Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread

Tested & Perfected Recipes

A lovely apple bread with a 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

A lovely apple bread with 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

  • 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

  • Just made Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread. It isn’t too sweet and was so moist! I will be making this again for sure! It’s pretty too.

    • — Ginny on January 21, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is such good bread. I found it just a bit tricky to get the layers right — next time I won’t put quite so much batter on the bottom so the layers are more 50/50 — I think that’ll make it a little easier to get it in and out of the toaster. But the taste is sensational and it lasted for more than two weeks in the refrigerator. Thanks, Jen.

    • — PMinNJ on January 21, 2021
    • Reply
  • It was amazing. was a big hit. so moist.

    • — Mary on January 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was amazing! Followed recipe exactly and it was perfectly moist and a huge hit!!

    • — Ellie on January 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this several times and it’s always great.

    • — Carey on January 16, 2021
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  • Recipe from heaven! This bread is is so incredibly good. I would describe it as the best coffee cake ever. I used super sour apples that were not good to snack on and it tasted amazing! I would use a tad less brown sugar next time but wow oh wow. Just a WARNING…. you WILL eat way too much of this.

    • — Anna on January 15, 2021
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  • Wow! What a fantastic bread. I made it as a last minute addition to my meal. My family loved it. Ten stars!!!

    • — Patty on January 6, 2021
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  • The cinnamon swirl apple bread was delicious. Just before mixing in the apples my husband asked if I would add cranberries and nuts.
    I typically like to try a recipe unaltered before reviewing but the additional ingredients sounded good so I went ahead and added a scant 1/2 cup each of chopped dried cranberries and chopped pecans. It turned out perfect. Thanks for the recipe.

    • — DebfromMN on January 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • “Let the bread cool completely before slicing “- LOL! In what universe would that ever happen? Made this bread yesterday and as usual with your recipes it was a huge hit. The house smelled amazing while it was baking and it was all I could do to keep my husband away from it while it was still cooling in the pan! The bread is extremely moist, the cinnamon swirl is perfect and was even better with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream!

    • — Judy on December 29, 2020
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  • I’ve made this 3 times and it is consistently awesome!! So moist and flavorful and easy to make. Made 2 loaves Christmas morning, one without walnuts because I forgot! Both were delicious although I prefer with the nuts. The second loaf was going to be frozen – it didn’t make it! We love this bread!

    • — Pat on December 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • Love this! Have been wanting a good apple bread recipe. This is it! Moist, not too sweet, lovely topping. Will make it again.

    • — Ellen on December 24, 2020
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  • Another winner Jen! Just made your fabulous cinnamon bread and it did not disappoint.
    The apple adds a hint of freshness that takes it over the top! Thank you for another great recipe that makes me look like a rockstar!

    • — Dawn on December 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • HI, I have been loving your recipes and tried a few dinner dishes and loved them all. Today I tried the cinnamon swirl apple bread and it was very thick in the batter and then once cooked extremely crumbly. (I could barely cut it into a loaf slice). What did I do wrong?? I followed this exactly as written. I am not much of a baker but this looked simple. help? Leah

    • — Leah Eggen on December 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Leah, This bread should be very moist. Is it possible you made a measuring error or inadvertently left something out?

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn

    Loved your French apple cake recipe and would like to try making your apple bread this weekend.. I was just wondering – can I use light brown sugar instead of granulated? Thanks

    • — Danielle on December 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the French apple cake! For the most predictable results, I’d stick with granulated sugar here. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • It is delicious. Can the recipe be doubled?

    • — Debbie on December 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! Yes, you can double it and make two loaves.

      • — Jenn on December 10, 2020
      • Reply
    • I doubled the recipe and it made two beautiful loaves!

      • — Ginny on January 21, 2021
      • Reply
  • This recipe was delicious!
    I did make some changes however

    1.Substituted goat milk kefir instead of milk
    2.Added extra 1/2c of chopped apples
    3.Added 1/2c of raisins
    4.Used a 6×91/2 Bread pan (clesest I had)
    5.Lightly greased bread pan with Ghee (no parchment paper)

    Turned out perfect- Moist and crumbly texture, so so tasty!! Just enough sweetness.

    • — David on December 7, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    I have made several of your recipes and they always turn out great…however, this one didn’t and I’m not sure why. The apple loaf tastes good, but it didn’t rise at all. I measured everything accurately, I checked to make sure my baking powder is still active, and I did not overmix….
    The only thing I did differently was I used the standard Paderno loaf pan 9.25 x 5.25 inches (I didn’t have one that was 8.5 x 4.5). Any idea of what could have gone wrong?
    Ann

    • — Ann on November 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ann, I feel confident that it was the size of your loaf pan. Although the difference between what the recipe calls for and what you used seems small, it has a big impact on the height of the bread.

      • — Jenn on November 29, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thanks, Jenn – I will try again (just ordered a 8.5 x 4.5 pan).

        • — Ann on November 30, 2020
        • Reply
  • This is fantastic! I’ve made it a bunch of times. Didn’t peel the apples since I don’t mind the peel, and it worked great — they were soft and unnoticeable. The cinnamon swirl is very tasty. Decreased the salt by nearly half since I was using salted butter. Some variations I’ve tried: dairy free with Earth Balance for pan greasing and melting into the batter (it was great) and swapping the apples for fresh cranberries and adding a couple handfuls of chopped pecans (also superb). In my experience, if you end up with more than a cup of apple chunks due to the size of the apples you’re using, you may need to increase baking time.

    • — Andy on November 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi. Will this work with skim milk? Thank you

    • — Lori Goldner on November 21, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Lori. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • Can I use skim milk?

    • — Lori Goldner on November 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yep 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2020
      • Reply
      • I made a loaf using Splenda granulated sugar and Splenda brown sugar 1/4 cup of each instead of the 1/2 cup of regular called for and it turned out perfectly delicious and tasted the same as the regular loaf. My family didn’t even know I used Splenda. I did this because my husband is a diabetic and loves his sweet every now and then. Thank you for sharing this recipe. 5 star in my book👍

        • — Regina Rodriguez on November 22, 2020
        • Reply

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