Filled with apples and walnuts you’ll love Apple Cinnamon Bread with Oatmeal on cool fall mornings. A delicious yeast dough slightly sweetened with honey and apples will make this bread a favorite.
Even though apple cinnamon bread uses yeast, and is not a quick bread recipe, it has easy instructions and doesn’t require much hands-on time. Mix up the dough and walk away while it rises. Or make it the day before and pop it in the fridge overnight. The next day all you have to do is bake it.
Each bite is soft and moist from the apples, but it also has a great texture from the oatmeal and walnuts.
Cinnamon apple bread is one of those recipes you’ll find an excuse to make again and again. With a soft, chewy texture and spiced apple flavor, it’s great for breakfast and brunch, coffee breaks and any time you need a pick-me-up. Don’t like apples? Try a delicious honey oatmeal bread instead.
Try bringing an apple cinnamon loaf to your next breakfast meeting, your colleagues will love it!
Since this apple bread recipe is brushed with honey, you don’t need a powdered sugar glaze. However, if you’d like to make it a little sweeter, try the caramel cream cheese frosting that I use with apple cinnamon rolls.
Why you’ll love it
- Fresh apples add natural sweetness
- Soft and chewy texture
- Make the dough ahead of time
- Great for breakfast or brunch
- Freeze leftovers for later
What you’ll need
Apples – 1-2 medium apples, you can use any variety that you like. I generally use fuji or honeycrisp.
Walnuts – for more flavor toast them in a skillet over medium heat for 2-4 minutes, or you can roast them in the oven at 350º. You can also substitute pecans, but I prefer the taste of walnuts with apples.
Oats – You’ll need the thick-cut old-fashioned oats, instant will not work in this recipe.
Yeast – regular active dry yeast, or instant.
Milk – the higher the fat content of the milk, the richer the bread. You can use whole milk or cream, but don’t use skim milk.
Pantry items – flour, oil, cinnamon , brown sugar, salt and honey
You will need a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan for this apple bread recipe, it makes a very large loaf and will overfill an 8.5 x 4.5 inch disposable loaf pan. If that’s all you have use two instead.
Tips for working with yeast dough
Tip #1 – Don’t kill the yeast
Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never made yeast rolls or bread from scratch. As long as you use fresh yeast mixed with lukewarm liquid, your dough will rise. You’ll know the yeast is active if it bubbles and foams. If the water is too hot, it can kill the yeast and you won’t get the bubbles. If that happens, just throw it out and start again.
You can also use instant yeast that you don’t have to proof with water. After experimenting with both, I’ve found the traditional to be a little better for bread but I’m not sure I can actually tell a difference. I grew up using traditional so that’s just what I’m used to.
Tip #2 – Find a warm place to let it rise
Be sure to let the dough rise in a warm place. If your house is cold, you can warm your oven for about a minute, then turn it off and place the bowl of dough inside. My favorite way is to heat a microwave by boiling a bowl of water and then place the dough in the microwave for a warm humid place to let it rise.
Tip #3 – You can refrigerate the dough
You can make most yeast recipes a day ahead of time. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight after it has been formed into rolls or bread. Bring the dough to room temp the next day while the oven warms up.
How to make apple cinnamon bread
Step 1 – prep the ingredients
Warm the water and milk in a small bowl in the microwave for about 15 seconds, don’t let it get too hot. Chop the apples and walnuts.
Step 2 – mix everything together
Pour the yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer along with the milk mixture. Stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes or until bubbly. Then add the oil, brown sugar, salt, oats, cinnamon, apples, walnuts and 1 cup of flour.
Step 3 – knead
With a dough hook, knead the ingredients for about 2 minutes, until combined. Gradually add the remaining cup of flour and mix until the dough is uniform, it won’t be smooth because of the oatmeal and apples
Pro tip: To make this bread without a stand mixer, use a spatula to stir the milk mixture with the oil and dry ingredients. Knead on a floured work surface until the dough is smooth.
Step 4 – let it rise
Lightly flour a work surface. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a greased large bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour or until doubled.
Step 5 – form into a loaf
Grease a 9×5 loaf pan. Punch the dough down and roll it into a rectangle the same width as your pan. Let the dough rise in the prepared pan for about an hour, until it’s an inch over the top.
Step 6 – bake
Brush the top with honey and sprinkle with some raw oatmeal. Heat the oven to 375°and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
The bread will need to cool before you try to slice it. It’s great served with honey butter or a simple powdered sugar drizzle.
How to make honey butter
Let your butter get soft but not melted. Then add an equal amount of honey and stir to combine.
This apple walnut bread is so moist and has both a great texture and flavor from the apples, walnuts and honey. I love a fresh slice while it’s warm with a mug of tea.
How to store homemade bread
Since there are no preservatives, homemade bread will dry out fairly quickly. Store in an airtight container for 1-2 days on the counter then freeze. It will dry out if refrigerated.
FAQs and tips
How do you keep apple bread fresh?
One loaf won’t last long, but if you have leftovers put them in an airtight container and store at room temperature for 1-2 days. If you need longer storage, keep the bread in the freezer for up to 2 months.
What kind of apples are good for baking?
Firm apples that hold their shape are best for recipes that are baked. Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Jonathan and Fuji varieties won’t get mushy in the oven. Avoid softer apples like Red Delicious or McIntosh.
Can yeast bread rise too long?
If yeast dough rises too long it could deflate or develop a sour taste. For best results, follow the recipe’s instructions. Or press a finger into the dough and if the indent remains, you’ll know it’s risen enough.
More perfect-for-fall recipes
If you loved this recipe, give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #butterandbaggage and tagging me @butterandbaggage.
Apple Cinnamon Bread
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup apple peeled and diced
- ½ cup walnuts chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Combine the water and milk and warm in the microwave for about 15 seconds, until it is warm but not hot.
- Add yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer and add warm milk mixture. Add oil, brown sugar, salt, oats, cinnamon, apples, walnuts and 1 cup of flour. Mix for about 2 minutes on high until it is well mixed. Then gradually add the remaining 1 cup of flour, mixing until the dough comes together. It should not be sticky.
- Place on a lightly floured surface and knead until it forms a smooth ball. Place it in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour until it has doubled.
- Punch down the dough to get the air out and roll it into a rectangle that is the same width as your loaf pan. Roll the dough, jelly roll style into a log and place in a greased loaf pan. Let it rise until it is about an inch over the top of the pan, about an hour.
- Brush with honey and sprinkle raw oatmeal on top. Bake at 375º for 30 minute until golden brown. Remove from the pan and let it cool on a cooling rack.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- This will fill up a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
- You can refrigerate this overnight once you have placed it in the loaf pan. Let it rise as it comes to room temperature and the oven pre-heats.
- You can use milk or cream, but do not use skim milk, you need the fat in the milk for the soft texture.
- Store in a ziplock on the counter for a day or two then freeze. It will dry out otherwise.