Frugal Family Activity: Snow Cake 

The forecast is calling for heavy precipitation in the next few days, right in time for the new year. Most of us are still in vacation mode and parents with children are probably wondering how they’ll entertain their children while school is still out. Unfortunately, the cold means there’s no garden to tend to, and unless you’ve installed cold frames and planned for a winter harvest, there’s nothing to pick from the ground. On fair days when the weather has calmed, and the sun is out, it’s an ideal time for outdoor activities like tobogganing, hiking, skating. What happens when the snow falls fast and fills the streets and yards to the brim, though? Some stay holed up inside with a good book. Others play games or enjoy binge-watching Netflix. On days like those, there’s no opportunity to dig in the dirt. But whether you’re a parent wanting to entertain the kids or an adult looking for something different to do, there is one thing you can harvest after a winter storm. Snow!

My mother was, once upon a time, a preschool teacher. She still works with children and is a true kid-at-heart. I was recently reminded of an activity she used to do with her students and one that we would do at home. When the snow was fresh, we’d pop outside and find an undisturbed mound of the stuff and ‘harvest’ it for baking.

Yes. You heard that correctly. We’d bake a snow cake. The texture is dense, like a pound cake, and the taste was never really it’s shining attribute. But the fact that we were baking with snow was the real spectacle. I asked my mother to share her recipe with me so I could share it with you today on this New Year’s Eve. It’s a fun recipe to try with kids, and it sure beats feeling bummed about the lack of warm gardening-ready weather. 

Snow Cake

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter (margarine can be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup of milk 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of snow**


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Mix all ingredients until batter is smooth
  • Pour into a baking pan of your choice
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes 
  • Remove from oven and let cool
  • Add your favorite icing 

**Make sure to scoop up fresh, clean snow. 

Please feel free to share photos of your snow cake or stories of making this recipe with your kids I’d love to see and hear them.