I’m continuing to work through my haul of apples that my fiancé and I picked last weekend, and I must say, I’m thoroughly enjoying the tasty experience. I love how versatile apples are. Their crisp tartness and sturdy flesh make them great for cooking into savory recipes with roasted meats and fresh herbs (and hopefully bacon!). Their fresh sweet flavors also make for some of the most comforting baked desserts. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert… there’s so many yummy and creative ways to use apples.
This Apple Cider Loaf is a perfect way to show off these fruit. The recipe uses apples in three different forms, making for a texture and flavor that is apple in every way. The batter is made with fresh cold-pressed apple cider, puréed applesauce (without added sugars), chopped fresh apples baked right in.
The loaf falls somewhere between a bread and a cake when it comes out of the oven. It’s got a soft, chewy texture and the flavors are warmed up with fall spices.
This loaf is so satisfying when served warm and paired with a hot cup of coffee in the morning. However, I think this Apple Cider Loaf does double duty and makes for such a good fall dessert. Especially when drizzled with a warm Salted Caramel Sauce.
Let’s talk about this sauce for a second. Sweet, creamy, buttery, with the perfect salty balance. I could drizzle it directly into my mouth all by itself. But it’s next level when spooned all over a warm slice of this Apple Cider Loaf. The sweet and salty notes dance together perfectly. We all love getting caramel apples at the fair, right? It’s like that, but way easier to eat without breaking a tooth.
Keep scrolling for the simple steps to bring this Apple Cider Bread to life and make all your Salted Caramel dreams come true.
Making Apple Cider Loaf
First, grab a mixing bowl and combine your dry ingredients. Those include flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk until combined and set aside.
You can make the batter for this loaf in a stand mixer, or in a mixing bowl with an electric beater. Whichever you’re using, start by creaming together some brown sugar and softened butter. Once the mix is smooth and creamy, slowly add in 2 eggs, some vanilla extract and some unsweetened applesauce.
Once all that is combined, very slowly start pouring in a cup of apple cider. It’s best to pull the cider out of the fridge at least an hour before baking to let it come to room temperature. Turn your beater down to low when adding the cider. As you pour it, it will probably cause the butter to form clumps. That’s okay though! It will all smooth out later on down the road.
Next, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, and gently mix until the batter becomes smooth and fluffy. Finally, toss in a cup of chopped apples (I like to leave the skin on, but you can peel if preferred). Fold the apples in, and then pour the batter into a loaf pan that’s been coat with butter or non-stick spray. Use a rubber spatula to smooth out the top of the loaf.
Bake the loaf for 60-75 minutes at 350F, until it’s golden brown on top. Make sure it’s cooked through before removing from the oven, by inserting a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. Let the loaf cool before turning out of the baking dish. While it’s cooking and cooling, prepare your salted caramel sauce.
Quick Salted Caramel Sauce
If only I’d known sooner how easy it is to make homemade caramel. Actually now that I think about it, it’s probably for the best. This stuff is addicting, and only takes a few minutes.
Start by adding a stick of butter, a cup of brown sugar, half a cup of heavy cream, and a splash of vanilla to a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Let it boil for 1-2 minutes, and then remove from heat.
Add in a teaspoon of salt and let the mixture cool for about 20 minutes, stirring it every so often as it thickens.
Once the salted caramel is cooled, cut yourself a generous slice of the Apple Cider Loaf and drizzle the caramel all over it. You could even add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you’re feeling really indulgent. But I’m getting carried away…
The Apple Cider Loaf can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped in foil and will stay good for up to 5 days. I recommend microwaving it for 15-20 seconds to warm it up. The Salted Caramel Sauce can be stored in a jar with a lid and will stay good for up to 2 weeks. It will continue to thicken and stiffen as it cools. Just warm it up on the stove or in the microwave to melt it down in the smooth saucy goodness whenever you need it.
Let me know if you give thIs Apple Cider Loaf with Salted Caramel Drizzle a try! I love to hear from you in the comments, or tag me on instagram @eat.think.live and let me see your creation! Plus, you can check out the rest of my recipes HERE.
Apple Cider Loaf with Salted Caramel Drizzle
For the Apple Cider Loaf
- 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 Cup Butter Softened
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs room temperature
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Apple Cider
- 1 Cup Apples Finely diced
For the Salted Caramel Drizzle
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup (1 stick) Salted Butter
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tsp Salt
To make the Apple Cider Loaf
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Thoroughly coat a loaf pan in non-stick spray or butter.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (first 5 ingredients).
- In a stand mixer, or mixing bowl with an electric beater, cream the butter and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy.
- Slowly add in the eggs, unsweetened applesauce and vanilla extract.
- Very slowly, add in the apple cider while continuing to mix. The butter in the mixture might get a little clumpy, but that’s okay, it will smooth out when you add the dry ingredients.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix until totally combined and the batter is smooth and fluffy.
- Pour into the loaf pan and use a rubber spatula to smooth the top.
- Bake for 60-75 minutes until loaf is golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool before removing from loaf pan.
To make the Salted Caramel Drizzle
- Add the brown sugar, butter, heavy cream and vanilla to sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 1-2 minutes then remove from heat. Stir in salt.
- Let mixture cool and thicken for at least 20-30 minutes before drizzling over slices of Apple Cider Loaf.
- Caramel can be stored in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Just reheat in the microwave a few seconds to melt the sauce for drizzling.