15 easy recipes for kids aged 7-11 years old

Our recipes for cooking with kids aged 7 to 11 year olds include gingerbread men, banana bread, and fruit salad...

recipes for kids aged 7-11
(Image credit: Getty/Annabel Karmel)

If you're cooking with kids aged 7 to 11, we've got some brilliant, easy recipes to get them started in the kitchen.

From chocolate orange brownies to bake, English muffin pizzas to make for lunch, and a simple fruit salad for a healthy snack, we've got plenty for your budding chef to choose from. It's the perfect time for your child to gain some independence in the kitchen and learn new skills with this array of cooking and baking recipes for kids

"Children of this age should be encouraged to bake independently. This helps them learn to be responsible and gives them a good boost of self-confidence, self-esteem, and satisfaction," says Kirsty Ketley, a parenting consultant, early years specialist, and a mum of two. 

"It is also great for their vocabulary and language skills and for helping them fine-tune their skills over following instructions as well as improving their attention span – something which can help if your child spends a lot of time gaming/on tablets/screens." And what child doesn't these days?

Not only is cooking a great way for your child to gain and develop a variety of skills, but it's also one of our favorite things to do with kids to keep them entertained over the school holidays or weekends.

Easy recipes for kids aged 7-11 year olds

carrot cake

Could there be any finer cake to bake, or eat?

(Image credit: Getty)

1. Carrot cake

Serves: 12 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 1 hr

A carrot cake is not only a way to sneak extra veg into your kid's diets, it's up there as one of the finest bakes, in our humble opinion. This one also has tinned pineapple chunks in the mix, so there is the bonus of extra vitamins and no need for excessive amounts of sugar, thanks to the natural sweetness of the fruit. This recipe features steps for the kids and those for the parents, to make things extra helpful. 

Get the recipe: Carrot cake

Tasks for the kids:

  • Measuring out the ingredients
  • Sifting the dry ingredients and stirring in the wet ingredients
  • Beating the icing ingredients together and spreading them on top of the cakes

Skills learned:

  • Maths skills – in learning accurate measuring
  • Understanding flavor combinations
  • Reading a recipe and following instructions

Annabel Karmel's chocolate orange brownies

Next-level brownies sprinkled with orange zest

(Image credit: Annabel Karmel)

2. Annabel Karmel's chocolate orange brownies

Makes: 12 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

Kids cooking queen Annabel Karmel is here to help your kids get their bake on with this handy picture-led recipe, perfect for them to follow solo, so a good chance to step back and see if they can do so without your guidance. The classic brownie is given a makeover with the addition of fresh orange juice and zest. 

We recommend cooking for slightly less time than you might think for a squidgy, fudgy brownie but, if you happen to like them firmer and more cake-like, leave them in the oven for an extra 5 mins. 

Get the recipe: Annabel Karmel's chocolate orange brownies

Tasks for the kids:

  • Measuring the ingredients on the scales
  • Squeezing the oranges for juice
  • Stirring ingredients
  • Melting the chocolate and butter in a pan over warm water (with your supervision if they're at the younger end of the age group)
  • Lining a tin with baking paper
  • Sifting the dry ingredients

Skills learned:

  • Juicing fruit
  • How to melt baking ingredients
  • Maths skills
  • Following instructions
  • Independence

Porridge bars

Save yourself early morning stress with these wholesome breakfast bars

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

3. Porridge bars

Serves: 8 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1 hr

An excellent one for the kids to understand the nutritional value – because these healthy bars are packed with dried fruit, oats, and a variety of seeds. Mixed nuts for an extra protein hit are also an option if there are no allergies. There'll be great satisfaction in them knowing they've made their own breakfast or lunch box snacks – and they can show off to their schoolmates. A winner all around.

Get the recipe: Porridge bars

Tasks for the kids:

  • Weighing out ingredients
  • Mixing the wet and dried ingredients together
  • Chopping the apricots (using kid's scissors for children at the younger end of the spectrum)

Skills learned:

  • Understanding nutrients – talk to them about which food groups the ingredients belong to and the benefits they have to our brains and bodies
  • Maths skills
  • Scissor skills

Annabel Karmel english muffin pizzas

Easy, fun food and lunch sorted – what a result

(Image credit: Annabel Karmel)

4. Annabel Karmel's English muffin pizzas

Makes: 4| Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

This is a good one for slightly older children to learn knife skills, as there are a lot of veggies to chop and dice. Onions might be slightly out of their remit, but they can learn to slice courgettes, pepper, and mushrooms – though you may need to supervise and take over for the finer chops. It's also a good way of teaching them about food groups and what goes into a balanced meal and getting them to make their own lunch. 

Get the recipe: Annabel Karmel's English muffin pizzas

Tasks for the kids:

  • Slicing vegetables
  • Washing vegetables
  • Grating cheese
  • Decorating the pizza faces

Skills learned:

  • Knife skills
  • Food hygiene
  • How to make a balanced meal
  • Knowledge about food groups

Easy dinner recipes for kids

That's dinner sorted, then

(Image credit: Annabel Karmel)

5. Annabel Karmel's chicken dippers

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Another Annabel Karmel classic, with picture instructions for your child to follow independently. And it's not just some low-flavor, purely kid-friendly affair either, the chicken is marinated in a mix of herbs, buttermilk, and store cupboard sauces. The crumb is a tasty cheesy delight, including the genius addition of cheese and onion crisps bashed into crumbs (a task we figure they might well enjoy carrying out…)

Get the recipe: Annabel Karmel's chicken dippers

Tasks for the kids:

  • Making the marinade and adding the meat
  • Bashing the crisps and mixing them with the other flavors for the crumb
  • Coating the chicken in flour and egg before crumbing
  • Combining the ingredients for the dipping sauces

Skills learned:

  • Marinating meat
  • Handling raw meat
  • Food hygiene (the importance of hand washing and cleaning up!)
  • How to coat the meat in a crumb before cooking
  • Flavor combinations

fruit salad

The very definition of eating the rainbow

(Image credit: Getty)

6. Fruit salad

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (for the syrup)

Teach the kids about what makes a healthy dessert with this vitamin-rich fruit salad. There's still a treating element thanks to the cinnamon-infused sugar syrup, and you can choose whichever fruit you fancy – this recipe features pears, peaches, raspberries, blueberries, and pineapple, but do freestyle away with their favorites. Having said that, choosing seasonally is always wise, and opt for an array of colors for visual appeal.

Get the recipe: Fruit salad

Tasks for the kids: 

  • Chopping the different fruits
  • Simmering the syrup ingredients
  • Mixing it all together

Skills learnt:

  • How to make a syrup
  • Knife skills
  • Understanding healthy eating


The king of all dips, made by your kid's own fair hands

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

7. Hummus

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: No cook

Hummus is pretty easy to make and such an incredibly great, nutritious lunch, snack food, or side to a dinner dish. Of course, it's meat-free and vegan friendly, to boot. Get the kids to make some crudites to go with it too, and teach them how to toast pita bread. You may never need to buy a tub from the supermarket again, which is very pleasing.

Get the recipe: Hummus

Tasks for the kids:

  • Crushing garlic
  • Adding all the ingredients together
  • Squeezing the lemon

Skills learned:

  • Using a food processor
  • Using a tin opener (for the canned chickpeas)
  • Learning about new ingredients (they may not be familiar with tahini or chickpeas)
  • Juicing fruit

The Hummingbird Bakery gingerbread men

For kids of any age, including the grown up varieties

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

8. The Hummingbird Bakery gingerbread men

Makes: 24 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

While it's a simple bake, there's a knack to making perfect gingerbread – it should be crispy at the edges and soft and chewy in the center. The key to that is leaving the dough to rest, ideally in the fridge overnight, so one of the skills your kids will learn from making gingerbread could well be patience. Children of this age can do most of the tasks in making gingerbread, but keep them away from the electric whisk.

Get the recipe: The Hummingbird Bakery gingerbread men

Tasks for the kids: 

  • Sifting the dry ingredients
  • Measuring the spices
  • Folding in the wet ingredients
  • Making icing
  • Cutting out and decorating the gingerbread people

Skills learnt:

  • Using spices in cooking
  • How icing is made
  • Using cooking cutters and preparing them for the oven
  • Creativity in decorating

Annabel Karmel ratatouille omelette

A perfect, wholesome and tasty lunch choice winner

9. Annabel Karmel ratatouille omelette

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins| Cook time: 20 mins

This is such a brilliant, well-balanced meal that, once you teach your kids to cook it, it could be their signature dish to whip up on a regular basis – giving you a welcome break from churning out constant family meals. It'll also introduce them to veg they might not normally accept as part of their repertoire – because, if you've cooked the aubergine, surely you want to eat the aubergine too, right?

Get the recipe: Annabel Karmel ratatouille omelette

Tasks for the kids: 

  • Slicing the vegetables
  • Grating the cheese
  • Whisking the eggs

Skills learnt:

  • How to cook with eggs
  • Knife skills
  • Grating skills
  • Using a tin opener

Smarties cupcakes

Fun, delicious cakes for a party – though keeping them all to yourselves is also allowed

(Image credit: Carnation.co.uk/recipe by Kirstie Allsopp)

10. Kirstie Allsopp's Smarties cupcakes

Makes: 12 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

These cupcakes from the crafting icon and property expert are a simple bake that kids of this age should be able to crack on relatively independently. The cake batter contains condensed milk, which Kirstie reckons is the key to making them lovely and moist. 

Pipe the tops with chocolate buttercream and then get them to work on the decor – it doesn't have to just be Smarties, they can freestyle with whatever toppings they fancy – the more colorful, always the better.

Get the recipe: Smarties cupcakes

Tasks for the kids: 

  • Measuring ingredients
  • Spooning the batter into cake cases
  • Mixing the frosting ingredients 
  • Piping the topping and decorating the cakes

Skills learnt:

  • Using a piping bag
  • How frosting is made
  • Creativity
  • Maths 

Dotty shortbread hearts

Sweet hearts made by your sweethearts

11. Dotty shortbread hearts

Makes: 9 | Prep time: 40 mins| Cook time: 20 mins

This shortbread recipe is so simple that it only has three ingredients, and the kids can make it entirely unaided. They'll also learn to make icing for the dotty heart decoration – though this can be any color or design they fancy, as can the shapes – this recipe can be altered to anything their heart's (sorry) desire in terms of decoration, just use different cookie cutters and whatever color of icing floats their boat.

Get the recipe: Dotty shortbread hearts

Tasks for the kids: 

  • Measuring out and mixing the ingredients
  • Rolling out the shortbread for baking
  • Lining the baking tray
  • Making icing
  • Piping the icing for decoration

Skills learnt:

  • Making, coloring and working with icing
  • Maths skills
  • Using a piping bag
  • Using cookie cutters
  • Creativity

Children's club sarnie

A lunch fit for champions

(Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

12. Children's club sarnie

Makes: 1 | Prep time: 5 mins| Cook time: 5 mins

A club sandwich is always a winner for lunch, and also for dinner with some homemade chips or sweet potato wedges. Kids will be pleased as punch to make it as their own creation and it's a well-balanced meal. 

They'll also be making salsa to serve with it in place of the usual lashings of fatty mayo – though if onion really isn't their bag,  just use finely chopped tomato instead. If bacon isn't your/their thing, this could be swapped for pre-cooked slices of chicken breast, or get some vegan-friendly 'facon' to add in there instead.

Get the recipe: Children's Club sarnie

Tasks for the kids: 

  • Toasting the bread
  • Grilling the bacon (under supervision for the younger ones)
  • Mixing tomato and onion to make a salsa
  • Spreading the cream cheese
  • Washing and preparing the salad leaves

Skills learnt:

  • Food hygiene
  • How salsa is made
  • Toasting and grilling food

Annabel Karmel's salmon fishcakes

Both totally adorable and totally delicious

(Image credit: Monkey Business/REX/Shutterstock)

13. Annabel Karmel's salmon fishcakes

Serves: 6 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

An excellent one for introducing the kids to working with fish, Annabel's genius with flavors will have them coming back to this recipe again and again. Here, she uses Shredded Wheat for the crumb, mixed with Parmesan to make it super flavorsome. 

Her fish of choice is salmon, excellent for giving the kids an essential dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which is mixed with that childhood favorite, mashed potato. They'll have much fun shaping the fishcakes into, well, fish, decorating the eyes, and forming the peas into air bubbles. 

Get the recipe: Annabel Karmel's salmon fishcakes

Tasks for the kids: 

  • Making mashed potato
  • Mixing together all the ingredients for the fish cakes
  • Grating the cheese
  • Bashing the Shredded Wheat into crumbs
  • Hard-boiling the eggs
  • Cooking the peas and mangetout

Skills learnt:

  • Preparing and cooking vegetables
  • Preparing fish (and discovering its health benefits)
  • Grating
  • Cooking eggs
  • How to make mash
  • Food hygiene
  • Creating and applying a crumb
  • Flavor combinations (using sauces like ketchup and chili sauce, and herbs like dill)

Annabel Karmel's banana butterfly cakes

Good enough to show off at a birthday party

(Image credit: Annabel Karmel)

14. Annabel Karmel's banana butterfly cakes

Makes/serves: 8 | Prep time: 20 mins| Cook time: 20 mins

A step up from the basic cupcake, these fairy cakes have mashed bananas in the batter, and kids can learn to master the 'fairy' element of cutting off the tops and making them into two wings, before dusting them with icing sugar. The frosting also contains that South American food of the Gods, dulce du leche. An excellent one to do when preparing for a birthday party or other celebration. They'll be able to show off a treat – and quite rightly so.

Get the recipe: Butterfly buns

Tasks for the kids: 

  • Measuring the ingredients
  • Sifting the flour, beating the egg, mashing the banana, and combining and mixing all the elements of the cake mix
  • Spooning the mix into the cases
  • Mixing the ingredients for the icing
  • Piping the icing and 'constructing' the finished cakes

Skills learnt:

  • Using a piping bag
  • Maths
  • Baking with fruit
  • Creativity

Banana bread

Banana bread is for life, not just for lockdown

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

15. Banana bread

Serves: 8 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 35 mins

If your kids are old enough to remember the early days of the pandemic, chances are they've helped you make lockdown's most popular bake already. And now they're old enough to master it for themselves. A simple one (hence its widespread popularity), it is, as we know, the best use for any over-ripe bananas lurking in the fruit bowl.  

The kids can also freestyle this one, adding choc chips or raisins, and the top of the finished bread can be decorated with dried banana slices and sprinkled with brown sugar. They'll need to learn how to make a good cup of tea to go with it, too, of course…

Get the recipe:  Banana bread

Tasks for the kids: 

  • Measuring the ingredients
  • Mashing the bananas
  • Creaming the butter and sugar together
  • Beating the egg
  • Sifting flour
  • Greasing the baking tin, pouring in the mix, and checking it is cooked

Skills learnt:

  • Maths
  • Baking with fruit
  • Using a skewer to test whether a bake is cooked

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Lara Kilner
Food Writer

Lara Kilner is a writer and editor with two decades of experience in national newspapers, magazines, and websites. She writes about food, lifestyle, travel, health and wellness, and entertainment, and regularly interviews celebrities and people with interesting life stories and experiences. Her foodie content has included interviews with Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein, Queer Eye’s food expert Antoni Porowski, the Hairy Bikers, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Raymond Blanc, Andi Oliver, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, and Nadiya Hussain.