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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

sliced Cinnamon Swirl Bread on parchment paper

I’ve long had a love of baking quick breads. I love their simplicity and versatility, not to mention that they make great homemade gifts. I’ve made so many over the years, yet this Cinnamon Swirl Bread endures as a favorite.

This bread is another great example of “less is more” in baking. The bread is fairly simple, with only a hint of vanilla to enhance the flavor. But a simple mixture of just three ingredients gets swirled into the bread to make it something special.

slices of Cinnamon Swirl Bread on white parchment paper

More specifically, that swirl is made of brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. That combination is one of my favorite trios of flavor, and they serve this bread well by adding a sweet, nutty flavor that’s pretty tough to beat.

This is the kind of bread that I like to bake on a Friday or Saturday so that we can enjoy it all weekend. It will keep for a few days in an airtight container, so it’s easy to grab a slice for breakfast, a snack, or whenever the craving strikes. For a little extra special treat, try heating a slice in the microwave for a few seconds to make it all warm and a little gooey.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread slices on white parchment paper

This Cinnamon Swirl Bread is all a quick bread should be. Quick. Easy. And, best of all, delicious. It would be excellent for breakfast, with coffee, or for dessert. The sweet cinnamon pecan mixture that is swirled through the bread is wonderful. I think I could just eat that by itself.

I first found a version of this recipe in a holiday baking magazine in a few pages dedicated to homemade food gifts. A loaf of this wrapped up prettily makes a lovely gift for a holiday, a housewarming, or just because. It will be happily and hungrily received!

Find more quick bread recipes in the Recipe Index.

More Spiced Quick Breads and Muffins

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Yield 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

This simple Cinnamon Swirl Bread is perfect for breakfast, a coffee break, or even dessert!

sliced Cinnamon Swirl Bread on parchment paper

Ingredients

For the swirl:

  • 1/3 cup (66g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (60g) finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the bread:

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

To make the swirl:

  1. Combine the brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Set aside.

To make the bread:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a standard 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan.
  2. Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the flour mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Then, stir in the milk, butter, and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the well in the flour mixture. Stir just until mixed. Do not overmix.
  4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon mixture. Repeat with the remaining batter and cinnamon mixture. With a wide spatula or knife, swirl the mixtures together with a down and up circular motion.
  5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the bread is browned and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Notes

*You can substitute 1/3 cup cooking oil if you prefer, although you'll lose a bit of flavor.

Recipe slightly adapted from BHG.

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    66 Comments on “Cinnamon Swirl Bread”

  1. That looks delicious! Great photo 🙂

  2. Jennifer I LOVE the photo! I am so jealous of your site! I think it’s great that you have printable versions of your recipes…someday I hope to do the same thing (if I can find someone to do everything for me!). Please don’t ever stop baking 🙂

  3. Thanks, guys! I assure you, Nicole, that I will not be allowed to stop baking any time soon. My family and friends would be most unhappy. Who doesn’t like free baked goods?!?

    • Love your site and I want to make the cinnamon swirl bread. I have one question, when making this bread could you add cookie butter in it. I just started using the cookie butter in the cookies and all my friends love it’s taste. I even use it on toast.
      I’ve been a baker for many years my wife and I do it together we’ve only been married a little longer than one year. Thanks for your recipes

      • Hi, George! I think you’d need to alter some of the other ingredients to do that, probably using less butter and maybe less sugar. Without trying it myself, I really couldn’t say for sure what changes to make.

  4. I too am a sucker – I have about 3 so far… and counting!

    This looks fabulous. I have to go re-read the ones I have.

  5. I always buy those things too but sometimes they do have really good stuff…your cinnamon bread for example looks wonderful.

  6. I love pretty much anything with cinnamon in it. There’s just something about that way it tastes and smells that is so comforting and homey. 🙂

  7. I’m so excited! I’ve got mine in the oven right now! It smells amazing!!

  8. Carolyn, I hope you like it! I remember it fondly. 😉

  9. This was really good. I especially like the gooeyness of the cinnamon swirls.

  10. Rachelle, I’m glad you liked it!

  11. This looks really good!

  12. Wow, this looks great – makes my old recipe not look so appetizing! I was wondering how many loaves your recipe will make? Thanks!

  13. Hi,
    I made this today. I didn’t have pecans so i used apples instead. It was delicious! People thought it was store-bought!! I can’t wait to try the actual pecan cinammon swirl bread! 🙂

  14. Love this bread! I made it last weekend to take to sunday school and it was a big hit. I made it with walnuts though, because that’s all I had. I already want to make it again.

  15. Could you substitute coconut oil for the fat in this?

  16. I just made this with kids and it is so easy and turned out great! I love the recipe!

  17. Its 2017 and hope you see my comment (all others are years old). I needed a recipe for cinnamon swirl bread to use for Famous Daves Bread Pudding. I came across your recipe and noticed it doesnt call for yeast and I dont have to worry about rising or punching down dough. I havent baked it yet but am planning on making two loaves one for pudding and one for me cause the picture looks amazing!! I will let you know how all turns out. Thanks for this recipe. You saved me alot of time in the kitchen.

  18. Just found this today. Made it. This is sooooo good!

  19. Would butter milk be acceptable?

    • Hi, Cheryl. Buttermilk will change the flavor, but that’s fine if that works for you. The flavor of the buttermilk will be less pronounced if you substitute baking soda for at least some of the baking powder. I’ve not made this bread that way, so I can’t give you measurements that I know will work. If I were going to try it, I’d likely try 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and no baking powder.

  20. Hi Jennifer. I try to make things without nuts since several people I know are allergic. Should I just omit or can I substitute choc chips or cocoa of some type? if so what would be quantity you would recommend?

  21. Hi 👋 can I substitute the pecans for wamlnuts? 

  22. This bread was fantastic! I did substitute walnuts, since I don’t like the bitterness of pecans. Such a hit. I will be making this again for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Keep up all the good recipes coming.

  23. Hi! I was planning in making this bread but some of us (the ones that live on the house) are on a standard diet. With this in mind, I wanted to ask how many calories approximately does one slice have? (Having in consideration the bread is made for 10-12 slices)

  24. can you freeze these loaves? I bake for our school staff the week before Christmas holidays and would love to make a few things in advance. Looks delish!

  25. Hi! Can I substitute a dairy free milk like coconut milk? 

  26. Just wondering if I use my 10 cup Bundt cake pan would I double the recipe or just make as is and the cake would be very small. I want the look of a cake and not a loaf, but really want to try your cinnamon swirl quick bread.

  27. When I made this bread, the initial dough, before dividing and adding the cinnamon mixture, is quite thin. And it took longer to bake than indicated.
    Did you have that experience? The first loaf was buttery, and wonderful, but amost “cakey”. Am I doing some think incorrectly?

  28. Made this but it only came out about 1 1/2 inches high. Would that mean my baking powder was expired

    • It’s possible. You can test that by putting about 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder in a bowl and pouring about 1/4 cup of boiling water over it. If it’s really bubbly, then it’s still good. Otherwise, it’s time to get a new package.

  29. This was delicious ! I browsed many recipe on line and decided to go with this one. 
    You can taste the cinnamon and not overly sweet. I didn’t  add nuts. Easy recipe to follow. Highly recommend it!

  30. If I double it, can I bake it in a 13×9 and would it change the bake time?

  31. Hi! This recipe looks like a winner! I wanted to know how you get for the loaf to open up in the center? I never get my quick breads to crack in the center and don’t know if it’s because of the pan.

    • Hi, Marisa. That usually has to do with the top of the loaf setting before the rest of the bread. As the remaining bread batter continues to rise, it will cause the top to crack. That can be because of the composition of the batter or your oven’s temperature. I suppose it could be a result of the pan, but I’d think that’s less likely than the other causes.

  32. Hi!   Can’t wait to make this.  Would it be ok to grease and flour the pan rather than just greasing?  Also, if I’m not weighing the flour, would you spoon and level or dip and sweep?  What do you generally do?  Hope you are doing well!  Thanks!

  33. And i would be making without the nuts per my son’s request.  Thanks! 

  34. This looks very delicious.

  35. Delicious looking cake. Thanks for sharing the recipe as well

  36. I love this bread we make it all the time and it’s something the whole family enjoys. We can eat the whole thing in 30 minutes. Love this recipe.

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