This glazed strawberry bread tastes like summer in a loaf pan! It’s tender, moist, and chock-full of juicy berries. The cake-like crumb and creamy, dreamy vanilla icing make for a treat that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. The recipe is quick and easy, and there’s no mixer required!
If you find yourself with an overabundance of fresh strawberries (one of my very favorite problems to have!), and you’re not sure how to use them all before they go bad… you could make this reader-favorite strawberry cake, but… maybe you don’t feel like putting in the effort to make a layer cake. Trust me, I get that!
Enter this recipe for glazed strawberry bread: a quick bread with a tender, cake-like crumb that’s bursting with fresh strawberry and vanilla flavors. I originally published this recipe in 2014, and have made a couple adjustments based on reader feedback. The bread slices hold shape better by using less buttermilk, and the bread rises taller using a slightly smaller loaf pan and a combination of baking powder AND soda. The recipe in the recipe card below reflects these small tweaks.
Here’s What You’ll Love About This Glazed Strawberry Bread
- Quick and easy to make—no mixer required
- Excellent way to use up leftover fresh strawberries that didn’t make it into your strawberry shortcake
- Cake-like texture stays moist for days
- Extra dessert-like with a topping of creamy vanilla icing
- Make-ahead friendly: this strawberry bread tastes even better on day 2
- Freezes well, so make it when berries are in season and stock your freezer, so you can enjoy that peak strawberry flavor long after their short season ends!
Ingredients You Need & Why
- Flour: All-purpose flour is the base of today’s quick bread.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda: My team and I tested this recipe several times with varying ratios of these two leaveners, and the hands-down winner was the carefully measured mix of both you’ll see in the recipe below.
- Salt: Flavor enhancer/sweetness balancer—a baking recipe superhero!
- Egg: An egg provides structure and binds all the ingredients together.
- Sugar: Use a mix of granulated sugar and brown sugar to sweeten this cake-like bread.
- Buttermilk: This power ingredient is what makes my chocolate cake so darn moist, and it serves the same purpose in this strawberry bread. The lactic acid in buttermilk allows the baking soda to produce carbon dioxide. Don’t have buttermilk? Save yourself a trip to the store and see my recipe Note below for a DIY option.
- Oil: I prefer to use oil in my quick breads, like in lemon poppy seed bread, chocolate zucchini bread, and cinnamon swirl quick bread, because of the unparalleled moisture it provides. Lately I’ve been making this strawberry bread with melted coconut oil, and it doesn’t make the bread taste like coconut. But if you dislike coconut and can easily detect it in baked goods, play it safe and use a neutral vegetable oil.
- Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste: I love the combo of strawberries + vanilla, like in this strawberry vanilla crisp. Pure vanilla extract works wonderfully, but I like to use vanilla bean paste here. You can find it next to the vanilla extract in the grocery store baking aisle, or you can order it online.
- Fresh Strawberries: Chop the berries and gently toss them with a little flour, to prevent them from sinking to the bottom. I don’t recommend using frozen strawberries in this recipe, because they can leak a lot of moisture and turn the bread into mush with an unappetizing purplish hue! Save the frozen berries for smoothies and strawberry sauce.
A Quick Comparison
I want to show you a side-by-side comparison. When retesting this recipe, my team and I tried it using only baking powder. The crumb looked plush and light, but the bread tasted very gummy and the flavor fell flat. Then we used a combination of baking powder AND baking soda. The bread doesn’t rise quite as much, but it develops a beautiful color and almost caramelized-like flavor. It was also moist and tender, without tasting gummy. In terms of taste, the baking powder + soda combo was a clear winner!
How to Make Strawberry Bread
The steps to put all the ingredients together are as easy as 1, 2, 3:
- Whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients.
- Combine the wet with the dry, and gently fold in the chopped strawberries.
I recommend baking this strawberry bread in a 1-lb. (8×4-inch) loaf pan like this one or this one. If all you have is a 9×5-inch loaf pan, which is what you use for banana bread and pumpkin bread, you can use it, but expect the bread to be a little shorter.
Coating the chopped strawberries in flour helps prevent them from sinking in the bread:
Expect a creamy and thick quick bread batter with LOTS of strawberries:
The bread takes at least an hour to bake. Begin checking at 55 minutes, though, just in case your oven works extra hard!
Back in 2014 when I first published this recipe, the vanilla icing was an afterthought and yet now I can’t imagine the strawberry bread without it! It soaks down into each slice, making the bread even more moist and tender… and it makes the top of the bread melt in your mouth.
We’re using my classic vanilla icing recipe, only halved to make just enough for the bread (like this cinnamon swirl banana bread!). It’s super simple. Grab some confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream or milk, and a little vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste, and whisk it all together.
Drizzle over the bread before serving.
This is super moist and tender strawberry bread, filled to the brim with fresh summer berries. I usually make the quick bread with melted coconut oil, but a neutral oil like vegetable oil works too. Drizzle the cooled bread with creamy vanilla icing.
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk, at room temperature*
- 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1 and 1/2 cups (230g) chopped fresh strawberries, tossed in 1 Tablespoon of flour
- 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream or milk
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease an 8×4-inch loaf pan like this one or this one with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Make the bread: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and buttermilk together until combined. Make sure there are no brown sugar lumps remaining. Whisk in the oil and vanilla.
- Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk until there are no more lumps. Avoid over-mixing. Gently fold in the strawberries. Pour/spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 55–70 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent the top from getting too brown. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with only a few small moist crumbs. All ovens vary, so begin checking every 5 minutes around the 55-minute mark.
- Remove bread from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour. Remove bread from the pan and place the loaf directly on the wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the icing: Whisk the icing ingredients together. (I usually use heavy cream, which promises a thick icing.) Drizzle over bread before slicing.
- Cover and store bread at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Icing seeps into the top of the strawberry bread over time, so expect the tops of the slices to become a little moist.
- Freezing Instructions: It’s best to freeze this bread without the icing, and ice the bread after thawing and before serving. Freeze baked & cooled loaf for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If desired, bring to room temperature before serving. To learn more details about how to freeze quick breads, see my post called Make-Ahead Baking.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): 8×4-inch Loaf Pan (like this one or this one) | Glass Mixing Bowl | Whisk | Vanilla Bean Paste | Cooling Rack
- Update in 2023: This recipe was originally published in 2014. Over the years, I made some subtle improvements to improve the taste and texture. The recipe used to call for 1 teaspoon of baking soda, but the baking powder + baking soda combination above produces a better-tasting crumb. The recipe also used to call for 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, but the bread was often too wet.
- Can I use a 9×5-inch loaf pan? I recommend baking this strawberry bread in a 1-lb. (8×4-inch) loaf pan like this one or this one. If all you have is a 9×5-inch loaf pan, you can use it, but expect the bread to be a little shorter/flatter. The bake time is about the same.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 3/4 cup. (In a pinch, lower-fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the bread won’t taste as rich and moist.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
- Vanilla: I love using vanilla bean paste in the bread and icing because it combines both extract AND vanilla bean seeds. You can, of course, use pure vanilla extract instead. If you want that extra vanilla bean flavor, feel free to add the seeds scraped from 1/4 of a vanilla bean in the bread batter, and use the seeds from another 1/4 of the vanilla bean in the icing. (This is in addition to the liquid vanilla extract.)
- Can I Use Frozen Strawberries? I strongly recommend using fresh, as frozen or thawed berries produce a mushy bread. If you need to use frozen, thaw and pat as dry as possible before tossing in flour.
- Glazed Strawberry Muffins: Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C) and spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray, or line with cupcake liners. Prepare batter as directed above. Fill each cupcake liner to the top with batter and bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C). Then, keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the temperature to 350°F (177°C) and continue to bake for an additional 14–15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Top with glaze. Makes about 12 muffins. You may also enjoy these chocolate-covered strawberry muffins or strawberry cheesecake muffins.
Keywords: strawberry bread