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Apple Cinnamon Bread

Savor the warm aroma that fills your home — no candle needed!

Apple cinnamon bread has bits of tender fruit and crunchy pecans throughout the entire loaf. Mix up the batter in minutes, then bake until golden!

Nothing signals the changing of the seasons like fresh apples paired with warm spices and brown sugar. Every slice of this cinnamon apple bread is bursting with the perfect balance of fruit, nuts, and spice.

The secret is layering the chopped apples with the batter instead of stirring them in. As they bake, the brown sugar and cinnamon coating becomes swirled throughout the loaf for plenty of sweetness – no icing needed!

Capture those similar fall flavors with a loaf of my cranberry orange bread or stick with a classic like banana nut! You can even combine chocolate chunks with either cherries or shredded zucchini for something a little more indulgent.

two slices of apple cinnamon bread on a square white plate with a Granny Smith apple in the background.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Apple Cinnamon Bread

  • Apples — I like the balance of tart and sweet flavors in a Granny Smith, but feel free to use any firm variety you enjoy. Honeycrisp and Fuji are popular alternatives and aren’t quite as tart.
  • Pecans — Add these for a bit of crunch or leave them out if you prefer. Walnuts would also be delicious!
  • Milk — Use whatever you have in your refrigerator, including your favorite plant-based alternative. Soy or oat milks tend to have the best consistency, but almond milk should work as well.
  • Vanilla bean paste — This is thicker and more concentrated than extract and isn’t made with alcohol. It can be used interchangeably with vanilla extract and simply comes down to preference. Either will add plenty of warmth to this cinnamon apple quick bread.

tip

  • Unless otherwise noted, it’s best to use room-temperature ingredients in all of your baking recipes. Not only will they distribute more evenly through the batter or dough, but this step helps create a fluffier texture in your baked goods.

How to make cinnamon apple quick bread?

process steps for making apple cinnamon bread: mix together apple brown sugar topping; layer on top of batter in loaf pan; add remaining batter; press apple mixture into top of loaf.

STEP 1 | Start the batter

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and cream the butter and white sugar in a stand mixer. Once the mixture is fluffy and lighter in color, add in the liquids.

Reduce the speed and mix in the dry ingredients just until there are no more streaks of flour. Then, spread half into the bottom of the loaf pan.

STEP 2 | Prep the apples

Toss the chopped apples with brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans until well coated. Do this just before you’re ready to bake, or the sugar will draw the moisture out of the fruit.

STEP 3 | Layer in the pan

Sprinkle half of the apples over the batter in the pan. Top with the remaining batter, then the rest of the apples. Gently press on the apple pieces so the top is mostly smooth.

STEP 4 | Bake

Once the loaf is done, the top should be slightly domed and golden. Insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center to check — if it comes out clean, it’s ready! After cooling in the pan for about 10 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to finish.

apple cinnamon bread in a loaf pan cooling on a wire rack with apples in the background.

tips

  • Special supplies: Use a steel loaf pan instead of glass so every side is evenly browned. If yours is dark metal, start checking the apple cinnamon bread 5-10 minutes before the timer is done.
  • Don’t have a stand mixer? Any handheld electric mixer with beaters will get the job done. Keep a close eye on the consistency to ensure everything is well incorporated.
  • After greasing the pan, I like to add a piece of parchment over the top. Let a bit of length drape over each side so you can lift the cinnamon apple bread right out of the pan!

slices of apple cinnamon bread on a white platter on a table.

Frequently asked questions

Can I just mix the apples into the batter?

Technically, yes, but they tend to sink to the bottom when you do. By layering them in the pan, you end up with little bits scattered throughout the entire loaf.

How long does apple cinnamon bread last?

This should stay moist and delicious for 4 to 5 days at room temperature. Keep it in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic for best results.

Can I freeze apple cinnamon quick bread?

Yes! Allow it to cool completely, then wrap tightly in foil. Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

You can also freeze individual slices for a quick snack. Wrap each in plastic wrap and store in a zippered storage bag.

two slices of apple cinnamon bread on a square white plate with a Granny Smith apple in the background.

Serving suggestions

Enjoy a slice of cinnamon apple bread for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack — it’s delicious plain or slathered with butter. You could even spread on some homemade jam if you’d like!

Make your morning extra sweet by transforming thick slices into French toast and serve with powdered sugar or maple syrup. Or, cook up a quick fruit topping if you’ve got extra apples laying around.

This post is part of Fall Flavors Week, a yearly event to celebrate the best fall ingredients with delicious recipes. Keep scrolling for more fall flavors recipes by my blogging friends below the recipe card.

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Yield: 10 servings

Apple Cinnamon Bread

slices of apple cinnamon bread on a white platter on a table.

Apple cinnamon bread has bits of tender fruit and crunchy pecans throughout the entire loaf. Mix up the batter in minutes, then bake until golden!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper, overlapping the sides for easy removal.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Add the softened butter and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream until light and fluffy and the sugar has mostly dissolved, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until no longer visible. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and milk.
  5. Add the flour and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Spread half the batter into the loaf pan.
  6. Combine the chopped apple with the brown sugar mixture (don't do this ahead of time or the mixture will get soupy). Sprinkle half the apple sugar mixture over the batter in the pan, then top with the rest of the batter.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining apple mixture on top and gently press into the batter with the back of a spoon. Bake for 50 - 55 minutes, until golden and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • Unless otherwise noted, it’s best to use room-temperature ingredients in all of your baking recipes. Not only will they distribute more evenly through the batter or dough, but this step helps create a fluffier texture in your baked goods.
  • After greasing the pan, I like to add a piece of parchment over the top. Let a bit of length drape over each side so you can lift the cinnamon apple bread right out of the pan!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 285Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 4g

Did you make this recipe?

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Welcome to #FallFlavors where more than 25 food bloggers are sharing recipes with favorite Fall flavors. Our sponsors, Millican Pecan, Dixie Crystals, Melissa’s Produce, Taylor & Colledge, Nairn’s, and Republic of Tea, have furnished participating bloggers with complimentary product to use in their recipe creations that they will be sharing this week.

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sheila thigpen in her kitchen

Sheila @ Life, Love & Good Food

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Home Cook, Wife, Mom, Nana

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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