A Customizable Quick Bread Recipe You’ll Never Stop Using

With office potlucks and family holiday parties looming, you might be feeling the pressure to whip up a warm and comforting baked good to contribute to the feast (we definitely are!). In these moments, we lean on quick breads—literally, sweet or savory breads that are quick and easy to make. Whether you’re an inexperienced baker or just really short on time, our quick bread equation for a bread base + mix-ins + optional cream cheese frosting = crowd-pleasing results, every time.

What makes quick bread so quick? Leavened breads typically require laborious kneading and at least a little time for the active yeast in the dough to do its magic and help the bread rise. Quick breads are made with baking soda or baking powder that, when they come into contact with liquid, start the rising process almost immediately. Eggs also help add airiness; our base dough makes use of all three. You can make any of the below variations in a loaf or cake pan—even better if you pick up a disposable aluminum tin to save more time on cleanup!

Basic Quick Bread
.5 cup all-purpose flour
.5 teaspoon salt
.5 teaspoon baking soda
.5 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
0.5 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
.5 cup chopped walnuts

Zucchini Bread
Use the above Basic Quick Bread Ingredients
1 cup grated zucchini

Banana Bread
Use the above Basic Quick Bread Ingredients
1 cup mashed banana (about 1–1.5 bananas)

Carrot Cake
Basic Quick Bread Ingredients
1.5 cups grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
2 tablespoons canola oil (in addition to the .5 cup in Basic Bread Recipe)

Cream Cheese Frosting (optional, but highly recommended!):
3 tablespoons butter
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
.5 cup chopped pecans/chocolate chips/etc.


Prepare Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Roughly chop walnuts and prepare mix-ins as necessary (grate zucchini or carrots using the large holes of a box grater, or mash bananas with a fork).

Combine Ingredients:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, combine oil, egg, sugar, and vanilla and whisk to fully combine.  Whisking continuously, slowly add flour mixture to bowl with egg mixture, combining just until it resembles the consistency of cookie dough.

Add Mix-Ins:

Stir in desired mix-ins and chopped walnuts.


Grease a 9×13 cake pan (or a standard loaf pan) with nonstick spray or butter. Pour batter into tin and bake until top is set and edges pull away from sides of pan, 30-35 minutes (add 10-15 minutes if using a loaf pan). Your quick bread is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Make Frosting (optional):

While bread/cake is baking, if desired, make frosting.  Place butter in a medium bowl and  microwave at 30-second intervals until just melted.  Add cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla to bowl with butter and stir until fully combined.

Ice and Decorate:

Allow bread/cake to cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Ice bread/cake as desired and sprinkle over chopped pecans, chocolate chips, etc. as desired.

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