This post is part of the “Be a Blessing” series, devoted to providing simple recipes, ideas, and tips in order to care for others when they need it most.
When I was researching meals for friends who have recently had a baby, I had a few friends mention the same thing: don’t forget breakfast. Meal trains are usually set up for dinners, and it honestly it makes sense—dinner is often the most complicated meal of the day.
But as I can only imagine after a long night of being up and feeding a little one, these mamas are hungry! Their ability to make even a bowl of cereal might be placed on the backburner, so having a breakfast item that can be eaten one-handed is key.
So this Cinnamon Streusel Apple Bread is my new go-to for adding to a baby meal. In addition to dinner, a foil-wrapped loaf of quick bread will be a welcome sight for busy parents.
The loaf is packed with apples and pecans, and a cinnamon-spiced streusel filling in the middle and on top. The recipe makes 6–8 good sized slices for hungry moms (and dads) to eat for breakfast or for a midday snack.
And I should mention that Cinnamon Streusel Apple Bread isn’t just for a baby meal! My husband Longe devoured it, our neighbor got a big slice, and I’m serving it for a brunch with friends this Saturday.
It would also make a great gift for a new neighbor, or a friend who is moving. My friend Glenda puts together baskets for friends filled with breakfast treats (like scones or quick bread), orange juice, plates, cups, and napkins. What a welcome treat when you wake up in a new home and can’t find the cereal, the toaster, or your toothbrush (that last one might have happened to me). 🙂
It would also be a lovely treat for someone who is in the hospital and dealing with less-than-amazing cuisine, whether their stay is for a couple days or even longer.
And finally, Cinnamon Streusel Apple Bread would simply be nice with a cup of tea on a chilly afternoon.
I used Granny Smith apples for the recipe. I find that the tartness of the apples contrasts with the sweet batter, and the apple flavor shows up better than other apples. You could use Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Pink Lady, or McIntosh as well. I would not recommend Red Delicious due to their somewhat mealy texture and lack of tartness.
While there are two full cups of apples in the bread, I wanted to add spices to really make the apple flavor pop. Instead of apple pie spice (which I don’t have), I used a mixture of spices used in apple pie spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I took a whiff of the cloves as I added them and they smelled like Christmas—how can you go wrong with that?
Speaking of smells, your home will smell AMAZING as this bread is baking. Get ready for everyone to come running to the kitchen. 🙂
More recipes from the “Be a Blessing” series:
Simple Baked Ziti
Easy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
Authentic Mexican Rice
White Chicken Chili with Potatoes and White Beans
Super Flaky Southern Biscuits
Pull-Apart Garlic Bread
Fall Vegetable Minestrone
Cinnamon Streusel Apple Bread
For the bread:
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup buttermilk see substitute in the notes below
- 2 cups peeled and chopped apples I used Granny Smith
- ½ cup chopped pecans
For the streusel:
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Scant ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Scant ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5x3 inch baking pan with cooking spray or butter.
- Place ½ cup butter in a large bowl. Mix on high with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the 1 cup sugar and continue beating until pale yellow and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat on low until just combined. Add half the milk and beat until combined. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and remaining milk.
- Stir in the chopped apples and pecans (hold back 1 tablespoon of the chopped pecans for the top).
- For the streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Dice the butter into small cubes, and add the cubes to the flour mixture. Use your fingers to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture, squishing the butter between your fingers. Stop when the butter reaches pea-size pieces.
- Spread half of the batter into the greased pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Repeat with the remaining batter and streusel. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of chopped pecans and pat down lightly.
- Bake for 55–65 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Check the loaf around 40 minutes—if the top looks golden brown, loosely place a piece of aluminum foil on top for the rest of the baking time.
- Remove from the oven and run a knife along the edges of the pan. Let cool at least 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
- Don’t have buttermilk? Me neither! I used 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with ⅓ cup of milk. You could also use white vinegar.
- Use an apple that is good for baking, such as Granny Smith (what I used), McIntosh, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or Braeburn. Each of those have a slight tartness that contrasts nicely with the sweet bread.
- This bread can be frozen for up to a month, tightly wrapped in two layers of aluminum foil.