Cooking with Kids: Pumpkin Banana Bread

Sometimes the thought of cooking with your kids can seem completely overwhelming. However, if you keep the recipe simple and prepare ahead of time, you can work together with the children in your life to create something tasty, and it may even end up being a little educational, too!

One thing that my children and I love to make together is Pumpkin Banana Bread. This simple quick bread is forgiving to measurement errors, uses up overripe bananas, and tastes great! It is especially fun to have your little ones help mash the bananas while you work on pulling together other ingredients! While my kids are mashing, I like to get all of the necessary items ready to go so we can move through the recipe together without having to worry about stopping to grab things along the way.

My favorite recipe for Pumpkin Banana Bread is taken from The Pioneer Woman (Thanks, Ree Drummond!) and I like to use this one because I almost always have every ingredient on hand, and if I don’t I know I can find a substitute in the pantry that won’t disrupt the recipe! I like the complexity and warmth the spices add to the bread. Don’t like or have nuts at home, don’t use them! Want to add some chocolate chips? Go for it! No cans of pumpkin around? Add extra mashed bananas! Don’t be afraid to tweak the recipe to make it your own, because quick breads are very forgiving, and half the fun of cooking is making it your own!

Ready to get started? Here is what you will need.


  • 3 cups Unbleached All-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Lightly Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 cups Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Canned Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 cup Mashed Ripe Banana
  • 1 cup Chopped Pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease two loaf pans, (8x4 or 9x5).
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and spices together. In another bowl, beat sugars, oil, and eggs until combined. Add pumpkin and banana; mix well. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in pecans.
  3. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake for 45–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. If the tops are browning more than you’d like, tent with foil towards the end of baking.
  4. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and pop out of pans. Cool on a wire cooling rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Wrap bread in foil to store. Voila!