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This easy one-bowl apple bread is made from scratch with yogurt, warm spices, and plenty of fresh apples. The moist and tender quick bread is topped with cinnamon and sugar for a delicious breakfast or snack that’s ready for the oven in just 15 minutes — no stand mixer or hand mixer required!

Sliced loaf of apple bread on a wooden tray

Apple Cinnamon Bread

While this moist apple bread is perfectly appropriate at any time of year, it’s especially inviting in the fall when local Virginia apples are at their peak. You just can’t beat the aroma of the fresh fruit baking with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. The bread is cozy, comforting, and bursting with fresh autumn flavor!

Overhead shot of a tray of apple bread

What is Apple Bread?

Apple bread is a type of bread made from applesauce or diced fresh apples. It is often a moist, sweet, cake-like quick bread, and may include warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. While apples have been added to yeast breads for centuries (likely coming to the United States via European traditions), the modern quick bread became popular in American cookbooks with the popularization of baking soda and baking powder in the 1930s.

These days, we enjoy apple bread as a make-ahead breakfast, a sweet snack with coffee or tea, or even a simple dessert when paired with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Square side shot of apple bread slices on a white plate

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a loaf of easy apple bread. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step baking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Butter: I prefer salted butter in this recipe, but you can use unsalted butter and just add an extra pinch of salt to the bowl.
  • Brown sugar: for sweetness, with a hint of molasses and added moisture.
  • Egg: gives the bread structure.
  • Vanilla extract: for warm flavor.
  • Yogurt: the plain whole milk yogurt is a key ingredient in this simple quick bread recipe. It adds richness (from the fat), as well as moisture. The acid in the yogurt also yields a more tender crumb, and reacts with the baking soda to help the bread rise. You can substitute with an equal amount of applesauce plus a teaspoon of lemon juice, but I prefer the yogurt, since the fat and acid in the yogurt yield a loaf with better texture.
  • All-purpose flour: the base of the bread.
  • Baking soda: the leavening agent that helps the bread rise.
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger: warm spices that give the bread its cozy, autumnal flavor.
  • Salt: to balance the sweetness and add depth of flavor.
  • Apple: peeled and diced into very tiny pieces, or grated.
  • Cinnamon and sugar: for topping the bread.
Process shot showing how to make apple bread

What kind of apples are good for bread?

I prefer baking with apples that have a firm flesh and don’t break down into mush in the oven. Granny Smith apples are delicious because of the tart flavor, but other good options include Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala, Braeburn and Jonagold. In reality, though, any apples that you enjoy will work perfectly in this recipe!

Close overhead shot of a bin of apples for baking

How to Make Apple Bread

This apple bread just gets better as it sits! Go ahead and bake a loaf in advance — the flavors will come together and the bread will become even more moist as it rests. You’ll wake up to a delicious morning treat!

  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mixing just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Fold in the apples, and any nuts or raisins that you might like to include.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on top.
  4. Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 5-inch or 8 ½ x 4 ½ -inch loaf pan.
  5. Bake in a 350°F oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.
  6. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool completely.
Horizontal side shot of a loaf of apple bread

How to Serve

Serve Grandma’s apple bread warm, at room temperature, or even straight from the refrigerator! It’s a great option for breakfast or snack when paired with a mug of hot coffee or tea.

The bread is delicious on its own, but you might also enjoy it with butter, cream cheese, almond butter, peanut butter, or apple butter. For dessert, try topping the bread with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Close up front shot of apple bread sliced and stacked on a plate

Apple Cinnamon Bread with Glaze

I prefer the cinnamon-sugar topping because it’s quick and easy to prepare, and it makes the loaf taste like snickerdoodle apple bread, emphasizing the cozy, warm spices in the loaf! If you would like to finish the bread with a glaze instead, that will also be delicious!

Powdered Sugar Glaze for Apple Bread

Once the bread is completely cool, drizzle with a cinnamon glaze. In a small bowl, combine 2 cups of powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons of heavy cream until completely smooth. If the glaze is still too thick, add more heavy cream, one teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is thin enough to pour on the bread.

Square side shot of a loaf of easy apple bread on a table

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Make-Ahead: This bread just gets better as it sits! The flavors come together and the yogurt and fruit help keep it nice and moist.
  • Wrap your loaf in plastic wrap or foil to prevent it from drying out. The bread will stay fresh at room temperature on the counter for 2-3 days, and it will last in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • To Freeze: Cool the loaf completely, wrap tightly, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Two slices of apple bread on a white plate

Recipe Variations

  • This is my favorite whole milk plain yogurt (it’s great topped with homemade granola, too)! If necessary, you can substitute with an equal amount of applesauce plus 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, whole milk plain Greek yogurt, or sour cream.
  • Instead of using finely-diced chunks of fresh apple, grate the apple into smaller pieces. The shredded apple will bake right into the bread and become almost undetectable, yielding a smoother texture.
  • Mix-Ins: Feel free to stir in chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans; raisins, dried sweetened cranberries, or currants; or even grated orange zest.
Square shot of a stack of apple bread slices on a plate

Tips for the Best Apple Bread Recipe

  • Start with room temperature eggs and yogurt, which will blend together more easily.
  • Use full-fat (whole milk) plain yogurt, since the added fat gives the bread a rich, moist texture and flavor.
  • Do not over-mix the batter. It should come together so that everything is combined, but then stop stirring! Mixing too much will result in a dry, dense loaf.
  • The total baking time will vary depending on the type of loaf pan that you use. A dark metal, nonstick pan cooks the bread faster, so it will likely be done within 45-55 minutes. By contrast, a lighter metal pan, a glass pan, or a ceramic pan can easily require up to 70 minutes of baking in a 350°F oven. You can tell that your loaf is cooked through when you insert a toothpick or long stick deep into the center of the loaf and it comes out clean.
Front shot of a loaf of homemade apple bread

More Apple Recipes to Try

Square side shot of a loaf of easy apple bread on a cutting board

Easy One-Bowl Apple Bread

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 loaf (about 10-12 slices)
Calories 213 kcal
This easy one-bowl apple bread is made from scratch with yogurt, warm spices, and plenty of fresh apples!

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt, at room temperature (or sub with applesauce)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup peeled, finely-chopped apple
  • Optional add-ins: ½ cup raisins; ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

For the Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch or 8 ½ x 4 ½ -inch loaf pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and yogurt.
  • Sprinkle the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt over top. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the flour; whisk or stir just until combined. Do not over-mix.
  • Gently fold in apples, raisins, and walnuts, if using.
  • Transfer batter to the prepared loaf pan.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Sprinkle on top of the batter.
  • Bake for about 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Tent the loaf loosely with foil during the final 20-30 minutes if it starts to get too dark on top before it's cooked through.
  • Cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Notes

  • Start with room temperature eggs and yogurt, which will blend together more easily.
  • Use full-fat (whole milk) plain yogurt, since the added fat gives the bread a rich, moist texture and flavor.
  • Do not over-mix the batter. It should come together so that everything is combined, but then stop stirring! Mixing too much will result in a dry, dense loaf.
  • The total baking time will vary depending on the type of loaf pan that you use. A dark metal, nonstick pan cooks the bread faster, so it will likely be done within 45-55 minutes. By contrast, a lighter metal pan, a glass pan, or a ceramic pan can easily require up to 70 minutes of baking in a 350°F oven. You can tell that your loaf is cooked through when you insert a toothpick or long stick deep into the center of the loaf and it comes out clean.
  • This is my favorite whole milk plain yogurt (it’s great topped with homemade granola, too)! If necessary, you can substitute with an equal amount of applesauce plus 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, whole milk plain Greek yogurt, or sour cream.
  • Instead of using finely-diced chunks of fresh apple, grate the apple into smaller pieces. The shredded apple will bake right into the bread and become almost undetectable, yielding a smoother texture.
  • Mix-Ins: Feel free to stir in chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans; raisins, dried sweetened cranberries, or currants; or even grated orange zest.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice (about 1/12 of the loaf)Calories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 239mgPotassium: 98mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 165IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: apple bread, cinnamon apple bread
Course: bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in August, 2020. It was updated in October, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This came out perfectly. I used the grated apple method. It’s not overly sweet, has a wonderful texture and lovely flavor. Easy to make with ingredients I normally have on hand.

      1. 5 stars
        This was so good! I told my daughter about it and she made one too! She is gluten free and just subbed out for gluten free flour. It turned out equally delicious for her. This will be my new go-to when I need something Fall-ish and sweet.