Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

cinnamon-swirl-bread-3

Okay, well, I guess I can eat cinnamon swirl bread all day if I must. Because when that smell speaks to me, game over.

Bjork and I have kind of a dysfunctional relationship with bread. I said WITH BREAD. Sheesh.

No, seriously though. There’s this thing about just having two people in this house, one of which does not like sandwiches. Sand-wich-es. Don’t even get me started on that. When we do buy bread, it goes straight into hibernation in its cozy home in the bread basket. And then I get my once-a-year peanut butter and honey toast craving and I go back to find it dying a slow, fuzzy death. Wahh.

Loaves of bread are just never in our house, ever, and it’s a little sad.

But it’s not like we don’t eat bread. Duh. We both love bread-y stuff (I think they’re called, like, carbs???) For example: donuts. muffins. cake. bagels. waffles. French toast – a Bjork all-time fave. and every other carb ever created.

As of lately, homemade cinnamon swirl bread with a gooey cinnamon sugar center has been added to that list. I just said gooey cinnamon sugar center.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

If you’re thinking Cinnabon, you are my best friend. This is totally Cinnabon-esque in that it has that really soft white breadiness wrapped in gooey, sticky, cinnamon sugar love. Except it’s like a loaf of bread and it’s way more versatile than a Cinnabon.

    1. It’s highly toastable.
    2. It’s also highly French toastable.
    3. It freezes like a dream. Today I took a few pieces out of the freezer and in 15 minutes they were soft and oozing with cinnamon sugar filling. How does that even happen?!

I generally feel intimidated by making bread so this homemade cinnamon swirl bread was kind of a big deal for me. I’ve made it four times now and every single time I’ve had success. Is there anything worse than waiting for your dough to rise, punching it down, and baking it into flat, dense little rocks? No. I hate it and it’s a major reason why I don’t bake yeast bread often. But this was a winner! I’m never letting this recipe out of my sight.

If you are not a bread maker, you’re going to become one right now because this is a great foolproof starter recipe. Even if you are a little bit weird and have no interest in eating bread, or toasting it and smothering it with butter and honey, or frying it up into some kind of insanely delicious French toast soaked with maple syrup, just do it for the smell.

Now imagine I’m blasting that sweet cinnamon smell out of the computer screen and into your face. Just do it.

4.9 from 14 reviews
Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Author: 
Serves: 2 small loaves
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2½ teaspoons yeast
  • 2½ cups high gluten bread flour (add extra as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup white sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar with the warm water in a very large bowl. Add the yeast and do not stir. Let it sit until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the oil, salt, and flour. Mix by hand, adding more flour as necessary until the dough forms a large, soft ball. Flour a table or work surface and knead the bread for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and brush the top with a little extra oil (I typically just use olive oil for this). Cover the bowl with a damp towl and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour. It should be very puffy. Divide the dough in half and punch it down.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll each half into a large rectangle. For more tight rolls in the bread, roll the dough thinner. For thicker softer rolls in the bread, roll thicker. It's up to you and it tastes great either way. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle over each loaf. Be generous. Roll up the loaves tightly and let rest for a few minutes before putting in the oven.
  4. Bake on a cookie sheet or baking stone for 30 minutes, or until it sounds hollow. When in doubt, overbake this one. It might look brown on the outside, but that's okay because the inside really needs to bake all the way to get the layers filled out. And it's really really helpful to let the bread cool before cutting into it, otherwise it has a tendency to sink down where you cut it. Slice diagonally and eat plain, toasted, or as French Toast.
Notes
Regular all-purpose flour will work for this recipe, but I preferred high gluten bread flour (it was a specific kind I found at a specialty food store) because it seemed to fill out the loaf a little bit more. With the regular flour, I found that there were more gaps in between the cinnamon swirl layers. Still delicious, though. :)

A quick thing! High gluten bread flour worked far better than any other kind of flour I tried. All purpose worked fine, but I like the rolls/layers to kind of stick together so there aren’t big gaps in each piece, and high gluten bread flour made it happen for me.


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Comments

  1. This sounds like heaven! Cinnamon-y bread is the best!

    • I pinned this recipe awhile ago and finally made it last week. It is so good!! I’m pretty sure I ate 80%of the loaf! And I have 3 kids! I will definitely be using this recipe forever. Thanks so much for posting it.

    • I love your website and your sense of humor. Thank you so much for sharing. PEACE, LOVE, AND HAVE FUN

    • Skye Camejo says:

      I love this recipe I am wondering how it would go it it was made with an egg bread dough?

      Oh well time to experiment I guess and my mum dad and grandmother can be my taste testers

  2. Ooooh. This brings back memories. The first time I ever made homemade bread it was a cinnamon loaf like this. It was oh-so-wonderful. I love cinnamon swirl bread, and I love the process too (and the SMELL!!). I always feel so industrious and pioneer-like when I make bread from scratch like this. Do you have a rough estimate for how many cups of the flour?? I might need to take a trip down memory lane. . . .

    • Ha! Mistake. It should be 2 1/2 cups, more or less. :) also, that new cake pan had its maiden voyage this weekend. Soo good. Check back Friday! :)

  3. Cinnabon is what heaven must be like! I can’t wait to try this!!!

  4. When I came to the US about 20 years ago, I remember having a cinnabon for the first time!!! I was mesmerized, my taste buds were on a journey they had never been before – and the result – I fell in love with Cinnabuns! :)
    So your recipe of this Cinnamony (Cinnabon like) bread!!! OOh cannot wait to try this!!!!
    Thank You for sharing this tantalizing recipe :)

  5. How many cups of high gluten flour? On my computer it just has a dash in front of it, no number. Eek.

    I seriously get so intimidated thinking about making bread but this might be my ticket to trying again!

  6. How many cups of flour? Because I am so making this. Like, today.

  7. Seriously? Lindsey it looks perfect. That swirl, the softness! So good looking and cinnamon swirl anything I am always game for!

  8. We are cinnamon swirl soul mates (posted nearly the same recipe on my site today…whoa. Virtual high five to a fellow cinnamon bread lover!). I meant to try freezing ours too…until we devoured an entire loaf for dinner. Whoops. Yours looks gorgeous!

  9. If I give ou my address will you send me a loaf? This looks incredible!

  10. Cinnamon Swirl Bread never lasts more than 2 days in my house. I can’t even imagine how good home baked swirl bread is. Aaaaand now I am drooling at my desk.

  11. Your bread is gorgeous! I love cinnamon bread that I have seriously like 6 different cinnamon bread recipes…yeast, quickbread, with raisins, as dinner rolls, with oats, and as English muffin bread. I seriously love it. And yours is PERFECT! I need this!

  12. I could totally eat this cinnamon swirl bread all day too! Just slather on that butter and I’m set!

  13. I love to put cinnamon bread in my turkey stuffing… I will be sure to use this recipe

  14. Oh I just love cinnamon! I’ve been wanting to make cinnamon swirl bread for the longest time but have been a bit intimidated. This looks wonderful!

  15. My goodness. I had to just stop everything, grab a cup of tea and come sit and stare at that picture for 15 mins. I absolutely adoooooooooore cinnamon. So I want that bread and I want it now.

  16. im very scared of yeast and baking bread but now you have convinced me esp with that oozing sugar cinnamon flair :)

  17. Did you use active dry yeast? This looks so delicious! I bet it would make amazing french toast!

  18. Jakky always seems to have the best recipes :-) I love cinnamon bread any which way it is served. I usually just buy it from the bakery, but I’ve been branching out and baking lots of my own breads lately. I’ll have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing it, Jakky and Lindsay!!

  19. I love cinnamon swirl bread, yum, yum! I can’t believe this recipe is vegan too, bonus! Quick question; is high gluten flour=bread flour?

    • Oops, should have read recipe more carefully, yes is the answer!

      Oh and by the way, I made your banana cake with PB frosting for my husband’s birthday last night, HUGE hit! Thanks.

    • No, not exactly the same. In my experience, the high gluten flour (it was actually called high gluten bread flour) made the dough much softer and nicer to work with, and I needed a bit more of it to really make the dough stick together as I was kneading it. When I used regular white bread flour I noticed that the dough was more rubbery, and I didn’t like the finished results as well. It can certainly work but my favorite of all the flours I tried was the high gluten variety. :)

  20. I love this! I like to make my own bread at home. I have never tried a swirl bread. Since I too suffer from the “oops I forgot I had bread and now it is green and moldy” syndrome, I love that this freezes well! Pinning to try later!

  21. I am so weird, Lindsay. I am not a huge fan of sandwiches either! I know. I KNOW! But I adore homemade bread. And yes, I will eat sandwiches on homemade bread! And I love french toast with homemade bread. Everything with homemade bread!! And the cinnamon swirl kind is just delightful. Totally the best. And yes, I was thinking Cinnabon! Pinning this gorgeous beauty!

  22. This bread is calling my name. We constantly have dead bread in our house, too. We don’t do sammies too often here.

  23. We are the same way – no bread in the house, because it just gets hard as a rock before I can take any interest in it. Homemade bread, on the other hand, is a different story… this would be gone in no time!

  24. Homemade bread makes everything better, and it makes me turn into a bread fiend. I can withstand bread most of the time, but homemade just kills me! I’ve been wanting to do a cinnamon swirl bread just like this, so this one’s getting pinned right now!

  25. I definitely won’t be making this…. I’d eat the whole loaf straight from the oven!!

  26. Ileen Cuccaro says:

    No Loaf pan or letting in rise once it is in the loaf pan, I always do loaves like that,

  27. As just two people, we have a hard time going through a loaf of bread, too.

    I want to know who got to eat that slice of cinnamon swirl bread in the photo with the gobs of butter on it? ;)

  28. Your bread sounds dreamy, Lindsay. But I wanted to offer–pretty much all bread freezes like a dream, so there’s no need to store it anywhere but the freezer, especially since doing so means you never have to worry about having a bread craving and encountering fuzziness! ALL my bread goes into the freezer (cut or sliced appropriately beforehand), but especially the homemade and/or artisan stuff that you know isn’t loaded with preservatives so it doesn’t last long at room temp. :)

  29. Your description and beautiful pictures almost made me turn on my oven on this hot day to make this. I really could almost smell it!

    Will be making this this weekend for sure :)

  30. Incidentally I recently made cinnamon rolls too! However they were sweetened naturally using medjool dates only. French toast cinnamon rolls, sign me up for some of that!

  31. Yum! This bread looks delicious. My stomach is growling.

  32. You two are the exact opposite from us. We go through bread like there’s no tomorrow. I get so angry when I wake up excited to make toast (never gets old) only to find that Tim ate the last slice! Argh…This bread sounds and looks fabulous! I can’t resist the scent of cinnamon..so good. I’ve never baked with high gluten bread flour before…can’t wait to try!

  33. My husband is a sandwich fiend, but the two of us definitely struggle to eat a whole loaf of bread. THIS though would not last long – especially with your suggestion to use it for french toast – LOVE that!

  34. Bread comes to our house to die too. I loooove sandwiches… actually, my husband does too… but somehow we can never get through a loaf (we have some stale hamburger buns in our bread box now).

    Cinnamon sugar is my favorite… but if I get around to making this bread, I will definitely have to halve the recipe!

  35. Can you hear that?? My stomach is GROWLING after reading this!! This will be in my home soon. Very, very soon.
    Have you tried using a blend of whole-wheat flour and high gluten? I may give it a try – unless it has resulted in ultimate failure for you!
    Thanks for a FAB recipe!

    • Gretchen, this is Jakky. I have found that this recipe works well with up to about 1:3 whole wheat flour and 2:3 bread flour. With whole wheat flour, you’ll have to knead it a bit more and add extra bread flour as you’re kneading, or the dough can get kind of gummy. When I use whole wheat flour, I also sub brown sugar for the white sugar that goes in with the yeast at the beginning. The deeper flavor blends well with the whole wheat.

  36. This is so perfect! I am kind of in love with the idea of using it for french toast too!

  37. Looks beautiful! I’d totally love some coffee with that! I can imagine the aroma of the duo to be mesmerizing. Please shove it in my face! =)

  38. Love homemade bread, especially cinnamon swirl! It makes the best toast!

  39. Today’s cool weather is perfect for bread baking! The kids and I are using variations of this recipe to make a different type of cinnamon swirl (free form cinnamon-only swirls), basil roll up baguette-shaped bread (to be sliced and toasted later, with fresh mozzarella and olive oil), and a plain white-wheat combo. Three cheers for bread baking days… and goodbye to my hopes of wearing that cute gray pencil skirt to meet-the-teacher night!

  40. This would make the most amazing French toast!

  41. Hey Lindsay,
    I cheat with my c.s.b. and make the dough in the bread machine. Then, I plop it out on the cutting board and roll it out. I use brown sugar instead of white sugar. AMAZING! We give it out as gifts and people always rave. I kind of feel bad b/c I know it takes me about two seconds and 75 cents to make people think I am some kind of talented baker.
    Thanks for all your great ideas! Another winner with the nectarine and chicken and poppy salad!

    • I wish I had a bread maker! Bjork bought me one and then when I wasn’t using it often enough he brought it to Goodwill without telling me!! But now at least I know how to bake without it. :)

      • Hey, I want to send you a treat from Trader Joe’s here in SoCal. Hint: dark chocolate +almonds + turbinado + sea salt. My husband thinks I am nuts and you wouldn’t eat something from a total stranger, but it would be sealed! Do you have a p.o. Box where I could send it? Fellow chocolate and sea salt lovers must support one another. Please help me prove him wrong
        .

  42. I saw this recipe on Pinterest about two hours ago and I’ve already tried it! It’s incredibly yummy, and I’ve put most of it in the freezer.

    I have to say though. It amuses me that your HUSBAND’S name is Bjork. I’m from Iceland and here Björk is a woman’s name. :P Very cool though, tell him his name is awesome. :)

  43. Whoah! This looks amazing! JJ and I are going to attempt this recipe asap. :)

  44. I love bread but not the store bought kinds. We never have it in the house either because I am too lazy to make it every week. However my favorite is cinnamon swirl. It doesn’t last long though since the warm cinnamon smell makes me weak in the knees.

  45. This bread looks amazing! We love cinnamon swirl bread over here – it’s good on practically everything!

  46. bread is beautiful thing. I love Cinnamon sweet loaves; I even tired my hand at one but I combined it with the toasty goodness of ground black sesame seeds to make it more “adult”. I go through bread like no tomorrow, I am sure to try this loaf when I am craving the traditional stuff.

  47. I made this two days ago with whole wheat flour and white flour. Let me tell you this is probably one of the best cinnamon swirl bread recipes I’ve made! It’s so good!

    • This one and others like it have made me happy. I plan on making it tonight with my daughter (who’s 5 and super excited to make bread with me). I’m so relieve that other people have done this with regular flour, especially you because I have the half and half mix in my jar.

      Wish me luck!

  48. Should I use fresh yeast or dry yeast?

  49. We have an amazing cinnamon swirl bread here in the NW but it is so expensive, over $5 for a small loaf!! That’s a lot for a family of five when we can eat o loaf at breakfast. I’m hoping this gets us close to it. Then I just need to figure out the coffee cake like topping they have on top that is just so dreamy. thank you for the recipe!

  50. Bread is in the oven now. Excited! I couldn’t figure out where the 2 Tbsp. olive oil went, though. You use that much to oil the bowl and the top of the dough?

  51. so this was my first foray into breadmaking, we had king aurthur’s in house so i used it and i have to say, if it’s this easy and delicious with all purpose i’m definitely want to find the HGBF (lol acronyms) and try again.

    my wife insists that raisins are involved next time. have you ever turned this into cinnamon raisin bread? i’m guessing i can just toss a half cup of raisins into the bowl before i hand mix it and it should be a-ok?

  52. Made this yesterday, and it turned out wonderful. Hubby is very excited and said there’s no need to put one of the loaves in the freezer. (We’re also a “can’t finish a loaf of bread before it goes bad” couple.) I made it with unbleached bread flower and made it high gluten by adding 2 tsp of vital wheat gluten. When I make this again, I think I want to put a wash over it before going into the oven to give the crust a sheen…anything you suggest? Milk? Egg? Butter? I feel like the base dough on this could be used for many sweet baking ideas. Thank you!

    • I brushed a few savory loaves (based on the same recipe) with olive oil and that gave it a nice golden finish. I think the egg could be great too!

  53. That looks delicious, especially with butter on it. I can already feel my hips starting to swell. ;)

  54. WHEN YOU SAY WHITE SUGAR DO YOU MEAN POWDERED SUGAR? OR NO?

  55. Hi Lindsay

    Can you use instant yeast in this recipe. Also, what brand of high gluten bread flour did you use in this recipe.

  56. Hi Lindsay,

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I made it yesterday and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

    I had some artisan locally produced apple and cinnamon breast flour so used that along with some instant yeast. Worked like a charm.

  57. Have you ever tried kneading it in the stand mixer with the dough hook? Thanks!

    • No, I don’t have one actually!

    • I made this for the first time last night and used my mixer. I used the paddle to combine the ingredients and kneaded with the dough hook for 5ish minutes. It turned out amazing. I don’t know how something so simple can taste so good, but I’m definitely not complaining!

  58. Oh, Sweet Fancy Moses, this is it! I have been searching – that’s right searching, seeking, questing, testing (you get the idea) – for the perfect Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipe and this, my newfound friend, is it! I am beside myself at how ridiculously delicious this is! And how even more ridiculously EASY it is to make! Seriously! I actually just made one loaf from this recipe and put it into a loaf pan for that “perfect shape” thing, let it do a short second rise and did a milk/egg wash right before baking and – whammo! – it’s, well, perfect! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now excuse me while I go slather a piece with butter and dream of unicorns, rainbows and all my cinnamon swirl bread-filled tomorrows……. :)

  59. OH MY GOSH!!! That was the best cinnamon swirl bread I have ever eaten!! It was pure heaven in my mouth!! I have eaten almost 1/2 of the loaf by myself and want to finish the rest of it but said I would share with my family. I will be making this again and again and again!!! Thank you for this amazing and easy bread!!!

  60. do you think i could use melted butter instead of oil?

  61. Very tasty bread. Hard to find cinnamon swirl bread in Ireland so it was a nice taste from home. Thanks!

  62. Hi Lindsay,
    I used to buy the pepperrigde farms cinnamon swirl bread ,until i found your recipe. I have 2 year old son he loves it so much , i wish you could see the happiness on his face when i made your recipe and he had 4 slices of the bread.
    Thanks for such a simple and wonderful recipe.
    Cinnamon coffee cupcakes are next from your recipes.
    Thanks,
    Poonam

  63. I have now made this recipe twice in two days because my family eats it faster than I can make it! This is definitely one of the best breads I have ever made and it will become a staple at our house. Thank you for the fantastic recipe!!!

  64. Do you roll and rest in loaf pan or straight onto the baking stone?

  65. I just made a loaf and IT IS FABULOUS! It is Delicious! I made it for a friend but decided to eat it and make him another one! I didn’t divide it into 2 loaves though. I made one large and it is great. Next time I will add raisins to the loaf. Love it! Definitely a go to recipe. It was quick and easy to make also.

  66. I just made this on Sunday…and today is Tuesday and I’m making it again. My almost 2yr old loves toast in the morning for breakfast. This toasts up perfectly! Thank you! P.s. I use coconut oil in mine and it works great!

  67. Hello!

    I made a bread similar to this one recently and it did rise, but it took a long time… like 2 or 3 hours instead of the estimated 1 hour. Do you think this could be because my yeast is old?

    I would love to hear from you!

    Thank you very much!

    • Hi Kayla! I wouldn’t be surprised if it had something to do with the yeast, the temp of the ingredients (i.e. cold eggs) or the temp of the place where you stored the dough. To be totally honest, I turn the oven on and set my bowl on top of the oven to get it toasty warm for the rising. But then again I live in MN… so… :)

      • Thank you for getting back to me!

        I mixed yeast, sugar, and hot water to activate the yeast.

        I’m going to go to the store sometime soon and get new yeast and try again…. : )

  68. I followed the recipe but made one pan loaf, instead of two free-form loaves, and topped it with a glaze of powdered sugar, soy milk and vanilla. It came out great. My family devoured it. I especially like that it’s egg- and dairy-free because my daughter has issues with both. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for this recipe!

  69. I just made your bread and it turned out wonderfully. I credited your site in my blog. I hope it will get you some more hits. Amazingly delicious! Thanks!

  70. I really like the idea of this recipe but I don’t really understand the instructions…..you split the dough into 2 pieces, put cinnamon and sugar on top of each then somewhat bread the two halves back together? Is there anyway to post a photo of this process as I can’t really visualize it. I don’t understand how without liquid in the cinnamon sugar mixture it looks the way it does either….

    • Nope – just basically that the recipe makes two loaves. So you split it in half and each half makes what you see pictured in the recipe photos. Split dough in half, sprinkle each, roll each, cut each = two separate loaves.

  71. I love your bake goods. This is a delightful and fantastic website. Cinnamon bread is to die for. Great Recipe Yum, Yum and Yummy Cinnamon Bread

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