Gluten Free Apple Bread with Walnut Crumble
This gluten free apple bread is moist, cake like, and filled with dried apples. Plus it’s topped with an easy sweet crumble!
Happy October! It’s officially fall and I’m oh so ready for all the comfort food goodness that comes with this season, how about you? If you follow me on Instagram then you know that my dad passed away suddenly in late July. He was only 64 and a very active man so it was a big shock to us. I feel like I’ve been moving in slow motion ever since. Lot of crying, lots of lying bed, and lots of digging into my bible. For that reason I haven’t felt the motivation to do much in the kitchen. But it’s been 10 weeks and I’m starting to get some of that old recipe inspiration back. Friends, I really love what I do. I’m really grateful for this career. I know it’s an odd one (never imagined this would be an actual job!) but boy I do treasure sharing food and life with you all. So I just woke up one morning excited to jump into recipe testing again. Let’s start with this incredible Gluten Free Apple Bread with Walnut Crumble, shall we?
This bread was heavily inspired by a new banana bread I’ve been working on that will go live later this month (It’s live! Here it is: Grain Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread). I took that recipe and adapted it to include apple and cinnamon flavors. No bananas in here of course. And you better believe I included a sweet crumble to really make it special. That crumble, ya’ll. It’s only 4 ingredients and so good. Don’t you dare skip it!
For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are included in the recipe card below):
- Paleo baking flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Apple sauce
- Maple syrup
- Milk of choice (I use almond milk)
- Vanilla extract
- Eggs or flaxseed meal
- Dried apples
- Coconut sugar or brown sugar (I use coconut sugar)
- Melted butter (Both regular or vegan butter work well here)
What is paleo baking flour?
Ah, paleo baking flour. What a wonder that stuff is! Back in my day (cue my ninety year old woman voice) I had to make my own blend of flour using various paleo or gluten free options. But now you can find paleo baking flour which takes the guesswork out of it all for you!
Paleo baking flour is a blend of nut flours (like almond flour and coconut flour) and root starches (like arrowroot and tapioca) that’s great for all kinds of recipes. Breads like this one, pancakes, cookies, muffins, pizza crust… it can do all of it!
The brand I buy most often is from Bob’s Red Mill. I can find it in some nicer grocery stores and in most healthy food stores. I buy several bags at a time because I really love to have it around for baking and don’t want to risk running out. You can of course always stock up online too. King Arthur also makes a great paleo baking flour and so does Thrive Market if you have a membership there.
Can you sub gluten free flour, almond flour, coconut flour, etc?
No, you can’t. Flours can rarely be subbed 1:1 so I do not recommend a flour substitution here. If you’re looking for a banana bread that uses a different flour I recommend googling for one that’s been tested with that specific flour.
Chicken egg vs flaxseed egg
I tested this recipe with flaxseed egg to make sure it worked just as well as a chicken egg. And I can confirm that it works great! If you want to make this recipe vegan simply use 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp water for each egg you’re replacing. (This is commonly known as a flaxseed egg.) Since this bread calls for 2 eggs you can instead use 2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal + 6 tbsp water. Let that sit in a small dish for 5 minutes. Then add it to your other ingredients. Super simple and effective!
Can you use a different nut instead of walnuts?
I personally love walnuts with apples so they make a natural pairing in this delicious bread. You can definitely use pecans if you like though!
Can you use a different sugar instead of coconut sugar?
Yes! I love coconut sugar in the crumble for this bread. If you haven’t tried it before I definitely recommend you give it a go! It has a rich taste that’s a little different than traditional sugars found in most baking. Brown sugar would be a good substitute though!
Where to find dried apples?
I purchase dried apples from Publix and many grocery stores carry them in their dried fruit section. Be sure to check the ingredient list before purchasing. They don’t require any additional sweeteners because they’re plenty sweet on their own! The only ingredient you should see is dried apples.
Are dried apples the same as freeze dried apples?
No. The texture of dried fruit is chewy while freeze dried fruit is crunchy. Stick with dried fruit for this recipe.
Is this bread vegan and dairy free?
Yes, it’s dairy free if you use a vegan butter (Egg isn’t dairy. You’d be surprised how often I get asked that.) This bread is vegan if you use flaxseed egg and a vegan butter.
What type of loaf pan is best?
A light colored aluminum pan is always best for breads like this one. Most often I use a white pan that I found for $4.99 at Home Goods (I have four of them now!) but I also have a light gray loaf pan that works just as well.
I have used both glass and ceramic loaf pans in the past and they simply don’t cook as evenly.
Greasing your pan vs using parchment paper
Both are effective ways to prevent sticking. Use whichever method you prefer.
How to store leftovers
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you want to store extra in your freezer simply slice the loaf and place in a freezer safe container (like a freezer bag). I like to use parchment paper in between slices so they’re easy to separate when frozen. When you’re ready to enjoy just microwave a slice for 45 seconds to 1 minute.
Gluten Free Apple Bread
- 2 cups paleo baking flour, I use Bob's Red Mill
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 oz dried apples, roughly chopped, makes 1 1/2 cups after chopping
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/3 cup milk, almond or cow's milk work well
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs , or 2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 6 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp melted butter (regular or vegan)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add paleo baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a large bowl. Stir.
- In another bowl combine apple sauce, maple syrup, milk, vanilla extract, and eggs. If using flaxseed meal instead of eggs, combine 2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal and 6 tbsp water in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then stir into other wet ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir.
- If your dried apples are in rings be sure to give them a rough chop. You want bite sized pieces. Stir in the chopped dried apples.
- Grease the inside of a 9 x 5 loaf pan to prevent sticking. (I use olive oil.) Scoop the batter into the pan so it's in an even layer. Sprinkle the crumble on top.
- To make the crumble, finely chop the walnuts. (Even if you buy chopped walnuts I still recommend chopping them smaller.) You want 1/2 cup of the finely chopped walnuts so measure after chopping to make sure you have enough. Stir in cinnamon, coconut sugar, and butter.
- Sprinkle the crumble on top of the batter.
- Place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and loosely (and carefully because it's hot!) cover the top with aluminum foil. Return to the oven and bake for another 35 minutes. Rest at room temperature until cool. Then slice!