Easy homemade from scratch, this apple quick bread comes with amazing apple flavor and a streusel top. Great for snacks, breakfast, or gifts. Just follow the easy step-by-step photo instructions.
Welcome to October and the apple season. I always love apple season—so many choices and only one mouth.
I always try to do as many recipes for apples as possible since fresh off the tree is as good as it gets. Apple Bread, AKA Apple Pie bread, is a special treat I have had over the years, but I have never made my own.
I read many recipes, but most go back to a common root of Better Homes and Gardens Apple Pie Bread. So here is my take on a classic recipe with some minor changes, expanded detailed instructions, used my favorite streusel top.
Many recipes called "apple pie bread" had chunks of apple or apple pie filling. This variation is more in line with the "apple bread" recipes, so I changed the name to more accurately reflect the recipe.
A very, very strong 4. OK, maybe a 5.
🍎What Apples to Use
There seems to be confusion about what apple to use for this or that. I believe it is more a matter of individual taste. Granny Smith and Gala apples are both excellent choices. I find Cortland, Ida Red, Honey Crisp, or Roma also work well.
But really, the apples you love and have in the house are usually the best choice for you. I do suggest avoiding Red Delicious or Macintosh.
Apple Bread FAQs
Quick bread uses a chemical, usually baking soda or baking powder, to leaven a dough to rise vs. using yeast.
Shredding the apples will release the juices for more flavor and help the apple stay distributed through the bread. Chopped apple will tend to drop to the bottom of the pan.
Generally, I use a box grater for this. Use the large shredding holes. I'm too lazy to get out, set up, and clean a food processor for one minute of work.
Baking powder that contains aluminum can leave a metallic after-taste for many people (my wife and I included.) You will see aluminum-free and regular baking powder next to each other at the exact cost. The aluminum-free will usually have a label on the front.
Nutmeg: The suggested nutmeg in the original recipe was ½ teaspoon. That is very heavy in taste. I recommend ¼ teaspoon.
Cinnamon: I'm an admitted cinnamon lover. I usually double the cinnamon for our personal use. When I publish a recipe, I give a more normal amount. This recipe calls for ½ teaspoon. I usually use a full teaspoon.
Vanilla: Real vanilla is much better than the cheaper imitation stuff. You will have that bottle for a long time. Buy the good stuff.
"Standard" loaf pan size is 8-½ x 4-½ x 2-½ inches, but there are many sizes of loaf pans. A small pan will take longer to cook due to the thickness, and a larger pan faster due to the loaf being thinner. As always, do not cook by time alone. Ovens differ—Cook to an endpoint, not time.
The traditional way to check if a quick bread is done is the "toothpick" test. Insert a toothpick in the center, and it should come out clean.
If your done "get it" with the toothpick thing, the internal temperature of quick bread should be 200°.
Generally, it takes about one hour. But there is some variation in ovens, and loaf pans vary a bit in size causing thickness differences that will affect cooking time.
Store like it was banana bread, which means well sealed at room temperature for 3-4 days.
You can freeze apple bread for 2-3 months. I suggest cutting into slices and wrapping individually before freezing.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°.
Prep a loaf pan with butter and flour coating. About 9 by 5 works well.
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, add one stick (½ cup), softened butter, two eggs, ¼ cup milk, one cup brown sugar, one teaspoon vanilla. Beat until creamy.
In a separate bowl, combine two cups flour, two teaspoon baking powder, one teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ - ½ teaspoon nutmeg.
Peel and shred two large apples.
Mix topping with two tablespoons butter, four tablespoons brown sugar, three tablespoons flour, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon.
Slowly combine dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Then add in shredded apple and mix.
Add to floured loaf pan.
Add the topping. Bake at 350° until a toothpick comes out clean—about 1 hour.
Cool before cutting.
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder - alunimum-free
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 apples - large shredded
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans - optional
- ½ cup raisins - optional
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoon flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Prep a loaf pan with butter and flour coating. Try to use a pan of about 9 by 5.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, add one stick (½ cup) of softened butter, two eggs, ¼ cup milk, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until creamy.
- In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1xteaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.,
- Peel and shred two large apples.
- Mix topping 2 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon.
- Slowly combine dry ingredients into the wet ingredients—then add in shredded apple and mix
- Add to floured loaf pan and add topping.
- Bake at 350° until a toothpick comes out clean—about 1 hour.
- Cool before cutting.
- Granny Smith and Gala apples are both excellent choices. I find Cortland, Ida Red, Honey Crisp, or Roma also work well. But use the apples you have, but I don't like Red Delicious or Macintosh for this.
- I suggested a 9 by 5 loaf pan. You can use the bit smaller 8 ½ by 4 ½. It will be a bit thicker and take a bit longer to cook. Larger will cook faster.
- Please use aluminum-free baking powder. The other can leave an aftertaste.
- The suggested nutmeg in the original recipe was ½ teaspoon. That is very heavy in taste. I suggest ¼ teaspoon.
- The endpoint of cooking is for a toothpick to come out clean. But you can also check the internal temperature—quick bread is done at 200°.
- Like banana bread, this can be stored at room temperature if sealed well for about 3 days. Freezing should be fine for 2-3 months.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Originally Published October 7, 2014. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.