Moist and flavorful bakery-style caramel apple bread glazed with a thick and crunchy caramel icing.
Is there a reason why you wouldn’t want to glaze your apple bread with caramel icing? My answer is no, and luckily most of you think the same way I do – I know this because yesterday when I asked you on Instagram to-glaze-or-not-to-glaze, your answer was yes almost unanimously. Great answer! That’s why I love you guys so much.
Let’s talk about caramel apple bread!
This is a classic recipe for apple bread, the kind you’ll be happy to find in any bakery. It’s bread-y and crust-y but also moist and tender. It’s full of flavor with bits of apples. I usually use one cup of apple pieces but for more apple flavor you can add 2 cups.
How do you make apple bread?
Apple bread is a quick bread and therefore very quick and easy to make. You mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another bowl, then mix the two together, and stir in the apples. You don’t need a mixer to make this. Baking time takes about an hour.
How do you make the caramel glaze?
Great news! It’s super easy and even the clueless baker can make it. Unlike my classic recipe for caramel, this recipe uses brown sugar, butter, and cream, as a trick to get a caramel flavor, same as I did here. I let the caramel mixture cool slightly, and then I add powdered sugar. The sugar helps to get that old-fashioned sweet, thick, crunchy glaze. It’s a nice addition to the bread, but if it’s not your cup of tea, the bread will be just as good without it.
What are the best apples to use for baking apple cakes and breads?
That depends on your taste. One of my favorites and go-to apples for any baked recipe is Granny Smith, and it’s widely available in many stores. It’s tart and tangy with a firm flesh, so it won’t get mushy after cooking like other apples. In my cake and apple recipes, I usually pair it with a sweeter and softer apple to get a more complex flavor and texture.
Other firm apples that retain their shape after cooking are Jonathan or Jonagold (they are between sweet and tart), Braeburn which has a spicy-sweet flavor (but I prefer using it in pies), Gala and Honey Crisp. Gala is a crispy apple and it’s wonderfully sweet. Honey Crisp is quite firm and more sweet than tart, so it’s great when combining with other apples.
Softer and sweeter apples are Pink Lady and Golden Delicious. Flavorwise, I love Golden Delicious because it’s very sweet and yummy, but the flesh won’t stay as firm as some other baking apples. I did try to bake my bread with it, and it was delicious.
- 1¾ cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar (replace up to half with brown sugar)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) flavorless oil such as canola
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) yogurt
- 1 large apple (or 2 small ones), peeled and chopped into cubes
- 3/4 cup (150 g) brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons (40 g) unsalted butter
- 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar.
In a medium bowl whisk the egg, then add oil, vanilla extract and yogurt until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in the chopped apple. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. If the top is getting too brown while baking, cover pan loosely with aluminum foil. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
To make the glaze: In a medium saucepan, mix together sugar, heavy cream, and butter and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for 1-2 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove saucepan from the heat, and let cool slightly. Add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and whisk until smooth and combined. Mixture should be thick, if it's still liquid, add another tablespoon until thick but pourable. Spread caramel mixture evenly over the bread.
Bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in refrigerator for 5 days. Serve at room temperature.