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Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread


I adapted this cinnamon apple swirl bread from Joy the Baker’s Baking Bootcamp, and boy was it a challenge! But a challenge that yielded a very tasty reward!

This tasted like it came from a bakery – and I’m not the one who said that! It was a super delish treat that was worth all of the effort. I would definitely be willing to try something like this again – maybe with savory cheesy fillings instead?!?

Cinnamon Swirl Apple Bread
adapted from Joy the Baker
makes 1 loaf


For the Dough:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, warmed to a warm lukewarm
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • a bit of olive oil for greasing the bowl

For the Filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh diced apples (any type works – I used Braeburn)
  • 1 large egg, beaten for egg wash

Optional Glaze:

  • powdered sugar
  • tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • splash of milk
  • melted butter


In a medium bowl stir sugar with warmed milk. Add the active dry yeast over the warmed milk and sugar. Stir it together. Stir in the egg yolk and melted butter.  Whisk together until thoroughly combined.  Allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes.  It should foam and froth. In a large bowl whisk together the flour and salt.

Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and start mixing it with a wooden spoon until it pulls away from the edges of the bowl. Place dough on a lightly floured counter and knead by hand for about 5 minutes.  Dough ball should be smooth and damp, without being too sticky.  Shape dough into a ball. Grease a large bowl with olive oil.  Place the dough in the bowl and cover.  Allow to rest at warm room temperature for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

While the dough rises,  make your filling. whisk together the butter with sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet.  Set aside. After the dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured counter and knead twice.  Using a rolling pin to roll the dough to a rectangle of about 18×12 inches. Spoon the cinnamon filling over top, spreading evenly, leaving a clean 1-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the diced apples over the cinnamon filling.

Start by rolling the longest side of the dough. The roll will be a bit lumpy because of all the apples. Using a sharp knife, cut the log in half length-wise leaving 1-inch of the edge uncut. Start braiding the two pieces, by carefully lifting the left strand over the right strand. Repeat this motion until you reach the bottom of the dough.  Press together to seal.  Join the two ends, creating a circle with the dough and press together. Using two swift hands, transfer the dough ring to the prepared cast iron skillet.

Brush the wreath with the beaten egg. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.  Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

If you would like to do an optional glaze, mixed together 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with about 1 tbsp of melted butter, a splash (about 1 tbsp) milk, a splash of vanilla (1 tsp) and a pinch of salt. Wing it – I have never been able to get an easy glaze right by measuring! Just go for it until you get the thickness of glaze you would like.