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Fun and Easy Coffee Can Bread Recipe

Fresh baked coffee can bread.

Fresh baked coffee can bread.

What makes this bread-making so much fun is that the dough rises and bakes in coffee cans. Kids and kids at heart will love the way the plastic lid pops off when the dough has risen and is ready to bake. Not only is this recipe fun, it is also easy. There is absolutely no kneading required, and the mixing is mostly done with an electric mixer. To top it off, the dough only has to rise once! Young bakers will especially enjoy this recipe, and the memories that are made can last a lifetime.

I have tried other coffee can bread recipes, but none have compared to this one. What makes this coffee can bread recipe unique and special to me are the memories that go along with making it. I started making this bread with my grandmother (Nanny) when I was nine years old. She didn't mind the mess I made measuring the flour or that I always got the sticky dough all over the coffee can. It was well worth what little mess I made. Our coffee can bread always baked to perfection, and what fun we both had in making it, together.

My Nanny’s Coffee Can Bread Recipe


  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 can (12 oz.) undiluted evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cups un-sifted regular all-purpose flour
  • Butter or margarine, for greasing


  1. Dissolve the yeast in water in a large mixing bowl; blend in ginger and 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
  2. Let stand in a warm place until the mixture is bubbly, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the milk, salt, and vegetable oil. With a hand-mixer on low speed, beat in the flour 1 cup at a time. Beat well after each addition.
  4. Beat in the last cup of flour with a heavy spoon. The dough should be heavy and stiff but too sticky to knead.
  5. Place dough in a well-greased 2-pound coffee can, or divide into two well-greased 1-pound coffee cans. For a child, this part can get a little messy, but it's all part of the fun!
  6. Now cover with well-greased plastic lids.
  7. Let the covered cans sit in a warm place until the dough rises and pops off the plastic lids, 45 to 60 minutes for 1-pound cans, 1 to 1 1/2 hours for a 2-pound can. As a child, I would sit and wait with great anticipation for the "pop" of the lid as it goes flying up into the air!
  8. Discard the lids or set them aside, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes for 1-pound cans, 60 minutes for 2-pound cans. The crust will be very brown; brush the top lightly with butter.
  9. Let cool for 30 to 40 minutes on a cooling rack.
  10. When you are ready to remove your bread from the can; use a can opener to remove the bottom.
  11. Tap the end of the can on a counter to loosen the bread, and allow it to slowly drop down and out of the can.

This bread is delicious by itself but can also be served with many different spreads.


  • Sweet cream butter (my favorite)
  • Jams (blackberry and apricot complement it well)
  • Marmalade
  • Jelly (spiced apple jelly and currant jelly are amazing)
  • Cinnamon and sugar (my children's favorite)
  • Hazelnut spread
  • Natural peanut butter
We are waiting for the dough to rise and the lids to pop off. The anticipation is exciting!

We are waiting for the dough to rise and the lids to pop off. The anticipation is exciting!

The dough has risen & the lid has popped off the coffee can. This coffee can is now ready to go into the oven.

The dough has risen & the lid has popped off the coffee can. This coffee can is now ready to go into the oven.

Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.

— James Beard (1903-1985)

Freshly made Coffee Can Bread with sweet cream butter.

Freshly made Coffee Can Bread with sweet cream butter.

Family Traditions

In many families, baking traditions and recipes are handed down through each generation, not only as a way to share the families' past but to share time with children as they grow and learn. Baking is the perfect way to spend quality time with children. Baking teaches children about the process of cooking, and it's messy, so therefore it's fun.


Cheryl on March 12, 2018:

Just made bread. Turned out good, texture was airy. Added extra water cause too dry. I use to make this as a kid. Then they actually sold coffee in a 1 lb can. Now they are 10 -15oz. I ended up buying 2lb can of coffee. Next would rather use 2-3smaller cans. Can still buy some coffee in cans but most went to cardboard or plastic. (May not even use all coffee.)

G. Myers on July 02, 2017:

I have been making this bread for 50 years...it is still my family and friends favorite bread. It makes outstanding toast!!

mary on February 03, 2017:

would like to know where can I find tin cans/coffee cans or do you know if I can buy these cans. thaanks

Mickji from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object on January 30, 2016:

This is a really fun bread. I so much want to bake it, I must get one of these metal coffee can! I wanted to ask you a thing, here there isn't undiluted evaporated milk. Do you have any suggestion of where to find it or something to use in exchange of it please?

instantlyfamily (author) on August 27, 2013:

I finally had the opportunity to try justmesuzanne variation to My Nanny's Coffee Can Bread Recipe. I found it to be a tasty light textured bread perfect for a Sunday morning breakfast. Thank you so much for sharing this variation. I enjoyed it so much.

justmesuzanne from Texas on March 24, 2013:

Well, I think I'll just post it here since it's based on instantfamily's recipe! Wouldn't want to plagiarize! You can always use sour milk instead of regular milk in bread recipes. It's a great way to avoid waste and it adds lightness.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on March 24, 2013:

Oh, the sour milk sounds like it would make a heavenly version of this recipe. Thank you!!! Maybe you can add a capsule with those tips?

justmesuzanne from Texas on March 24, 2013:

I was planning to bake bread today anyway because I had quite a bit of sour milk I wanted to use up. I didn't have any coffee cans, but I wanted to try the idea of using ginger in a bread recipe, so I tweaked this recipe and came up with this variation:

Nanny’s Batter Bread Recipe (Coffee Can Bread Variation)

Whisk together:

3 cups white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 package of active dry yeast

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar


1 3/4 cups *sour milk (room temperature)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Blend gradually with wire whisk, then large, flat spoon or paddle. Dough should be heavy and stiff but too sticky to knead. Allow batter to rest (covered) in a warm place for 15 - 20 minutes.

Stir the dough down gently with a large, flat spoon or paddle. Separate the dough into two parts (just press through the center of it with a spatula). With well oiled hands, gently lift the halves into 2 well-greased standard bread pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place 45 to 60 minutes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Crust will be very brown; brush top lightly with butter.

This turned out very well. It is light, sweet and tasty, an excellent breakfast bread. Thanks for the recipe!

*NOTE: Regular milk or buttermilk would be fine. If you don't happen to have sour milk in your fridge, you can make some by adding a teaspoon of white vinegar to regular milk.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on March 23, 2013:

This looks perfect for kids! The waiting is not so long that they can lose interest, and learning that you can actually bake bread at home is a big thing. I don't drink coffee - I need to figure out another can idea!

Can you make a wheat version, too?

justmesuzanne from Texas on March 23, 2013:

I used to make this kind of bread when I was a teenager. Isn't it hard to get it out of the new style coffee cans that have a "lip" around the top? It seems like that would prevent you from being able to tip the loaf out of the can. Voted up and useful! :) Ah! Never mind! I see the comment above!

Mary on September 09, 2012:

I can't believe this is the exact recipe I have been using for over 30 years. This bread is so good! In fact, I just made two loaves today. Very good toasted.

Staci on May 31, 2012:

Just a tip. If you use coffee cans without that metal lip, you don't have to cut out the bottom of the can and the can is reusable that way. Your bread will just come right out.Just FYI :-)

LoLa on April 30, 2012:

I grew up on this bread...it is so yummy! My mom learned how to make this in like the 1970s when she was in high school, and she has been making it ever since she learned!!!

ap100 from India on February 27, 2012:

wow.. Its looking delicious.. Never heard about it.

Arlene V. Poma on January 23, 2012:

Nicely written and illustrated. And with your recipe, I am inspired to use the coffee cans I've collected over the years. Too bad a lot of coffee cans are made out of plastic these days. I've heard of making bread from coffee cans, but never the POP! from the plastic top. Voted up and everything else. Bookmarked!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on January 23, 2012:

What fun! I'll have to bookmark this to try the next time my granddaughters come to visit. (Well, I don't think the 3-year-old would be much interested, but her sister sure would.)

Voted up across the board and shared.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on January 23, 2012:

Coffee Can bread sounds like a wonderful baking project to do with kids! I wish I had known about it when my grandchildren were younger! You instructions and photos make this look like an easy project with delicious results. I may have to try it even without the grandkids. :) Voted up and useful.

instantlyfamily (author) on January 17, 2012:

Thank you all for your comments. It really is easy and the bread is so good! I hope you all give it a try.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 16, 2012:

I have heard of coffee can bread but have never seen a recipe for it before. This sounds delicious and easy. Thanks for sharing your story and recipe!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on January 16, 2012:

Wow this is so awesome I just had to vote you right straight across, even funny, because it is and I love it! I may be on this as early as tonight! I just happen to have a coffee can in my way, go figure.

Krystal from Los Angeles on January 14, 2012:

This is a great idea and I think children would be amazed by it! Thanks for sharing!

calico Stark from Earth for the time being on January 14, 2012:

Man am I sheltered! Where was my Mom when this cool recipe was around? I had never heard of a bread you can cook in a coffee can. I home school, so you can be sure, this is next on the the list for fun things to do! Great hub! Vote up and useful!

Teri Helton on January 12, 2012:

I've heard of the flower pot bread, but this is great! My hubby is the baker in the family and also the coffee drinker. He's gonna love this idea! Thank you!!

RTalloni on January 12, 2012:

Fun stuff! :)

Thelma Alberts from Germany on December 30, 2011:

This is fantastic! Have not heard of this kind of baking in a coffee can. I have to try this. Thanks for sharing. Have a Happy New Year!

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