Baking with Kids: Baked Apple Gingerbread Pancake

Last week was particularly stormy, even for us Northerners. Huge dumps of snow caused my husband to be stranded for an extra day in Toronto and gave two snow days to my kindergartner, Noah. My list of priorities quickly changed at that turn of events.

Of course, the boys and I spent the better part of both days baking up a storm of our own; our time in the kitchen was interspersed with bursts of play in the snowdrifts and lengthy story times. We may have had a few non-suppers as well. Why, with the man of the house away, what better excuse not to cook a real dinner?

A season for kids in the kitchen

Although we often get outside for a snow picnic or sledding expedition, the majority of play in February is indoors. By now, puzzles are getting worn, books read and reread, and just today my eldest sighed heavily and said “I wish it was another season, like spring”. Like most of us, he’s feeling the winter blahs. I think another cooking lesson is in order for this week!

Winter is the ideal season to get kids cooking alongside you in the kitchen. While summer is spent playing outdoors from morning ’til night, the cold weather practically demands you assemble together at the stove and bake up something to warm you from head to toe. Even if your climate is not as cold as it is outside my door, the routine of the winter months makes incorporating a family baking session into the week easier than in the scattered days of summer.

On Wednesday we’ll take a closer look at what to expect when you bake with children, and provide helpful steps to make it enjoyable for everyone. For now, I suggest you brush up on basic kitchen safety and knife skills for children, then make a date with your children for a fabulous baking activity!

Tip: Does your child have a winter birthday? Consider a cooking/baking themed birthday party and inspire kids of all ages to get in the kitchen. Head HERE for a complete guide with tips, links and a suggested timeline.

Recipe: Baked Apple-Gingerbread Pancake

Since our favorite foods for a snow day include both pancakes and gingerbread, I decided to combine then in one perfect dish. We enjoyed it immensely and I knew I had to share it with you!

It’s a great dish for making together, and my five-year-old was able to complete most of the steps with my close supervision.


  • 1 medium apple
  • 4 Tablespoons organic whole cane sugar (why? head here) or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of salt


*Start with all ingredients at room temperature*. This helps the pancake to ‘puff’ without any leavening.

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly butter a non-stick ovenproof skillet (I love the Scanpan CTX Fry Pan) or a Pyrex pie pan.

2. Peel the apple, then quarter and chop into chunks. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 2 Tablespoons of the whole cane sugar and cinnamon.

3. Pour apples into the pan and spread them around the bottom. Place pan in preheated oven and set timer for five minutes. Meanwhile, make your batter.

4. In a blender, combine 2 Tablespoons sugar, eggs, milk, molasses, flour, salt, and ground ginger. Blend for about one minute until smooth.

5. Using oven mitts, open the oven and carefully slide the rack out partially until the pan of baking apples are accessible. Pour the batter from the blender into the pan, slide the rack back in and close the oven door.

6. Bake for about 25 minutes until puffed and golden.

To Serve: Slide pancake onto a large cutting board. Dust with powdered sugar, slice into wedges and serve.

Do your kids show interest in the kitchen?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Kelly @ Mom's Kitchen Gadgets says

    All of my kids love to lend a hand in the kitchen and I love it – usually! It can be pure chaos sometimes but on lazy snow days like the one mention, there is nothing better!

  2. Both of my boys love being in the kitchen with me, especially to make things they love. I bet this will be a BIG hit!

  3. Oh I love his little hands dusting the powdered sugar in that last picture. And that pancake looks so delicious!

  4. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says

    Oh my gosh, his little hands with that powdered sugar. I love it! The recipe made my mouth water, and the photos are beautiful!

  5. How fun and the apple pancake looks delishious. I have 3 yo twins and they love to help out in the kitchen. I don’t let themuse real knives just yet. To be safe they cut soft fruit and veggies with plastic knives. No one has ever cut themselves on those 😉

  6. Sounds like you and your boys were making some great memories 🙂 My 4-year-old son loves cooking with me – it’s such a great bonding time! I’ve got to re-read your knife skills tutorial, I think he might be ready to learn.

  7. I am *so* going to make this with my munchkin! Thank you 🙂

  8. I am drooling just looking at this! I love non-suppers. 😉

  9. Love the pics of your son baking. Adorable! Great recipe.

  10. I’m changing out one of our dinners this week to this pancake! It looks delicious (they’ll think they’re having a treat for dinner), and fun for them to make.

    Thanks for sharing Aimee!

  11. My kids love being in the kitchen! The 3.5 yr old is always on his stool helping from start to finish. The challenge now is that my 16 month old wants in on the action, but he’s not reliable enough to be on a stool. When they both want to help, I have the stool for the older and two chairs for the younger (one to stand on, one to keep him from walking off the side). Consequently, I can’t open any cabinets or reach my own counter to do any actual cooking!! =)

    I really would be interested to hear how other parents provide counter access to multiple children and still move about the kitchen!

    • Good question. I have to make sure I get all my ingredients, pans, etc out of the cupboards before those chairs get pushed up and blog the doors.

  12. Oh I can’t wait until my little girl is old enough to help me in the kitchen. I’ll be such messy fun! These apple pancakes look delicious, I love apples in breakfast goods!

  13. Thanks, Aimee – as usual, your posts are filled with lovely photos and delicious food. I couldn’t agree more that cooking is an ideal way to spend time with your kids (and teach them about their impact on the world, at the same time!)

  14. Great recipe Aimee. Love all that powdered sugar finishing it all off. Great job Noah!

  15. Yum. These types of pancakes – Dutch baby or pannenkoeken – are my all-time favorites. My mom used to make them when I was little. I’ll have to try your gingerbread variety. Sounds lovely.

  16. These look yummy. I make something like this, but I’ve never tried adding ginger. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Wow this looks very delicious!

  18. How beautiful! I love that first picture with the piece missing. What a great idea to use gingerbread flavors, so nice and wintery.

  19. My children love to cook. We have a great time cooking together,
    They are very proud of their success.

  20. Our girls are my kitchen sidekicks. The 8YO can now make a batch of her favorite banana muffins all on her own – even took them in & out of the oven for the first time a couple weeks ago. And I know she would LOVE this recipe – she’s big on gingerbread. I’ll be sure to show her!

  21. What a great recipe & your son is cute as pie! (or in this case pancake!) 🙂

  22. My 2 kids (4.5 & 2.5) love to be in the kitchen. My son (the 4.5 y.o.) really enjoys cooking. It is coming to a point where he wants to do more in the kitchen, cut, use the stove, etc. I am not keen on him using the stove at all, I am quite nervous about him using knives, I was 5 when I learned (from my Grandma), maybe it is time I showed my boy.

    The pancake recipe looks scrumptious! 🙂

  23. The pancake looks great, but I can’t get past those cute boys helping you out. What sweet kiddos!

  24. That looks fabulous!!! I think I’m going to have to try this out tomorrow morning!! Thanks!

  25. So lovely to see young ones give it a go in the kitchen. I have two little boys, the older 7 yr old is a serial Masterchef addict and the younger 3 yr old loves to cook eggs. We have an extremely old, almost dysfunctional kitchen with hardly any counter space. I can’t wait to get a new one in 2 yrs so they can really spread their wings and experiment more!

  26. looks wonderful

  27. Shaz (feedingmykidsbetter) says

    I totally agree with some of the commentors, especially alissa. It’s a real challenge to get the three year old involved when the tot wants some action too!

  28. We don’t have a blender, as such. Do you think the mixing-up step can be done by hand, or should we break out the food processor?

    • This recipe can totally be done, by hand, Scott. And thanks for the reminder, it’s apple season again and we’re due for a lovely breakfast puff.

  29. Such a cool recipe! Perfect for autumn too! Very glad a stumbled across your blog 🙂

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