Watermelon Quick Bread (Or How To Make a Sweet Bread out of ANY Cake Mix!)

I’ve mentioned a lot lately how much I love spring. It’s that 70 degree weather and the delicious seasonal foods that appear in stores about this time, for sure. So the other day, I was shopping at Target, wandering the store the way I do… you know how you go into Target for one thing and there’s that unspoken law that you can’t leave without spending $50 even if you went in for just one $5 item? Yeah, so, I was wandering. And stumbled upon a Target exclusive.

Oh my goodness, Target, you kill me with those exclusives…

Betty Crocker got sneaky and made a WATERMELON cake mix. And frosting to go with it. And oh my goodness, this cake mix, it’s just like a watermelon. But like, in cake form. Psht, like I needed another excuse to eat cake!

So I gathered my Betty Crocker Watermelon Cake mix, a box of Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding, 4 eggs, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup oil, then preheated my oven to 350.

Now, I want to tell you here, I used the Watermelon Cake mix because I really wanted to have that amazing watermelon bread flavor. The vanilla pudding compliments that well, but you can use literally any flavor of pudding and cake mix. Want chocolate bread? Try chocolate cake and chocolate pudding. Want chocolate covered strawberry? Use a strawberry mix and chocolate pudding. Want lemon? Use lemon cake mix and lemon pudding and add some poppyseeds… or, use lemon cake and vanilla pudding for a lighter flavor. The sky is the limit!

But for today– Watermelon Cake Mix, Vanilla pudding. Everybody still tracking along?

Put your dry ingredients in the bowl, then add in your wet ingredients while mixing.

Aww, look at all of the fun “seeds” in the watermelon mix! This is a good time to mention that, while these great black seed bits came in the mix, you CAN add in mix-ins like chocolate chips or poppyseeds when making a cake mix quick bread. Use your imagination!


I divided my batter among 4 mini loaf pans, but you can make two regular loaves instead. I like mini loaves because they’re so cute, and great for sharing! The baking time should stay the same or increase just slightly if you’re using the regular loaf pans. Always insert a toothpick or use your method of choice to check for doneness!

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or until edges are golden. Then, cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes to an hour before slicing and serving. See, breads will continue to bake just slightly after removed from the oven, so cooling them before slicing allows that soft center to get fully cooked.

Cake mix quick breads are great because they use ingredients people usually keep on hand, and they’re so easy to take to friends or family, serve as a breakfast or dessert, and are just a great treat.

The best thing about the Watermelon quick bread is it’s delicious watermelon flavor that tastes so true to the actual fruit. This is the moistest sweet bread you’ll ever taste!


What cake mix/pudding combo would you try in your Cake Mix Quick Bread? Let me know in the comments below!


Grandma Sybil’s Banana Bread

Some recipes are worth a sore wrist from stirring. Some are worth doing the old-fashioned way. And I’ve found that, even though there are a million and one ways that you can be creative with food, it’s good to have some staples in your recipe collection that are tried-and-true. This banana bread meets all of those requirements.

I first encountered this recipe in the recipe boxes I inherited from my grandfather. A nondescript recipe handwritten on a stained and tattered card, it held a lot of promise, and I kept saying “I’ll make this sometime when I have bananas that need to be used before they turn.” However, when I finally got around to making the bread, I realized it was a recipe worth leaving on top of the stack. It’s a favorite in my home, and I’m certain it’ll be a favorite in yours.

Because this recipe has to cool overnight for easiest slicing, it’s a great bread to make, cool while you sleep, and slice for breakfast the next morning. And, it’s easy enough that you can make it any night of the week.

The recipe starts with sifting together 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt into one bowl.

In a small liquid measuring cup, you’ll want to put a tablespoon of vinegar, then fill it to 1/2 cup with milk. Set this aside for a few minutes. If you’d rather use buttermilk in place of the vinegar-milk mixture, you can– they’re essentially the same thing.

In a second bowl, cream 1/2 cup shortening, then slowly add 1 cup of sugar. To this, you’ll add two eggs, one at a time, beating until light and fluffy after each.

Before you even start the recipe, it helps to bring eggs to room temperature. See, chilled eggs didn’t used to be an issue. Farm fresh eggs are shelf-stable, and don’t need to be refrigerated. Many farm-fresh eggs are stored at room temperature from the time you get them. In the UK, even store-bought eggs are kept unrefrigerated, completely shelf-stable. The difference between the UK and the US is that in the UK, ALL hens are required to be vaccinated for salmonella. However, in the United States, vaccinating hens is a choice– not a requirement. That’s why store-bought eggs in the US are suggested to be refrigerated. Additionally, in the United States, we’re serious about egg washing– which means in addition to washing off the dirt and grime from the freshly laid eggs, we’re also removing that barrier that helps prevent yucky stuff from getting into the eggs. Unfortunately, sometimes in cleaning, we add more dirt. It happens. Bringing them up to room temperature before baking, however, is totally safe.

So, you have a light and fluffy shortening-egg-sugar mixture. You also have a flour mixture, and a milk mixture. Finally, you’re going to make one last addition in a separate measuring cup– 1 cup of mashed bananas. It took 3 very ripe bananas to make a cup.

In small amounts, and alternating between them, add the flour mixture, the milk mixture, and the banana mixture, whisking/stirring after each addition as it continues to thicken from the flour. While I’m positive you could use a Kitchen-Aid or hand mixer, if Grandma Sybil was mixing by hand, so was I. I wanted to try this recipe as authentically as possible– making it just as she did.

Turn the batter into a greased bread tin, and bake for 60-70 minutes. Mine was done after 65 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Remove the bread from the pan, cooling overnight, or at least for several hours, before slicing.

You can, of course, add chopped walnuts to your bread. I chose not to, since my family has enough nuts in it that adding more seemed counter-intuitive.

This bread is really good microwaved for another 10-20 seconds and spread with a little bit of fresh butter.

Once you try it, you’ll realize that it’s a staple recipe, worthy of a hand-written index card in your collection. Hopefully, over time, your copy will become as well-worn and loved as mine, covered in splatters and stains.

The recipe, as Sybil wrote it:

Banana Bread

2 cups sifted all purpose flour, 1 tsp soda, 1 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening, 1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 tbl (tablespoon) vinegar plus milk to make 1/2 cup
Broken pecans or walnuts (optional)


Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Cream shortening, blend in sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat until fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with bananas and liquid, beating after each addition. Turn into greased bread tin and bake 60 minutes to 70 minutes or until done at 350. Remove from pan and cool several hours or overnight before slicing. Nuts can be added last.


Do you have a favorite old family recipe? Don’t forget, if you love this recipe, or hope to try it, you can pin it on Pinterest, or share it on Facebook to save it to your profile!

Three Ingredient Soda (or Beer) Bread

For years, I’ve been buying beer bread mix from companies like Tastefully Simple or Wildtree. I’m not going to lie, they’re expensive. But I’ve always been under the impression that they were so much easier than if I were to make it myself. I mean, you can’t exactly get much easier than opening a package and pouring a can of soda in, can you?

Except you can.

This bread literally has only three ingredients. Measure, pour your soda in, and bake.

Put some self-rising flour in a bowl and add a little sugar. Then grab your can of choice… because my family does not drink or purchase alcohol at all, we use soda, but you can make this a traditional beer bread if you prefer.

This time around, I used a can of Pepsi.

Pour it into the bowl with the self-rising flour mixture.

Barely mix it, just until it’s combined, and you get a thick dough.

Then, pour it into a greased loaf pan.

Bake it, and just about 15 minutes before it’s done, take it out of the oven and spread some margarine on top.

Pop that back in the oven for 15 more minutes, and it’ll develop a nice golden brown crust.

This is awesome served warm… and it really goes well with the lasagna soup I posted recently!

This recipe is so easy, and it came to me in a handwritten note in the recipe box. I love that it was such an easy bread and it didn’t require any weird ingredients… three things. That’s it. It’s much cheaper than buying a box mix all the time, and it tastes just as good, if not better. While you’re at it, make up a few loaves to take to friends and neighbors. I know they’ll love it!

Soda/Beer Bread
3 cups self rising flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
1 can beer- room temperature (I substituted Pepsi)
Mix together in bowl, put into greased bread pan. Bake 350 for 55 minutes. Take out and put Oleo (margarine) on top and bake 15 minutes more.

12 Minute No-Rise Dinner Rolls

When we have a family dinner, we don’t just serve a main dish. We often have a bread or roll, some fruit, and a vegetable or salad alongside it. On many occasions, we pick up affordable rolls or crusted breads at the store, but since inheriting a large stack of recipes with plenty of amazing bread recipes, we’ve started trying those.

The unfortunate thing about making many different roll recipes is that most of them need to be planned in advance, with mixing, rising, kneading, rising, rolling out, rising, and more rising before baking. I don’t have the patience (or usually, the forethought) to plan these breads so far in advance of dinner.

That’s why I was so excited to find a 12-15 minute roll recipe that had only four ingredients and absolutely no rise time. However, it had one strange ingredient that I wasn’t sure about…

Yup. Mayonnaise. Not Miracle Whip, but instead, real, true, Kraft Mayo.

After thinking about it, I realized that the two main ingredients in Mayo, after all, are eggs and oil… things that are pretty commonly found in breads. I decided to try it and see what happened.

This recipe was clipped from a newspaper. I have no idea the date it was published or what publication, and the name of the person who submitted it is clipped in half… all I see is “Sand” and half a “y”, so I’m guessing her first name was “Sandy.”

All you do to make these crazy-easy rolls is mix self rising flour, milk, sugar, and real mayonnaise together.

Put that into a lightly greased muffin tin. Bake it for 12-15 minutes, then serve warm with butter.

These are SO easy to make, and so delicious. They’re light, they’re fluffy, and they’re definitely worth making again and again. Not a fan of mayo? It’s okay– you cannot taste it at all.

Plus, who doesn’t love a recipe for fresh-baked rolls that literally take less than 15 minutes from the time you start mixing until the time the hot rolls reach the table? It’s the perfect last-minute roll recipe. Company coming over for dinner? Make a quick batch of rolls. Forgot to pick up bread at the supermarket? Make a quick batch of rolls.

Try them, then don’t forget to pin the recipe because it’s one you won’t want to forget.

What do you think of the idea of mayonnaise in a roll recipe? Does it make sense, or is it totally weird? Comment below and let me know!

12-minute No Rise Dinner Rolls

1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons real mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin. Mix together flour and milk, then add sugar and mayonnaise, mixing until just combined.
Spoon into muffin cups and bake until done, about 12-15 minutes. Serve warm.

This recipe makes 6 rolls, but can be easily doubled or quadrupled to make more. We typically plan 2 rolls per person at dinner.