Moist and dense apple bread, filled with warm spices and grated apples, and topped with a buttery, pecan streusel.
This apple bread accompanied my family on a picnic last weekend. It was a great addition to a beautiful morning. We packed up the kids, went for a hike, and afterwards, found a shady spot in the grass, and lounged on a blanket while nibbling on this apple bread. In between bites of this sweet and crumbly bread, my three year old said, “this is a really fun day.” And yes, it was. It was the perfect Fall morning. Cool weather, chirping birds, happy kids, and bellies filled with apple spice bread. All good things.
I would say that just about anything could be made better with this apple bread. It’s filled with the comforting flavors of apples and warm spices. The grated apples seemingly melt into the bread, adding apple flavor into every bite. It’s less sweet than a cake and it’s texture is moist and dense with a crunchy, buttery topping. It’s so good!
This bread actually gets better the day after it’s made, after the flavors have had a chance to meld. Although, once you smell this baking, you will have a hard time waiting until the next day to start devouring it. Everyone that I have shared this with has loved it. Cut yourself a thick slice and enjoy.
Apple Spice Bread
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves
- 2 cups peeled grated apple (about 3-4 medium apples) - see note
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars for one minute, until smooth and combined. Add the applesauce and beat to combine (mixture might appear curdled - that's OK). Beat in the eggs one at a time.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add the flour to the wet ingredients, and stir until the flour is completely combined, being careful not to over-mix. Fold in the apples and raisins. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
For the topping:
- Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and pecans. Add melted butter and stir until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture resembles wet sand. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the batter.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (begin checking at 45 minutes).
- Cool pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully remove from the pan and cool completely. Once cool, wrap and store overnight before slicing (see note).
After grating the apples, lightly squeeze them in a clean kitchen towel to remove the majority of their moisture. Don't squeeze them until they're completely dry. Discard the juice that comes out.
If you want to serve this the day it is made, you can - it's still delicious! The bread will cut better and the flavors improve once it sits overnight.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens