Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This lovely apple bread has generous cinnamon swirl and crisp sugared top.

Here’s a lovely apple bread will give you all the fall feels. It’s chock-full of tart apples with a generous cinnamon swirl running through the center and a crisp sugared top. Like all quick breads, it’s easy to throw together (and is really just a cake baked in a loaf pan).

My kids claim I “ruin everything with nuts,” so I have intentionally made this apple bread nut-free, but I think a handful of walnuts or pecans would be delicious mixed into the batter. Be sure to wait until the bread is completely cool before slicing; you can even let it cool overnight, as it keeps moist for days. Thank you to Caitlyn over at Erhardts Eat for the recipe inspiration!

What You’ll Need To Make Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread

apple bread ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon until evenly combined. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, combine the eggs and granulated sugar.

eggs and sugar in mixing bowl

Beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

eggs and sugar after beating

With the mixer on low, gradually add the melted butter followed by the milk and vanilla, and mix just until evenly combined.
eggs, sugar, butter, and milk mixture

Add the flour, salt, and baking powder to the batter.

adding dry ingredients to batter

Mix on low speed until evenly combined.

apple bread batter

Add the apples to the batter.

adding apples to apple bread batter

Fold with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated.

apple bread batter

Line the long side of the pan with a parchment paper “sling” and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray again. Spoon about 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan.

half of apple bread batter in pan

Sprinkle about 2/3 of the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture on top of the batter.

adding brown sugar cinnamon swirl mixture

Spoon the remaining batter over top.

topping with the remaining batter

Sprinkle the batter with the remaining brown sugar-cinnamon mixture.

adding the remaining brown sugar cinnamon mixture

Using a butter knife, swirl the layers by making a zig-zag motion through the batter once in each direction (don’t overdo it!)

swirling the bread

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool on a rack for about 30 minutes.  apple bread cooling on rack

Use the parchment sling to lift the bread out of the pan and onto the rack.

apple bread cooling on rack

Let cool completely before slicing, a few hours or overnight. Store loosely covered with aluminum foil on the countertop.

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Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread

This lovely apple bread has generous cinnamon swirl and crisp sugared top.

Servings: One 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf (8 - 12 slices)
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 55 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup peeled, cored, and finely diced tart baking apples, from 1 apple (preferably Granny Smith)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Line the long side of the pan with a parchment paper “sling” and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray again.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon until evenly combined. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the eggs and granulated sugar on medium speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  4. With the mixer on low, gradually add the melted butter followed by the milk and vanilla, and mix just until evenly combined.
  5. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder to the batter and mix on low speed until evenly combined.
  6. Add the apples to the batter and fold with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated.
  7. Spoon about 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle about 2/3 of the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture on top of the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over top, followed by the remaining brown sugar-cinnamon mixture. Using a butter knife, swirl the layers by making a zig-zag motion through the batter once in each direction (don't overdo it!).
  8. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool on a rack for about 30 minutes, then use the parchment sling to lift the bread out of the pan and onto the rack. Let cool completely before slicing, a few hours or overnight. Store loosely covered with aluminum foil on the countertop for up to 4 days.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 205
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Sugar: 16 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 160 mg
  • Cholesterol: 52 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Another amazing recipe! Made it yesterday night and it’s already almost gone this morning, I have to hide it from my roommates next time I make this! A little taste of Fall during Spring. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Anna on April 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is the best ever!!!!!!!!!!!!! Honestly the best thing I have ever made. It takes like 20 minutes after you have made it a few times. My family of 4 (keep in mind 1 of them is only allowed to have 1 slice a day) eats it all within 5 hours after I make it. It is a family (and friend) favorite. I really suggest making it!

    • — Amelia on March 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • I cut it after 30 minutes

      • — Amelia on March 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • THIS REALLY IS THE BEST BREAD EVER! it stays so moist for the next days, and is packed with flavor. Tasted like coffee cake upgraded to the next level with apples. Make this now.

    • — Kaylee on March 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this bread yesterday and it is delicious! Very flavorful and moist, just like I like it. My husband is already telling me we are getting low and I should make more.

    • — Laurel Hinshaw on March 1, 2021
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  • My family loved this bread. Definately will be making this again.

    • — Cheryl H. on March 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • I just made this and it smells amazing!!!! It says to wait at least 6 hours before cutting! I can’t… I have no will power! What will happen if I cut after and hour??? 😬 I’m really fighting my urge to devour it right now 🤪

    • — Kristi on February 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kristi, You can slice it after just a few hours. 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 27, 2021
      • Reply
  • Just made this this morning was SUPERB!! Only had skim milk so used 1/2 & 1/2 and it seemed to work just fine! Family said one of the best things I’ve made! Thank you!

    • — Diane Block on February 22, 2021
    • Reply
  • OMG! My new happiness food in a loaf! I added half a cup of raisins to the loaf ‘cause I adore raisins. My husband and I both declared this absolutely awesome.

    • — Anna on February 21, 2021
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  • Oh Jenn! I had just made your absolutely amazing Late Summer Plum Cake (even though it’s February) and we LOVE it!! First time. Then decided that since the oven was on, make the Apple Cinnamon Swirl Loaf. And I royally messed it up. Probably too excited about the Plum One, I didn’t make the sugar/cinnamon mixture for the middle and top of the cake. Instead, just incorporated that sugar and cinnamon into the cake mixture and ignored the second sugar measurement on the list. It wasn’t until I came to pouring the batter into the pan that I realized my mistake. I’m writing to tell you, that despite all that, it’s still a lovely cake/bread! Probably doesn’t taste the way it’s supposed to, but it will next time.

    • — Joy on February 17, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Joy, glad to hear you enjoyed the plum cake and, despite a few missteps, this one turned out nicely as well! 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 17, 2021
      • Reply
  • From the reviews, this bread disappears very quickly, can this recipe be doubled?

    • — Barb V on February 15, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on February 15, 2021
      • Reply
  • This recipe is delicious!! I didn’t add vanilla because I used vanilla macadamia nut milk, but that was the only modification I made the first time. Everyone in my family loved it! So tender and a perfect balance of sweetness. Lovely. I have a second loaf in the oven now where I swapped the apples for peaches.

    • — Tiffany on February 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • Bread was excellent! I shredded the apples instead of chunks because my kids don’t like chunks of apples in their bread. I also used dark drown sugar and didn’t add nuts. The bread was great and my kids devoured it! Will make again.

    • — Lori Rasmussen on February 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this last night…it’s gone! I was hoping to come home after work for a slice and the husband, daughter and very picky eater son had wiped it out. Guess I’ll be making another one. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • — Tammy J on February 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this twice already because of how good it is! My husband, who is not really fond of desserts, ate it! I am so happy that he ate what I baked. Everything was perfect. My baking time was 60 minutes though. I am finally very confident of bringing something I baked myself to our family’s get-together. I am staying here at your site; will look around for more to try baking and/or cooking. With this recipe, I am very sure that your recipes are the best. I also love the very detailed step-by-step instructions, too! Thank you so much for making me feel like a real baker! 🙂

    • — Belle on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have been a fan of yours for some time now and everything I mean EVERYTHING has come out delicious. I recently made your Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread and doubled the recipe following the recipe exactly. I froze the 2nd one and it was just as delicious as the one I did not freeze and actually the top was still crunchy. It’s really important to let it cool completely after baking though and the longer it sits, the more moist it becomes. Another winner Jenn. Thank you.

    • — Anna J on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Super easy recipe and delicious. Not too overly sweet. I was out of butter, so I substituted coconut oil instead. It still came out delicious and the texture was still great.

    • — Diana on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • LOVED this. Sweet, moist, delicious!

    • — Penny on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • I volunteer once a week for a food rescue and delivery organization. Every Tuesday, I bring in a baked treat. I’ve made this bread several times and everyone loves it. Whenever I need to find a treat, I always come to your website. I’ve never been disappointed!

    • — Paula Keeler on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • That’s so nice – I’m sure the recipients appreciate getting a sweet treat!

      • — Jenn on February 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made mini loaves of these for the principals in our school district. They were such a hit several people asked for the recipe. Quite easy and great for all the apples we pick each fall.

    • — Andrea on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • Another AMAZING recipe! This is super easy and delicious. Will definitely make again.

    • — Linda on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is my new go-to recipe for a quick and incredibly yummy desert, any time of the day. The recipe as written is terrific. I add more cinnamon, just my personal preference. I’ve tried replacing the vanilla with rum, which adds a festive touch. This loaf lasts well in the fridge.

    • — Jan Case on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this cake for friends during the holidays. Excellent, moist bread especially heated up.

    • — Mei Harris on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • Won’t waste words on this….just make it, exactly following directions and ingredients.
    No tweaks! It’s perfectly delectable and you will be so pleased with the results.

    • — Ellen Mcagovern on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is my second time making it, and it’s been a hit with me and my husband both times! The only change I made was instead of 2/3 and 1/3 batter division, to do 1/2 and 1/2 because with the other measurement I usually have a very thin layer of batter at the top (I am not great at eyeballing the 2/3 and 1/3 measurement clearly). I also don’t use non-stick cooking spray and it turns out fine – does not stick to my USA Pan loaf pan.

    • — Penny on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is the most delicious bread and very very forgiving! I have made it at least 50 times in the past 6 months and have gifted it to neighbors friends and family who have all loved it and asked for the recipe. I have forgotten to add the apples once and it still got rave reviews as a “cinnamon swirl bread”!!

    • — Andrea Toussaint on January 30, 2021
    • Reply

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