Packed with sweet honeycrisp apples, a cinnamon sugar swirl center, and adorned with a crunchy walnut sugared top, this moist Cinnamon Apple Swirl Bread brings all the best fall flavors!!
This Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread is the perfect introduction to fall!! Hot and sticky summer has finally given way to cool and golden kissed autumnal days. And I personally could not be more excited!! Not only do we get to wrap ourselves in chunky sweaters and gorge ourselves on sugar, spice, and everything nice but also, we get to enjoy the bounty of all that fall produce has to offer. Now people usually like to steer towards pumpkin and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. For me, I am jumping on the apple train.
This cinnamon apple quick bread is super easy and packs a flavorful fall punch. Light and fluffy cake studded with grated apples, a crunchy and sweet walnut and cinnamon sugar top, and the best part? that delicious cinnamon swirl. Perfect for breakfast or a little something sweet after dinner, this fall flavor bomb is sure to make your day all the more sweeter.
Ingredients for Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread
- Unsalted Butter – Melted butter not only adds fat but moisture and flavor. Plus it helps give the bread amazing texture. Many recipes call for oil which would also work in this recipe. With that being said, I prefer the all that wonderful butter flavor as compared to oil in this recipe.
- Sour Cream – Sour cream ensures we have a moist and rich bread.
- Milk – Milk works with sour cream to help moisten the batter.
- Apples – You cant have apple bread without apples. Any baking apple will do in this recipe but Honeycrisp apples are star in this recipe.
- Light Brown Sugar and Cinnamon combo – This match made in heaven combine to not only create that delicious cinnamon sugar swirl but that sweet crunchy top.
- Granulated Sugar – Granulated sugar adds sweetness and flavor. It also caramelizes when heated which helps promote browning.
- Walnuts – Toasted walnuts are totally optional, especially if you have kids who like my son are totally against nuts in desserts. I love the extra crunch the walnuts provide. Plus they are the perfect accompaniment to apples.
What are the best apples to use in Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread?
There are many great baking apples out there and it can be difficult to choose which apple is best for your recipe. Granny Smith, Braeburn, and Fugi are all great choices. But it all depends on the flavor and sweetness you want to convey in your recipe. For this apple bread, I decided to go with Honeycrisp apples. Honeycrisp apples are not only sweet and tart but also crisp. They go perfectly with cinnamon hold a nice firm structure in the bread. Honeycrisp also hold up well in high heat when baking.
Many recipes use chunks or slices of apples. I decided to grate the apples for this recipe based on two reasons. One, grated apples help keep the apple bread super moist. Using apple chunks will completely change the texture of the bread. Grated apples will also add great flavor and sweetness. And two, I do not like the look of chopped fruit in desserts. Personal problem I know.
How to make moist Cinnamon Apple Bread
Now that we have our apples and we know how to use them (team grated apple all the way) lets break down how to make the best fall apple bread.
1. First, in a small bowl mix together the light brown sugar and ground cinnamon.
2. Melt the butter before mixing the dry ingredients. You can either melt the butter in the microwave in 10 second increments or on the stove.
3. Combine sour cream and milk.
4. Next, in a medium size bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.
5. Beat eggs and sugar until pale and creamy.
6. Slowly pour in melted butter.
7. Add flour mixture alternatively with the sour cream mixture.
8. Grate apples until you reach 1 cup and add them to the batter.
9. Pour half of the batter into a prepared 9 x 5 pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Then pour the remaining batter on top of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Now if you are using walnuts, which but the way are totally optional, gently press into the top the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Tips for making the best cinnamon apple bread recipe
In order to keep your apples for oxidizing(aka brown city), it is best to grate them right before your add them to the batter.
After melting the butter, it will need some time to cool. I find it best to melt the butter first, then prep the dry ingredients.
Lastly, it is important to get rid of any air bubbles in the batter. This batter makes 4 cups of batter total. After adding the first two cups of batter to the prepared pan, firmly tap pan against the counter and repeat with remaining batter.
Can You Freeze Apple Bread
You can totally freeze this apple bread!! Allow the bread to cool completely to room temperature. Slice the bread and wrap the individual slices in plastic wrap and then foil. Alternatively, you can wrap the entire loaf in plastic wrap and then in foil. After wrapping, place bread in a ziploc bag. This bread will stay fresh for 3 months in the freezer. When ready to eat, unwrap bread and allow it to defrost to room temperature.
How to serve
I loveeeee enjoying this bread slightly warm. To warm, place the apple bread in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Its just as yummy at room temperature.
How to store Cinnamon apple bread
To prevent your apple bread from drying out, it should be stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. This bread will stay fresh for up to 3 days at room temperature. Though if your family is anything like mine, it will be gone the first day!!
Looking for more fall baking? Check out my Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Spiced Streusel
Cinnamon Apple Swirl Bread
- 9 x 5 inch loaf pan
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 stick, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup apples such as honeycrisp, grated
- 1/2 cup walnuts toasted
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees and line the long side of a 9 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper. The parchment paper should make a sling and hang off the sides of the pan for easy removal.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Alternatively, place butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted.
- In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and brown sugar until evenly combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside
- In a medium size bowl, mix together sour cream and milk. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and granulated sugar on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 – 3 minutes.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add melted butter and mix until evenly combined. Stir in vanilla extract.
- With the mixer on low, add flour mixture alternatively with the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Flour mixture should be added in 3 additions and sour cream mixture in 2. Mix until just combined after each addition, being careful not to over mix. Add grated apples to the batter and gently fold with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated.
- Pour 2 cups of batter into prepared pan and firmly tap pan on counter to get rid of air bubbles. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon sugar mixture. Spoon remaining batter over top of cinnamon sugar mixture followed by the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Gently press toasted walnuts on top of batter.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown (mine was ready in 50 minutes) and cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow bread to cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes then using the parchment sling, lift bread out of pan and place onto wire rack. Let bread cool completely before slicing.