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Cookbook Review: Baking Wonderland: A Mix & Match Cookbook for Kids

teal background with sweet and savoury wonderland cookies

There seems to be a surplus of baking books out there. Yet each one I look at leaves me feeling inspired to try a new technique or add a fun spin to a classic recipe. That’s exactly the case with Baking Wonderland: A Mix & Match Cookbook for Kids by Jean Parker & Rachel Smith.

The whimsical cover alone is enough to stop you in your tracks. And the pages are chockfull of exciting premise-baking and sweet enchantment at every turn. Picture a cookie carousel and a cupcake ferris wheel! It’s a perfect book for bake sales and holiday treats and a terrific ways to intro kids to the world of baking. With adult supervision (you’re the sous chefs, parents!), kids can undergo a great confectionary adventure and learn how to mix and match baked treats, engaging their imaginations with tempting decisions like which filling and which glaze? 

Also great is that the spine lays flat when open adding extra ease and accessibility, especially for young ones as they study their task at hand. The instructions and terminology are clear and geared towards young pastry chefs in the making and the pages are teeming with super-cute illustrations, fun jokes and beautiful photography. 

Here’s the recipes that I tested and loved. Click the hyperlinks to find the graciously shared recipes so you can create your own baking memories. 

Cover of the cookbook baking wonderland: a mix & match cookbook for kids

Wonderland Cookies, page 41

It’s true, a wonderland of ingredients goes into these cookies. Think pretzels, marshmallows, caramels and hard-coated chocolate candies… these cookies have it all! Really fun to make, they’re colourful and they hit all the salty-sweet notes you’re looking for in a good cookie. One warning, your kids will want to make these on repeat. Get the recipe: Wonderland Cookies

Goldilocks’s  Oatmeal Cookies, page 53 

Not too hard, not too soft, just right. And you thought that the perfect oatmeal cookie didn’t exist. Raisins are a polarizing add-in for cookies and in the spirit of full disclosure I will admit that I am not a raisin person. I did, however, add the Chocolate Mousse filling from page 87 and it was a hit. 

Banana-nana Cupcakes, page 71

Something else so great about this book is that it is inclusive of different dietary needs. Like these oh-so-delicious vegan cupcakes. Again with the mixing and matching, I did make the Bing! Cherry compote on page 94…but although I loved it, I wonder about if kids would appreciate this topping as much as they would the Marvellous Mallo Frosting on page 109. Using vegan marshmallows and vegan butter keeps these treats away from animal products, but not away from wonderful flavours. Get the recipe: Banana-nana Cupcakes

Ruby Red Velvet Cupcakes, page 77

OK, I’ll admit it. I was shocked by the addition of a WHOLE jar of red food colouring…but it certainly did make these cupcakes red, and, well, that is the point of red velvet now isn’t it? The cupcakes were on the plain side, but with the addition of Buttercream Bomb page 10 — which is a simple, yet perfect icing — these cupcakes make the cut. Get the recipe: Ruby Red Velvet Cupcakes

Confetti Cake, page 184

Here’s another inclusive one. This gluten-free cake is moist and so pretty with all the sprinkles. The authors suggest pairing this cake with White Chocolate Dream page 85 as a filling and, once again, the Buttercream Bomb for frosting. However, adding a tint of turquoise to the buttercream, adds a fun touch to this cake. I can see this being the perfect birthday cake for someone. 

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