When life gives you apples, follow this Apple Cinnamon Sweet Bread recipe, a go-to from our longtime and dear food writer Sheila.
During this mandatory quarantine time, I have been cooking and baking way more than usual. Most of us are! I have pulled out some of my “go-to” recipes and have also been using cookbooks that have not been opened in years. Since we have so much time in the house now, I figure I may as well use recipes that I have not prepared in a long time and even try a new recipe every now and then.
I have been baking this Apple Cinnamon Sweet Bread for many years, especially when I find I have an excess of apples in the house. We love apples, so I prepare desserts with apples often. I use whatever apples I have in the house, but I prefer to use the green Granny Smith apples because they are firm, sweet and tart.
Options and substitutions
I typically drizzle a glaze on top of the bread after it has cooled completely, but during this quarantine time it has been difficult to find powdered sugar for the glaze. This bread is perfectly fine without the glaze if you prefer to omit it. I like my glaze to be thick, so I use less milk for a thicker glaze. For a thinner glaze, use more milk.
I find that I tend to use a little bit more apples and cinnamon than this recipe calls for, which is perfectly fine. It will create a denser bread.
In the past I have occasionally added walnuts or pecans to this bread. And a couple times I have used other fruit such as pears or peaches, instead of the apples for this bread. I still prefer apples though.
You can substitute the regular milk and use almond milk.
Loaf, loaves or muffins
This recipe uses a 9×5 loaf pan and takes approximately 50-60 minutes to bake. You can also opt to prepare this recipe for two 8×4 pans (bake 30-40 minutes) or a muffins tin (15-20 minutes).
Apple Cinnamon Bread
For the Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Mixture:
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup milk or almond milk, room temperature
- 2 large apples of any kind, peeled and chopped small. Toss apples with 2 tablespoons white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon just before adding to the bread mixture.
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1-3 tablespoons of milk or cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a 9×5-inch loaf pan and spray with non-stick spray or line with foil and spray with non-stick spray to remove cooked bread easily.
- Mix ⅓ cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.
- Combine and whisk 1 ½ cups flour and 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder together in another bowl and set aside.
- In another medium-sized bowl, beat ⅔ cup white sugar and ½ cup softened butter together using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time until blended in. Add 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract and mix in.
- Add the flour mixture into creamed butter mixture and mix until blended.
- Mix ½ cup milk into the batter and continue mixing until smooth.
- Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Add half of the chopped apple mixture which has the sugar and cinnamon added in.
- Sprinkle half of the brown sugar & cinnamon mixture you set aside earlier, on top of the apple layer.
- Pour the remaining batter over the apple layer and top with the remaining chopped apples, then the remaining brown sugar & cinnamon mixture.
- Lightly pat apples down a little bit into the batter. Swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a spoon or knife.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 50 to 60 minutes.
- To make the glaze: using a sifter, add ½ cup powdered sugar to a bowl then add 1 to 3 tablespoons milk or cream together until well mixed. Tip: Using the sifter removes any lumps in the sugar and also creates a smoother texture. If you want your mixture to be more pourable, place in the microwave for 10 seconds. If you want more glaze, simply double the ingredients.
- Once the loaf has baked, let the loaf rest in the pan for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Allow it to cool off completely on a cooling rack before drizzling with glaze.
Cover photo: Pixabay (All other photos taken by Sheila Christensen Jeanneau)
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