Is there anything more delicious than homemade yeast bread? Cinnamon swirl bread is absolutely heavenly, with a beautiful vein of rich cinnamon running through it.
Why you’ll love it: Even if you’ve never baked a yeast bread, my easy-to-follow instructions will help you bake a perfect loaf the very first time.
How long it takes: 30 minutes prep, 1 hour to bake, a couple of hours for the dough to rise
Equipment you’ll need: stand mixer, mixing bowls, loaf pan
Servings: 1 loaf
The yeasty scent of this cinnamon bread while it’s slowly rising on the counter is almost enough reward but then when you bake the bread, the aroma of spicy cinnamon and fresh bread is so amazing.
I’m here to tell you that you can learn how to make homemade bread. This is the best cinnamon bread recipe, with a slightly gooey swirl of cinnamon sugar that will have you drooling.
If you’re looking for a faster option, I totally get that. You’ll want to try my snickerdoodle bread, with a triple cinnamon swirl. It’s a quick bread, which means that it’s made without yeast. Cinnamon sugar pretzel bites are amazing, too, and easy to make with a stand mixer.
About This Cinnamon Bread Recipe
- This cinnamon bread takes time but it’s worth it! I’m not going to try to fool you. This is a yeast bread. Yeast breads usually require time to proof, or rise; in this case, the bread needs about two hours, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Actual hands on time is about 30 minutes, with another hour to bake.
- Your stand mixer does the kneading. When I think of yeast breads, I envision standing by the counter and kneading bread for what seems like forever. A stand mixer does all the work for you. This is a chance to put that KitchenAid mixer to good use. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, a powerful hand mixer with a dough hook will do the job, or you can knead the bread dough by hand.)
I’ll run through the recipe here and give you extra tips. Be sure to refer to the recipe card below for complete instructions, ingredient list with measurements, and nutrition information.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- All-Purpose Flour: I usually buy unbleached all-purpose flour which has a denser grain and is slightly darker in color than bleached flour. It works well for yeast breads and isn’t bleached chemically. However, if you have regular bleached flour, don’t worry about it, it will work fine.
- Granulated Sugar: Otherwise known as white sugar, granulated sugar is commonly used for baking. You’ll use ⅓ cup in the bread dough and ⅓ cup in the cinnamon swirl.
- Yeast: For this yeast bread recipe, use a package of instant yeast (Rapid Rise yeast). A package is equivalent to 2 ½ teaspoons. Regular yeast takes longer to activate and needs to be mixed with warm water or milk first. Instant yeast can be added right to the dry ingredients.
- Eggs: A couple of eggs added to the bread dough makes the bread richer and more flavorful. They also give the bread more structure and added protein.
- Milk: Again, milk adds richness and flavor to the bread. You can use whole milk, 2%, or lowfat, whatever you happen to have on hand.
- Butter: Yup, this delicious cinnamon swirl bread has lots of butter incorporated right into the dough. It’s so rich and delicious!
- Cinnamon: The fragrant cinnamon swirl is created with a mixture of lots of cinnamon, butter, sugar, and a little bit of flour. The flour stabilizes the mixture so you don’t get big gaps where the swirl separates from the bread.
How To Make Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Mix the dry ingredients. Add the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt to the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk them together.
Add the butter, milk, and eggs. Measure out the milk in a glass measuring cup (microwave safe) and add the butter. Microwave the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 125°F. It should feel very warm but not be boiling. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl.
With the mixer running on low speed and using the dough hook attachment, slowly add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients in the bowl, and then add the beaten eggs.
Knead the bread dough. With the mixer on medium low speed (#2 on my KitchenAid), knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes, or until smooth and slightly sticky.
Let the dough rise (1st rise). Grease a large bowl and put the bread dough into the bowl, flipping it over once so both sides are greased. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and put it in a warm place to rise. Let it rise for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size.
In the meantime, blend together the sugar, cinnamon, flour, and butter for the cinnamon swirl.
Form the dough into loaf, let it rise again (2nd rise). Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Roll it into a large rectangle and spread the cinnamon mixture over the surface of the dough.
Tightly roll the dough to create the cinnamon swirl, sealing the edge firmly. Put the dough into a greased loaf pan, tucking the ends in. Cover the bread and let it rise again, until doubled in size.
Bake the cinnamon bread. Put the bread into a preheated oven on the middle lower rack and bake for about 60 minutes. Check it at 30 minutes and if the crust is browning too quickly, cover the pan loosely with foil.
Cool and slice. Once the bread is baked, remove it from the oven. If you want, brush the crust with melted butter. Let the cinnamon bread cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. You can slice the bread while it’s still warm (it’s so hard to wait!) but the slices may not be as pretty.
What To Serve with Cinnamon Swirl Bread
There’s nothing like warm bread with lots of butter slowly melting into it. It’s just so satisfying. Soften the butter for an hour or so before spreading it on the bread so it melts more quickly.
If you’re looking a special touch, consider making a compound butter, which is butter that has flavorings blended into it. Gingerbread butter and cranberry cinnamon honey butter are two of my favorites with cinnamon swirl bread.
Make homemade cinnamon swirl bread for your next brunch or for a special breakfast. Honestly, it’s perfect to serve pretty much any time: breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. Be sure to try it toasted, too!
- Make sure the bread is room temperature. Cool the cinnamon bread completely before storing. If the bread is still warm when you put it into an airtight container or bag, condensation will form and the bread will spoil much more quickly.
- No preservatives in your homemade bread! Keep in mind that your homemade bread won’t keep as long as commercially-made breads which seem to keep forever.
- On the counter or refrigerate: If the bread is stored properly, it will keep for 3 to 4 days unrefrigerated. Putting it in the fridge will extend that time by another 3 to 4 days.
- Freezer: Slice the bread before freezing and store in a freezer-safe container or bag. It will keep for a couple of months. Slices thaw quickly and the bread can be toasted without thawing.
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 pkg. Rapid Rise instant yeast (2 ½ teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- Combine flour, ⅓ cup sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs with fork until blended.
- Microwave milk and 6 tablespoons butter on high power 1 minute, 15 seconds, stirring occasionally. Temperature of the milk mixture should be 125°F. If necessary, microwave in 10 second increments, stirring each time until milk reaches the correct temperature.
- With mixer on low speed, with dough hook attachment, slowly add milk mixture to bowl, followed by the eggs, and mix until blended, scraping bowl as needed.
- Increase speed to medium low (#2) and knead until dough is smooth, about 8 to 10 minutes. Dough will be sticky but shouldn’t stick to your finger when you press it.
- Grease another bowl with 1 teaspoon oil. Remove dough from mixer and shape into a ball. Place in greased bowl; flip to coat all sides with oil.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place for 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine cinnamon, ⅓ cup of sugar, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon flour, and 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces. Using a fork or your fingers, work mixture together until blended (should look like wet sand).
- Lightly spray loaf pan with nonstick spray or grease with butter.
- On a floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle the width of your loaf pan (the long side) and 18 inches long.
- Evenly spread cinnamon mixture over rolled out dough, leaving a 1 inch border. Starting at the short end closest to you, firmly roll up dough, keeping it tight. Pinch bottom seam well to create a seal. Place dough in prepared pan, seam side down, firmly tucking in ends.
- Cover and let rise for one hour or until doubled.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 60 minutes on the middle lower rack of your oven. Check at 30 minutes and tent with foil if bread is browning too quickly. Remove from oven and brush top with melted butter, if desired.
- Cool bread 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a powerful hand mixer with a dough hook, or knead the bread by hand.
- Storage/Freezing: The bread will keep on the counter for a few days, or in the refrigerator for a week. To freeze, slice the bread before freezing and store in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 2 months.
- Recipe retested and revised 3/7/23.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.