Yesterday, while out for a stroll with my Labrador Retriever, I noticed that the leaves were ever so steadily beginning to change colour. There are tiny specks of yellows and oranges amidst the summer greens. It makes me a bit giddy, Autumn is slowly coming (although not fast enough).

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I suppose since I was feeling so nostalgic, I felt drawn to bake an apple infused spice tea bread/loaf. You can find inspiration everywhere if you keep an open mind. As a child (yes, a young child at that) you’d often find me in the kitchen at the most bizarre of hours, elbows deep in a mixing bowl and covered in flour. Cooking and competitive figure skating were about my only means of creative expression.

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Back to this lovely tea bread. I started with a quick batch of homemade spiced applesauce. You certainly don’t need to make homemade, but I am biased and truly believe it is far better than store-bought. Use whatever you most fancy and have on hand. I prefer my applesauce with some texture, using a potato masher to create just the right consistency. This tea bread is beautifully rich in flavour and spices. Delicious served on it’s own, or with a light spread of butter, it’s absolutely lovely served with an afternoon cup of tea.

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Apple Spice Tea Bread

Applesauce:

  • 4 medium-large apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Tea Bread:

  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (you may also use butter or a light olive oil)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp each nutmeg and allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Topping:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 2 lb loaf pan with parchment paper, or spray with non-sticking cooking oil.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, spices and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the oil and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating until mixed.
  4. Add the applesauce, milk, yogurt and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, folding in with a wooden spoon. Mix only until moist (clumpy is perfect). Over-mixing will produce a flat, dense loaf.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the cinnamon topping.
  7. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. You may wish to tent the pan with aluminum foil the last 20 minutes to prevent excess browning.
  9. Let the bread rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooking rack to fully cool before slicing.

Notes: I find this tea bread to be most delicious when slightly warmed, it really brings out the infused spices. You could also add 1 cup chopped nuts or dried fruits if you desire.

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