Healthy Honey Peanut Butter Bread! With how tender this bread is you’d never know it was made with 100% whole-wheat flour. Natural peanut butter adds tons of flavor while honey and a dash of cinnamon and vanilla bring it all together.

stacked slices of peanut butter bread on a white plate with someone grabbing a slice off the top

This Peanut Butter Bread is:

  • Made with no yeast
  • Made with NO refined sugar
  • 100% whole-wheat
  • Made with NO added oil
peanut butter, honey, buttermilk, flour and spices measured out in bowls on a table

Ingredients Needed for Peanut Butter Bread

  • Flavorings: ground cinnamon and pure vanilla extract 
  • Pantry: cornstarch, baking soda and kosher salt
  • white whole-wheat flour
  • buttermilk
  • creamy drippy natural peanut butter. Make sure to use natural peanut butter that only contains peanuts and salt. 
  • honey, more natural and more flavor than regular sugar or brown sugar. I do not recommend swapping the honey out for a different sweetener.
  • large egg
  • Optional topping: roasted salted peanuts and demerara sugar (sugar in the raw) 

Test Kitchen Tip: Stirring the separated oil back into natural peanut butter can be a b**ch. I’ve found if you flip the jar upside down and let it sit for at least an hour, the oil will work its way up into the peanut butter. It’ll need one last stir to evenly distribute the oil but that’s it. SO much easier than trying to stir it in right off the shelf.

quick bread loaf on white parchment with slices cut out of it

How to Make Peanut Butter Bread

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (176ºC).
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. 
  5. Transfer the batter to prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
  6. Combine the chopped peanuts and raw sugar; sprinkle evenly over batter.
  7. Bake the bread until browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs. You can also check doneness by internal temperature. You’ll know it’s done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers between 190ºF and 200ºF.

Step-By-Step Photos

grid of images showing how to whisk together dry ingredients and wet ingredients for quick bread
grid of images showing how to make a quick bread batter

The Importance of Temperature

Over the eight tests I did to develop this bread, I found temperature to be THE biggest factor in whether or not this bread came out to my satisfaction.

If you do not know if your oven is correctly calibrated (i.e. the temperature the ovens says it is, is the temperature it actually is), I want you to stop right now, get yourself a very reasonably priced oven thermometer and check your oven. 

Let me repeat myself. Do not make this bread if you aren’t sure your oven is calibrated. I say this for a few reasons.

One, nut butter, honey and baking soda all contribute to browning. If your oven runs hotter two things will happen; you’ll have a taller more domed bread (which is great) but the exterior will be over-browned and verging on burnt. 

Two, if your oven runs cool, you’ll end up with a stodgy bread that’s deflated and slightly sunken.

Storage Tip: Store the bread wrapped in parchment paper (the paper from baking) and foil, or in a zipper-lock bag at room temperature for up to 2 days. (It can keep for up to 3 days but I find 2 to be the best). If you need to store it longer, pop it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

slice of peanut butter bread set on a white plate

FAQ About This Recipe

Why is a tablespoon of cornstarch used?

I add just a tablespoon or so of cornstarch whenever I’m baking with whole-wheat flour. Cornstarch is a key ingredient in cake flour/cakes because it helps create a tender crumb. An ideal addition to whole-wheat baking!

What does “natural” peanut butter mean?

The ingredient list specifies “natural peanut butter,” this means the kind of peanut butter that contains just peanuts and salt. Don’t use the processed stuff that contains palm oil and sugar (even if it says “natural”).
Natural peanut butter should have some oil separation when you buy it—just stir it in. And it should be drippy. Why not use the cheap stuff? Processed peanut butter is packed with additives and isn’t overly “nutty.” Natural peanut butter has MUCH more peanut flavor, which means the bread has more flavor!

Does it really matter if my buttermilk and egg are at room temperature?

I tested this bread more than eight times and I will tell you, once I honed in on the final recipe I tested it once more with all room temperature ingredients. The results were even better than I could have imagined.
When baked with room temperature ingredients, the crumb of this bread is so much more light and airy than the versions made with cold buttermilk and a cold egg.

Do I have to use demerara sugar on the top?

Demerara sugar, or Sugar in The Raw, adds a lovely sweet crunch which I think the bread benefits from. If you don’t have it, don’t want it, don’t need it, leave it off (you can also use regular granulated sugar).
If you do end up buying it, I use it on almost every quick bread and muffin recipe I make (who has time to make a crumble?!). My Healthy Yogurt Banana Bread and Healthy Blueberry Muffins are two of my favorites. 

quick bread loaf on white parchment with slices cut out of it

If you give this Peanut Butter Bread recipe a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @zestfulkitchen on Instagram. I love hearing about and seeing your ZK creations!

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stacked slices of peanut butter bread on a white plate with someone grabbing a slice off the top

Honey Peanut Butter Bread

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • 1 hour cooking time:
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 ¼ hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf (10 servings) 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A flavorful peanut butter quick bread that’s perfectly sweetened, made 100% whole-wheat flour and surprisingly light and tender. This is a breakfast and/or snack you can feel good about!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ½ cups white whole-wheat flour (200g)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (9g)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (240g), room temperature
  • ⅔ cup creamy drippy natural peanut butter (160g)
  • ⅔ cup honey (230g)
  • 1 large egg (50g), room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract (6g)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped roasted and salted peanuts 
  • 1 tablespoon Demerara sugar

Instructions

Heat oven to 350°F (176ºC) with rack set in middle position. Coat an 8½ × 4½-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides; coat paper with nonstick spray.

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.

Whisk together buttermilk, peanut butter, honey, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Fold flour mixture into peanut butter mixture with a rubber spatula until combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle peanuts and Demerara sugar evenly over top.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 55–60 minutes. (You can also check doneness by temperature. The interior of the bread should register between 190ºF and 200ºF on an instant-read thermometer).

Let bread cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn bread out onto wire rack to cool completely, at least 1 ½ hours.

 



Notes

I have not tested this bread with the addition of chocolate chips or peanut butter chips, but either should work. Fold ½ – ¾ cup into the batter and sprinkle ¼ cup over top.

I really recommend using an 8½ × 4½-inch loaf pan instead of a 9 × 5-inch loaf pan. The slightly smaller size creates taller, more domed breads. 


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 284
  • Sugar: 24g
  • Sodium: 162mg
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 20mg

Keywords: Peanut Butter Bread, Quick Bread, Whole-Wheat Bread, Peanut Butter Bread Recipe

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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  1. I made this exactly as written and it was delicious. My kids loved it! We’ve been enjoying it as a snack lately with some sliced bananas. Thanks!