Several times over the years, I’ve seen the claim that a perfect loaf of quick bread can be achieved with two simple ingredients–melted ice cream and self-rising flour. Disclaimer: this is not that recipe. But I did break down and try it and can offer you an opinion…
I was inspired to test this recipe hack a few weeks ago after being given several containers of Turkey Hill Dairy’s Egg Nog ice cream. During the holidays, I enjoy baking with eggnog and often make a traditional quick bread that has been a popular gift and a festive addition to many a cookie plate. The concept of cooking with melted ice cream is actually pretty simple. Ice cream contains several of the basic components of baking–milk, eggs, and sugar–as well as some “extras” depending on what flavor is chosen. Mix in some self-rising flour, which includes a leavening agent, and the perfect batter is achieved. Right?
Though my results were edible, they were a far cry from the delicious loaf that was promised. It was, however, a fun experiment. So if you’re tempted to try, do it for the sake of the experiment, and set your expectations fairly low! And if you’d prefer a sure thing–a lightly sweet loaf with a tender crumb and hint of spice–then proceed straight to the following recipe.
In this holiday favorite, eggnog creates a flavor reminiscent of spice bread but with an appealing light color that can be speckled with red if the optional dried cranberries are added. The simple icing is another option that will add a hint of decadence and visual appeal. Interestingly, several of my immediate and extended family members don’t care for eggnog in drink form but rave about this seasonal treat.
I hope this becomes a holiday tradition at your house, too!
If you have trouble determining when a loaf of quick bread is cooked through the middle but not overcooked, simply check with a quick-read thermometer. The internal temperature should read 200 degrees F.
- 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour (may substitute an all-purpose gluten-free blend; weights will vary)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup (192 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (240 ml) eggnog (I use Turkey Hill Egg Nog)
- 2 teaspoons rum extract (see notes for options*)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120 grams) confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla OR 1/4 teaspoon rum extract OR 2 teaspoons rum
- 2 to 3 tablespoons eggnog
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and grease 3 mini loaf pans or one standard-size loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and optional dried cranberries. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. (A handheld or stand mixer may be used.) Add the eggs, beating after each addition. Then mix in the eggnog, rum and vanilla extract.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, half at a time, mixing until the flour is just incorporated. Be careful not to over mix.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan(s), and bake the mini loaves for 35-40 minutes and the standard size loaf for approximately 55-60 minutes. Check a few minutes early and add time as needed—cooking times will vary based on precise dimensions of pans and individual oven. (Helpful tip: The internal temperature when taken with a quick-read thermometer should read 200 degrees F.)
Cool 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap or storing in a zip-top bag. May freeze.
If using the glaze, place the sugar in a small bowl and add the extract or rum. Stir in two tablespoons of the eggnog, and then add just enough additional eggnog to achieve a smooth, drizzling consistency. If you want more of an icing, keep the mixture on the thicker side. If you accidently add too much liquid, simply stir in a little more confectioner’s sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled loaves and let dry before wrapping.
- *As an option to the rum extract, 1/4 cup of your favorite light or spiced rum will work well—and I really like Malibu rum in this recipe, as the tropical notes complement the eggnog and spices. Using rum instead of extract will add slightly more liquid to the batter but will be ok. Optionally, you may skip the rum flavoring altogether, and increase the vanilla to 2 teaspoons.
- This recipe can also be baked in a greased 8-inch square baking dish or a 9-inch round cake pan. Check early and watch carefully to determine precise cooking time when changing the pan size. When serving as a cake, the glaze is an especially nice option.
Helpful tip to avoid dry bread: If you have trouble determining when a loaf of quick bread is cooked through the middle but not overcooked, simply check with a quick-read thermometer. The internal temperature should read 200 degrees F.
The quick glaze is not required, but it offers a hint of decadence and a pretty, snow-capped look.