(Cake) Youth and older adults work together to create baked goods


Youth and older adults work together to create two sets of baked goods, one using traditional baking implements and recipes and the other using modern baking instruments and ready-made mixes.

Participant Requirements

At least two older adults and two young people (6 years of age or older).

Academic Connections/Life Skills

family and consumer science, social studies, and math.


cookie log, hand mixer (non-electric), flour sifter, dough mixer, cookie recipe and ingredients, cake tins, cake mix, cake recipe and ingredients, icing ingredients, tub of pre-made icing, kitchen facility with oven, and sink.

  1. Preparation:
  • Create intergenerational groups of 2-4 people; each group should have at least one participant who knows how to bake a cake or cookies using a mix sold in supermarkets, and one person who knows how to work with all of the ingredients necessary to bake "from scratch."
  • Provide each group with the ingredients to make cookies or cake from scratch and from a mix. Before they get started each group should review the materials on the table to make sure that everyone knows what each tool is used for. Make only one recipe at a time to avoid confusion.
  1. Bake:
  • Have members of each group work together on each baking activity. They can divide the tasks for each recipe, e.g., sifting flour, cracking eggs, and mixing. Make sure that participating children/youth get hands-on experience with traditional baking utensils.
  1. Taste Test and Discussion:
  • After both recipes are completed and baked, have participants sample the items they made and discuss the pros and cons of each baking experience. Themes may include: time, flavor, nutrition, artificial versus more natural ingredients, ease of use, ability to adjust for personal taste, moistness, crispness, etc.
  • At the end of the discussion, put all of the baked goods out for everyone to enjoy!


As with any project involving the kitchen, it is important that safety precautions be followed. Review with the participants the location of the fire extinguisher and oven mitts. Also remember to follow proper food safety procedures.

Kaplan and Hanhardt, 2003
Copyright © 2003 The Pennsylvania State University

Contact Us

Matthew Kaplan, Ph.D.
  • Professor, Intergenerational Programs and Aging

Contact Us

Matthew Kaplan, Ph.D.
  • Professor, Intergenerational Programs and Aging