Our mummy blogger Anneliese says: 'I think it's fair to say that most children like, if not love, cake. However, not all are keen on rich chocolatey cakes or sickly sweet buttercream. In fact I've found that fruity cakes often go down the best. I think a bread pudding ticks a lot of boxes - not only is it jam packed with fruit but a young child can be involved in almost every aspect of the recipe, like tearing the bread, weighing the dried fruit, measuring the milk and joyfully cracking the egg. There is no need for a noisy electric whisk and instead we employ the good old fashioned spoon - and sometimes our fingers! My four year old boy loved every second of making these bread pudding bites and was able to do most of the work with little assistance.'
- 250g white or brown bread (stale bread works best)
- 200g mixed dried fruit
- 6 dried apricots, chopped (optional)
- 2tsp ground cinnamon
- 300ml milk
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 75g light brown sugar
- 1 small apple
- Zest of 1 orange
- 50g butter, melted
- 1tbsp Demerara sugar
The first task is to weigh the slices of bread on your kitchen scales. Once this has been done, pass the bread to your budding little chef and ask them to tear the slices into small pieces and place into a bowl. This request may result in squeals of excitement!
Once the bread has been pulled apart, your child can help weigh the dried fruit into the mixing bowl. My little boy was caught scoffing sultanas a few times!
If you are using the dried apricots, instead of chopping with a knife, you may find it easier to snip them into pieces with a pair of kitchen scissors.
Now it’s time to measure in the cinnamon. If you think your child might get a little carried away, you may want to do this part!
Locate your measuring jug and show your little one how to pour the milk into the jug. Be ready to shout “stop”! Your helper can now pour the milk into the mixing bowl to join the bread and mixed dried fruit.
Now for the messy but really fun part. Ask your child to stick their clean hands into the bowl and ‘squish’ the mixture with their fingers. You want them to break up the bread and combine all the ingredients. My little boy thoroughly enjoyed this part. I later found some mixture in his hair!
After your child has given their sticky hands a good wash, they can help you to crack the egg into a small bowl. Pass them a fork so they can give the egg a little whisk before adding to the rest of the ingredients in the mixing bowl.
Ask your helper to weigh the sugar carefully into the mixing bowl. While they do this, you can peel, core and slice your apple into small chunks. The apple can then join the rest of the ingredients in your mixing bowl. Now it is time to add the orange zest to your mixing bowl.
Dig out a wooden spoon and see if your child can give the fruity mixture a good mix, then leave it alone for about 15 minutes. This will give time for the bread to start to soak up some of the liquid.
Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Find a 7 inch square cake tin (not with a removable base) and grease with butter and line with greaseproof paper/baking paper.
Melt the butter in a small bowl. I melted our butter in the microwave. The bowl may be hot when you take it from the microwave so it’s probably best for you to pour it into the pudding mixture. Your child can be on stirring duty.
The next job for your helper is to pour the mixture into your prepared tin. They can sprinkle the Demerara sugar over the top of the bread pudding mixture as a final touch. It’s time for you to take over now as the tin needs to be transferred to the hot oven.
Cook your bread pudding in the oven for approximately a 1hr 30 mins. By this time the pudding should be firm and golden brown on top.
Once your bread pudding is cooked through, tip it out of the tin and remove the baking paper.
You can serve your delicious bread pudding warm or at room temperature. Either way it’s yummy!
Top tip for making Bread pudding bites
Serve your bread pudding bites with custard or cream for dipping