Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
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This homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread is soft, moist, and fluffy, with a gorgeous cinnamon-sugar swirl that adds the perfect amount of sweet. Serve this sweet, buttery yeast bread fresh and warm out of the oven, or toasted with a spread of butter, and watch how quickly it disappears!

Why You’ll Adore This Cozy Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Homemade cinnamon swirl bread is the sweetest treat – here are just a few reasons you’ll love baking up a fragrant loaf of this old-fashioned bread.

  • Comforting and Cozy: The warm, cinnamon-y aroma of this bread is impossible to resist! If you want to bring all that cold-weather coziness into your kitchen, this is definitely the way, my friends. 
  • Amazing Flavor and Texture: This cinnamon bread features a soft, tender crumb and plenty of buttery cinnamon sugar in every slice.
  • Versatile: Serve this bread on its own, toasted with a spread of butter, used as a base for French toast, or use it for bread pudding if you accidentally let it get stale. It’s delicious no matter which way you choose to enjoy it!
  • Homemade Goodness: Baking your own cinnamon swirl bread allows you to choose the ingredients, using wholesome items you like and keeping out the preservatives, artificial flavors, and artificial colors you don’t want. 

(For another spin on cinnamon bread, check out this Dollywood-style Easy Cinnamon Bread, made with store-bought bread dough and topped with a sweet, sugary glaze.)

Cinnamon bread ingredients arranged on a table.

What Is Cinnamon Swirl Bread Made Of?

Here’s what you’ll need to make this tempting homemade cinnamon swirl bread. This from-scratch recipe is the best! For full ingredient amounts and directions, scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

For the Bread

  • Milk: Provides moisture and helps create a soft dough.
  • Water: Activates the yeast and helps the dough rise.
  • Active Dry Yeast
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds a touch of sweetness and feeds the yeast.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Forms the base of the dough, providing structure.
  • Bread Flour: With the higher protein count, using bread flour adds additional structure and chewiness to the bread. You can choose to use only all purpose if you prefer.
  • Salt
  • Salted Butter: At room temperature.

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Swirl

  • Granulated Sugar: Creates a sweet and slightly crunchy layer in the swirl. If you would like, you can also use brown sugar.
  • Cinnamon
  • Melted Butter: Provides moisture and helps bind the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
A loaf of cinnamon bread with several slices cut off to show the swirl.

How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

So how do you make this? It’s easy! Here are the basic steps in creating a fantastic loaf of cinnamon swirl bread. 

  • Mix and Knead the Dough: First, combine the milk, warm water, yeast, and sugar in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Let it proof for five minutes, and then use a dough hook to mix in the dry ingredients. Finally, add the butter and knead for 10 minutes on medium speed.
  • First Rise: Form the dough into a ball, and place it in a greased mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
  • Make the Filling and Shape the Loaves: Mix the sugar and cinnamon for the filling, and set them aside. Divide the risen dough in half. Roll each half into a big rectangle. Brush the rectangles with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Roll up, and place in greased loaf pans.
  • Second Rise and Bake: Let loaves rise for another 30 minutes or so, until puffy. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and then bake them for 45 minutes, until golden and baked through.
  • Enjoy! Be sure to cool the bread thoroughly before slicing and serving.
Baked bread in loaf pans.

Baker’s Notes

These helpful tips are my best pieces of advice for making the perfect cinnamon swirl loaf. Each one is tried-and-true, so read on, and happy baking!

  • Bread Flour: Although I do recommend using the combination of all-purpose flour and bread flour, you can substitute more all-purpose flour for the bread flour, if you like. 
  • Proofing the Yeast: If the yeast mixture isn’t bubbly after 5 minutes, it could be due to the temperature of your kitchen. Give it a few more minutes to see if it gets bubbly. If it doesn’t, then you will need to try again with warmer milk and water, or move the bowl to a warmer place. 
  • Rising: When the dough is rising, you may have to adjust the rise time depending on the warmth of your kitchen. For the first rise, you are wanting the dough to double in size. That may take more or less time, so keep an eye on it!
  • Slicing: If you’re not serving right away, I recommend leaving the loaves whole. They stay fresher that way. Slice them right before you want to serve them up. A sharp, serrated bread knife does a great job of making neat slices.
Slices of cinnamon swirl bread on small plates.

Serving Suggestions

Honestly, you’ll want to eat this freshly out of the oven – and that’s a great place to start! Top it with some softened butter or a dollop of apple butter, and you’ve got a wonderful snack or quick breakfast.  But there’s more you can do with cinnamon swirl bread. Here are a few recipes to start with:

  • French Toast: Air Fryer French Toast Sticks are a favorite around here. I often use Texas Toast, but thick slices of cinnamon swirl bread would also be delicious. (This would be an especially good way to use day-old cinnamon swirl bread that’s lost some of its moisture.)
  • Fruit Sando: Did you know that strawberries, peaches, and blueberries all play well with cinnamon? I’m not saying you need to layer those fruits into a cinnamon-swirl Fruit Sando… but you totally do. 
  • Bread Pudding: We all like a festive breakfast for Christmas morning, and this bread would be perfect. Or–hear me out– let the bread go slightly stale (that usually happens to me anyway at some point) and then put it in the freezer. Now you’ve got the makings of a killer Cranberry Eggnog Bread Pudding
A slice of bread with a bite taken from it on a plate.

How to Store Cinnamon Swirl Bread

You can store this bread on the countertop, sealed in an airtight box or bag. It’s softest on day one, but it will keep for up to four days. For slightly longer storage, store in your refrigerator.

I like to slightly reheat a slice either in the toaster or microwave. If you are microwaving it, I recommend wrapping it in a damp paper towel and microwaving a slice for about 8 seconds. It will have that fresh, soft, just baked texture again!

Can I Freeze This?

Sure can! In fact, that’s a great way to make the most of your baking time. You can double this recipe (and lots of other bread recipes, too) and freeze the extras for later!

To freeze cinnamon swirl bread, cool it completely, then package it in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or freezer bags. Label with the date, and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature, and enjoy!

More Homemade Bread Recipes

Overhead, landscape shot of cinnamon swirl bread on a cutting board.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 2 loaves

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread is soft, moist, and fluffy, with a gorgeous cinnamon-sugar swirl. A sweet, buttery yeast bread that’s perfect for breakfast!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Rising Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the Bread:

  • 1 ½ cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Swirl:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ cup melted butter

Instructions 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the milk, warm water, yeast and sugar. Lightly whisk together until incorporated, then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to proof.
  • Once the mixture is bubbly and frothy, swap the attachment to a dough hook and add in flour, bread flour and salt. Knead until the dough starts to come together, about 3 minutes. Add in the butter and continue kneading on medium speed for 10 minutes.
  • Once kneaded, remove the dough from the bowl and roll it into a ball. Grease the mixing bowl and return the dough to it. Cover well with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
  • In the meantime, mix together the filling by combining the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Once the dough has risen, split it in half. Roll out one section into a rectangle of about 16×8”. Brush 1⁄2 of the butter onto it, then sprinkle 1⁄2 of the cinnamon/sugar mixture over top. Roll up and place into a greased loaf pan. Repeat with the 2nd dough section.
  • Let the loaves rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Once the loaves have risen, place them into the preheated oven on the center rack. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden and baked through.
  • Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a wire cooling rack until cool. Once cooled, remove from the loaf pans and slice.

Notes

Storage: Store this bread on the countertop, sealed in an airtight container. It’s softest on day one, but it will keep for up to four days. For slightly longer storage, store in your refrigerator.
Reheat: I like to slightly reheat a slice either in the toaster or microwave. If you are microwaving it, I recommend wrapping it in a damp paper towel and microwaving a slice for about 8 seconds. It will have that fresh, soft, just baked texture again!
Freeze: Cool completely, then package it in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or freezer bags. Label with the date, and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature, and enjoy!
Bread Flour: With the higher protein count, using bread flour adds additional structure and chewiness to the bread. You can choose to use only all purpose if you prefer.
Proofing the Yeast: If the yeast mixture isn’t bubbly after 5 minutes, it could be due to the temperature of your kitchen. Give it a few more minutes to see if it gets bubbly. If it doesn’t, then you will need to try again with warmer milk and water, or move the bowl to a warmer place. 
Rising: When the dough is rising, you may have to adjust the rise time depending on the warmth of your kitchen. For the first rise, you are wanting the dough to double in size. That may take more or less time, so keep an eye on it!
Slicing: If you’re not serving right away, I recommend leaving the loaves whole. They stay fresher that way. Slice them right before you want to serve them up. A sharp, serrated bread knife does a great job of making neat slices.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 225kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 240mg, Potassium: 73mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 252IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1mg

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.