This pumpkin apple bread is a twist on the traditional pumpkin bread by adding in apple pieces highlighted by warm fall spices. It's easy to make, super moist, and freezes beautifully.
The Great Pumpkin Bread Bake Off
I don't know what it is about this fall but I became obsessed with pumpkin bread the second October hit. Never mind that there was a shortage for a hot second in Dallas! I had stocked up on pumpkin puree from my Pumpkin Sage Pasta that I made way too often last year. I literally went through tons of recipes - Smitten Kitchen, Sally Bakes, Pinch of Yum, all the massive bloggers that seem to know what they're doing more than me.
Our freezer was constantly filled with these goodies, some better than others. On version 5, the traditional recipe got to be a little monotonous. They're all pretty much the same. They're all good. What could make pumpkin bread even better? That's when I decided to get creative. Most would use a cream cheese frosting, but what about a layer of gooey white chocolate in the middle? (This failed miserably).
My biggest winner came from this recipe - pumpkin apple bread. I love honeycrisp apples so much in the fall and combined with apple juice, the flavors and texture just really scream football and pumpkins and lattes and every girl named "Ashley"'s dream. Who am I kidding...I am Ashley! I love this stuff!
Obviously I spent a lot of time just recipe testing different ideas which sort of cut out my ability to test this for gluten free. I imagine 1:1 flour would still work, but you're gonna have to test it on your own. However this whole recipe is dairy free, and I know someone out there would ask!
Some key ingredients for this pumpkin apple bread, especially for those following a migraine diet:
- I used Gold Medal All Purpose Flour (no malted barley)
- Honeycrisp apple juice
- 1 Honeycrisp apple, peeled
- Simply Organic Pumpkin Spice (no lemon peel in this one)
- Trader Joe's Pumpkin Puree (not pie filling)
I find some pumpkin purees are more wet than others, which could play into your baking time as well as how moist the bread is. Still, I've made this recipe with a few different ones and it always turns out good.
Tips for Baking and Freezing
Some of my favorite tips were ones I learned along the way from other recipe trials. The most important seem to be:
- Cover the pumpkin bread after about 30 minutes of baking. You don't want the top to get overdone, but need to tent the foil so you don't mess up the nice dome as it rises.
- Grease your bread tin well and it will just come right after after cooling for 10-15 minutes. You may have to run a knife along the sides of the pumpkin bread to get it out, but I rarely had to do this in my trial unless a rouge apple piece got stuck.
- Once cooled, slice into individual pieces and freeze flat in freezer bags. I imagine these will keep about 2-3 months, but they won't last that long. Trust me. You'll be lucky if it lasts a week.
If you love this pumpkin apple bread, you may like these as well.
Pumpkin Apple Bread
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice *see post for suggestion
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 15oz can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- ¼ cup apple juice
- ⅔ cup honeycrisp apples (about 1 apple), chopped small
- Adjust your oven rack to the lower ⅓rd of your oven. Preheat to 350°F degrees. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan well with extra oil. In one large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and salt and mix till combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and add white and brown sugar, mixing till combined. In another separate bowl, combine the pumpkin puree with oil and apple juice till smooth. Fold in the egg/sugar mixture, then mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. There will be a few lumps, this is ok. Finally add in the apples, stirring till just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake uncovered for 30 minutes on the lower rack. Add a tented tin foil cover, so it gives the bread enough room to rise more. Bake another 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Allow it to cool 10-15 minutes before removing from the baking pan. It should slide right out if oiled correctly, but running a knife along the sides to loosen it may help.
- I love honeycrisp apples in this recipe. I used honeycrisp apple juice from North Coast and 1 apple, however, other types of apples/apple juice will work fine for this recipe. Something a little sweet is best.
- If following a migraine diet, check your pumpkin spice label for lemon. I used Simply Organics.
- This recipe freezes very well. I let thaw at room temperature or microwave for 10-15 seconds.