Soft and moist quick bread made with delicious sweet red bean paste. It’s perfect for breakfast or to accompany your tea/coffee break.
I created this recipe because I have made a huge batch of sweet red bean paste, which I normally use as a filling for red bean steamed buns, red bean bread/buns, or in other asian pastries like tau sar piah or desserts. But this time, I got a bit curious and wonder how it would be if I actually use the paste to make quick bread instead. I’m pretty happy with the result.
What is red bean paste quick bread ?
A quick bread that is made without yeast by using baking powder and baking soda to leaven the bread. The quick bread batter is also mixed with sweet red bean paste (anko paste in Japanese, dou sha in Mandarin). So there you go, you actually get a quick bread that is actually infused with red bean paste all over, not just with red bean paste swirled into the batter.
What does it taste like?
It has a nice buttery flavor and a mild hint of sweet red bean paste in the bread. The texture is like a banana quick bread if you are wondering.
Ingredients and substitutions
1. All-purpose flour
I usually use unbleached all-purpose flour, but both bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour works here
2. Baking powder
Please make sure your baking powder is active and fresh. If you test 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder with some hot water, it sizzles immediately. If it doesn’t, it’s time to get new baking powder
3. Baking soda
Baking soda is also needed in this recipe and it works together with baking powder to do the heavy lifting here. Please do not substitute with baking powder or omit this. You can test to make sure your baking soda is fresh by using one teaspoon of baking soda with some acid like vinegar or lemon juice. It sizzles immediately. If it doesn’t or has very little activity, it’s no longer good
I use unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, you can omit the salt in the recipe
5. Light brown sugar
You can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar. The latter will give darker color to the bread and more intense molassey flavor
I usually use raw honey. You can use any honey of your choice. You can also substitute with maple syrup, rice malt syrup, agave syrup. Please note that the level of sweetness may vary with each substitutions
7. Red bean paste
I use homemade red bean paste made without any oil. You can use store-bought red bean paste, the smooth kind (koshian). You can also use the coarse type, with some red beans still visible (Tsubuan).
I usual large size eggs, usually about 58-62 grams if you weigh it with its shell
I use fine sea salt. If you use coarse salt/kosher salt, you can add 1/4 tsp more
You can use chopped/sliced almonds, walnuts, or any nuts of you choice.
I use real vanilla extract. Avoid using imitation vanilla extract if you can
12. Red food coloring
The quick bread batter will change color because of the baking soda and that’s normal. It doesn’t change the taste. If you want a nice hue of red, add a bit of red food coloring will help
Easy Red Bean Paste/Anko Quick Bread
- 60 g chopped walnuts or nuts of your choice
- Grease your 9 x 5 loaf pan with some oil. Line with parchment paper for easy removal later
- Preheat the oven to 325 F (165 C) for conventional oven or 300 F (150 C) for convection oven
Prepare the cake batter:
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside
- Combine the soft butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and honey until smooth. Add the red bean paste and eggs and mix until combined. Sift in the dry ingredients and chopped nuts and mix until just combined. Don't overmix. Some lumps are okay as long as you don't see dry pockets of flour mixture. This is a very thick batter
- Spoon the batter into the prepare pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with some chopped nuts on top if you wish
Bake the bread:
- Put the loaf pan in the middle rack and bake for 45 minutes and then tent the top with aluminum foil, shiny side up and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean with few crumbs on it is okay as long as no wet batter. If it's still wet, bake for another 5 minutes and check again
- Let the cake cool down in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove from the pan and cool down on the cooling rack completely before serving
- I recommend serving the cake the next day to allow the cake to develop flavor and to distribute moisture. The cake serves on the same day tends to feel drier.
- The quick bread can be kept in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3 days
1. The sweet red bean paste you use
You can use homemade red bean paste or store-bought red bean paste. I use a homemade red bean paste that is made without any oil. (the oil version I usually made for filling in mooncakes or other Chinese pastries). The level of sweetness may be different too, so you may need to experiment with how much sugar to use. The amount in the recipe doesn’t yield a very sweet cake, I think it’s just the right amount. In fact, my kids wish it’s a bit sweeter, but they have sweeter tooth than me.
2. The cake color changes
The red color of the sweet red bean paste will react with the baking soda in the recipe, therefore you may notice the batter will change to grayish blue or gray altogether. This doesn’t change the taste of the cake. I recommend adding a bit of red color if you want your quick bread to have that hint of red color (not as red as red velvet cake). I forgot to add food coloring in mine and that’s why the color of the quick bread is more grayish, but it doesn’t change the taste. I promise!
3. I don’t recommend subsituting the baking soda with baking powder in the recipe
This recipe uses both baking soda and baking powder. Both are needed to do the heavylifting in the recipe to make the cake fluffy and not dense. Normally, you can replace baking soda with baking powder if the amount of baking soda in the recipe is just in small amount. Because this cake uses quite a bit of baking soda (1 teaspoon), If you replace the baking soda with baking powder, you need 3x more the baking powder (which is 3 teaspoons/1 tablespoon) to replace the amount of baking soda and the end result is, the cake has that weird smell and bitter taste from the baking powder.
Did you make this easy red bean paste quick bread recipe?
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