Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread is an amazingly moist loaf studded with juicy apples, pecans and cinnamon swirl. It goes perfectly with coffee!
I'm in love I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!!
Holy guacamole. This bread absolutely positively BLEW MY MIND. So delectably moist and wonderfully cinnamony, bejeweled with juicy Honeycrisp apple and studded with luscious cinnamon sugar pecans.
Does life get any better than this?!
Jeff and I enjoyed a slice with hot coffee every morning last week while I read my book and he caught up on the news. Then we ate it again for Rosh Hashanah! I could totally get down with our apple cinnamon swirl bread and coffee ritual on the regular.
This is of course a quick bread, not a yeasted bread. It's a super simple recipe that comes together in no time and makes the most delish dessert, breakfast treat, or mid-afternoon pick me up. This would be a great recipe to make with kiddos!
Key ingredients, tips and substitutions
- Flour: We're rockin' all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour here for fluff factor!
- Sugar: We're using good old white sugar in the bread and brown sugar in the filling. Keeping it classic! I use organic cane sugar, but any version of your favorite granulated dry sweetener should work. Coconut sugar should work instead of brown sugar, although it may taste less sweet. (This recipe has not been formulated for a wet sweetener like maple syrup.)
- Applesauce and oil: To bring out the apple flavor even more, we're using unsweetened applesauce instead of adding a lot of extra oil. There's only 2 tbsp of oil in the recipe, but it's mega moist. Any neutral flavored oil works well here.
- Add-ins: Swap walnuts for pecans if you prefer. If you can't do nuts or dislike them, you can omit, but I'd add a bit more brown sugar so the cinnamon layer is substantial!
- Spices: This bread has a full tablespoon of cinnamon, which I found to be the perfect amount. You could also add ¼ tsp of nutmeg or a pinch of ginger if you like! If you have apple pie spice, that would also be delish.
- Egg: Flax eggs have worked wonderfully as a substitution for eggs in my other bread recipes, so I have no doubt they’d work well here.
Wouldya look at that golden beauty?!
Which flour to use
This recipe calls for 2 cups of flour. I did 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. It's delish with 2 cups of all-purpose flour as well! If you want to go 100% whole grain, I suggest using whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour, which is nice and soft and less "wheaty."
For a gluten free loaf, I suggest using Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 all purpose baking flour. It works amazingly well! Oat flour, coconut flour, and almond flour won't work in this recipe. My Pumpkin Bread and Double Chocolate Banana Bread are naturally gluten free and use almond + oat flour!
How to make muffins
Yep--you can absolutely whip up muffins if you prefer individual portions versus a loaf. They cook in way less time, which is always a plus.
Simply make the batter, divide half the batter into the muffin tins, sprinkle with a spoonful of cinnamon sugar, and repeat with the remaining batter and cinnamon sugar. Swirl each muffin with a knife for that pretty cinnamon sugar swirl.
Bake for 8 minutes at 425°F then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. The total baking time will be about 20-23 minutes.
You can store this apple cinnamon bread on the countertop in an air-tight container for up to three days. If you still have some left, you can store it in the fridge for up to a week. Warm it in the microwave before serving and it tastes as good as new!
To freeze, wrap the loaf tightly in foil then in a plastic bag with the air squeezed out. It will stay fresh for up to three months. You can thaw it on the counter overnight when you’re ready to eat.
I hope you’re as in love with this wondrous Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread as I am! If you make it, please leave a comment and star rating letting me know how it turned out. I’m so grateful for your feedback!Print
Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread is an amazingly moist loaf studded with juicy apples, pecans and cinnamon swirl. This fall treat goes perfectly with coffee! See recipe notes for how to make muffins plus vegan modifications.
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 2 cups flour (I did half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ⅔ cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond)
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or melted coconut oil
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup apple, diced small (I used Honeycrisp
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans, and set aside.
- In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cane sugar. In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisk together milk, egg, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Add liquid to flour mixture, gently stirring just until combined. Fold in apple, being careful not to over-mix.
- Pour half of the batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle with ⅔ of the cinnamon sugar pecan mixture. Pour remaining batter on top of the mixture, using a rubber spatula to spread it out. Top with remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Use a knife to make a large swirl through the batter to marble to bread.
- Bake for for about 60-70 minutes (mine took 65 minutes), covering loosely with foil after 30 minutes to prevent the top from getting too brown. The bread is done when a knife inserted into center of the loaf comes out with a few crumbs. Cool bread on a wire rack.
Adapted from this recipe.
*Be sure to measure the 1 cup of diced apple. Using more can make the loaf too moist!
TO MAKE VEGAN: Sub a flax egg. Mix 1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp warm water. Set aside to gel for 5 minutes.
TO MAKE GLUTEN-FREE: Some readers have commented that they've had success with Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 all purpose gluten free baking flour, but I have not tested it. Do not substitute other flours like almond, oat, or coconut as they will not work in this recipe.
TO STORE: Store leftovers in an air-tight container on the counter for up to 3 days and then transfer to the refrigerator for up to a week. It tastes great reheated in the microwave!
TO MAKE MUFFINS: Divide half the batter into the muffin tins, sprinkle with a spoonful of cinnamon sugar, then repeat with remaining batter and cinnamon sugar. Swirl each muffin with a knife. Bake for 8 minutes at 425°F then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Total baking time is about 20-23 minutes).