Applesauce Bread

This applesauce bread is quick and easy comfort food. Made with store-bought or homemade applesauce, flour, butter, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, and walnuts, it’s a perfect snack for kids and adults.

A loaf of applesauce bread in a parchment-lined loaf pan

Comfort finds us in unexpected places. Like this simple, not-too-sweet, subtly flavored applesauce bread that boasts sugar and spice and all things nice. It’s lovely warm out of the oven, natch, but also toasted and slathered with butter the next morning or afternoon or at 2 am or, well, whenever you crave a little comfort. Originally published October 14, 2011.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Choose The Best Applesauce

We’ve become quite fond of making applesauce from scratch. You know, the kind of applesauce that’s not uniformly smooth but rather punctuated with tender, sweetly tart chunks of caramelized apple goodness. And we tend to make so much of it we don’t hesitate to use it in this applesauce quick read recipe to lend it a little something unexpected in terms of taste and texture. You can find our favorite applesauce recipe below, in the ingredients list, although you certainly won’t be disappointed if you make this recipe with store-bought unsweetened applesauce, which remains a perfectly respectable choice.

Applesauce Bread

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes 2 loaves or 2 dozen muffins
Print RecipeBuy the Cookies for Kids' Cancer cookbook

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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 (8 oz), 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. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Lightly butter 2 loaf pans or place paper liners in 24 cupcake or muffin tins.
  • 2. Toss the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fit with a paddle and beat until the mixture thickens and turns the color of lemons, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • 3. Add first the applesauce and then the butter and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. The mixture may appear curdled but fear not, you did not just ruin your quick bread batter. Everything is fine. Just keep on going with the recipe and keep calm.
  • 4. Dump 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 bread until golden brown and firm in the center, about 1 hour for loaves and 20 to 25 minutes for muffins. Let the bread cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and set aside to cool.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

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 applesauce 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 bake completely.

Just like the title of its cookbook, I bet this delicious bread would sell out quickly at a bake sale!

An unpretentious, good-anytime applesauce bread that's 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.

This bread delivers exactly what's 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 3 required cups. 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.

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 1 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.

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!

This applesauce bread has a subtle applesauce-y, spicy taste. It's 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 1 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.

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!

There is nothing not to like about this recipe. It's 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.”

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.

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. 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!

I made this recipe 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. 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.

The applesauce 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.

Comments

  1. 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?

    1. ‘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, Leite’s, for another great recipe.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

    1. 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. 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. :)

  6. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

  8. This is a terrific recipe, easy, foolproof, and delicious. I added a handful of golden raisins that were hidden in the back of my fridge; they were past their prime to say the least, so I soaked them in hot water for a few minutes…. they added a sweet and juicy presence to this lovely quick bread.

  9. OH WOW. This was totally amazing. Instead of the walnuts I chopped up 1 1/2 apples in the food processor and folded them into the batter. The recipe was perfect. This bread so moist and flavorful. My new favorite. Thank you SO MUCH!

  10. So good! I used almonds on top with a dusting of sugar. This bread is very light but hearty. I really like this recipe, especially how inexpensive the ingredients are. It’s really good with whipped topping and a cider.

  11. I made this recipe tonight and it was wonderful! I actually cut the recipe in half because I didn’t want to waste ingredients if we didn’t like it. Well..that was not a good decision because now I wished I had made the full recipe! I waited a bit for it to cool down before I cut it and when I did it was deliciously moist. The only thing I did differently was I added the whole amount of cinnamon for one loaf. It was not overpowering either. Also for baking I have a longer rectangle baking pan that I bought at IKEA a couple of years ago. Best investment and very inexpensive! I’ve never found another pan like this anywhere else. I baked my loaf in a 325 degree oven for 55 min and NEVER have to test if it’s done. It always comes out perfect! Banana or any other kind of bread. I highly recommend it if you live near an IKEA store. Anyway as others have mentioned I might add nutmeg and other spices next time. It was delicious and will definitely make again. Oh and I had unsweetened homemade applesauce and it was just right. Thank you for the recipe!!

    1. Lesli, I’m grinning because I often do the same thing when I try a new recipe, and it’s always disappointing when it turns out better than you expect, isn’t it?! But I’m so glad you tried it and loved it. Appreciate you sharing your tricks with everyone. As for that baking pan, is this the same loaf pan that you purchased? Many thanks!

  12. Okay, I just made this bread and it is… phenomenally good. I don’t think I’ve ever actually had an applesauce bread before today. I knew they existed and it sounded like something I could make on this chilly afternoon as we have a large jar of unsweetened applesauce in the fridge that no one is eating. I only had a tiny bit of butter so I replaced that with coconut oil. I also added more cinnamon as our family loves it and I added a pinch of allspice and cloves. When the loaf was about halfway done I sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on top as I always have some made in the pantry for French toast. I have to say this bread is better than banana bread and I LOVE banana bread. I can’t even believe I’m typing that! Thank you for a wonderful recipe I will be sure to make time and time again!

    1. Magnficent, Jenna! You’re so very welcome! And thank you so much for taking the time to let us know! We love everything about your comment, especially how you tweaked the recipe to make it your own. Love to hear which recipe on the site you try next…!

  13. Excellent flavor – used homemade apple sauce, more on the chunky side than a smooth purée. Apple pie spice, too. But I felt it was almost too moist. A pumpkin bread recipe I like for 2 loaves uses only 2 cups of the pumpkin, so I will try this next with 2 cups applesauce not 3. Also got 3 7-x-3 loaves, 1 with nuts and 2 with nuts and golden raisins, using foil pans with non stick spray and sugar in the pans. Bake weekly as thank you’s for wonderful neighbors who help me out as am wheelchair bound. Really enjoy your postings and those of your testers as I like to analyze recipes to see if I can make them more to my taste.

    1. Jane, you’re more than welcome! I think the excess moisture might be do to the chunkiness of your applesauce. Those chunks contain liquid that hasn’t been evaporated by cooking.

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