Applesauce Bread

We love this applesauce bread recipe because what results is delicious and wonderfully moist, but also because it’s easy to have all the ingredients on hand. These are perfect for breakfast bake sales as well as for those held later in the day.–Gretchen Holt-Witt

LC Applesauce Actuality Note

Comfort finds us in unexpected places. Like this simple, not-too-sweet, subtly apple-y quick bread that’s full of sugar and spice and all things nice. As such, it’s lovely warm out of the oven, natch, but also the next morning toasted with butter or with afternoon coffee or tea or…well, whenever you crave a little comfort.

Confession: We’ve become fond of first making applesauce from scratch–the kind with tender, sweetly tart chunks of caramelized apples–so as to lend the bread a little something unexpected in terms of texture. You can find our favorite recipe below, in the ingredients list, although you certainly won’t be disappointed if you make this recipe with store-bought unsweetened applesauce–a perfectly respectable choice.

Applesauce Bread Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes 2 loaves or 2 dozen muffins

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups store-bought or homemade applesauce, at room temperature
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for the pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped (optional)

Directions

  • 1. To make the applesauce bread, preheat the oven to 350˚F (176°C). Lightly butter 2 standard-size loaf pans or place paper liners in 24 cupcake or muffin tins.
  • 2. Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fit with a paddle and beat until the mixture is lemon-colored and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • 3. Add the applesauce and then the butter, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. (The mixture will break and appear curdled, and while you may think you’ve ruined it, just keep on going because everything is fine.)
  • 4. Place the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl and mix well. Stir it into the applesauce mixture and beat to combine. Add the nuts, if desired, and mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • 5. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pans or, if making muffins, use a 2-ounce ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon to fill the prepared tins. Bake the applesauce bread until golden brown and firm in the center, about 1 hour for loaves and 20 to 25 minutes for cupcakes. Let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and set aside to cool.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Anna Scott

Oct 14, 2011

With fall on the way, I’ve been wanting to make something with apples to celebrate the season. Since I had most of the ingredients on hand already, I was excited to make this delicious bread. I was afraid the bread might not be moist enough, since there was no yogurt or buttermilk involved, but the mixture of applesauce and butter really made a very moist bread. (To clarify, I used store-bought unsweetened applesauce; I didn’t want to use sweetened applesauce that might interfere with the flavor and sweetness of the other ingredients.) I did use walnuts, which I would recommend; the crunchiness added a nice texture to the bread. I made the bread in loaf pans, but instead of the one hour suggested cooking time, it actually took my bread one hour and 15 minutes to cook completely. Just like the title of its cookbook, I bet this delicious bread would sell out quickly at a bake sale!

Testers Choice
Chiyo Ueyama

Oct 14, 2011

An unpretentious, good-anytime bread that is easy to make. It was extremely moist and had a gentle texture, and it stayed that way even after having been refrigerated overnight. In fact, I thought the deeper sweetness which reminded me of dark brown sugar tasted better the following day. I used store-bought applesauce without any added sugar. For a fancy look, I think you could “dress” the top of the batter before it goes in the oven; some of the chopped walnuts, sliced almonds, and thinly sliced apples come to mind.

Testers Choice
Maria Peplowski

Oct 14, 2011

This recipe delivers exactly what is promised — easy to make, moist, AND you probably have these ingredients in your pantry. I made the applesauce using five apples, which was not enough (the five medium apples made about two cups). Luckily I had a small store-bought jar which, together with my homemade, made up the three required cups. Cooking time was exactly one hour. Looks really nice and is nicely moist. It smells nice too! What more could you want? I’m going to freeze one and see how it tastes in a month or so. Oh, and as I am not a fan of nuts in my breads, I didn’t use them. When I make this again, I might add some other spices, such as nutmeg or ginger, and more cinnamon.

Testers Choice
Elsa M. Jacobson

Oct 14, 2011

This easy quick bread makes a scrumptious, moist loaf with ingredients most of us have on hand, and in very short order! I made it on a Sunday morning and it was perfect for late breakfast-time on a slow-moving early fall day. Because it is both lovely and moist, it would, as the authors suggest, also be terrific for bake sales, and I think it would be a fine hostess gift at any time. The directions were precisely correct, and after exactly one hour of baking time, I had a loaf with a beautiful crumb. I made this batch without walnuts, because I did not have them on hand, but, because I love nuts in my baked goods, would definitely add the optional nuts next time. Nonetheless, this loaf is yummy in its most plain Jane version, and could only get better from there. I think pecans or almonds would substitute just fine for the walnuts. Further, pear sauce or apple pear sauce would add an additional hint of fall. I used a smooth applesauce, but I would also consider chunky to add a bit of texture to this bread. And for big cinnamon lovers, the cinnamon could be doubled for a spicier touch — or a pinch or two of cloves and/or nutmeg in addition to the cinnamon would switch it out a bit as well. Butter, cream cheese, and/or apple butter would also complement this delicious loaf well.

Testers Choice
Cindy Zaiffdeen

Oct 14, 2011

This is one of the easiest quick breads I’ve ever had the pleasure to bake. A great change from banana bread. I wasn’t sure whether the standard-size loaf pan should be 9″ by 5″, or 8″ by 4″, so I used the latter. The loaves came out beautifully rounded on top. I did use the walnuts as suggested, and they made a nice textural addition to the bread. So moist and delicious. Great for dessert, breakfast or just snacking. Will definitely make this again!

Testers Choice
Karen Depp

Oct 14, 2011

This Applesauce Bread has a subtle applesaucey, spicy taste. it is a fine-grained loaf bread and it also makes wonderful muffins. The applesauce keeps it moist and flavorful without being too sweet. It is good with coffee, milk, and tea — what more could you ask for? This recipe made one standard-size loaf and 18 muffins. Next, let’s see how it freezes because it would be great to have this on hand at all times.

Testers Choice
Sandy Hill

Oct 14, 2011

This Applesauce Bread is a winner for any bake sale! I had all the ingredients on hand and it went together so fast. The result was two beautifully rounded loaves and the house smelled of fall. I used unsweetened store-bought applesauce. The cooking time for the loaves was perfect. I also made the recipe a second time and made all muffins. Again, the cooking time was perfect. I gave the loaves away (crazy me) and then kept all the muffins. Great little snack, and they stayed so moist. I think it would’ve been helpful to give the measurements for a “standard-size loaf pan.” To me, that means 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ x 2 1/2″. This is definitely a keeper!

Testers Choice
Joan Osborne

Oct 14, 2011

I made these twice. The first time I got 33 muffins instead of 24. They were perfectly done and golden brown at 20 minutes. I baked them in aluminum muffin pans with cupcake liners in them. I used a 1/4 cup measure to fill the tins. I used a hand-held mixer, since I don’t have a stand mixer. The muffins were very moist and good, but I felt a slight aftertaste in my mouth after eating them. As the muffins aged in the fridge and I took them to work for my snack each day, that taste went away. Some of my tasters also commented on this, and some even asked if I’d put molasses in them. I thought a whole tablespoon of baking soda sounded like a lot, and maybe that was the culprit. I decided to make them a second time and use baking powder instead. I made a half recipe this time and used a silicone muffin pan with paper liners. It took about 10 minutes more baking time to get them to a golden brown, but they did taste much better from the start. These make a great snack and are very moist. I’ll be making them again, but with baking powder instead of baking soda.

Testers Choice
Linda Pacchiano

Oct 14, 2011

There is nothing not to like about this recipe. It is easy to make, most, if not all, of the ingredients are already in your pantry, and the result is a light, moist and flavorful bread (cake?) that can be served at any time of the day. I made 12 muffins with half of the batter and a loaf with the other half. I almost forgot to add the nuts to the batter, so as I was filling the muffin tin I simply sprinkled them on top. This actually worked better, since the muffins looked very “dressed up.” Baking time for me was 55 minutes for the loaf and 15 minutes for the muffins, a little under what is stated in the recipe. I didn’t have time to make my own applesauce, so I used regular Mott’s. I don’t think this had any effect on the end result, so take it easy and go with store-bought applesauce.

Testers Choice
Adrienne Lee

Oct 14, 2011

The bread tastes good. I used the optional toasted walnuts and really liked the combination. Note that this requires a lot of butter. The butter overwhelms the applesauce flavor a little bit. If I were making this again, I would substitute safflower oil for all or part of the fat in the recipe. I always line my pans with parchment for quick loaves and so never have a problem with removing them from pans.

Testers Choice
Jane R.

Oct 14, 2011

Loved this easy, easy bread/muffin! It has great flavor and was ready in minutes. There are only a few common ingredients and I had everything I needed. I decided to make muffins for easy portability. They were ready in about 21 minutes. I ended up using a combo of homemade and no-sugar-added Mott’s and they turned out very tasty. The only thing I questioned was the amount of flour vs. the amount of applesauce. I ended up adding about 1/2 cup more flour, as the batter seemed very wet and the muffins still turned out great! Will make again!

Comments
Comments
  1. Susan says:

    The tablespoon of baking soda alarms me! I was under the impression that the rule of thumb is 1/4 tsp of baking soda to each 1 cup of acidic ingredient. Is one tablespoon correct in this recipe?

    • David Leite says:

      ‘Tis indeed correct, Susan. Remember, you have three cups of applesauce, which is acidic, plus the egg whites, which are slightly acidic. But the proof’s in the pudding, or in this case, quick bread: none of our testers had a problem!

  2. I, too, was alarmed with the amount of baking soda. But it came out perfect. Thanks, Leites, for another great recipe.

  3. Lisa says:

    I added some overripe mashed bananas that were about to go, and that really added both moistness and another layer of flavor. Yummy with butter or softened cream cheese!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Brilliant, Lisa. Brilliant. I love that. I’m going to give that a go next time I make it–and I’m quite certain I won’t be the only one who reads your trick and tries it. Many thanks…

  4. MP says:

    Baked this last night and the flavor and texture are great, but the inside of the loaf seems to have turned pinkish in color – what would cause this? Is it safe to eat? I used applesauce from Trader Joe’s, as well as walnuts, and otherwise followed the recipe exactly.

    • Cindy says:

      It might be from the apples in the apple sauce or the walnuts themselves. When I made the applesauce bread I used homemade applesauce and mine turned out pinkish as well. There was nothing wrong with it. I also made a walnut bread from Amy Scherber’s Amy’s Bread book and the dough turned a pinkish colour while the dough proofed. There was nothing wrong with it–just the color coming out of the walnuts.

  5. Xean says:

    This is the first time I’ve been to your blog and it looks really nice. You have lots of delicious recipe, especially this one–applesauce bread because it’s easy to make. Bookmark–done. :)

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Music to our ears, Xean! We can think of no higher compliment. Thank you!

  6. isabelle says:

    I was looking for a recipe to use up our apples from our apple picking trip last wknd. I tried the recipe but made a few simple changes: I used apple puree (raw) and oil instead of butter, I exchanged some of the white sugar for brown and finally, I used half white flour and the other half multi-grain. Oh and I doubled the cinnamon + added a bit of nutmeg! No nuts, but the next time I try, I will puree those, as my kids don’t like the texture of nuts in breads…. It was delicious and so easy to make.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Isabelle, that sounds terrific. I love when someone takes a recipe and makes it their own. Many thanks for taking the time to let us know, I’m actually really curious to try the recipe your way and I think others will be, too.

  7. Rachel says:

    Just had a slice (okay, a doorstop!) of this, still warm from the oven. Very delicious, and so moist! I included the walnuts, I like the toasted nutty flavour. It’s a big recipe though, I had to split it into two bowls before I added the walnuts. Nice and easy for a total amateur like me.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Hah! I respect your doorstop approach, Rachel, and vastly prefer it to my usual way of going back and back and back for “just one more” skinny slice. Am going to adopt your bold approach, thank you for that. Lovely to hear that you had such a terrific experience, I so appreciate you taking the time to let us know. Looking forward to hearing which recipe from the site you try next.

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