This delicious cinnamon swirl bread is an easy cinnamon quick bread that’s moist, flavorful, and full of cinnamon sugar flavor! A cinnamon flavor bread becomes even more tasty with the addition of a swirl of cinnamon sugar baked into the middle. Serve alone or enjoy with your favorite spread or butter!
When I go into any homemade bread store or walk around the farmer’s market, I’m typically looking for two flavors of bread – cranberry orange bread and cinnamon swirl bread. Cranberry orange is harder to find when it’s not the holidays so more often than not, I’m left hunting for cinnamon bread.
Cinnamon bread itself is good but cinnamon bread with a cinnamon swirl baked inside is just a whole other level of goodness. It’s honestly one of the reasons cinnamon rolls are so good – all that cinnamon sugar baked inside.
After I couldn’t find my favorite quick bread at the farmer’s market last weekend, I knew it was time to come up with my own recipe.
I’d love to say I’ll never buy it somewhere else, but that’s a lie – I’m a total sucker for baked goods at fairs and festivals (and let’s not even talk about my obsession with Dollywood and Silver Dollar City cinnamon breads) – but this recipe means I don’t have to.
It’s soft, moist, and full of amazing cinnamon sugar flavor. I made a batch and my husband (who doesn’t really eat a lot of baked goods) ate half the loaf before the day was even up.
Make a batch and hand it out with these thank you tags for a neighbor (or teacher) gift, take it to a friend who’s having a rough day, or serve it at the next brunch you’re hosting or attending.
It’s one of those recipes that can pass for breakfast, brunch, and dessert – the best kind!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Amazing cinnamon flavor – some breads taste like bread with a cinnamon swirl inside (hello Costco and Pepperidge Farm), this bread has a lot of flavor in the bread loaf itself, not just the swirl part. It makes for an incredibly flavorful cinnamon quick bread.
- Easy – if you can mix some ingredients in a bowl, you can make this recipe. That’s why I love bread recipes, they’re super forgiving even if you don’t bake a ton. No bread machine or yeast required!
- Moist – the buttermilk in this quick bread keeps the bread super moist, which is important if you want to enjoy cinnamon bread all week long!
- Buttermilk – I highly recommend using real buttermilk for this but if you’re in a pinch, you can use combine one cup milk with one tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes, then use that as your buttermilk. It never works quite as well as actual buttermilk, but if you’re just craving cinnamon bread and don’t want to wait – go for it!
- Butter – I recommend using unsalted butter in this recipe but if you only have salted, just omit the 1/4 tsp of fine salt from the recipe to counteract using the salted butter. Also, make sure your butter is nice and soft before you mix it into the bread batter.
And everything else you’ll likely just find right in your pantry – that’s the beauty of this cinnamon quick bread recipe, no special ingredients and they come together quick!
How to make cinnamon swirl bread
I love that this recipe is so simple but you’d never know it based on the complex cinnamon sugar flavor! There’s only one spot in the recipe that’s anything other than just mixing ingredients together and I’ve included step by step photos to show you how to do it!
Start by preheating your oven to 350°F and spray a 9×5 loaf pan with baking spray or line it with parchment paper sprayed with baking spray. I prefer the parchment paper method so it’s easy to get the bread out, but it’s totally up to you!
Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Now beat the softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a separate bowl for about two minutes, until it’s creamed together and light and fluffy.
Next, add the eggs and mix followed by the buttermilk and vanilla.
Mix until well combined then add the dry ingredients and mix just enough to combine all ingredients.
The key here is to just mix in the ingredients so everything is moistened and mixed together without being overmixed. Over mixing leads to drier bread.
Mix the sugar and cinnamon for the filling and topping in a small bowl and set it aside.
Pour half the batter into the loaf pan, making sure to spread it out evenly. Sprinkle 2/3 of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the batter. Use a toothpick to swirl the cinnamon sugar around – this is cinnamon swirl bread after all!
Pour the remaining batter over the cinnamon sugar layer and level it out again.
Then top with remaining cinnamon sugar.
Using a butter knife, gently swirl the top of the batter, like I did with this Easter swirl cake, so that the cinnamon is swirled into the bread batter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 – 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack… if you can wait that long to eat it!
Slice once the cinnamon bread has completely cooled.
Serve plain, with butter, or even with something a little sweeter like honey butter, cinnamon butter, or a powdered sugar glaze!
Serve it at breakfast, for a snack, or dessert!
Top with softened salted butter or a powdered sugar glaze for extra flavor.
Make this a spiced bread by adding a pinch of cloves, nutmeg, or allspice, or all three to the batter. This makes for a really yummy holiday bread.
Double the recipe and bake two loaves at once. Just watch to make sure they both bake evenly. Then give away to neighbors and friends!
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days. After that freeze or throw away.
Allow the bread to cool completely and then either store sliced or whole in an airtight container like a zipper top bag or a storage container with a lid for up to three days at room temperature.
You can freeze this bread by slicing into individual slices then wrapping those individual slices in plastic wrap. Once they’re wrapped, place all of the slices into a large zipper top bag and freeze for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat, remove from the freezer and either warm up in the oven or just let thaw to room temperature and enjoy.
More Easy Quick breads
If you like quick breads, you’ll love these other delicious bread recipes!
- Ice cream bread – a 2-ingredient quick bread made out of ice cream and self-rising flour, this one’s a must-try!
- Pineapple bread – a tropical quick bread with amazing pineapple flavor!
- Lemon poppy seed bread – a sweet quick bread full of lemon flavor and topped with a powdered sugar glaze!
- Chocolate chip zucchini bread – a chocolate quick bread made with cream cheese to keep things moist!
- Banana walnut bread – a deliciously moist banana bread that can be made with or without nuts (and chocolate chips!).
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- 2 cups all-pupose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9x5 loaf pan with baking spray or line it with parchment paper sprayed with baking spray.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside2 cups all-pupose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar for about 2 minutes until it is creamed together.1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- Add eggs and mix followed by the buttermilk and vanilla. Mix until well combined.1 large egg, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add dry ingredients and mix just enough to combine all ingredients.
- Pour 1/2 the batter into the loaf pan, making sure to spread it out evenly. Sprinkle 2/3 of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the batter. Pour the remaining batter over the cinnamon sugar layer, level it out and top with remaining cinnamon sugar.
- Using a butter knife, gently swirl the top of the batter
- Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack
- In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together to use for the filing and topping.1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon