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Buttermilk Apple Brown Bread

This Buttermilk Apple Brown Bread is a moist, compact bread that tastes rich and goes great with a vegetable soup or a salad. This recipe makes two loaves of bread.

Sliced Buttermilk Apple Brown Bread0

What is buttermilk apple brown bread?

Buttermilk apple brown bread is a quick bread recipe that typically calls for whole wheat flour, buttermilk, brown sugar, and chopped fresh apples.

This type of bread is often referred to as “oatmeal apple brown bread” or “apple oatmeal bread.”

However, the amount of oats in the dough for this Irish brown bread recipe is not significant enough to call this bread an “oatmeal bread,” as the main types of flour used in the recipe are whole wheat and all-purpose flour. 

Technically, I would say this is a brown-bread variation. It is a dark, rich, delicious brown bread enriched with apples, molasses, oats, raisins, and walnuts.

Buttermilk apple brown bread is a delicious and hearty bread that is perfect for breakfast or a snack. 

The oats add a nice texture and nutty flavor to the bread, while the apples add sweetness and moisture.

I made this bread various times and loved it every time. It is a great recipe for the home cooks to make in the winter when hearty foods are welcome.

It could also be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

What kind of ingredients do you need for this brown bread?

Wet ingredients:

  • Butter: Unsalted butter is my choice in this recipe.
  • Dark brown sugar: This bread uses dark sugar and molasses for a rich, delicious flavor.
  • Molasses– Molasses is a thick, dark syrup made during the sugar-making process.

Molasses contains more nutrients than refined sugar, bringing flavor depth to a baked product. However, keep in mind that molasses is still sugar, so we need to consume it in moderation.

  • Buttermilk– If you don’t have buttermilk, there are several easy substitutes, which I will describe in a moment.

Dry ingredients:

  • Whole-wheat flour– adds flavor but also fiber, vitamins, and nutrients to your recipes.
  • All-purpose flour– adds lightness to this bread.
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats– these oats add texture and more nutrients to this bread.
  • Baking soda– Please do not replace baking soda with baking powder. Baking soda and buttermilk are excellent friends that work together to help the bread rise. Do not skip it!
  • Salt– We always add salt to baked goods because it enhances the flavor of the ingredients.
  • Apples– use granny smith apples or any tart apples.
  • Raisins– I also like dried cranberries for a more festive look on the bread, but tart cherries might also be good. Use what you want.
  • Pecans– or walnuts are my favorite in this recipe.
Ingredients for Buttermilk Apple Brown Bread0

How to make buttermilk when you don’t have the real one in the fridge:

  • Milk and lemon juice or vinegar – mix 8 fl oz whole milk with one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar and let it stand for 5-10 minutes until it is slightly curdled. It will look disgusting, but congratulations, you are now the proud owner of some sour milk, which you can use in any recipe that calls for sour milk or buttermilk. 🙂
  • Sour cream – make up a 3:1 mixture of sour cream and water
  • Kefir– thin the kefir with water or milk until it has the consistency of buttermilk

How to make this delicious recipe?

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease two 9 1/2×5 1/2-inch loaf pans using butter or nonstick cooking spray.

So far, so good. Also, make sure you gather all the ingredients to make sure you have everything you need.

Step 2. Mix brown sugar with butter and molasses in a large bowl until the brown sugar is slightly melted. Add buttermilk and mix.

Note: You do not really need to use any kind of mixers for this recipe. A wooden spoon or my magic Danish Dutch Whisk (affiliate link) are perfect for making bread dough.

Wet ingredients for Buttermilk Apple Brown Bread

Step 3. Mix the dry ingredients.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, baking soda, and salt.

Step 4. Stir in the diced apples, raisins, and nuts. Mixing the apple pieces with the flour will help them stay in the batter and not sink to the bottom of the bread.

Step 5. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and stir just until blended.

Steps of the recipe for Buttermilk Apple Brown Bread

Step 6. Spoon the dough into the prepared loaf pans and smooth the tops.

Step 7. Bake.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then remove and cool on a wire rack. The color should be a dark golden brown.

Brown Bread with apples and walnuts0

How to store this bread:

In general, homemade bread will last for a few days when stored properly.

At room temperature: Keep it in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature for up to 2-3 days.

In the refrigerator: However, if you want to extend the life of this buttermilk apple brown bread, you can store it in the refrigerator, where it will stay fresh for up to a week.

In the freezer: If you want to keep the bread for even longer, you can freeze it.

Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container or freezer bag. As a matter of fact, as this recipe makes two loaves, I always freeze a loaf of bread for some other time.

The bread can be frozen for up to three months. To defrost, simply remove the bread from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature.

It’s important to note that the texture and flavor of the bread may change slightly after storage, especially if it has been frozen.

Two slices of buttermilk apple brown bread on blue plate0

How to serve this Buttermilk Apple Brown Bread:

This is a hearty and flavorful kind of bread that can be served with a variety of dishes. 

Here are some ideas for foods that are suitable to serve with this delicious bread:

  • Soups and stews: Buttermilk Apple Brown Bread is perfect for soaking up the flavorful broth of soups and stews. Try serving it with classic beef soup or stew (like an Irish beef stew).
  • Baked beans: Another classic pairing for this bread is baked beans. The bread’s sweetness and dense texture complement the savory and smoky flavors of the beans.
  • Sandwiches: This Brown Bread can be sliced and used for sandwiches. Try it with sliced turkey or roast beef, or make a grilled cheese sandwich with it.
  • Cheese and spreads: The bread’s sturdy texture makes it a great choice for serving with cheese and spreads. Try it with cream cheese dip.
  • Breakfast dishes: The bread can be toasted and served with butter and jam for a delicious breakfast. It can also be used as a base for French toast or bread pudding.

Related: 32 Easy Recipes For St. Patrick’s Day

Brown Bread with apples0
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Colonial Brown Bread (similar to Boston Brown Bread)

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Two slices of buttermilk apple brown bread square photo0

Buttermilk Apple Brown Bread

This Buttermilk Apple Brown Bread is a moist, compact bread that tastes rich and goes great with a vegetable soup or a salad for supper. The recipe makes two medium loaves.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Breads
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk bread, easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 235kcal


  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped apple 1 medium, peeled and cored
  • ½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease two 9 1/2×5 1/2-inch loaf pans.
  • In a large bowl, mix the butter with brown sugar. Add buttermilk and molasses.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flours, rolled oats, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
  • Stir in the apple, raisins, and nuts.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and stir just until blended.
  • Spoon the dough into the prepared pans and smooth the tops.
  • Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then remove and cool on a wire rack.


Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 336mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 8th of March 2023

I baked this recipe yesterday, and it was terrific. This is the first brown bread I have ever baked, and it was definitely a winner! So easy and so delicious!