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

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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


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


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.


*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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