This apple bread recipe is packed with the flavors of fall! It’s moist, sweet, and the perfect treat with a cup of coffee or tea.
If you’re looking for a sweet treat made with apples, this Apple Bread with Cinnamon Streusel is the perfect one!
It’s a classic recipe, made with sugar, butter, flour, and buttermilk. It has two cups of apples (more on choosing apples below) and an irresistible cinnamon streusel both in the middle of the bread and on top.
It’s ideal for a fall baking project, or for gifting to a friend or family member.
Taking bread as a gift
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 Apple Bread with Cinnamon Streusel is my go-to for adding to a baby meal. This foil-wrapped loaf of quick bread is a welcome sight for busy parents. It makes 6–8 good sized slices for hungry moms (and dads) to eat for breakfast or for a midday snack.
And if it’s a summer baby, my Strawberry Bread is delicious, too.
I should mention that it isn’t just for a baby meal! My husband Longe devoured it, our neighbor got a big slice, and it’s a great addition to your brunch menu, too.
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, Apple Bread would simply be nice with a cup of tea on a chilly afternoon.
Apple bread ingredients
- Use your favorite apples for this recipe. I used Fuji apples. Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, McIntosh, or Pink Lady would be good, too!
- Chopped pecans add crunch. Omit them if you prefer.
- You can make your own buttermilk by pouring 1 teaspoon of vinegar into ⅓ cup of milk.
- Soften the butter so it’ll blend well with the other ingredients. Just leave it on the countertop for an hour to soften it.
- The combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg make this bread smell (and taste) amazing.
- Keep the butter chilled before mixing it to create large crumbs of streusel topping.
How to make streusel
Cut the butter into cubes, and place the ingredients for the cinnamon streusel in a large bowl.
Use your fingers, a pastry cutter, or two forks to blend the butter into the flour mixture. I use my fingers and rub the butter into the flour with my thumb and first two fingers. You want both big clumps and small clumps of streusel.
How to make apple bread
Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Peel and chop the apples. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Use a handheld mixer to beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
Beat in the eggs until the mixture is smooth.
Add half of the buttermilk, beat on low until combined, then half of the flour mixture. Repeat with the remaining buttermilk and flour mixture.
Fold in the apples and pecans with a spatula.
Pour half of the batter into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. I use my oil mister to grease the loaf pan. Then, top the batter with half of the streusel.
Top with the remaining batter and streusel.
Bake at 350°F for 55–65 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
What are the best apples for apple bread?
Granny Smith, Fuji, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, or McIntosh apples are the best for apple bread. They hold their shape when cooked, so there will be small pieces of apple visible in the bread.
How can I make my own buttermilk?
Add 3 teaspoons of vinegar per cup of milk to create your own buttermilk. For example, if a recipe calls for ⅓ cup buttermilk, pour 1 teaspoon of vinegar into a measuring cup, and fill the cup to the ⅓ cup line with milk. You can use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or even white wine vinegar.
Can I freeze apple bread?
Apple bread can be frozen up to two months, wrapped tightly in foil and placed in a resealable freezer bag.
Your home will smell AMAZING as this bread is baking. Get ready for everyone to come running to the kitchen. 🙂
Apple Bread with Cinnamon Streusel
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 Fuji; see notes below for more apple variety ideas)
- 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.