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Sweet Apple Cinnamon Bread Machine Recipe

Preview: Although Grandma probably wouldn’t make this Sweet Apple Cinnamon Bread recipe with a bread machine, I’m pretty sure she would love to eat it. Spiced apples and raisins make this whole wheat loaf incredibly moist.

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 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 a stand mixer. See the notes in the recipe.

Cinnamon Apple Loaf for the Bread Machine--sliced

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.

Since I’m a yogurt maker, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that this Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Yeast 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 on top of a streusel-topped loaf.

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

apples in a bag (the filling for the bread)
Apples in a Bag (or Bowl)–cooked in two minutes using the microwave makes a much fresher icing than canned apple pie filling.

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. I like to chop butter into relatively small junks so it will soften quickly.
  • 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 type of apple that will hold its shape when cooked like yellow delicious apples.
ingredients needed for cinnamon-apple bread

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 quickly 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 the 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 in the days leading up to Christmas because it only gets better 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.

sliced cinnamon-apple bread spread with apple butter

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.

adding ingredients to the bread machine pan
Add all of the dough ingredients into the bread machine pan except for the raisins.
Starting the DOUGH cycle.
Select the DOUGH cycle and press START. The dough will be clumpy in the beginning.
Dough is a little wet as evidenced by dough at the bottom.
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.
Adding raisins.
When the machine beeps (if it has this feature), add the raisins. Otherwise, add the raisins 4-5 minutes before the kneading finishes.

MEANWHILE: Prepare the apple filling.

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

removing the dough from the bread machine pan when it has doubled in size.
When the dough has doubled in size (no more, no less), pull it out of the pan onto a lightly floured surface.
rolling out the dough
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 the apple filling over the dough
Spread the room-temperature apple filling evenly over the dough.
rolling up the dough
Starting with one of the long sides, roll up the dough without stretching or tearing it.
pinching the seams of the roll
Pinch the seams with your fingers.
cutting the roll in half
Use a large knife to cut the roll in half using the seam as your guide.
Cutting the roll into 2 half-pipes
Separate the dough into “half-pipes” and roll so you can see the layers.
folding the dough into the pan
Using a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, lay one “S” shape in 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.


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

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 rack
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 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 loaf

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.

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

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

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

Hope to see you again soon!

Apple-Cinnamon Bread sliced

Sweet Apple-Cinnamon Bread Machine Recipe

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


  • 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


  • 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



  • 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. Ten minutes before the bread is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
  • 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.
  • Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  • 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.
  • Frosting
  • Combine powdered sugar, coffee, and cream cheese. Add more sugar if too thin, or add coffee if too thick. Drizzle over cooled loaf.

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


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 154kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 3gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 197mgPotassium: 141mgFiber: 2gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 155IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg
Keyword apple bread, apple cinnamon swirl bread, bread machine recipe, sweet whole wheat loaf, whole wheat bread
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating

Jo L

Friday 5th of November 2021

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/????


Saturday 6th of November 2021

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.


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