As toddlers gain the ability to sample new foods, their interest in exploring different tastes and textures soars. A terrific way to bond with your toddler and introduce him to the joys of cooking is by baking (and eating!) a simple, yet delicious recipe together. Toddlers love to get hands on and will delight in creating something yummy in the kitchen with you. Together, follow this easy and toddler-approved recipe below and share the results with family and friends.
Taking the heat of the stovetop or oven out of the equation makes working with toddlers in the kitchen even better. No-bake cheesecake cups will surely satisfy your sweet tooth. The recipe can be tweaked to suit dietary needs and favorite flavor preferences. Below, find the basic recipe with some suggestions for variations. Enjoy!
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of room temperature cream cheese* with ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup agave syrup or honey with a mixer or blender until completely combined and smooth. Your toddler can help scoop the cream cheese and pour the sugar and syrup or honey into the bowl. Set aside.
- In a large, zipper seal plastic bag, place 40 vanilla wafer cookies or graham cracker segments (or a combo of both). Close the bag securely and double bag for extra protection. Let your child crush the cookies inside the bag with his hands or on a sturdy table with a spoon. He’ll love this part! Crush until the cookies are crumb sized. If your toddler cannot crush the cookies finely enough, complete the process yourself by using a hammer or heavy mug.
- Next, pour the crushed cookies into a large bowl (a different one from the cream cheese mixture) and add ¼ cup melted butter (you can microwave the butter). Mix until the cookies and butter form a pasty consistency and no crumbs fall away when mixed. If you need more liquid, add more melted butter or a splash of milk.
- Take 2 cupcake baking tins with room for 6 cupcakes each and line with cupcake liners. If you do not have cupcake baking tins, you can make this recipe in small plastic cups. Don’t forget, we are not baking these. Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of each cupcake tin section or into the cups, about ¼-inch in thickness evenly across the bottom. Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top (about 1½-inches high) of the cookie base. If you have extra left over, distribute evenly amongst each cup.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours for the best consistency and enjoy! So easy, yet so scrumptious. No one will believe these are no-bake.
- Mix in ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips to the cream cheese mixture after blending for chocolate lovers.
- Top the cups with a sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar for a sweet, spiced touch. Great for fall.
- Combine ½ cup finely chopped fruit of choice into the blended cream cheese mixture for a healthy kick.
- Add ⅓ cup finely chopped nuts into the blended cream cheese mixture for added flavor and crunch.
- Use crushed chocolate wafers or graham crackers for a twist on the crust.
*If you are dairy-sensitive or allergic, go for a tofu based cream cheese substitute or use silken tofu instead of the cream cheese. You may need to chill the cups longer if you use the silken tofu in order to achieve desired consistency.