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Brown Sugar Apple Bread Recipe | Moist, tender apple quick bread with a drizzle of vanilla icing

Brown Sugar Apple Bread Recipe

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This tender, cinnamon-spiced Brown Sugar Apple Bread is perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert! So easy to make, too.

Brown sugar is my secret ingredient for making a sweet moist apple loaf!

Brown Sugar Apple Bread Recipe on a wooden board

Brown Sugar Apple Bread

We are 6 months away from autumn. That’s when really I go crazy baking up all things apple. But sometimes, those cravings hit offseason, so I grabbed a couple of Granny Smith apples and baked a loaf of this apple quick bread. Using all brown sugar instead of white provided some caramel undertones while keeping the loaf from drying out. Plus, the grated apples practically melted into the batter, ensuring a super moist bread and even textured loaf.

Quick bread, like this brown sugar apple bread, make terrific gifts as they ARE quick as no yeast is involved. Plus, apples are available all year long, so you don’t need to restrict this recipe to the fall. If you need more inspiration, here are some tasty links to peruse: Quick Bread: A Holiday Gift from the Kitchen.

 Sliced Brown Sugar Apple Bread on a white plate

How to Make Apple Bread

This Apple Bread Recipe is a quick bread, meaning it’s leavened with baking powder or baking soda instead of yeast.

Quick bread shouldn’t be mixed with a mixer, but instead mixed by hand. Over mixing produces tunnels throughout the bread.

Once the dry ingredients are added, gently mix until they’re incorporated. You do not want to overwork the gluten.

Prep your baking pan so the bread won’t stick. I like using a flour and oil cooking spray and lining the bottom of the pan with a rectangle of parchment paper.

Cool the bread for 15-20 minutes before removing it from the pan to a cooling rack. Any longer and it will be tough to get the loaf to release from the pan.

Why Use Brown Sugar?

Brown sugar is essentially white sugar enhanced with molasses. The addition of molasses adds extra moisture to your recipes, therefore allowing for a moister result in your baking!

Enhancing Your Apple Loaf

The aroma of baked apples and cinnamon filled the kitchen and made my stomach do a few flip flops.  After I inverted the loaf onto the cooling rack, I realized it needed a little bling. Baking bling means frosting or a drizzle of icing. Most of this loaf was going to some friends, so it deserved some enhancing. A little powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla was all that was needed to perk up this moist, yummy loaf! You could also dust the top with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar for a sweet, crunchy crust. 

For quality control, I held back one slice for myself. Yup, it tasted as marvelous as its cinnamon scent foreshadowed! You may need to bake up one for yourself, and another to give away. Though, from experience, it’s tough to part with a loaf of this brown sugar apple bread!

Text and photo collage of Brown Sugar Apple Bread

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Brown Sugar Apple Bread Recipe

Brown Sugar Apple Bread Recipe

A sweet, dense apple quick bread filled with grated apples and sweetened with brown sugar.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield 1 loaf



  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and grated (I used Granny Smith. If your apples are huge, use only 1 1/2 apples)


  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan and line bottom with a rectangle of parchment, if desired. Grease parchment. Set aside.
  2. Mix together butter, oil and sugar until creamy. Beat in the eggs.
  3. In another bowl whisk together, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir into egg mixture until just combined (do not beat). Fold in apples
  4. Scrape batter into the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  5. Cool in pan 10-15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  6. Make icing by whisking together butter, milk, powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla extract.
  7. Drizzle icing over cooled bread.


Adapted from

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 248mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 3g


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24 comments on “Brown Sugar Apple Bread Recipe”

  1. my apples are huge! glad you mentioned to use less thanks Liz!

  2. That looks delicious Liz. Should the recipe read 2 apples but just 1 1/2 if they are large? Love that you added the bling.

  3. This is one perfect apple bread, Liz. That smooth even crumb is just heavenly.

  4. I so wish I had a slice (or three) of this for breakfast today. It looks soooo good, and very cozy, which is necessary since it’s gray outside here in San Diego. Have a great weekend Liz!

  5. This is perfect to make for breakfast and take to the office to share.Thank you very much !

  6. MMMM, yummy! Apple bread is so good!

  7. Apple bread is the best and yours looks and sounds very delicious, Liz! Good and easy recipe!

  8. Lizzy absolutely love this apple bread! I have to try this !!!

  9. I love quick breads and the smell of apple and cinnamon baking. Your bread looks yummy. I like that you add the extra bling, I like doing that to quick breads and scones too.

  10. Hi Liz! I love your use of “baking bling” here, haha. This loaf just speaks to me. It sounds so warm and comforting! I too struggle with off-season cravings! I will definitely be trying this one out, most likely on a cold and rainy morning when I need a hug from some bread!! Cheers!

  11. I love that added “baking bling” – such a great way to describe it! This bread looks so irresistible, especially for breakfast with coffee.

  12. I have a nice strong cuppa… Only thing missing is a slice:@)

  13. My goodness, this is one gorgeous loaf! You nailed it with this recipe. A must make for me!

  14. I love tea breads and could eat them daily if I allowed myself to. Apple Bread and Apple Pie Bread are favorites of mine both of which you’ve shared here on your post. I’ve printed them off to make another day. Thanks and have a great weekend!

  15. This looks easy and good. I could make it into two smaller loafs for taking along to friends for whatever reasons. I like to use the store-bought, good-looking cardboard loaf containers that are great for gift-giving. Whenever I take a bundt cake or baked goods of some kind down to the front office here at The Gant, there is always a small piece missing. They already understand that it’s Mary’s piece. Glad to be back home and visiting your blog regularly.

  16. I’m so happy you posted this as I love apples all year round and hate to see them relegated to fall! This bread looks so moist and I love the golden color!

  17. Grating the apples was a good idea along with a little bling!

  18. Sooo happy to see that one of the queens of the food blogosphere went rogue! Bravo for apple recipes in spring, summer, fall and winter. (Of course, in sunny CA sometimes I forget that others are mindful of the seasons.) Anyway, I welcome the yummy aromas of your brown sugar apple bread in my kitchen anytime!

  19. New season apples are in and this is going to be on my kitchen counter by tomorrow! I love anything baked with apples. Yum.

  20. I am glad to revisit this I literally just bought a whole bag of apples now I am going to make this one! YUM!

  21. This brown sugar apple bread is perfect for the winter! It makes the whole house smell delicious! Seriously in love with this recipe!

    • AP flour or self rising? Also, can you substitute baking powder for baking soda?

      • Hi, Michele,

        This recipe uses all-purpose flour. I did a quick bit of research and it looks like you can use 3 teaspoons of baking powder to substitute for every 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a recipe. You’ll probably want to decrease the amount of salt in the recipe, too, since baking powder can leave a salty taste. Most people ask for a substitute for baking soda, so this was new to me 🙂 Thanks for the question!

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