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Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread

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

Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread

This cinnamon swirl apple bread will give you all the fall feels. Chock-full of tart apples, it has a generous cinnamon swirl running through the center and a crisp sugared top. Similar to other fall quick breads, like pumpkin bread or cranberry nut bread, it’s easy to throw together – and it’s really just a cake baked in a loaf pan.

My kids claim I ruin everything with nuts, so I’ve intentionally left 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 a 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.

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Comments

  • BREAD IS EXCELLENT! THANKS FOR SHARING.

    • — T. OGDEN on February 3, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’d like to make this is a 9×13 pan, would you recommend doing so? If so, should I double the recipe?
    Thanks!
    Lori Anne

    • — Lori Anne on January 18, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Lori Anne, Yes, I’d double it. Bake time will be different, but I’m not sure by how much so keep a close eye on it. 😊

      • — Jenn on January 19, 2024
      • Reply
      • Thank you. I’m excited to try it making it tonight for an event early tomorrow morning.
        Thank you for your quick reply!

        • — Lori Anne on January 19, 2024
        • Reply
  • I made this recipe for a small family brunch. It was moist, crunchy on top and oh so delicious! There was one tiny slice left, which was history by day’s end! Wonderful recipe.

    • — Elaine Spielbereg on January 18, 2024
    • Reply
  • Made this for the first time tonight and it was amazing! I used soy milk instead of dairy and it still turned out delicious!

    • — TJ P on January 16, 2024
    • Reply
  • I baked this for the first time yesterday and it tastes wonderful! Just a lovely recipe.
    Since I had recently bought a 9 x 4 Pullman pan, I used that.

    • — Carol on December 5, 2023
    • Reply
  • It’s apple season here. I was looking for a apple bread recipe and came across yours. I made it and it looks as pictured and smells so good. It is still cooling. I love nutmeg so I added 1/4 tsp. and some chopped pecans. Can’t wait to taste it. Thanks so much for the recipe and will be more of yours. I would have sent a picture but not sure how to add it.

    • — Sandy on October 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • The best apple bread i’ve ever made! We ate half immediately after baking lol. Tomorrow i will try to make one with 🍐 pear. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

    • — Radka on October 14, 2023
    • Reply
  • Some friends brought me 10 pounds of apples. 🙂 I want to make your bread but you mention covering loosely to leave on the counter. Would I be able to freeze this?
    Thank you so much for your recipes!

    • — Ginny Wright on October 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • That’s a lot of apples! Yes, you can freeze it but the top may not be crispy once you defrost it. Hope you enjoy if you make it. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 11, 2023
      • Reply
  • Loved it but it fell apart when I sliced it.

    • — Rita Shay on October 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made 2 loaves of this yummy bread; one with regular flour & one with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free flour. Both were delicious. I accidently picked up Jumbo eggs at the store & used those. I believe that was made the batter pretty liquidy. Not to worry! The bread came out more like a cake than a bread. So, we sliced and ate this scrumptious cake/bread with a fork. Raves all around from family & friends. Jenn, you recipes NEVER disappoint!

    • — PATTI on October 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. My husband made this for breakfast this morning and we both loved it. We used gluten-free 1 to 1 flour and it worked really well. Will make this again!

    • — Ruth on October 6, 2023
    • Reply
  • I always try to find recipes that use Almond Flour instead of regular White Flour. Is there a way to convert this recipe?

    • — L on October 4, 2023
    • Reply
    • You may be able to swap part of the all-purpose flour with almond flour, but I’m concerned the texture of the bread won’t be right with all almond flour. If you scroll down to the bottom, this piece on gluten-free baking has some information on using almond flour and potential tweaks that may. be necessary. Hope you find it helpful!

      • — Jenn on October 4, 2023
      • Reply
  • I don’t know how I missed seeing this recipe. I’ve made your French apple cake and apple crisp. My neighbor gifted me some Gravenstein apples from her mom’s tree and they were perfect in this recipe. I like the bread wasn’t overly sweet. I’m going to make another loaf to freeze for Thanksgiving and one to gift to the apple tree owner. She is 89 and doesn’t bake any longer, but loves cinnamon swirl bread so I think she will love this recipe. The hardest part of the recipe was waiting on the bread to cool so we could try it.

    • — Danita on October 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • I just made it this weekend. It was soo incredibly good! Not overly sweet either. I will make it again and again for sure. Another winner for Jen’s recipes.

    • — Theresa on October 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • This recipe looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it! I have some frozen apples waiting to be used. Could I use those here or would they release too much water and render the loaf soggy? Thanks for your help.

    • — Alanna on October 1, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Alanna, I’ve only made this with fresh apples, but I suspect it would work with frozen apples as well. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on October 2, 2023
      • Reply
      • I made this scrumptious bread with frozen apples and it turned out wonderfully. I let the apples thaw and then gave them a squeeze to get most of the excess moisture out. Next time I’ll try it with frozen apples straight from the freezer, but hopefully this little trick will help others in the same predicament. I also used Bake My Day Gluten free flour, which meant that my Celiac son could enjoy it, too. It did fall apart a little, so next time I’ll add a smidge of xanthan gum to help with binding. Thanks for another amazing recipe, Jenn. I can always count on your recipes to be delectable.

        • — Alanna on October 15, 2023
        • Reply
  • Made this today, and it was incredible! I made the recipe into 4 mini-loaves and baked them for 35 minutes. My neighbour has a tree full of Delicious apples, so I grabbed a couple and used them in the recipe, still turned out great, although the Granny Smith would give it a bit more tartness. This recipe is a keeper for me!

    • — Leanne on October 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • Delicious!! I made this for a family function; now everyone thinks I can bake.

    • — Kate on October 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I’ve loved your recipes and can’t wait to try this one. Would it work to add 2 apples to the recipe, to have even more apple flavor and crunch?
    Thanks much!

    • — Judy on October 1, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Judy, So glad you like the recipes! 🙂
      I wouldn’t recommend adding an extra apple to this as it will make the cake too moist.

      • — Jenn on October 2, 2023
      • Reply
  • Can I make this cake as muffins instead of loaf? If so, how? Thank you! 🙂

    • — Lynda Freedman on October 1, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Lynda, I think this could work as muffins. I’d bake them at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on October 2, 2023
      • Reply
  • This was delicious! I didn’t have time to cook for the 55 minutes, so I put it in a 9×13 glass baking dish, and it cooked in 35 minutes. Took it to a work meeting and it disappeared.

    • — Patty K. on September 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is a delicious apple bread recipe! Thank you.

    • — Anne Vickers on September 17, 2023
    • Reply
  • Can this be frozen for a few weeks after baking?

    • — Kerri Stetler on September 17, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yep definitely. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 17, 2023
      • Reply
  • My husband and I love this recipe, he wants me to make it at least every other week. I added some finely chopped pecans to the brown sugar and cinnamon.

    • — Theresa on September 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • LOVE this recipe. The simplicity only makes the taste that much better. YUM and thank you!

    • — Susan Linds on September 14, 2023
    • Reply
    • Would I be able to half the amount of sugar? Will it affect the texture at all?

      • — Alana on February 7, 2024
      • Reply
      • Hi Alana, I wouldn’t cut it in half, but you could reduce both sugars by 2 tablespoons. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

        • — Jenn on February 8, 2024
        • Reply
  • Made this again today, it’s simply the best ever accompaniment to a strong cup of coffee. Delicious.

    • — Tish on September 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • Beware, this is too good. You will go back for one more slice. Then another. Then another. Somehow the loaf will magically disappear. You will only wear pants with elasticised waistbands. And you won’t care. Because this loaf is worth it.

    • — Bec on August 7, 2023
    • Reply
    • 🤣

      • — Jenn on August 7, 2023
      • Reply
    • 😂😂😂

      • — Kathy Manelis on October 1, 2023
      • Reply
  • TRIED LOOKING THROUGH THE MANY COMMENTS, looking to see if anyone had baked this with a specific GF flour blend. Not successful. Perhaps you have a response?
    I dislike investing the cost of ingredients to then just have a mediocre result (which I then would just trash).

    • — iris on July 30, 2023
    • Reply
  • This bread looks delicious! I bake frequently for our church coffee hour and would like to include this cake. I like to use 9×9 baking pans. Would this recipe work in a pan that shape and size, or should I use something smaller?

    • — Margaret on July 13, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Margaret, If you want to make it in a 9 x 9-inch pan, I’d make 1.5 times the recipe. If you have an 8 x 8-inch pan, you could keep the quantities as is. Either way, the bake time may be a bit different so keep a close eye on it. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on July 14, 2023
      • Reply
  • All what I taste is sugar no taste of apple.

    • — Rita on May 28, 2023
    • Reply
  • I love your recipes! Each one I have tried (desserts so far), is delicious. All received rave reviews from my guests! The French Apple cake was fabulous and people were eating the leftover crumbs! Thank you! I want to try this bread and ask if a Fuji Apple would work? If not, happy to buy Granny Smith apples (my store was out of them recently).

    • — Carmen on May 9, 2023
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes, Carmen! I like the tartness that Granny Smith’s have, but Fuji will definitely work. Plase LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on May 9, 2023
      • Reply
  • Could you make muffins out of these?

    • — Samantha on February 10, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yep 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 11, 2023
      • Reply
  • Jenn,

    Can I use buttermilk instead of milk?

    • — Vicki Hinshaw on January 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • I don’t recommend it, Vicki – sorry!

      • — Jenn on January 27, 2023
      • Reply
  • To kick off 2023, I am hosting Brunch for some favourite friends this weekend. Doing a Breakfast Board which will include this recipe, your Chai Spiced Banana Bread and your Egg Bites with Bacon and Gruyére. Even though I am making them all for the first time, any of your recipes I have made in the past have always been big winners so I am confident these will be too!
    My question is what type of salt do you use in your recipes? I typically use Diamond Krystal
    and want to be sure to use the right amount.
    Here’s to another fantastic year baking along with all your recipes, Jenn.
    With thanks,

    • — Sally on January 18, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Sally, Thanks for your nice words about the recipes — so glad you like them! When a recipe of mine says salt in the ingredient list, I am referring to regular/table salt. If it calls for something else like kosher salt, I’ll specify that in the recipe. And while it doesn’t make a huge difference, different salts have different-sized grains and so you may end up using a bit more or a bit less if you use a different type of salt than the recipe calls for. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on January 19, 2023
      • Reply
      • Jenn,
        Big thanks for not only answering my “which salt do you use” question but explaining about different salt types too! The bigger thanks, however, goes to you as all the recipes I mentioned I was making in my Jan 18th note, were absolutely delicious — big raves from all at my Brunch! ❤️

        • — sally on February 3, 2023
        • Reply
        • 💗

          • — Jenn on February 3, 2023
          • Reply
  • Just made this and it is so delicious! Thanks for another great recipe!

    • — Roxy Bee on January 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi, could I use already stewed apples? I stewed some of my glut last year but now am struggling to find recipes to use it🙈
    Thank you!

    • — Frances Flink on January 4, 2023
    • Reply
    • Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll work here — sorry!

      • — Jenn on January 4, 2023
      • Reply
  • I accidently stood someone up from my church (who I’d never met before), wasting almost an hour of her time. I felt so horrible that I ended up having a nightmare about it the next day. I decided to use at least an equal amount of my time to make something I knew her and her whole family would love, so I of course to Jen’s site I went. The day after delivering this bread, I received a morning text from her saying how AMAZING the bread was and how she needed the recipe. Then, on Christmas Eve, the pastor came up to me, and in a very Italian fashion, kissed his hand and while releasing, said the bread was “stupendous!” Your bread saved me from those first impressions that can haunt a person. I am now the girl who made the amazing bread! THANK YOU JEN. Your bread redeemed me.

    • — Bri on December 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • LOL — so glad the bread saved the day! 🤣

      • — Jenn on December 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • I doubled the recipe to make one loaf for my church’s Christmas bake sale and 1 loaf for us. The only change I made was to add some finely chopped pecans in with the struesel to loaf for my family. I was nervous because it took longer to bake and I had to use my pyrex loaf pans. While our loaf was intended for the freezer, hubby guilted me into cutting into it today. Oh, my goodness, it is so delicious! I don’t understand the comments from people who thought it was tasteless. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe. Going to check to see if I have more apples to make a few more loafs to give us gifts. And I’ll definitely be mixing in chopped pecans with the struesel!

    • — Stephanie H on December 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Love this recipe — easy, moist, and delicious! We’ve made it 3 times in the last month! Last time I made it, I didn’t even peel the apple! Thanks Jen!

    • — Debbie on December 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • Oh my goodness this recipe is delicious! I had a few granny smith apples left over from Thanksgiving that I wanted to use up and I checked your site [always the first search for recipes] and the apple bread sounded good. It turned out to be the best! I baked it in 2 5×3 pans[very full]. The apple pieces in the batter with the cinnamon sugar swirl keeps it moist. Thanks for the recipe. Will be bringing more of these loaves to my neighbors for Christmas!

    • — judith on December 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I just wanted you to know how wonderful your recipes are (so far I’ve tried baking your French apple cake and then did the apple and cinnamon loaf today). Superbly delicious 😋. My tiny negative feedback is that the measurements are in cups instead of grams so it’s a bit tricky. However, thank you for sharing your expertise and recipes.

    • — Sue Lowman on November 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Sue, so glad to hear you’re enjoying the recipes! The great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to metric/weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 28, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thank you and you’re an amazing chef 👩‍🍳

        • — Sue Lowman on November 28, 2022
        • Reply
        • 💗

          • — Jenn on November 29, 2022
          • Reply
  • Hi!! I’m very interested in trying this recipe. I’m thinking of making it for a Secret Santa gift! How long do you think it would be good being wrapped in plastic wrap and kept in the fridge? Thanks in advance!!

    • — Martin on November 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Martin, It should last nicely for 4 to 5 days. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn can I use honeycrisp apple?
    All of your recipes are amazing!

    • — Melissa Pickard on November 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you like the recipes! Yes, Honeycrisp apples will work. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 12, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe yesterday and it’s a winner! My husband just adored it! Thank you!!

    • — Mindy Nagler on November 10, 2022
    • Reply

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