pumpkin bread

Six Quick Breads for Gift Giving

Cinnamon Apple Bread

Quick breads are a great food gift for the holidays. I have collected six of my favorite quick bread recipes. There is something to suit any taste. Rather than giving one large bread, I often divide the batter into smaller pans, and give a few different breads as a gift.

When making the bread in smaller pans, bake at the same temperature as you would normally, but reduce baking time. Depending on the size of the small pans, baking time can be cut in half. Check the breads after thirty minutes of baking. If not done, check at five minute intervals after that.

For gift giving, I often bake them in foil pans. I leave the breads in the pans, then slip into a bag and tie shut with a pretty ribbon.

They also freeze well. You can bake them ahead of time, then you have gifts at the ready, as needed.

Cinnamon Apple Bread

This bread is one of my favorite recipes. Not too sweet, it is moist from the shredded apples, flavored with cinnamon and studded with raisins and nuts. This apple bread makes a great breakfast or snack. I have been known to top a slice with cinnamon ice cream and a little caramel sauce for a simple dessert. This recipe makes one loaf, but I often double it- so I can freeze the second loaf for later. Enjoy!!

 

1/3 c. butter, softened

2/3 c. sugar

2 t. grated lemon or orange peel

1 t. cinnamon

2 eggs

3 T. milk

1 t. lemon juice

1 t. each baking powder and salt

1/2 t. baking soda

2 c. flour

1 1/2 c. peeled shredded apples, about 2 large apples

1 c. raisins*

1/2 c. chopped nuts

Topping:

3 T. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

 

Cream together butter, sugar, peel and cinnamon. Beat in eggs until light and fluffy. Stir in milk and lemon juice. Stir in dry ingredients then fold in apples, raisins and nuts. Pour batter into greased 9×5 – inch loaf pan. Combine topping and sprinkle over the top of the batter.  Bake in a preheated 350 -degree oven for 1 hour. Use a toothpick to test for doneness. Cool 15-20 minutes before removing from pan. Yield: 1 loaf.

*You can use other dried fruits. I sometimes use dried cranberries or cherries.

 

Pumpkin Bread

While the recipe calls for cooked pumpkin, other winter squash can also be used. I like butternut and Hubbard squash, but feel free to use what you like.

1 ¾ c. flour

1 ½ c. sugar

1 t. baking soda

¾ t. salt

1 t. each cinnamon and nutmeg

½ c. butter, softened

2 eggs, beaten

1 c. pumpkin

1/3 c. water

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Beat together butter and eggs until fluffy. Beat in pumpkin and water until smooth. Stir in dry ingredients until smooth. Pour into a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 60-65 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing from pan and placing on cooling rack. Wrap in plastic, best served the next day. Freezes well. Makes 1 loaf.

 

Zucchini Bread

This recipe makes two loaves. When divided into smaller pans, you can get quite a few loaves baked up in no time at all.

 

3 c. flour

3 eggs

2 c. sugar

2 c. shredded zucchini

1 c. oil

1 c. chopped nuts or raisins

½ c. sour cream or strained yogurt

1 t. each vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 (9×5 inch) loaf pans. Set aside. Place flour in large bowl. Beat eggs and add with remaining ingredients to flour, mixing well and scraping bowl. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until browned and toothpick in center emerges clean. Cool in pans on wire rack. Freezes well. Makes 2.

 

This bread is a favorite of mine. It is not too sweet and pairs nicely with coffee or tea, so it can be a breakfast or brunch dish. It makes a nice dessert, too. The bread is studded with raspberries with hints of cinnamon and vanilla. It can be eaten plain or served up with fruit topping or maybe some whipped cream.  I have used it as the base for a pretty good shortcake. I topped slices of the raspberry bread with ice cream, more berries and a dollop of whipped cream. Like most quick breads, it is better if you wrap it up in plastic or foil, once cooled, and eat it the next day, if you can wait that long!!

 Raspberry Bread

The raspberries make this a special bread, for sure. I normally use fresh raspberries, but frozen work fine, too.

1 ¾ c. flour
½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
½ t. cinnamon
½ c. butter, at room temperature
¾ c. sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
½ c. sour cream, room temperature
1 t. vanilla
1 c. raspberries, fresh or frozen
¾ c. chopped nuts, optional

Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Set aside. In small bowl beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat 1 minute. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until just moistened. Fold in berries and nuts and place batter in prepared pan. Bake 60-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf. Freezes well.

 

Banana Bread

You can use fresh or frozen bananas in this bread. When my local store has bananas marked down because they are getting brown, I buy them, then freeze until I am ready to bake with them. Bananas can be frozen right in their peels, but I peel and mash them, to save freezer space. I freeze them in one cup amounts.

1 ¾ c. flour

1½ t. baking powder

¾ t. salt

½ t. baking soda

2/3 c. sugar

1/3 c. butter, softened

2 eggs

2 T. milk

1 c. mashed ripe banana

¼ c. chopped nuts, optional

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Combine sugar with butter and beat until fluffy. Beat in eggs. Beat in eggs until mixture is smooth. Beat in flour mixture alternately with bananas. Fold in nuts, if desired. Pour batter into greased 9×5 -inch loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 60-65 minutes. Use toothpick to test for doneness. Cool in pan 10 minutes before placing on rack to cool. Store in plastic wrap to preserve moisture. Makes 1 loaf.

Strawberries and Cream Bread

This bread requires fresh berries. I make it when local berries are in season. It always reminds me of a warm summer day.  Luckily, even in colder months, I can often find nice fresh berries at the store.

1 ¾ c. flour

½ t. baking powder

½ t. baking soda

½ t. salt

½ t. each  cinnamon and nutmeg

½ c. butter, at room temperature

¾ c. sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

½ c. sour cream, room temperature

1 t. vanilla

1 c. fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped*

¾ c. chopped nuts, optional

 

Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Set aside. In small bowl beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat 1 minute. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until just moistened. Fold in strawberries and nuts and place batter in prepared pan. Bake 60-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf. Freezes well.

*  frozen berries are not recommended in this bread.

Pumpkin Bread

Raspberry Bread

Zucchini Bread

Banana Bread

 

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