Filed Under: Bread | Breakfast | Dessert

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
October 14th, 2020
5 from 1 vote
5 from 1 vote

Homemade yeast-raised Cinnamon Swirl Bread features soft and fluffy bread with thick swirls of sweet cinnamon. Each slice makes for the most amazing morning toast or better yet, use to make French toast for a special occasion!

Yield: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 55 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Like a slightly less rich cinnamon roll!
Texture: The bread is soft and fluffy and toasts up beautifully.
Ease: Totally doable, but more of a weekend baking project.
Pros: Beautiful and comforting recipe you can freeze.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? I already have. It’s a favorite!

Homemade bread will forever and always be the definition of comfort food to me.

Take a super easy homemade bread dough, add cinnamon and sugar, and make it easy enough to toast every morning for breakfast? That’s the only way I want to wake up.

This bread dough is a dream to work with. Super soft, supple, and pliable. It comes together in a snap.

You don’t need to be a master at working with yeast to bake this recipe. I promise!

I’ve included a bunch of homemade bread baking tips below to ensure your success in the kitchen.

This is a super fun recipe to make with little ones, too. I find the transformation of simple ingredients like flour, yeast, and liquid into an amazing tall loaf of aromatic bread to be a magical one. It’s almost meditative!

How to Make Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Instant Yeast vs. Active Dry Yeast

Active Dry and Instant Yeast can be used interchangeably!

I like to use Instant Yeast (also called “rapid-rising” or “fast-acting”) because it can cut the dough rising time by as much as 50% and can be added straight in with the dry ingredients. No proofing is required. ⁠

Active dry yeast can actually be added directly in with the dry ingredients (like instant yeast) as long as the liquids are warm. However, proofing active dry yeast can be worth the extra step because it will work more quickly and effectively.⁠

Whatever you do, just make sure your water isn’t TOO hot which can kill your yeast.

The Best Loaf Pan for Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I like to use a metal loaf pan for baking Cinnamon Swirl Bread. They heat up and cool down quickly. Whatever you do, make sure you’re using a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.

Anything smaller and you’ll have too much dough which will balloon over the top and sides of your pan.

If you’re using a glass or ceramic pan, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and extend the baking time by about 10 to 15 minutes.

How to Roll Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Be sure to roll a very tight coil. Do this by stretching the dough slightly towards you as you roll up and around. This will allow the dough to rise and keep its beautiful shape. Pinch and seal the log once you’re done rolling and place it seam side down in the pan. The dough is very easy to work with so you shouldn’t need much additional flour.

How to Prevent Cinnamon Swirl Bread from Separating

The first time I made this recipe the swirls completely separated from each layer. In researching how to prevent this, I found a tip by Cooks Illustrated. Very lightly misting the cinnamon sugar with water after sprinkling on the dough helps to prevent major separation. You don’t want to use too much water, though, otherwise the filling will leak out.

How to Store Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature for up to 5 days. You can also slice and freeze the bread for toast.

How to Serve Cinnamon Swirl Bread

If making toast, you can toast frozen slices directly from the freezer. The bread is delicious with butter, but also with cream cheese!

How to Make French Toast with Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This bread makes AMAZING French toast! Use my favorite French toast recipe here, being sure to include the ‘drying out’ step in the directions to avoid soggy cinnamon swirl French toast.

More Delicious Bread Recipes:

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

5 from 1 vote

How to make
Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Rising time 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Homemade yeast-raised Cinnamon Swirl Bread features soft and fluffy bread with thick swirls of sweet cinnamon. Each slice makes for the most amazing morning toast or better yet, use to make French toast for a special occasion!

Ingredients

For the bread:

  • 1 cup warm whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
  • 4 cups (508 grams) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine salt

For the cinnamon swirl:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the egg wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the milk, butter, sugar, egg, egg yolks, and yeast. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add the flour and salt, attach the dough hook, and knead on low speed until a rough dough comes together. Increase to medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. Add more flour if the dough is unbearably sticky, just a couple tablespoons at a time. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until puffy and almost doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Punch the dough down. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll it into an 8 by 18-inch rectangle. With a pastry brush, brush all over with a thin layer of the melted butter. Combine the sugars and cinnamon and sprinkle over the buttered dough, leaving a 1-inch border on each long side.
  4. Using a spray bottle, lightly spray the cinnamon sugar with water to moisten. This will prevent too much gaping between the swirls. Roll into a very tight log, pinching the ends to seal to prevent the filling from leaking out and bubbling over while baking.
  5. Place the log seam side down in a lightly greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 hour, until it’s domed about 1-inch above the edge of the pan.
  6. In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk. Brush all over the top of the dough.
  7. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until deeply golden brown. If using a glass or ceramic baking dish, drop oven temperature to 325°F and bake for about 1 hour. An instant-read thermometer should register at least 185°F at the center of the loaf. Tent the loaf loosely with foil if it begins to brown too much.
  8. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing to slice. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature for up to 5 days. You can also slice and freeze the bread for toast.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread, cinnamon, cinnamon swirl
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    Tina — October 17, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    This is a fantastic cinnamon swirl bread recipe, and I have tried quite a few. I didn’t get as many twirls around but I am super pleased. I was wondering if I added a few handfuls of raisins or chopped apricots would it stay in place as well?

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