This apple cinnamon bread is buttery moist and cake-like with plenty of apples dotted in each slice. You can use tart or sweet apples in this loaf, but avoid soft and mushy apples. Feel free to turn this recipe into muffins or mini loaves. See recipe notes below.
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) peeled & chopped apples (1/2 inch chunks; you need about 2 medium apples)
- 1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 and 3/4 cups (219g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (80g) unsweetened applesauce, at room temperature*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk, at room temperature
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position (just below center) and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
- Apples: Stir the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon together. Set aside.
- Batter: Whisk the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and then beat on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the applesauce and vanilla extract on medium speed until combined. Mixture will look chunky and curdled– this is normal and expected. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, turn the mixer on low speed and with the mixer running, slowly pour in the milk. Beat just until combined and do not overmix. You may need to whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be sticky and slightly thick. You’ll have about 3 cups of batter.
- Pour and spread about 1/2 of the batter into the bottom of the prepared loaf pan. Spoon apples and any cinnamon/brown sugar juices leftover in the bowl evenly on top. Pour and spread remaining batter on top, making sure to scrape out every last drop of batter. Using a knife, swirl the batter down the center of the loaf pan.
- Bake for 60-75 minutes, loosely covering the bread with aluminum foil at the 30 minute mark to help prevent the top and sides from getting too brown. This is a large heavy loaf, so if your bread is taking longer, that’s completely fine. A toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf will come out clean when the bread is done. Begin checking at 60 minutes. Mine takes 70 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.
- Once cooled or nearly cooled, cut into slices and serve. (Bread falls apart if you try to slice it when it’s warm.)
- Cover and store bread at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Instructions: Freeze baked & cooled loaf for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If desired, bring to room temperature before serving. To learn more details about how to freeze quick breads, see my post called Make-Ahead Baking.
- Apples: This apple cinnamon bread only needs 1 or 2 apples, so it’s fine to use tart OR sweet. Avoid soft, mushy apples. I use Granny Smith because overall, its flavor and texture are the best for baking. I also love sweet apples in this bread like Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Pink Lady.
- Applesauce: If you don’t have unsweetened applesauce, use the same amount of plain yogurt or sour cream.
- Muffins: Use my apple cinnamon muffins recipe. The recipe is very similar to this one. Feel free to substitute the yogurt in that recipe with applesauce. If you love nutmeg, add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg to that batter when you add the cinnamon.
- Mini Loaves: You can use this batter to make mini apple breads. Follow the recipe above as written, dividing the batter/brown sugared apples between your mini loaf pans. Swirl batter and apples together as instructed above. Bake time and yield depends on the size of your mini loaf pan. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.
Keywords: apple cinnamon bread