banana bread with chocolate chips and sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Cooking with kids: Easy seedy, chocolate-chip banana bread recipe

banana bread with chocolate chips and sunflower and pumpkin seeds

I love banana bread and as the Little One loves bananas we always have some hanging around. So if you find yourself with some that are over-ripe this is a perfect way to use them up and it’s very easy so the children can help you bake it. This is a mishmash of various banana bread recipes, keeping the bits I like such as chocolate chips and a crunchy, sweet, seeded crust. At two years old, I’ve been involving my son in baking for a while now and it’s great to see him really keen to get involved. However, as with most things these days, he insists on trying to do it by himself (obviously I’m actually doing most of it) but luckily this is one of those recipes that is quite forgiving even if everything isn’t quite mixed properly. And I’ve learnt  to accept the fact the kitchen will get covered in flour as he ‘stirs’ while actually flicking stuff all over the place!

What you’ll need

A 2lb loaf tin
A willing little helper (ideally wearing an apron if you can get yours to wear one!)

130g Butter
150g Light brown sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large free range eggs
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mixed spice
100g bag of choc chips
2 tbsp demerera sugar
2 tablespoons seeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds

weighing ingredients for banana bread

What to do

  1. Preheat the oven to 160° C (fan), 180° C conventional, gas mark 4. I use a silicon loaf tin so just grease it with butter but if you’re using a conventional tin you may want to line it with baking parchment too.
  2. Get your little ones to help you mash up the bananas with a fork (I have to stop mine sneaking most of it into his mouth as he loves bananas).
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. I use an electric handheld whisk then little hands can ‘help’ you by holding on.

Mixing banana bread ingredients

4. Add the eggs, mashed banana and vanilla and whisk a bit more until all combined.

5. Sift the flour, mixed spice, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and fold in. Then add the chocolate chips (you could add other things here – dried fruit, coconut, white or dark chocolate chunks – up to you)

6. Transfer to the loaf tin and then sprinkle the top liberally with mixed seeds. I suually have pumpkin and sunflower seeds in the cupboard but you can use whatever you have or even exchange these for nuts like flaked almonds or even desiccated coconut.

7. Finally sprinkle with Demerara sugar (for a yummy sweet crust) and then put it in the oven for 50-60 minutes.

8. It’s delicious eaten warm, but it will keep for a few days and is yummy lightly toasted with butter for breakfast. Although ours usually gets eaten pretty quickly!

Boy stuffing his face with banana bread

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Easy peasy chocolate flapjack recipe for children

I’m not even going to pretend that these flapjacks are healthy. But they are great fun to make together with children as they are super simple, and kids can get involved in the stirring as well as choosing what tasty extras they want to add.

homemade flapjack recipe

The basic flapjack mixture that I have used here can be adapted any way you want. You could add dried fruits like dates, apricots and raisins or even mashed bananas which would mean you could reduce the amount of sugar needed. I usually throw in whatever I have in the cupboard so they are different every time. For this latest flapjack, I decided to use up some leftover Easter eggs melted down on top and added some sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well as some chopped nuts. But feel free to just use whatever you fancy.


One baking or roasting tray – I use a brownie tin A little helper


Flapjack mix:

250 g (8oz) butter

180g (6oz) golden syrup

180g (6oz) light brown sugar

500g (16g) rolled or porridge oats

For the topping:

50g each of whatever nuts or seeds you want

100-300g chocolate depending on how thick you want your topping (or 1 large leftover Easter egg)


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (350 F, Gas 4).

2. Measure out the oats and put them in a large mixing bowl.

oats to create homemade flapjacks 3. Grease the roasting tin well with butter so that the flapjacks won’t stick.

4. Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan on a low heat. Warm it up gently, stirring until everything has melted and dissolved.

Butter, sugar and golden syrup melting in saucepan

5. Take the pan off the heat and pour the mixture over the oats. Get your young assistant to help you stir the oats until they are evenly coated by the buttery, sugary mixture.

6. Add any fruit pieces at this stage or you could even mix in some nuts or desiccated coconuts.

7. Put the mixture in the tin and push it down and into the edges so that the mixture is spread evenly. Little hands can help with this bit.

8. I like to add any nuts or seeds at this point, pressing them into the top. I often use a mix of things like sunflower or pumpkin seed and whatever nuts I have in the cupboard like almond flakes or chopped hazelnuts.

seeds and nut topping for flapjacks

9. Put the tray in the oven for 20-30 minutes just until the mixture had gone a light golden brown. Keep a close eye on it because it can easily start to brown too much around the edges and you don’t want to overcook the flapjacks as they will become dry and hard. You want them slightly chewy.

10. If you’re adding chocolate, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water on a low heat. Stir the chocolate until it has all melted and then remove it from the heat to cool slightly. Then spread the chocolate on top or use a spoon to make a pretty – or very messy – pattern depending on how keen the children are to help.

white chocolate on top of homemade oat flapjacks

And then enjoy! I’d love to hear how you get on and your favourite ways to personalise this or any other flapjack recipe.


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