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
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
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

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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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