Sweet Apple Cinnamon Bread Machine Recipe

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Sneak Peek: Make this Sweet Apple Cinnamon Bread Machine Recipe with a bread machine. Even though Grandma wouldn’t do it that way, I’m pretty sure she would love to eat it. Spiced apples and raisins make this whole wheat loaf incredibly moist.

Cinnamon Apple Loaf for the Bread Machine--slicedPin

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Are you lucky enough to live close to an outstanding farmer’s market? There’s usually a fresh-bread booth or table where I see things I want to go home and bake myself. This Sweet Apple Cinnamon Bread recipe is my response to seeing yummy-looking apple yeast bread at one of these markets.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and prepare to enjoy this sweet yeast bread you can mix and knead in your bread machine. The apples and raisins make an incredibly moist loaf I think you will enjoy. Move over cinnamon rolls!

Although this is a bread machine recipe, you can easily do it by hand or with a stand mixer. See the notes in the recipe.

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Recipe inspiration:

If you ask Pinterest, one of the most popular posts on my website is entitled “Microwave Cinnamon Apples.” It’s super easy with only four ingredients and makes a healthy snack or dessert for 1-2 people.

Since I’m a bread-machine freak and love cooked apples, it was high time to create a bread recipe incorporating these easy-to-prepare apples.

Because I’m a yogurt maker, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that this bread recipe includes Greek yogurt (or 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, or ice it with powdered sugar frosting. Frosting will make your loaf taste similar to a giant cinnamon roll. If you feel decadent, pour the frosting over a streusel-topped loaf.

📌KITCHEN TIP📌: Sweet apple-cinnamon yeast bread stores better without icing. If you don’t have enough people to eat it on the first day, you might want to skip the icing.

apples in a bag (the filling for the bread)Pin
Apples in a Bag (or Bowl)–cooked in two minutes using the microwave makes a much fresher icing than canned apple pie filling. (Note: There’s no need to add the optional raisins to the apples. I prefer to add them to the dough at the add-in beep.)

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 accordingly with more or less liquid.
  • SALT: Use table salt or sea salt. If you use Kosher salt, add 1/4 teaspoon more.
  • BUTTER: Chop the butter into small pieces and dump it in the pan. The friction of the bread machine paddles will soften the butter, so it mixes in at just the right time.
  • BROWN SUGAR: I used light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar is also acceptable.
  • FLOUR: The mix of whole wheat and bread flour makes this bread so flavorful. However, 100% all-purpose flour is also good.
  • YEAST: I use bread machine or instant yeast in all my bread recipes. You can substitute active dry yeast if that’s all you have.
  • RAISINS: Golden raisins, standard dark raisins, currants, or other dried fruit like dried cranberries are delicious here. On the other hand, omit dried fruit and use toasted nuts or nothing if you prefer. Also, don’t miss the discussion below about the best time to add raisins to the dough.
  • APPLES: Use any apple that will hold its shape when cooked like delicious yellow apples.
ingredients needed for cinnamon apple breadPin


sliced cinnamon-apple bread spread with apple butterPin


How to make Sweet Apple-Cinnamon Dough with a bread maker:

This recipe may seem a bit complicated at first glance. Don’t let it scare you. Instead, I hope showing you every step will inspire confidence that you can do it.

ingredients in bread machine panPin

Add all of the dough ingredients into the bread machine pan except for the raisins.

clumpy dough as machine starts to mixPin

Select the DOUGH cycle and press START. The dough will be clumpy in the beginning.

Dough is too wet..Pin

This dough is too wet. Add more flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough at the bottom is incorporated. (I had to add two tablespoons to correct the dough on this day.) The goal is for the dough to stick to the sides, then pull away cleanly. Read more about this surprising secret for making better bread with a bread machine.

Adding raisins to doughPin

Add the raisins when the machine beeps (if it has this feature). Otherwise, add the raisins 4-5 minutes before the kneading finishes.


MEANWHILE: Prepare the apple filling.

cooking apples in the microwavePin

Add all of the filling ingredients to a microwave-safe Pyrex measuring cup or bowl. Stir to combine. Cover the bowl to prevent splattering.

cinnamon apples after microwavingPin

Microwave for 2 minutes on HIGH and stir well. (Times will vary for different microwaves.) Set mixture aside to cool.

Shaping the bread after the DOUGH cycle is finished:

The bread dough needs double the size it was when the kneading finished. If the dough has not risen enough at the end of the DOUGH cycle, leave it sitting in the pan until it doubles in volume.

If your bread machine is sitting in a cold or drafty room, the time for rising will be longer. If you don’t wait on the bread to rise until doubled, it will be dense when baked. The decision to proceed is a crucial step.

If your bread machine is in a warm environment, the dough may rise faster than expected. Experienced bakers will anticipate this and check the dough before the DOUGH cycle finishes.

moving dough from machine to floured surfacePin

When the dough has doubled in size (no more, no less), pull it from the pan onto a lightly floured surface.

rolling out bread doughPin

Use your hands or a rolling pin to roll the dough into a roughly 10 x 13 inches rectangle. (If the dough seems “bouncy” and doesn’t want to stay in a rectangle shape, cover it with a tea towel and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Come back and try again.)

spreading apple filling on the doughPin

Spread the room-temperature apple filling evenly over the dough.

rolling up the dough starting from the long side.Pin

Roll dough starting with the long side closest to you.

pinching seams.Pin

Pinch the seams with your fingers.

Slicing roll in half lengthwisePin

Use a large knife to cut the roll in half using the seam as your guide.

two half-pipes of doughPin

Separate the dough into “half-pipes” and roll so you can see the layers.

S-shaped half pipes of dough inside panPin

Using a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, lay one “S” shape on one end and the other “S shape at the other end. They should meet in the middle. If you make a mess, no worries. You’re going to cover it up in the next step. Cover the pan and let the dough rise until it is about 2/3 of the original size.

Preheat your oven to 425˚F (220˚C) for about 15 minutes before your bread is ready to bake.

Make the streusel (if you use it) or icing while the bread bakes.

sprinkling streusel over the breadPin

Sprinkle streusel over the loaf when it has risen enough and bake. Turn the temperature back to 350˚F (180˚C) and bake until the internal temperature reaches 190˚F (88˚C).

An alternate method for shaping the dough:

Apple Cinnamon Yeast Bread with frosting on top sitting on a cooling rackPin
Sweet Cinnamon Apple Loaf from a Bread Machine with Icing (no streusel) using the alternate method of shaping seen below.

The method pictured below might be more straightforward 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 it 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.
alternate way to shape loafPin

FAQ about Cinnamon-Apple Bread made with a bread maker:

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 in a plastic bag at room temperature. Take a tip from King Arthur Flour: When keeping bread for a day or two at room temperature, plastic or foil (rather than cloth) are the best options.

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

When is the best time to add the raisins?

I prefer to add raisins close to the end of the kneading cycle. Doing this will distribute the raisins throughout the dough, not in the fruity swirl. In my experience, this keeps the raisins from falling out of the bread when you’re eating it. I use the same method with my Cinnamon-Raisin Bread, too.

Two other ways to add the raisins (or nuts if you prefer):
1. Knead them in by hand before you shape the dough.
2. Add them to the apples before you microwave them. Cooking them will plump them up if you like your raisins less chewy and more tender.

Why do you say sugar is optional in the apple mixture? How can I decide?

If the apples are sweet, you may not need more sugar. But if you have a sweet tooth, more sugar is always better.

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 baking. It’s perfect for baking before Christmas because it only improves after hanging around for a day or two.

Can I use canned apple pie filling instead of making a filling?

Yes. Be sure to chop the apples finely. The apples in commercial pie filling are usually too big.


Parting thoughts: I hope the detailed directions will encourage you to give this bread recipe a chance. Give yourself plenty of time the first time you make it like you would any new recipe.

If you have many apples on hand, you might like this easy Crustless apple pie. For something savory with apples, this Ham Stew with Beef and Bacon (and apples that disappear in the broth) is my favorite soup on this website. If you like raisins, don’t miss this Cinnamon-Raisin Loaf, also made with a bread machine. If you want to read more tips for using a bread machine, start with this post.

p.s. This bread makes a tasty toasted cheese sandwich with apple butter and melty white cheese. YUM!!


If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately for a quick answer: Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! 

Pin

Sweet Apple-Cinnamon Bread Machine Recipe

Paula Rhodes
A sweet yeast bread to mix and knead in a bread machine, then baked in a conventional oven
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Additional Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 154 kcal

Video

Ingredients
  

  • cup buttermilk or yogurt thinned with milk to buttermilk consistency - 151 gr
  • 1 egg - 50 gr
  • ¾ 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 or instant yeast - 5 gr
  • ½ cup raisins - 75 gr

Apple Filling:

  • 1 medium golden delicious apple - peeled and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon - 2.6 gr
  • teaspoon allspice - optional
  • ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar - optional depending on how sweet your apples are naturally
  • 1 tablespoon water - 14 gr

Streusel:

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose or bread flour - 15 gr
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar - 13 gr
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter - 14 gr
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Frosting: (if desired)

  • ½ cup powdered sugar - 114 gr
  • 2 teaspoons coffee - 28 gr
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese - 15 gr

Instructions
 

Dough:

  • Add all dough ingredients (except for the raisins) to the bread machine pan in the order listed.
  • Select the DOUGH cycle and push START.
  • Check the dough at least twice during the mixing and kneading phase by lifting the lid to take a peek. The first time, look immediately after the machine starts mixing to ensure the paddles are engaged correctly. 
    Look again 15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle to assess the consistency of the dough. For most recipes, The dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly.
    If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time.
    Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks just right. Read more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here.
  • Cook the apple filling so it can cool. See the directions below.
  • When the DOUGH cycle completes, check the dough to make sure it has doubled in size. If not, leave the dough in the pan until it does.
  • Remove the dough from the bread machine pan onto a lightly-floured surface. Roll into a rectangle approximately 9 x 13 inches. Distribute room-temperature apple-filling mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch margin around the rectangle.
  • Roll the dough up tightly (without stretching) and pinch closed at the seam, starting with the longer side.
  • Make the half-pipe design: Use a large, sharp knife to cut the roll in half length-wise at the seam. You should now have two long "half-pipes."
  • Spray a nonstick 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with an aerosol flour/oil mixture like Baker's Joy. Then, with the cut side up, make a snake or "S" shape going back and forth with one of the half-rolls and place into one end of your loaf pan (mine holds 2 quarts of water if you want to compare sizes).
  • 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.
  • 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.

Apple Filling

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

Streusel

  • Combine all ingredients with a fork until crumbly. The mixture should resemble oatmeal.

Baking:

  • Fifteen minutes before the bread is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425˚ F.
  • If using streusel, sprinkle it over the top.
  • Turn the oven temperature back to 350˚F. Bake for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190˚F. About halfway through the baking time, cover bread loosely with foil to prevent over-browning.
  • Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Frosting

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

Notes

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. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/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 onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading 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 the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword apple bread, apple cinnamon swirl bread, bread machine recipe, sweet whole wheat loaf, whole wheat bread
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37 Comments

  1. This looks heavenly! It would be a lovely bread to have on hand during the holidays. I have company coming, and I know this would make them very happy! 🙂

  2. If using regular white bread flour instead of whole wheat – is it necessary to do the second rise in the pan?

    1. So glad you asked Rhonda. No, the second rise in the bread machine pan is strictly for the benefit of the whole wheat flour. With regular bread flour, allow to rise in the pan as part of the dough cycle, remove from pan and shape, then allow to rise before baking. Hope you enjoy.

      1. Do you have to use a bread machine and if not how would you suggest making the dough?

        1. This recipe is based on using a bread machine. I have not tried it any other way so can not advise. So sorry. paula

  3. Bobbie Bentneedle says:

    Paula, this sounds like a good way to use up some of the home-canned apple pie filling I have languishing in the pantry. Any guess as to how much filling you’d use if using prepared filling (or about how much the recipe makes?)…
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    1. Good question, Bobbie. Maybe half a cup? Be sure to chop the apples a bit more finely than they usually are straight from the can. Might want to spice them up a little bit too. I thought about trying that myself just for fun but didn’t quite get to it.

  4. Bobbie Bentneedle says:

    Thanks, Paula… I’ll let you know how it turns out, when I get a chance to try it.

  5. This bread was delicious! I made it for out of town guests and it was a big hit. Thank you, Paula. Great recipe and great website!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Glad to hear the bread was a hit!

  6. cocido de sopa says:

    Already in my pending recipes list. It looks gorgeous, and I guess it tastes delicious.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    Happy Christmas!

  7. Melanie Hess says:

    absolutley love your recipes. Have not been disappointed yet! Just wondering If You have a recipe for cinnamon swirl raisin bread (Dough made in bread maker)? I’ve been looking all over and can’t seem to find one that looks worthy of trying. Thanks in advance!

  8. Christina says:

    I tried this bread today. I doubled the filling and added some roughly chopped walnuts. It looks and tastes amazing! I got a bread machine for Christmas and have been wearing it out ever since. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your page. I’m an otherwise decent baker, but I’ve never been able to do bread until now.
    Thanks!

    1. So glad to hear it worked for you Christina. Double the filling sounds totally decadent!

  9. I make WW bread and am wondering…do you think it would turn out well if I simply add this filling and the streusel? I know it’s worth trying!

  10. Pingback: Apple Bread Recipes With Bread Machine | Cookin for Soul
  11. Annemarie says:

    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.

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

  12. 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.

    1. 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

  13. 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?

    1. Tere,

      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.

  14. Leanne Robinson says:

    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?

    1. Leanne Robinson says:

      It didn’t rise.

    2. 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.

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

    1. 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.

    2. @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!

      1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the bread. I’ve never heard of the variety, “Ginger Gold.” Interesting. Thanks for reporting back.

  16. My bread was a total flop. 🙁 This was my first time to use a breadmaker. When the cycle finished on the breadmaker, the bread was completely baked & I couldn’t do anything else with it other than break it up in a casserole dish & put the apple filling & streusel on top. I have NO idea what I did wrong/????

    1. Hi Jo,
      I’m so sorry about your bread. It sounds like you might have selected the wrong cycle. If you will select the DOUGH cycle, the machine will mix, knead and allow the dough to rise once or twice, then STOP. That’s when you will pull the bread out of the machine and take over.

      Don’t let this discourage you. Bread machine flops have happened to all of us.

  17. 5 stars
    Delicious! I loved the bread. I used 2 small apples. It’s probably my favorite bread I’ve ever made. The coffee in the icing made my foodie heart happy. Thanks so much for a phenomenal recipe!

    1. So happy to hear you loved the bread. I couldn’t agree more.

  18. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for a presenting this recipe that, yes, did scare me at first, in such detailed steps to make it totally doable for a novice! My mother always brings me apple bread from Mercier’s when she comes back from vacation. This time my husband loved it so much and he asked if you can order it. They used to ship it, but it was VERY expensive for bread.
    I made this yesterday and my husband said it’s better than Mercier’s! I sent him out for another apple last night and made another loaf for my mom today!

    I just used all purpose flour and active yeast as the original recipe called for because I didn’t see the note about yeast until later. It turned out perfectly!

    1. Way to go, Deanna. Baking a good loaf of bread that pleases other people is SO satisfying. Wouldn’t you agree? I’m so glad you got to experience that. Thank you for the encouraging words about the detailed steps. I’m so happy they were helpful.

  19. Angel Krause says:

    Some of your notes say to preheat oven to 425 for 15 minutes before then instructions says 10 minutes before baking preheat oven to 350, can you explain which way is best? I made this without noticing the 425 and my bread came out good but the middle sank a little. I believe I may have over proofed or maybe high altitude (8,500 ft). I’m new to bread and altitude baking, so I need all the help I can get, lol. Although it sank it was delicious! I made French toast with it. Definitely a keeper recipe!

    1. Hi Angel,

      I am constantly tweaking my recipes when I find a better way. Unfortunately, it looks like I didn’t follow through on this one. I’ll change the recipe instructions, so they match.

      High altitude is a game I’ve never had the opportunity to play. The rules are a bit different, but I’m no authority. I’ve just read about it in books. If you think the bread is over-proofed, don’t hesitate to cut back on the yeast next time. I bet that will help. Also, pay no attention to the clock when proofing bread. The only thing that matters is the size of the dough, no matter how much or how little time it takes to proof.