I don’t know about you guys, but the last several days we have been enjoying the most incredible weather! It’s been comfortably cool with very little humidity and a light breeze – absolutely wonderful. Of course with weather like that, I started thinking about fall! We try to have a little fun with our dinners on the weekends, so I planned to make a seasonal meal consisting of some chicken ‘n dumplings (look for that recipe later this week!) and some kind of sweet after dinner treat.
My first thought was to head straight for the pumpkin, but then I changed my mind. Pumpkin is more of a later fall flavor, and as someone who gets annoyed at Christmas music in November and Christmas decor in the stores before we’ve had a chance to get through Halloween, I thought I’d make myself wait just a little longer to dive into the wonderful world of pumpkin. Then it hit me – apples! The perfect early fall produce, and ideal for September when we’re just knocking at the door to finally getting relief from the heat and humidity of the summer.
I knew I wanted some kind of moist quickbread with the flavors of apple and cinnamon, but I didn’t have a go to cinnamon bread recipe. Instead, I pulled pieces from a couple of my favorite breads, even a portion from a beloved cupcake recipe, and combined to make this dense, moist, and spicy apple cinnamon bread. It was a huge hit with the husband and the perfect complement to our comfort food meal. I hope you all enjoy it as well! Easy bread recipes are an essential addition to anyone’s recipe box – they mix up so quickly and they’re not quite as finicky as their more delicate cousins, the cake.
|Spiced Apple Cinnamon Bread|| |
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups peeled and chopped apple pieces
- ½ cup softened unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Grease and flour a standard 9x5 loaf pan.
- In a bowl, toss 3 tablespoons of the 2 cups of flour with the apple and walnut pieces and set aside.
- In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Slowly add eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined.
- With mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk. Mix only until combined.
- Fold in walnuts and apple pieces.
- Spread batter into loaf pan and even out the top.
- Bake uncovered on center rack of oven, 40-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove from oven and cool in the pan until it is just warm to the touch. Invert pan to remove bread and serve warm or at room temperature.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
Notes: Tossing the apples and walnuts with a portion of the flour will help suspend them in the batter as the bread bakes, and help prevent them from falling to the bottom. That has happened to me more times than I can count with cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and breads with any heavy add-ins, and it’s so frustrating!! The flour trick is one I use all the time and while it’s not 100% foolproof, it usually gets the job done.
As with most baked goods that you want to be moist, make sure that all of your ingredients are room temperature before mixing, and be gentle with the batter once you add the dry ingredients… over-mixing can cause dryness and toughness. Keep your mixer on low and turn it off when there are just a few flour streaks still visible. It will be completely mixed once you (gently!) fold in the walnuts and apples at the very end.
Over baking is another culprit of dried out baked goods, which is why I supplied a generous range for the cooking time of this recipe. Every oven is different, so check often! When it looks like the top is firming up, you can begin checking with a toothpick to see if it’s done. Keep in mind that you don’t want the toothpick to be totally clean – a few crumbs clinging to the toothpick is better, and ensures that the inside is still nice ‘n moist.
I chose not to put a topping on this bread, but you could totally add a cinnamon streusel topping. Just toss together 1/3 cup brown sugar with 2 TBS of flour, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1 TBS of melted butter until crumbs form, and then add it to the top of the batter before baking. You could even add a few extra walnuts on top as well. Another option would be to add a simple glaze made from mixing 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar with 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk (you can use more or less depending on how thick you want it) and then pour over the top of the bread after it cools.