Depression Era Peanut Butter Bread: A Taste of History

Experience a slice of history with this Depression Era peanut butter bread. Developed during a time when ingredients like eggs, oil, and butter were scarce, this bread is a testament to the ingenuity of home cooks. Modernized slightly with the optional addition of chopped peanuts and PB2 powdered peanut butter, this bread remains a delightful and simple treat that isn’t overly sweet. Perfect for breakfast or a snack, it pairs wonderfully with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped peanuts (optional)


  1. Preheat and Prepare Pan Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients In a bowl, combine the flour, powdered peanut butter (if using), baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Mix Wet Ingredients In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the peanut butter, milk, and brown sugar until fully combined.
  4. Combine Mixtures Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed just until the flour disappears. If you’re adding chopped peanuts, stir them in at this stage.
  5. Bake the Bread Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool and Serve Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then, remove it from the pan and allow it to cool completely on the wire rack before slicing and serving.

Tips for the Perfect Peanut Butter Bread

  • Optional Additions: While the chopped peanuts and powdered peanut butter add extra texture and flavor, they are optional. The bread is delicious on its own.
  • Storage: Store the bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or freeze for longer storage.
  • Serving Suggestions: Enjoy the bread plain, or spread with more peanut butter, jam, or a drizzle of honey for added sweetness.


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