How to Make Apple Bread With Cinnamon Sugar Swirl

1 loaf
1 hr 10 min

Learn how to make this moist cinnamon apple bread from scratch this fall. Made with real chunks of apple and a tasty cinnamon swirl, this delicious quick bread recipe is sure to become a family favorite. Serve it for a seasonal breakfast, or enjoy it as a flavorful autumn snack or dessert.

Apple Cinnamon Bread

I look forward to making this quick apple bread recipe with cinnamon sugar every autumn. Sure, you can make this easy apple bread year round. However, it definitely tastes the best when apples are in season. This farmhouse apple bread recipe is sweet and moist. It has a cinnamon swirl inside with a crispy and deliciously crisp, sugared crust on the outside.

I mainly use this cinnamon apple bread loaf as a dessert bread as I don’t consume a lot of sweets. However, this recipe is also perfect to enjoy as a delicious breakfast or snack. I eat mine plain, but you can also top it with real butter or homemade apple butter from the farmer’s market.

My recipe yields one, full size bread loaf. As I’m both single and an empty nester, this tends to be a LOT of bread for just myself. If, like me, you don’t have a large family, you can always freeze any leftovers to enjoy later. Alternately, you can also gift a few slices to your neighbors! With that in mind, this bread loaf also makes a wonderful food gift for the holiday season.

What Are the Best Apples for Bread?

Choosing the best apples for your easy apple bread is important. I like to use apples that are in season, but there are several varieties that work well for this application. When choosing apples to make bread, you want to use an apple that is both a little tart and slightly sweet. I recommend using one of the following apples for baking cinnamon and apple bread:

  • Granny Smith apples are both sweet and tart.
  • Pinata apples withstand heat well when baked in bread.
  • Honeycrisp apples are deliciously sweet.
  • Gala apples have a wonderful vanilla note.
  • Fuji apples are sweet and crisp.

Do I Need to Peel the Apples?

Yes, you should peel apples before using them to make bread. If you don’t, the skins could separate from the flesh of the apple during baking. You can still eat the bread with apple peels. But keep in mind that it may negatively affect the texture of the bread. Therefore, I recommend you remove the peels for this recipe.

Should I Use Salted or Unsalted Butter to Make Bread?

You can use either salted or unsalted butter in this farmhouse apple bread recipe. If you use salted butter, you can omit the extra salt if you’d like. I’ve made it with salted butter and used the additional salt, and I did not find it too salty. However, if you are following a low sodium diet, then you can use unsalted butter.

Can I Make Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread Ahead of Time?

You can make the batter for your apple cinnamon swirl bread ahead of time if needed. Simply store it in the fridge for up to 48 hours prior to baking.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the batter will start to oxidize as it’s exposed to air. This can cause it to turn a dark brown. Despite the color change, this won’t affect the integrity or flavor of the apple bread. It may just be slightly darker color than if you had baked the bread loaf right away.

You can also bake this apple bread with cinnamon, then store it covered for up to 5 days. In addition, you freeze the loaf, or any leftovers, for up to one month.

Tips for Making the Best Cinnamon Apple Bread Loaf

Although this is an easy apple bread recipe, here are some tips to help you make it perfectly the first time:

  • You can customize this recipe by adding raisins or nuts, if desired. It’s also tasty with chocolate chips.
  • Take care not to overmix the batter. Stir the ingredients just until just mixed, similar to how you would if you were making muffins. Otherwise, your bread may be too dense.
  • Make sure you grease your loaf pan really well. As this is an incredibly moist bread, you don’t want it to fall apart when transferring it from the pan to a wire cooling rack after baking.
  • Rather than cutting your apples into cubes, you can shred the apples instead. This keeps chunks of apples from sinking to the bottom. It also ensures that the apples stay evenly distributed throughout the loaf. If you choose to shred your apples, simply use a box grater to handle the task.
  • This recipe is considered a quick bread as there’s no yeast and no need for the bread to rise. However, the prep time does take a while as peeling, coring and chopping the apples can be time consuming. You can shave some time off the prep by using an apple peeler and corer.
  • Often bread can appear to done on the outside, while the inside needs additional cook time. Avoid undercooking this loaf by inserting a toothpick into the center of loaf to test for doneness. If it comes out clean, then your bread is ready.
  • You can store the batter in the fridge up to 48 hours. So it’s not a problem to make the batter and cook it later if you are short on time.
  • Keep your cinnamon apple bread loaf covered after baking to maintain freshness. You can store it either wrapped on the counter or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • You can also freeze it for up to one month. I recommend covering a cooled loaf in plastic wrap, then placing it in a freezer bag.

Apple Bread Additions and Variations

If you’re like me, once you make a recipe once, you mix it up a bit the next go round. If you’re looking for easy ideas to make this apple bread with cinnamon your own, try one of these variations:

  • Add chopped walnuts or pecans.
  • Include dried cranberries, dried pineapple, dried coconut or raisins.
  • Use applesauce in place of the oil.

Don't forget to visit for the original recipe and to find tips for storing and freezing your bread! Plus, you'll also discover step-by-step photos.

How to Make Apple Bread With Cinnamon Sugar Swirl
Recipe details
  • 1  loaf
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 40 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 10 min
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Apple Bread Ingredients
  • 2 baking apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup melted butter or neutral oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Cinnamon Swirl
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8-inch loaf pan with butter or nonstick spray and set aside.
Prepare the apples by removing the peels, then dicing them into small cubes.
Next, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon swirl in a small bowl. Mix gently, then set aside.
Now add the eggs and white sugar to a large bowl, along with the melted butter or oil. Mix well to combine.
Then stir in the vanilla extract, baking powder and baking soda.
Now add the flour, a little at a time, to the bread batter. Stir the mixture just until combined.
Fold in the chopped apples.
Add one half of the bread batter to the greased loaf pan. Then sprinkle about three-fourths of the cinnamon swirl mixture over the batter. Pour the remaining batter into the pan, topping it off with the remaining cinnamon swirl mix.
Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes. The top should be golden brown. It is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Place the bread pan on a wire rack to cool.
Allow the loaf to cool completely. Then turn it out of the pan. Slice to serve.
Rebecca D. Dillon
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  • KimofCoventry KimofCoventry on Oct 06, 2022

    Bourbon or vanilla, or both? Think I’ll use both. Cool on wire rack completely in the pan?

    Plan to make this tonight. :-)

    • Rebecca D. Dillon Rebecca D. Dillon on Oct 06, 2022

      It’s actually bourbon vanilla. Vanilla bean extract made from Bourbon rather than some other alcohol.