7 Cozy Breads and Loaf Cakes for Fall Baking

7 cozy breads and loaf cakes for fall

Baking is as much a fall sport for me as college football is for my husband. With the cooling weather, now is a good time to turn on your ovens and bake something wonderful. I lean heavily on these 7 cozy breads and loaf cakes for fall, which boast so many flavors of the season, including pumpkin, ginger, maple, cinnamon and nutmeg. These recipes all rely on whole-grain flours and healthier fats (and in most cases, less sugar than in similar loaves). Rustic breads and cakes like these tend to be very flexible and forgiving. Here are a few of my favorite swaps and and serving ideas:

  • Most of these breads will work if you swap in an all-purpose gluten-free flour such as Cup for Cup or King Arthur’s gluten-free all-purpose (though they won’t rise quite as high). The exception is the Simple Whole Wheat Bread, since I can’t assure success with GF flour.
  • You can easily dress up any loaf cake or quick bread with a drizzle of dark chocolate or light dusting of powdered sugar
  • With the exception of the Simple Whole Wheat Bread, all of these can be made in a muffin tin. Just be sure to adjust the baking time accordingly.
  • I often bake quick breads and loaf cakes in mini loaf pans and gift the extras to friends, neighbors, or to ship off to my daughters. Again, scale down the cooking time.
  • I enjoy every one of these recipes cut into slices and enjoyed with a cup of tea or mug of coffee for an afternoon treat.
  • Earmark these cakes and quick breads to add to your autumn celebrations, from Halloween all the way through Thanksgiving.

7 Cozy Breads and Loaf Cakes for Fall

Tender Banana Bread

Tender Banana Bread with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips

A good banana bread recipe is something you should hang onto for a very long time. This one is wholesome and just-sweet-enough. You can make it with walnuts, or chocolate chips, or keep it pleasingly plain. If you feel like being a bit more adventurous, check out the banana bread I developed for Simply Recipes (which uses the whole banana, peel and all!).

One Bowl Slow Cooker Pumpkin Bread

slow cooker pumpkin bread

This is an easy, “one bowl” pumpkin bread done in the slow cooker, which results in a very moist and tender loaf. It can also be baked in a conventional oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.

Adventure Bread 

gluten-free bread made without yeast or xantham gum

Adventure Bread is a staple in my kitchen, one that I recently sent to one of my daughters, who follows a gluten-free diet. It’s a dense loaf of oats, nuts, and seeds that is excellent toasted and topped with everything from avocado to smoked salmon to jam and butter.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

7 cozy breads and loaf cakes for fall

This is a muffin recipe that works beautifully baked in a loaf pan. Simply pour the batter into a one-pound loaf pan and bake for about an hour. If you want to make it more cake than quick bread, melt several tablespoons of dark chocolate chips with a dab of coconut oil and drizzle that over the top.

Simple No-Knead Whole-Wheat Bread

Simple no-knead wheat bread

This simple loaf is easier on the baker than most. There is no kneading involved—just a handful of vigorous turns with a sturdy spoon and one relatively brief rise. The dough is mostly whole wheat, with just enough rye to add an earthy tang that reminds me of sourdough. Serve it warm from the oven or sliced and toasted the next day. 

Marbled Pumpkin Chocolate Loaf Cake

Slices of chocolate pumpkin cake with knife

Pumpkin and chocolate are a dream team in this supremely moist loaf cake. You make the batter in a single bowl, starting with the pumpkin, then the chocolate. Scatter dark chocolate chips between layers of batter, then stir it into a pretty swirl.

Upside Down Fig Cake

upside down fig cake

This is a recipe I posted on Instagram along with a “how-to” video. Head there for all the recipe details.

Side note: For tips on swapping flours, this guide I wrote for Simply Recipes may help.


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