This fun family activity has some practical aspects: It gets dinner on the table and builds cooking skills for the whole family. To get started, assign or have everyone choose a meal element (salad, main dish, bread, sides, or appetizers). The person in charge of the dish has complete control over preparing (parents can still supervise young kids) and serving it. Have the family judge the appearance and taste of each food. At the end of the meal, award prizes for best presentation, best effort, most creative, most likely to be requested again or other fun categories. Then you can move to the main event: the bake-off!
For this part of the evening, prepare a box cake mix and divide the batter between family members. Everyone adds their own secret ingredients to their portion. Bake the enhanced cakes in mini cake pans or a muffin pan. After the cakes cool, hold a decorating party. Offer up frosting, tubes of icing, fruit, nuts and candy toppings. If you're using white frosting, put out some food coloring, too. Vote on which cake looks best and which tastes best.