Spring is finally here and with it comes countless opportunities to showcase your baking skills. Whip together a sticky plum bread for your next potluck or a chai spiced bundt cake, which is sure to be a brunch favorite.
14 Loaf Cakes and Breads for Any Occasion
Move over banana bread, we’ve got bigger and better breads for this spring!
The range of flavors and textures you can capture with loaf cakes is wide open, making them the perfect snack, side, or dessert for just about any occasion. In this collection you’ll find recipes that play on traditional ones (don’t worry, we still love classic banana bread) as well as new ways to style and shape dough. And unlike standard yeast breads—sourdough, ciabatta, rye—which require a bit more tender, love, and care, these 14 recipes are low-maintenance and easy to make. So preheat the oven and roll up your sleeves—let’s get to baking!
1. Lemon loaf
Our twist on the classic lemon loaf includes chopped lavender and Greek yogurt, resulting in a cake that’s moist and tender— each bite bursts with citrusy sparks and floral notes that round out the vanilla glaze.
2. Plum bread
This bread boasts a crispy crust with ribbons of gooey plum jam and slivered almonds buried inside a soft crumb. Swap out the almonds for your nut of choice, but don’t skip out on the plum, which provides irresistible, fragrant sweetness.
We’re breaking the rules of babka. This Eastern European pastry typically veers on the sweet side, but we gave it a savory makeover, slathering goat cheese and leeks over the dough. The result? A cheesy pull-apart bread that’s slightly tangy and full of fluff.
Perhaps the greatest joy of eating monkey bread is that it’s ardently communal: It requires picking apart doughy buns—filled with nuts, chocolate, cream—baked together in a bundt pan. Most importantly, it should be really sticky, ensuring your fingers find their way back to the culprit. Our version with Nutella and cream cheese scores high on the sticky test—don’t be surprised if this disappears fast.
5. Fig & walnut loaf
Once you take a stab at this crusty rustic bread filled with sinewy figs and crunchy walnuts, you’ll never want to buy bread from the grocery store again. Not only is it easy to prepare, it’s also super adaptable. Nix the figs and toss in the dried fruit of your choice for a different loaf that’ll come out just as delicious.
It’s a fact that there is no shortage of banana bread recipes. From banana chia to chocolate banana with salted macadamia nuts, it might seem like everything’s been tried and tested on this timeless classic. But have you ever had a fudgy banana bread, loaded with pea protein and spiked with whiskey, cardamom pods, and coconut flakes? It sounds like a mouthful, but trust me, the combination of these different textures will work your taste buds into a frenzy.
7. Coffee cake
American coffee cakes are notable for their sugary crumble topping, whereas British coffee cakes are spongy and flavored with coffee. This recipe omits the crumble and coffee altogether, and instead, turns to a butter-laden cake shot through with silky cocoa swirls. Serve it with coffee as an afternoon pick-me-up, or with a scoop of ice cream as dessert.
Braided loaves are super fun to make, and the number of ingredients you can throw into the filling are endless. From sun-dried tomato paste and olives, to heaps of hazelnuts and caramelized sugar, here are two different recipes to get your creativity churning.
Garnish this marble loaf cake with darling decorative flowers for the ultimate spring picnic companion. With layers of poppy seeds coiled under a mellow orange glaze, there’s no other baked good that screams spring as much as this one.
This paleo and gluten-free multigrain bread contains a variety of ground and whole seeds—sunflower, pumpkin, and flax, to name a few—making it super nutritious and wholesome. Unlike white breads, this one is incredibly dense. Top one slice with cheese, avocado, or jam, and you’re set for the morning.
11. Breakfast loaf
Although it’s been used for centuries in Asia, turmeric is finally making its way West. From turmeric lattes to turmeric pesto and turmeric rice, we can’t get enough of the golden spice. Packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric has an earthy, mustard-like flavor that bodes best in curries, stews, sauces and, in the case of this recipe, bread. Seriously. This loaf is aromatic and tastes like a honey-turmeric dream— it’s perfect for on-the-go breakfasts!
12. Chocolate loaf
Who doesn’t love a rich, velvety chocolate cake, especially when it’s doused in a dark chocolate glaze? No matter the occasion, this timeless recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Laced with ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, coriander, and yogurt, this cake explodes with flavor and depth. It’s an excellent treat to share with family and friends. And besides, who can resist the shimmery cinnamon-sugar coating? It’s a homespun delight, ready to be the centerpiece for your next brunch.
Pillowy and aromatic, these buns have traces of speculaas, chestnuts, maple syrup, vanilla, and orange zest coursing through each knot. Since chestnuts are no longer in-season, why not try hazelnuts or pecans—or both? Don’t be afraid to combine various nuts to create a fuller purée.
Published on May 23, 2019