Pumpkin Bread


Mix up delicious pumpkin bread with your little one. Baking is a fun way for your child to practice motor skills like measuring, scooping, and mixing. They’ll also be able to observe some early science concepts — the liquid batter transforms into a solid bread as it’s heated in the oven. This recipe is very forgiving, so your child can do a lot of the work and take pride in the result! 

What We’re Learning & Skills We’re Building

  • Measurement – using spoons and cups to add the correct amount of each ingredient to the batter 
  • Collaboration – working together with adults to safely bake delicious bread
  • Observation – when heated in the oven, the liquid batter turns into a solid bread
  • Following a recipe – learning the amounts of ingredients as well as the order and the timing for adding and mixing them


(Safety: Please supervise children around the oven and always use oven mitts!)


Ingredients & Tools 

  • Oven & oven mitts 
  • Loaf pan (or bundt pan) greased w/ oil or butter 
  • 2 mixing bowls 
  • Mixing spoons and/or spatulas 
  • 1¾ cups flour (gluten-free is fine as a 1:1 substitution)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (about half the can)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • ⅓ cup cool water
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips (optional)

Making the Bread Together

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Grease a loaf or bundt pan with oil or butter. 
  3. Measure out the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg) and pour them into one of the mixing bowls. Mix them together with a spoon. 
  4. In the other mixing bowl, measure out the “wet” ingredients (sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and water). Mix them together.
  5. Carefully pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of “wet” ingredients. Mix all the ingredients together until a well-combined batter is formed. 
  6. (Optional) Add chocolate chips and mix until they’re evenly dispersed.
  7. Pour the batter into the greased pan. 
  8. Using oven mitts, place the pan in the oven. Bake it for 1 hour (or until a dull knife stuck in the center comes out clean). 
  9. Let the bread cool. Enjoy!

More Learning

Baking with your child gives them the opportunity to practice more than just what’s listed in our What We’re Learning & Skills We’re Building section above! Problem solving is a big part of making (tasty) food. Encourage your child to think up solutions if, for example, the batter is too thick, or the baked bread is stuck to the bottom of the pan. Your child will also practice language that goes along with specific actions like combine, pour, and measure, and they’ll learn the difference between terms like “wet” and “dry” ingredients.

Adaptations – A Note From the Chef 

This recipe is not only forgiving of less-than-perfect measuring, it’s also adaptable. I’ve made it with gluten-free flour for my mom-in-law, and I’ve also made it with less than half the sugar for my dad. In defiance of memories of the Great Depression, my Gram would fill it with chocolate chips. I’ve mixed it inadequately both as a determined toddler and now, as a harried parent! I’ve also increased the amount of pumpkin, so as not to waste a thing. I’ve even stretched the pumpkin and made a double batch. Against the odds, this bread always works out! 

From my family to yours, 

Avery (Habitot’s Development Manager)