Cake pops are the ideal kid assisted treat. There's plenty of measuring, pouring and mixing, but more importantly, there's cake smashing and mauling, both skills my children excel at. And, they're made of cake. And frosting.
Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes For More than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats by Bakerella.
Carrot cake pops with cream cheese frosting are magical but more often than not, I end up using Cherrybrook Farms cake mix (vanilla or chocolate) because it's nut-free, egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, ridiculously easy, and tastes pretty good. There is a wide world beyond allergy-free vanilla and chocolate but I make a lot of cake pops for preschoolers with allergies so...
1. Bake a cake. Any cake. Cool it. Crumble it into a bowl.
2. Mix in some frosting (homemade, store bought, whatever) until it resembles a sticky cookie dough. Chill for an hour or two.
3. Roll cake-frosting concoction into balls. Chill again for an hour.
4. Melt candy melts or candy coating. Dip lollipop sticks into candy coating and insert about 3/4 of the way into cake pops. Chill again.
5. Finally, dip cake pops into melted candy coating and add sprinkles or decorations before the coating sets. If you want them to stand up like lollipops, use a styrofoam block or cake pop stand to hold them once they are dipped.
Magical Minds art studio. I totally ripped this idea off Pinterest, and I believe All You magazine is the original source, but how freakin' cute are these "paint" cupcakes?
gel food coloring. The colors become much more vibrant than with liquid.