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Sweet and Fragrant Apple Cinnamon Bread Machine Recipe

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Preview: Although your Grandma probably wouldn’t make it this way, I’m pretty sure she would love to eat this Apple Cinnamon Bread Machine recipe.

Wait for the aroma of baking yeast bread with buttery cinnamon, sugar, and spiced apples to fill your kitchen. Drizzle with decadent cream cheese icing. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and prepare to enjoy. Move over cinnamon rolls!

Although the recipe is written to be mixed and kneaded in a bread machine, you can easily do it by hand or use a stand mixer. See the notes in the recipe.

sliced loaf of apple pie wheat bread
This loaf is sprinkled with streusel. Cover with icing if you’re feeling decadent.

If you ask Pinterest, one of the most popular posts on this blog is entitled “Apples in a Bag” as pictured below. It’s super easy with only 4 ingredients and makes a healthy snack or dessert for 1-2 people.

Recipe inspiration:

Seeing how as I’m a bread-machine freak and I love these apples, it was high time to create a bread recipe incorporating “Apples in a Bag.”

apples in a bag (the filling for the bread)

Since I love to make yogurt, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Yeast Bread also includes Greek yogurt (but you can use buttermilk if you prefer). Either way, the result will be a tender crumb not unlike my favorite cinnamon rolls.

Top this apple-studded loaf with a streusel topping as seen above, or ice it with powdered sugar frosting as seen below. Frosting will make your loaf taste very similar to a huge cinnamon roll. If you want to be really decadent, pour the frosting on top of a streusel-topped loaf.

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • BUTTERMILK: Yogurt thinned with milk to a buttermilk consistency is a good substitute. You could also use whey leftover from making Greek yogurt.
  • EGG: I use large eggs in all my bread recipes. If you use larger or smaller eggs, compensate with more or less liquid accordingly.
  • SALT: Use table salt or sea salt. If you use Kosher salt, add 1/4 teaspoon more.
  • BUTTER: Be sure the butter is softened but not melted.
  • BROWN SUGAR: I used light brown sugar but dark brown sugar is suitable, also.
  • FLOUR: The mix of whole wheat and bread flour makes this bread so flavorful. However, 100% bread flour is also good.
  • YEAST: I use bread machine or instant yeast in all my bread recipes. If you want to use active dry yeast, add 1/4 teaspoon more because it is slower to rise.
  • RAISINS: Golden raisins, standard dark raisins, currants, or other dried fruit like dried cranberries can all be added here. On the other hand, they can be left out if you prefer.
  • APPLES: Use any type of apple that will hold its shape when cooked like yellow delicious apples.

How do I store this loaf?

Storing iced bread in a plastic bag can be a messy business. Consequently, I don’t recommend frosting this loaf if you don’t have enough mouths to eat it all in one sitting.

The best way to store most homemade bread is stored in a plastic bag and room temperature. Take a tip from King Arthur Flour: If you’re storing bread for a day or two at room temperature, plastic or foil (rather than cloth) are the best options.

Storing in the refrigerator can quickly cause your bread to get hard.

Apple Cinnamon Yeast Bread with frosting on top sitting on a cooling rack

How to shape the dough:

Method #1

The first shown below is my favorite, but it’s a bit trickier to accomplish.

  1. Roll the dough out as you would for cinnamon rolls, and sprinkle the cooled apple filling over the dough.
  2. Roll into a long cylinder and pinch the dough to seal.
  3. Use the sealing line as a guide for cutting the cylinder in half the length-wise. Now say a prayer, take a deep breath and proceed.
  4. Carefully lift up each “half-pipe” one at a time. With cut sides up, place each “half-pipe” into a prepared loaf pan in an S shape as illustrated in the picture below.
  5. Loosely cover the pan. Allow the shaped loaf to rise until almost double.
  6. Finally, remove the cover, sprinkle with streusel, then bake as directed.
Storyboard of rolling out apple cinnamon bread and putting streusel on top

Method #2:

The method pictured below might be easier if you are a novice baker.

  • After rolling the dough into a long cylinder and sealing it (as seen in the pictures on the left side above), the same way you would for cinnamon rolls, slice the cylinder crosswise into six large slices and set on end in a loaf pan.
  • Cover the pan loosely with a tea towel or freebie shower cap. As soon as the dough is almost double in size, remove the cover.
  • Sprinkle with streusel if using, then bake as directed.
Method of assembly #2

 Can I make this Apple Cinnamon Bread Machine recipe ahead of time?

Certainly!  Make it and bake it. This moist bread only gets better the next day or two or three. It also freezes well after it has been baked. It’s perfect to make in the days leading up to Christmas because it only gets better after hanging around for a day or two.

Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and myself by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating in the recipe below. No comments required.

Hope to see you again soon!

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at

Yield: 1 loaf

Apple Cinnamon Bread Machine Recipe

Apple Cinnamon Bread Machine Recipe

A sweet yeast bread to mix and knead in a bread machine, then baked in a conventional oven

Prep Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours


  • 2/3-3/4 cup buttermilk or yogurt thinned with milk to buttermilk consistency (151-170 gr)
  • 1 egg (50 gr)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (4 gr)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (28 gr)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (27 gr)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (120 gr)
  • 1-1/4 cup bread flour (150 gr)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (5 gr)

"Apples in a Bag"

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (75 gr)
  • 1 medium yellow delicious apple, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (2.6 gr)
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water (14 gr)


  • 2 tablespoons flour (15 gr)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (13 gr)
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter (14 gr)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Frosting: (if desired)

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (114 gr)
  • 2 teaspoons coffee (28 gr)
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese (15 gr)



  1. Heat buttermilk or yogurt in the microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. The mixture will probably separate but don't worry. Add only 2/3 cup yogurt to the bread machine pan along with all other ingredients except raisins.
  2. Select dough cycle and push start. Check dough about 5 minutes into the dough cycle. If the dough is too dry (dough doesn't stick to sides and then pull away), add the remaining yogurt a teaspoon or two at a time until the dough looks just right.
  3. Add raisins after you hear the signal for add-ins.
  4. When the dough cycle completes, push the dough back to its original size with your hands. Remove pan (with the dough still inside) from the bread machine. Cover pan and dough with a towel or shower cap and place in a warm place for a SECOND rise. This helps make a lighter loaf since bread contains whole wheat flour.
  5. Remove dough from pan to a floured surface. (See picture above.) Roll into a rectangle approximately 9 x 13 inches. Distribute apple mixture over the top like you would when making cinnamon rolls.
  6. Starting with the long side, roll the dough up tightly and pinch closed at the seam. Use a large, sharp knife to cut the roll in half length-wise at the seam. You should now have two long "half-pipes."
  7. With cut side up, make a snake or "S" shape going back and forth with one of the half-rolls (see picture above) and place into one end of a non-stick 9 x 5 loaf pan (mine holds 2 quarts of water if you want to compare sizes) sprayed on the inside with an aerosol flour/oil mixture like Baker's Joy.
  8. Make an "S" shape with the other roll and place it into the other end of the pan as pictured. It doesn't have to be perfect but should fill the pan from one end to the other.
  9. Cover dough with a shower cap or tea towel and set in a warm place to rise for approximately 45 minutes. The dough should rise somewhat less than double. 10 minutes before the bread is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
  10. If using streusel, sprinkle it over the top. Bake for 35 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, cover bread loosely with foil to prevent over-browning.
  11. Remove from oven and immediately turn out onto cooling rack. Allow to cool before slicing bread.

Apple Pie Filling

  1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Cook on HIGH for 2 minutes. Allow to cool while dough is rising.


  1. Combine powdered sugar, coffee, and cream cheese. Add more sugar if too thin, or add coffee if too thick. Drizzle over cooled loaf.


  1. Combine all ingredients with a fork until crumbly and the mixture resembles oatmeal.


Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:

  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic--about 5-10 minutes. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you substitute regular yeast for instant or bread machine yeast, you must dissolve it first before adding to the dry ingredients. Stir it into about 1/4 cup of the lukewarm liquid called for in the recipe. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Add to other wet ingredients and then add dry ingredients. Proceed as directed to knead and shape the dough.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 241mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

Hi there. Just made the apple filling. How thick is the filling supposed to be? I have liquid.


Wednesday 4th of November 2020

@Paula, thanks for your reply. I think it was because of the apples I used...I bought a new-to-me variety called Ginger Gold. Anyhow, I had prepared the filling early in the process and by the time the dough was ready for the filling, the apples had thankfully absorbed the extra moisture. I ended up using the crumb coating. Hubby and I had some for breakfast this morning...this is lovely bread, you won’t find anything like this at the store. I’m excited to check out your other recipes. Thanks Paula!


Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

Hi Kellie,

Glad you wrote. Some apples contain more water than others and some are bigger than others. Also, microwaves vary wildly. If you want the juices to be thicker you can add a little more cornstarch. If you think you have added plenty of cornstarch, it may be that you just have to microwave a little longer because your apple is bigger than average or juicier than average. Hope this helps.

Leanne Robinson

Monday 9th of December 2019

I’m making this right now. I followed the directions in the link to make it by hand. It says to proof the yeast in 1/2 cup of water if using active dry, which is what I did. I did not reduce the buttermilk (added 2/3 cup) and now it is like soup. I guess I am going to add more flour until I can knead it? But worried it’s ruined. Help?


Monday 9th of December 2019

Hi Leanne, The instructions I linked to are rather unclear. (I no longer link to these directions but looks like I missed this recipe.)

It's easy to see how you were misled. I will rewrite this recipe with specific instructions for using regular yeast (that needs to be dissolved before using) as opposed to instant or bread machine yeast. In general, you should use part of the original liquid specified in the recipe to dissolve the yeast. The total liquid must remain the same or you will have to add more flour--as you correctly guessed.

Regarding the problem of the yeast not rising, there could be several reasons. Was the yeast active and bubbly when you dissolved it? If not, then it was probably dead. Did the yeast come in contact with a liquid or other ingredient that was too hot? This will kill it. If the yeast was not dead, was the ambient temperature of the location where the dough was located warm enough? This can make a huge difference, especially in the wintertime.

My apologies that this bread didn't work for you. I hope this explanation has been helpful.

Leanne Robinson

Monday 9th of December 2019

It didn’t rise.


Thursday 28th of February 2019

This looks yummy! But I missed the part about the apple filling somehow. Do you add raw apples in the machine and then make apples in a bag to spread over the dough before rolling and slicing/shaping?


Friday 1st of March 2019


I am so thankful you wrote. You see, I have been converting all my recipes to a new format. Sometimes, things get lost in the cracks during the process. I try to check each recipe but occasionally, I miss something. I fixed the recipe so I think it will be more clear for you. The raw apples are part of the "apples in a bag." Check it out and let me know if you still have a question.


Sunday 5th of November 2017

I love the variety of ways you creatively shape yeast doughs and this one I've had bookmarked for a long time. Plan to make it this week.

I want to thank you for sharing your method of cooking apples in the microwave. We've been enjoying them on top of pancakes a few weekends in a row while Trader Joe's has been selling the most delicious honeycrisp apples. I use apple cider in place of the water when I have it--delicious.

I somehow thought you stopped blogging and was pleasantly surprised to discover that's not the case last night. I love your blog, your recipes, and you! Thank you for all the hours you put into this space for others to enjoy! I love it here.


Monday 6th of November 2017

So nice to hear from you Julie. Love your idea about using apple cider in place of water.

I did slow down on the blogging after my mother died but picked it back up again over the summer when I had it "remodeled." Your words are very encouraging. Hope the bread turns out delicious for you. Paula


Tuesday 15th of August 2017

I do want to make this. It looks so yummy!

Do you slice the loaf all the way through to get 2 separate halves then wind them into the pan to bake or are you partially cutting through the loaf then winding it in the pan? I assume it's to be cut all the way through but just need to check. Thanks.


Tuesday 15th of August 2017

You are right Annemarie. Cut it all the way in half. I hope you love it as much as we do.

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