As the nights draw in, keep your little ones busy with sensational seasonal bakes. Celebrate autumn with our blackberry cakes, toffee apple cookies, pumpkin pies and more.
Whether you're sheltering indoors from a downpour of rain, or making the most of the British hedgerows and orchards, we have plenty of ideas to keep you and the kids happy this autumn.
Arm yourself and the children with baskets and containers, then head into the wilderness (or the local country park) and pick yourself a fine blackberry feast. It goes without saying, but avoid hedgerows next to busy roads or areas that might be within reach of dogs.
When you get home try turning your findings into something spectacular with these child-friendly recipes. Blackberry & coconut squares are a brilliant bake for under-elevens, and the smallest hands can get involved in making our blackberry & apple loaf cake.
Use up a summer glut by making our easy blackberry jam or, if you've collected a hotchpotch of fruit then Angela's flexible jam recipe is a great way of using it up – and nothing beats the aroma of bubbling jam. Keep the kids busy while you deal with hot pans by getting them to design labels, which is also a lovely way to finish off potted jams to make gifts for family and friends.
Find more brilliant blackberry recipes.
In October, the great British apple (and all its varieties) is celebrated up and down the country with a number of apple festivals from apple bobbing to apple pressing, to events with live bands and cider. There are plenty of festivals that offer fun for all the family, so it is worth checking out what's going on near you – and of course, that gives us license to tuck into a toffee apple or two as well:
But the apple love doesn't have to stop there; get your child to don a mini pinny and put them to work in the kitchen. These little toffee apple cakes have been specifically tailored for kids aged between 8-14, whereas children in the 3-6 range can get stuck into making sweet baked apples. If you want to make a speedy, scrumptious snack to keep their energy levels up, our chewy toffee apple cookies will also go down a treat.
For a real project, get making our spectacular spiced toffee apple traybake, topped with sliced apples and drizzled in gooey toffee sauce. This is easily cut into squares so would be perfect for a kids' party or Bonfire Night celebration.
Other fruity cakes and bakes
Picking seasonal fruit and vegetables to cook will help your kids recognise the different seasons, especially if you browse a local market or farm shop together, then let your kids take the reins with recipes created especially for them. Our courgette muffins are suitable for kids aged 8-14 years and will definitely get vegetable-dodgers thinking twice. Or help them make their own lunchbox treats with simple recipes like sticky plum flapjack bars or apple & sultana muffins.
Remember, getting your kids involved in cooking doesn't have to be a big project, simply giving your children easy, regular jobs like grating cheese or washing lettuce should give them confidence and most of all, enthusiasm in the kitchen.
If you're looking for some baking inspiration, then autumn is the perfect month to celebrate seasonal events with all manner of sweet delights. Bonfire Night would not be the same without a stodgy slice of sticky pear & ginger cake or toasted marshmallow campfire cupcakes, which kids will devour in no time.
Then Halloween beckons with a bounty of pumpkins, and the leftovers can enhance your bakes. From pumpkin passion cupcakes to our spooky Halloween pumpkin cake, little monsters will love baking with this unusual veg. Try your hand at more frighteningly fun bakes in our Halloween cake recipe collection or discover more ways to cook with pumpkin.
It doesn't end there; why not make a pumpkin pie to celebrate Thanksgiving towards the end of November? Alternatively, you could substitute the pumpkin with a butternut squash to provide a similar level of moisture.
Check out more autumn cake recipes.
More kids' cooking inspiration
What are your favourite recipes to make with children? Leave a comment below...