Save on Pinterest

Apple Ladder Loaf

I first served my family this rich ladder recipe 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 a lovely dessert. —Norma Foster, Compton, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 70 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    2 loaves (10 slices each)


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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;
  • add apples and toss to coat. Spread filling down center third of each rectangle.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 250 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 205mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • wrenjen523
    Oct 8, 2013

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

  • crene3
    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.

  • ninagephart
    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.

  • naydawn
    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.

  • abbie2005
    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!

  • abbie2005
    Sep 26, 2010

    This is the best apple sweet bread I have ever made! I like to make it in the summer when our apple trees are loaded with the fresh, sweet fruit!

  • chalyndria
    Jan 4, 2010

    Very very good. I must admitt though that I didn't follow the recipe to a "T". In the dough I added about a tablespoon of fresh orange peel, and for the glaze I added about a tsp of fresh orange peel to go with the fresh squeezed juice that goes into it. I also used the bread machine on the dough cycle and baked the same day with awesome results. This one is a winner!