Loaf pans are one of the most practical kitchen tools. They don’t have the fancy ridges of a Bundt. They lack the drama of a tube pan. And, yet, there’s so much you can do with them.
Most often I turn to mine — I have both a 5-by-9-inch and the more diminutive 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch — for quick breads. Those baked goods that, let’s be honest, skew more toward cake are loaf pans’ bread and butter. You’ll find some great recipes from our archives for those here, as well as a few yeasted breads and another couple of options that might surprise you.
Walnut and Halvah Cake, above. Halvah, a sweet tahini confection, makes a wonderful filling that gets gooey and slightly caramelized when baked in the middle of this loaf. Plain is great, but if you find the marbled variety with chocolate swirled in, give it a go.
Naturally Sweet Banana Bread. Dates mean there’s no added sugar here, and they lend a lovely moist texture and slight toffee flavor.
Dark and Stormy Icebox Cake. Loaf pans aren’t just for baking. Use them to shape this cool and refreshing icebox cake inspired by the rum and lime cocktail.
Sesame Candies. Here’s another no-bake option. This stove top confection will remind you of those plastic-wrapped sweets you may have enjoyed.
Bring Joy Coconut Chocolate Candies. If candy’s more your thing than cake, step right up to this homemade version of Almond Joys.
Honey Molasses Whole-Wheat Bread. This hearty quick bread is more bread than cake and takes well to toasting.
White-Wheat Sandwich Bread. The basic sandwich bread you may have grown up eating gets a nutritional boost with white whole-wheat flour. And this is a recipe well-suited to people who don’t bake a ton.
Amish-Style Milk Bread. It takes very little effort to make this no-knead dough. Still, you’ll be rewarded with two beautiful loaves.
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