Olive Oil Apple Bread

This Olive Oil Apple Bread is light, fluffy and packed with apples, cinnamon and walnuts.

This Paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free almond flour apple bread is good enough to serve to anyone who doesn’t care about all those adjectives I just listed.

Olive Oil Apple Bread sliced on a wooden cutting board on a wooden table with a knife and red striped towel

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Paleo Apple Bread

Pulling a warm, cinnamon-scented loaf of bread out of the oven is the definition of cozy, especially when it’s packed with chunks of juicy apples.

But there’s no reason it has to be packed with flour and sugar.

Instead, this version uses almond flour in place of regular flour, giving it great texture while also providing protein, fiber and healthy fats.

Plus, this Paleo apple bread is only sweetened with applesauce – it has absolutely no added sweetener at all (although there is an optional maple glaze because I’m nice like that).

It’s a great introduction to grain-free baking as it requires only a few basic ingredients and one bowl.

And while it might seem strange to bake with olive oil, Italians do it all the time. It adds a subtle complexity to the bread without overpowering it at all.

 

What you need for Paleo Apple Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan (see more information about baking with olive oil below)
  • 2 cups superfine blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 medium apple (any kind you like; I like Granny Smith or Fuji)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts

Ingredients for the optional maple glaze:

Equipment:

 

How to make this Paleo Apple Bread

Heat the oven to 350°.

Grease the loaf pan with olive oil.

In a large bowl, whisk the almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

Add the eggs, applesauce, 1/4 cup olive oil and vanilla. Whisk until fully blended (batter will be a little lumpy).

Peel, core and and dice the apple. You should end up with about 1 cup, but a little less is fine. If you have more than 1 cup, lucky you! You can eat the extras.

Stir the diced apple into the batter. Scrape it into the greased loaf pan.

Sprinkle the walnuts on top, gently pressing them into the batter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the maple glaze: turn the can of coconut milk upside down, open it up with a can opener and pour out the coconut water (save for smoothies or to drink as is).

Scoop out 1/4 cup of the coconut cream into a small bowl.

Whisk in the maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of water; you’ll have to really smoosh and beat the coconut cream to incorporate the liquids (you can also blend it in a blender or food processor).

If it’s too thin, whisk in more coconut cream. If it’s too thick, whisk in more water, one teaspoon at a time.

Pour over the bread once the bread has fully cooled.

 

Olive Oil Apple Bread sliced on a wooden cutting board on a wooden table with a knife and red striped towel

Baking with almond flour

This might be the easiest Paleo bread recipe you’ll ever find.

Instead of regular flour, we’re using almond flour. Blanched superfine almond flour is just almonds blanched (skins removed) and ground down until it’s the texture of flour.

It still retains all it’s healthy fats, protein and fiber, creating more nutrient dense baked goods.

And while almond flour is more expensive than regular flour, it’s also more filling, so your treats stretch further.

Dessert recipes made with almond flour have come a long way in the past 10 years and this Olive Oil Apple Bread is proof you can have your bread and eat it, too (that is, after all, what bread is for).

You can learn more about this and other grain-free ingredients here.

What’s the best olive oil for baking?

It might seem weird to use olive oil for baking but it’s actually pretty common.

Italians do it all the time and when have we ever steered you wrong, culinarily? Italian olive oil cakes and olive oil cookies grace cookbooks both old and new.

The olive oil creates a rich, buttery texture but a more complex taste than butter.

And I’m not suggesting a light olive oil here. I’m suggesting the good stuff: extra virgin olive oil.

A good EVOO will have a lot more depth and complexity. Depending on where it’s from, it could be a little grassy, a little peppery or maybe both.

But you won’t taste those exact flavors in this bread. You’ll just get a much more interesting background for the apples and spices. And obviously, it adds a lot of great nutrients and health benefits.

It helps to make sure what you’re getting actually is 100% extra virgin olive oil.

There’s a lot of shady practices around the producing and marketing of olive oils, so knowing which brands to trust can be tricky.

Based on a lot of research, I personally have come to like brands like California Olive Ranch and O-Live (not an ad, I just like them), which have been verified by third party sources.

Some things to look for on the bottle are a) olives from a single source, not multiple countries and b) a date on the bottle. It helps verify the freshness and indicates the maker is transparent about the timeline of the batches that hit stores.

And if you’ve heard you shouldn’t use extra virgin olive oil for cooking, that’s only kind of true! Drizzling it over veggies or using it in a dressing is a great way to taste all its notes.

But it has a smoke point of 400° (meaning that’s the temperature where it will start to break down, making it less healthy). This recipe is baked at 350° so it’s safe!

 

 

Olive Oil Apple Bread covered in maple glaze and sliced on a wooden cutting board on a wooden table with a knife and red striped towel

Olive Oil Apple Bread drizzled with maple glaze, sliced on a wooden cutting board on a wooden table with a red striped towel

Make ahead

Store the bread at room temperature for 1 day. After that, store it in the fridge, where it will last for another 3 days.

To freeze, wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and put into a freezer-safe, sealable baggie or airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.

 

Substitutions and variations

  • You can use a pear instead of an apple
  • You can add other spices to the dry ingredients, such as ground ginger and/or ground cardamom.
  • You can use melted, cooled coconut oil instead of the olive oil. The bread might be a bit more crumbly but it will still taste good.
  • You can use any nuts on top you like, such as almonds, pecans or hazelnuts.

 

Paleo Apple Bread –> Paleo Apple Muffins

It’s true! You can just scoop the batter into a lined muffin tin and bake them for about 18-20 minutes and boom: paleo apple muffins. Or pour the batter into a greased 8×8″ baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Now you’ve got an irresistible paleo apple cake.

 

Olive Oil Apple Bread

I know people can be skeptical when they hear things like “gluten free apple bread” or “almond flour apple bread” but that’s why I started this blog. Selfishly, it was so I could eat all the foods I crave made with ingredients I can tolerate.

But! It’s also so you can do that, too. Even if you’re not sensitive to grains (or can’t tell if you are), we could all use less processed carbs in our lives.

This Olive Oil Apple Bread is not only the perfect mid-afternoon treat with a cup of coffee or tea, but it’ll make you happy on the outside and the inside.

 

Other Paleo baked goods and snacks:

 

2 images of Olive Oil Apple Bread sliced on a wooden cutting board on a wooden table
Olive Oil Apple Bread sliced on a wooden cutting board on a wooden table with a knife and red striped towel
Print Recipe
5 from 16 votes

Olive Oil Apple Bread

This quick bread recipe could not be easier: just dump all the ingredients into a bowl and mix! Soon you'll have a rich, fluffy loaf full of juicy chunks of apple and warm spices. Extra virgin olive oil gives it a healthy base of complex flavor. No added sweetener at all means you can treat yourself without any refined sugar. And if you want to make it a little more special, try it with the maple glaze! If you do, make sure to chill your coconut milk in the fridge for at least 24 hours first.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apples, asian paleo, bread, cinnamon, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, olive oil, quick bread, refined sugar free
Servings: 10 slices
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups blanched superfine almond flour (do not use almond meal)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 medium apple (any kind you like, such as Granny Smith or Fuji)
  • 1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts

For the optional maple glaze:

  • 1 (15 oz.) can unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350°.
  • Grease a 9x5" loaf pan with the olive oil (use your fingers or a pastry brush).
  • In a large bowl, whisk the almond flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and nutmeg.
  • Add the eggs, applesauce, olive oil and vanilla and whisk until combined (it won't be perfectly smooth but there shouldn't be any lumps of almond flour).
  • Peel, core and dice the apple. (Don't do this before you mix the other ingredients or the apple might brown before you can mix it in.) You should end up with about 1 cup, but a little less is fine. If you have more than 1 cup, lucky you! You can snack on the extra.
  • Fold the apple into the batter. Scrape the batter into the greased loaf pan and sprinkle the walnuts on top, gently pressing them down into the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Let the bread cool completely before slicing. Drizzle over the maple glaze, if using.

For the optional maple glaze:

  • Chill the coconut milk in the fridge for at least 24 hours. When ready (do NOT shake the can), turn the can upside down, open it and pour out the coconut water. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the thick coconut cream. (You can reserve the water and extra cream for smoothies, drinks, soups, curries, etc.)
  • Whisk the maple syrup and 1 tablespoon water into the coconut cream. It'll take some smooshing and beating to incorporate the liquids. To make it really smooth, blend it in a blender or mini food processor. If it's too thick, whisk in more water one teaspoon at a time. If it's too thin, whisk in more coconut cream. Pour over the cooled apple bread.

Notes

Normally I love a super-crunchy apple, and if that's all you have for this recipe that's fine. But I find this is actually the time to use a softer apple, as it will melt and ooze a bit as it bakes (which is also why I peel the apple).
Variations and substitutions
  • You can use a pear instead of an apple
  • You can add other spices to the dry ingredients, such as ground ginger and/or ground cardamom.
  • You can use melted, cooled coconut oil instead of the olive oil. The bread might be a bit more crumbly but it will still taste good.
  • You can use any nuts on top you like, such as almonds, pecans or hazelnuts.
Store the bread at room temperature for 1 day. After that, store it in the fridge, where it will last for another 3 days.
To freeze, wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and put into a freezer-safe, sealable baggie or airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To make apple muffins: scoop the batter into a lined muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
To make apple cake: pour the batter into a greased 8x8" baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Olive Oil Apple Bread drizzled with a maple glaze, sliced on a wooden cutting board on a wooden table with a knife and red striped towel


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