly fond of baking (I LOVE eating baked goodies though) nor do I enjoy doing creative artsy-craftsy shit stuff with my son. But then these Pinterest mamas make me look absolutely no good, what with their lovingly crafted and perfectly hand-decorated cupcakes, Autumn crafts and Halloween pumpkin carvings. So I decided to take the plunge and do some basic baking with my son – after all, everyone says it’s a fun way to spend a morning and helps you and your little one bond and connect. Besides, I felt like cake!

The preamble

So I turned to good ol’ Google and asked for the simplest baking recipe – Banana Bread it turned out to be! #Winning I thought because both Little Man and I love banana bread. The excitement crept up on me as I further googled ‘Healthy Banana Bread Recipes’ and got some options with wholemeal flour and nuts thrown in. #Nailedit.

So off to the supermarket I trooped and bought the required ingredients. I told Little Man of our ‘Big Mamaville Bake-off’ plan and that I’d be baking him some delish banana bread tomorrow, and asked if he would like to help me. “Yes” he answered, with a glimmer in his eyes. #toogoodtobetrue. I’ll finally be the ‘baking mum’!

The preparation 

The next morning, I woke up with a spring in my step (ok, not really, I’m just not a morning person), but I was quite looking forward to a day well-spent baking and bonding with my son. I asked Little Man if he was all geared up as well – he said he was. So we got done with breakfast and all the morning jazz and then we entered the ring (kitchen). I opened up the recipe I had downloaded on my phone, and…

“Mummy, can I see some YouTube?”

Damn, Little Man saw my phone.

“Not now darling, we’re making some yummy banana bread remember? And you’re my little helper”

“Pleaaaaaase Mummy. Just for a little bit”

Experience has taught me to sometimes give in rather than fight it out – it’s just smoother for everyone involved.

“Ok, just one video while I get everything ready. We need INGREDIENTS to make the banana bread. What do we need?” (I tried to make this educational too).

“Ig-red-ents”, he replied, half-heartedly.

So he got on to watching Batman defeat the baddies whilst I got out all the ig-red-ents.


What I envisioned…


What I got…

The bake-off

Ok, so YouTube was done with and everything we needed was laid out. Little Man seemed slightly interested. Whoop Whoop! I put on an apron (gotta look professional) and put one on for him too (it was far too long and big and itchy for him and needless to say it was off within five minutes). Anyways…

“So this is the flour and this is baking soda, it will help the banana bread to rise in the oven,” I continue with the general knowledge talk as Little Man plays around with the flour.

“Can I have a banana?”

“It’s for the banana bread darling. Wait 40 minutes and you can have it in the bread then”

“I want it now. Just the banana”

Ok, so I let go of one banana and amend the recipe accordingly.

Banana consumed, I now ask Little Man to help me mash the remaining bananas. I thought this would be the most fun part for him, but he flatly refused to get his hands dirty. “It looks yucky”, he proclaimed. So I do all the mashing while Little Man prances around the room. He chips in for a quick mash with the masher (still refuses to get his hands all sticky and gooey) and excitedly presses the blender button. #winningagain.

I then ask him to stir the mixture of bananas, butter, eggs and sugar. He does it for 10 seconds (I kid you not!!!) and then tells me, very matter-of-factly, that he’s tired and bored and wants to see some TV. WTF!!! This is not how this is supposed to go. I had envisioned us mixing batter together while laughing and telling jokes, throwing some flour at one another like they show in baking scenes in movies, and generally just loving this time spent together. But no siree! Little Man was clearly done with baking!

“Call me when it’s ready” he ordered, prancing off to the next room.

And that was that. My first-ever baking-bonding session with my son resulted in me doing 98% of the baking, and he just wanted to bond with YouTube. And the finished banana-bread!



Anyways, the kitchen was soon filled with the smell of delicious banana bread (which I admit made me feel a bit better), and soon enough we I had a beautiful loaf of banana bread looking at me. #stillwinning, somewhat!

At least the end product went down very well with Little Man (and myself) as we helped ourselves to generous slices. I asked him if he would like to do this again (mums never give up, do they?) to which he honestly replied: “You make it, I’ll just eat it”

So that was that. We’ve had a few more baking sessions at the Mamaville household after that – banana bread again, blueberry and chocolate muffins and pancakes – but all with the same result. No help (or interest in baking with mummy) but at least everything is wiped out clean.

Guess Little Man and I share the same passion for eating yummies and have negligible interest in the creative aspect of it all. The big Mamaville bake-off quite became the big Mamaville shake-off…

Update: Little Man recently enjoyed decorating store-bought gingerbread men, so there’s hope…

And if you’re at all interested in my healthy wholewheat banana bread recipe, you can try it here.

This post is part of the Write Club Challenge. Below are posts from other bloggers who’ve taken part in the challenge:

10 Tips for Surviving Baking With your Kids – A Life Just Ordinary

The Lows and Lows of Baking With Kids – The Incidental Parent 


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  1. Josie -Me, Them and the Others

    I reckon you got off lightly, when my kids “mis” they try to do it chef style and spray it all round the kitchen! #itsok

    1. Nicole

      Well, at least there is passion, even if it comes with a mess!!!;)

  2. Joanna Melia

    Ha ha, you’ve burst my bubble of all the amazing baking sessions I have to come with my daughter. At this stage she is at the tug at my leg and scream if food takes more than about a minute to prepare, so we’re not quite ready to tackle baking yet #ItsOK

    1. Nicole

      I remember those days, the tugging of the leg and screaming for attention. Give her some pots and pans and wooden spoons to get busy with while you’re in the kitchen – my son loved those! And good luck with the future baking sessions (if you have the guts and willpower lol)!

  3. Tracey Carr

    Oh I understand this one. My daughters love ‘helping’ me with the baking but often I find that when they realise how much time it is going to take they begin to get bored because the truth is all they really want is the spoon to lick once the baked good has gone into the oven. So I am convinced like you that those perfect baking/bonding scenes of parent and child together are definitely confined to the tv! #itsok

    1. Nicole

      Yes, or social media! As is the case with so many parent-child bonding activities… not as rosy as they are painted out to be!!! Thank God it’s not just me then;)

  4. Crummy Mummy

    That looks like a great end result! I have to be in the right mood to bake with the kids… #itsok

    1. Nicole

      I RARELY bake… (wish I could say I rarely eat, though) – this was just one of those earlier attempts, so there was enthusiasm from both sides!

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