Want to introduce your children to a love of food and the joys of cooking?
We've got a fantastic recipe to beat all recipes which is just perfect for little Jamie Olivers. This recipe calls for no baking which means from weighing out your ingredients to chilling time you and the kids can be enjoying these tasty bites in 10 mins.
Because you won't need to use the oven to whip up a batch this is a great starting point for older kids who'd like to try cooking alone. They will need to use the hob though to melt the ingredients so if cooking independently this recipe is best for ages eight and above and when you're confident in their ability to use the hob safely. Younger kids will also enjoy going through the process of turning the food you have at home into something sticky and delicious but will need more supervision. If you can do so safely bring a stool over to the hob and let them help you stir it so they can see the transformation the food is going through.
Following recipes is a great way to equip kids with some key skills - including reading the recipes, weighing out ingredients, counting, observing how food changes when we heat or cool it as well as that all-important skill - patience. Luckily, while many recipes call for multiple steps plus cooking time, this can be on the table in minutes. They'll also get some great practice in their motor skills by transferring the mix into the cases - don't worry too much if some doesn't make it into the case it can be easily scooped up and popped in.
The recipe below should make 24 cornflakes cakes but it's easy to increase or decrease the ingredients according to how many you want. Once made these should be kept in an air-tight container where they'll stay fresh for up to three days - after that, you'll find the cornflakes start to go a little soft.
If this recipe has given children the cooking bug there's plenty of online cooking and baking classes they can cook along with. And as lockdown eases you could even book them on to one of these fun cookery classed aimed at kids.
75g of unsalted butter
200g of dark chocolate
Four tablespoons of golden syrup
200g of cornflakes
24 paper cupcake cases
1: Break the chocolate up into small chunks. Place into a saucepan along with the butter and the golden syrup. Help the golden syrup to slide easily off your spoon by holding the spoon under hot running water before you use it.
2: On a low heat keep stirring the ingredients until they've all melted together, then set aside to cool for a few minutes.
3: While you wait for them to cool get the kids to count out 24 cupcake cases and to place them onto a baking tray or in muffin tins.
4: Tip the cornflakes into the melted ingredients and stir well to make sure they're all thoroughly coated with the melted butter, chocolate and syrup. Keep using a spoon to pull dry cornflakes from the bottom of the bowl up to the top so that eventually everything is evenly coated.
5: Carefully spoon the mixture into the cases and place in the fridge to allow them to cool for 10 mins. Now they're ready to eat!
Variations on the recipe:
Make Easter nests out of your cornflake cakes. Follow the recipe above but once you've put the combined ingredients into their cases use a spoon to make a well and fill it with smarties or mini eggs.
You don't have to use cornflake as your main ingredient - another food will do. You can easily substitute the cornflakes for another cereal - shredded wheat, Rice Krispies or Coco Pops types will also work.
If you don't like chocolate then you can make honey cornflake cakes instead. Just switch the wet ingredients for 3 tablespoons of butter, one cup of sugar and one tablespoon of honey.
Make these cornflake cakes vegan-friendly by using a nut or soy spread instead of butter and opting for vegan chocolate.
You can make these tea-time treats gluten-free by switching the cereal you use for one that contains no gluten.
You can also melt your ingredients in the microwave rather than on the hob. But if you do then make sure to do it on a low heat and gradually. Keep removing from the microwave and stirring well, cooking it for just one minute at a time.
Header Image: © BBC Good Food
Cora Lydon is a freelance journalist living in Suffolk with her husband and two children. She’s also a children’s book author who loves finding activities and place to inspire her children. Her dining table bears the scars of many craft activities attempts (many unsuccessful).