A perfectly spiced Applesauce Spice Bread made with homemade applesauce is supple and moist. This simple bread can be oven-ready in just a couple of minutes. Perfect with a steamy cup of coffee.
But for this recipe today, I had some leftover spiced vanilla applesauce and decided to make a fall-inspired quick bread.
My grandmother loves a sweet bread and I knew that my aunt that was visiting this weekend could give it to her on her way home from my house.
Plus, this bread keeps really well (and also freezes beautifully), so I knew that it would still be good when it made it to her.
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
You probably have everything you need already in your pantry.
This is a simple wet into dry recipe, so I like to divide the ingredients into their respective categories.
For the dry ingredients, gather together all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger.
For the wet ingredients, bring to room temperature eggs, applesauce, sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, sour cream and vanilla bean paste.
Cinnamon + Nutmeg + Cardamom + Ginger. These really put the spice in this apple spice cake. Keep the spices you like and omit the ones you don’t. Alternatively, use 1 ½ Tablespoons Apple Pie Spice. I like King Arthur brand.
Applesauce. I love the deep, nuanced flavor of my homemade applesauce. Instead of my usual recipe, I tried roasting the apples first and it created a deeper flavor because the sugar caramelized a bit in the oven. So it’s almost like caramel. I love it. But store-bought can also work. Add a touch more cinnamon and sugar if using plain, unsweetened applesauce.
Melted Butter + Sour Cream. Along with the applesauce, these two ingredients add moisture and flavor. Make sure to cool the butter before mixing.
How To Make // The Steps
This bread is super simple and can be in the oven in minutes. I’ve made this a few times and it is so easy, that I’ve been able to get it in the oven while I’m in the middle of making dinner. Ava has even made this bread on her own. Simply:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment, letting the sides overhang and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, applesauce, both sugars, butter, sour cream and vanilla bean paste until well combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined.
- Be careful not to over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (I like to underbake just a tad, or when the toothpick has some loose crumbs).
- Cool on a rack for 20 minutes and pull the bread out with the overhanging parchment (See Baking Tip below to bake it the night before).
Baking Tip: To get ahead and bake it the night before, simply let the apple bread cool a bit, then place a piece of fresh bread on the top. The bread will get stale, but your apple cake will not. It’s magic. In the morning, I toss the slice of bread and take the apple spice bread out of the pan. This trick works for cookies, cakes, anything that can go stale.
What Makes This Applesauce Spice Bread So Good?
Nothing beats the sweet smell of apples and spices baking away in the oven. I whip this quick bread together throughout the fall and winter seasons because:
- Applesauce, melted butter and sour cream make it moist, dark and spongy.
- It makes a quick breakfast, snack or dessert for family and friends.
- Apples, cinnamon and sugar – enough said.
I like to toast a slice of apple bread and serve it with a little bit of butter. Cream cheese or honey would be wonderful, too.
And don’t forget your steamy cup of coffee.
It’s so soft, moist and satisfying. Enjoy it as is on its own.
For some variance in ingredients, you can try:
- Replacing the sour cream with an equal amount of Greek yogurt
- Using coconut oil instead of melted butter
- Adding sanding sugar or streusel on top before baking (see Top Tips for streusel recipe).
Make-Ahead Quick Bread & Freezer Friendly
The applesauce spice cake will keep, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or an airtight container, on the kitchen counter for 3 days or in the fridge for one week.
To freeze, double wrap in plastic wrap, then place in a ziplock bag. Label, date and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw for a few hours on the kitchen counter.
Top Tips for Applesauce Spice Bread:
- Use homemade or store-bought applesauce. I like to use my homemade applesauce recipe for this bread, but you can use whatever applesauce you have on hand. If you use store-bought, make sure it is smooth (not chunky) and add a pinch more cinnamon and sugar.
- Use all, some or an Apple Pie Spice blend. I go heavy-handed with the spices, but you can pick-and-choose which ones to use. King Arthur Apple Pie Spice is another great option. Use 1 ½ Tablespoons.
- Add a sprinkle of sanding sugar or streusel top. A bit of extra sweetness never hurt. Sprinkle on sanding sugar for a glossy finish. Or, combine a ratio of ¾:½:¼ cup flour, sugar, melted butter and sprinkle over the surface before baking.
- This recipe doubles well. Make two loaves. Eat one throughout the week and freeze the other for later. Or gift it to a friend.
- It keeps well for a few days. Wrap well and keep for about 3 days on your kitchen counter or one week in the fridge.
- The apple sauce bread freezes beautifully, too. Double wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then place in a plastic storage bag. Label, date and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw for a few hours on your kitchen counter.
More Apple Recipes //
- Apple Almond Bavarian Cheesecake
- Easy Apple Pie Thumbprint Cookies
- Apple Pound Cake with Rum Glaze
- The Best Apple Pie
- Apple Biscoff Hazelnut Muffins
- Apple Skillet Popover
Originally published in November 2015, updated August 2020 with updated images and updated recipe card.