I love quick breads. They are the work of moments, smell amazing while they are baking and are perfect for pretty much any occasion. Often lower in sugar than traditional cakes, quick breads are perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea or dessert. My Apricot Pecan Quick Bread is no exception. Sweet dried apricots, crunchy pecans and warming ginger make this quick bread a natural at any time of year. And while it may take a little while to bake, your hands on labour is less than fifteen minutes.
When my son was little, he really wasn’t a fan of my Apricot Pecan Quick Bread. He said he always felt cheated because, “It smells like a cake when it is baking, mummy, but it isn’t very sweet at all”. Now he’s grown up, my son can definitely see the merits of this versatile bread, particularly when he is cutting a couple of slices, spreading them with butter and wrapping them up to take with him to work as a breakfast on the go. Apricot Pecan Quick Bread keeps really well at room temperature covered on the side so it is great to have on hand. It’s also perfect for last minute entertaining or just a well deserved treat.
I find it really tedious soaking dried apricots so I always buy ready to eat dried apricots. Sometimes I can even buy them ready chopped as well which makes this recipe quicker to put together.
On one of our recent trips to California I found dried powdered organic orange rind and dried powdered Meyer lemon rind at a lovely little spice market in Napa. I often use the dried orange rind for this recipe if I don’t have any fresh oranges to hand.
This recipe is easily doubled if you want to make one loaf to keep and one to give away.
Make sure you use a good loaf pan. I prefer a metal loaf pan because I feel they conduct heat better. I’m a huge fan of the Wilton brand.
One of my favourite ways to eat this bread is thickly sliced and spread with soft butter. For a real treat, spread it with your favourite jam or marmalade as well. Or serve with a scoop of ice cream alongside for a quick and easy dessert.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated or caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- grated rind of one orange
- 2½ cups plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried ginger
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup chopped, ready to eat, dried apricots
- ½ cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- ½ teaspoon dried ginger
- 1 to 1½ tablespoons water or orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C or 160°C for a fan oven).
- Grease and flour or line a 9" x 5" (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan.
- Cream the butter and sugar together.
- Add the eggs and orange rind.
- Mix together well.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and ginger together.
- Add to the batter alternately with the buttermilk. (Two additions of dry ingredients, two additions of buttermilk.)
- Stir in the apricots and pecans. (The batter will be quite stiff at this point.)
- Spoon into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
- Cool the bread in the tin for ten minutes before removing it to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the bread is completely cool, make the glaze.
- Mix the icing sugar and dried ginger together.
- Add enough water or orange juice to make a thick drizzle-able glaze.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cake.
- Let the glaze dry before cutting in slices.
More Loaf Cake Recipes
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