Rich in whole grains and BURSTING with fresh apple flavor, this apple loaf cake is a first class way to celebrate the flavors of fall!
In today's blog post, we will be making healthy apple cinnamon bread. Super moist and studded with shredded apple throughout, this quick bread recipe is a favorite fall baking recipe. Read on to learn how to make the bread, recipe pro-tips, and more!
Table of contents
- Rich in whole grains and BURSTING with fresh apple flavor, this apple loaf cake is a first class way to celebrate the flavors of fall!
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my disclosure policy for details.
It's getting awfully close to the beginning of fall around here, which means a few things: shorter days, lots of football, apples, a changing angle of sunlight, abundant pumpkin treats, fall marathon training, and more.
Today, I'll be combining two of my favorite things on that list: fall marathon training and apples. (Can you guess which two aren't my favorite?? Cough cough, short days and endless football 😬).
Finally getting a reprieve from the seemingly endless summer heat, this cool weather runner finally finds it enjoyable to run again.
Delighted with piles and piles of fresh apples at the grocery store, this East Coast native is thrown back to her early years of fall apple season.
And combine the two I will, as I was inspired by one of my running coach's (Andi Ripley of AtoZRunning) recipe for runner's bread:
This bread was simple to make, rich in protein and whole grains, lower in sugar, and a great base for whichever way I wanted to take it.
Thought I played around with lemon poppy seed bread and mixed berry bread, I quickly realized I wanted to make an homage to East Coast fall with this recipe. You know, stuff it full of apples and pile in enough cinnamon to keep me smiling long after I've eaten a piece.
And, given the increased training load right now, I need all the carb sources I can get. This bread is particularly great for those early mornings before hard runs -- when I need to fuel up but don't have the biggest appetite.
But one bite into this bread and suddenly food sounds like a great idea. A few miles into the run, I'm so glad for the energy to power me through the miles.
Whether you're fueling for the long run or looking for a healthier fall treat, this bread is for you.
And, if you're looking for a coach to help take you to the next step in your training, I couldn't recommend AtoZRunning more. Not only do they have great baking inspiration, but also amazing personalized coaching. It's my first time working with a running coach as an adult and I don't know why I didn't start sooner.
This apple cinnamon bread recipe is...
... and utterly resplendent in fresh apple flavor!
- Apples - sweet and crisp apples, like Fuji, Honeycrisp, granny smith, or Cripps apples are best for this recipe. No need to peel the apples, either, as we will be shredding them with the skin on!
- Ground cinnamon - Saigon cinnamon (also known as Ceylon or Vietnamese cinnamon) is my favorite cinnamon for this bread. It's spicy and sweet, bringing out all the flavors of the apples. You can find Saigon cinnamon at Costco, boutique spice shops, and Whole Foods/Amazon.
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground cloves
- Lemon juice - a secret ingredient! Just a few teaspoons bring out the apple flavor and make the flavors sing.
- Light brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Greek yogurt - 0% or 2% both work great. Greek yogurt adds tenderness and moisture to the bread without extra fat or calories.
- Avocado oil
- All-purpose flour
- White whole wheat flour - a whole wheat flour that is made from white wheat. You can find it at Whole Foods, Amazon, Trader Joe's, and most major grocery stores in the united states.
- Baking powder & salt
- Whole wheat flour - whole wheat pastry flour can substitute for the white whole wheat flour
- Brown sugar - to get a more pronounced molasses flavor in the bread, use dark brown sugar in place of the light whole wheat flour
- Oil - melted coconut oil or vegetable oil (room temperature) can substitute for the avocado oil
How to make this cinnamon apple bread recipe...
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a loaf baking pan.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, stir together the shredded apples, brown sugar, salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and lemon juice until combined. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until dark brown and juicy.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, Greek yogurt, granulated sugar, and avocado oil until smooth and light yellow.
- Add the flours, remaining salt, and baking powder to the egg mixture. Whisk until until most of the flour is incorporated and the batter is thick.
- Add the shredded apples to the bread dough. Stir in vigorously with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, or until a smooth batter forms.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 70-80 minutes (1 hour and 10-20 minutes), or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the apple loaf comes out clean.
- Don't peel the apple before shredding. Of course, if you really wanted to peel the apple you can, but you don't need to for this recipe. Leaving the peel on saves on fuss and adds extra nutrition, plus the little flecks of peel blend into the bread seamlessly.
- To prevent against making a mess, shred the apple directly into the large mixing bowl. I even place the shredder in the center of the bowl and shred from there.
- Let the apples, spices, and sugar macerate (or sit in their juice) for at least 5 minutes before stirring into the dough. This will help the apples absorb the flavors of the spices and for the apple juices to express from the shredded apple.
- The bread dough texture will be thick before stirring in the apples and that is okay! The apples, since we let them sit with the spices, sugar, and lemon juice before stirring in, will be juicy so the dough will absorb this extra juice without becoming too runny.
- Stir the dough and shredded apples together vigorously, or until they are fully mixed together. No thick spots of dough or thin spots of apple juice should remain.
- Weigh the flour to measure it for the most consistent and best baking results. Check out this video below to learn why this is!
High altitude baking directions:
No adjustments are needed to make this apple bread at high altitude; just follow the directions as listed for a moist and fluffy high altitude quick bread!
Additional bread mix-ins:
Stir ½ cup chopped (preferably toasted) walnuts or pecans into the batter to make apple pecan or apple walnut bread!
Toppings - You can also sprinkle any of the following onto the bread before baking:
- Pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
- Cinnamon sugar - mix together 2 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar with ¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon.
- Sanding sugar - or turbinado, cane sugar, or cookie decorating sugar. 2-3 tablespoons should do the trick.
This whole wheat apple bread is so tasty slathered with peanut butter for a pre-run breakfast (see my notes above) or toasted with a brush of butter (or even better, Instant Pot Apple Butter) for afternoon treat. You can even toast up a slice and serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a faux apple pie a la mode experience. So delicious!
Leftovers store covered in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. They are best consumed within the first 36 hours, however.
Leftover apple bread can also be frozen in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. For easiest defrosting, store the bread sliced with small pieces of parchment paper in between the slices (so you can just pop out individual pieces of bread, defrost at room temperature for 10-15 minutes, and go!).
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Cutting board
- Large vegetable or cheese grater
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Food scale
- Mixing bowls
- Silicone spatula
- Loaf pan
- Cooling rack
More quick bread recipes:
- Banana Zucchini Bread
- Brown Butter Banana Bread
- No Yeast Oatmeal Bread
- Blueberry Lemon Bread
- Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread
- Whole Wheat Beer Bread
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!