A very pistachio quick bread (photo © Taste Of Home).
 Sour cream provides richness and moisture (photo © Yelena Emchuk | Panther Media).
 Cinnamon sugar provides the ribbon inside the quick bread (photo © King Arthur Baking).
 Banana bread, this one with a topping of pecans and halved bananas (photo © Leigh Skomal | Unsplash).
 Zucchini bread, another sweet quick bread (photo © Betty Crocker).
 Then why is pound cake, also baked in a loaf can, called a “cake?” The answer may lie in its history (photo © Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook).
This recipe was created by Judy Fischer of Green Bay, Wisconsin, who notes, “I love making many of these special loaves to give away for the holidays. They also freeze well so it is easy to pull out for unexpected guests.”
But there’s no reason to save this recipe for the holidays. It’s delicious for breakfast or dessert any time of the year.
The recipe makes two loaves: one to eat, one to give away or freeze for later.
And it’s so easy:
Because the ingredients include cake mix and pudding mix, there’s no dry measuring except for cinnamon and sugar.
There aren’t even any pistachio nuts to chop. The pistachio flavor comes from the pudding. (Although, we tossed chopped pistachios into the middle of the cake in Step 2, and also made an iced version garnished with pistachios.
The batter comes together quickly, and is easy to make when you need a dessert or something to bring to a gathering.
> Check out these pistachio recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
> The history of pistachio nuts.
RECIPE: PISTACHIO QUICK BREAD
1 package white cake mix (regular size)
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the cake and dry pudding mixes. Add the eggs, sour cream, water, and oil; beat until blended (the batter will be thick).
2. COMBINE the sugar and cinnamon. Spoon half of the batter into 2 greased 8″ x 4″ loaf pans. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar. Spread with the remaining batter; sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.
3. BAKE until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUICK BREAD & LOAF CAKE
When you look at a loaf cake that’s called a “bread”—banana bread or zucchini bread, for example—you may wonder why they are not called cake, like the carrot cake and pound cake made in the same loaf pan.
Much of the explanation in this example lies in tradition—who called it what in published recipes (e.g., why is a conventional layer cake called a Boston Cream Pie).
If we were able to change the system, we’d call sweet quick breads “loaf cakes” and leave “quick bread” to refer to the savory items that fall into the quick bread category: beer bread, biscuits, cornbread, muffins, pancakes, scones, and soda bread.
Sweet quick breads/loaf cakes and cakes begin with the same ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs, milk (or other liquid binder), and some form of fat.
The difference between the three is the proportion of ingredients used.
Add more eggs and you have a cake.
Take out some of the fat and you have a quick bread.
And take out the liquid and you have a cookie.
Quick breads typically have less sugar and fat than cakes. The crumb tends to be coarser, which makes the quick bread denser.
Perhaps a more obvious difference is that the quick bread/loaf is made in a loaf pan. Cakes are made in round pans, including bundts and tube pans (with some exceptions such as sheet cakes and Swiss rolls/roulades).
A quick bread can be served uniced (as can other cakes such as Bundts and roulades, but not layer cakes).
A quick bread is more casual, sliced in rectangles. Yet, it can be garnished with ice cream, whipped cream, and/or berries, and served with coulis or other sauce, just like a round cake.
Let’s look closer at sweet quick breads (i.e., loaf cakes).
How about the difference between conventional bread and quick bread?
The difference between bread and quick bread is that bread is leavened using yeast.
Quick breads and cakes are leavened using baking soda and/or baking powder.
Plus, sweet quick breads include sugar and other ingredients to create their flavor (flavorings, inclusions), while most types of bread are prepared chiefly with flour, water, and salt, plus yeast*.
What is the difference between loaf cake and bread?
*Specialty breads, like brioche and challah, also contain eggs, butter, and for brioche, milk or cream. Sourdough bread contains sourdough starter, fruit and nut breads contain dried fruits and/or nuts, cheese breads contain cheese, beer breads contain beer, etc.