Sweet and tender, this Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipe comes together easily with just 30 minutes of prep. Enjoy a slice as toast with butter or make the most incredible French toast.
Easy Homemade Cinnamon Bread
If you’ve ever felt intimidated by baking bread with yeast, get your toes wet with this recipe. Though it is made with yeast so it’s not a quick bread, it requires just 10 minutes of kneading and an hour to rise. Pop it in the oven and viola! less than an hour later, you have fluffy, soft bread with a sweet cinnamon swirl throughout. Bonus, the house smells amazing as it bakes.
Cinnamon swirl bread works for breakfast or dessert, toasted with a slather of butter (or cinnamon honey butter!), a slice is wonderful on its own or with a cup of coffee or tea.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe
This easy cinnamon bread is made with just a handful of kitchen staples. Here’s what you’ll need:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Dry yeast: Active dry yeast is needed so the bread can rise.
- Water: Lukewarm water is used to activate the yeast before adding other ingredients. The water needs to be around 110°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, feel it with your fingertip. It should be warm, but not hot to the touch.
- Milk: Milk creates a richer, softer bread. Whole or 2% milk are ideal for this recipe. Avoid lower fat options for best results. This should also be lukewarm.
- Granulated sugar: This is a sweeter bread, but not overly so.
- Butter: Both softened and melted butter are used in different parts of the recipe.
- Flour: All-purpose flour that is spooned and leveled.
- Salt: Just a pinch for flavor.
- For the filling: Flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon are combined for a wonderful sweet, aromatic filling.
Make Cinnamon Raisin Bread. For some added sweetness, texture and flavor, you can add raisins to the cinnamon mixture. If you decide to add raisins, it is best to pulse them in a food processor with the sugar, flour, and cinnamon filling mixture. This will make them small enough so that they don’t create extra air pockets in the bread. Try to get them down to less than a 1/4-inch size.
How to Make Cinnamon Swirl Bread
With just a bit of kneading and a short rise time, this cinnamon swirl bread is surprisingly easy to make. Don’t let the yeast scare you!
(Don’t miss the detailed printable recipe card below.)
- Measure the flour correctly: Spoon and level the flour, don’t scoop. Excess flour will produce a dense, dry bread.
- Be sure the yeast is fresh. If it doesn’t foam, it’s likely not good anymore. Toss it and get a fresh batch.
- Prepare the dough and filling. Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water and let sit for 5 minutes to bloom. Combine with the other dough ingredients. Knead the dough, then form it into a large ball. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. Allow to rise. Mix together all filling ingredients.
- Assemble the bread. Roll the dough into a 16×8-inch rectangle. Brush with the egg wash, then sprinkle the filling mixture on top. Tightly roll the dough and brush with melted butter.
- Bake. Transfer the dough to a greased loaf pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Bake for 40 minutes and check for doneness.
- How to tell when the bread is done. Before you remove the bread from the oven, check that it’s completely cooked. If not, allow 5 more minutes of baking. It should sound hollow when you knock on it.
- Allow it to cool before slicing. The egg wash and flour in the filling help the bread hold together and not make big gaps around the filling. The bread must cool completely in order to hold its shape when you cut it.
There are so many ways to serve this cinnamon swirl bread! You can simply enjoy a slice on its own or add a smear of butter or peanut butter. It’s wonderful soft and also toasted. If you love cinnamon flavor like we do, try slathering a slice with our homemade cinnamon butter (Heaven!)
This bread also makes amazing French toast for a special breakfast or brunch, or use it in our French Toast Roll Ups.
How to Store Leftovers
Storing leftovers: You can store your cinnamon swirl loaf on the counter for up to 4 days. Secure it in plastic wrap, store it in a ziploc bag, or another airtight container to maintain freshness.
Can I freeze cinnamon bread? Yep! I love making two loaves of this bread at the same time to have an extra one to pop in the freezer. You can freeze an entire loaf or individual slices. Wrap it in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. It will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. Thaw on the counter before enjoying.
More Bread Recipes:
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
For the Dough:
- 2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast (1 packet)
- 3/4 cup water (lukewarm)
- 1/2 cup whole milk (lukewarm)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled, divided)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon salted butter (melted, for brushing)
For the cinnamon filling:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 egg (beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
- Grease a 9-inch loaf pan.
- Make the dough: Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes to bloom. (If it doesn’t foam, it’s likely not good anymore. Toss it and get a fresh batch.)
- Combine dissolved yeast, warm milk, sugar, butter, 3 cups of flour, and salt. (If you have a dough hook with a stand mixer, you may use this to stir the dough. If not, I recommend using a large bowl and a heavy wooden spoon.) Gradually add in the remaining 1 cup of flour.
- When the dough starts to form a ball, remove it to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
- Then form the dough into a large ball and place it into a greased bowl. Turn it over so that all of the dough is coated with oil. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap, or a clean damp towel.
- Place the bowl in a warm spot without any drafts. Allow it to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press or roll the dough into a 16×8-inch rectangle.
- Brush the rectangle of dough with a thin layer of egg wash. Then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Start rolling up from one of the short sides (one of the 8-inch sides). Roll fairly tightly. Place the loaf into the prepared loaf pan. Slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife (I do 3 slashes, in a row across the top, about ¼ inch deep). Brush the loaf with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
- Bake for 40 minutes on the lowest rack of the oven (check for doneness. It should sound hollow when you knock on it. If needed, bake for another 5 minutes.)
- Remove the loaf from the oven. Allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove the loaf from the pan and allow it to cool completely before slicing.