40 Quick and Easy Holiday Breads
Sweet Potato-Hazelnut Scones with Nutella Glaze
Just sweet enough, these tender, nutty scones are an ideal (not to mention, deceptively simple-to-make) addition to any fall brunch or coffee hour. In addition to contributing to these scones’ delightfully tender, fluffy texture, the sweet potato delivers delicate flavor that perfectly compliments the toastiness provided by the hazelnut meal and the rich chocolate-hazelnut drizzle. For the mashed sweet potato, you can roast 1 large, skin-on sweet potato wrapped in foil at 425° for about 1 hour (or until tender), and chill in the fridge until cool. Alternatively, for an easy shortcut, simply grab a package of prepared mashed sweet potatoes, such as Simply Potatoes brand, from the grocery store; these will typically be found in the lunchmeat section. While we opted for a light drizzle of the Nutella mixture, you could easily double this mixture and completely glaze the top of each scone for a more decadent treat.
Easy Bread Recipes
Holiday meals can get a bit hectic, so make your baking a little easier with our bread recipes. For breakast or brunch, take a shortcut and use refrigerated French bread dough for these Easy Orange Rolls.
Pink Lemonade Rolls
This playful take on the classic orange roll makes for a perfect treat for Mother’s Day, a bridal brunch, baby showers, or the next time you wanna bring a little extra cheer to you weekend breakfast spread.
Spiced Pumpkin Biscuits
Transform plain biscuits into special holiday biscuits with the addition of pumpkin. These tender biscuits are wonderful topped with butter and honey for breakfast, or filled with a slice of ham for a cocktail buffet dinner.
Fresh Cranberry Muffins
Make the most of seasonal cranberries by stirring them into a muffin batter. These festive muffins will be a welcome addition to your holiday table.
Sticky Cinnamon Roll Babka Buns
If you're looking for decadence, you're in the right place. Though the dough requires multiple steps, the result is a bun that is sweeter, stickier, and more gooey than any bun you've had before. Our chefs joke about wanting to take a nap after experiencing the richness of this dessert. Saigon cinnamon is recommended for a stronger spicy-sweet flavor, but regular cinnamon can be easily substituted. Serve with coffee at brunch or as an afternoon treat.
This recipe uses a package of hot roll mix and is a great recipe for a beginning baker.
Easy Cinnamon Bread
Make a sweet breakfast bread starting with 2 (1-pouncd) packages of refrigerated pizza dough and adding cinnamon, sugar and butter.
Sticky Bun Pumpkin Muffins
The mixture of butter, brown sugar and corn syrup spooned into the bottom of the muffin pans makes these spiced pumpkin muffins extra rich and gooey.
Blue Cheese Biscuits
Pair these easy 4-ingredient biscuits with slices of beef tenderloin for a flavorful appetizer to serve at a cocktail buffet.
Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins
The combination of whole wheat flour and cornmeal makes these sweet pumpkin muffins hearty, satisfying, and ideal for serving with a holiday brunch or dinner.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Add flavor to basic buttermilk biscuits with mashed pumpkin. It adds a rich, hearty flavor and golden color to the biscuits and makes them ideal for serving with ham at your holiday meal.
Holiday Saffron Cake
This cake is a cross between a bread and a cake, and is a much easier version of traditional Swedish saffron buns. It's not overly sweet, but it is topped with pearl sugar, which you can sometimes find among the icing and cake decorating items in the grocery store.
Chocolate Breakfast Wreath
Be sure to soften butter until it's spreadable. The silky dough is a dream to work with, so even beginning bakers can make this beautiful wreath. Try this chocolate version or Citrus-Cranberry.
Bananas Foster Coffee Cake with Vanilla-Rum Sauce
Substitute extra cream for rum in the sauce, if you prefer.
Sour Cream Muffins with Poppy Seed Streusel
Keep these orange-scented muffins around during the holidays for a quick breakfast or sweet snack.
Spicy Pumpkin Bread
Let the holiday aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves fill your kitchen while you bake loaves of this spiced pumpkin bread.
Tiny Cinnamon Rolls
If you need a holiday breakfast in a hurry, these 6-ingredient mini cinnamon rolls are the perfect choice. The secret shortcut is using refrigerated crescent rolls.
Sweetened dried cranberries, grated orange rind and orange marmalade add festive flavor to this hearty quick bread. And if you prefer muffins, you can spoon this same batter into muffin pans instead of a loaf pan.
Sprinkle the tops of the glazed muffins with coarse sugar to add texture and a little sparkle.
Raspberry-Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
This is the perfect coffee cake. The lightly tangy raspberry gives a pop of flavor and the decadent cream cheese filling provides texture for a rich, moist cake. Be sure to use raspberry preserves; jam or jelly will sink to the bottom of the pan during cooking. A springform pan allows this cake to rise for a beautiful presentation. Enjoy with family and friends in the morning with coffee or as a snack in the afternoon.
Whole-Grain Spelt and Cornmeal Biscuits
Gently pat the dough flat instead of rolling with a rolling pin. Patting preserves all the pockets of fat needed for flaky biscuits, whereas rolling pancakes them into small, dense pucks. Cut the biscuits into squares to avoid any leftover scraps. Spelt flour adds a deep nutty flavor, but you can use white whole-wheat flour if you can't find spelt.
Cinnamon Apple Pull-Apart Bread
For a special breakfast that’s sure to impress, this easy Cinnamon Apple Pull-Apart Bread is a must. Not only is it a looker, but every fluffy crevice and golden fold of this loaf is smattered with irresistibly buttery, apple and cinnamon-brown sugar goodness. Using canned biscuits keeps this pull-apart bread recipe simple enough for bakers of all skill levels; however, it’s what you bring to the convenience dough product that yields a treat that tastes completely homemade. If you find that your melted butter begins to re-solidify slightly after you’ve stirred in the vanilla extract, no worries—just pop it back into the microwave for a few seconds and proceed with brushing the biscuit dough rounds. When arranging the stacks of dough into your pan, keep in mind that the dough will need space to rise and expand a bit as it bakes. A tangy cream cheese drizzle over the warm cinnamon-apple bread is certainly a welcome finishing touch, but it’s not essential if you’d rather dig in immediately.
Orange-Walnut Coffee Cake
A tall cup of joe knows no better match than a wedge of coffee cake. But standard coffee cake can be a lot first thing in the morning. To build a better breakfast cake that won’t send you into midmorning nap mode, we start by building a whole-grain base bolstered with warm spices and brightened up with citrus juice and zest. The savory notes of olive oil lend complexity, while the oil’s characteristic fruitiness is accentuated by the citrus zest. The finished product: a bakery-quality coffee cake that won't make you sleepy.
For breakfast on the go, spin this recipe into individually portioned muffins by dividing the batter among 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray and baking at 375°F for 22 minutes. To freeze muffins, let cool completely, and place in ziplock plastic bags. Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Potato flour serves as the backbone for this delightfully simple Swedish classic. Though gluten-free, sandkaka is similar in texture to a dense, buttery pound cake and, thanks to the starchiness of the potato flour, will retain its moisture for days.
Looking for a delicious muffin that everyone will love? This easy recipe will be on every bake sale wish list. Anjou pears are best for this recipe because they have a nice amount of sweetness and aren’t overly soft in texture. Look for pears that are ripe but still fairly firm; it doesn’t matter if they are red or green.
Raspberry, Sumac, and Almond Snack Cake
Featuring a delightfully crunchy almond topping along with the delicate sunny brightness of sumac, this cake is effortlessly impressive. And given how easy it is to whip up, it’s a perfect go-to recipe for any occasion that calls for a special treat. Lightly toasting the almond flour before incorporating it into the batter imbues the cake with a delicious toasty depth; however, if you’re in a hurry, rest assured, the overall success of the recipe is not incumbent on this step. Serve as-is or with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Braided Lemon Bread
The perfect recipe for spring. This slightly sweet, lemony, and tender braided bread lands somewhere between brioche and challah. Serve the impressive poppy seed-studded loaf with dinner, use it to for sandwiches, or make an unconventional French toast.
Miso Walnut Sticky Buns
Incorporating instant mashed potato flakes into this foolproof sticky bun dough is the secret behind their incredibly moist, tender texture. Meanwhile, using a bit of bread flour, in addition to all-purpose, helps provide structure and height. White miso paste, also known as sweet miso, adds a dynamic element of salt-sweet depth to both the filling and caramel topping—making these a most impressive addition to any brunch spread. Pro-tip: Don’t let the buns rest in the pan for too long after baking as the sticky topping will begin to solidify as it cools, making it difficult to turn them out.
Classic Banana Bread
This healthier take on banana bread uses yogurt instead of butter, but it's just as moist and indulgent as classic recipes. This banana bread recipe isn't just easy. It's also highly customizable and can adapt to a number of flavors and substitute ingredients. Banana bread should form a crack down the center as it bakes--a sign the baking soda is doing its job. Serve toasted with a smear of cream cheese, Greek yogurt, or peanut and top with mixed nuts, if desired. You can even customize your bread with a crunchy streusal topping that the kids will love.
When we set out to create the best basic blueberry scone recipe, we knew it needed to be buttery and tender, but not cakey or overtly sweet—dense for sure, but not dry. These deliver on every front. While these blueberry scones are divine as-is, you can customize the recipe with whatever flavor add-ins you like. Try mixing in some spices—we found that ground ginger and ground cardamom (about 1/4 teaspoon each) to be great aromatic flavor compliments to the blueberries—or you could add a little fresh citrus zest to the dough. If you like your scones on the sweeter side, we’ve also included a simple citrus glaze recipe to drizzle over top. You can use fresh lemon or orange here; we actually used a combination of both with very tasty results. In order to prevent soggy blueberry scones, wait to glaze them until you’re ready to serve.
Pistachio Tahini Cinnamon Rolls
Delicious and not too sweet, the flavors of tahini, pistachios, and cardamom combine beautifully in a fluffy, light roll. These cinnamon rolls take a little extra time, but they’re so worth the effort—especially since most of the work is hands-off. Working with yeast is nothing to be afraid of. If you’re worried about your water being too warm or cool, use a thermometer to keep the temperature in check. These rolls would be fantastic at breakfast or brunch, but they’re also perfect for a snack or treat with a cup of coffee or hot tea.
Mini Apple Cider Pound Cakes
Finish the cakes with one of the three toppings. Toss together the Streusel Topping before you start baking. Both glazes can be prepped while the cakes cool.
This aromatic, spice-filled gingerbread loaf cake is even more moist the next day, so it's well suited to make ahead for a bake sale.
Blueberry Pound Cake Muffins
What’s better than blueberry muffins? Blueberry pound cake muffins. These are sweet, fluffy, and rich, with a crispy caramelized top. The blueberries add color and flavor, and the lemon zest adds just enough tartness.
Apple Cinnamon Bread
Besides being simple enough to whip up on a moments notice, as it bakes, this easy apple cinnamon bread puts off the kind of warming, buttery, spiced aromas that usher in all the fall feels. And given just how well a warm slice pairs with a cup of coffee, don’t be surprised if you find yourself making a loaf of apple cinnamon bread on a weekly basis throughout the season. The rich quick bread is incredibly moist, thanks to the apple and sour cream, but the key to ensuring it’s as tender as possible is to avoid over-mixing. In fact, once the final addition of dry ingredients has been added to the batter, it’s helpful to finish incorporating everything together by hand, using a rubber spatula, rather than continuing to whip the batter with an electric mixer. We used Granny Smith apple in testing the recipe, but you can really use any apple variety you have on hand. Feel free to substitute the pecans called for walnuts, or leave the nuts out entirely.
Day-old scones are firm enough to slice open without crumbling. Tuck in a few paper-thin slices of country ham for an unforgettable ham "biscuit."
Raspberry, Sumac, and Almond Pound Cake
The nuanced brightness of sumac matched with warming notes of almond and jammy raspberries takes a classic pound cake construct over the top and into pure wow-worthy territory. While it may seem like a lot between the batter and the pound cake’s raspberry-sumac glaze (especially if this is a new seasoning to you), sumac—which is the dried, powdered berries of the sumac bush—is a spice you need not be overly reserved with. Given sumac’s delicate tart flavor, a fair amount is needed here to shine within the context of the dense, buttery cake.