by Olena

Healthy Apple Bread

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Olena Osipov
5 from 26 votes

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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 or afternoon snack.

In fact, why not pop in a delicious fall-inspired healthy pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars, or these healthy apple muffins at the same time?!

Healthy Apple Bread sliced

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 (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.
Apple cinnamon Bread in a loaf pan

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.

How to Make Healthy Apple Bread

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!

Bonus! You do not have to peel the apples either for this quick healthy apple bread!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add apple chunks and stir just enough to mix in. I doubled the recipe so that is why my bowl was so full.
  5. 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 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 flax 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!
healthy apple bread slices

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.

FAQS

Why is my apple bread so dense?

Over mixing can lead to additional gluten development which will result in an overly dense bread. Try to also grease your loaf pan completely.

Can I use apple butter for apple bread recipe?

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.

Why did my quick bread fall in the middle?

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.

Can I use other fruits for apple bread recipe?

While we have not tested it with other fruit, diced pears would probably work.

How many apples are in a pound?

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.

healthy apple bread with apples

Serving Recommendations

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!

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

You could also browse through all my healthy baking recipes for more inspiration!

Healthy Apple Bread

Healthy Apple Bread {Low fat, Low sugar!}

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 or afternoon snack.
5 from 26 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 210kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.
    Healthy Apple Bread
  • Add spelt or whole wheat flour and stir gently just enough to combine. Be careful not to over mix.
    Healthy Apple Bread
  • Add apples and give a few more gentle stirs to combine.
    Healthy Apple Bread
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and level gently with spatula.
    Healthy Apple Bread
  • Bake for 60-70 minutes our until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
    Healthy Apple Bread
  • 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!
    Healthy Apple Bread

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.

      Notes

      • 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. 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.
      • Sweeter: Increase maple syrup amount to 3/4 cup.
      • 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.
      • Mix – ins: Add up to 1/4 cup of raisins, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or any other mix-ins.
      • Muffins: Bake as muffins at 375 degrees F for 22-25 minutes.
      See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1slice | Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 354mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg
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      60 comments on “Healthy Apple Bread

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      1. 5 stars
        This bread is soooo good I could eat the whole loaf at one sitting!! Thanks you for the wonderful recipes you create! I have made many of them and I tell others about your website!

      2. 5 stars
        The whole family enjoyed this recipe. I used half all purpose flour and half spelt flour. I diced a couple apples and decided to use grater (large holes) to quickly prepare the rest of the apples. The diced apples added wonderful texture. I also used half honey, half maple syrup. Also delicious. We added a small amount of apple butter on the bread although it really wasn’t a necessity. I found the amount of sweetness in the recipe just perfect! Thank you! What a nice almost Fall treat!

      3. 5 stars
        I used my kids pear fruit cup and smashed it up because we were out of applesauce. Also used a dark loaf pan so it only needed 55 minutes. I used a little less then half cup of honey. Tasty and makes the whole house smell delicious! I will definitely try more of your recipes.

        1. Glad you enjoyed the bread Mary! I haven’t tested this recipe out with any other fruit. But pears come to mind! Maybe another reader has tried another variation and will share!

      4. 5 stars
        absolutely loved this bread !!! I did add a cup of raisins i boiled for 3-4 minutes in 1/2 cup of water . When fairly cooled i added them to the apples . I also used allspice instead of nutmeg because I was out of it. This bread is very moist and so delicious.

      5. 5 stars
        OMG!! We were given several boxes of apples & I was looking for something to do with them that wasn’t crisp or apple sauce and I found you!! This bread is amazing! It is so easy to make. It tastes amazing! I’ve made several loaves and still have about 4-5 more to make. It is so good for breakfast toasted with a little pat of butter on it. We have given some to neighbors and plan on freezing the rest. Thank you for such a yummy easy recipe.

      6. 5 stars
        Hi I’ve been making your recipes for at least two or three years now and just letting you know that recipes like this have really helped me with fulfilling my need for sweets while guarding me against becoming diabetic. Thank you very much for such healthy sweet recipes. You really seem like you were born to cook and bake!

      7. Similar to another commenter, I also found that there was nowhere near enough liquid to incorporate the flour… I checked and double checked and I followed the recipe exactly (apart from the applesauce which I substituted for a cup of zucchini as you suggested) so I can’t understand it! So disappointed! I tried to rescue it by grating some apples to add more moisture, adding about 1/4 cup of milk and 2 more eggs…After 70 minutes it came out edible but very soft and dense… Help!!!

        1. So batter is thick. Normal for this bread. Zucchini should be finely grated. When they are their consistency is like applesauce basically. When you bake 90% of water comes out of zucchini moistening the flour and making perfect bread as pictured.

      8. 5 stars
        Very nice bread!! My husband and I loved it.
        Not a very sweet bread which we prefer.
        I added raisins and walnuts.
        Very nice.

      9. 5 stars
        OMG! This bread is sssoooooo good! Unbelievable!

        Even after a mis-hap… saw the measured coconut oil stil sitting on the counter two minutes after the bread was in the oven, duh! Took it out of the oven, poured the oil on top and mixed a bit to incorporate, back in oven and tada! The most delicious apple bread you could eat!

        So glad you have an apple tree that forced you to bake your apples?.

        We never had an apple bread before, it’s coming back for sure.

        Note: made without spices as I prefer fruit deserts with their ‘delicate’ flavours. Trying pumpkin cookies this am (will add the spices in these), can’t wait!

      10. Just popped this into the oven but am a bit nervous it won’t turn out! For some reason there was not nearly enough liquid to fully incorporate the flour and I had to add some milk. Didn’t want to add too much liquid or over mix so in the end of was more like a big ball of dough. I have no idea why this happened! We’ll see if it turns out.

      11. 5 stars
        Second time making this delicious recipe! Really wonderful. I did some cheats. Our apple tree is dropping ’em like crazy, so I used bourbon apple butter instead of applesauce (which probably makes it sweeter than intended). I then used maple syrup, as my cousin has her own maple syrup business on her property in Upstate NY. And finally I used a 9×9 pan instead of a loaf pan because I’ve been unable to find my loaf pans since the move. It’s still fluffy, warm, yummy apple bread, though! Thanks, Olena!

      12. I’m reading the Nutrition Facts label for the healthy apple bread recipe and can’t believe it has so much cholesterol (12%). Is it a misprint or is this correct percentage? If it’s so, how can I lower the cholesterol in this recipe? Txs!
        Cuca

        1. Most cholesterol in this recipe is from 2 eggs. I am not a nutritionist but there is good and bad cholesterol and you can Google their difference. Also I have not tried this recipe with egg replacement but feel free to experiment.:)

      13. 5 stars
        Wonderful recipe. I used carrots, did not have apple sauce, and added 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Family devoured it in two days. My daughter loved it warmed up with regular and nut butter. Getting ready to make it again with apple sauce.Thank you for a great recipe.

      14. 5 stars
        Excellent healthy cake. I actually tried it to use apples that were not so crunchy anymore… still so good !! Thank you again! .

      15. 5 stars
        Tried this apple bread recipe for the first time (because I was out of bananas!). What a surprise. My whole family loved it. Healthy and delicious!!! Thank you so much

      16. 5 stars
        Loved this recipe! I also added in 2 tbsp of pureed ginger and some crumbled crystallized ginger on top. Would absolutely recommend. I love that this bread is not too sweet.

        I also used all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat, and bumped it up to 2.5 cups. Seemed to work out quite well with a little extra baking time!

      17. I love your recipies. I observe Passover therefore I can not use most grain flour.
        What can I use instead of oat flour or grain flour in recipes such as carrot banana or apple cakes or muffin .
        Waiting eagerly for your reply.

      18. 5 stars
        My husband and I absolutely LOVED this recipe!!! I wouldn’t change a single thing, it’s perfect the way it is! So simple, so healthy, and I didn’t have to run around getting special ingredients to make it. Aside from the fresh apples it only requires ingredients most cooks/bakers already have. I did not have the whole wheat flour and did not want to go to another store to find it so I made it with all-purpose and it was perfect. This kind of recipe is exactly what I want when I want to bake but I don’t want to feel guilty or sick from eating too much fat and sugar. This bread is the perfect amount of sweetness on its own with the cinnamon, the apples, and the syrup. It is out of this world moist. Honestly one of my favorite things I’ve probably ever made and it will definitely get made again! Thank you for the high quality recipe and I’ll be trying more of your recipes for sure!

      19. 5 stars
        Thank you for the recipe, I’ve enjoyed it a lot! Swapped applesauce for grated apples and banana, came out great!

      20. 5 stars
        Mamma mia! I sound like a broken record by now but you have done it again with a wholesome, unique bread/healthy snack, proving that wholesome ingredients truly make delicious dishes. My hubby said, “If you sold this at the store it would fly off the shelves!” So, well done Olena! I read your notes at the end of the recipe and finely grated a cup of carrots instead of the applesauce and then added a mixture of raisins and raw pumpkin seeds to equal a 1/4 cup. Thank you again for another masterpiece 🙂

      21. Hi Olena, I wonder how much is 4 cups of cubed apples in grams? I have no idea. I can figure out the rest of the recipe but not sure about the apples…

        1. I have not weigh them. Can you chop and measure them with a measuring cup or a small glass ? 3-4 apples. Buy 6 and eat the rest just in case.:)

          1. 5 stars
            I used around 350g that was my guess and it turned out perfect. I actually grated them just like zuchinni. Worked well.

      22. 5 stars
        It’s delicious. I used sprouted whole wheat flour ( it was all I had). The proof is my husband ate it and loved it. I used gala and Granny Smith apples.

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