The Recipe Box: Apple Butter Bread

I have a collection of vintage metal recipe boxes. Sixteen to be exact with all but one full of handwritten recipes and clippings from newspapers and magazines of the past. My favorite thing to do is to flip through the curated recipes of someone’s time in the kitchen. The problem is I rarely cook from these little culinary treasure chests. So to change that, each month I select a one or two to follow the recipe as is with very little changes. I document the whole process right here with what I liked and what I might change for the next time.

Today I choose to make Apple Butter Bread from my Land O Lakes recipe box. It is a recipe that the former owner clipped out of a newspaper. The recipe is most likely from the mid ’70s as you find quite a bit of variations of this bread during that time period in the papers.

If case you are not familiar with apple butter, it is just super concentrated version of applesauce that  has been slowly cooked with sugar and spices. It contains no actual butter and gets it name for the consistency and because it is often spread on bread like butter. It is easily found in most grocery stores with the jams, jellies and preserves. Look on the bottom shelf as that is usually where I find it.


What I Liked: Oh the smell of apple and spices it made while it baked. That was totally my favorite part. As always, I loved that I had most of the items in the house and only had to purchase the apple butter, pecans and buttermilk. It is a very cost effective bread to make. It came together very easy and baked into a rather nice looking loaf.

What I Did Not Like: Nothing major. I quite like how it all turned out.

What I Would Change: The only thing I would tweak is probably the amount of spices used. The apple butter already contains many of the same used in the bread so for some a full teaspoon of cinnamon, allspice and especially the ground clove may be a little overwhelming. When I make this again ( and this will be repeated), I will try halving all the spices to see if I like the result better. This is also perfect for any one who maybe doesn’t like pumpkin but still wants to get on some fall bread action. This apple butter bread would be a perfect substitute.


Here is the recipe if you want to try it as well.

Apple Butter Bread

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy apple butter bread recipe from the mid '70s this is perfect for fall.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup apple butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350 degree and grease a loaf pan.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar.
  • Add egg and beat well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and all the spices together.
  • Add flour to the creamed butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour.
  • Stir in the apple butter and pecans.
  • Bake for 65 minutes in the oven.


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