Les Petits Chefs try 3-ingredient baking with Charmian Christie

When you only have an hour for cooking club, time is always of the essence when planning what you will make. Which is why when Charmian Christie’s 3 Ingredient Baking Book arrived earlier this fall, I knew I’d be able to use some of the recipes with the Petits Chefs – I mean, three ingredients, how much more simple can you get?

3 ingredient baking book on eatlivetravelwrite.comFrom the publisher:

Would you believe that you can make high-quality, no-stress sweets using just three ingredients? What if those recipes can be made with ingredients you already have on hand or can buy in a single trip to just one grocery store? Does it sound too good to be true? Charmian Christie, creator of blog The Messy Baker, promises that it’s not!

In The 3-Ingredient Baking Book, she shares 101 delicious and easy-to-follow recipes, from cookies to ice cream, to help you spend less time in the kitchen and less money on food. Whether you’re looking for entertaining-worthy desserts or just want to make yourself an effortless treat, Charmian has you covered. Impress your guests with Quick Chocolate Mousse, Mini Baklava Bites or a heaping serving of Strawberry Eton Mess. Feeling like a bit of self-indulgence? Keep it simple with Peanut Butter Cookies, Maple Popcorn or Chocolate Hazelnut Mug Cake. She also provides tips and tricks, must-have pantry items and equipment, and walks you through how to avoid the most common baking mistakes.

If you’re new to baking, this book is a great place to start. Nothing here is too difficult and you won’t have to spend a car payment on specialty pans. If you’re a seasoned pro, you’ll find inspiration and new ways to make old favorites without the fuss. So grab an apron and take the 3-ingredient challenge!

The book covers Cookies, Bars & Squares, Cakes, Muffins & Quick Breads, Pastries, Pies & Tarts, Chocolate, Fruit, Creamy Things, Candy, Cold Things and Sauces & Toppings so there really is a wide variety of recipes to choose from. It’s a great book for beginner bakers (so, kids) – as an experienced baker, I was curious as to the “three ingredient only” rule for things like cookies and muffins. How do you do that? 

Well, cookies can be made with melted ice cream, flour (“self rising” with salt and baking powder added so, technically not a three ingredient recipe) and butter. Clever – using pre-mixed ingredients (ice cream has the dairy/ egg you might think you need for cookies) to simplify recipes is pretty smart. Not what I’d normally do but I definitely learned a few tricks about taking shortcuts reading the book! A lot of the recipes do only use three ingredients anyway (Palmier cookies, for example, the “Christmas Clusters” we made – see below – and things like Chocolate Dipped Strawberries) but it’s a great “go to” collection for any kitchen – perfect for those snowy or rainy days when you’re scrambling for things to do with the kids (or yourself!). And it definitely gets you thinking about ways to simplify other recipes too!

We were SO lucky that Charmian happened to be in town this week and agreed to work with the boys – what better than to have the author of the book baking with you? When I was choosing recipes for the session, I thought that just doing one recipe in an hour would have been too simple (the recipes really are that easy!) so I chose four and divided the boys into groups and they took charge! Charmian worked with a group and I floated  between groups with my other assistant. It was like a production like!

First up – Oven S’mores!

I mean, S’mores only have three ingredients but this method (baking them in the oven) is pretty great! Perfect for the winter when you can’t roast your marshmallows over an open fire!

Kids prepping Oven Smores from The 3-ingredient baking book by Charmian Christie on eatlivetravelwrite.comKids making oven smores in a toaster oven from The 3-ingredient baking book by Charmian Christie on eatlivetravelwrite.com(note to self: “giant” marshmallows will fall over in the oven…)

We used Chipits as none of the chocolate bars we could find were guaranteed peanut-free (who knew?).

Kids watching oven smores baking from The 3-ingredient baking book by Charmian Christie on eatlivetravelwrite.comPerfect job for vigilant Petits Chefs…

Kids making Oven Smores from The 3-ingredient baking book by Charmian Christie on eatlivetravelwrite.comNote that your marshmallows will only toast on top, not on the sides like the image in the book shows. The boys were sad I didn’t have my blow torch to make them look “just like the picture” 😉  These were SO good we’ve made them again in aftercare this week a couple of times!

Next up, Pretzel Snaps. The best: Sweet and Savory….

Kids chopping caramels for Pretzel Snaps from The 3-ingredient baking book by Charmian Christie on eatlivetravelwrite.comPretzels and caramels…

Making Pretzel Snaps from The 3-ingredient baking book by Charmian Christie on eatlivetravelwrite.comMelted in the microwave…

Making Pretzel Snaps from The 3-ingredient baking book by Charmian Christie on eatlivetravelwrite.comCoated in melted chocolate…

Pretzel snaps from The 3-ingredient baking book by Charmian Christie on eatlivetravelwrite.comSo simple. So good!

Another group of boys worked on Christmas Holiday Clusters.

Kids making Christmas Clusters from The 3-ingredient baking book by Charmian Christie on eatlivetravelwrite.comSimply melted chocolate with nuts (we used pumpkin seeds) and dried cranberries (kind of like bark).

Christmas Clusters in progress from The 3-ingredient baking book by Charmian Christie on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe used our “faux fridge” (aka the window sill on a cold November afternoon!).

Et voilĂ :

Christmas Clusters from The 3-ingredient baking book by Charmian Christie on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe boys were a little enthusiastic making these a little too big (they are very sweet!) but did a great job at making them look pretty!

The last group worked on Peanut Butter Cups (we used Wow Butter) and I didn’t get any shots of the progression because they worked so fast with Charmian!

Peanut butter cups from The 3-ingredient baking book by Charmian Christie on eatlivetravelwrite.comThese were really good and tasted “like the real ones” according to some boys in aftercare who got to sample some leftovers! A huge hit!

The boys left with packed Tupperware containers and smiles on their (chocolatey!) faces! We’re SO grateful to Charmian for coming to work with us and teaching us the magic that just three ingredients can make in the kitchen! I know a lot of these treats will likely make an appearance on some holiday baking lists this year!

3 ingredient baking book on eatlivetravelwrite.comPurchase The 3 Ingredient Baking Book  for yourself which you can do on Amazon  (this link should bring you to the Amazon store in your country) or for free worldwide shipping, on The Book Depository

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post also contains affiliate links from The Book Depository. This means that if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you). Thank you in advance!


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of “The 3 Ingredient Baking Book” from the publisher. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.



MY BOOK! In the French kitchen with kids is out now! Click here for details and how to order!

In the French Kitchen with Kids cover on eatlivetravelwrite.com


2 thoughts on “Les Petits Chefs try 3-ingredient baking with Charmian Christie”

  1. Thanks so much for having me in to cook with your group. It was a blast! I was really impressed with how focused the boys were. I also love how you improvised to make sure the treats were peanut-free. I haven’t used a cold window sill to chill the chocolate, but I have been known to put a pan out on the back porch in the winter when my fridge was full. Real cooks are flexible! Thanks again.

    • You’re so welcome – we’re nothing if not adaptable at school (honestly with baking it’s SO hard to find completely nut free ingredients…). We loved baking with you and the boys loved the results of their session too 🙂


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