Brown Butter Apple Bread with Brown Sugar Glaze

I’m not going to lie to you. This is the best dessert bread I’ve ever made in my life. Hopefully it will be one of the best dessert breads that you make in your life too. Is it close enough to the holidays where we stop caring about our figures yet? AWESOME! Because I think the brown butter, sour cream, and copious amounts of brown sugar are what make this bread so to die for.

apple bread overview 1

It has some healthy stuff too, of course. Like two whole granny smith apples! It also has…..

(Okay, so it’s just the apples.) 

But look them jutting every which way out of this loaf! You need this. And you will have this if you keep reading. 

As always, the full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post. πŸ™‚

apple loaf sliced 1

First things first, let’s make the brown butter! It really could not be easier. Melt the butter in the bottom of a pot as usual, but make sure it’s a light colored pot so that you can better monitor the color change.

browned butter 1

The butter will boil at first, but then will magically will slow to a simmer and start popping. This is the fat separating. You’ll want to swirl the pot a lot at this point and watch as the butter deepens in color.

brown butter 2

A good indication of when to stop is when the butter takes on a nutty smell. That’s when you know you’ve made some good shiz. See those little black specks sunk to the bottom? That’s just some browned milk solids. When you go to transfer the butter into a new dish you will have some control over whether or not you include them in your recipe. Some people leave those out, while others think that is where all the flavor lies. I take a middle approach and add however much I want with a spoon. Also worth noting: brown butter will solidify again over time, so you aren’t limited to only using it in recipes that call for melted butter. 

brown butter 3

Now that that’s out of the way, the next step is to finely chop up some apples and toss them in a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar. Or just leave them plain. I tried it both ways didn’t see much of a difference. This is where I want to go on another rant about my camera/photography, but I’ll spare you. Why does my camera always lie to me about being in focus? πŸ™

apples in bowl

Moving on, the next step is to add your dry ingredients to a bowl. Simple enough.

dry ingredients apple bread

Now add your wet ingredients (including the brown butter) to a different bowl. Is there anything more satisfying than releasing packed brown sugar from a measuring cup? I don’t think so.

wet ingredients apple bread

Oh, oops. Don’t forget the sour cream.

apple bread sour cream

There we go. If you’re wondering, those little specks are the milk solids I mentioned earlier. Oh god I need them.

wet ingredients smooth

Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients. You know the drill.

adding wet to dry  

Now fold in the apples.

toss in the apples


fold in apples

Now transfer the batter to a loaf pan and sprinkle an extra bit of brown sugar on top. Or don’t. I only did it because I thought I might be able to summon D’Angelo to my kitchen.

add apple batter

After about 50 minutes it will look like this. Oh, man that looks good. You should probably stop here.

apple bread out of oven

JUST KIDDING! Do you see D’Angelo yet? I don’t. More brown sugar is definitely needed, this time in the form of a glaze. To make it all you have to do is melt together a couple of tablespoons with an equal amount of milk or cream. Then add as much powdered sugar as needed to get it to the consistency that you want.

brown sugar glaze 2

Which for me was right about here. In the end I added about a cup of powdered sugar.

brown sugar glaze 3

Then transfer the glaze to a zip lock bad and snip the corner to drizzle over the loaf.

brown sugar glaze bag

DRIZZLE YOUR HEART OUT. But don’t be surprised if Snoop shows up instead of D’Angelo. That’s what happened to me. He loves him some drizzle fo rizzle. 

apple bread loaf

Slice that baby open and revel at all that apple goodness.

apple cake slice

And there you have it! Sugary sweet on the outside, fluffy and juicy on the inside, and chalk full of fall flavor. If you ask me the brown butter is definitely the star of the show. In addition to helping the cake develop that beautiful deep color, it adds a certain nutty quality to the bread that really puts it over the edge. I hope you’ll give it a try! If you do, comment here and let me know how it turns out. You can also tag me on any of the social media platforms listed on this site.

Until next time <3

Brown Butter Apple Bread with Brown Sugar Glaze
Serves 8
An autumn dessert bread packed full of apples and drizzled with a brown sugar glaze.
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
For the bread
  1. 1.5 c (190 g) all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 1 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 c (1 stick) butter
  6. 1/2 c (100 g) granulated sugar
  7. 1/2 c (100 g) light brown sugar
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 c (4 oz) full fat sour cream
  11. 2 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
For the glaze
  1. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  2. 2 tbsp milk or cream
  3. 1 c (125 g) powdered sugar (approx)
Start out by browning your butter
  1. Add the butter to sauce pan and melt over medium heat. Continue to cook it, swirling the pan occasionally. The butter will go from simmering rapidly to slowing down to a slow sputter. The fat will begin to separate and the butter will quickly turn amber in color. Be careful not to let it burn! Remove it from the heat when you start to smell a nutty aroma.
For the bread
  1. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. In a smaller bowl, stir together the brown butter, eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and both sugars. Add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Fold in the apples then transfer the batter to a greased loaf pan. Top with a sprinkling of more brown sugar, if so inclined.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 F/175 C oven for approximately 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for at least 30 minutes prior to adding the glaze.
For the glaze
  1. In a small sauce pot (or in the microwave) heat the brown sugar and milk or cream until the sugar is completely melted and no lumps remain. Add enough powdered sugar to reach your desired consistency--about a cup.
  2. Transfer the glaze to a sandwich bag and snip off the corner so that you can drizzle it over the bread. The glaze takes about 15-20 minutes to set.
recipe image
Recipe Name
Brown Butter Apple Bread with Brown Sugar Glaze
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