Our apple cinnamon bread recipe is a tried-and-true dish that you will go back to again and again. The bread has a perfect crisp-crust to soft, gooey inside ratio, and calling it “bread” is a little overly optimistic about the nutritional value. This is certainly a dessert bread or a decadent breakfast treat.
Walking away from the loaf after having a bite can be a challenge, but if you can, you can either make a quick sauce for topping or add ice cream to make it a more official dessert. It holds its own as a snack and it will be something you look forward to sitting down with for a break in your day.
Apple Cinnamon Bread Ingredients
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups chopped apples (peel removed if you prefer)
Making Apple Cinnamon Bread
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and ground cloves in a bowl. Whisk and set aside.
Beat 2 eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer or with hand beaters for 30 seconds. Add the oil and applesauce and mix until smooth. Add the sugar and mix for another 30 seconds. The batter should be well-combined and consistent in texture. It will more closely resemble cake batter than bread dough.
Fold in the 2 cups of chopped apples. You can add more to make the bread even softer, but it is more likely to fall apart. The larger the apple pieces, the more likely the bread is to crumble.
Put the batter into your prepared loaf pan, and even it out so that your loaf is not lopsided. It should be approximately the same depth throughout the pan so that it cooks evenly.
Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the top of the unbaked loaf. Add more or less sugar and cinnamon to the top depending on your texture preference. More sugar gives a crispier, crunchier top.
Bake for 50-55 minutes. The top of the loaf should be firm and crisp when you tap it, and a toothpick should come out clean when inserted.
After removing it from the oven, immediately run a knife around the edges of the pan to prevent sticking. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
How to Make a Glaze
If you want to kick this bread up a notch, make a glaze to pour over the top. A glaze is a bit like thinned out icing, and the idea is that it adds just a bit more sweetness or other flavor. Given that this bread is very flavorful on it’s own, I suggest doing a plain vanilla glaze.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons milk
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Occasional stir the butter and continue to heat until it turns golden brown. Then, remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until combined. If the mixture seems too thick, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Then, pour over the cooled bread.
After cooling, store your loaf at room temperature in an airtight container or bag. You can also wrap loaves in foil and place in a freezer bag to freeze the loaf for later. When ready to use, let thaw at room temperature until you can slice it.
I usually double this recipe and pop the extra loaf in the freezer for when the craving for comfort food hits.
The finished product is so wonderful that I have found a few ways to make it look a little more special for entertaining or gifting. Here are my favorites:
- Make the bread into mini loaves for giving. Use a mini loaf pan and gift the cooked loaves in decorative bags. Alternatively, make the loaves in decorative disposable mini loaf pans.
- For parties or home entertaining, pre-portion the sliced bread on pretty saucers and serve with ice cream or glaze, or pre slice the bread and serve on a platter as pictured.
- Give a frozen loaf to loved ones going through illness or loss or to new families who don’t have the time or energy to make home-cooked treats for themselves right now.
Substitution and Customization Options
Something I look for in any recipe is how to customize it to suit my preferences, and this bread gives you many opportunities to alter it. I love cardamom in just about anything, but some people can’t stand it! Here are some easy substitutes to fit your pantry or palate:
- No applesauce? You can use a full ½ cup of oil instead. The texture turns out more soft and gooey than if you use oil and applesauce, but it is still delicious. If you like fudgy brownies or underdone cookies, you will probably prefer to skip the applesauce and use all oil instead.
- Just about any apple will work. I use Galas because we always have some left over from lunches. Granny Smiths will give you a more tart taste, and Honeycrisps will keep a little bit of crunch. Any apple described as a good baking apple on Minneopa Orchards will do just fine in this recipe.
- Substitute cardamom for allspice if you are missing cardamom or do not care for it. Adding a dash of nutmeg is also a good idea. You won’t go wrong with any warm spice; if it would be good in an apple pie, it will be good in this bread.
- Add pecans or walnuts to the glaze for topping if you like nuts.
We hope you enjoyed this apple cinnamon bread recipe. If you made it, let us know how it turned out!