Basic Quick Bread Recipe (sweet or savory)

Baker Bettie Baking Techniques, Basic Recipes, Breads, Breakfast, Breakfast Breads, Muffins and Quick Bread Loafs, Sweets, Vegan 69 Comments

A basic quick bread recipe that is adaptable to be savory or sweet. Take this base recipe and add any spices, herbs, dried fruit, nuts, or any add-ins you like! There are endless combinations! 

Adaptable Quick Bread Base Recipe

I don’t know about you, but quick bread is one of my favorite things to bake. I am pretty obsessed with trying new flavors and combinations of ingredients to make gluten free or vegan quick breads. They can be savory or sweet and the base recipe is so incredibly adaptable and fool proof that bread or muffins can be in the oven in less than 10 minutes.

Adaptable Quick Bread Base Recipe

In this installment of the Back to Bake-sics Series I share with you my base recipe for quick bread. I use this for either savory or sweet bread. The recipe makes a great bread as is for a side dish for soup or with some eggs for breakfast. Or add some cheese, jalapenos and even some bacon or sausage and you have a breakfast all on its own.

We still don’t have a very well stocked pantry or fridge so yesterday I made bread with whatever I could find which was basically a tart apple, some cinnamon, and brown sugar. Simple. Delicious.

Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread

The 6 ingredients in the base quick bread recipe are:

Flour: Flour is the structure of the bread. All-purpose is preferred but bread flour would do the trick and self-rising flour is acceptable too if you leave out the other baking powder in the recipe. I have also made this with oatmeal flour. It works great and gives the bread such an amazing chew and texture. I have never tried cake flour in a quick bread recipe and I wouldn’t recommend it. The crumb would most likely be too tender and wouldn’t hold together well.

Salt: Always. It seasons and brings out flavors.

Baking Powder: This leavens the batter and tenderizes the bread.

Milk or Moisture: I typically use buttermilk or other milk soured with vinegar. You could also use yogurt, sour cream, apple sauce, mashed banana, pumpkin, or other ingredients that have a creamy texture. If you use one of the ingredients that isn’t a liquid (such as banana or sour cream) it is best to use about 1 1/2 the amount originally called for. so 1/2 cup liquid to 3/4 cup banana.

Oil or Softened Fat: I typically use canola oil or vegetable oil but melted or softened butter works too. You could also replace this with peanut butter or another high fat ingredient.

Eggs: Eggs offer binding and some leavening for the batter. Ener-G egg replacer also works well in the recipe as well as other egg replaces such as applesauce or banana. Use 1/4 cup per egg of either of these.

If you want to make a sweet recipe add about 1/2 cup-1 cup sugar. Other great additions for sweet bread would be orange or lemon zest and juice, fresh or dried fruits, nuts, cinnamon, cardamom, chocolate chips, coconut, poppy seeds, vanilla, almond extract. or other extracts.

Other savory additions could be cheese, herbs, spinach, onion, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, crumbled sausage or bacon, jalapenos, or pretty much any other thing you want to try throwing in there!

Adaptable Quick Bread Base Recipe

Other Posts from the Back to Bake-sics Series: 

4 Ingredient No-Knead Bread

5 Ingredient Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

5 Ingredient Classic Pancakes

Classic Fudgy Brownies

One year later: Easy Basic Pie Crust

One year ago: Raw Berry Tart with Lemon Cashew Cream

4.2 from 10 reviews

Basic Quick Bread Recipe
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


This is a base recipe for quick bread. Use this to create your own adaptation with various add ins and make it sweet or savory. Note: This is enough batter for a small loaf pan. I doubled the recipe for my large loaf pan and increased the bake time to 1 hour.
Serves: 1 Loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (up to 1 tsp if making a savory bread)
  • 2 eggs (or egg replacement)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or other milk)
  • 1/4 cup oil or liquid fat

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil a loaf pan or muffin tins and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl stir together flour, salt, baking powder, and other dry herbs or spices if using.
  3. In another bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, oil, milk and sugar and other wet ingredients such as extracts if using.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together just until combined.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle.

For the apple cinnamon bread pictured: add 1 tsp cinnamon to the dry ingredients and 1 tsp vanilla and 1 cup brown sugar to the wet ingredients. Fold in 1 finely chopped or shredded tart apple to the prepared batter before panning and baking.

Tools I used for this recipe…

Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 9-Inch x 5-Inch Loaf Pan, Gray (Kitchen)

List Price: $14.00 USD
New From: $1.75 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

A Look Into Our New Life
Classic Fudgy Brownies, Only 5 Ingredients

Related Post

Comments 69

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Thank you so much Jennie! I love adaptable recipes too! It makes it so easy to get creative in the kitchen.

    1. Post
  1. Laura Dembowski

    I love a good quick bread! It’s so nice when you just know it’s going to turn out. I have used cake flour before when my brain decided to stop working and I ran out of ap, and it turned out well. Can’t wait to try oat flour!

  2. Kelsey

    This looks so wonderful and simple! I’m interested in making a basic chocolate chip loaf or a blueberry loaf using the basic recipe. Do you think I could use the sugar, salt, and vanilla measurements given in the Apple Cinammon recipe and just add in chocolate chips or blueberries? Thanks!

    1. Post
  3. erin

    For milk, would you be able to use a milk substitute (such as almond milk)? If so, would this be a circumstance where I would want to mix with vinegar? Thank you!

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      You could definitely use almond milk in this. Putting vinegar with it will make it more true to a buttermilk substitution, but since the recipe calls for baking powder and not baking soda, you can get away with just using plain almond milk as well!

  4. Fitrah

    I just googled “basic quick bread recipe” and found this page (and the rest of your site). This recipe is EXACTLY what I’m looking for and I’m so excited to try it out. I really appreciate you explaining the role of each ingredient. I love when people do that. Thank you. You have a new reader.

  5. Colleen Dean

    Hi!! I love your blog/website!! I prefer the butter taste in a quick bread, should I melt butter if I decide to use it instead of oil? And what would the butter amount be? Is there a reason you prefer oil to butter? Is there much of a taste difference? Sorry for the four part question!!!
    Thank you!!!! All the best to you!

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Yes, you can use melted butter in this recipe. Use the same amount as you would oil. In this recipe I choose oil because it tends to hold the moisture in a baked good a bit more than butter and also creates a more dense and tender crumb which is what I was looking for. That isn’t to say that it won’t still work and be delicious with butter! Go right ahead. Oil also offers an easy vegan version which I like to give my readers options for.

  6. Elaine Lunceford

    I really feel bad about saying this, but if you make this bread, be sure to add other ingredients for flavor, instead of just making the basic recipe. Maybe that would make it eatable. I made the basic recipe and it had absolutely no flavor and smelled "eggy". Sorry!

  7. Elaine Lunceford

    I really hate to say this, but I made the basic recipe and it had no taste, needed salt desperately, and smelled “eggy”. I would suggest to anyone who makes this to use additional ingredients for flavor, instead of making the basic recipe.

    1. Baker Bettie

      Hi Elaine,
      Thank you for the feedback and maybe I need to edit the post to be more clear. The recipe isn’t actually meant to be made as is. It is meant to be used as a base to build upon. Maybe a better name for it is the “base recipe” instead of the “basic recipe.” My vision for this post was to teach about the science of quick bread and to show the absolute base of a quick read recipe so that it is easily use to create your own flavor. Again thanks for the feedback and I’ll edit the post to be more clear about what the base recipe meant to be used for.

      1. Elaine Lunceford

        Thanks for your response. The recipe above does say that it can be made as is or adapted and that was why I made it. I was looking for a bread I could make at the last minute and this one seemed so easy and fast. Thank you so much for clearing this up for me. I will try it again because it is so easy, but I will use some of your other suggestions for flavoring it. Thank you again for the info.

      2. Katie Short

        I haven’t tried the recipe. I wanted to compliment you on your blogging skills. You took criticism, checked its relevance, and thanked the author for pointing out a (minor) issue with your post. The original was not inflammatory or insulting, which deserves credit and also makes it easier for the blogger to respond kindly. You both succeeded in that. Thank you for showing people how to use the internet 🙂
        I’ll be making the bread later today, with leftover shredded cheddar and roast garlic (all smushed up) to have with spaghetti and meat sauce. I’m so sick of the frozen garlic bread we always have – it might be easy, but that “buttery spread” is nothing like homemade bread with actual butter for us non-vegans. Thanks for the “base” recipe – it would be so easy to make two loaves, one savory, one sweet. Also, I can see packing this into jars, less the egg and milk, with dried fruits, chocolate, sundried tomato and herbs, or a dozen other things, then giving them as gifts with instructions for adding the egg and milk. Adding a bit of citric acid – just a bit – would allow recipients to use regular milk and still get the buttermilk effect! So many ideas from one post!

        1. Post
          Baker Bettie

          Thanks for the comment Katie! You have to let me know how it turns out! That sounds amazing.

          Good point about the the acid added to milk. I do this often when I don’t have buttermilk on hand. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  8. Alexis

    Can you clarify how to handle other moist ingredients? I wanted to adapt your recipe to make a pumpkin bread. How much pumpkin would I use vs. milk or buttermilk?

    1. Brianna

      One 15oz can of pure pumpkin is 1 1/2 cups. I’d say the easiest way to do it would be double the recipe, use the whole can in place of 1 1/2 cups of the milk, and make up the other 1/2 cup of the liquid with buttermilk or “soured” milk (milk mixed with vinegar or lemon juice).

  9. Brianna

    I’m using the base recipe (with a little salt added for flavor) to make French toast as I type this. I was out of yeast and searched for a plain or base quick bread recipe to make the family favorite, and yours was the first site I saw that had just what I was looking for. Thanks so much! I plan on using your base to make all sorts of new flavors just to munch on, too. Yum!

    1. Post
  10. J Neely

    Thanks, Jennie! there are sooo many sweet quick bread recipes out there; and i just wanted something savory! this adaptable recipe and the sour cream trick made it happen! I used your adaptable recipe (with the sour cream exchange) and a 1/4 c of sudried-tomato-garlic olive oil infusion for the oil with rosemary and a little extra salt! yummy, perfect side!

  11. Pingback: Baker Bettie's Top 13 of 2013! - Baker Bettie

  12. Alina

    It’s so tasty! A very good recipe! Thanks for that!
    And I like the size of your loaf pan. Would you tell me the exact size, that I can buy it for myself? Thsnks 🙂

  13. Pingback: Coconut-Walnut Quickbread (Gluten Free) | Rags to Dishes

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Hi Susie, it is not a typo. As always, all ovens cook differently. I always have an oven thermometer in mine to make sure it is in fact cooking at the stated temp. Cook times can vary based on your oven. It is possible that you might need to set your oven up to 375 if it is not cooking hot enough.

  14. Susan Allen

    This came out so gooey it wasn't even bread consistency…I baked for 1 and a half hours and it was still liquid inside. BEWARE.

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Sounds like a case of your oven not cooking hot enough Susan. I make this bread frequently without any issues. You may need to invest in an oven thermometer!

  15. RwH

    For ‘sweet’ breads I dust the oiled pans with cinnamon/sugar & for ‘savory’ breads I dust them with corn flower (fine cornmeal)
    Awwwww, so many variations, so little time. 😉

  16. mrsloomis

    Love this base. Being a g/f household I used a blend of brown rice, white rice, potato, and tapioca flours with Xanthan gum. I added rum and lime with the almond milk I opted to use. THEN, I literally dumped all the old dried fruit (dates, pineapple, mango, golden raisins, coconut) from the pantry. I baked it 50 minutes. OH MY WORD. I’ll never be able to duplicate it because it really was a “dump” loaf, but WOW–it was good!

  17. Pingback: Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread | Cake, Crust, and Sugar Dust

  18. Sabrina

    I was wondering how I should go about making this as a savoury bread instead of a sweet one, do you have any suggestions? I know I’m mixing in ground sausage and some cheese but I don’t exactly know how to go about doing it.

    1. Post
      Baker Bettie

      Hi Sabrina,

      Make the basic quick bread recipe and fold in the cooked ground sausage and shredded cheese into the batter right before putting it into the pan. You could save a little of both the sausage and the cheese to sprinkle on top of the batter before putting it into the oven. Some chopped fresh herbs would be really nice with this too! Maybe some fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme! Good luck!

  19. Joshua Croson

    I took this recipe and modified it a handful of ways this past weekend.
    -Cranberry Orange
    -Pumpkin Almond
    -Cinnamon Swirl

    Of these three, I felt the cinnamon swirl turned out the best. I’d caution using buttermilk if you are going to do a cranberry orange, it comes out a bit to tart, but overall this base recipe was phenomenal.

    Now some good news for all the gluten free friends out there. In our household my fiancé is gluten free, so when I bake breads, its pure torture on her! However the base recipe works absolutely great with a simple gluten free all purpose flour. I have used Bob’s Red Mill and the results were phenomenal. I also used a dairy free milk (she is also lactose intolerant). From the base recipe, I added a cup of white sugar, and then made a small batch of cinnamon streusel, which I folded in lightly right before pouring into the baking pan. The results were phenomenal. So feel free to take this base recipe and build off of it. Don’t be afraid to experiment, food is supposed to be fun!

    1. Joshua Croson

      As a side note, with most gluten free products, adjust your cook times appropriately. It ended up taking almost an hour and 15 minutes. This is partially due to my oven, but also due to it being a gluten free product (I’ve noticed this with GF yeast products I’ve made as well).

      1. Chelsea

        Thanks for posting this! I have been looking for a basic gf recipe as I am new to this lifestyle and am having a hard time being without bread! I am currently baking it and it has been in for almost an hour already and I just keep checking it every 10 minutes. The top is getting crisp, but the inside is still a little gummy. Using the Bob’s Red Mill cup for cup flour with xanthan gum included. Let me know if you have other tips. Love this recipe! I only added a scant tbsp of flaxmeal and a tsp of cinnamon.

  20. Pingback: Apple Almond Cranberry Quick Bread » Honey and Birch

  21. Joy

    I can’t thank you enough for posting this basic ‘base’ recipe for a quick bread. This is precisely what I’ve been looking for – can’t wait to experiment now! 🙂

  22. Colleen

    I too am a bit confused about “small loaf pan”. My pans are 8″x4″ and 9″x5″. Is this considered small? Or would I have to double the recipe? (The idea of 4 eggs scares me…not a fan of eggy flavors and I’m afraid that’s all I would taste regardless of what I added to the base!)

  23. Audra

    I wanted to thank you for this recipe, It is easy, has simple ingredients, is adaptable to what you have on hand (I did a quick banana bread), fast to make…and best part of all – it is delicious!

  24. Pingback: 100 MPH BREAD | COOKING BANGERZ

  25. Londeka Ndukuda

    I really love your recipes, especially the 5 ingredient pancake one, because I never stock up on things to bake (because I am a full time student and find that I have to throw away ingredients more than I actually use them). I used self-rising for the quick bread recipe, I found that it was a bit short… was that meant to happen or did I make a mistake somewhere?

  26. Kim NomNom Bread

    Love it! What a simple, easy recipe. No milk on hand – no problem! I had coconut milk and worked like a charm substituting 1:1. I went the savory route adding spices and herbs like basil, oregano, dill, garlic, thyme, rosemary and cracked pepper. I did take the advice for adding 1 tsp of salt for savory and good call. I found the recipe a little wet and added about 1/2 cup of all purpose flour. Fit nicely in my small rectangle baking dish which is approx 1 1/2 cups and then poured a melted pat of butter over top. Overall, came out of the oven beautifully and I don’t know if any will be left for anyone else.

  27. Pingback: Break Bread With This Harvest-Season Loaf | COOK-RECIPES

  28. Pingback: Chocolate Chai Bread

  29. Pingback: Aperitif Friendly Provence Quick Bread

  30. Destiny W.

    I just made the base recipe, with oat flour. It turned out great. My mom even liked it, and she never likes my gluten free baking. I will definitely make this one again, but with extra flavors. Thank you for the recipe.

    1. Post
  31. Pingback: Orange Ginger Quick Bread

  32. Gia

    Hi. Help! I’m making this now and your instructions state add milk and sugar but there is no sugar listed in the recipe. Thanks in advance.

  33. Gee

    Hi there,
    Tried the bread today with 2/3 rd oatmeal (home ground) and 1/3rd white flour and substituted flax seed paste for eggs, and the bread hasn’t risen yet and looks very dense!, It’s still in the oven for over an hour. Any clue what’s wrong?

  34. Murki

    Not good.. Followed recipe to the T and it’s just taste like an over baked Yorkshire pudding with a little more flavour.. Essentially thick pancake mix..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: