The secret to this insanely moist sour cream apple bread is a combination of grated apples, oil, and sour cream in the batter! This trio of ingredients makes for a flavor packed, rich, and moist bread that's also super easy to make. A generous sprinkling of streusel on top and simple icing drizzle offers some delicious added texture and sweetness.
It's September, which basically means it's fall in my world (I don't care if the first official day isn't until late September). I actually felt a cool breeze the other day when I opened my window, which calls for apple, cinnamon, and streusel quick bread!! Completely ignoring how crazy hot it is now as I write this post...
It's time for another easy quick bread recipe, but this time with apples as the star of the show! The batter for this moist apple bread is inspired by my favorite baked apple donuts and the streusel is crafted from the same streusel used in my brown butter maple crumb cake!
what makes this moist sour cream apple bread soooo good?
- grated apples. The secret to my favorite apple donuts and the secret to this bread! Grating the apples adds a ton of moisture to the batter and makes for an extra moist bread. Think: carrot cake - but with apples.
- oil + sour cream. Oil provides even MORE moisture and the sour cream adds some delicious richness and flavor.
- easy to make. Mix, grate, and whisk. If you can do that, you can make this bread!
- seriously. so. moist. I sound like a broken record with this, but I can't even find the words to describe how immensely moist this bread is!
- added oomph with a crispy streusel. It really helps break up all the softness of the bread.
what is quick bread?
Quick bread is a yeastless loaf that's made using baking powder, baking soda, or both to give it its rise and airiness. Quick bread batter comes together more like a muffin or cake than say a batch of homemade sandwich bread. It's usually sweet, but there's definitely no shortage of savory quick breads! One of the most popular quick breads that you probably already know is banana bread.
Oh, and of course, it's quick - usually coming together with a few easy steps.
how to make moist sour cream apple bread
1. Mix together streusel ingredients. Set aside to prep the quick bread batter.
2. Whisk together the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls to combine.
3. Grate apples and mix into wet ingredients. I prefer to grate the apples after I've prepped the wet and dry ingredients just so they don't sit out for too long and brown. If they do turn slightly brown it's totally fine, but this helps ensure they don't sit out for too long before baking.
4. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients to combine. Don't overmix or the bread will end up dense and tough! A few clumps are normal, just make sure there aren't any visible dry streaks of flour and you'll be all set.
5. Layer and bake! Pour the quick bread batter into your pan and sprinkle over the streusel. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Cool completely in the pan. This is a super soft bread, and it's difficult to pull out of the pan or slice fresh from the oven.
7. Whisk together glaze ingredients and pour over cooled bread. Slice and serve!
can I leave out the streusel?
You definitely can, but I highly highly recommend including it. When I tested this bread plain (no streusel) it felt like it was missing a little bit of texture / crunch because the quick bread is seriously so soft and moist!
If you like a soft bread, then by all means go for it! If you want added texture, but still really don't want to make the streusel, a handful of pecans or walnuts tossed into the batter is also delicious.
can I use diced apples instead of grated?
I haven't tested this recipe with larger pieces of apple, but I think it should work fine. I prefer the grated apples because they offer a more subtle texture in the bread and added moisture.
best apples for baking
Granny Smiths are always in stock in my house because they're my absolute obsession and hold up nicely when cooked or baked! If you don't have any on hand, some other great apple options for baking include honey crisp, Braeburn, or Fuji apples. Whatever you do, steer clear of red delicious apples - they're prone to breaking down into a mush when they're heated!
how to store apple bread
Avoid slicing your bread until you're ready to serve it to keep it soft and moist. Keep the bread covered with plastic wrap and it will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature or 5 days in the fridge. If you find the streusel has softened over time, you can reheat the bread in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes to crisp it back up.
how to freeze apple bread
To freeze your quick bread, wrap the unsliced loaf in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. You could also store it in a large freezer bag, but make sure to push out as much air as possible before sealing well.
Freeze for 2 to 3 months. To thaw, set the bread out for a few hours at room temperature or in the fridge overnight. Again, I like to reheat the defrosted bread in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes to crisp the streusel if it's softened.
check out these other recipes!
Moist Sour Cream Apple Bread Recipe
For the streusel topping:
- ⅔ cup (80g) all-purpose flour, spoon and leveled
- ¼ cup (50g) packed brown sugar, light or dark
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the apple quick bread batter:
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour, spoon and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (150g) packed brown sugar, light or dark
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (120mL) vegetable oil, or any neutral flavored oil
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- ½ cup (120g) full-fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (240g) peeled and grated Granny Smith apples (about 2 to 3 medium sized apples)
For the glaze:
- ½ cup (65g) powdered sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons milk or water
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Leave a bit of extra parchment paper hanging over the sides to make it easier to pull the bread out once it's baked. Set aside.
make the streusel
- In a medium sized bowl, combine streusel ingredients. Mix together until well combined. The mixture should feel like wet sand and clump together if you squeeze it with your fingers. Set aside to prep the quick bread batter.⅔ cup (80g) all-purpose flour,, ¼ cup (50g) packed brown sugar,, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ cup (60g) unsalted butter,
make the apple quick bread batter
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt to combine. Set aside.2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour,, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla to combine. Grate your apples and fold them into the wet ingredients.¾ cup (150g) packed brown sugar,, ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar, ½ cup (120mL) vegetable oil,, 2 large eggs, ½ cup (120g) full-fat sour cream, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 2 cups (240g) peeled and grated Granny Smith apples
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix together until just combined. Take care not to over mix or your bread will end up tough!
- Pour the quick bread batter into your prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle streusel evenly over top.
- Bake the quick bread in your preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If the outside is browning too quickly, loosely tent with aluminum foil and continue baking until cooked through.
- Cool the loaf in the pan until just slightly warm or room temperature before pulling it out.
make the glaze
- In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of milk to combine. If it's too thick, gradually whisk in more milk until it reaches your desired consistency. You can choose to make the glaze extra loose (like the kind you'd find on donuts) or a bit thicker for a more distinct drizzle of icing on top!½ cup (65g) powdered sugar, 1 to 2 teaspoons milk or water
- Drizzle the glaze over your bread before slicing and serving!