01 April 2019

Baking tips for older people

a pile of chocolate cupcakes

Baking is a great activity for older people. Not only will you be able to enjoy some delicious treats but baking itself has also been suggested to have therapeutic value. Making measurements, kneading, and focusing whilst baking are all said to encourage stress reduction as well as being a great way to channel your creativity and learn new things. Baking is also a great way for people to feel like they are providing for others, as research suggests that baking is an act of giving and increases your connection with those around you.

As you get older, you may start to find everyday activities become difficult in which small adaptions to your lifestyle are needed, such as installing accessible UK stairlifts in your home. Baking does not need to be a strenuous activity, however. Read on to discover our easy baking tips for older people who want to create something tasty in the kitchen.

Preparation is key

plate of blueberry muffins

Before you begin in the kitchen, make sure you have all the ingredients you need as well as the right utensils. One tip is to do an online shop for all the things you need to follow the recipe of your choice. Online supermarkets quite often offer next day delivery for shopping, so if you’ve caught the baking bug but don’t have time to get to the shops, this is a much easier solution.

We spoke to the blog Baking Mad for their simple tips for baking, they say: “Preparation is key, get all your ingredients out of the cupboards and measure what you need before you begin so that you can focus on the step by step instructions easily.”

Remember to keep old chocolate and biscuit tins that can be used as storage for when you next bake. Alternatively, you can find great value food containers at most supermarkets. Baking Mad talks about storage: “Make sure they’re in a sealed container. You can store cakes for around three days. Biscuits last longer - up to seven days.”

Weigh each of your ingredients before you start baking, this will make it easy for you to focus on one activity at a time. We recommend using a digital scale for clear and accurate readings and it often creates less mess than mechanical scales.

Invest in the right equipment

Investing in baking equipment to make the process easier is not cheating. All professional bakers use the right gadgets as a helping hand to their baking. A KitchenAid mixer is a great addition to the kitchen top and will save you energy and time when creating your bakes. There may be parts of the recipe you can mix yourself, but heavier mixing should be done with an electronic mixer.

For an older person, it is worth investing in utensils that make baking a more convenient and enjoyable experience. A clear-to-see measuring jug with an added grip on the handle is great for ensuring stability when you pour mixtures into a bowl.

Some recipes will be very specific about their instructions but remember to use it as a guide rather than an exact method. If a recipe tells you how long to mix for, bear in mind that will differ according to whether you do it by hand or in a mixer. Likewise, consider the strength of your oven when timing how long you’re baking your treats. Check on the bakes when it reaches the suggested time but don’t be afraid to leave them in the oven for a few minutes more.

Baking Mad commented: “Always set a timer once it goes into the oven. Sounds like common sense, but once you’ve put something in the oven you can easily get distracted with the washing up. As long as you set a timer, you’ll remember to take it out on time.” You can find large digital timers which are easy to use or even talking timers that will remind you at certain intervals how long your bake has been in the oven.

Take your time

Always give yourself enough time when baking. If you have family visiting you in a couple of hours, leave baking till next time even if a recipe says it only takes one hour to prepare. Baking should be an enjoyable activity; therefore, you shouldn’t rush. If you don’t fancy spending hours on your feet in the kitchen it is worth getting a perching stool. You can find stools with extra padding in the arms and backrest for comfort. Not only are perching stools great for baking, they can also be used for ironing and general DIY around the kitchen.

What to bake?

chocolate chip cookies

There are so many delicious recipes online and in cookbooks with ideas on what to bake. There are also many baking TV shows that you could watch for some inspiration, as these have grown in popularity over the last few years. An older person baking may want to stick to simpler recipes that have few ingredients and no technical elements to the method.

Our favourite idea for what to bake is shortbread. With simple ingredients and an easy-to-follow method, shortbread is the perfect thing to bake for an older person. You can bake the shortbread in the morning and the delicious biscuits will be ready to be enjoyed with an afternoon tea. This recipe has just three ingredients; butter, caster sugar and plain flour. The method consists of beating the butter and sugar together, stirring in the flour, rolling the paste, and then the mixture is ready!

Flapjacks are another great idea for an easy bake. With just five key ingredients and six easy steps to follow, flapjacks are a great way for older people to be introduced to baking. The much-loved treat will be a hit for any friends or family you wish to share your bakes with. Baking mad says: “We love this recipe because there’s relatively little mixing to do (easy on the wrists) and you can personalize it. Perhaps you love a glace cherry or the sweetness of a raisin? Throw in a little handful of whatever you fancy- there’s very little that can go wrong. These easy flapjacks go perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.”

Other great baking ideas:

  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Peanut butter brownies
  • Banana bread
  • Cherry muffins
  • Chocolate cupcakes
  • Lemon cheesecake (you don’t even need the oven!)
  • Lemon drizzle cake