Who knew applesauce bread could be this delicious? Tender, soft and perfectly spiced with a bump in heartiness thanks to all those whole grains hanging around in there, the warm cinnamony flavor not only tastes delectable but your house is going to smell like the best candle in the world X 1,000 while baking. Bonus.
You can slice this bread up warm, cooled, same day, next day, whenever. It’s wonderful plain and simple. It really is. But for some reason, it just goes from great to amazing when a little itty bitty bit (or not so itty bitty bit) of butter is spread on top of a slice. And if you want to be a complete rock star, whip up some honey butter and use that. But be careful who you invite over. They may stay awhile.
After my virtual friend, Heather, sent me this recipe, I realized after only a few whisks that it’s nearly identical to my most-loved banana bread recipe. A similarity I could spot a mile away since that banana bread is made so often, the recipe is lodged in my brain for the rest of forever (some people get annoying songs stuck in their heads, I get killer recipes stuck in mine). You’ve got the same basic lineup of ingredients with the exception of a few spices and the applesauce subbing in for the mashed bananners. Clearly, after that realization, I knew this applesauce version had to be a winner. I made it several times tweaking it a little here and there: cutting back the oil a bit, subbing in whole wheat flour, adding weight measures, and a few other minor things – the deliciousness never wavered. Flexible recipes are the best.
So what are you waiting for? Make it! Love it! Slather it with butter and come back and tell me all about it!
If you don't have cinnamon applesauce, use plain but up the cinnamon a bit in the recipe. Additionally if you only have sweetened applesauce, it will work fine but you may want to cut down the sugar in the recipe.
I use 100% white whole wheat flour for this recipe but it's divine with all-purpose flour, too (I've made it that way once or twice) and you might find the sweet spot of flour to be 50% whole wheat and 50% all-purpose flour (especially if you aren't used to using 100% whole wheat flour in baked goods). If measuring instead of weighing the flour, use a light hand - overfloured, this loaf will be dry and tough.
- 1/4 cup oil (melted coconut, light olive oil, avocado, vegetable, melted butter)
- 2 large eggs (about 3.5 ounces)
- 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup buttermilk or sour cream
- 1 cup no-sugar added cinnamon applesauce (see note above)
- 1 3/4 cup (8.75 ounces) white whole wheat flour (see note above)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9X5-inch loaf pan (line the bottom with parchment - optional, but helps prevent the bottom of the loaf from sticking).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and eggs until well combined. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, buttermilk and applesauce and mix until well-combined.
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and stir until combined; a few lumps are ok (don't overmix - treat it like a good muffin batter that gets combined but not obliterated by mixing).
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes (ovens will vary on exact time) until the top springs back lightly to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs but not wet batter.
- Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Serve with butter or honey butter (or plain, but that's really no fun).
Recipe Source: adapted from this recipe at Averie Cooks that my friend, Heather, emailed to me after she made it for a playgroup and the kids and moms went crazy (and I realized it’s nearly the same as my beloved banana bread recipe, although I adapted it a bit to use whole wheat flour, a bit less oil and a few other minor things)