Whole Wheat Apple Pie Yeast Bread

Whole Wheat Apple Pie Yeast Bread--mixed and kneaded in a bread machine

Whole Wheat Apple Pie Yeast Bread with Streusel Topping

If you ask Pinterest, one of the most popular posts on this blog is entitled “Apples in a Bag.” It’s super easy with only 4 ingredients and makes a healthy snack or dessert for 1-2 people. Add the apples to a bowl of oatmeal or plain yogurt, or use them to make a “sauce” for bread pudding. My personal favorite is to serve as a dip with cinnamon tortilla chips.

Apples in a Bag

Apples in a Bag–a quick way to make apple pie filling

Since I’m a bread-machine freak, I thought it was high time to create a bread recipe incorporating “Apples in a Bag.”  You probably aren’t surprised to hear it also includes Greek yogurt (but you can substitute buttermilk if you prefer) which results in a tender crumb not unlike my favorite cinnamon rolls. It’s perfect to make in the days leading up to Christmas because it only gets better after hanging around for a day or two.

Top this apple-studded loaf with a streusel topping as seen above, or ice it with powdered sugar frosting as seen below. Frosting will make your loaf taste very similar to a huge cinnamon roll. If you want to be really decadent, pour frosting on top of a streusel-topped loaf. I don’t recommend frosting if you don’t have enough mouths available to eat the entire loaf immediately. Storing iced bread in a plastic bag can be messy business.

Iced Whole Wheat Apple Pie Yeast Bread--mixed and kneaded in a bread machine

Iced Whole Wheat Apple Pie Yeast Bread

When it comes to yeast bread, I get tons of questions about how to make it ahead of time. But with this recipe, go ahead. Make it and bake it. The bread only gets better the next day or two or three. It also freezes well after it has been baked.

When I was creating this loaf, I wanted the top to be uneven and craggy with apples peeking through. I settled on two different methods of assembly. The first shown below is my favorite but is a bit trickier to accomplish. In a nutshell, roll the dough out like you would for cinnamon rolls, and sprinkle the cooled apple filling over the dough. Roll into a long cylinder and pinch the dough to seal. Use the sealing line as a guide for cutting the cylinder in half the length-wise. With cut sides up, place each “half-pipe” into a prepared loaf pan in an S shape as illustrated in the picture below. Allow to rise until almost double, sprinkle with streusel, then bake as directed.

Whole Wheat Apple Pie Yeast Bread--Construction

The second method might be easier if you are a novice baker. After rolling the dough into a long cylinder and sealing it (as seen in the pictures on the left side above), the same way you would for cinnamon rolls, slice the cylinder crosswise into six large slices and set on end in a loaf pan. Let rise until almost double. Sprinkle with streusel if using. Bake as directed.

Method of assembly #2

Whole Wheat Apple Pie Yeast Bread
Recipe type: bread
Serves: 1 loaf
A sweet yeast bread to mix and knead in a bread machine, then baked in a conventional oven
  • ⅔-3/4 cup buttermilk or yogurt thinned with milk to buttermilk consistency
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/4 cup bread flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • ½ cup golden raisins
Apple Pie Filling
  • 1 medium yellow delicious apple, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Frosting: (if desired)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coffee
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  1. Heat buttermilk or yogurt in microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Mixture will probably separate but don't worry. Add only ⅔ cup yogurt to bread machine pan along with all other ingredients except raisins.
  2. Select dough cycle and push start. Check dough about 5 minutes into the dough cycle. If dough is too dry (dough doesn't stick to sides and then pull away), add the remaining yogurt a teaspoon or two at a time until dough looks just right. Add raisins after you hear the signal for add-ins.
  3. When dough cycle completes, push dough back to original size with your hands. Remove pan (with dough still inside) from the bread machine. Cover pan and dough with a towel or shower cap and place in warm place for a SECOND rise. This helps make a lighter loaf since bread contains whole wheat flour.
  4. Remove dough from pan to a floured surface. (See picture above.) Roll into a rectangle approximately 9 x 13 inches. Distribute apple mixture over the top like you would when making cinnamon rolls.
  5. Starting with long side, roll dough up tightly and pinch closed at the seam. Use a large, sharp knife to cut the roll in half length-wise at the seam. You should now have two long "half-pipes."
  6. With cut side up, make a snake or "S" shape going back and forth with one of the half-rolls (see picture above) and place into one end of a non-stick 9 x 5 loaf pan (mine holds 2 quarts of water if you want to compare sizes) sprayed on the inside with an aerosol flour/oil mixture like Baker's Joy. Make an "S" shape with the other roll and place into the other end of the pan as pictured. It doesn't have to be perfect but should fill the pan from one end to the other.
  7. Cover dough with shower cap or tea towel and set in warm place to rise for approximately 45 minutes. Dough should rise somewhat less than double. 10 minutes before bread is ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. If using streusel, sprinkle it over the top. Bake for 35 minutes. About halfway through baking time, cover bread loosely with foil to prevent over-browning.
  9. Remove from oven and immediately turn out onto cooling rack. Allow to cool before slicing bread.
Apple Pie Filling
  1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Cook on HIGH for 2 minutes. Allow to cool while dough is rising.
  1. Combine powdered sugar, coffee, and cream cheese. Add more sugar if too thin, or add coffee if too thick. Drizzle over cooled loaf.
  1. Combine all ingredients with a fork until crumbly and mixture resembles oatmeal.


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina June 22, 2015 at 9:36 pm

I make WW bread and am wondering…do you think it would turn out well if I simply add this filling and the streusel? I know it’s worth trying!


Christina January 27, 2015 at 3:35 pm

I tried this bread today. I doubled the filling and added some roughly chopped walnuts. It looks and tastes amazing! I got a bread machine for Christmas and have been wearing it out ever since. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your page. I’m an otherwise decent baker, but I’ve never been able to do bread until now.


Paula January 28, 2015 at 5:12 pm

So glad to hear it worked for you Christina. Double the filling sounds totally decadent!


Melanie Hess January 19, 2015 at 5:23 pm

absolutley love your recipes. Have not been disappointed yet! Just wondering If You have a recipe for cinnamon swirl raisin bread (Dough made in bread maker)? I’ve been looking all over and can’t seem to find one that looks worthy of trying. Thanks in advance!


cocido de sopa December 30, 2014 at 1:17 am

Already in my pending recipes list. It looks gorgeous, and I guess it tastes delicious.

Thanks for the recipe!

Happy Christmas!


Claudia December 26, 2014 at 1:54 pm

This bread was delicious! I made it for out of town guests and it was a big hit. Thank you, Paula. Great recipe and great website!


Paula December 31, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words. Glad to hear the bread was a hit!


Bobbie Bentneedle December 25, 2014 at 8:03 am

Thanks, Paula… I’ll let you know how it turns out, when I get a chance to try it.


Bobbie Bentneedle December 24, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Paula, this sounds like a good way to use up some of the home-canned apple pie filling I have languishing in the pantry. Any guess as to how much filling you’d use if using prepared filling (or about how much the recipe makes?)…
Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Paula December 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Good question, Bobbie. Maybe half a cup? Be sure to chop the apples a bit more finely than they usually are straight from the can. Might want to spice them up a little bit too. I thought about trying that myself just for fun but didn’t quite get to it.


Rhonda December 16, 2014 at 9:14 am

If using regular white bread flour instead of whole wheat – is it necessary to do the second rise in the pan?


Paula December 16, 2014 at 9:52 am

So glad you asked Rhonda. No, the second rise in the bread machine pan is strictly for the benefit of the whole wheat flour. With regular bread flour, allow to rise in the pan as part of the dough cycle, remove from pan and shape, then allow to rise before baking. Hope you enjoy.


Kay June 7, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Do you have to use a bread machine and if not how would you suggest making the dough?


Paula June 8, 2016 at 8:26 pm

This recipe is based on using a bread machine. I have not tried it any other way so can not advise. So sorry. paula


Betty December 15, 2014 at 9:49 pm

This looks heavenly! It would be a lovely bread to have on hand during the holidays. I have company coming, and I know this would make them very happy! 🙂


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