My super moist and tender Apple Bread recipe is loaded with sweet apples and topped with a crisp cinnamon sugar crust. This recipe is easy, with just 15 minutes of prep! Recipe includes a how-to video.
A New Fall Favorite
While we technically have a few more weeks of summer left, apple season is here, and that basically means it’s fall. I’m ready for all the fall baked goods, including my new apple bread recipe!
This is a moist and tender bread recipe, sweetened largely with apples (though of course there’s sugar in there too!) and topped with a buttery, cinnamon sugar crust. It’s very similar to my apple cake, but designed for a bread pan and handheld eating.
Plenty of apples throughout the bread and the right ratio of sugar and cinnamon makes for a flavorful, perfectly sweetened and spiced bite. My absolute favorite part of this apple bread recipe is that cinnamon sugar topping; it creates a buttery, crisp crust that is utterly irresistible!
I love this recipe because it’s easy to make and comes together quickly (just make sure you don’t overmix the batter!). It does bake for quite a long time–most quick breads do–but it’s 100% worth the wait!
What You Need
Just a handful of basic ingredients come together to make my apple bread recipe. Let’s highlight a few of the important ones:
- Butter. Use unsalted butter for the bread itself, but you can use either salted or unsalted butter for the topping since its such a small amount.
- Apples. Peel, core, and chop your apples into tiny pieces so they blend seamlessly into the bread. Every bite should have bits (not chunks!) of apples in it! I talk more about my favorite apples for this bread below.
- Sour cream. Like buttermilk, sour cream tenderizes our apple bread recipe and adds a lovely depth of flavor (without making it taste like sour cream!). You can also use plain, full-fat greek yogurt if you don’t have sour cream.
- Sugar. I use a blend of granulated and light brown sugar for extra flavor and moisture.
SAM’S TIP: By tossing the apples with some of the cinnamon sugar mixture before baking, we are essentially macerating them. This enhances their flavor and draws out their sweetness, much like macerated strawberries! It’s an easy extra step that really does make a difference.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Apple Bread
- Stir 1.5 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar in with the chopped apples (remember, this helps draw out their flavor!), then set the rest aside.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the wet ingredients. Don’t worry if everything doesn’t come together seamlessly here, just do your best to make sure things are well incorporated.
- Fold the wet and dry ingredients together (using a wooden spoon or spatula) until the wet and dry ingredients are about 50% combined.
- Add the apples and fold them in until everything is just combined. As with all quick breads, you want to take care not to over-mix or the apple bread will be dense, tough, and dry.
- Spread the batter into a parchment lined bread pan. I like to create a parchment sling (shown above), it makes it easy to simply lift the bread out of the pan once it’s cooled, rather than awkwardly flipping it over on top of that pretty cinnamon crust we’ve worked so hard to create!
- Drizzle the top of the bread with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.
- Bake on a foil lined cookie sheet (more on this below…!) for 65-70 minutes/until a wooden skewer (not a toothpick, it’s not long enough) comes out clean or with moist crumbs, then let the bread cool in its pan before removing and slicing.
SAM’S TIP: Drizzling the bread with butter before baking creates a cinnamon sugar coating that’s next level. If we were to just sprinkle the cinnamon sugar straight on the bread, a lot of it would fall off when slicing. Using melted butter allows the sugar to adhere and create a buttery, almost candied surface (yum). The only downside to adding the butter this way is it has the potential to drip off the bread as it bakes; to avoid melted butter leaking all over your oven, simply bake your apple bread on a foil-lined baking sheet. That way, if there are any spills, cleanup will be easy!
Frequently Asked Questions
I like to store mine in an airtight container, but you could also just wrap it in plastic wrap or even foil. Apple bread will last for 5 days at room temperature when stored either way.
To be clear, apple bread is denser than, say the light and fluffy stuff that white cake is made of. However, if your bread is brick-dense or tough, it was most likely over-mixed. It’s important to be careful with quick bread recipes, especially when combining the wet and dry ingredients. Stir until everything is just combined, and then stop!
Firm, less sweet/more tart apples like Granny Smith, Gala, Pink Lady, and Cortland work best. Don’t use a soft apple like McIntosh.
If you enjoy my apple bread recipe, be sure to give my apple muffins a try!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
The Best Apple Bread Recipe
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50g)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons butter melted (salted or unsalted is fine)
For apple bread
- 1 ½ cups finely chopped apples peeled & cored (about 2 apples/215g after cutting)
- 2 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (290g)
- ½ cup light brown sugar firmly packed (100g)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50g)
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted (113g)
- ¾ cup sour cream (170g)
- ¼ cup whole milk (60ml)
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line a 9×5” bread pan with a sling of parchment paper (or lightly spray with baking spray).
- Whisk together granulated sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Set aside. Pour apples in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 ½ Tablespoons of the cinnamon/sugar mixture (save the remaining cinnamon/sugar for later). Stir together apples and cinnamon/sugar and set aside. You will not need the 2 Tbsp of butter yet, but should have it ready.¼ cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 ½ cups finely chopped apples
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown and granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.2 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup light brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon salt
- In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together ½ cup melted butter, sour cream, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.½ cup unsalted butter, ¾ cup sour cream, ¼ cup whole milk, 2 large eggs, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently fold together until mostly combined.
- Add apples and stir until completely combined (don’t over-mix).
- Pour batter into bread pan.
- Melt 2 Tablespoons butter and drizzle evenly over the top of the bread. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture from earlier.2 Tablespoons butter
- Place pan with apple bread on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet (in case any butter spills this will keep you from having a smoky mess in your oven) and transfer to center rack of 350F (175C) oven. Bake for 65-70 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Allow to cool in bread pan for at least an hour before carefully transferring to a cooling rack to slice and enjoy!
ApplesI prefer to use firm, tart to somewhat tart apples, Granny Smith and Gala are good choices.
StoringWrap bread or place in an airtight container and store it at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
How would the measurements and cooking time change for an 8×8 ceramic pan?
Hi Evan! I believe the volume difference is about 25% less for the 8 inch square pan. It may get a little tricky to reduce everything by 25% so I’d be inclined to say just make it as is and discard any excess batter. I’m not sure on a bake time here though. 🙁 I would assume it would be reduced because the layer is thinner, but the ceramic dish throws in another loop. I wish I could be more helpful. 🙁 I would just keep an eye on it as it bakes and let me know how it turns out if you try it. 🙂
Excellent bread, just took longer to bake, 90 minutes in a loaf pan. Taste like it’s fresh from a bakery.
It looks great, I can’t wait to try it. Do you think I could substitute almond milk? I also love nutmeg with apple, do you think a little nutmeg would be OK to add?
Hi Stephanie! The almond milk should work fine. I think the nutmeg would work as well. A little goes a long way so be careful adding too much. 🙂
Hi Sam! I have a lot of pears right now. Can pears be substituted for the apples?
Hi Ryan! I haven’t tried it, but I think it could work. 🙂
Made twice already. Delicious!
So good, I just made this
It was very buttery and crispy over the top
I am so in love with this cake
It also had a bit more of a cake texture
I also used yogurt instead of sour cream
I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed, Polly! Thank you for commenting! 🙂
Can you use canned apple pie filling in place of apples?
Hi Tammie! Unfortunately I don’t think that will work here. 🙁
This looks delicious and so good for all the fall apples. Sorry if I missed this, but can this be frozen? I’d love to make some for my dad too!
Hi Catherine! I haven’t personally tried freezing it, but. I don’t foresee any issues doing so. 🙂
Hi Sam i know that it probably sounds funny for a man to be writing you. But i love to bake all kind of goodies so what i am going to ask is if i could use Great Value Best for Bread Flour if that would be ok??
Hi Larry! I wouldn’t recommend bread flour here. It could greatly alter the texture and without having tried it I can’t say for sure that it would be for the best. 🙁