This Apple Cinnamon Bread has a buttery brown sugar crumb topping and vanilla maple glaze. It is absolutely irresistible with a moist, tender texture that's hefty but not too firm nor dense with a layer of stewed cinnamon apples in the middle. It is the perfect Fall recipe and tastes like apple pie baked into a loaf. The topping is moreish with the glaze because it gives it a melt-in-the-mouth texture. I'm sure you will love this recipe for apple season! And if Fall baking is on your mind... check out my Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE:
- Easy method - the recipe is simple to make since it is a one-bowl recipe and you don't need a mixer.
- Moist and tender - this apple cinnamon bread is moist and has a spongy texture. It is tender but not so moist that it is soggy or pasty since it needs to hold up to the apples inside.
- Cinnamon spice loaf - there's cinnamon cooked into the apples and also cinnamon right through the batter so there's plenty of fragrance and flavor.
- Buttery crumb topping - a buttery brown sugar crumb topping gives this loaf the feeling of an apple crumble pie. It is divine!
- Apple pie filling - just like you're making an apple pie filling, you will cook chopped apples with some sugar and cinnamon before layering it into the batter. This process will help soften them so they bake more evenly into the batter and you won't end up with steam pockets in the finished loaf.
- Vanilla maple glaze - there's a maple glaze drizzled over the crumb topping and I promise it will be your favorite part!
INGREDIENTS FOR APPLE CINNAMON BREAD
Here are some notes about the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Unsalted butter - melted butter adds richness and tenderness and it carries the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors well.
- Oil - half butter and half oil brings flavor as well as softness since oil is liquid at room temperature. I always recommend sunflower oil for its clean taste, but any neutral oil works.
- Brown sugar - brown sugar adds caramel-like flavor due to the molasses content and it really complements the apples and the spices.
- Granulated sugar - simple white sugar will add the right amount of sweetness and also keep this loaf moist.
- Apples - I recommend tart apples for baking, which includes these varieties: Granny Smith, Empire, Ida Red, Cortland.
- Eggs - Two large eggs will add nice structure and help with the moist spongy texture.
- Pure vanilla extract - vanilla will add earthy undertones. I like this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract.
- Milk - I recommend using whole milk or 2% milk for this recipe and it helps if it is at room temperature.
- Yogurt - plain yogurt will add some tartness to the loaf and balance the leavening agents to give this loaf a tall golden height as well as uniform crumb structure.
- All purpose flour - regular unbleached all-purpose flour works great for loaf recipes.
- Spice - I use a blend of cinnamon and nutmeg to play off the flavors of apple pie.
- Maple syrup - you can use any variety of maple syrup and it really adds an earthy sweetness and pairs so well with apples. I always add a pinch of salt to the glaze, and salty maple is so good!
- Powdered sugar - it's also called icing sugar and it makes the quickest icing when blended with maple syrup.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Make the apple mixture. Combine apples, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes until softened but not mushy. There shouldn’t bee much liquid left when you’re done. There may be some thick syrup but there shouldn’t be a lot of water. If there is a lot of water, then spoon the apples out and simmer the liquid until it is reduced and thick, and then mix it in with the apples. Let cool completely.
- STEP 2). Make the crumb topping. Combine flour, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and blend well. Add the butter in pieces and rub it in well with your fingertips until it is evenly incorporated and the mixture forms clumps and crumbles. Set aside.
- STEP 3). Combine wet ingredients. Add melted butter, oil, sugars, eggs, yogurt, milk and vanilla to a large bowl and whisk until evenly combined.
- STEP 4). Combine dry ingredients. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- STEP 5). Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Sprinkle flour mixture over the wet mixture and start to fold it in gently. Do not over-mix.
- STEP 6). Layer the batter. Spoon just over half of the batter into your prepared loaf pan and spread it out evenly. Spoon the cooled cooked apples over the batter, then spread the rest of the batter over the apples.
- STEP 7). Add the crumb topping. Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter.
- STEP 8). Bake. Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden brown and the loaf feels firm in the middle. A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. After 45 minutes, you can tent the top with foil to prevent it from getting too dark.
- STEP 9). Make the glaze. Combine powdered sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until very smooth. Drizzle over the cooled loaf and enjoy!
EXPERT BAKING TIPS FOR APPLE CINNAMON BREAD
- Do not over-mix the batter. Once the flour is mostly combined (with a few light streaks), then the batter is ready for baking. Since loaf and brad batter is more lean with less sugar than cake batter, it is more likely to develop gluten and result in a tougher texture. Having said that, this recipe is almost fool proof! Even if you did over-mix it will likely turn out fine, but it may develop a dense gummy layer near the bottom.
- Melted butter brings the flavor. I like to use melted butter when making recipes that call for a lot of cinnamon since it adds rich undertones that carry the spice well so it is more rounded rather than sharp and astringent.
- Sift the dry ingredients. When making quick breads/loaf recipes, the method is very simple to just combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients but they are at risk of over-mixing due to the lower sugar content than cakes. Sifting flour removes any lumps and separates the flour particles so that they will hydrate quickly and it minimizes the amount of mixing required to achieve a homogeneous batter.
- Top generously with crumbs. As the loaf rises and puffs up during baking, the topping will spread out so it may look like a lot at the beginning, but it will be just right when it is baked.
I would not recommend making this recipe with all butter as the texture will be too firm.
Yes, you can use oil to make this recipe and it still works well, however I find melted butter carries the spice flavors much nicer.
Yes, you can use fresh apples however it will make a different result since they will take longer to bake and they will also release steam into the batter as they bake which will leave gaps in the baked loaf between the apple pieces and the crumb. Since apples have a lot of moisture, the loaf will also take longer to bake.
Yes! To freeze it, slice it first then wrap each slice in plastic wrap before freezing in a resealable freezer bag.
If you love making loaf cakes, check out these recipes!Double Chocolate Loaf CakeTHE BEST Starbucks Copycat Lemon LoafCinnamon Swirl Pumpkin BreadDouble Chocolate Zucchini BreadMini Sticky Date CakeThe BEST Classic Banana BreadMoist Double Chocolate Banana BreadMarbled Chocolate Banana BreadBEST Moist Chocolate Chip Banana BreadMaple Pecan Banana Bread
More loaf recipes
Looking for more loaf/bread recipes? Try these:
Baking with apples...
These are a few more recipes with apples:
Apple Cinnamon Bread with Crumble & Maple Glaze
- 3 cups 300g chopped apples (not larger than ½-inch dice)
- 3 tablespoon 45g packed dark brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup 56g unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup 60ml sunflower oil
- ½ cup 110g packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup 100g granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons 5ml pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup 120ml full fat yogurt, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp 90ml milk, at room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups 250g all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup 71g all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon 25g granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon 30g packed dark brown sugar
- 4 tablespoon 56g unsalted butter, softened
- pinch of cinnamon
- ½ cup 60g icing sugar
- 3 tablespoon 45ml maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- First make the apple mixture. Combine apples, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes until softened but not mushy. There shouldn’t bee much liquid left when you’re done. There may be some thick syrup but there shouldn’t be a lot of water. If there is a lot of water, then spoon the apples out and simmer the liquid until it is reduced and thick, and then mix it in with the apples. Let cool completely.
- Make the crumble topping. Combine all ingredients and blend together well with your fingertips until evenly combined and it looks like damp crumbs. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Make the batter. Combine melted butter, oil, both sugars, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl and whisk to blend well. Add yogurt and milk. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt and whisk to blend evenly. Add it to the wet mixture and fold it in gently.
- Scrape just over half of the batter (a little less than two-thirds) into the prepared pan. Spoon the cooled apples over the batter leaving about ¼ inch around the edges. Spoon remaining batter in dollops over the apples and spread gently to cover the apples and make sure the top batter touches the bottom batter around the sides of the pan to fuse together (that’s why you leave a ¼ inch border).
- Cover the surface with the crumble and bake for 50-60 minutes until it feels firm in the middle and skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer loaf to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes in the pan before lifting out of the pan to finish cooling.
- Make the glaze. Combine powdered sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until very smooth. Drizzle over the cooled loaf and enjoy!