You need 3 – 4 apples for this spiced apple loaf recipe; some butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and even a secret ingredient. Get your knife and grater too because not only are we chopping the apples, we’re shredding them as well!
This recipe’s got a secret ingredient! Can you guess what it is?
Drum roll please! *prrrrdumbadumdumdum*
It’s almond extract. 😀
Yay! Exciting stuff. I can see you cheering right now.
Okay, you might be thinking what the heck??? Almond extract??
Yes. I put it in the damn recipe and it’s GOOD.
Almonds and apples go really well together! The way the extract elevated the flavor in this is crazy. I don’t know why I never tried it before. Don’t be skeptical, don’t leave it out. It’s just.. *chef’s kiss*. It doesn’t make the bread taste like almonds, it just enhances everything else!
If you’re not used to baking with almond extract you might be wondering how that even works. Well think of it this way; it works just like vanilla extract. When you add vanilla to a recipe the whole thing doesn’t taste like vanilla. No. Instead, it makes the flavor of the main ingredients stand out even more! The almond extract in this recipe does the same exact thing.
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- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups chopped apples, 1/4 – 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 cup shredded apples, tightly packed (juices n’ all)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- To a large mixing bowl add the butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.
- Using a whisk or electric mixer, cream until fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract.
- Using a big spoon, fold in the chopped and shredded apples (the butter may curdle, this is completely normal).
- Add the flour and mix gently until fully combined. There should be no dry streaks of flour visible but try your best not to overmix.
- Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Spoon the batter into the pan then smooth the top into an even layer.
- Bake for 80 – 82 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with very few crumbs.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack, cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
- Serve warm or cooled completely.
- You will need 3 – 4 apples in total.
- Prep the apples prior to baking. You will need to peel and core them.
- Storage: This loaf can be left out in the open for about 5 hours. After that, it will need to be wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container. After an additional 5 hours (maximum), it will need to be refrigerated to prevent spoilage.
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Homemade Apple Bread
I had to name this recipe “Apple Loaf” because it’s a cross between a quick bread and a cake. But this actually isn’t the name I wanted. I wanted it to be cool and unique. So the original idea was to do a play on the words “bread” and “cake” by putting them together which would be “cread” or “brake”.
But as I said both of them out loud I could literally feel myself losing a few hundred brain cells.
Apple loaf it is.
I meant what I said about it being a cross between the two though! It is so soft, hearty but not overly dense, and it has that fine crumb that we tend to prefer in cake recipes. It’s just right.
Chopped AND Shredded Apples?
Yes. We’re using both. Here’s why.
This ain’t no regular, shmegular apple bread.
The chopped apples are for ✨ aesthetics ✨ and texture. When you slice into this loaf you’re going to see all of the chunks in there and there is no mistaking that this is an apple recipe. We want people to know. And then when you take a bite you feel the chunks and the contrasting texture between them and the soft, buttery loaf. It’s just satisfying.
The shredded apples are for maximum flavor. Because these pieces are so small they basically melt into the bread adding moisture and they’re also everywhere! So every single bite that you take, you taste apples. I’m so glad I did it this way because it’s amazing.
Since I am definitely the first person to do this technique, I will call it shredded-chopped. I know, it’s a big step up from brake and cread. Thank you. 😌
So this means that you can use TWO different types of apples! (If you want to)
We all know that some apples are better for baking than others but let’s be honest here, they don’t always have the best flavor. Yes, they can withstand heat without falling apart but they can be bland as hell.
So for the chopped apple portion you can use baking apples that will hold their shape during baking but for the shredded portion you can use apples that are really flavorful and not worry at all about whether they’ll disintegrate or not because for this part, it doesn’t even matter.
I used 3 large honeycrisp apples for both but next time I’ll be using red delicious apples for the shredded because even though they get mushy during baking, they’re sweet and juicy and I love their flavor. However, according to HuffPost (and many other websites around the web) red delicious apples are actually one of worst to bake with and to eat in general. Do you agree?
It’s a pretty easy recipe; it even only requires one bowl.
Yes, for the entire thing! But you will also need a large plate, a knife, and a grater for the apples, and a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Still, that’s not a lot. Oh, and the measuring cups and spoons. I forgot those.
However, what you don’t need is a mixer. I didn’t use one.
The most tedious thing about this recipe is creaming the butter, and peeling, chopping and shredding the apples. Everything else is a breeze.
That reminds me; please prep your apples beforehand.
There’s nothing like getting the batter ready, but your apples are still whole (ask me how I know 😒).
Why is it baked at 325F?
This is just to prevent the outside of the loaf from burning and drying out. Do you see how dark the crust is in the pictures? Well, imagine what it would look like if it was baked at a high temperature. Baking for a longer time at a lower temp allows for the apple loaf to remain moist.
So yes, it does take a long time to bake; about 1 hour and 20 minutes. But what do you expect? Perfection takes time.
That doesn’t mean you have to just stand there until it’s done. While my loaf was baking I took all of the dirty dishes, set them aside, and watched a movie.
Let me tell you what this smells like
Sorry, I actually can’t because no words can describe how good this apple bread smells. Between the cinnamon, nutmeg, the almond, all those apples, and even the butter, it’s divine!
I really wish I could somehow transport the aroma to you.
When are they going to invent scratch and sniff web pages? They should have that by now.
Here’s how I ate this loaf:
For breakfast – room temp on its own or with tea.
For dessert – warm with ice cream.
For my children’s tea party – cut into tiny little squares.
For my after dinner snack – behind the fridge door so that my children wouldn’t see.
For my midnight snack – with a paper towel underneath the slice to catch the crumbs so that I could eat them afterward.
- Did the apple flavor stand out to you? I incorporated as much apple as I could without negatively affecting the overall texture.
- I chose to use butter instead of oil for richness, flavor, and a slightly denser texture, and I love the way it turned out! But do you think oil would have been better?
- How is the spice and sugar amount? Does this recipe call for enough of both?
- Lastly, did your loaf bake properly without burning or drying out?