Basic Quick Bread Recipe

A quick bread is a bread that is made without yeast and can be prepared and baked with minimal time needed. This quick bread recipe can be made savory or sweet and is an excellent base recipe that can be used to make endless variations! 

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I love having base recipes in my arsenal. Tried and true recipes that can be adapted to make endless variations! This adaptable savory or sweet quick bread is the perfect blank canvas to make time and time again with any flavor combination you can think of!

Sweet quick bread loaf

Sweet Quick Bread

What is Quick Bread?

Quick bread is a category of bread like baked goods that do not require yeast to make them rise. The lack of yeast in quick bread allows them to be prepped and baked very quickly, hence the name!

Muffins, biscuits, scones, and loaf breads that do not contain yeast (like this one) all fall into the “quick bread” category.

Quick Bread Mixing Method

The mixing method used for quick loaf breads, like this one, is called The Muffin Mixing Method. If you are curious to learn about this method in depth, I suggest checking out my article on The Muffin Mixing Method. But in short, the process only involves a few simple steps.

Muffin Mixing Method Steps:

  1. Combine all of your dry ingredients together
  2. Combine all of your wet ingredients together
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and gently stir to combine.

Baking Science Note: If making a sweet quick bread, the sugar is included in the wet ingredients. This is because the sugar will begin absorbing some of the liquid and will help reduce the gluten development once the liquid is added to the flour.

Savory quick bread sandwich slices

Slices of Basic Savory Quick Bread

Ingredient Functions

To make the very basic version of this quick bread, you only need 6 simple ingredients. These 6 ingredients build the basic structure and base flavor of the bread. Once that base is built, add spices, extracts, and any add-in you can think of to flavor your bread!

The basic savory version of this bread could be used as a substitute for a yeast bread if you are unable to have yeast. It does have somewhat of a different texture and flavor than regular yeast bread, but works well if you are unable to make traditional bread.

Ingredients for basic quick bread: flour, eggs, salt, baking powder, oil, milk


Flour is the foundation of quick bread. The proteins found in wheat flour form a sturdy structure through the formation of gluten strands once the flour is combined with a liquid. The gluten structure expands when baked and this is what traps the gases from the chemical leavening (the baking powder) to keep the height of the bread.

Quick tip: If you happen to have self-rising flour on hand it can be used in this recipe to simplify it even further. If you use self-rising flour you can omit the salt and the baking powder from the recipe because it is already included in the flour.

Gluten Free Quick Bread

I have tested this quick bread with several gluten free flour blends such as Cup 4 Cup and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Blend. A gluten free blend works well in this bread, however it should be noted that due to the lack of gluten structure the bread can tend to fall when it comes out of the oven.

In order to reduce the shrinkage in the gluten free version of this quick bread, I suggest separating your eggs and whipping the whites to medium peaks. Gently fold the whites into the batter as the very last step before putting the batter into the pan. This will help give the bread structure and lift.

Baking Powder

Baking powder is a chemical leavening agent, meaning it is what makes the bread rise. Because this is not a yeast bread, the baking powder does the heavy lifting. Literally!

Quick Bread without Baking Powder

During my years of recipe development, I have learned that there are many people who are looking for recipes without baking soda or baking powder for one reason or another. Due to this need, I have figured out a perfect hack for making many baked goods without baking powder or baking soda.

The solution is the same as the solution for preventing shrinkage on the gluten free version of this bread: whipped egg whites. Whipping air into the egg whites forms a network of protein bonds that traps the air bubbles inside. As the proteins heat they will create a stable network to keep these air bubbles in your bread, effectively doing the job of rising your bread without baking soda, baking powder, or yeast. However, it should be noted that while this technique does work if absolutely needed, bread made without the baking powder is slightly more dense.


The main function of salt is to flavor the quick bread, but it also serves to strengthen the gluten structure. It is a very important part of almost all baking recipes, whether savory or sweet.

Milk or Buttermilk

This quick bread recipe can be made with regular milk or buttermilk. If making the savory version of this bread, I highly recommend using buttermilk or a buttermilk substitute as I think it lends great flavor to the bread. The very basic savory recipe could be used as a sandwich bread if you are not able to have yeast bread and the buttermilk lends almost a sourdough flavor to the bread.

Dairy Free (Vegan) Substitute

Any non-dairy milk will also work well in this bread if you need for it to be dairy free or vegan. Just note that all non-dairy milks have varying flavor profiles and will alter the flavor of the bread.

Oil or Liquid Fat

Virtually any liquid fat will do the trick in this recipe. The oil in a quick bread recipe serves to add richness and moisture to the bread. I typically use canola oil or vegetable oil but melted butter or coconut oil also works fine. You may also enjoy the flavor olive oil brings to the savory version of this bread.


The eggs in this recipe serve the purpose of binding the structure together as well as helping to leaven the bread (make it rise).

Egg (Vegan) Substitutions

Typical vegan egg replacers such as Ener-G Egg Replacer, Chia Egg, or Flax Egg all work well in this recipe to make an egg free version.

Sugar (for the Sweet Quick Bread Variation)

In the sweet version of this quick bread recipe, the main purpose of the sugar is to obviously sweeten the bread. You can use granulated sugar, light brown sugar, or a combination of sugars.

Sugar is also hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs and holds moisture. For this reason, the sweet version of this bread is more moist. Brown sugars are even more hygroscopic than granulated sugar, so keep that in mind when deciding which sugar to use for your sweet quick bread. I love the depth of flavor dark brown sugar brings to my sweet versions.


Because this recipe is a “base recipe” it is the perfect blank canvas for endless variation ideas. I love to separate the batter into 3 mini loaf pans and add different add ins to each! Use you imagination to come up with any flavor you can think of! Or keep it simple!

From Left to Right: Sun Dried Tomato Basil Quick Bread, Cheddar Bacon Chive Quick Bread, Olive Quick Bread,

Double Chocolate Quick Bread

Double Chocolate Quick Bread

Basic Quick Bread Recipe

This basic quick bread recipe is adaptable to be savory or sweet. The recipe is delicious as is, or use it as a base recipe and add any spices, herbs, dried fruit, nuts, or any add-ins you like! There are endless combinations!

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For Savory Quick Bread

  • 2 1/4 cups (9.6 oz, 268 gr) all-purpose flour (*see note for making gluten free)
  • 1 TBSP baking powder (*see note for making without baking powder)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz, 355 ml) milk or buttermilk, room temperature (*see note for substitution)
  • 6 TBSP (3 fl oz, 88 ml) canola oil (or any other oil or liquid fat)
  • spices or mix-ins as desired (*optional)

For Sweet Quick Bread

  • 2 1/4 cups (9.6 oz, 268 gr) all-purpose flour (*see note for making gluten free)
  • 1 TBSP baking powder (*see note for making without baking powder)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature (*see note for making egg free/vegan)
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz, 355 ml) milk or buttermilk, room temperature (*see note for substitution)
  • 6 TBSP (3 fl oz, 88 ml) canola oil (or any other oil or liquid fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups (10.5 oz, 294 gr) granulated or brown sugar (or combination of both)
  • 1/2 TBSP vanilla (*optional, but is a good base flavor for most all sweet quick bread variations)
  • spices or mix-ins as desired (*optional)


Note: A quick bread is a culinary term for a bread like product that uses baking soda or baking powder, instead of yeast, to leaven it. The texture of a quick bread is very different from a yeast bread. A quick bread has more of a muffin like texture.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and prepare a 9″x 5″ (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan with pan spray or lined with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and any other spices and herbs you might be using.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, sugar (if making sweet quick bread), and any other extracts or liquids you may be using.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and using a spoon or a rubber spatula, stir the two together until combined. For the sweet quick bread, only stir until the flour is absorbed and then stop. The more you stir the more more tough the bread can become. For the savory quick bread, it could benefit you to give it a good stir for about a minute to purposefully develop some of the gluten strands so that it has more of a bread-like texture to it once baked.
  5. If using any other add-ins such as cheese, berries, nuts, etc… fold them in now.
  6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumb.

Recipe Notes:

Savory Variation Ideas:

  • Cheddar Bacon Chive Quick Bread: Cook 6 strips bacon until crispy & crumble. Fold in the bacon, 3 TBSP finely chopped chives, and 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese right before putting into the pan to bake.
  • Sundried Tomato Basil Quick Bread: Add 1 TBSP dried basil into the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 cup roughly chopped sundried tomatoes right before putting into the pan to bake.
  • Olive Loaf Quick Bread: Use olive oil as the oil in the recipe. Add 1/2 TBSP dried oregano into the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 1/2 cups chopped, pitted, greek olives (such as kalamata) right before putting into the pan to bake.

Sweet Variation Ideas

  • Double Chocolate Quick Bread: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch processed) into the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 cup chocolate chips into the batter right before putting into the pan to bake.
  • Cranberry Orange Quick Bread: Add 3/4 tsp orange zest & 2 TBSP orange juice into the wet ingredients. Fold in 1 cup of rough chopped fresh cranberries right before putting into the pan to bake.
  • Walnut Spice Quick Bread: Add 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp clove, 1/8 tsp allspice into the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 cup toasted & rough chopped walnuts (or pecans would also be good) into the batter right before putting into the pan to bake.

Substitution Notes:

  • To make gluten free quick bread: Use a good gluten free flour blend made for baking. I have tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill’s Gluten Free Baking Flour as well as Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour with success. Note that the bread can tend to shrink when taken out of the oven due to the lack of gluten structure. I have found that if you want to maintain the height of the bread in the gluten free version that it would serve you well to separate the eggs, whip the whites to medium peaks, and gently fold them in as the very last step before putting the batter in the pan. This will help hold the structure of the bread.
  • To make vegan quick bread: Any non-dairy milk can be used in this recipe in place of the milk and the buttermilk. Replace the eggs with equivalent vegan egg replacer. I have found that EnerG Egg Replacer yielded the best results, but flax or chia egg will also work.
  • To make quick bread without baking powder: Separate the eggs and keep the whites aside. Mix the yolks into the wet ingredients and whip the egg whites medium peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter right before putting the batter into the loaf pan, being careful not to deflate them. Please note that this substitution will create a bread that is not quite as fluffy as bread make with yeast or baking powder. It should be used only if absolutely necessary.
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116 comments on “Basic Quick Bread Recipe”

  1. I love this adaptable bread. It looks so moist, and your photos are beautiful!
  2. These both look delicious Kristin! And your pictures-incredible.
  3. For a person who's completely dumb about the science of baking, your back to bake-sics series has been REVOLUTIONARY. Thankyouthankyou THANK YOU girrrrl!
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
    • Yes Kelsey, That is exactly right. I actually did make a blueberry adaptation here if you want to check out that recipe:
  6. 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!
    • 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
    • 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.
  9. Thank you SO much for this recipe! I needed a basic loaf recipe and this is so easy to adapt. Basic is better in my case:) I made a chai tea version and the kitchen smells amazing! Thanks again! Pinning so I don't lose it!

    Rating: 5
  10. 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?
    • 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).
  11. 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!
  12. How much vinegar to the cup of milk?
  13. 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!
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  15. Hey, 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 :) Alina

    Rating: 5
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  17. Going to make some tomorrow to try this out.
  18. The recipe calls for 30-35 min @350o... That's not enough time. Is this a typo? Thanks :)
    • 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.
      • Another thing on cook times are elevation and what part of the country your in. Elevation is a biggie on cook times especially if to high up above sea level.
  19. 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.
    • 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!
  20. 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. ;-)
  21. If I wanted to make this savory with cheese and sausage what do you think the amounts should be?
  22. 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!
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  24. What size is a small loaf pan?
  25. 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.
    • 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!
  26. 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!
    • 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).
      • 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.
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  28. 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! :)
  29. this worked brilliantly for me even though I didn't spot this was only a base recipe (oops)
  30. 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!)
  31. 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!
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  33. You really used a 9 x 5 pan for this recipe? The quantities of ingredients seem a bit low, especially flour, for such a big pan.
  34. love love made g free !
  35. 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?
  36. 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.
  37. Love this simple recipe. If I do not have milk/buttermilk or another dairy product, how feasible is it to use water?
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  41. Hi, 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.
  42. Was it supposed to take like a biscuit? Didn't have a traditional Italian bread taste
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  44. 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.
  45. 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?
  46. 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..
  47. Ok this was my first time trying a quick bread. Unfortunately my sinuses are messed up right now so i really cant taste anything lol needless to say i was cooking a nice steak dinner for my husband and i wanted to make some kind of bread that i could make quickly, with self rising flour and a little sweetness to contrast the rest of the dinner flavors. I came across this recipe and decided to try it out. I used 1 1/2 cups self rising flour, 1 cup regular cold milk, whipped salted butter (softened but not melted still 1/4 cup), 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tbl spoon of honey, 1/2 tsp of salt and 2 eggs. I mixed the batter together and used muffin tins filled 3/4 full. I baked them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. They looked beautiful, the texture was beautiful, but like i said i couldnt taste them because of my sinus issues. So i decided to use my kids and some of my neighbors as testers lol needless to say, they ALL loved the taste! So this is going to be a staple recipe in my kitchen from now on! Thank you for the great start and i am looking forward to tasting them for myself as well as trying out new flavors!
  48. In contrast to another post-er, I REALLY like the "base" recipe, probably because I like the "eggy" taste. I do look forward to varying it, but so far I keep making it plain because I so enjoy it that way. Thanks for such an easy and delicious recipe. ❤️

    Rating: 5
  49. I doubled the recipe and made one savory and one sweet loaf! My husband and 2 of 3 kids loved both! For my oil, I used a combo of butter and coconut oil. My sweet loaf incorporated 1.5-2 tsp. pumpkin pie spices and vanilla extract, along with an oatmeal crumble topping. I'll probably use applesauce as well next time I make it. For the savory loaf, I included the extra salt (as noted in the recipe), italian seasoning, basil, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. So, so good! Thx for sharing your recipe!

    Rating: 5
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