This recipe for Apple Cinnamon Bread produces a quick bread that is light, tender, and bursting with fresh apples! Finished with a buttery oat streusel, this apple bread is irresistibly good.
Loaded with tender apples and warming spices, this Apple Bread is not only delicious, but deceptively good for you as well.
Just like my recipes for Baked Apples, Apple Crisp, and Dutch Apple Pie, this Apple Cinnamon Bread combines warming spices, fresh apples, and a buttery oat streusel for the ultimate combination of both flavor and texture. Unlike my apple dessert recipes, this recipe is made with 100% whole wheat flour, only a TINY bit of refined sugar, and way less butter!
But you would never know it by the taste or texture! This Apple Bread is light, tender, and perfectly sweet. Paired with a cup of mulled apple cider, this apple cinnamon bread is perfect for breakfast, celebrating fall, or just curling up on the couch with a blanket and a book--now, doesn't that sound like a perfect afternoon?!
Notes on Ingredients
- Flour: To keep this apple bread 100% whole grain, use either whole wheat flour or whole white wheat flour. Whole white wheat flour will result in lighter bread, but I typically use whole wheat flour as that is what I have on hand. You can use all-purpose flour, but you will sacrifice the whole grains.
- Apples: I recommend using Granny Smith apples for this apple quick bread, as the tartness pairs well with the sweet crumble. However, you can use any apple that is suitable for baking, such as Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or Braeburn.
- Honey: Use either honey or maple syrup to sweeten the batter for the apple bread.
- Buttermilk: The acidity in the buttermilk helps to keep this whole wheat quick bread super light and tender. If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own by combing vinegar or lemon juice with milk or non-dairy milk of your choice. The recipe card includes instructions for making homemade buttermilk.
- Spices: This recipe calls for cinnamon and nutmeg. Do yourself a favor--grate a whole nutmeg bulb using a Microplane, it will taste SO much better than ground nutmeg that can overwhelm a recipe.
- Applesauce: Adding applesauce the batter will help keep to cut back on the amount of fat added, yet still keep the quick bread super tender and moist. Use unsweetened applesauce to control the added sugars in this recipe.
- Melted Butter: Using melted butter in the quick bread will produce a rich, buttery flavor. In place of the butter you could use canola oil.
- Oat Streusel: The streusel topping on this apple bread is completely optional, yet adds a wonderful texture and flavor. It is made with whole wheat flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, and butter.
How to Make Apple Quick Bread
Don't be intimidated by the number of steps in this recipe. Just like the name implies, this recipe comes together quickly.
- Wash, dry, and peel the apples. Once peeled, dice the apples into ½-inch cubes.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Be sure to thoroughly mix your dry ingredients together so that you don't bite into a chunk of baking soda.
- Add the apples to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Coating the apples with flour will help them to not sink to the bottom of your loaf pan, ensuring every bite will be equally delicious.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, honey, applesauce, and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and use a spatula to fold the batter together. Mix until the flour is completely moistened and the ingredients are well combined. But don't overmix as that would result in tough bread.
- In a separate small bowl, combine the ingredients for the oat streusel, using your fingers to mix together until everything is nice and crumbly.
- Pour the batter into a loaf pan that has been greased well with butter or lined with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the apple bread batter.
- Bake the apple bread until a toothpick comes out dry, this will take between 50-55 minutes. While the bread is baking, take a moment to enjoy the aroma of apples and cinnamon wafting through the air. FABULOUS!
- Once the bread is baked, remove it from the oven and place it on a baking rack to cool.
- After 10 minutes, carefully remove the apple bread from the pan and allow to cool fully. Once fully cooled, slice and serve.
- Dairy-Free: In place of the butter in the quick bread, use canola oil and in place of the buttermilk use my directions for homemade buttermilk in the recipe card using non-dairy milk. For the streusel, use your favorite non-dairy butter, just be sure to check on the bread after 40 minutes of baking. You may find that your streusel is browning too quickly and need to tent the bread lightly with foil.
- Add nuts: If desired, add ¼ cup of chopped walnuts to the batter of this apple bread when you add in the diced apples.
- Gluten-Free: I have made this quick bread and streusel using a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour with success. Just be sure that your oats are certified gluten-free as well.
- No Streusel: To keep this Apple Bread 100% refined sugar free, omit the oat streusel. The bread will be plenty delicious.
Because this Apple Cinnamon Bread is made with whole grains and no preservatives, it should be stored, once cooled, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. It will last 4-5 days refrigerated.
Alternatively, you can freeze the Apple Bread for up to 3 months. Allow the bread to cool fully once baked, wrap in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil, and then place into a freezer-safe bag or container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months and defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
More Quick Bread Recipes
If you gave this Healthy Apple Bread a try, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Apple Cinnamon Bread
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 cup peeled, diced Granny Smith apples
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup melted butter slightly cooled
- ⅓ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x5 loaf pan with butter or line with parchment paper.
- Wash peel, and core the apples. Cut into ½-inch cubes.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Add the diced apples and toss to coat the apples in the flour.
- In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the buttermilk, applesauce, eggs, honey, melted butter, and vanilla until well combined. Add to the dry ingredients and fold together until just combined and the flour is fully moistened. Don't overmix to prevent a tough apple loaf.
- Pour the apple bread batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading it out to evenly cover.
- If adding the streusel, mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter with a fork or your fingers until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the apple bread batter.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Cool the apple bread in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then carefully remove the bread out of the pan to cool fully before slicing or storing.
- 1 Loaf Pan
This recipe was posted originally in 2015 but was updated with new tips and photos in 2022.