Healthy Apple Bread Recipe
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Healthy apple bread is incredible stuff. It’s perfect warm out of the oven or cold out of the fridge. It’s great with butter or jam or even nut butter and makes a wonderful breakfast, snack, or dessert.
You might also want to try some of my other sweet bread recipes such as Zucchini Bread, Irish Spice Bread, Pumpkin Banana Bread, or Raspberry Banana Bread.
What Is Apple Bread?
Apple bread is a sweet bread with autumn flavors. It commonly has cinnamon, and in some cases like the recipe below, it has walnuts as well. Although you could use any nut you like (pecans would be delicious), or leave them out completely.
Gluten-Free Apple Bread
This recipe uses oat flour. If you are gluten-free, you’ll just need to make sure that your oat flour is labeled gluten-free. The rest of the ingredients are naturally gluten-free, so this is an easy bread for those who are gluten sensitive or intolerant.
Apple Cinnamon Bread
Not all apple bread recipes have cinnamon. Truth be told, you could leave it out if you hate cinnamon. But the cinnamon really brings out the autumn flavors in this bread, so I highly recommend it.
Healthier Bread Pudding
You could easily make bread pudding with this apple bread. I recommend making sure the bread is completely chilled before proceeding with making the pudding. If you need a bread pudding recipe to follow, give this one a try using this apple bread, and omit the cocoa powder called for in that recipe. You won’t need it if you’re using this bread.
Best Apples To Use For Healthy Apple Bread
While almost any apple will work, these are my favorites to use in this recipe.
- Granny smith – if you want a more tart flavor
- Pink lady
About The Ingredients
- Apple sauce – I used unsweetened. If you have sweetened apple sauce, you may want to cut back slightly on the sweetener you add. Unsweetened apple sauce is best.
- Grated apples – You’ll need about 1 very large apple or 2 medium apples to make 1 cup of grated apple. As you can see in the recipe video below, I squeezed out the excess juice from the grated apples. They don’t have to be dry like the dessert, but you don’t want all that juice in there either or your bread won’t bake properly. So give it a good squeeze before putting it into your measuring cup. Less juice equals better apple bread. Grate on the larger of your grates. These should not be grated on a fine grate. You want these chunkier. You can also use apple chunks, but I find that they don’t do as good of a job of spreading the apple flavor throughout the loaf.
- Liquid coconut oil – You can either purchase the stuff that stays liquid at any temperature (which is more processed), or you can purchase the variety that gets hard when cooled (less processed, usually virgin or extra virgin)
- Eggs – Use large eggs here. They don’t have to be room temperature, but if they are, it’s the better way to go. I find that to be the case with most things in baking.
- Unsweetened almond milk – As with the apple sauce, you don’t want to use sweetened almond milk. It will make the bread too sweet and they use regular sugar anyway, which many people try to avoid. Stick with the unsweetened stuff. Homemade almond milk is fine too, though you may want to subtract 1-2 tbsp. to see how the consistency of the batter is. Homemade almond milk is usually a thicker consistency.
- Vanilla extract – Use the real stuff here. I used bourbon vanilla, but you can use any type as long as it’s the real stuff. Vanilla isn’t exactly cheap these days, but it’s worth it to use it here.
- Oat flour – Again, opt for gluten-free oat flour if that is a requirement for you. If you are grinding your own oats into flour, make sure you grind them to a fine grind.
- Baking powder – make sure you have fresh baking powder. Older baking powder won’t do the job needed here. This is typically the case for most baking recipes.
- Dry sweetener – Use a granular sweetener like Sucanat, coconut sugar, or monk fruit. I used Xylitol because it’s so much easier on my blood sugar. But for most people, a simple, unprocessed sugar will work best here. Sucanat or coconut sugar will give more of a “brown sugar” flavor. I haven’t tried monk fruit, so I don’t know what flavor that adds. But it’s an option if you prefer that sweetener. Use a ½ cup no matter which sweetener you choose.
This bread has a light sweetness to it that is perfect for adding jam to without it being overly sweet. If you prefer a very sweet bread, you can use a full cup of sweetener. But it will be very, very sweet. At least in my opinion.
- Salt – Salt brings out the sweet flavor of baked goods. You don’t need a lot here, but some does truly amplify the sweetness of the apples.
- Ground cinnamon – This truly makes the entire flavor of this bread. I’m sure it’s tasty without it, but if you’re looking for a Fall or Winter sweet bread, don’t skip the cinnamon. The flavor is wonderful with the apples and walnuts.
- Walnuts – While these are optional, they are delicious! You can sub with a different nut like pecans if you prefer, or leave them out completely. You’ll want walnut pieces (not halves) for this. Or, you can buy the walnut halves and chop the nuts yourself. For the topping, you’ll want to chop them finer still.
How To Make Healthy Apple Bread
Preheat the oven to 350F. and set the rack in the middle of the oven. Then in a mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients except for the walnuts.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold/stir until well combined. Try not to overmix. Stir until just combined.
If using nuts, stir them in last.
Mix the topping (if using) in a small mixing bowl and sprinkle over the bread. Don’t be shy, use it all. Place in the oven for 60 minutes.
Poke with a toothpick or cake tester. If it comes out clean, it’s done baking. If not, cover loosely with foil to keep the top of the bread from burning and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 1 hour or more in the pan.
Flip the bread out onto a cooling rack and cool for another 2-3 hours. This bread retains its heat for a long time and cooling is critical. If you cut while it’s hot, the bread will crumble on you. Slice and serve with a pat of butter, jam, or nut butter.
How To Store Apple Bread
Refrigerating – This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Do not store it on your countertop. This bread must be stored in the fridge.
Freezing – This bread freezes really well for up to 6 months. Place it in an air-tight container or zipper-top bag and expel as much of the air as you can before zipping it up completely. Set in the freezer until you are ready to enjoy it
Thawing – Thaw this in the fridge for 24 hours, then let sit on the counter for 1 hour before serving to come to room temperature. If any moisture got into the bread in the freezer, the outside will be a bit damp. You can fix this by placing the loaf on a baking sheet and popping the whole thing in the oven for about 20-30 minutes at 325 F.
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More Healthy Apple Recipes
- Amish Apple Butter
- Homemade Applesauce
- Air Fryer Apple Fries
- Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
- Apple Stuffed French Toast Casserole
- Crockpot Cinnamon Apples
- Apple Cobbler With Hazelnuts
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Healthy Apple Bread Recipe
This recipe is adapted from Bob’s Red Mill recipe.
Healthy Apple Bread Recipe
CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!
- Standard loaf pan (non-stick is best)
- 1 cup grated apples (juice squeezed out by hand before measuring)
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- ¼ cup liquid coconut oil
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups oat flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ cup granular sweetener (try Sucanat, coconut sugar or monk fruit)
- ¼ tsp. salt (I used pink Himalayan salt)
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 cup walnut pieces (I used raw walnuts)
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped walnuts
- 2 tbsp. granular sweetener (same as what you used for bread)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F. and set rack to middle of oven. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients except the walnuts.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold/stir until well combined. Try not to over mix. Stir until just combined.
- If using nuts, stir them in last.
- Mix the topping (if using) in a small mixing bowl and sprinkle over the bread. Don’t be shy, use it all. Place in the oven for 60 minutes.
- Poke with a toothpick or cake tester. If it comes out clean, it’s done baking. If not, cover loosely with foil to keep the top of the bread from burning and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 1 hour or more in the pan.
- Flip the bread out onto a cooling rack and cool for another 2-3 hours. This bread retains it’s heat for a long time and cooling is critical. If you cut while it’s hot, the bread will crumble on you. Slice and serve with a pat of butter, jam or nut butter.
Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted on 10/18/2020,
Sounds delicious. I think you might have a typo though. I figured it out but some who new to baking might not. After you take the loaf out of the pan you say to COOK it another 2-3 hours. I’m sure you meant cool it.
Love your recipes!
Tami – Goodness! Thank you for catching that!
Hi Tiffany, I love your recipes and have made numerous successful meals thanks to you.
I am completely sugar free, no sweetener of any kind, natural or otherwise. Do you think I could substitute ripe bananas for the applesauce to give it the sweetness? I realize I will lose a little apple flavor. What do you think?
Vicki – You can certainly try it. The sweetness will be greatly reduced, but it’s worth a shot. You may have to bake it slightly longer, but I’m not positive on that one. My only concern would be that if you remove the sweetener completely, you are offsetting the wet to dry ratio. So I’m not sure how it will bake or if it will “gel” in the oven. You might need to consider adding slightly more flour for that. But again, I haven’t tried it, so this is all guess work. Let me know if it works for you!