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Cupcake decorating camps are a fun treat for kids
Culinary competition shows and celebrity chefs have us all itching to get in the kitchen – and even children have caught the foodie fever. Thankfully, 350° Classic Bakeshop (30 Elm Place, Rye; 914-967-2379; 350classicbakeshop.com) has come to the rescue with cupcake decorating camps for potential pastry chefs ages 5-13.
“The Food Network has exploded over the past couple of years,” said Keyes Clemmer, executive pastry chef and owner of the 350° Bakeshop. “Kids are being exposed to a lot of cooking shows like 'Cake Boss' and 'DC Cupcakes.' They really want to learn, so we teach them. It’s a way to instill passion in kids.”
Clemmer, a mother of three, came up with the idea to offer cupcake decorating classes because she is always looking for fun, educational things for her own children to do. In the classes, Clemmer teaches age-appropriate skills ranging from fondant to piping.
Kids begin the class by washing their hands, donning their kid-sized aprons (which they get to keep) and getting familiar with the decorating tools. Younger students are taught to pipe grass and other basic techniques. Older students use edible inks and create flowers with frosting. Students decorate four cupcakes and bring them home to share with their family.
The final two camps of the summer will be Cupcakes Gone Underwater (Aug. 7-9) and Cupcakes Galore (Aug. 14-16). The Cupcakes Galore theme is one of Clemmer’s favorites. At that camp, students put their creativity into full force and decorate cupcakes based on their interests. “We do a little bit of everything,” Clemmer said. “Hello Kitty, Lady Gaga, even sushi. Anything you love, we help you create.”
If you can’t make the camps, don’t fret, because the 350° Bakeshop hosts many classes and private events. It even hosts a cupcakes and cocktail event in which adults are welcome to practice their culinary skills while sipping wine.
Individual camp classes are $50 per child. Otherwise, cupcake aficionados can sign up to take all three classes of the session for $130. For more information on pricing and schedules, visit the website.
“I think that in this day and age, our kids are sitting at home and are not very hands-on. Cupcake decorating classes are a great activity,” Clemmer said. “Who doesn’t like to make something and then eat it? That’s the best kind of instant gratification.”