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

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.

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


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!


  • 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*


  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.


  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


  1. OMG.. This is just as delish as you described! The only thing I had to substitute was the eggs (I used Bob’s Red Mill’s egg replacement cuz of an egg allergy); The rest I followed exactly and I can’t stop picking at it. I LOVE how you added all the fruits and veggies together in this and the name is PERFECT! LOVE IT! Another perfect recipe to add to my cookbook. Thank you!

  2. this was the PERFECT fall bread! i brought it to a friend’s house last weekend to watch football and it was absolutely demolished. i sprinkled a little turbinado sugar on top before baking and it gave a nice little crunch/crust on top. definitely will be making again!

  3. Harvest bread is the essence of fall! Made it yesterday and it disappeared by bedtime! I had about a cup of pumpkin left over, so made it again today and doubled the recipe. I added turbinado sugar to the top and raisins to one loaf for my raisin loving fiancé. The other loaf is coming with me to work tomorrow! Perfect! xx

  4. Sally, thank you for the Harvest Spice Bread recipe! It is definitely rated a five ! Made one for our home and it constantly was being nibbled away. Made a few more to take to friends and to a couple of appointments .Got rave reviews from all. Keep sending winners. I love you!

  5. Can you substitute gluten free flour?

    1. I haven’t tested this with gluten free flour but let me know if you try!

  6. Nanci Beattie says:

    I’ve made three loaves so far, and a fourth will be made today. This is so delicious. Twice I used egg substitute and nut milk, and my vegan daughter is beyond thrilled, and my husband will still eat it too. Thank you for this recipe!

  7. Could I use well drained crushed pineapple in place of pumpkin?

    1. I haven’t testede it with pineapple but it should work. Let me know if you try it!

  8. Michelle Thomson says:

    Wow, this bread is delicious! I might even like this more than pumpkin bread, which I did not think was possible! The spices in this bread are so warm and cozy, and it combines two of my very favorite things: carrot cake and pumpkin bread.
    I used extra carrot in place of the apple and dried cranberries instead of nuts. Love how this bread turned out!

    1. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed it so much, Michelle!

  9. Yummy! I made this recipe exactly and it tasted sooo good. So I made another one. My problem… I can never wait til it cools lol. Yup I’m one of those people

  10. Great recipe, well spiced – the nutmeg was over pouring in the raw batter but baked so nicely into it. Walnuts make it! Don’t skip!

  11. Made this today with my three year old (who loves baking Sally recipes with me) and it’s delicious! I added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup craisins. A little schmear of cream cheese on top makes it a fabulous evening snack!

  12. Hi, all of your recipes that I’ve tried have been great. My quick breads, like this harvest bread, don’t ever cook through in the middle unless I sacrifice the rest being overdone. I’ve tried foil covering for part of the bake time and broiling at the end and it still doesn’t matter. Any ideas and or recommendations on pan material? I’m at a loss. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Alexza, I’m wondering what size pan you are using? Perhaps next time you can try not filling your pan as much and if you have leftover batter use it to make a few extra muffins!

      1. Hi! I’m using a standard size loaf pan that fills to about 3/4 for this recipe. It’s a metal pan.

  13. Can you use whole wheat white flour?

    1. Yes! The bread will be a bit denser, though.

      1. Would you still use equal amounts?

      2. Yes! Or you could try half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour 🙂

  14. Thank You!!

  15. Jessie dawson says:

    Made bread in loaf pan pumpkin cans and muffins. It was a big hit with my friends and family. Many thanks for a delicious bread. Recipe is a keeper.

  16. Hi Sally,
    Can you use whole wheat pastry flour?

    1. Definitely. The bread’s texture will be *slightly* denser.

      1. Thank you so much for your quick response.Love all your recipes!

  17. Hi Sally,
    I’m excited to try this but my query is If I only have 11ml milk and this calls for 30ml can I sub in 19ml orange juice or water?
    Or do you think orange juice will create too many competing flavors or I can do that substitution without ruining this bread?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Vi Kate! I think orange juice would be excellent here. (I use it in my pumpkin bread!) Use the milk you have, then make up the rest with orange juice.

  18. Love this recipe so delicious. My family devoured it in 1 day. Will make again. Only problem I have – bread is so wonderfully moist but it crumbles when I slice it. What might I have done wrong?

  19. This is the first quick bread I have ever made and I am 54. Once I read this recipe I knew it would be divine. Just got done having my first slice and it is unbelievably delicious. Came out just like the pictures above. Perfect. I can’t wait to make it for others! Thank you!

  20. Can I make this with just pumpkin, raisins and walnuts as mix-ins or does it require carrots and apples?

    1. Hi Anisa! For a plain pumpkin version, here’s my pumpkin bread (basically the same recipe just with all pumpkin). Free free to use milk instead of orange juice, if desired. Replace chocolate chips with raisins and chopped walnuts.

  21. These are awesome! Making now for a 3rd time in 2 weeks. My kids love them(they are 24 year old twins). Such a great balance of spice, carrots, pumpkin & apple. This has become a family favorite. Thanks Sally!

  22. Hi Sally…I cannot wait to make this next week. This is the perfect day-after-Thanksgiving breakfast treat! If I don’t have cloves what do you suggest?
    Thank you for another unique recipe!

    1. Hi Stephanie! You can just leave out the ground cloves. Replace with a little extra cinnamon. Hope you love it!

  23. I thought maybe the flavors would compete with each other, but I did it anyway: pumpkin, carrots, zucchini AND apple. Instead of walnuts, I used dried cranberries. This bread is yummy. My new favorite quick bread.

  24. Had to come to leave a review – if I could give it 20 stars I would!! Thanks Sally for your reply earlier – luckily I had more milk to use this time. I reduced the white sugar to 66g but otherwise everything was perfect as written – I made then in 3 mini loaves and baked for 30-32 mins – plain, chopped walnuts, and chopped dried cranberries- hard to choose a fave but perhaps the cranberries add in, wins out just a little bit more. All SO GOOD! This recipe is a keeper, I love making your pumpkin bread and moist spice cake and apple bread too so this is a delicious combo 🙂
    Thanks Sally!

  25. These have become a new staple in our food bag when we head to hockey games & tournaments! My family LOVES them. I leave the pumpkin out and use applesauce, just because of family preference, and they’re outstanding just the same! If I can keep enough in the house to freeze, I’ll be putting several loaves in the freezer to pull out as needed for our busy hockey weekends!

  26. I made this on Sunday with banana instead of pumpkin and it was gone before I could blink! Everyone loved this bread. Today is Tuesday and I am now making a double batch so I may actually get more than one piece! Thanks for the great recipe

  27. I made this into muffins, and they were delicious!! I had some leftover pumpkin and some apples I wanted to use up. I was wondering if they’d be good together when I came across this recipe. Perfection! I also had some chai spiced frosting left from making your chai latte cupcakes for an event a few days ago. My husband, who has quite a sweet tooth, topped his muffins with the chai frosting. It was really good!

  28. Omg, can’t wait to try this recipe. Any ideas for mini loaf pans how long I should bake for at 350F? Do I need to cover at all or start with a higher temp and lower it?

    1. Hi Lakshmi, the bake time for mini loaves depends on its dimensions. Typically between 20-28 minutes, but use a toothpick to test for doneness. Bake at 350 degrees F the whole time.

  29. Doubled the batch and baked these into 7 gorgeous mini loaves for gift giving! Baked for 30-32 mins. This bread screams holidays and is just pure comfort in every bite. Love it!

  30. I just finished baking this harvest Spice Bread and it’s all you said it would be and more I used what I had 1 grated med. Apple, 1/2 cup very ripe mango puree 1 cup grated carrots that I had Frozen and thawed, 1\2 cup golden and regular raisians no nuts omitted the milk because of the wet ingredients I was using. Everything else I used as the recipe stated it is the most delicious bread I have ever eaten the spices and fruit & carrots makes a perfect combination. This will be my new go to recipe thanks for sharing now I plan to try some of your other recipes I love to bake. Oh yes I’ve eaten two small slices already just so tasty and flavorful!

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