It’s baking season and it’s also apple season, so why not combine the best of both? I love the smell of this bread as it bakes—it’s comforting and homey and just makes my mouth water. Served warm out of the oven with just a touch of butter? Oh my goodness, is it good!
Bake Cinnamon Apple Bread Covered to Start
Fresh apples add a lot of moisture to baked goods that keeps them tender. That moisture also weaves its way through the bread, adding apple flavor to every bite. That’s why the recipe calls for oiling a sheet of foil and covering the Cinnamon Apple Bread when you first put it in the oven, then finishing it uncovered until it passes the toothpick test.
What Apples Should You Use in Baking?
When you’re baking with fresh apples, it’s important to choose one that will stay firm throughout the cooking process. I use Granny Smith apples because they don’t turn to mush. Other good apple varieties for baking include:
- Honey Gold
- Pink Lady
How to Keep Apples from Turning Brown after Peeling
Does anyone else feel after chopping an apple like they’re racing against how quickly the apples turn brown. Here’s a trick I learned while working on this Cinnamon Apple Bread recipe.
Keep apples from turning brown for up to 2 hours by soaking them them in lightly salted water. We’re talking a scant 1/2 teaspoon of table salt for every cup of cold water it takes to cover the apples in a bowl. Before use, drain and rinse them, pat them dry, and add them to your recipe.
What is a “Toothpick Test” in Baking?
The cooking times in this Cinnamon Apple Bread recipe are somewhat loose because different varieties of apples can affect how long you’ll need. The most reliable way to figure out if your rbead is done is with the toothpick test since baked goods sometimes look done on the outside when they’re not quite cooked in the center.
To test for doneness, insert a wood toothpick into the center. (You can also use a table knife.) If it comes out clean, you’re done baking. If there’s any wet batter clinging to it, return it to the oven for another 5 minutes and test it again.
Cooling Times are Important when Baking
In baked goods, especially moist ones like this Cinnamon Apple Bread, the finished product needs a chance to sit undisturbed and begin to cool off before you move it, but not so long that begins to cling to the pan or baking sheet. So, follow recommended resting and cooling times to a tee.
During the resting or waiting period, the protein strands in the gluten begin to contract, so they can better hold the loaf (or cookie) together. If you wait too long, though, the strands will begin to “attach” to baking pan. (Really, they’re just continuing to cook and you know what happens to a baking sheet when food overcooks on it.)
- Loaf pan
- Aluminum foil
- Cooling rack
- 2 eggs large
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups baking apples peeled, cored, and chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Generously grease a loaf pan. Grease one side of a sheet of foil.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, applesauce, and vanilla extract until combined well. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Stir the chopped apples into the wet mixture. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture a little at a time, stirring just until it's fully combined. Using the spoon, transfer the batter to the greased loaf pan.
- Cover the loaf pan with greased aluminum foil and bake on the center rack in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue baking until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (About 30-45 more minutes.)
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then loosen the loaf by running a spatula around the edges. Turn the loaf onto a rack to continue cooling. Slice and serve.
Freeze the Leftovers
If you don’t want to eat the entire loaf of Cinnamon Apple Bread in one sitting (and there’s no judgment from me on that), it’s helpful to know that it freezes beautifully.
Whether you freeze a whole loaf or separate slices of it, use a layer of cling film to keep in the moisture then a layer of foil to protect against freezer burn. When you’re ready for more, remove the foil and defrost it on the counter in the cling film so it doesn’t dry out, then enjoy!