Kids In The Kitchen – Sweet Buttermilk Scones

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I’ve started cooking with Max once a week. “Daddy can we cook something” has become his catch phrase and he really enjoys it. Cracking eggs, stirring, rolling, squishing, cutting and of course spoon licking are all fair game for the toddler in your life. He loves it and I love that he loves it and someone else will probably love him for it down the track.


Cooking with kids does not look like it does on Pinterest; it’s messier, more chaotic and perhaps less ‘perfect looking’. Surrender any obsessive compulsive inclinations you might have and go with their flow, its okay if the cupcakes aren’t all identical, ignore the shards of eggshell that find their way into the batter, acknowledge that a child covered in flour is quite comical and don’t worry if you’re scones turn out not to be show worthy.

Speaking of scones, last week Max and I whipped up a batch of Sweet Buttermilk Scones that might just have taken out a rosette at a toddler baking show (I’m sure they exist somewhere). Max got all heavy handed with the rolling pin so they were somewhere between a scone and a biscuit, a Scoscuit. They tasted superb fresh from the oven and didn’t actually have much sugar or butter in them until I smeared them with a liberal serving of butter and jam.


This recipe comes from Dan Lepard, a most excellent Australian baker whose recipes always seem to rise to the occasion.

250g plain flour

3 tbsp caster sugar

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg

75g buttermilk (or yogurt)

Extra buttermilk and sugar for the top of the scones


Heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. In a bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter, and with your fingertips rub it together so it turns cream-coloured and crumbly.

In a small jug, beat the egg with the buttermilk (or yogurt), then stir this into the flour mixture. Combine until you have a firm ball of dough, then knead lightly for 10 seconds.

Flour a clean surface and the dough and roll out until it is 2cm thick. Use a cutter to get as many scones as you can manage.

Place the scones on a tray lined with baking paper, spacing them a few cm’s apart, brush the tops with extra buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and lightly coloured.


Do you cook with your kids? What tips would you give others to make the experience work enjoyable? What recipes have worked best for you? If you have a picture I’d love to see the end result, either attach in the comments using the landscape icon or #kidsinthekitchenddu and share on your preferred social media.

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  • Tessa White

    I use the ones that don’t involve chopping etc.. if it is weight it out and mix it in we are set.. I weight it all out in bowls and we slowly add, stir, roll and bake x

    • daddownunder

      Sounds like a recipe for success (sorry). I always weigh with Max and curse myself afterwards as I’m sweeping up half a kilo of flour

  • KezUnprepared

    Wonderful :) My Little Mister loves a good baking session too. His first offering was some muffins and the kitchen was a mess but he was so proud of his work. We have since baked at least every couple of weeks and he gets so excited. He’s so funny sitting and staring into the oven waiting for his cakes to rise. His bowl licking skills are beyond this world! I think once we surrender to the chaos, it’s the most wonderful bonding experience. I love the idea that he’ll know his way around the kitchen when he’s older and will in your words, make someone else very happy one day with his skills :)

    • daddownunder

      It is a bonding experience isn’t it Kez, I think you’re both in the moment and that’s not always the case when you’re pushing a digger through a sand pit.

  • Mel

    Issy & I bake often, just as you describe.. mess, chaos and then me eating way too many baked goods! But my fave is us making the Xmas cake together.. like I made with my Nan so many years ago :-)

    • daddownunder

      That’s a special tradition. I love a good family tradition, I suspect lots of them fizzle out, good on you for keeping it going. We used to have to swim in the sea on Christmas Day (not very pleasant in England), it’s amazing what you do to open your presents.

  • Mel

    My tip – don’t let the people who you are baking treats for see your daughter stirring with her elbow 😉

    • daddownunder

      Very true Mel. Or dipping the finger in the batter, licking it, going back in for another dip and so on.

  • Mel

    I keep posting but with no photo.. Last try :-)

  • Sonia from Sonia Styling

    Completely unrelated to cooking, but… Max’s happy little grin has brightened up my rather stressful morning. Thanks Max!

    • daddownunder

      That is definitely the smile of a child that knows baked goods are on the way, I’ll pass on your thanks