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Johnny Applesauce Bread

Johnny Applesauce Bread: A nod to the legend who brought apples to our state.

It’s apple-picking season in McHenry County! Did you that our apple trees’ roots date back to the 1800s when American pioneer John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman cultivated orchards from Pennsylvania to Illinois?

His spirit returns every September with Johnny Appleseed Festival in downtown Crystal Lake where historian Steve McPhail embodies this folk hero as he strolls downtown telling stories and sharing treasures with children.

Now that you know a little bit about legend of the apple in America, let’s put some apples to work in the kitchen! Colleen McGuire Seabert of Kitchen Outfitters in downtown Crystal Lake – a wonderful shop stocked with gourmet kitchen equipment – drew inspiration from apple season to perfect her Johnny Applesauce Bread recipe, which she shares below.

Johnny Applesauce Bread


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 banana mashed (or 1 beaten egg if preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup chopped apple
  • ½ cup chopped walnut (or pecan)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease/flour 3 mini loaf pans (5 ½ by 3 inches); 1 regular loaf pan (9 by 5 inches); or a 9-by-9-inch cake pan for more of a coffee-cake style.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set bowl aside.
  3. In large bowl, mix oil, sugars, applesauce, banana and vanilla. Mix by hand until fully combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients all at once to wet. Mix by hand until combined, be careful to not over mix. Fold in chopped apple and walnuts.
  5. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes (mini loaf pans) 45-55 minutes regular loaf pan. Insert toothpick to check if done.


Kitchen Outfitters
Kitchen Outfitters, North Williams Street, Crystal Lake, IL, United States

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