Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

Cinnamon Swirl Bread sliced on a cutting board.

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

A few years ago, I purchased a store-bought cake to pair with my coffee, which wasn’t the best. So I wanted to try and make the best Cinnamon Swirl Loaf  at home without a mix. I’m happy I did.

We all know my passion for baking. This time wasn’t any different, and my family gets so excited whenever I make this delicious Cinnamon Swirl Loaf . It won’t last long in your house.

It’s perfect for any day of the week. 

Cinnamon Swirl Bread slices with some icing.

Easy Cinnamon Bread

This is one of those recipes where you will count until it’s done as you smell it baking in the oven. Let me tell you just how to make it so you can enjoy your morning coffee, after dinner, or even midday pick-me-up snack. This cinnamon loaf is genuinely perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. 

Cinnamon Swirl Bread slices with some icing.

If you are looking to skip the store-bought mixes, you have found your match. This Cinnamon loaf cake is just as delicious. But, honestly, the homemade version is even better, in my opinion. So let me walk you step-by-step on just how to make Cinnamon Swirl Loaf. 

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Ingredients

You’ll need these simple ingredients to make cinnamon swirl bread. 

  • some bread flour (or all-purpose flour see notes)
  • granulated sugar
  • instant or active dried yeast
  • unsalted butter
  • whole milk
  • pure vanilla extract
  • a large egg
  • brown sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • some powdered sugar
  • water

Cinnamon Swirl Bread ingredients.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe

To make this cinnamon swirl bread recipe, you need to gather your ingredients.

Next, you want to sift the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer, add sugar and yeast and mix well with a wooden spoon or whisk. Whichever you prefer. Add your cubed butter and rub it into the flour mixture using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. 

Cinnamon Swirl Bread being made.

Heat the milk until it’s warm. Add the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and the vanilla extra and egg. Attach the mixing bowl to a stand mixer and turn the speed to low. You want to mix for 7 minutes.

You will see the dough turning from sticky to soft. At the end of the mixing period, it should not feel sticky. 

Cinnamon Swirl Bread being made.

Now you want to grab another bowl with a bit of oil, put the dough into it, and turn in the oil in the bowl, so it doesn’t dry out. Add cling wrap to the bowl and rest until the dough has doubled in size.

This will take 1-2 hours, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Make sure you check out the notes below to double-check your dough.

You want to make sure it’s ready. 

Cinnamon Swirl Bread being made.

Once the dough is ready, you will see it has doubled in size. I always dust my work surface with flour before turning the dough onto it. You want to roll the dough into approximately 16” x 9” rectangle.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread being made.

Line a 2lb loaf pan with baking parchment. Don’t worry about greasing it now. You will grease it later with some leftover butter from the filling.

Melt the butter for the filling, then use a pastry brush to brush it over the top of the dough. Once you’ve brushed over the entire surface, you will still have some melted butter leftover.

Use this to grease the inside of the loaf pan.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread being made.

Next, you want to mix the brown sugar and cinnamon thoroughly, then sprinkle it over the top of the dough. Use the back of a spoon to press the sugar filling into the dough.

Roll the dough into a tight sausage shape with the shortest side facing you. Cut through the middle of the rolled-up dough to have two sections.

Twist the two sections together into a two-strand braid.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread being made.

Please ensure you carefully place the braid into the prepared loaf pan next, cling wrap the pan and set it aside for 30 minutes. 

After 30 minutes, the dough in the loaf pan will have puffed up. Brush the top of the dough with 1 tbsp melted butter, then bake in the heated oven. 

You are so close. It’s almost done! You want to take the loaf pan out of the oven and leave it to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then, please remove it from the pan and transfer it to a wire cooling rack while making the topping.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread cooling in a loaf pan.

The topping is my favorite part. You want to add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and one tablespoon of water to a mixing bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined. If it’s not runny enough, you can add another tablespoon of water until it reaches a pourable consistency.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread with icing being drizzled all over it.

Drizzle the topping over the warm Cinnamon Swirl Loaf. It is just so delicious! This does complete this homemade Cinnamon Swirl Loaf. Keep in mind this is freezer friendly, too. If you need to bake ahead, you always have that as an option. 

How long does Cinnamon Swirl Bread last?

To store cinnamon swirl bread, wrap the bread tightly in tin foil and store it at room temperature. As with most baked goods, Cinnamon Swirl Loaf is best eaten when baked. However, it will last for two days. To enjoy any leftovers, it’s best to heat slices for 30 seconds in the microwave before eating. It will last ten days in the refrigerator in an airtight container or two months in the freezer. 

Can you freeze Cinnamon Swirl Bread?

Yes, you can freeze cinnamon swirl bread. This bread will last in the freezer for up to 2 months. I suggest slicing the bread ahead of time and freezing it so you can grab a few slices and heat them for a snack or breakfast. 

Looking for other delicious recipes to pair perfectly with your morning coffee? You might want to try Caramelized Pears and Mascarpone DonutsBlueberry Coffee Cake Muffins, or even a sweet pancake-like Strawberry Ricotta PancakesCinnamon Coffee Cake with M&M’s is perfect if you have kids or are looking for something to take to the school when a baked good is needed.

Your kids will go crazy for it! 

Cinnamon Swirl Bread sliced with icing drizzled on it.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this loaf cake. Please leave me a comment below. Also, don’t forget if you share across social media and snap a picture to tag #AClassicTwist. I love seeing all of your sweets and recipes coming to life. 

Happy Baking! 

Cinnamon Swirl Bread is shown sliced on a cutting board.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Yield: 8 - 10 slices

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

This Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake is an easy, perfect and delicious snack packed with buttery cinnamon flavors.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the loaf

  • 3 cups bread flour (or all purpose flour see notes)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet instant or active dried yeast
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

For the filling

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 packed cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted for brushing the top of the loaf

For the topping

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Sift the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer then, add the sugar and yeast and mix well with a whisk or wooden spoon. Add the cubed butter and use your fingertips to rub it into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Heat the milk until it is warm then add it to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl along with the vanilla extract and egg.
  3. Attach the mixing bowl to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the speed to low and mix for 7 minutes. The dough will turn from sticky to soft and should not feel sticky at the end of the mixing period.
  4. Grease another bowl with a little oil then put the dough into it turning it in the oil in the bowl so it doesn’t dry out. Add cling wrap to the bowl and rest until the dough has doubled in size. This will take 1-2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is. See notes on how to test the dough for readiness.
  5. When the dough has doubled in size, dust a work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Roll the dough into a rectangle of approximately 16” x 9”.
  6. Line a 2lb loaf pan with baking parchment. You will grease it later with some leftover butter from the filling.
  7. Melt the butter for the filling then use a pastry brush to brush it over the top of the dough. You will find that once you’ve brushed over the entire surface you will still have some melted butter leftover. Use this to grease the inside of the loaf pan.
  8. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon thoroughly then sprinkle it over the top of the dough. Use the back of a spoon to press the sugar filling into the dough.
  9. With the shortest side facing you, roll the dough into a tight sausage shape. Cut through the middle of the rolled-up dough so you have two sections. Twist the two sections together into a 2 strand braid.
  10. Carefully place the braid into the prepared loaf pan. Cling wrap the pan and set it aside for 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 350oF.
  11. After 30 minutes, the dough in the loaf pan will have puffed up. Brush the top of the dough with 1 tbsp melted butter then put the pan in the center of the preheated oven for 45 minutes. See notes regarding baking time.
  12. Take the loaf pan out of the oven and leave it to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove from the pan and transfer to a wire cooling rack while you make the topping.
  13. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablesppn of water to a mixing bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined. If it’s not runny enough you can go ahead and add another tbsp of water until it reaches a pourable consistency.
  14. Drizzle the topping over the warm Cinnamon Swirl Loaf.

Notes

  • If you can find bread flour to make this recipe, the results will be better. Strong white bread flour has a higher protein content which means the finished loaf will be softer and more bread-like. You can substitute with all-purpose flour but this will result in a loaf that has more of a cake-like crumb.
  • The milk should not be so hot that you can’t comfortably put your finger into it. Think warm bath water and not scorching! If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
  • • You do not have to use a stand mixer to knead the dough. You can do this by hand but it will take longer than the 7 minutes it takes in the mixer. Knead until the dough is no longer sticky. It will be springy and soft when properly kneaded.
  • • If the dough is still sticky after the kneading time, you can add flour a tablespoon at a time until it’s no longer sticky. Always test the dough with a clean and dry finger.
  • • The rising time will vary depending on the temperature. A good way to tell if the dough has doubled is to mark the side of the bowl with a pen when you first put the dough into it. Use the mark as a guide to tell you if the dough has doubled. You can also test the dough by gently pressing a clean, dry finger into it. If the indentation slowly rises back, the dough is ready. If the indentation quickly rises back, it’s underprovided and needs a little more time. If the indentation stays, this means the dough has over proved. It’s always best to bake with dough that is under rather than over proved.
  • • You can make the dough ahead of time, and instead of leaving it to rise at room temperature, you can put it into the refrigerator. The cold temperature will ‘put the dough to sleep.’ It will take approximately 12 hours to double in size if you use this method.
  • • When it’s time to fill the dough, make sure you press the filling in really well and roll it into a tight sausage. When you cut the dough into two sections, you might feel that the filling is escaping and unmanageable! Just braid the dough as neatly as you can and try not to worry about its appearance at this stage. It will turn out beautifully, I promise!
  • • The baking time is 45 minutes; I recommend that you check on the loaf after 30 minutes - if it’s already looking brown, add a layer of tin foil to the top of the pan for the remainder of the baking time. Don’t take the loaf out of the oven before 45 minutes (even if it’s golden brown) because it won’t be properly baked in the center. If you tap the top of the loaf, it will sound hollow when it’s properly baked.
  • Storage: wrap tightly in tin foil and store at room temperature. As with most baked goods, Cinnamon Swirl Loaf is best eaten when it’s baked. However, it will last for 2 days. To enjoy any leftovers, it’s best to heat up slices for 30 seconds in the microwave before eating. 

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