Fluffy and moist vegan apple bread that comes together in one bowl using only 8 ingredients! The bread can easily be made gluten-free and refined sugar-free too.
Why you'll love this recipe
TASTE/TEXTURE: This bread uses grated apples rather than roughly chopped apples which creates a tender 'melt-in-your-mouth' texture. The bread is moist and almost cake-like!
OCCASION: Enjoy an undecorated slice of apple bread for breakfast or top it with frosting and caramelized apples for afternoon tea or a gathering!
Ingredients you'll need
This quick bread uses only common pantry ingredients including:
Notes about the ingredients
All-purpose flour for the fluffiest vegan apple bread! This bread can be made gluten-free (see a picture of the gluten-free version later in this post). The gluten-free flour quantities are detailed in the notes of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Brown sugar or coconut sugar provides depth of flavor to this bread. For bread that is less sweet, I recommend coconut sugar. Alternatively, this recipe works with a granulated sugar replacer such as erythritol!
Apple that has been coarsely grated or finely chopped. The apple kind of 'melts' away and makes the bread very moist! I recommend using a sweet snacking apple such as a Fuji, Gala or Honey Crisp.
Baking powder and soda. We're using double baking agents to make sure the vegan apple bread is fluffy and bakes in the middle. Quick breads can still be fluffy without eggs!
Apple cider vinegar (optional). When an acid is added to a cake batter, it creates a more tender crumb. Alternatively, you can use lemon juice or white vinegar or simply omit it.
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to prepare vegan apple bread
To prepare the batter, all you need to do is mix the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and mix.
My top tips for making the batter are:
- Use grams to measure the ingredients. Apples vary a lot in size and flour and brown sugar can be under or over-measured when using cups.
- Your apple shouldn't be too juicy after you grate/chop it. If it leaks any juice, add a little extra flour (details are in the notes of the recipe card at the bottom of this post).
- Don't overmix the batter. I often 'fold' my cake batter to prevent this from happening! A few lumps are fine, as long as they aren't lumps of flour!
Oven baking tips
This vegan apple bread takes around 50 minutes to 1 hour to bake. However, the amount of time will depend on how hot your oven runs and whether it has any hot spots!
If you check your bread at the 30 to 40 minute mark and it's browning quickly on top, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
Some ovens have very strong top heating elements and will brown the apple bread too quickly or make the surface crack too much. If you know that your oven does this, I recommend covering your loaf pan with aluminum foil at the beginning of baking (or place a baking tray on the top rack above your apple bread). Towards the end of baking, if your bread isn't golden brown on top, remove the foil or tray and allow it to brown.
On the other hand, make sure your oven isn't too cool otherwise your bread will be too dense!
Making caramelized apples for the topping (optional)
I love topping my vegan apple bread with caramelized apples because it adds flavor and is also very pretty!
My top tips for caramelizing the apples are:
- The longer you cook the mixture, the softer and more caramelized the apple pieces will be.
- Once you add the sugar, don't walk away from the stove because sugar burns easily!
Other topping suggestions
The vegan apple bread is delicious by itself with no toppings!
However, before baking, you can top the bread with:
- rolled oats
- pumpkin seeds, just like my vegan pumpkin bread
- crumb topping, either a plain cinnamon crumble or pecan crumble
- chopped apple. I recommend covering your loaf pan with aluminum foil as the apples may burn.
I topped my bread with a soft cream cheese icing and caramelized apples. Alternatively, you can top it with:
- simple sugar glaze, like my lemon olive oil cake
- vegan buttercream, from my ginger cake (minus the coconut)
- coconut yogurt (like below)
Customizing this recipe
I recommend replacing the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour or spelt flour and using coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
Some readers have successfully substituted the oil with unsweetened applesauce. However, I haven't tested this myself so am not 100% how it'll turn out.
Unfortunately, a liquid sweetener such as maple syrup won't work well in this recipe. The apple bread is already packed with fruit and a liquid sweetener will make the bread too dense.
For a round cake, I recommend using my apple crumble cake recipe. For muffins, try following my vegan apple muffins recipe. All the recipes are very similar but have little tweaks so they bake well in certain pans!
Yes, to the batter, you can also add:
- Walnuts or pecans, just like carrot cake
- Vegan chocolate chips
More vegan apple desserts
Vegan Apple Bread
Cream Cheese Icing (optional, see note 5 for alternatives)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease or line an 8-inch (20 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper.
Make the Vegan Apple Bread:
- Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix until there are no lumps. Add all of the wet ingredients to the bowl and mix until combined. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top.
- Bake the apple bread for around 50 minutes to 1 hour or until it is done. Check the bread at the 35 minute mark and if it's browning quickly on top, loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil. The bread is ready when you can insert a toothpick in the center and there's no wet batter on it, though some crumbs on your toothpick are fine. (note 4)
- Allow the apple bread to rest in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Remove it from the pan and allow it to cool on a wire rack.
Cream cheese icing (optional)
- Add all the icing ingredients to a small bowl and mix until smooth. This icing is quite soft at room temperature but if you'd like a firmer icing, double the amount of butter and add more sugar, to taste.
Caramelized apples (optional):
- Add the apples and butter to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Saute until the apples are almost tender and slightly golden brown.
- Add the sugar to the saucepan and gently mix the apples while they caramelize. If the apples stick to the saucepan, add a dash of water. The longer you cook the apples, the more caramelized they will be.
Serving the apple bread:
- Optional: When the apple bread has cooled, dollop the cream cheese frosting (or desired frosting) on top and top with caramelized apples. Slice and serve!
- Store the apple bread in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for 4 days. The apple bread (without decorations) freezes for up to 1 month.
- To make gluten-free apple bread, substitute the flour with 1 ½ cups (150g) almond flour and 1 cup (160g) gluten-free all-purpose flour (or fine white rice flour).
- This amount of sugar creates a mildly sweet apple bread. For a less sweet bread, I recommend using ¾ cup (140g) brown or coconut sugar.
- This bread will be too moist if you grate the apples too finely. Ideally, the grated apple shouldn't leak any juice. If your apple is extra juicy, use an extra 3 tablespoons (25g) of flour in the recipe.
- The baking time will hugely depend on your oven. If it takes longer than 1 hour to bake, that's absolutely fine. If your oven has strong heating elements on top, I recommend tenting your loaf pan with aluminum foil at the beginning of baking. Alternatively, place a rack at the top of the oven (above your apple loaf) and an empty baking tray on the rack. This will prevent your loaf from burning.
- The apple bread is wonderful without any decorations! Alternatively, you can top the bread with a simple buttercream made by whipping 100g vegan butter and 200g powdered sugar, a simple sugar icing such as from my lemon olive oil cake recipe or coconut yogurt. See the post above for more suggestions.
This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated several times since then.
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