Move over banana bread, there's a prettier, moister bread in town. Fresh strawberry bread with buttermilk, is made with- you guessed it- fresh seasonal strawberries! Buttermilk helps to create a light, fluffy breakfast bread while also adding a bit of tartness. Vanilla and orange zest round out this quick bread with a punch of sweet, bright flavor! You won't want to miss this one.
There is no better time for strawberries than Spring and Summer when they are at the peak of flavor. I love using fresh seasonal strawberries in anything from jam to butter to layering in between overnight oats. From May to September you can basically find me with red strawberry juice dripping down my arm from all the baking and snacking!
Quick breads get their name for the leavening agents used to help them rise- usually baking powder, baking soda or a mixture of both. Unlike breads made with yeast, these come together in a snap and are perfect for the home cook. If you love quick breads, especially with seasonal fruits, you will also want to try my blueberry banana bread, or my cranberry gingerbread loaf.
Why this recipe works
- It's simple to make (no fancy equipment needed)
- A great way to use up fresh strawberries
- Not too sweet
- It's moist and fluffy
- Kid friendly
- Makes a great hostess gift
- Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or snacking
This fresh strawberry bread with buttermilk is made with easy-to-find ingredients. The strawberries are the real star, so look for ripe strawberries that are red and on the smaller side.
- Flour- I use all-purpose flour for quick bread.
- Baking powder and baking soda- I use baking soda because it helps to neutralize the acid in the buttermilk while the baking powder gives it a lift.
- Cinnamon- Ground cinnamon for a little warmth.
- Salt- Kosher or sea salt.
- Eggs- I always use large eggs for baking.
- Sugar- A combination of white granulated and dark brown sugar for texture, browning and contrast of flavors. I also top the loaf with turbinado sugar for added texture and crunch.
- Buttermilk- Adds some acidity and helps to keep the loaf light and fluffy.
- Oil- Vegetable oil.
- Vanilla- Pure vanilla extract.
- Strawberries- Fresh, not frozen is key here. The smaller and redder they are the sweeter they tend to be. Feel free to adjust the sugar if your strawberries are overly sweet.
- Orange zest- Enhances the flavor of the strawberries.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make strawberry quick bread
This strawberry bread uses a simple technique that requires no fancy equipment. Just mix the dry ingredients together, then the wet ingredients, then combine the two. See, you CAN do it!
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Combine the eggs, sugars, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and orange zest in a second bowl. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Fold the strawberries into the batter until just combined.
Pour the batter into a prepared 9x5 loaf pan, and sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar.
Bake the loaf for 55-60 minutes in a 350℉ oven until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack and continue to let cool for 30 minutes. Serve immediately or see storage ideas.
Can't get enough strawberries? Serve a slice with my delicious strawberry butter! Now that's a treat!
Substitutions and variations
Feel free to mix up a few of the ingredients to better fit your taste.
- You could swap out the strawberries for another summer berry. Raspberries and blackberries would work well.
- Use lemon zest instead of orange zest.
- Add ½ cup of chopped nuts such as almonds or walnuts.
- Instead of cinnamon try adding cardamom, ginger or coriander.
- You can swap out the vegetable oil for canola oil.
- Instead of buttermilk, you can use sour cream or Greek yogurt diluted with a little milk. If you don't have buttermilk but want to make a substitute, see below.
🍳Making a buttermilk substitute: Add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar to ½ cup of whole or 2% milk, and let stand for 5-10 minutes. This will yield ½ cup, which is what is needed for this bread.
For this fresh strawberry bread, you will only need some kitchen basics. Grab a few medium-sized bowls, a whisk, measuring cups, and a spatula. I also like to use baking spray to grease my pans for easy release.
This recipe calls for a 9x5-inch loaf/bread pan. An 8x4 inch loaf pan can be used, but baking time will need to be increased 10-15 minutes.
This strawberry loaf will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days. Wrap tightly in aluminum or plastic wrap. The bread (especially the top) will become softer as it sits, but the taste will not be compromised. You could also place the bread in a sealed container with a paper towel on the bottom and top to prevent it from becoming soggy.
Alternately, you can store the bread in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months.
Expert tips for success
- Make sure your buttermilk and eggs are at room temperature. This will help ensure a proper rise.
- Use a whisk to incorporate the dry ingredients thoroughly.
- Avoid overmixing the batter. You just want the ingredients just combined.
- Don't skip patting the strawberries dry and dredging them in flour. This will help prevent the strawberries from sinking to the bottom.
- Don't open the oven door. Use your friend- the oven light- if you are inpatient like me. Changes in temperature will affect the baking process.
- Allow the loaf to cool in the pan and then on a wire rack before cutting.
While you certainly can, the result won't quite be the same. Frozen strawberries are not only less flavorful, but they will retain more water, creating a mushy bread.
Buttermilk is recommended because of the flavor and texture it will add to the final result. If you do swap out the buttermilk, I recommend sour cream or Greek yogurt as opposed to milk.
Here are some of my other favorite breads and strawberry flavors.
Fresh Strawberry Bread with Buttermilk
- mixing bowls, whisk, spatula, measuring cups
- 1 9x5 inch loaf pan
- 2 cups all-purpose-flour plus 1 tbsp. reserved and set aside
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup buttermilk full or reduced fat; room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- zest of one orange about 3-4 teaspoons
- 1½ cups diced fresh strawberries, (patted dry with a paper towel) (¼-½ inch dice)
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw) for topping, optional
- baking spray for greasing the pan
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with baking spray and set aside.baking spray for greasing the pan
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.2 cups all-purpose-flour, ¼ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, 2 teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In another medium bowl, add the eggs and lightly whisk to break them up. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and orange zest. Whisk until combined and no sugar lumps remain. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until combined.2 large eggs, ½ cup white granulated sugar, ¼ cup dark brown sugar, ½ cup buttermilk, ½ cup vegetable oil, 1½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, zest of one orange
- Mix the strawberries with 1 tbsp. of flour. Fold the strawberries into the batter until evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with the turbinado sugar, if using. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool for 30 minutes before serving.1½ cups diced fresh strawberries, (patted dry with a paper towel), 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
*Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Nutrition information can vary depending on many factors, such as products used, measurements and substitutions, therefore it is recommended that you obtain nutritional calculations based on your own finished recipe.