Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread – Chunks of apple and swirls of cinnamon in this easy quick bread recipe that doesn’t even need a mixer!

closeup of apple cinnamon swirl bread slice

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If you like Cinnamon Quick Bread or Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Quick Bread, you’ll love this easy Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread! 


I’m excited about this bread for a few reasons. First, I didn’t think I liked anything with baked apple (it’s a texture thing), but I’m trying to be an adult and try new things.

Last week we were at a cider mill and my mom bought a loaf of their apple bread. I tried it and actually liked it. Enough that I wanted to try to recreate it which leads to the second reason why I’m excited about it.

I think I did a pretty good job recreating it! I did some research and came up with this recipe that I think is really, really good.

overhead shot of sliced loaf of apple bread

I asked on Facebook what your favorite type of apples to bake with are and got mixed responses. Like I said, I haven’t liked baked apples in the past (apple pie, apple bread, apple tarts…) so I wasn’t sure where to start. I ended up using Gala apples because they’re sweet and one of my favorites.

I diced the apples pretty small (though you can still see them in the pics and definitely still taste them) but if you like big chunks, chop big chunks. The streusel makes a crunchy, sugary crust that is so good.

chopped apples on cutting board with mixing bowls


  • Apples – Use your favorite type of apple & chop them as big or small as you like. I used Gala apples & chopped them fairly small.
  • Flour – All purpose white flour.
  • Cinnamon – Use a good quality ceylon cinnamon for the best taste.
  • Nutmeg – Nutmeg has a warm & spicy smell and flavor that pairs beautifully with cinnamon.
  • Baking Soda – Baking soda gives the bread its rise.
  • Salt – To bring out the other flavors.
  • Vegetable Oil – You can use either vegetable oil OR unsweetened applesauce in this recipe. Applesauce makes a slightly denser bread. You swap them out on a 1:1 basis. I sometimes do half oil, half applesauce.
  • Eggs – Three large eggs.
  • Sugar – Granulated white sugar.
  • Brown Sugar – Adding brown sugar leaves the bread soft & moist.
  • Vanilla Extract – I know vanilla is expensive right now, but use a real vanilla, not imitation!
  • Butter – You’ll use softened butter as the base of the streusel that you’ll swirl in.

This recipe makes two loaves – I immediately had to wrap one up to give away because there was a good chance I would have eaten it. By myself. The whole thing.

apple cinnamon swirl bread in loaf pans


Yes, you can swap out oil with applesauce when you’re baking. The ratio is 1:1 for substituting. Use unsweetened applesauce to not alter the flavor of the recipe. I make this bread both ways – sometimes using vegetable oil, sometimes using applesauce…sometimes using half and half. I find the applesauce version to be slightly denser.

overhead shot of loaf of apple bread


This is depend on the size of your apples, but it took two large Gala apples for me, diced, to equal 3 cups.

Tools found on Amazon to help you

  • Loaf pans – you don’t have to get fancy, but remember that you need 2 for this recipe.
  • An apple slicer will make your life easier – to get a jump on dicing the apples.
  • So will a good peeler – I grabbed a random peeler from the drawer and almost immediately threw it away with the peels. Stick with the OXO one, it’ll make you happy.
  • And a good silicone spatula – the beauty of this recipe (one of them, anyway) is that you don’t need a hand mixer, but you do need to mix it. I like the one piece silicone spatulas.

apple bread sliced on plate with apples in background

Have more apples to bake with? Try these recipes:

loaf of apple bread on white plate


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closeup of apple cinnamon swirl bread slice

Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread - Chunks of apple and swirls of cinnamon in this easy quick bread recipe that doesn't even need a mixer!
4.61 from 74 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2 loaves
Calories 2026 kcal


For the Bread

  • 3 cups apples diced (this was 2 large apples for me)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce or vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Streusel

  • 4 Tablespoons softened butter (I used salted)
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon


To make the bread

  • Preheat the oven to 325 and lightly spray two 9×5 loaf pans with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • Peel your apples and dice into small pieces.
  • In a medium bowl, add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt and whisk together.
  • In another large bowl, add the applesauce (or vegetable oil), eggs, sugars, and vanilla and mix with a whisk until fully combined.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in batches (I did three parts) and stir with a spatula until fully combined. The batter will be very thick.
  • Stir in the diced apples.
  • Pour half of the batter into each prepared loaf pan – try to keep the amounts even.

To make the streusel

  • In a small bowl, add the softened butter, cinnamon, and sugar and mix together with a fork. Drop the streusel mixture onto the tops of the batter and lightly swirl.
  • Bake for 1 hour then check on your loaves. Insert a toothpick into the center – if it comes out clean, with moist crumbs, your bread is done.
  • Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then lightly run a knife around the edges to loosen. Flip onto a plate, slice and enjoy!


This recipe makes two (2) 9x5 loaves


Serving: 1gCalories: 2026kcalCarbohydrates: 414gProtein: 29gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 306mgSodium: 2029mgPotassium: 656mgFiber: 13gSugar: 259gVitamin A: 1193IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 164mgIron: 11mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.

Need more apple ideas?

The BEST Apple Desserts

Over 20 of the BEST apple desserts to kick off the upcoming fall season! | Persnickety Plates

The BEST Fall Desserts

Originally published October 13, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread - Chunks of apple and swirls of cinnamon in this quick bread that doesn’t even need a mixer! | Persnickety Plates

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  1. Shannon L. says

    I made this bread a few days ago. This recipe was simple and easy to put together in no time. Those who have eaten the bread said it was DELICIOUS!! A few things different which I did……I used a little less than a cup of vegetable oil and canola oil spray. Even using the vegetable oil the bread came out a little oily on the bottom once cooled and removed from the pan. I blotted the bread off with a paper towel and it was perfect! Also, there were several areas from the bottom of the bread which stuck to the pan. Next time I will slightly grease the loaf pan and not use the spray oil. The batter reminds me of a recipe which my mom makes called a Holiday Apple Pound Cake which is absolutely out of this world AMAZING!!!! It is ALWAYS a hit and everyone wants the recipe. I’m unable to eat due to having cancer and having my tongue removed in June 2014; however that hasn’t stopped my LOVE for being in the kitchen and cooking/baking for family and friends!! #cancersurvivor

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi Shannon,

      I’m happy to hear you’re a survivor – thanks for the comment =)

  2. Juli says

    5 stars
    I made this for my kids this morning, it was a huge hit! Very delicious and we will add this to our recipe book.

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’m so glad they liked it! Thank you for reporting back 🙂

  3. Lisa says

    Hi. How does this recipe freeze?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi. I have not froze it, but wrapped tightly in plastic wrap then dropped into a freezer bag it should do well for a few months, then I would just let it thaw on the counter when ready.

  4. Kdy says

    5 stars
    This cake is so easy to make and it is delicious. Made it the first time with the oil. This time I made it with applesauce. I like it better with the unsweetened applesauce

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thank you for reporting back! I’m so happy you’ve made it twice 🙂

  5. Marie says

    5 stars
    I made the recipe exactly as printed, it was delicious., moist with a punch of cinnamon. All ovens are different mine took 90 minutes to bake. Maybe lots of calories but sometimes a yummy treat with coffee is all you need to start the day.

  6. Holly says

    5 stars
    So delish! I used my homemade apple butter in place of the applesauce, and added almost a 1/4 cup extra (I like my baked goods moist). My family ate this up double quick! Definitely a keeper recipe! Next time I’m adding some candied ginger and/or nuts for fun.

  7. Teresa Castillo says

    5 stars
    Easy enough to make and everyone loved it. I like that it makes 2 loaves so I put one directly in the freezer and it thawed out nicely.

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’m glad it was a hit! Thanks for reporting back 🙂

  8. Gloria Eberhart says

    I want to bake this apple bread for Christmas gifts. I purchased aluminum loaf pans 8.3.88 L x 2.47 W x 2.47 H. Will this recipe make 3 loaves this size?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yes, I think it will make 3-4 since they’ll be so much shorter. Let me know how they turn out!

  9. Jennifer says

    5 stars
    Made this today, it was a hit at my house. I did have to cook it 75 mins though.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thank you for reporting back! I’m glad it was a hit.

  10. Jennifer says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now and it was a hit both times. I like that it makes two so I can give one away. I did have to cook it a little bit longer though. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  11. Lisa says

    4 stars
    It’s delicious and smell so so good 😋😘😘😘
    Will make it again and will try with gluten free flour ☺️, hope it works 🤞🤞🤞

    • Melissa Williams says

      I haven’t tested that so let me know 🙂

  12. Danielle says

    5 stars
    I made the base loaf without the streusel. Instead I threw in salted Carmel chips. It was easy and delicious! Also I didn’t use any oil- all apple sauce. Worked out great!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yum! I use only applesauce sometimes, too. Thanks so much for reporting back! 🙂

  13. Debra says

    5 stars
    I made the bread using half oil, half apple sauce. My family loved!!!
    Have you used this recipe to make muffins? If so, are any adjustments to the recipe needed?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi Debra, I’m glad you like it! No adjustments for muffins, I’d just check them at 20 minutes bake time. They might need up to 30 minutes, just do a toothpick test.

  14. Sondria says

    4 stars
    I made this the first time using nutmeg. Had to bake it longer as it was not done after an hour. Made this again and used ground ginger instead of nutmeg and baked for 70 minutes. Perfect.

    • Darlene says

      Hi Sondria how much of the ginger did you use.
      Thank you Darlene

Melissa Williams/Persnickety Plates is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. For more details, please see my Privacy Policy & Disclosures page.

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