Looking for a way to use that random can of beer hanging out in the back of the fridge? Transform it into a loaf of deliciously-cheesy Beer Bread! Thanks to the beer, this super-easy quick bread recipe still delivers on the classic, yeasty flavor of a long-fermented loaf, but comes together in a fraction of the time. Best of all, there’s no kneading required.
WHAT IS BEER BREAD?
Beer Bread is a type of “quick bread” that uses the flavor and carbonation in beer to create a fluffy, buttery, tangy loaf in just an hour. Unlike most homemade bread recipes, this one doesn’t require any kneading, resting time, or additional yeast. We also included some shredded cheddar cheese to make our loaf extra rich and flavorful!
BEST BEERS FOR BEER BREAD
We chose a budget-friendly, light beer for our loaf, but almost any kind of beer can be used to make this recipe. Keep in mind: the beer you choose will influence the flavor of the bread, so make sure to pick something you like! How to choose the best beer for beer bread:
- Light beers – Generally, light beers will create a light-colored loaf with an airy texture and a more subtle, malty flavor.
- Dark beers – Darker beers like stouts and porters will give the bread a slightly darker color and more robust flavor than light beer.
- Hoppy beers & IPAs – Since pale ales tend to be very bitter, they aren’t an ideal choice. That intense flavor will carry over and may give the bread a lingering sour aftertaste.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS
Once fully cooled, wrap the loaf in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store the bread in the pantry or on the counter (for 1-2 days) or in the fridge (for 4-5 days). This bread also freezes beautifully. Tightly wrap the loaf in a layer of plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
This beer bread lands somewhere between a regular, sliceable loaf of bread and a savory, ultra-rich loaf cake. So the possibilities are kind of endless!
- Slice it thick, toast it up, and slather each slice with softened butter, savory jam, or a generous serving of our Slow-Cooker Hot Buttered Apples!
- This decadent loaf is also great with a Simple Side Salad or served on the side of a quick & easy main dish that’s protein- and vegetable-forward, like our Crunchy Kale Chicken Salad, Butternut Squash Salad, or Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Salad.
- Or, simply rip and dip into a brothy soup or stew, like our 15-Minute Vegetable Curry, or Creamy Vegetable and Wild Rice Soup. A thick, hearty slice would also be a great alternative to the classic grilled cheese served alongside our Tomato Herb Soup!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour ($0.30)
- 1 Tbsp sugar ($0.06)
- 1 Tbsp baking powder ($0.12)
- 2 tsp salt ($0.04)
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese* ($0.62)
- 4 Tbsp butter, divided** ($1.20)
- 12 oz. beer (one regular-sized can) ($0.92)
- Preheat the oven to 375℉. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and shredded cheese. Mix well.
- Melt the butter in a small sauce pot. Use a pastry brush to coat the inside of a 9×5 loaf pan with butter. Set the remaining butter aside.
- Add the beer to the flour mixture and stir until a thick batter forms. Transfer the batter to the prepared bread pan, making sure to spread it out evenly inside the bread pan.
- Pour the rest of the melted butter on top of the bread dough.
- Bake the bread for 45-50 minutes, or until deeply golden brown on top.
- Once slightly cool (about 10 minutes), run a butter knife around the inside edge of the pan gently to loosen the edges, and then turn the bread onto a cutting board to slice and serve.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
** If using unsalted butter, you may want to add an additional ¼ teaspoon of salt with the rest of the dry ingredients or sprinkle the same amount on top of the loaf just before baking.
How to Make BEER BREAD – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 375℉. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pot or skillet. Use a pastry brush to coat the inside of a 9×5″ loaf pan with about 1/2 tablespoon of the melted butter. Set the rest of the butter aside.
Pour 12 oz. (1 1/2 cups) of beer into the flour mixture. Mix until a thick batter forms and no clumps of dry ingredients remain. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan, making sure to spread it out evenly. Tap it on the counter a few times to help eliminate any air pockets.
Pour the rest of the melted butter (about 3 1/2 tablespoons) on top of the bread dough.
Bake the beer bread for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is evenly golden brown and crispy. Let the bread cool slightly (about 10 minutes) in the loaf pan. Run a butter knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the edges, then flip the bread out onto a cutting board to slice and serve.
As one of my favorite TikTok creators (@tanaradoublechocolate) would say: “It ain’t gonna slide down easy if it ain’t cheesy!” Hope y’all love this Easy Beer Bread as much as we do! ~Marion :)
Can I use potassium chloride and Splenda to substitute the salt and sugar?
Since we haven’t tested this recipe with those products, I don’t know if they will work out or achieve equally-successful results. But don’t let me stop you if you want to try it out. ~ Marion :)
I’m not very familiar with breads, so I couldn’t figure out what the texture should be like when it’s done baking. I baked it for 55 minutes at 375 degrees, and after cooling and slicing, the inside still felt very soft and squishy. It almost looked like it was turning back into dough? I followed the recipe exactly, down to adding more salt since I had unsalted butter. Could you help me troubleshoot maybe what went wrong?
In my opinion, it sounds like you didn’t wait for the bread to cool enough. I’ve been impatient before and started cutting the bread before it had cooled and it gums up. That sounds like what happened to you. I have another beer bread recipe that I use and it states to bake at 350F and
“Bake 55 min. – sometimes 1 hour…don’t cook longer than an hour unless you have it on 325 and it is not browned at all. If it is lightly browned and when you push on the top with your finger it seems firm, take it out…1 hour should be sufficient. I let it sit in the pan for just a minute, and then I turn it out, and let the loaf lay on its side on some paper towels. You MUST let it cool, at least 20 minutes, or when you cut it, it will be a gummy mess! It should be cool enough to where you can comfortably hold the loaf with your hand while cutting…if it is too hot to hold, then it is not cool enough.”
I hope this helps!
Curious, what kind of beer and type of baking dish did you use? The interior texture of the loaf should be very soft and fluffy. It’s more like a savory cake than traditional bread. However, the outside should be hard and crunchy to the touch and deeply golden brown. It seems like maybe it needed a few extra minutes in the oven if it was that soft in the center. The baking time and temperature were tested multiple times to ensure success, so it should work for you! So if I had to guess, I’d say either the oven wasn’t fully preheated when the loaf went in or that your oven temperature is slightly off (likely between 10-25*F, which is extremely common). If you think it’s the latter, I’d suggest investing in an oven thermometer to check and make sure. (We have a great one in our shop!) Sorry, you didn’t have a successful result. I hope it works out better next time! ~ Marion :)
Tried this just now and this will definitely become a staple in our household. I love a homemade bread but often find it so time-consuming. This was really so easy and baked perfectly in 45 minutes. It was on the heavy side but because of the big flavour and UHMAZING crust i did not mind one bit. My husband also loved it. I used light beer, can’t wait to see the outcome with different types of beer (and cheese?).
Glad to hear this!! It’s also great with parmesan cheese–but absolutely feel free to experiment! ~ Marion :)
I have always been curious about the purpose of sugar in beer breads. It always makes the bread taste slightly too sweet imo. What is the function of the sugar? Could I use a slightly less sweet substitute, like apple sauce? Or could I cut the amount? Thanks!
Like adding salt to cookie dough (but the opposite!), sugar helps balance the flavors of the dish without making it “sweet.” You could definitely reduce the amount to a tsp or omit it if that’s your preference. However, I wouldn’t recommend using apple sauce since it contains extra moisture and it might affect the outcome of the recipe. ~ Marion :)
How would you think this would work with swapping for almond flour instead?
We haven’t tested this recipe with almond flour, and since it behaves very differently from plain flour, it likely would not be successful. However, if you are looking for a gluten-free alternative, I’d suggest trying a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour instead (Pillsbury makes a great one!). That would be much more likely to give you similar results. ~ Marion :)
Love this recipe! It’s so easy and good! I also love that it uses simple ingredients that we usually have on hand and it comes together in no time. It’s in the budget bytes cookbook and we’ve made it many times over the years.