Apple Ladder Loaf

Apple Ladder Loaf

A braided sweet bread filled with spicy apple filling and drizzled with icing


2 loaves (10 slices each)


Basic Sweet Dough:

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 packages (1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 teaspoons each) quick rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs

Apple Filling:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 cups thinly sliced and peeled apples


1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Melt butter in a sauce pan, and then add milk and water just until warm (105-115 degrees). Gradually add milk mixture to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. With spoon, stir in remaining flour to form a stiff batter; grease top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; rerfigerate 2 hours or up to 3 days. Remove dough from the refrigerator.

2. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into 12-inch x 9-inch rectangle. Place each on a greased baking sheet. Spread with butter.

3. Combine the brown sugar, flour, and spiced in a large bowl. Add apples and toss to coat. Spread filling down center third of each rectangle.

4. On each long side, cut 1-inch wide strips about 3 inches into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling; seal ends. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 45-60 minutes.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Combine icing ingredients until smooth; drizzle over warm loaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Weaving the loaf


Apple Ladder Loaf

Apple Ladder Loaf

Additional Notes: 

This recipe was submitted by guest chef Samantha R, who writes: "This pretty loaf makes a perfect dessert topped with a scoop of ice cream!"

This recipe is originally from a Taste of Home magazine.

Preparation Time: 

2 1/2 to 3 hours

Cooking Time: 

30-40 minutes


I made one of these yesterday evening (the other half of the dough is in the fridge). I had it ready when hubby got home from his class and he loved it! He had another piece for breakfast this morning and told me again how good it was. I used some home-canned apple pie filling instead of the filling listed in the recipe. and sprinkled a bit of flour over it before folding the dough over so it wouldn't get too runny. Delicious and very pretty. Looks very impressive when it's done!


This is simply delicious and worth all the time it took to make it!


This is a delicious pastry!! It's not overly sweet, which means you can eat a lot of it at once. ;) It's so yummy!! While it does take some time to make, the recipe makes two large loaves. Not that they will last very long, anyway, but... Very good recipe!!

We did add some extra flour to make the dough more manageable.

We also had to cover the loaves loosely with foil about halfway through baking, so they wouldn't get too dark.

For drizzling the icing, we put the icing in a ziplock bag and cut the bottom corner just enough so that it would drizzle nicely.


This loaf is delicious. There are a lot of pros to trying this one out. First, is that it is absolutely delicious. Second, is that it is not overly sweet. You could easily eat this for breakfast. Take off the icing, maybe add a pinch more of fruit, substitute some whole wheat and all your guilt should wash away! Which leads to the third point--the recipe is rock solid, which opens the door up to variants. Add more icing, put a different fruit in, put a cream cheese base under the fruit, and so forth. Seeing as it makes 2 loafs and you can store some of the dough in the fridge for days there are a lot of possibilities. We loved this recipe and WILL be using it again--hopefully often!


Yes, a must try!! I have made this twice now and it doesn't last long here!


I agree that this recipe leaves lots of room for variation. You could leave the sugar out of the apples all together or drizzle honey over them before closing it up. It's very impressive looking and a great starter project for first-time bread makers.


This was pretty good, although, I won't put as much nutmeg in it next time. It was very good served at room temperature. I might try putting a layer of cream cheese under the fruit to make a "danish" apple ladder loaf. Thanks Tammy!


We love this recipe. I'm making it again today to take to church tomorrow...I'm sure they'll love it too!


Yum! I liked the idea of putting cream cheese in it so that is what I did. I didn't put the glaze on top and we had it for breakfast. It did definitely need to be covered for part of the baking otherwise it got very brown before the fruit was done.:-)


I brought this to our Easter potluck after church. I always forget whether anyone notices, it becomes a friendly competition of who brought the best dish. Well this won! My husband overheard people all day saying did you taste that and later people were discussing what's in it? Well there's raisins, nuts, spices. My husband didn't correct them, it's funny everyone thought it was some amazing, complicated & unhealthy recipe.
We were happy to have one just for us for breakfast.


I used to make this years ago. Happy to find this recipe. I halved it and made 1 loaf. I also did not refrigerate the dough, just let it rise in the old-fashioned way. It turned out so yummy!


Well, after I figured everything out and got it all together and made up. The kids ate some and instantly fell in love with it! My son couldn't get enough! I like it, its not something I would want to eat all the time, but every once in a while it would be good to have.


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