Rachel Cooks

Cinnamon-Vanilla Bread with Tahitian Vanilla Bean Whipped Butter

My love of vanilla beans isn’t quickly fading.

I don’t see that happening anytime soon ever.


In fact, I’m quite sure I’m addicted. Sign me up for rehab but I won’t show up! I’ll be in my kitchen concocting something that will surely have beautiful little black flecks in it.


There’s a company that sells vanilla beans–they’re called Beanilla. Heard of ’em? I’m quite smitten.

  1. They are located (more or less) in my hometown.
  2. They are very friendly and helpful.
  3. They ship vanilla beans to your door. At a good price!

What’s not to love?

They recently sent me these Tahitian vanilla beans. These aren’t your average Joe vanilla bean.

I’m kind of a dumb-dumb and was so excited to use these that I forgot to take a picture of them out of the package, so here is one off of Beanilla’s website:

Plump little suckers, aren’t they? They contain 2-3x the pulp of any other vanilla bean. Beanilla describes them as having a floral aroma with tones of ripe fruit and flavor rich with chocolate, licorice and caramel. I wanted their flavor to shine through so I used them in two different ways: bread and butter. Sounds boring, but it isn’t.

By the way, keep your eyes open for an upcoming giveaway featuring some of Beanilla’s great products. If you don’t want to miss it, make sure you’re following me on Twitter and/or Facebook (I have a NEW Facebook page for the NEW blog name that is coming, so even if you “liked” me before, make sure you “like” this new page, and please tell your friends!).

Cinnamon-Vanilla Bread
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 cup milk
9 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2.5 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 whole eggs (plus egg for egg wash, see below)
2/3 cup sugar, divided
3.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
beans from one whole Tahitian vanilla bean
egg and milk whisked together for egg wash
extra softened butter for pan

1. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter with the milk. Heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and cool until still slightly warm. Sprinkle yeast over the top, stir once and set aside for ten minutes.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and salt.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1/3 cup sugar and eggs using a paddle attachment. (I don’t have a stand mixer so I used a spoon and then kneaded by hand. I’d suggest the stand mixer if you have one.) Pour in milk mixture and combine. Add half of the flour and continue to beat on medium speed until moistened. Add the rest of the flour and beat until combined.
4. Remove paddle attachment and switch to dough hook. (Or if you’re an unfortunate sucker like me, dump it onto the counter and knead until you lose your mind. Or ten-ish minutes.) Knead dough on medium speed for ten minutes, adding 1/4 cup of flour if necessary, kneading for five more minutes.
5. Heat an empty glass bowl in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds just so it is warm. Pour in a little bit of canola or vegetable oil and toss the tough in the oil so it has a thin coating. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for two hours or more.
6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine cinnamon, 1/3 cup of sugar and pulp of the vanilla bean (you may need to use a fork or small whisk to break up vanilla bean pulp. Add in 3 tablespoons of cold butter. Using a fork, work together this mixture together until the butter is in pea-size pieces.
7. On a floured or oiled work surface (I used oil), roll dough into a rectangle the width of your loaf pan and 18-24 inches long.
8. Evenly spread butter/sugar/cinnamon/vanilla mixture over rolled out dough. Starting at the far end, roll up dough, keeping it as tight as possible. Pinch seam to create a seal.
9. Coat the loaf pan in softened butter and place roll, seam side down, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for two more hours.
10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
11. Create an egg wash by mixing an egg with a little bit (1-2 T) of milk and brush over the top of the loaf. Bake for 40 minutes on the middle or lower rack of your oven.
12. Remove from pan and cool. I recommend toasting slices of this bread and covering with a good helping of this cinnamon butter.

Note: Ree’s original recipe calls for melting the butter for the filling and brushing it on the dough before sprinkling on the cinnamon-sugar mixture. I was looking for pockets of ooey-gooey goodness reminiscent of a cinnamon bread my family gets every year at Christmas, so that is why I went with the chunkier butter method.

Tahitian Vanilla Bean Whipped Butter

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
the pulp of one whole Tahitian Vanilla Bean
pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar

1. Whip all ingredients together using an electric beater or a whisk. Store in refrigerator but serve at room temp.

Verdict: Yum, yum, yum. The bread? Delicious and perfect. The butter? Very, very, very bad if you’re on a diet. You’ll want to spread this stuff on in a thick layer.
Husband’s take:
Him: “May I take this to work?”
Me: “You’ll have to pry it out of my cold dead fingers first.”
Him: “Okay, well can you recreate the whole thing for me to take to work?”
Me: “Buy me a KitchenAid stand mixer and you’ll get way more bread like this.”
Him: “Okay!”
(1 minute of silence)
Him: “What’s a KitchenAid?”
Difficulty: I’m a bread newbie (in fact, this was my first loaf of bread…ever!), so I’m going to call this moderate in difficulty–especially if you don’t have a stand mixer.
Changes I would make: None.

Disclaimer: I received free products and was compensated for this post but all opinions of the vanilla are 100% my own. As always. I’m really crazily in love with vanilla beans and Beanilla is the only place I buy them. 

When you make a recipe from my site tag it with #RachelCooks!
I love to see what you're creating!

44 Responses to “Cinnamon-Vanilla Bread with Tahitian Vanilla Bean Whipped Butter”

  1. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — February 20, 2012 at 7:25 am

    This has the potential to be my new favorite bread! Love those swirls!

  2. Julia — February 20, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Vanilla bean whipped butter, genius!!!!! I love the beans too, can’t wait for the giveaway!

    • Rachel — February 20th, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

      It’s pretty much the best thing ever.

  3. the wicked noodle — February 20, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I’m with you – there’s nothing like a vanilla bean. It’s so much better than using extract. I love making vanilla custard with the beans…amazing!!

  4. Blog is the New Black — February 20, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Looks amazing- I tried making cinnamon raisin bread this weekend- FAIL! :(

  5. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — February 20, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Can you believe I am a vanilla bean virgin :( Looks delish girl!

    • Rachel — February 20th, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

      Ahh! You need to change that asap!

  6. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — February 20, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Gorgeous bread! And that butter…oh I LOVE vanilla so could really go to town with that!

    • Rachel — February 20th, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

      That vanilla butter was seriously dangerous.

  7. Mackenzie — February 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    SWOON! I want this for dinner, and breakfast, and snack. I’m in love.

    • Rachel — February 20th, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

      Me too! I can’t wait to make it again!

  8. Nutmeg Nanny — February 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I need this in my life! Stat!

  9. Maria — February 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    It all looks delicious, the bread, the swirls, the butter. I’m definitely going to buy vanilla beans.

    • Rachel — February 20th, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

      Thanks! Vanilla beans are the best.

  10. Lucia — February 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Love the photos, love the recipes and wish you weren’t going to change your blog name =) I like it!

    • Rachel — February 20th, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

      Thanks! I just wanted to change it in case RR’s lawyers get bored one day and want to come after me. I’d rather do it on my own terms. Plus, who wants to live under someone else’s shadow?

  11. Windy — February 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Oooooh, wow. I’ve been avoiding bread. Cause let’s face it, bread is intimidating. But this may just push me in. :)

    And OMG, I was cracking up on the husband’s take. I broke down and got a KitchenAid mixer after Christmas. If you’re a Costco member, they have a 5.5 QT that has the more powerful motor at a much better cost (just go to costco.com and search Kitchen Aid). I scoured KitchenAid support boards before buying it and found a customer support person explaining that it’s a model made exclusively for Costco. But all of the attachments that fit the 6 QT mixer fit this one (except the bowl). Anyways, thought I’d share. Cause I love, Love, LOVE mine. It was worth e-v-e-r-y penny.

    • Rachel — February 20th, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

      I want one SO bad! I’m trying to hold out because we might move soon.

      • Windy — February 20th, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

        Trying to conserve costs? Or, don’t want to haul it when you move? If it’s the former, I’ll keep entering giveaways when I come across them and if I win a second one, I’ll send one of them to you. :)

        Don’t hold your breath, mind you. My luck has never been what we’d call stellar. Hee hee.

        • Rachel — February 20th, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

          Umm, I love you? I’m totally holding my breath!
          It’s a big issue with space, and having the haul one more thing…and money too, but more so space. But I’ll still take one if you want to win one for me!!!

  12. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — February 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Oh my! I love this butter already. So good on that bread!!!

  13. Claire @ Claire K Creations — February 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Ooh I could eat that butter straight from the dish. You’ve managed to combine my two favourite flavours – cinnamon and vanilla. I don’t see anything wrong with your addiction. Yum!

  14. Veronica — February 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Whoa, baby, this looks insanely delish. Glad you’re back!

    • Rachel — February 20th, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

      Thanks Veronica :) Good to be back…although I won’t be back to my 3x a week posting for a bit…

  15. Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama — February 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    This looks so good! I am in love with vanilla beans too and buy them from Beanilla thanks to you!

    • Rachel — February 20th, 2012 @ 8:35 pm


  16. Karriann — February 21, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I could eat this for breakfast everyday for the rest of my life. Goodbye diet!

    “Spice it Up”

  17. Red Star Yeast — February 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I can’t believe this was your first loaf of bread. It is a beautiful loaf! You’re a natural :)

    • Rachel — February 23rd, 2012 @ 9:18 am

      Thank you! I’m quite sure I just got lucky.

  18. Terra — February 23, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Oh be still my heart, this bread is simply beautiful!!! Bread makes me happy:-) Your Tahitian vanilla bean butter looks soooooo pretty, what a perfect compliment with that gorgeous bread! Your husband cracks me up! Take care, Hugs, Terra

  19. Leslie Means @ Her View From Home — February 23, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    LOL – love your hubby’s response of “what’s a KitchenAid?” LOVE mine by the way. Not sure how I did anything without it. :) It was a gift from the husband a couple years ago. He too had no idea – but my sis helped him out. This recipe looks fantastic!

  20. Raquel @ Ovenmitts Blog — February 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Holy moly. This looks so amazing! Can’t wait to try it – but I’ll have to make it vegan!

  21. Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies — March 12, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Ummm… Vanilla butter?! Wow!! Fantastic idea! I cannot wait to try it! I bet it would be great on waffles too.

    • Rachel — March 12th, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

      We had it pancakes and it was amazing–so I am SURE it would be terrific on waffles too. Or plain toast…or just about anything…

  22. Lisa Nix — March 29, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Just wanted to thank you for posting the Tahitian vanilla bean butter recipe. I was wanting to make it for a brunch I’m having tomorrow, and your recipe appeared when I googled “Tahitian vanilla bean butter recipe”- even though I only had regular vanilla beans, I think it’s a pretty close replica to Bouchon’s delicious butter, so Thank You!

    • Rachel Gurk — March 29th, 2014 @ 9:37 pm

      SO glad you liked it! Hope your brunch is a huge success!


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