Braided Apple Cinnamon Bread Recipe From Scratch

2 loaves
40 min

Learn how to make apple cinnamon bread with apple pie filling and cheddar cheese. This apple bread recipe is as pretty as it is delicious! Follow my step-by-step instructions to bake a braided apple cinnamon bread loaf from scratch.

Apples are most popular in the fall, but this braided apple cinnamon bread recipe is a treat all year long. While it looks beautiful with the braids, it’s actually easier to make than it looks. If you have a lot of apples and are looking for a creative way to use them up, then this recipe is a must!

This apple cinnamon bread is perfect for breakfast or brunch. It also makes a lovely dessert recipe to enjoy with family and friends. I really enjoy it was a nice, hot cup of coffee.

My apple cinnamon bread is basically cross between an apple pie and an apple bread recipe. It’s made from scratch using yeast. Therefore it has a texture that’s more like a loaf of white bread than that of a quick bread. Unlike a traditional apple bread recipe, where the apple is baked into the bread, my recipe bakes the apple filling inside of the loaf, which is then braided on top.

This apple cinnamon bread loaf looks beautiful thanks to the braiding, but it’s not a difficult recipe. It makes two loaves, so I usually make one and freeze the other one for later.

There are a number of ingredients and steps to complete this recipe. However, I have included detailed instructions on how to make this amazing apple bread from scratch. This ensures you won’t have any issues completing this recipe and end up with a delicious bread that your family will love!

For more details on this recipe be sure to visit my original post on how to make apple cinnamon bread. I share tips for choosing the best apples to make apple bread along with information on how to freeze your raw bread loaves to bake later. You'll discover the best way to store your baked bread loaves along with reheating tips.

Braided Apple Cinnamon Bread Recipe From Scratch
Recipe details
  • 2  loaves
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 25 Minutes Total time: 40 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info
Bread Dough
  • 4 Cups flour (plus extra for rolling out dough)
  • ⅓ Cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 envelopes Red Star active dry yeast
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup water
  • ½ Cup buttermilk
  • 4 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
Apple Filling
  • ⅓ Cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cassia cinnamon powder
  • 3 cups peeled and diced apples
  • 1 Tablespoon organic lemon juice
  • 1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
Crumb Filling
  • ¾ Cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon pure maple extract
Egg Wash
  • 1 large egg white, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon water
Homemade Icing
  • 1 Cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk or (half and half milk and cream)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ⅛ teaspoon pure maple extract
Make the Bread Dough
Mix together 1 cup of the flour, the white granulated sugar, the dry active yeast and the sea salt in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.
Measure out the water, buttermilk and butter into a medium saucepan. Gently heat over low until warm, around 125°F.
Once heated, gradually added the warmed liquid to the mixing bowl with the flour mixture.
Beat the dry and liquid ingredients together on medium speed until they are thoroughly combined, scraping the mixing bowl as needed.
Add the eggs called for in the bread dough recipe, along with 1½ cups flour. Mix to combine.
Stir in enough of the remaining flour to achieve a soft dough.
Turn the bread dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for the dough for about 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
Cover the dough and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Mix the Apple Bread Filling
Mix the ingredients to make both the apple filling and the crumb filling while the bread dough rests.
To make the apple filling, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Mix well. Add the diced apples to the lemon juice and stir. Then toss the apple and lemon juice mixture with the sugar and cinnamon until well-coated. Set aside.
For the crumb filling, combine the flour, brown sugar, maple extract and butter in a medium bowl. Cut the ingredients together using a pastry blender until crumbly, adding additional flour as needed until mixture crumbles. Set aside.
Fill the Bread with Apple and Crumb Filling
Once the bread dough has rested, line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide the dough in half. Roll out each half of the bread dough onto a silicone mat using a rolling pin. Roll each section flat into 12×14 inch rectangles.
Remove the bread dough from the silicone mat and transfer to the parchment lined baking sheets.
Spoon half of the apple filling down center of one of the bread dough rectangles. You’ll want approximately a 3-inch strip of filling along the dough.
Then sprinkle half of the shredded cheddar cheese over the apples.
Follow with half of the crumb filling.
Repeat the same process for the other half of bread dough you prepared.
How to Braid the Bread Dough
To braid the bread dough, start at one long end of the dough and make knife cuts approximately 3-inch long and 1-inch wide down length of dough rectangle. Repeat the process on the other side.
Fold the strips across to center of dough, alternating sides as you go.
Repeat process for other bread loaf.
Cover braided bread dough. Allow the dough to set and let rise for one hour.
Brush the Dough with an Egg Wash
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
While the oven preheats, prepare the egg wash by mixing the water into the egg white until combined.
Brush the egg white mixture across the tops of each bread dough loaf using a pastry brush.
Bake the Apple Cinnamon Bread
Bake the apple cinnamon bread in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Remove the baked bread from the oven and transfer the bread onto wire cooling racks to cool.
Top with Icing
Combine the powdered sugar, milk, butter and maple extract using a fork or a whisk to make the icing. Mix until the icing is smooth.
Drizzle the icing across the tops of the cooled bread loaves using a fork.
Allow the icing to set up, then cut the bread and enjoy!
Rebecca D. Dillon
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
  • Nicole P Nicole P on Feb 28, 2021

    Wow! Looks delicious!

  • Jane Jane on Mar 01, 2021

    Probably a silly question but I am not a bread maker. I should use the dough hook for mixing all of the bread ingredients together in my Kitchen Aid mixer?

    • Rebecca D. Dillon Rebecca D. Dillon on Mar 01, 2021

      Yes, you can. Although it's not absolutely necessary. I used a hand mixer.