Easy Whole Wheat Apple-Raisin Bread

Recipe by PJ Hamel

Quick breads — easy, stir-together batter breads — are a great place to try whole wheat flour. When they're darker in color like this one, your family will never know you're treating them to some healthy fiber along with a delicious slice of bread. This tasty loaf, packed with raisins and nuts, is pleasantly dense, with a crisp crust and moist interior. It's best to let it rest overnight before serving, as several readers have suggested below. Thanks to "janiebakes," on our King Arthur community, for posting an apple cake recipe that inspired this bread.

7 mins
1 hr to 1 hr 10 mins
1 hr 7 mins
one 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf
Easy Whole Wheat Apple-Raisin Bread


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.

  2. Beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg; scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and beat until smooth.

  3. Beat in the applesauce and boiled cider, juice, or water.

  4. Stir in the baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and flour, mixing until well-combined.

  5. Stir in the raisins and nuts.

  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar.

  7. Bake the bread for 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The center of the loaf should register at least 200°F on an instant-read thermometer; when the tip of the thermometer is inserted just under the crust, it should read at least 175°F.

  8. Remove the bread from the oven, and after 10 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. When completely cool, wrap tightly in plastic, and store at room temperature. The loaf will remain fresh for several days; for longer storage, freeze.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Can you leave out the nuts? Substitute another dried fruit for the raisins? Sure. We suggest adding 1 1/2 to 2 cups of your favorite combination of dried fruits/nuts/chips; but if you want a plain applesauce loaf, that's OK, too. Understand your loaf will be a bit smaller.
  • The texture and flavor of this loaf are improved by a rest after baking. Wrap the completely cool loaf in plastic, and set it aside for several hours, or overnight, before slicing.