Apple Ladder Loaf Recipe
Apple Ladder Loaf Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Apple Ladder Loaf Recipe

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I first served my family this rich bread with its spicy apple filling years ago. From the very first bite, it was a hit with everyone. Now I bake it often for church groups, potluck dinners and parties with friends. It makes a nice breakfast pastry or—with a scoop of ice cream—a lovely dessert.—Norma Foster, Compton, Illinois
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 70 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min.
MAKES:20 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 70 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min.
MAKES: 20 servings


  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-1/2 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • ICING:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 250 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 62 mg cholesterol, 205 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, salt, eggs and 2 cups flour. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours; punch dough down. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into a 12-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Place each on a greased baking sheet. Spread with butter. For filling, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a large bowl;
  4. add apples and toss to coat. Spread filling down center third of each rectangle.
  5. On each long side, cut 1-in. wide strips about 3 in. 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.
  6. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Combine icing ingredients until smooth; drizzle over warm loaves. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 loaves (10 slices each).
Originally published as Apple Ladder Loaf in Country Woman September/October 1997, p29

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 250 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 62 mg cholesterol, 205 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.

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Reviewed Oct. 8, 2013

little dense, overall ok. got a good rating from the coworker who likes everything.

Reviewed Oct. 11, 2011

I made this and I loved it. The first one I didn't fill as much, so I had extra filling in the second. It was a lot of work but well worth it.

Reviewed Aug. 3, 2011

My granddaughter entered this recipe in local 4-h and won champion. She is now going to the state fair with it.

Reviewed Mar. 4, 2011

I hav made this a few times and taken it as gifts and always very much enjoyed. And I am not a person who makes much with homemade breads. But seems to always worl out for me.

Reviewed Jan. 27, 2011

I make this every summer when our apple orchard is bursting full of apples! It is by far the BEST apple sweetbread I have ever tried!

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