If you’ve ever been in the mood to bake but haven’t been sure what type of project to tackle, there’s a good chance you landed on a loaf cake or quick bread. Why? They’re sort of the ultimate last-minute baking project. They usually don’t require any specialty ingredients, their batters are easy to whip up in a pinch, and they offer an easy way to incorporate the flavors of whatever season you’re in—from cozy, fall pumpkin breads to summery, berry-infused tea cakes. Without further ado, here are 38 cakes and quick breads you can make in your loaf pan.
Is there anything associated more with the loaf pan than banana bread? Easy, quick to throw together, and with no special ingredients required, it’s no wonder that a simple banana bread is one of our favorite things to bake.
Named for their original ratios of sugar, eggs, butter, and flour (one pound of each ingredient), pound cakes are denser, richer, and moister than other butter-based cake varieties. They’re also some of the most versatile cakes out there. Luckily, we have tons of variations—ranging from maple yogurt to burnt miso—for you to try at home.
Pumpkin breads are another loaf-pan staple, but we’d argue that squash cakes and breads should be just as common. Pumpkin and squash alike give cakes and quick breads a subtle sweetness and extra-moist texture that’s hard to beat.
The best way to use up an abundance of zucchini? Zucchini bread, obviously. Perfect for breakfast, snacks, and dessert, it’s never a bad idea to have a loaf on your countertop.
Loaf cakes are particularly well-suited for fruity additions like blueberries, rhubarb, apples, and persimmons. See what produce is in season right now, and go from there.
There are a ton of pantry staples you can incorporate into your loaf cakes and quick breads, too. Chocolate is an obvious addition, but don’t forget about tea, olive oil, honey, and spices.
More baking inspiration from Food52
What’s your favorite kind of loaf to bake? Let us know in the comments below!