Basic Quick Bread Recipe (sweet or savory)

Adaptable Quick Bread Base RecipeI 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 RecipeIn 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 5 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.

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 RecipeOther 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

Basic Quick Bread Recipe

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.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs (or egg replacement)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or other milk)
  • 1/4 cup oil or liquid fat


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

Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread

Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tart apple finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 TBSP vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs (or egg replacement)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or other milk)
  • 1/4 cup oil or liquid fat


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Lightly oil a loaf pan or muffin tins and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon,brown sugar, and chopped apples.
  4. In another bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and buttermilk.
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until combined.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes (20-25 minutes for muffins) until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle.


    • Baker Bettie says

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

  1. says

    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 says

    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!

    • Baker Bettie says

      Yes Kelsey, That is exactly right. I actually did make a blueberry adaptation here if you want to check out that recipe:

  3. erin says

    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!

    • Baker Bettie says

      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 says

    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 says

    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!

    • Baker Bettie says

      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 says

    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 says

    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.

    • says

      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.

      • Elaine Lunceford says

        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.

      • Katie Short says

        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!

        • Baker Bettie says

          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 says

    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?

    • Brianna says

      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 says

    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!

  10. J Neely says

    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. Alina says

    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 :)

    • Baker Bettie says

      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.

  12. Susan Allen says

    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.

    • Baker Bettie says

      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!

  13. RwH says

    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. ;-)


  1. […] #6: Basic Quick Bread Adaptable for Sweet or Savory I created this base recipe to adaptable for sweet or savory applications. I made an apple cinnamon version in this post but have used the base for quite a few variations. Cheddar jalapeno, lemon rosemary, cranberry walnut. The possibilities are endless which is probably why this post has been so popular this year! […]

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