ATK Kids

A Cookbook for Young Chefs Who Want to Make Everything Themselves

Our newest cookbook for kids has recipes for everything from pickles and barbecue sauce to fruit leather and peanut butter cups.

Published May 4, 2021.

Has your young chef ever asked, “What’s in ketchup, anyway?” or “Is there any way to make cheese at home?” Well, the America’s Test Kitchen Kids team answers these questions (and many more!) in our newest cookbook, The Complete DIY Cookbook for Young Chefs. Designed for kids ages 8 to 13, this book is packed with more than 100 fun recipes for all sorts of treats, sauces, drinks, and more—all made from scratch. The recipes range from weekend projects for the whole family to after-school snacks to homemade, edible gifts. Best of all, each recipe has been tested and approved by more than 12,000 kid recipe testers. Here are some of the from-scratch recipes young chefs can learn to make in this cookbook.

Everyday Staples

In this chapter, kids can go back to basics and learn to make the sauces, spreads, and toppings that fill their pantry and fridge. Think creamy, chocolaty Chocolate Hazelnut Spread; better-than-the-bottle Ketchup; the most appley Applesauce; perfectly dunkable Sweet-and-Sour Sauce; impossibly creamy Butter; and fluffy homemade Ricotta Cheese. Plus, the recipes include useful tips and tricks, such as a foolproof way to skin hazelnuts, how kids can use a blender safely, and delicious ideas for enjoying homemade ricotta.

From left: Ketchup, Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

“Tastes even better than the ranch dressing at my favorite restaurant. I renamed this awesome sauce.” —Alyssa, recipe tester, age 13, on our Ranch Dressing


Think of this chapter as the after-school snacks kids never knew they could make at home—Strawberry Pop Tarts, Cheddar Fish Crackers, Triple-Berry Fruit Leather, and much more taste just as good (if not better!) than store-bought. This chapter is packed with delicious flavor variations for nearly every recipe, so kids can spice up each recipe a bit differently (pizza-flavored fish crackers, anyone?!).

From left: Triple-Berry Fruit Leather, Strawberry Pop Tarts


Here, kids will find everything they need to satisfy their sweet tooth. They can throw a completely homemade ice cream sundae party with simple Vanilla No-Churn Ice Cream (plus four exciting flavor variations!), Hot Fudge Sauce, Strawberry Sauce, and Sprinkles. Or they can make Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches (better than the ice cream truck!) and dairy-free Coconut-Pineapple Paletas.

From left: Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, Peanut Butter Cups

“This was so good it didn’t need ice cream!” —Hilton, recipe tester, age 8, on our Hot Fudge Sauce


These do-it-yourself drinks will have kids chanting, “Sip, sip, hooray!” They can start by making no-cook Simple Syrup—and flavoring it with all sorts of ingredients, such as raspberries and mint leaves—and then use it in Flavored Seltzer. Young chefs can also make refreshing beverages like Frozen Raspberry-Lime Rickeys, Mango Lassis, Horchata, and Watermelon Agua Fresca.

From left: Horchata, Watermelon Agua Fresca

“This was like drinking a cloud.” —Ethan, recipe tester, age 11, on our Vanilla Milkshakes

DIY Mixes

This chapter is full of recipes for making big batches of dry mixes. Say goodbye to Bisquick and hello to our Pancake Mix. Also included: Cornbread Mix, Brownie Mix, Chocolate Layer Cake Mix, Macaroni and Cheese Mix, and more! You can store them in your kitchen, ready to cook or bake with at a moment’s notice!

From left: Macaroni and Cheese Mix, Pancake Mix

The Complete DIY Cookbook for Young Chefs

This ultimate do-it-yourself cookbook will inspire chefs ages 8 to 13 to make their favorite store-bought items—from peanut butter to fruit snacks to hot cocoa mix—from scratch.  
Buy the Book


"This ATK Kids book breaks down skills and tools with comprehensive details and helpful picture guides, and includes more than 100 recipes to help kids learn how to cook such dishes as hummus, pesto and even ice cream from scratch." —The Washington Post

"The third book in the America’s Test Kitchen Kids series teaches kids (and parents!) how to make their favorite store-bought foods at home. There’s even a section on making mixes (pancake mix, macaroni and cheese mix, sugar cookie mix) if your people prefer to cook from a box. Like other America’s Test Kitchen books, the recipes are meticulously written and the steps are precisely photographed. Buy this for: anyone who is stuck at home with wee ones." —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“I got this cookbook for my 7 year old daughter. She loves cooking with me and now has her own cookbook to follow, make notes and make her own choices. We love all the pictures that go along with the recipe so she can see what she is making. The recipes are kid friendly. Some are super simple and others take a little more time. This book has boosted her confidence in the kitchen and she is excited to pick new recipes and try new things. I would recommend this for any kid!” —Amazon reviewer

If you're looking for more information on cooking with kids, check out these articles:

Introducing the Young Chefs’ Club

Every month, young chefs ages 5 and up receive a themed box filled with kid-tested recipes; hands-on activities and experiments; and other creative items, such as art projects, achievement buttons, a kitchen tool or special ingredient, and more.  
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