Cinnamon and apples probably conjure up images in your mind of apple pie, picking apples in an orchard, fall temps, plaid blankets. Basically, they scream fall. So an apple cinnamon bread was a must.
I went through quite a few iterations of this bread trying to get it just right. A lot of recipes have big chunks and I really didn’t want that. While there’s nothing wrong with that texture I just wanted a bread that you couldn’t tell it tasted like apple, but then it surprised you with it. Initially I tried just grated apples. While the bread was very delicious, you couldn’t really tell it was apple. Next I added apple cider reduction. This helped boost the apple flavor a lot!
I also tried adding very finely diced apple chunks into the bread, but I don’t love chunks of fruit in bread and I felt like the texture and structure of the bread suffered. So I settled on just the grated apples and the reduction. It creates a good soft crumb and moist bread. The apple flavor is there but it’s blended with the cinnamon and other flavors well.
A lot of apple quick breads will give you a streusel on top. Now, that I’m sure is delicious and it was tempting but I wanted a real crust on top of this bread. A SUGAR crust. So we use either turbinado or demerara sugar liberally on top to get that texture and a little added sweetness. It’s perfect! Let’s get to baking.
Apple – I tried several different varieties, and I would go with your favorite but Honeycrisp and/or Granny smith were generally the combo I prefered.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon and apple are such a staple combo in the fall, and for good reason. As always I’d recommend Saigon Cinnamon as it just has a sweeter and stronger flavor than your typical Ceylon cinnamon, but either work well.
Apple Cider Reduction – This one is going to take some time, but you won’t regret it. You can also make my Apple Cider Scones with it, as they also use it. It will make your house smell wonderful and it’s a strong punch of apple flavor.
- 2 large Apples grated
- 240 g AP Flour 2 cups
- ½ tbsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Ground cloves
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- ½ tsp Baking soda
- 135 g Dark brown sugar ⅔ cup
- 1 large Egg room temperature
- ½ cup Neutral oil
- ¼ cup Apple cider reduction
- 1-2 tbsp Turbinado/Demerara sugar for topping
- 1-2 tsp Cinnamon sugar for topping
- Make the apple cider reduction. Pour ½-1 gallon of apple cider into a saucepan and heat over low heat. Stirring every 20-30 minutes until it has reduced significantly and thickened. A half gallon will reduce to about 1 cup and a full gallon to about 2 cups. If you do not want to do this step, boiled cider can be purchased at specialty stores like King Arthur Baking.
- Prepare an 8.5×4.5" loaf pan with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350°F.
- Peel and grate the apples into a small-medium bowl. Set aside
- Combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk together.
- In a larger bowl, combine oil, sugar and apple cider reduction and whisk together until combined.
- Whisk in egg into wet ingredients until incorporated.
- Add grated apples into the wet ingredients and mix together.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir until just combined, making care not to overmix.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Generously sprinkle both coarse sugar and cinnamon sugar over the top of the batter.
- Place bread into oven on center rack. Bake for about 50 minutes, a toothpick inserted will come out cleanly.
- When bread is ready, let rest in pan for about 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack for cooling. Let cool completely before slicing.