Two of the best words ever, brought together: Quick. Breads.

Two of the best words ever, brought together: Quick. Breads.

When you have enough time to bake, but not enough to wait around for yeast to do its thing.

“Your house smells GOOOOOD!”

That’s what I heard yesterday when my son’s best friend walked in the front door. He caught a scent of banana bread I baked earlier that day (at my son’s request).

The trick is — when I bake bread it’s quick. I don’t fuss with yeast and rising, I stick with quick and easy recipes that taste great and look like I spent all afternoon.

But don’t let the name deceive you. While quick breads are quicker than your typical, yeast-based bread that you have to proof, they do take a little longer than buttering those prepackaged mini muffins and throwing them in the microwave for 10 seconds.

And I do that, too.

Quick breads mix and bake like a cake, but don’t require yeast — think banana bread, zucchini bread, brownies, biscuits, etc. With all the ingredients on hand, quick breads can usually be mixed up in 10 or 15 minutes and bake in about an hour.

If you’re venturing into quick bread territory, here are some tips to keep in mind when mixing together your quick bread batter.

Follow the recipe. If a recipe says to beat the sugar with the butter for one minute, don’t leave the mixer on while you go about other tasks.

Do not over work the batter. After adding the wet ingredients, stir in the dry ingredients just long enough to incorporate them. Over-mixing the batter will cause a loaf to be tough.

Nice rounded loaves. When preparing your loaf pan, grease the bottom and halfway up the sides. This will keep your bread’s edges from curling up, making for a nice round-top loaf.

Check the browning. About 15 minutes before the bread is done, check its crust colour. If it appears to be getting too dark, cover it with a light tent of foil.

Toothpick Test. Using a toothpick, poke near the middle of the cake and pull it out slowly. If it comes out clean — not gooey with uncooked batter — it’s done.

Storing quick bread. You can store a completely cooled loaf, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to a week in the refrigerator, or up to three months in the freezer.

Here’s a basic quick bread starter recipe you can experiment with by adding nuts, fruits, flavours or other favourite ingredients:

  • 250 mL (1 cup) sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 500 mL (2 cups) flour
  • 10 mL (2 tsp) baking powder
  • 2 mL (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) Greek yogurt or Sour cream

And here are three of our favourite quick bread recipes to try:

Blueberry Lemon Quick Bread


  • 75 mL (1/3 cup) butter, melted
  • 250 mL (1 cup) sugar
  • 15 mL (3 teaspoon) lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 375 mL (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 5 mL (1 teaspoon) baking powder
  • 2 mL (1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) Greek yogurt
  • 30 mL (2 tablespoon) lemon zest
  • 250 mL (1 cup) blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 175 mL (3/4 cup) powdered sugar
  • 30 mL (2 tablespoon) lemon juice

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  1. Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F).
  2. Whisk melted butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs together in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add portions of the dry mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with Greek yogurt, stirring together gently.
  5. Fold in blueberries and lemon zest. Do not over mix. Pour into a greased 8-inch by 10-centimetre (4-inch) loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the oven down to 180 C (350 F) and bake for an additional 30 to 40 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and let the pan cool about 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan.
  9. Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle glaze over bread while still warm.

Bacon Cheddar Quick Bread


  • 6 strips bacon (reserve drippings)
  • 750 mL (3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 145 grams (5 ounces) sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 15 mL (1 tablespoon) baking powder
  • 5 mL (1 teaspoon) sage
  • 5 mL (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 2 mL (1/2 teaspoon) ground black pepper
  • 250 mL (1 cup) milk
  • 250 (1 cup) sour cream
  • 3 dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 15 mL (1 tablespoon) butter


  1. Cook bacon and reserve drippings. Once cool, chop coarsely.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Use the bacon drippings to grease a 23-by-12 1/2 –centimetre (9-inch by 5-inch) pan.
  3. Mix together dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper — in a large bowl.
  4. Toss bacon and cheese in flour mixture to coat.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together milk, butter, egg, hot sauce, 2 tablespoons bacon drippings and sour cream.
  6. Fold together liquid and dry ingredients with a spatula until just mixed.
  7. Pour batter into pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Test with a toothpick to see if it’s done.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.

Cinnamon Raisin


500 mL (2 cups) all purpose flour
250 mL (1 cup) granulated sugar
5 mL (1 teaspoon) baking soda
2 mL (1/2 teaspoon) salt
250 mL (1 cup) buttermilk
1 large egg
50 mL (1/4 cup) canola oil
5 mL (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
250 mL (1/2 cup) raisins

For the cinnamon raisin mixture

75 mL (1/3 cup) sugar
12 mL (2 1/2 teaspoons) ground cinnamon

For the glaze

75 mL (1/3 cup) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
5-10 mL (1-2 teaspoons) milk

Directions (for loaf)

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Lightly grease the bottom and halfway up the sides of a loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another bowl, combine milk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Beat sugar into mix until it is thoroughly creamed.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once. Stir just until moistened and there are no traces of flour. Batter may be lumpy, do not over mix. Gently fold in the raisins.
  5. Combine sugar and ground cinnamon to make cinnamon swirl.
  6. Place prepared loaf pan onto baking sheet.
  7. Add 1/3 of the batter to the pan then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Add another 1/3 of batter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Finally add remaining batter and top with remaining cinnamon sugar.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into centre of the loaf comes out clean).
  9. Allow loaf to cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Directions (for glaze)

  1. Make the glaze by combining the confectioner's sugar with 5 mL (1 teaspoon) of milk.
  2. Drizzle tiny bits of remaining milk until your glaze is of drizzling consistency. You may or may not use all of the milk.

Drizzle loaf with glaze and allow it to set before slicing.

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Hi there 'kns215' - thanks for your interest in this yummy recipe! You'll need 15 mL (1 tablespoon) butter to bake up this wonderfulness! :) Let us know how it turns out for you! (Many thanks to you, 'Fanfare' for your help here!)

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Regarding the recipe for "Bacon Cheddar Quick Bread" and kns215's question, the butter is listed at the end of the ingredients list and calls for 1 tablespoon or 15 mL.

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The recipe for "Bacon Cheddar Quick Bread", the instruction says to add butter, but the ingredient list doesn't have butter listed. How much butter does this recipe require?

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