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This apple cake loaf is soft, fluffy, and filled with delicious apple chunks. It’s easy to make, and can be topped with a cinnamon cream cheese icing or enjoyed as it! It’s filled with Fall spices and you won’t even need a mixer!
This apple cake loaf is just the perfect way to welcome Fall. It’s a cozy recipe and I love making it to enjoy at home or even give as a gift (baked goods make the best gifts!).
This recipe can be made with dairy ingredients or it can be made dairy free, and the optional cinnamon cream cheese icing pairs perfectly with the cinnamon apple bread!
Why You’ll Love This Apple Cake Loaf
- It’s easy to make and there is no mixer required!
- The unglazed loaf on it's own isn't too sweet, so it's perfect for serving at brunch!
- It uses oil instead of butter, which gives the loaf a light, fluffy texture.
- It’s filled with little bits of apple, and you can use any kind of apples you'd like!
- The apple loaf can be topped with a cinnamon cream cheese icing for a sweeter treat, or enjoyed plain. You can also top it with a streusel topping before baking (like this one, used in these Blueberry Muffins)
- Both the loaf and the cinnamon cream cheese glaze can be made using dairy ingredients, or you can make this loaf completely dairy free!
- Oil: any neutral oil will work great - sunflower oil, canola oil, vegetable oil are best. You can also substitute for unsweetened apple sauce or melted butter.
- Flour: this recipe works best with all-purpose flour. Be sure to properly measure your flour using a kitchen scale or the scoop and level method!
- Milk: You can use regular milk, or if you follow a dairy free diet, you can use any unsweetened dairy free milk you’d like.
- Cream Cheese: If you plan to make the cinnamon cream cheese glaze, you can use regular cream cheese or vegan cream cheese. Adjust the milk and icing sugar quantities to reach desired consistency.
- Apples: My favorite apples to use in this recipe are Gala apples or Honey Crisp, but you can use Fuji, Pink Lady, Granny Smith, or any other varieties. If you want to avoid mushy apple pieces, I recommend staying away from Red Delicious.
Step By Step Instructions
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Leave some hanging over the sides to make it easier to lift the loaf out of the pan later. Chop the apple into small cubes, roughly 0.5”, measure out 1 ½ cups, and set aside.
STEP TWO: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.
STEP THREE: In a large bowl, mix oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and milk and mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
STEP FOUR: Stir in chopped apples, then pour the batter in the pan and bake for 37-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
STEP FIVE: Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. If making the cinnamon cream cheese icing, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until there are no clumps. Store in the fridge and drizzle onto the loaf before serving. The icing will stay soft, especially in warmer temperatures.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Gala, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, and Granny Smith, are typically the most firm and flavorful. This recipe will work great with almost any variety though.
Yes! For a treat that is a little less sweet, skip the glaze. You can also use a streusel topping instead. I recommend this one, used on my blueberry muffin recipe. Sprinkle the streusel on top of the loaf before baking!
Yes! This glaze has been tested with both regular cream cheese and dairy free/vegan cream cheese. Both work great and when I make this with dairy free cream cheese no one can tell the difference!
This loaf should definitely not be dry! If it seems dry or crumbly, the flour was likely over-measured.
Sure! Divide the batter between the prepared muffin tins and bake for around 13-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
- Properly measure your flour: Over-measuring your flour will lead to a dry, crumbly apple cake loaf. I strongly recommend using a kitchen scale, but you can also use the scoop and level method if you don't have a scale.
- Keep an eye on the bake time: Leaving the loaf in the oven for too long can also lead to a dry, over-baked loaf. You can begin checking at around 35 minutes to be safe, as all ovens are different.
- Don't over-mix the batter: Stop stirring in the dry ingredients as soon as the last specks of flour disappear.
- Play around with add-in's: If you'd like to add nuts to the loaf, chop up some walnuts or pecans and fold them into the batter, or sprinkle them on top of the loaf before baking.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
The un-glazed loaf should be kept covered at room temperature for up to 4 days. I recommend storing the cream cheese glaze separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator, then glazing the loaf before serving. If the loaf has already been topped with the cinnamon cream cheese glaze, it should be stored in the refrigerator.
You can also freeze the unglazed loaf for up to two months. After it has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in ceran wrap, then wrap in tinfoil and place in a large ziploc bag. You can also freeze individual unglazed slices the same way.
MORE FALL RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
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Apple Cake Loaf
- 9x5 Loaf Pan
Apple Cake Loaf
- ⅓ cup canola oil (or other neutral oil)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups apple* chopped into small pieces (roughly 1 ½ apples)
- ⅓ cup milk (regular or vegan)
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing (optional)
- 4 tablespoon cream cheese, softened (regular or vegan)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar (icing sugar/confectioner's sugar)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tablespoon milk (regular or dairy free)
Apple Cake Loaf
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×5 baking pan with parchment paper, letting it hand out over the sides. This will make it easier to remove the loaf from the pan later. Set aside.
- Chop apples into small cubes (roughly 0.5″) and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar together. Whisk in the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the chopped apples. Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for 37-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing (optional)
- Add powdered sugar, cinnamon, cream cheese, and 1 tablespoon of milk to a bowl and whisk until fully combined, adding more milk if needed to adjust consistency.
- Pour the glaze over the cooled loaf right before serving. Slice and enjoy!
The calorie information provided for this recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.