Harvest Spice Bread

I call this quick bread harvest spice bread because it combines some of the best flavors of the fall season including apple, pumpkin, and cinnamon spice. This loaf is infinitely adaptable, freezes well, and can be made into muffins, too!

harvest spice bread

I call this harvest spice bread because “apple pumpkin carrot cinnamon brown sugar spice bread” was a tad too long. 😉

What’s harvest spice bread, you ask? Imagine everything you love about fall. Warm spices, pumpkin, fresh apples, cozy sweaters… well, what if we took all of those incredible components of this beautiful autumn season and packed them into a simple bread?

Um, except for the sweater. But go ahead and wear your warmest cable knit while eating a slice!

harvest spice bread

Why You’ll Love Harvest Spice Bread

  • No mixer required
  • Infinitely adaptable– more on that next!
  • Incredibly moist
  • Super flavorful and soft
  • Brown sugared
  • Quick & easy– pour into a loaf pan and bake
  • HELLO PUMPKIN SPICES!

Part apple bread, pumpkin bread, spice cake, and carrot cake, this harvest spice bread is loaded with flavor. When you decide to bake a loaf, do yourself a favor and double the recipe. You’ll want two loaves of this orange beauty and even then, it’s hard to share.

harvest spice quick bread


Let’s Talk Add-Ins

I use shredded apple, shredded carrot, pumpkin puree, and walnuts in this quick bread. These add-ins are completely customizable and you can make substitutions based on what you have or what you’re craving.

  1. Apples: Not sure why that apple in the corner above looks weirdly shiny and plastic– that was a pink lady apple, one of my favorite varieties! You can use your favorite such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Fuji. Instead of apple, you can swap in zucchini or more shredded carrot.
  2. Pumpkin: I prefer canned pumpkin puree in this bread (I like Libby’s brand), but you can use homemade pumpkin puree if you have it. Instead of pumpkin puree, try unsweetened applesauce or even mashed banana.
  3. Carrot: Slightly sweet and mega moist shredded carrot pairs wonderfully with these flavors. In fact, this tastes like a quick bread version of carrot cake. Instead of carrots, however, you can use more shredded apple or even shredded zucchini.
  4. Walnuts: Feel free to substitute pecans, raisins, or dried cranberries.

ingredients for harvest spice bread

Baking Tip: It’s important that the apple and carrot are shredded, not chopped. Shredding each with a box grater creates a lot of juicy moisture which is carried over into the quick bread. When shredded, they act like a wet ingredient in the batter and this makes a difference in the final taste and texture of the loaf!

making harvest spice bread

Behind the Harvest Spice Bread Recipe

When testing this recipe, I started with my pumpkin bread as the base. Use the same ingredients here including all-purpose flour as the base, baking soda as the leavener, seasonal spices, a mix of granulated and brown sugars, and oil to keep the bread extra moist. I decreased the amount of sugar since apple and carrot sweeten the bread and I swapped milk for the orange juice. (Orange juice brightens the flavor of my pumpkin bread, it’s so good!) I also decreased the amount of liquid since the batter was already pretty wet.

Whisk the dry ingredients in 1 bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Combine the two, then pour into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. You can use this batter for harvest spice muffins, too! See recipe note.

harvest spice bread


How to Freeze Quick Bread

Freezing quick bread is like freezing cake.

  1. Step 1: Bake and completely cool quick bread.
  2. Step 2: Once the bread cools completely, wrap it in Press & Seal or plastic wrap. From one baker to another– Press & Seal is the best product for wrapping baked goods. I find regular plastic wrap too thin, clingy, and frustrating. It definitely works, but Press & Seal is easier to use and I’ve honestly found that it keeps my food fresher. (Not working with this brand, just really love it.)
  3. Step 3: Write the type of bread and use-by date on a large piece of aluminum foil. For best taste and texture, don’t freeze quick bread for longer than 3 months. You could stretch it to 4 or 5 months, but the sooner you serve it, the fresher it tastes.
  4. Step 4: Wrap the bread in the aluminum foil and place in the freezer. You could place the wrapped bread in a freezer container or freezer-friendly zipped top bag, but I often just freeze it after wrapping in aluminum foil.
  5. Step 5: Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, transfer the frozen bread to the refrigerator one day before serving. Sometimes I forget and just let the bread thaw at room temperature for several hours, but it’s better to thaw at a slower rate in the refrigerator. Make sure you thaw bread while it’s still in the wrapping. Don’t unwrap before thawing.

Baker’s Tip: Two layers of wrap is key! The first layer keeps the bread fresh and the aluminum foil ensures no condensation will seep in. Double layer = maximum freshness and no freezer burn. Moisture is the enemy, so don’t be afraid to add another layer of Press & Seal or aluminum foil.


spice bread

More Quick Bread Recipes

See more quick bread recipes.

Print
harvest spice quick bread

Harvest Spice Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Part apple bread, spice cake, pumpkin bread, and carrot cake, this harvest spice bread is loaded with flavor. This loaf is infinitely adaptable, freezes well, and can be made into muffins, too!


Ingredients

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoonground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115g) pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)*
  • 1 heaping cup (130g) peeled and shredded apple*
  • 3/4 cup (100g) peeled and shredded carrot*
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
  • 1 cup (130g) chopped walnuts*

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. See notes for muffins.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger together in a large bowl until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, shredded apple, shredded carrot, and milk together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently whisk until *just* combined. Fold in the walnuts. Batter will be semi-thick.
  3. Spread the batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 – 65 minutes. (I like to loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent heavy browning on top.) Baking times vary so keep an eye on yours. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out *mostly* clean with zero raw batter. Remove the bread from the oven.
  4. Cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack before removing and slicing. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to about 10 days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: See blog post above for detailed freezing & thawing instructions.
  2. Special Tools: Glass Mixing BowlsLoaf Pan | Vegetable Peeler | Box Grater
  3. Muffins: Grease a 12-count muffin pan or line with liners. Prepare batter in step 2. Spoon the batter evenly into each liner, filling each all the way to the top. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C) then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 20-22 minutes, give or take. Cool muffins for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. Makes 16-18 muffins.
  4. Spices: Instead of nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, you can use 3/4 – 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice.
  5. Pumpkin: I prefer canned pumpkin puree in this bread (I like Libby’s brand), but you can use homemade pumpkin puree. Instead of pumpkin puree, try unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana.
  6. Apples: Use your favorite apples such as Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Fuji. Instead of apple, you can swap in shredded zucchini or more shredded carrot.
  7. Carrot: Don’t use pre-shredded carrots found in the produce aisle. They’re on the dry side. Rather, freshly grate 2 small/medium carrots to yield approximately 3/4 cup of moist carrot shreds. Instead of carrots, you can use more shredded apple or even shredded zucchini.
  8. Walnuts: Feel free to substitute chopped pecans, raisins, or dried cranberries.

Keywords: quick bread, pumpkin apple bread

173 Comments

  1. This looks so good, Sally!!! And I LOVE the name….’harvest’ sounds so fall-y 😀
    Also, your cooling rack (second photo from the top) is incredible…..where is it from??

    1. Thanks Gemma! The cooling rack is from Crate and Barrel. 🙂

  2. Kristin Ann Threlkeld says:

    This sounds heavenly!!! I’m going to bake this this weekend! Thanks for always coming up with such tasty recipes!

    1. I hope you love it! Happy baking, Kristin 🙂

  3. This looks super yummy. Thanks for adding a sub for pumpkin. Your spice profile is bang on so I am looking forward to tasting this!

    1. So excited you are looking forward to this one! Happy baking, Amy 🙂

  4. Oh my gosh Sally! This sounds incredible. It’s Canadian thanksgiving this weekend so I’ve got pies in my oven all week (your great pumpkin x2 + your chai spiced apple) and pumpkin pie bars but next week I am making this for sure! As a quick bread AND a second batch as muffins. Yum!

    1. What a delicious Thanksgiving dessert menu! YUM! Happy baking 🙂

  5. This is going to get made this week! Sounds perfect! Just a question though, do you think it could also be made gluten free with the gluten free flour mixes available? I am not a gluten free baker but sometimes have to bring something gluten free. Thanks.

    1. Nancy Wilson says:

      Charlene-I swap out all purpose flour with King Arthur Measure for Measure flour in quick breads all the time. Works great!

    2. Hi Charlene, I haven’t tested these with gluten free flour but it should work. Let me know if you try it!

    3. Wow – thanks – I never knew this product existed! I will try it.

  6. Would gala apples work, too? I have a bunch of those – would save me a trip to the store!

    1. Absolutely!

  7. Hi Sally, it’s spring here in Australia (but where I live it feels more like winter right now!). I’d really love to make this quick bread but pumpkins aren’t at their peak here right now. Could I substitute puréed roasted sweet potato? Love your website. You’re my go-to for all things baking

    1. Hi Michelle! Yes, pureed sweet potato is an excellent substitution for the pumpkin.

      1. MM!I love sweet potatoes. I’m going to try swapping the pumpkin for the sweet potato too. Thanks Michelle and Sally!

  8. Question, We love your pumpkin bread recipe and often swap some of the oil for unsweetened Applesauce. Would that work here too? Wasn’t sure if you much liquid would be there with the fresh apples to allow for the change. Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Bryn! You can try subbing applesauce for the oil. It shouldn’t be too much liquid for this batter– the pumpkin has also been reduced from the original pumpkin bread recipe too.

  9. I’m loving waking up to these recipes.Ive never been much of a baker but,since I’m not working right now I’ve been baking most of your recipes and I’m pretty good!My family and friends love it!,
    Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad you have been enjoying them, Kathy!

  10. Katie Gamble says:

    Hey Sally, if I were to make this recipe vegan, what would you suggest as a substitute for the eggs? I assume an alternative milk like rice or almond would work just fine. Thanks for sharing all your awesome baking wisdom!

    1. Hi Katie, I haven’t tested this recipe with an egg substitute but please let me know if you try it!

    2. Maybe flax eggs? The kind of woody flavor from the ground flaxseed would work well with the flavor profile in this bread, I would think.

      1. Katie Gamble says:

        Thanks – that’s a fun idea. ☺️ I also read a suggestion of using cornstarch and water. Planning to try it out! Will let you know.

    3. Natalie Makofka says:

      Good luck!

  11. This sounds perfect for fall, and I have all the ingredients waiting for me at home. I am thinking I might really have to push it over the edge though and top it with that amazing brown butter glaze!!!

    1. Oh YES! What a delicious idea 🙂

  12. This looks perfect to make as mini muffins for school lunches (minus the nuts, maybe I can sub pumpkin seeds) <3 yum!! Thank you!!

    1. This would be perfect for for school lunches and yes, you can sub pumpkin seeds or simply leave out the nuts!

  13. Cathy Henderson says:

    Good morning, I am new to your blog and I’m so glad I found it! Can you tell me how to adjust the cooking time to make mini muffins instead of full size? Thank you

    1. Welcome to the blog, Cathy!!! For mini muffins, bake for 11-13 minutes at 350°F (177°C). Enjoy!

  14. This looks great! I love morning glory muffins, and this sounds like a “cousin” of that recipe. Any idea how long pureed pumpkin keeps in the fridge?

    1. Covered tightly– about a week! (I’ve stretched it to about 10 days.)

  15. I saw this in my inbox this morning and knew I had to try it. I swapped out raisins for the walnuts, because my husband is allergic to tree nuts, but followed the recipe to a T beyond that. It is crazy good! Another home run, Sally. Thanks so much!

    1. You sure are speedy, Natalie 🙂 Thrilled you loved this recipe!!

  16. I am going to make this with my daughter this weekend. My mouth is watering. If it comes out anything like the photo will make another one Sunday to bring to work. I absolutely love your sight. Thank you!

    1. What a fun recipe to make with your daughter! I hope you both love it 🙂

  17. Would coconut sugar be a fair subsitution for the white and. Town sugar in this? It looks wonderful!

    1. A coconut sugar substitution would be fine, yes!

  18. Just made this and it’s delicious. Your recipes never disappoint!

    1. I’m so happy you loved this recipe, Jennifer! Thank you so much for your positive feedback 🙂

  19. Cannot wait to bake this next weekend. I have so many amazing apples so I’ll likely swap them in for the carrots. My husband will devour it!

    1. YUM!! Happy baking!

  20. Thank you Sally!! This is the recipe I’ve been waiting for! And I’m away from my kitchen for two days ha! So I know what I’ll be doing once I get back home. 🙂

    1. So happy you’re excited about this recipe!! Happy baking 🙂

      1. Success! Mini muffins plus full size and the proportions turned out great! I actually used buttermilk because we had used all our plain milk and it seems to be a great sub!

  21. Barbara Foster says:

    I just finished making two loaves..one word..DELICIOUS! Thanks Sally!

    1. Love reading this, Barbara!!

  22. I just pulled two loaves of this bread out of the oven to have for company this week. I took your advice and doubled it. It looks and smells delicious! I may have to sneak a taste before our company gets here!

    1. I think you should definitely sneak a taste! 😉

  23. I looked for print this recipe but you have no print on your recipe page. please put one on here. much needed

    1. Hi Jana, the print button is in the recipe card right below the Prep Time, Cook Time, and Yield.

      1. ty 4 showng me where to find the print. I am going to make this as soon as it gets cooler out. it is still to hot here.

  24. I’m not able to eat gluten so I can’t give my personal opinion on this recipe, but I made this recipe in muffin form last night for a function I attended and they were a big hit! I overheard one lady saying “I don’t normally like muffins but these are absolutely delicious!”.

    1. I’m so happy these were a hit! Thanks for your feedback, Heather 🙂

  25. Hi Sally. Thank You for sharing your passion!! I couldn’t wait to back this bread and it was well received by my family and office. Perfect with a cup of coffee on this crisp Fall Morning. Wishing you a Beautiful Day and thanks again! xo

    1. Absolutely love reading this! Thank you so much for your kind words and feedback 🙂

  26. Hi Sally. Thank You for sharing your passion!! I couldn’t wait to bake this bread and it was well received by my family and office. Perfect with a cup of coffee on this crisp Fall Morning. Keep those recipes coming! Love it!!! Wishing you a Beautiful Day and thanks again! xo

    1. So sweet, thank you Celeste!!

  27. Recipe looks great! I was all set to make your ‘best pumpkin bread’ but now I am torn! Do you have a recommendation between the two??

    1. Thanks Murlene! If you love TRUE pumpkin bread with lots of pumpkin flavor, go with the pumpkin bread. If you love apple, carrot, and spices with your pumpkin– go for this one! Or make both. 😉

  28. Have all ingredients but the pumpkin which is now on the grocery list. Will double recipe to share with friends.

    1. I hope this bread was a hit with your friends!

  29. Melissa Downie says:

    I woke up yesterday morning knowing I wanted to bake with pumpkin but couldn’t stop thinking about all the apple we just picked. When I saw this recipe around 1pm I knew immediately I had to make it. It was all my cravings in one loaf! I made it as written but swapped the brown sugar for coconut sugar. It is by far the best bread I’ve ever had. So full of amazing flavour and so moist it melts in your mouth. I just have to add this to my list of desserts to make this Thanksgiving (this Sunday). I plan to make your apple crumble pie, blueberry apple pie bars and pumpkin cake already but I have to add some of this harvest bread! Heaven! Thanks so much for another perfect recipe to add to my list of favs! SBA is perfect for fall when I need to bake some loaves of deliciousness and I’m so glad you made this new recipe.

    1. What kind words, thank you so much! Thrilled you enjoyed this fall recipe 🙂

  30. Melissa Downie says:

    I meant to ask you if you think I could sub coconut sugar and maple syrup in place of the white and brown sugar. Would the maple be too much liquid? It seems like it would be so good with the maple flavour too. I wish I saw the note to double it. It’s a great bit of advice! Everyone needs to double this recipe.

    1. Hi Melissa! You could use mostly coconut sugar in place of both the white and brown sugars. Then you could add a little maple syrup to make up the difference. I haven’t tested anything, so let me know if you try it!

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