Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

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

Here’s a lovely apple bread that 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.

You May Also Like

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

  • ½ cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ 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 ⅔ of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle about ⅔ 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.

See more recipes:

Comments

  • Hi Jenn,
    All your recipes are amazing! Can this bread be frozen?
    Thank you.

    • — Denise Smith on June 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Denise, Yes, you can freeze this but the top may not be crispy once you defrost it. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on June 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • This bread is absolutely delicious!

    • — Carol Petersen on May 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • This recipe rocks! It’s become my husband’s “request” snack. I’ve finally converted him from banana bread. Lol. Every one of your recipes that I’ve tried is a keeper so far. I’m a collector of cookbooks (got both of yours) and a pretty good home cook. Your recipes are easy to create and so delicious! Thank you.

    • — Judy on March 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on March 8, 2022
      • Reply
  • Thank you for this delicious recipe, and thank you for offering a metric conversion, too.

    I’ve made this twice now; the 2nd time I made 2 adjustments that I think helped. (1) I macerated the apple pieces in lemon juice with a dash of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. (2) I doubled the cinnamon/brown sugar topping (next time I’ll do 1.5 – double was too much).

    This is delicious and surprisingly not sweet. Definitely a keeper.

    • — Edith on March 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was so good! I accidentally baked this at a much higher temperature but it was still amazing. Will definitely be making this again (after double checking the oven temp).

    • — Anya on February 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this yesterday and had it this morning. Delicious! Very moist and the apple mixed in made it really tasty. I’ve made several of your breads and muffins but this one is the winner. Will make again as soon as I have another apple.

    • — Phyllis N on February 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • Oh dear God! This is amazing! My husband and I ate the entire loaf before it even had a chance to cool off! Thank you and bless you! 🙂

    • — Fat Cat Nana on January 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can you double the recipe and make 2 loaves at a time?

    • — Yvonne on January 20, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 20, 2022
      • Reply
  • So far I’ve made this recipe 3 times! Every time with Granny Smith apples 🙂 my 2- year old is always asking for a piece of this apple bread when she knows it’s on the counter!!

    • — Kelly on January 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • This bread is fantastic! Thanks for the great recipe 👍

    • — Lisa on January 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • I meant to add the stars just for ease of making since I have not tried it yet. Looks yummy.

    • — Liz J on December 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I just made this for the first time. It is a gift. I have had so much success with Jennifer’s recipes that I felt very comfortable making it without every having tried it myself. It came together easily and the instructions are very concise and clear. I was given your cookbook for a Christmas gift and can hardly decide what to make first because there are so many recipes that appeal to me.

    • — Liz J on December 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • WHY NOT PUT INGREDIENT AMOUNTS???

    • — ED on December 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Ed, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this bread tonight, it is cooling now on my wire rack. The directions were so easy to follow! I don’t try all recipes I see online because everyone does not make good recipes. This one is a winner!

    • — Jean on December 21, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I have made this several times and it is yet another winner by you!!🤩 I wanted to make it as a birthday cake for a friend, do you think that I should I double the recipe and use a 9.5” cake pan or perhaps a smaller cake in a 8.5” tin?

    • — Lisa on December 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like it, Lisa! When you say cake pan, are you referring to a round pan? Thanks for clarifying!

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2021
      • Reply
  • I am interested in making this recipe but noticing some comments about there not being enough apple taste. I was wondering after looking at other apple bread recipes if it would help to add more apples. The recipes I saw had more in them.

    • — Judy on December 9, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Judy, I wouldn’t recommend more apple as it will make the bread too wet — sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 10, 2021
      • Reply
    • Hi Jenn,

      Wanted to know if this would be good to mail?
      Thanks

      • — Rani Lohana on December 10, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Rani, this wouldn’t be my first choice of things to mail but I think you could. Some other options that would make it through the mail nicely are:
        Any of my banana breads
        Toffee Almond Sandies
        Any of my biscotti
        Scottish Shortbread
        The Tate’s copycat chocolate chip cookies

        Hope that helps!

        • — Jenn on December 10, 2021
        • Reply
    • This recipe is perfect the way it is, and it is absolutely delicious!!

      • — Jean on December 21, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,

    Can you tell me how to make this in 6inch mini loaf pans? Like the temperature, time, and the amount to add to each pan.
    I love your recipes. Thanksgiving was a great hit due to your recipes. I will always from hereon be using your stuffing, sweet potato strudel, and mashed potatoes. Loved it and super easy. Thank you so much.

    • — Ranjini Raman on November 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Ranjini, I suspect that this would make two mini loaves so I’d divide the batter evenly into the 2 pans. I’d keep the oven temp the same; bake time should be a bit shorter but not sure by how much so I keep a close eye on them! Also happy to hear that several of my recipes made it onto your Thanksgiving table and that they were a hit. 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 2, 2021
      • Reply
      • Just made this today. I decided to make two mini loaves and feel that was a mistake. They are not very high “cakes” and it was quite difficult knowing how to separate the batter properly. They came out good and tasted lovely but just not as nice as it would have been as a single loaf. The bread is not very sweet but the topping makes it delicious.

        • — Carolyn on December 15, 2021
        • Reply
  • Thank you for another hit, Jenn. Our friends think I’m an amazing cook – your recipes rock! I made two of these bread/cakes at the same time – one as a present for a friend’s birthday, the other served for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving. Not only RAVE reviews but people kept searching for any wayward crumbs. This is a keeper! I used Granny Smith apples, which had a magical pudding mouth-feel. I miscalculated how much batter to add to the pans before adding the sugar-cinnamon combo layer, which resulted in not enough batter coverage before adding the remainder of the sugar-cinnamon combo – but they still turned out beautifully.
    You’re a culinary goddess!!!

    • — Ana SF on November 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Could this be made into muffins?

    • — Polly on November 15, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Polly. I’d bake them at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2021
      • Reply
  • OK. Not enough apple taste, and a little too much cinnamon and sugar. There are better apple cake recipes.

    • — Susan on November 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • This is a “bread” and not supposed to be super sweet. I love this cake! Plan to make some tomorrow to give as gifts.

      • — Jean on December 21, 2021
      • Reply
  • Delicious! I made this yesterday. Not only did the kitchen smell wonderful my husband gave it a ten thumbs up. The Honeycrisp apple I used rendered just under two cups and it worked out fine. I would love to try this in a bundt pan, would I just double the recipe, and what do you think the baking time might be? Thanks for this amazing recipe and it will go into my regular rotation!!

    • — beth kenneweg on November 9, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed it! I’ve never made this in a bundt pan so it’s a guesstimate, but I’d say it would take 60 to 75 minutes to bake. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on November 10, 2021
      • Reply
  • I just made this recipe and used the advice to increase by half to bake in a larger pan…it works. I didn’t have light brown sugar but dark worked fine. Just nibbled a cooled slice and it is so yummy. (If you haven’t tried Jenn’s French apple cake, you have to!) I wish I could put a pic in here to share…looks great.

    • — K.B. on November 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • so to confirm, you made this as directed plus half in order to make cake/bundt size? I’m wanting a bundt size, thanks Susan

      • — susan on November 20, 2021
      • Reply
  • Delicious! A great make ahead! It was more like a cinnamon bread though. Could I add more apple or a different variety (I used Granny Smith) for more apple flavor?

    Thanks

    • — Elizabeth H Jackson on November 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth, I wouldn’t recommend any additional apple but you could try a different variety like Granny Smith. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on November 4, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jenn, I will let you know. FYI This is a go to website for inspiration

        • — Elizabeth H Jackson on November 5, 2021
        • Reply
  • just made this and it’s wonderful! i used two pretty small gala apples and it still wasn’t too sweet. perfect for fall 🙂

    • — Annie on November 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Would almond milk be ok to use?

    • — Tina on October 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 29, 2021
      • Reply
  • It turned out amazing!! As do every recipe I’ve made from Once Upon a Chef. (which is A LOT). My son, who’s perpetually asking me to make simple banana bread, quickly declared this as new all time favorite. Followed recipe to the T. Perfection!

    • — Sarah P on October 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi. Can you use more than 1 apple?

    • — Anna on October 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Anna, I’d stick to 1 cup of diced apple for this. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 26, 2021
      • Reply
  • When you swirl the topping, do you stick the knife down all the way to the bottom of the pan?

    • — Mark on October 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 27, 2021
      • Reply
  • Just made this today and it was delish! Instead of diced apples, I shredded the apple and it provided a very subtle apple taste rather than chunks of apple!
    BTW…loving the new cook book too!

    • — Elaine on October 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • I discovered your site last week and since then I’ve tried like 5 recipes ALL DELICIOUS!!!
    Thanks for sharing

    • — Claudia on October 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • I too was disappointed by flavor as baked bread smelled amazingly good. Perhaps too much cinnamon for my taste but my husband loved it!
    I really do enjoy your recipes – thanks!

    • — ANNE on October 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love all of your recipes that I’ve tried so far! I have to attend a Shiva- could this recipe be made Kosher with oil and non-dairy milk?

    • — Sarah on October 18, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you’re enjoying the recipes! Yes, I think both of those alternatives will work here. Please LMK how it turns out with the tweaks!

      • — Jenn on October 18, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is the second time I made this awesome bread and I think I like it baked in a loaf pan vs. 8×8. I thought it came out airier. No matter what, you can’t fail making this!

    • — Lulu on October 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • sorry but this is my first time making this recipe and i had high expectations after looking at other reviews and while the bread was nice and soft and moist it had very little flavor was almost bland. I followed the instructions exactly and it looked beautiful and smelled great out the over but taste left much to be desired.

    • — k on October 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was so easy & delicious! The best part was the recipe uses melted butter versus softened (it takes literally all day for a stick of butter to come to room temperature in my cold & drafty kitchen). Using melted butter means I can make this whenever I want! I think the only thing I’d change would be to use a wooden skewer to swirl the cinnamon sugar, rather than a butter knife, as I thought the knife dragged the topping around too much.

    • — L on October 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • This looks amazing; I plan on making this weekend….do you think if I add a cup of toasted walnuts and half a cup of raisins it would turn out ok?

    • — Meredith on October 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, I think either addition would work. Just make sure you chop the nuts. (If they’re too big, it will make the bread hard to slice.) Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on October 13, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thanks; and I will! Love all of your recipes that I’ve made so far.

        • — Meredith on October 14, 2021
        • Reply
        • When swirling the bread with a butter knife the batter clung to knife causing it to make a mess of my bread. hard to swirl with the apples and walnuts in it. any suggestions?

          • — Karla K Schulze on December 9, 2021
          • Reply
          • Hi Karla, sorry you had a problem swirling this. Once you stick the knife into swirl it, don’t pull the knife back out until you’re done swirling. Also, feel free to spray both sides of the knife with a little cooking spray before you put it in the batter. Hope that helps!

            • — Jenn on December 10, 2021
      • I added 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup raisins. The taste was perfect! The only issue I had was that the bread wasn’t “strong” enough to go in the toaster (ie it would break despite until the next morning to slice). Could this because I added the extras? Is there something I could do next time to make it hold together a bit better?

        • — Meredith on October 18, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Meredith, Glad you liked the taste! Most quick breads are pretty fragile. You could add a ½ cup of additional flour to make it sturdier, but it will definitely have a drier texture.

          • — Jenn on October 21, 2021
          • Reply

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]