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Spicy Applesauce Fruit Bread

I've had this fruity loaf in my recipe collection since 1975. I tweak it with spices and candied fruit, depending on the season. —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 loaves (12 slices each)


  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied citron


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, spices and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk eggs, applesauce, sugars, melted butter and orange zest until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. In a small bowl, toss cranberries and candied citron with remaining flour; fold into batter.
  • Transfer to 2 greased 8x4-in. loaf pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 126 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 194mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

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  • homemadewithlove
    Nov 2, 2020

    I also used homemade applesauce and no citron. Baked in mini loaf pans and adjusted bake time to 20 min.

  • wendy
    Jun 16, 2020

    This bread is truly wonderful! Started making quick breads recently and found this one to be easy and quite tasty. In mine I've used a mixture of dried cranberries and raisins, added a whole cup of chopped walnuts, because we love the crunch in all our breads and cookies. And of course I couldn't find candied citron or any candied fruit at the grocery store..I guess it's not close enough to a holiday for them to stock them, anyway I looked on line how to make candied fruit, and made my own candied orange peel to add in, and it worked perfectly. Thanks so much for this great recipe!

  • Osum
    Nov 21, 2016

    I really LOVED this bread ! I had made it and threw it in the freezer without tasting. I had company coming over and decided to pull it out to serve with our coffee. Well it is so tasty, has a great flavor and texture. The fruit makes it so yummy. It can easily rival a good fruit cake without the heavy texture. This is going in my recipe book and on my Christmas cookie tray ! You won't be disappointed - I can't stop eating it. Thanks for the recipe

  • reldec03
    Dec 3, 2015

    Good one

  • Ilovematty
    Nov 7, 2015

    Terrific bread! I have already made this bread several times. Light and pleasingly spicy. Couldn't find the citron so I used dried pineapple. Yum!

  • i_like_pie
    Nov 2, 2015

    I really liked the taste and texture of this bread! I used a fruitcake mix in place of the citron, and it worked great.

  • markntracie
    Nov 1, 2015

    Oh my goodness! This bread was delicious. Moist, perfect texture / spice flavors. I didn't have citron but chopped and used dried cranberries, cherries, walnuts from a half bag of trail mix on hand. Thank you for submitting this.

  • delowenstein
    Oct 23, 2015

    These reviews are great to see! I appreciate your input about my bread! And your ideas are wonderful, too! I'm sure that I'll be putting your ideas to work if I make my bread again! Thank you for taking the time to let me know how your breads came out! delowenstein

  • grandmascooking22
    Oct 22, 2015

    My sister-in-law, JoAnn, made this bread yesterday and brought some to me warm from the oven. It is so light and has very nice flavors. Sometimes all those spices can be bitey and strong but not these. The bread also was not overly sweet. She added dried cranberries instead of raisins and did not add the citron. She also used fresh made applesauce from our nephew's apple orchard. Truly a keeper and added to my recipe box!!!

  • cast_iron_king
    Oct 8, 2015

    I had a bag of craisins begging to be used, so I tried them in this recipe, eliminating the candied citron. The combination of spices went perfect with the cranberries, and the bread is nice and moist without being squishy. A very nice bread I will definitely make again! Thanks for sharing it, Dawn!