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Apple Fritter Yeast Bread is soft, glazed apple & cinnamon sweet bread that tastes just like a sliceable apple fritter, except it gets baked in the oven in a bread pan instead of deep fried! It's one of our favorite things that we look forward to each Fall when apple season begins.
We love apple season! Other reader favorite apple recipes include our Easy Apple Oatmeal Muffins, The Most Amazing Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts and Poppy Seed Dressing, and Instant Pot Homemade Applesauce!
Apple Fritter Yeast Bread makes the most amazing French toast and it's excellent just toasted and slathered with butter. Or just eat a slice plain as an afternoon treat!
Years ago, I discovered this amazing apple fritter bread that Target used to sell under their Archer Farms label. I loved that stuff so much that I decided I needed to recreate it at home. Hence, this recipe that tastes just like apple fritters! Except not deep fried! And in sliceable, toastable bread form!
The problem with most apple fritter bread recipes that I have seen online is that they are all quick breads made without yeast and that's not at all like what I was going for. Really those are closer to being like apple coffee cake, in my opinion, and even though totally delicious in it's own right, it doesn't really taste like apple fritters to me!
So to avoid any confusion, I'm calling this Apple Fritter Yeast Bread so it's clear that this is not a quick bread.
This apple fritter yeast bread starts out with a slightly sweet, enriched dough that gets rolled out after rising. I use apple cider as part of the liquid in the dough itself, but if you don't have it you could always sub in apple juice or even just water and it will turn out delicious.
Then you spread an apple filling made while the dough rises over the dough and roll it up sort of like you would with cinnamon rolls. Except that the apple filling is very syrupy and runs everywhere. Especially once you start slicing the rolled dough into chunks like in the photos below.
It makes a mess, but it's the best way I've found to get even disbursement of apples and cinnamon in the dough and still have the loaf come out sliceable instead of more like a pull-apart loaf (which is also delicious, but again, not what I'm going for here - I want something I can stick in the toaster or dip in egg batter for French toast!).
I just make sure before rolling out my dough that my work surface is totally clean, then once the rolled apple fritter yeast bread dough is cut into chunks, I scoop them up using my bench scraper and just dump them into prepared bread pans, syrup and all. The syrup gets absorbed into the bread as it bakes, making a wonderfully moist and sweet,cinnamon-spiced apple studded loaf!
Remove the bread from their pans while still hot (a parchment paper sling really helps with this!) and glaze with the simple apple cider glaze while still hot. Then just try and wait for the loaf to cool entirely and the glaze to set before slicing into it.
It's super hard to resist, but slicing into hot bread is almost impossible to do without destroying the loaf. Which is why it's nice that there are two loaves with this recipe - one to eat while still hot and you don't care that you are butchering it and smooshing it to cut off slices while it's still hot from the oven and the oven to save for the next day!
This is seriously one of the best things that comes out of my kitchen and the house smells like heaven on the days when I am baking apple fritter yeast bread. It's not as simple as my Roasted Garlic & Rosemary No Knead Artisan Bread, but it's definitely no harder than cinnamon rolls or pecan sticky buns. I really hope you try this one!
I've been asked this a few times and the answer is that yes, you can freeze the bread. However, when you thaw it, the glaze on the outside will be quite sticky. The bread will still taste good, but be aware that glazes don't always hold up well to thawing. An option would be to freeze the bread without the glaze for better results.
More Apple Recipes You'll Love
- Best Homemade Apple Pie Recipe
- Slow Cooker Homemade Apple Cider
- Instant Pot Homemade Applesauce
- Slow Cooker Applesauce Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
- German Apple Cake with Streusel Topping [Apfelkuchen mit Streusel]
- Easy Apple Oatmeal Muffins
- Classic Apple Cider Donuts
- German Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup
- Glazed Apple Pie Cookies
Apple Fritter Bread
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup apple cider or water
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 3-4 apples peeled & diced
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon butter melted
- 3 teaspoons apple cider or milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Prepare the dough by first heating the milk in a small saucepan until hot and bubbles appear around the edges of the pan, but do not bring to a boil. Add the butter to the hot milk and stir until completely melted, then allow to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, brown sugar and salt and mix well. Add the apple cider or water, beaten egg, and the warm milk/butter mixture. Stir until the dough forms into a ball and then knead for five minutes, until smooth. This can be done in a stand mixer using a dough hook.
- Transfer the dough to a clean, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. All to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- While the dough is rising, prepare the apple filling by combining the diced apples, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon and cornstarch in a large skillet and cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples soften and release their juices. The juices will thicken slightly from the cornstarch, but it will still be very syrupy.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool while the dough rises.
- Prepare 2 large bread pans with a parchment paper sling.
- Divide the dough into two equal-sized portions. On a very clean, lightly floured surface, roll out one portion of dough into a rectangle. Evenly spread have of the apple filling mixture, including juices, over the dough. Roll the dough starting from the long edge, cinnamon-roll style. Don't worry about the syrup leaking out too much as you roll.
- Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the loaf diagonally in 1-inch slices, then change your angle and cut again in the other direction, creating an "X" pattern and slicing the rolled dough into small chunks.
- Scoop the chunks of dough and apple filling into the prepared bread pan, using the bench scraper to scoop up and add any spilled syrup into the pan. This part gets messy but it's the best way I've found to make sure there is even distribution of apples and syrup throughout the bread loaf. Repeat with the remaining bread dough and apple filling, then cover the loaves lightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaves for 35-45 minutes, until brown on top and cooked through. When done, immediately remove the loafs of bread from the pans and place on wire racks.
- Prepare the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and apple cider or milk in a bowl. Drizzle over the top of both loaves of warm bread and allow to set before slicing.