Forget the Fruit Cake! Bake One of These Gluten-Free Quickbreads for the Holidays

Wrap each of these festive quick breads with ribbon for an easy, edible gift that stays true to its name.
Cranberry Loaf Cake

If you're loathe to try your hand at yet another "great" fruitcake recipe this holiday season, you're in luck. We've created four festive quickbread recipes that are perfect for the holidays. Wrap them up with a ribbon for the road, or keep them out on the counter for all-day snacking. The best part? You won't be slaving away in the kitchen all day. When it comes to prep time, these quickbread recipes stay true to their name. Just pulse the ingredients in your food processor or stir them straight up in a bowl — no creaming butter necessary. Then, just let your oven do all the heavy lifting and enjoy these gluten-free quick breads that make the most of the season's feel-good flavors.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake

Pumpkin Cinnamon Pecan Loaf Cake with Streusel Swirl

Makes: One 9-by-5-inch loaf
For the Gluten-Free Flour Blend:
3 cups (435 grams) white rice flour
1 1/2 cups (187 grams) tapioca flour
3/4 cup (123 grams) potato starch
1 tablespoon (8 grams) xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons (5 grams) salt
For the Streusel:
1/4 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
For the Loaf Cake:
1 3/4 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated canola oil or melted unflavored coconut oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Make the gluten-free flour blend: In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum and salt.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. To make the streusel, in a small bowl, stir together the flour, walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the butter and, using your fingers or a fork, blend together until coarse crumbs form.

To make the loaf cake, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla until smooth. Add to the flour mixture; stir until just combined. Transfer half of the batter to the prepared loaf pan, top with half of the streusel topping and the remaining batter; swirl the streusel into the batter using a butter knife. Top with the remaining streusel and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pan, set on a wire rack.

Cranberry-Poppy Loaf Cake with Lemon Glaze (pictured at top of post)

Makes: One 9-by-5-inch loaf
For the Gluten-Free Flour blend:
3 cups (435 grams) white rice flour
1 1/2 cups (187 grams) tapioca flour
3/4 cup (123 grams) potato starch
1 tablespoon (8 grams) xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons (5 grams) salt
For the loaf cake:
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated canola oil or melted unflavored coconut oil
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons poppy seeds, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
For the Icing:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Dried cranberries, for sprinkling, optional

Make the gluten-free flour blend: In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum and salt.

Make the loaf cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar until pale yellow and frothy. Whisk in the oil, lemon zest, vanilla and buttermilk.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, poppy seeds and cranberries. Whisk into the wet ingredients until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool completely in the pan, set on a wire rack.

Make the icing: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over the icing and using an offset spatula, spread over the loaf cake to coat; sprinkle with poppy seeds and dried cranberries, if using.

Carrot Raisin Loaf
Carrot-Raisin Loaf Cake
Makes: One 9-by-5-inch loaf
For the Gluten-Free Flour Blend:
3 cups (435 grams) white rice flour
1 1/2 cups (187 grams) tapioca flour
3/4 cup (123 grams) potato starch
1 tablespoon (8 grams) xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons (5 grams) salt
For the loaf cake:
1 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/3 cup unflavored coconut oil or non-hydrogenated canola oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans, plus more for topping

Make the gluten-free flour blend: In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum and salt.

Make the loaf cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, yogurt, oil and eggs. Add to flour mixture and whisk until combined. Stir in the carrots, raisins and pecans. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan, set on a wire rack.

Apple Almond Loaf Cake
Apple-Almond Chocolate Chunk Loaf Cake
Makes: One 9-by-5-inch loaf
For the Gluten-Free Flour Blend:
3 cups (435 grams) white rice flour
1 1/2 cups (187 grams) tapioca flour
3/4 cup (123 grams) potato starch
1 tablespoon (8 grams) xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons (5 grams) salt
For the loaf cake:
1 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend
3/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar or coconut sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated canola oil or unflavored coconut oil, melted if solid

2 large apples—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Make the gluten-free flour blend: In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum and salt.

Make the loaf cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, almond flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until pale yellow, 1 to 2 minutes; whisk in the oil. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the apples and chocolate chunks. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan, set on a wire rack.

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