In my college dorm, little could win friends or elicit envy quite like a care package. I was fortunate to be friends with a few generous girls whose mothers were prolific bakers, which is how today’s Apple Bread recipe came into my life. Packed to the max with cinnamon, walnuts, and juicy apple hunks, this apple bread makes quite the impression. I can still remember my first slice—and the four slices that followed.
My first slice of apple bread was in my friend Elisabeth’s dorm room during our sophomore year. Her mom mailed her a particularly large care package that included not one but two loaves of apple bread, and Elisabeth graciously offered me a piece. I was immediately hooked.
My next four slices were the ones to which I helped myself in Elisabeth’s room over the next 24 hours. I’m not sure if Elisabeth was annoyed at my rather cavalier attitude towards her apple bread, but she emailed her mom for the recipe, and I’ve been baking it myself ever since.
This apple cinnamon bread recipe is special. The first thing that you will notice about it is that it is stuffed nearly to the point of falling apart with apples and walnuts. Call me a purist, but I’m not a fan of recipes that fail to deliver on the flavors their names promise. When I call something apple bread, I expect there to be a lovely bit of apple in every bite. This apple bread lives up to its title. I mean just look at those apple hunks!
Second, cinnamon. Let there be no apple recipe without cinnamon. Apples and cinnamon are life partners, and I have no intention of separating the two, so apple cinnamon bread we shall bake.
Third, restraint. Yes, this apple bread recipe is loaded with fruit, spices, and nuts, but what you won’t find here is unnecessary amounts of sugar and fat. Over the ten years that I’ve been baking this apple bread (wow, that math hurt a little), I’ve been tweaking the recipe to see what healthy changes I could make without losing the wonderful flavor and texture that originally stole my heart.
Today’s healthy apple bread is the result of those years of delicious experimentation. I’ve reduced the amount of artificial sugar in favor of the apples’ natural sweetness, substituted most of the oil for applesauce, and replaced the white flour with white whole wheat flour, which is higher in fiber and protein but tastes so mild, you’d never suspect the swap.
Happy anniversary apple bread! Here’s to 10 years of baking and eating your apple cinnamon goodness, with many more to come.
Tools I used to make this recipe:
HEY THERE CHARLESTON: As this post goes to press, I’m taking a much needed vacation in Charleston, SC. Although I can’t fit you in my suitcase, I’d love for you to join the fun on Instagram (are you reading this on your phone? Click here!) and on Snapchat too (user name is wellplated. Those reading on a phone, click here). Expect shots of enticing eats, picturesque streets, and even a carriage ride. I can’t wait!
A fast, healthy apple bread loaded with cinnamon and fresh apples. So easy, you don’t even need a mixer, and your house will smell like heaven as it bakes!
Yield: 1 8x4-inch loaf (8 slices)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 2 cups cored, peeled and 1/2-inch diced tart apples, such as Cortland or Granny Smith (about 2 medium)
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons milk, any kind you like (I used skim)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted and roughly chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly coat a 8×4-inch loaf pan with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, canola oil, milk, sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredient all at once. Mix in by hand just until combined. The batter was looking be very thick and stiff. Fold in the apples and walnuts. The batter will be very chunky.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan oaf pan. With the back of a rubber spatula, press and smooth the top so it is mostly flat. Bake for 30 minutes, loosely tent with foil, then bake for 15-20 additional minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy warm, at room temperature, and/or smeared with butter, peanut butter, or almond butter.
Store leftover apple bread in an airtight container at room temperature for four days or freeze for up to two months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Adapted from Elisabeth’s mom.// All images and text © /Well Plated.
Serving Size: 1 slice
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 245
- Total Fat: 9g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Cholesterol: 23mg
- Sodium: 285mg
- Carbohydrates: 39g
- Fiber: 5g
- Sugar: 18g
- Protein: 5g