Apple Walnut Bread

On the healthier side, this hearty apple walnut bread works for breakfast or dessert. With no added oils, butter, or white sugar- the sweet taste of the apples & the natural texture of the soft bread and nuts shines through. Fall or Winter, when apples are in season this sweet, simple bread is a must-make recipe! 

slices of fresh apple walnut bread shown on a white background

The holidays are always a really happy, but really hectic time around our house. 

It’s a magical time filled with lots of baking, and gift giving. We want to share a little slice of that magic with everyone we can.

The budget though doesn’t always allow for store bought gifts, especially not with a large family, friends, and community.

Luckily, we can always rely on our trusty pair of holiday gift-giving crutches, the old glue gun and the family recipe book (or Pinterest if need be).

Who doesn’t love an adorable hand-made trinket, or something delicious that just tastes like Christmas in a bite?

After all, it’s the season of giving!

a loaf of apple walnut bread shown sliced open to reveal the soft inside with tender apples and walnuts

Loaves of our Apple Walnut Bread are one of our go-to’s for just such an occasion, especially after taking advantage of the nearby apple harvest the month before.

Ahh, the perks of living 30 minutes from the mountains of Virginia.

Sometimes called farmhouse bread, or even apple nut bread, this warm loaf studded with baked apples and walnuts is a Southern staple for the holidays.

It tastes homey, and welcoming, like you can feel the love baked into every bite.

You’d probably be surprised to know that despite this depth of flavor, it’s actually very easy to make.

While we love from scratch savory loaves around here, we always try to keep it simple!

a brown loaf of apple walnut bread shown on a wooden cutting board

Ingredients Needed

  • sour cream – if you’re trying to cut calories, you can sub Greek yogurt
  • brown sugar – you can use either light or dark brown sugar, just don’t try and substitute regular granulated white sugar in this recipe
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • flour – regular all purpose is all you need
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt – don’t skip the salt! an old baker’s secret, and pinch of salt in your sweets actually helps enhance their sweetness
  • diced apples – the smaller the chunks, the better they will evenly spread out in this bread
  • chopped walnuts – same as with the apples, the smaller the chop the better

three slices of apple walnut bread fanned out on a white marble counter top

What Kind Of Apples Are Best?

I used the traditional granny smith for the loaves pictured.

Granny smith’s tend to be the standard for baking. 

This is mostly due to the fact that they hold up well when baking, and their natural tartness is enhanced when baked.

This pairs well with the sugar in sweet baked goods like pies & breads.

However, I often use whatever I have on hand- which means I’ve also used honey crisp, fuji, gala, and even golden delicious.

You really can’t go wrong with whatever apple you choose to use in this apple walnut bread.

slices of fresh apple walnut bread shown on a white background

Big Or Small- Use One Large Loaf Pan Or Several Smaller Ones

As written, we bake this recipe in one large loaf pan.

Typically a 9×5″ non stick one.

It’s the perfect size for slicing and serving for small family gatherings- whether for brunch or dessert.

However, especially if you want to make it to gift, then smaller loaves may be more appealing.

This recipe will fill 3-4 small loaf tins, depending on size and pouring.

I’d suggest using disposable aluminum tins if you’re going this route.

Once completely cooled, those will be easy to wrap in cellophane and tied with a pretty bow for gift giving.

soft butter being spread on a fresh slice of apple walnut bread

How To Make

Making this apple walnut bread is super easy, whatever your previous baking experience.

So don’t let that scare you off, give it a go. It’s very forgiving!

Begin by prepping your loaf pan.

You can either spray it liberally with non stick cooking spray, or coat it in butter.

Even if using a non stick version, I still suggest coating it.

To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sour cream, sugar, eggs, and vanilla- mixing until smooth and incorporated.

In a separate mixing bowl (although this step is the perfectionist in me) add the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

Whisk together until evenly combined.

Slowly add the dry mixture into the batter, continuing to mix, until it’s all evenly combined.

Using a spatula fold in all of the apples and half of the nuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan (or pans), and using the spatula to gently smooth them evenly out on top.

Sprinkle the remaining nuts evenly out overtop.

Bake the apple walnut bread at 375 degrees for 55-60 minutes if using a single, large loaf pan. 

Use the toothpick test in the center to make sure it’s set, and watch it the last five minutes to ensure it doesn’t go from browned to burnt on top.

If opting for several smaller loaves, bake them for 35-40 minutes with the same parameters.

Remove the cooked loaf (or loaves) from the oven.

Let the apple walnut bread cool for 10 full minutes. 

Run a butter knife around the edges of the dish to release the bread from the pan.

Transfer it to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

a slice of apple walnut bread spread with fresh butter

How To Serve

Once cooled, the apple walnut bread will slice beautifully. 

It can then be served, as is.

A pat of butter spread over a slice is truly delicious!

It’s also great when the slices are lightly toasted.

In fact, toasted slices spread with a teensy bit of butter and sprinkled with a pinch of cinnamon and sugar is the sons’ favorite way to enjoy it.

It makes a delicious breakfast or brunch, but it’s also a great dessert. 

And either way, it pairs perfectly with a steaming mug of coffee or tea.

This apple walnut bread just tastes like home- if your home were, say… in a cabin tucked up in the Blue Ridge mountains.

And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that I’ll always be ‘home’ for Christmas- especially with several slices of this warm fruit & nut bread.

Other Hearty Winter Bread Recipes To Try

That homey feeling is perfect to pass along this time of year, especially to any of our friends and family who may not be as fortunate as we are to be home for the holidays this year.

Looking for other easy loaf ideas to bake for friends and family?

Try these:

If you’ve tried this APPLE WALNUT BREAD, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

slices of fresh apple walnut bread shown on a white background

Apple Walnut Bread

On the healthier side, this hearty apple walnut bread works for breakfast or dessert. With no added oils, butter, or white sugar- the sweet taste of the apples & the natural texture of the soft bread and nuts shines through. Fall or Winter, when apples are in season this sweet, simple bread is a must-make recipe! 
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Course: Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 268kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup apples diced very fine
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  • Spray one large loaf pan or 3 small with non stick cooking spray or coat in butter and set aside
  • In a stand mixer, mix together the first 4 ingredients.
  • Add the dry ingredients mixing well and scraping sides of the bowl so that everything is evenly incorporated.
  • Fold in the apples and half of the nuts.
  • Pour the batter into the loaf pan(s) and top with the remaining nuts.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 60 min. (large) and 35-40 min. (small)
  • Let the loaf rest in the pan(s) for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Nutrition

Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 11400129mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 2mg

pictures & post updated December 7, 2020

recipe adapted from On Sutton Place

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