Kids in the Kitchen: Baking Mini Heart Cakes

When my daughter’s first birthday came around, I was determined to be the mom who made her birthday cake every year instead of buying one. I loved looking back at the cakes my mom made for us and even photos of the ones my grandma used to make for my mom, aunts and uncles.

And I wanted it to not just be homemade but be really good, a signature cake that I could try every year with some variation. So, I started searching for recipes. I came across one that took sour cream. My interest was piqued!

When I tell you this cake was delicious….wow! Oh! I could go on.

Anyway, now my daughter loves to help me in the kitchen, and when I was looking for a recipe to try out my new heart-shaped mini cake molds with her (I got them in-store at Lehman’s!), I thought of this one and thought maybe we could just use the same one. But I wanted something slightly healthier and came across this recipe that took plain Greek yogurt. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still cake but with less ingredients and still really delicious!Child with heart-shaped mini cakes

A couple tips I’ve learned while doing these blogs for cooking with little ones in the kitchen:

  1. They are going to want to help with EVERY step. It takes longer but it makes great memories and keeps them busy. My daughter specifically loves to crack the eggs. She’d put in a whole carton if I let her! I always let her do this in a separate bowl so that I can filter out any uhm…extra crunch that might sneak its way in.Child cracking egg into the bowl I also always make sure to wash her hands after this activity. Because as you’ll see in my next tip, they’ll want to have clean hands from all the raw egg.Child washing hands after baking
  2. Be conscious of your mix-ins. My daughter eats blueberries all day long but this time I did chocolate chips for a little sweetness. She snuck a few snacks of course. If you want to make sure your little one isn’t snacking on too many sweets try doing blueberries or even strawberries!Child eating chocolate chips
  3. It is a great way to learn counting. You can vary it too. If the recipe calls for one cup of a few ingredients, I will sometimes do one cup of flour and then two half cups of sugar (for example). Breaking it up gives some variation in counting.Child pouring flour into bowl for cake

This simple recipe was super fun. You can double it and package them in clear gift bags if you are making them for Valentine’s Day gifts. Use cake pop sticks for the mini hearts for another variation.

Happy Heart Day!

 

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Heart shaped mini cakes

Traditional French Yogurt Cake

Ingredients

Units Scale

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, optional (I did not have vanilla so I skipped this and they were still sweet and delicious)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, optional (Since I didn’t have vanilla, I also skipped the salt)
  • Chocolate chips or fruit mix in to taste

Ingredients for the coating:

  • White Almond Bark
  • Coconut or Olive Oil
  • Food Coloring (if you want to skip food coloring you could use mashed up strawberries or blueberries in the almond bark to get color and extra flavor)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Flour or butter line your mini cake trays, small cake pan, or loaf pan.
  3. Mix all the cake ingredients except for the mix-ins together.
  4. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, until lightly browned on top and an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
  5. Once the cakes are slightly cooled cut off the “muffin tops” and let rest for 20 minutes.
  6. While resting melt your almond bark and color with food coloring or fruit dyes.
  7. Dip your cooled cakes into the melted almond bark and decorate with sprinkles or fruit.
  8. Let the dipped cakes cool and harden.
  9. Enjoy!

Notes

Don’t throw away the muffin tops! Delicious on their own with a glass of milk or crumbled up and repurposed into cake pops.

Keywords: desserts, Valentine's Day

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