Easy and moist Healthy Apple Bread loaded with 4 cups of apples and warm spices that will make your house smell amazing when baking. Made with whole grains and no refined sugar this apple quick bread recipe is naturally sweet, hearty and absolutely delicious. Make ahead for a healthy breakfast ideas or afternoon snack.
Table of contents
- Healthy Apple Bread
- Why This Apple Bread Recipe Works?
- Ingredients for Apple Quick Bread
- What Are the Best Apples to Use for Apple Bread?
- How to Make Healthy Apple Bread
- Optional Add-In’s and Variations
- Tips for Best Apple Quick Bread
- Serving Recommendations
- Making Apple Cinnamon Bread in Advance
- More Healthy Quick Breads
Healthy Apple Bread
This healthy apple bread recipe is the best way to use up an abundance of apples. It is absolutely loaded to the brim with real apple chunks, warm spices and wholesome ingredients.
There is nothing better than a slice of warm apple bread with butter and a cup of tea on a dark fall night. In fact, I’ll be honest, I just love fall flavors in general; like a delicious spiced pumpkin pie and these apple oatmeal bars. My pumpkin spice mix sure gets a lot of usage every time fall is upon us!
I am an advocate for eating fruit and berries raw. But for the last 11 years I happen to live in a house with an apple tree. And since we do not spray our trees, some apples have bugs and worms. It’s the perfect excuse to bake awesome apple bread for healthy snacks (and make lots and lots of applesauce in my Instant Pot).
I’ve even recently been enjoying this braised cabbage and apples dish; the combination of sweet and savory is delicious!
Why This Apple Bread Recipe Works?
- Studded with real apple pieces for delicious apple taste.
- Explosion of fall flavors with warming spices cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Classic quick bread recipe with a healthy spin including whole grains and maple syrup/honey.
- Easy to make with fresh apples, baking staples from the pantry and mixed in one bowl.
- Stores well on counter, then fridge and you can even freeze it to enjoy fall’s bounty throughout the seasons.
Ingredients for Apple Quick Bread
- Fresh apples: Fresh, fresh, fresh – the variety is up to you! Even works with apples that have lost their ‘crunch’.
- Applesauce: Unsweetened or homemade is best, if sweetened is all you can find, that is fine, too – your bread will just be sweeter.
- Eggs: For binding the apple quick bread ingredients together.
- Whole wheat or spelt flour: Whole grains keep you full longer and are best for this bread. Do not substitute with other flours – baking is a science!
- Maple syrup or honey: Any liquid sweetener you prefer can be used, the recipe has been tested with these.
- A bit of oil: Not much, though and can use your preferred one – avocado, melted coconut oil or olive oil.
- Spices: Cinnamon and nutmeg are the essence of fall and make this bread heavenly. See recipe variations if you do not have those spices.
What Are the Best Apples to Use for Apple Bread?
To be honest, you can use any apples with a bit of tartness to them. For example, McIntosh, Granny Smith, Fuji. More sweet variety like Gala and Red Delicious would work too.
Every region has different varieties that are popular. I have no idea what my apples are haha. They are a bit tart – all the better to enjoy in sweet treats!
How to Make Healthy Apple Bread
- Dice the apples. The most important tip for delicious apple bread is to take time and dice the apples. So every bite you take has lots of apples. Remember, no peeling.
Bonus! You do not have to peel the apples either for this quick healthy apple bread!
- Whisk eggs, wet ingredients and spices together in a large bowl. There is no need for 2 bowls if you make sure baking powder and soda are completely dissolved. Whisk until no lumps are floating.
- Add flour and stir gently. The top of measuring cup with flour should be flat. And when mixing the batter, give it 10 seconds to absorb before stirring again.
- Add apple chunks and stir just enough to mix in. I doubled the recipe so that is why my bowl was so full.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes in preheated 350 degrees F oven. We have lots of juicy apples in here, so it takes a bit longer to bake an apple bread.
Optional Add-In’s and Variations
- Applesauce can be substituted with an equal amount of finely grated raw carrots or zucchini. No need to squeeze anything. Like the sound of that? then you might also like this healthy zucchini bread or carrot muffins.
- Flour has to be wheat and whole grain like whole wheat or spelt flour. I have not tested this homemade apple bread with all-purpose flour. From my experience, I know that baking is precise. You can’t use gluten free flours like almond, coconut etc. If gluten free is a concern, try these flourless oatmeal muffins with applesauce and sliced apples! If avoiding grains, try these almond flour blueberry muffins.
- Sweetener in a liquid form like agave, brown rice syrup, date syrup etc. is acceptable. This bread is not overly sweet. If you like very sweet bread, increase amount to 3/4 cup.
- Use any oil like avocado oil, coconut oil (melted) or olive oil. Because we use only 2 tbsps, which oil you use doesn’t matter.
- Egg free: I have not tested with how to make a flax egg or chia egg, but they might work!
- Vary your warm spices. Try ground allspice for nutmeg or try apple pie spice mix. One reader added ginger then added crystallized ginger on top before baking!
Tips for Best Apple Quick Bread
- If you like very sweet bread, increase maple syrup (or preferred liquid sweetener) amount to 3/4 cup.
- Apple bread bakes faster in dark loaf pan than in light or glass one.
- Add up to 1/4 cup of raisins, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or any other mix-ins.
- Bake as muffins at 375 degrees F for 22-25 minutes.
- Batter will be thick when making this bread! Don’t be alarmed by that and add extra ingredients to compensate, the recipe as written with ingredients will release some ‘juices/water’ as it bakes, and your bread will turn out amazing.
Bread will be much easier to slice if you let it cool to barely warm. It has a lot of apples.
Over mixing can lead to additional gluten development which will result in an overly dense bread. Try to also grease your loaf pan completely.
Apple butter is sweeter and already spiced, so your bread will be sweeter and spicier, but that should work as as a substitute for applesauce.
The culprit is usually over mixing. The best tip for preventing that happening in this apple bread recipe is to stir gently. Wait 10 seconds then stir again.
While we have not tested it with other fruit, diced pears would probably work.
While all apple varieties vary in size, the general rule of thumb is that there are three medium sized apples in a pound and two larger sized apples equals a pound. A pound of apples shredded is approximately 3 cups. For this recipe, you need 4 cups diced apples – again depending on your apple size this could be anywhere from 3 – 5 apples.
I love to eat this bread slightly warm right out of the oven! Here are a few others ways to enjoy it.
- Top with your favorite nut butter: Peanut, almond, cashew, they all work. Apples and peanut butter are a match made in heaven!
- Apple bread toast: Gently toast a slice in a skillet with a small amount of butter.
- Apple bread french toast: Make an egg batter, dip your sliced apple cinnamon bread and ‘fry’ gently on stovetop. This will work best after your bread is a few days old.
- Apple yogurt parfait: Layer crumbled bread with yogurt, pecans or walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.
- Brunch: Include on a brunch charcuterie board.
- Apple loaf cake: Drizzle with Greek yogurt icing for a healthy dessert! You may also love healthy lemon poppy seed bread with a lemon glaze.
Making Apple Cinnamon Bread in Advance
Storing: Day 1-2: I like to place cooled apple bread back into the loaf pan and keep covered with a towel on the counter. Sliced bread dries out faster. Day 3-5: Day 3-5 if you have any bread left at this point, refrigerate it tightly wrapped in plastic or in a plastic bag.
Freezing: Freeze baked and cooled bread in a plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for 3-4 hours. Again, it’s better to freeze apple bread loaf whole and not sliced.
More Healthy Quick Breads
- Healthy banana bread
- Healthy pumpkin bread
- Healthy chocolate bread
- Healthy gingerbread loaf
- Healthy coconut flour banana bread
- Healthy lemon zucchini bread
Healthy Apple Bread
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray ceramic non-stick 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs for 10 seconds.
- Add applesauce, maple syrup, oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, salt and whisk until well combined.
- Add spelt or whole wheat flour and stir gently just enough to combine. Be careful not to over mix.
- Add apples and give a few more gentle stirs to combine.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and level gently with spatula.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes our until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool off almost completely.
- Cut into 10 slices with serrated bread knife and enjoy!
Store: Store covered in a cool dry place for up to 2 days. Refrigerate covered for 3 more days.
Freeze: In an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Applesauce: Can be substituted with equal amount of finely grated raw carrots or zucchini. No need to squeeze anything.
- Flour: Has to be wheat and whole grain like whole wheat or spelt flour. I have not tested this apple bread with all-purpose flour but from my experience, I know that baking is precise. You can’t use gluten free flours like almond, coconut etc.
- Sweetener: Any in a liquid form like agave, brown rice syrup, date syrup etc. is acceptable. If you like very sweet bread, increase amount to 3/4 cup.
- Use any oil: Like avocado oil, coconut oil (melted) or olive oil. Because we use only 2 tbsps, which oil you use doesn’t matter.
- Pan: Apple bread bakes faster in dark loaf pan than in light or glass one.
- Cool: Bread will be much easier to slice if you let it cool to barely warm. It has a lot of apples.
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