We are a homeschooling family with 5 kids 10 and under. My middle child is in kindergarten, and I’m using the same curriculum with her that I used with my older two, My Father’s World.
I try to let my kids help in the kitchen as much as safely possible. There is so much to be learned in the kitchen that can be applied to all aspects of life and learning. Check out their little recipe video. We had a lot of fun making this cake, and you can see the “volcanic erruption” .
Charlotte Mason, Thematic Units, Phonics, and Kindergarten
It’s a thematic unit based phonics approach using the Charlotte Mason method of learning. I can’t say enough good things about it!
“M-m-moon” & the Letter “Mm”
Right now we just wrapped up the “M-m-moon” unit learning about the letter Mm and the moon.
Moon Sand & Moon Cake
We recently mad Moon Sand, and today it was time to make Moon Cake! My older two children fondly remember making this cake.
It’s got a fun name, several of the ingredients are also renamed to emphasize the moon theme. It’s moist and seriously so delicious, but their favorite part is making the little craters and in particular, a volcano out of one of them!
This is very similar to the popular World War II Cake, Depression Era Cake, AKA Wacky Cake or Crazy Cake. It is made in the same pan it will be baked in, and you use oil and baking soda in lieu of egg.
Substitutions and Upgrades
The original recipe from their curriculum uses all-purpose flour and milk, but I’ve updated it to be gluten free, vegan and top 8 free. Additionally, the original recipe called for raisins as moon rocks in a white cake. Can I just say that everything is better with chocolate?!! So we added cocoa and also, my kids ain’t havin’ non-a-that (raisins). So we subbed what I consider an upgrade… more chocolate!!!! Chocolate chip moon rocks. It’s basically perfection.
Moon Phases with the Cake
You can cut the cake in half and then in a crescent shape to show your child the phases of the moon. It really makes a great visual to help grasp understanding of the concept.
Oreo Moon Phases Activity
Additionally, we did a similar phases of the moon activity with Oreo’s. You could sub Kinnikinnick or WalMart brand chocolate sandwich cookies for safe subs.
Here’s the Oreo Phases of the Moon printable we used:
My kids also loved using a chart to go outside nightly, looking for the moon, and drawing what they say so they could see the slow change in the phases of the moon.
Here’s the Moon Journal we used (we just printed page 3):
And now friends … the recipe!
Moon Cake | Gluten Free, Vegan & Top 8 Free
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten free measure for measure flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup milk or dairy alternative (see notes)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
In a 9" round baking pan, combine the moon sand ingredients (flour, sugars, salt, cocoa). Make 1 large indentation (crater) and 2 smaller ones. In the large one add your oil. In one of the small craters add your soda, and in the other add your vanilla. Next, add the vinegar to the baking soda crater and watch it erupt (this is the fun part!). When the foaming slows, add 1 cup of milk or substitute (see notes), and mix together to make moon mud. Even out the top of the cake batter, and sprinkle on your chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Let cool, and then sprinkle your moon dust on (about 1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar).
For substitutions in this recipe to make it gluten free, vegan and top 8 free:
Sub Pillsbury Gluten Free brand, King Arthur Gluten Free brand for any all-purpose flour. They both have a "measure for measure" blend that works like magic!
Sub for the milk: rice milk, hemp milk, oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or even JUST PLAIN WATER!!
For the chocolate chips: You can use Enjoy Life Brand, or there is also some new competition in your local grocery store aisle... Yup that's right! Nestle Toll House has new chips (featured in the video for this recipe), "Simply Delicious" and they are made in a dedicated facility with just three ingredients: chocolate, cocoa butter and sugar.