A moist and irresistible apple cinnamon bread with a delicious cinnamon swirl and topped with a buttery cinnamon streusel. Top with apple cider glaze for the best morning treat.
When it comes to autumn baking, apples are my go-to. I love all things apple. Don't get me wrong, pumpkin is amazing too, but apples will always have my heart. I love this apple bread because it is so packed full of my favorite thing about fall in one slice.
When you look at all the ingredients needed to make this quick loaf, you may think it's a ton. Really though, a lot of it repeats in the different sections, so it's not as intimidating as you may think. In fact, its a fairly simple loaf, and you can make some parts of it ahead of time!
- Flour - I prefer to use all-purpose flour here. In a pinch, you can use bread flour or white whole wheat flour.
- Oil - I like to use oil instead of butter in my apple bread for a few reasons. It keeps the bread nice and moist, allows the bread to rise better, and its neutral flavor doesn't compete with the spices or apple.
- Sugar - We use granulated sugar and brown sugar in this recipe. There is brown sugar in the streusel and the swirl. I like to use granulated in the loaf itself to keep it from getting too dark in color.
- Salt - Salt amplifies all other flavors. I like using sea salt.
- Leavening - Just enough to make the bread rise and become nice and fluffy.
- Spices - We use some of my favorite apple spices, plus a nice amount of cinnamon in the swirl and the streusel. It's so good.
- Butter - The butter adds richness in the streusel. It's pretty important!
- Apples - We can't have apple bread without apples! You can finely dice or shred your apples. I like to shred my apples so I can get apple in every bite, but if you like more prominent apple pieces of apple in your bread, cut them larger!
- Apple butter - I like to use apple butter to amplify the apple flavor. I feel it is stronger in flavor compared to applesauce.
- Eggs - The eggs are used to help add structure to the loaf so we can get a nice texture.
How to make
It's super easy to make this cinnamon apple bread even with all its delicious components, let's go over how I like to make this quick bread!
- Start the streusel. Mix the dry ingredients together, then cut in the butter. It should look like large crumbs, and it should stick together when you press the mixture together. Store in the refrigerator until needed.
- Mix together the swirl. Toss the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside.
- Chop or shred your apples - Set aside.
- Mix. Add the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside. Mix together the wet ingredients in a bowl. Add to the dry ingredients. Mix until no lumps remain, fold in the apples.
- Assemble. Add half the batter to a prepared pan, sprinkle the top with the cinnamon sugar. Top with remaining batter, top with streusel.
- Bake. The bread should rise and spring back when pressed. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.
- Serve. If desired, make the apple cider glaze (which should be prepared as the loaf bakes) to top. Otherwise serve as-is with your favorite autumn beverage!
If you want to switch things up, or are looking for a few substitutions, I have a few you may like!
- You can add oats to the streusel for added texture and flavor!
- If you don't have apple butter, you can use applesauce instead (just know that apple sauce has less concentrated apple flavor).
- To lighten the bread to make it better for you, try substituting some of the oil with more apple butter or all of the oil with refined coconut oil or avocado oil.
- Substitute half the all-purpose with whole wheat flour, or substitute all the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour.
- Add chopped walnuts for added flavor and texture!
You can store your cinnamon apple bread at room temperature for about 5 days. I recommend storing it in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
If you want to freeze your bread, it is possible as long as it is wrapped well, then stored in an airtight container. Wait until the bread is completely cooled to room temperature before wrapping and freezing for the best results. When frozen, the bread should last up to a month.
To thaw, leave at room temperature unwrapped for several hours. I like to gently reheat it to make it like it was freshly baked again!
You want to use an apple that is not too sweet to counterbalance the other ingredients. It should also be able to maintain its structure after baking. I recommend tart and firm apples such as Granny Smith and Pink Lady. You can also use Golden Delicious and Honey Crisp
Yes! You can use this recipe to make delicious muffins! Simply divide the batter among a lined muffin tin, then bake for 15 - 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean!
You don't need any fancy equipment for this bread, but here are my favorite tools that I used to make this bread!
- A nice loaf pan is essential. I like this one because I love how easy it is to release the loaves, it bakes evenly, and the sharp edges look nice in a loaf, I think!
- Cute spatulas help make baking more fun. I absolutely adore these sprinkle spatulas!
- I love this whisk, I don't know why I love it so much, but it is the whisk I've been using for ages.
Notes & Tips
- Don't stress out over getting the apples sliced to the exact same size. It isn't as important in this recipe. In fact, using a large grater helps you get a lot of great apple flavor throughout.
- If you decide to use a glaze, wait until the bread is fully cooled before topping it.
- If you don't glaze the loaf, it toasts wonderfully. I like to add butter and more cinnamon or honey to my toasted slices!
- While this bread is great for breakfast and a snack, you can also turn it into a dessert by serving it alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Try to not get the cinnamon sugar swirl at the very edges of the pan. I find having a barrier or batter along the edges helps with slicing when the cake is cool.
If you are an apple fan, you absolutely must try my apple cinnamon rolls. You will also love trying out my homemade applesauce and homemade apple cider. My apple crumble is one of the most popular autumn recipes on the site along with the apple cider sangria, apple pie moonshine, and caramel apple cupcakes. You can find all my best apple recipes here, and don't forget to check out my autumn baking ebook!
Apple Cinnamon Bread
For the Streusel
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
For the Cinnamon Swirl:
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup apple butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 large Granny Smith apple unpeeled and shredded or finely chopped
For the Glaze
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- Grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Make the streusel. Mix together the dry ingredients for the streusel together.
- Add in the butter and cut in using a fork or pastry cutter until it forms crumbs that stick together when pressed. Set aside in the refrigerator until needed.
- Make the cinnamon swirl. Stir together the ingredients for the swirl into a small bowl and set aside.
- Start the batter. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices together in a bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk together the oil, apple butter, sugar, and eggs together in a separate bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Stir just until there are no streaks of flour.
- Fold in the apples.
- Pour about ⅔ of the batter into your prepared loaf pan Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the batter, then top with the remaining batter.
- Sprinkle the streusel topping over the batter, then place the pan in the oven.
- Bake for about 45 - 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Make the glaze. Reduce the cider for the glaze until it is about 3 - 4 tablespoons while your bread bakes. Allow to cool.
- Stir the reduced cider and the remaining glaze ingredients together. Pour over the cooled bread.
- The glaze is optional It is a nice addition when you want to amp up the apple flavor more.
- Add chopped walnuts and finely dice your apples if you want more texture
- Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.