How to Make Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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My crazy life is a bit of a whirlwind right now with a zillion things going on.  Busy things.  Things that make me want to pull my hair out sometimes.  Things that are turning out to be great opportunities that are good and exciting and fun.  And a few things that aren’t so good.  All of these things make me feel stressed out and want to eat carbs… lots of them, because that’s my downfall when I’m stressed out.  Not chocolate.  Not french fries or milkshakes, but plain old, good-old fashioned carbs:  like this Cinnamon Swirl Bread.

It’s a yeasted bread, but don’t be afraid.  I’ll show you how easy it is to make…

Into a bowl, place sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Pour melted butter and warmed milk over; stir.  Dissolve yeast in warm water and pour that in there too.  Add flour; mix.  Pretty easy so far, right?

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface, add more flour and knead it for a few minutes until it’s smooth and no longer sticky.  Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise in a warm place (I use a slightly warmed oven).  Take it out and punch it down.  Still pretty easy…

Dump it onto a floured surface again, knead it for a minute or so and then roll it out into a rectangle.  Spread with butter and sprinkle w/ cinnamon & sugar.  It’s here that you may want to begin nibbling pieces of dough that are coated with butter and cinnamon/sugar.  Maybe not, but I’m always tempted to do it.  You must be strong.  Resist.

Start at one end and roll it up.  Yum yum yum yum yum.

Look?  It’s all cute and snuggly all rolled up like that.  Keep the seam underneath…

…because then you’re going to transfer it to a bread pan, seam-side down.  Cover the pan, and let it rise in a warm place one more time.  Soooooooo, what you’re probably realizing at this point is that making bread is really pretty darn easy.  You just have to be patient with the rising times.  Your patience will be rewarded soon.  Promise.

Cut some slits into the top of the loaf.

And bake it up into a perfectly golden loaf.

Technically, you could slice it up right away and sample it with some melted butter all sunken into those cinnamony crevices.  It’s good like that.

But probably you should let it cool, then slice.  It’s just as good sliced and popped into a toaster in the next day or two.  And it’s even more incredible when used as French Toast.  This Cinnamon Swirl Bread is also useful for satisfying carb cravings and relieving stress (and I speak from personal experience).

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This Cinnamon Swirl Bread is delicious sliced up and toasted, and it's equally good when dipped in egg batter for French Toast...

Yield: 10 to 12 servings (1 loaf)

Prep Time: 35 min + rising time

Cook Time: 45 min


1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided + more for surface work

2 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 Tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon


1. In a microwavable cup, heat butter and warm milk in short bursts; stir together until butter is melted.

2. In a large bowl, stir sugar, salt and cinnamon. Pour warm butter/milk mixture into the bowl; stir.

3. In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, mix yeast and warm water until yeast is dissolved; pour into the bowl and stir.

4. Mix in 2 1/2 cups flour. Turn out dough onto a floured board (dough will be sticky). Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of flour onto the dough and knead until the dough is soft and smooth (4 to 5 minutes). Add additional sprinkles of flour, if needed.

5. Put dough into a greased bowl; turn the dough over so the top of the dough is greased too. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for about 60 minutes, or until doubled in size (see tips below...)

6. Punch down the dough in the bowl with your fist. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 1 minute.

7. Roll dough out into a basic rectangular shape. Use a butter knife or your clean fingers to spread 2 Tablespoons softened butter on the surface of the rolled out dough. In a small bowl, mix white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the butter.

8. Roll up dough and form into a loaf. Place into a buttered 5x9-inch bread pan, seam side down. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

10. Score risen dough in the pan by cutting 3 slashes diagonally across the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake bread for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Fully baked bread should sound hollow when tapped.

11. Turn out bread and let cool on a wire rack.


*I like to use the oven as a place for rising. Turn the oven to 400 degrees and heat for one minute. Turn the oven OFF, turn on the light, and now you have a nice, warm place for rising. Make sure the oven is turned off!


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  • IFortuna wrote:

    This brings back such happy memories.
    when I was about 7 or 8, my dad and I used to journey to the other side of town on a Saturday, first of all to get gas at the flying Pegasus gas station. This winged horse was majestic and I could not wait to see him.
    Then it was off to the bakery for the best cinnamon bread I ever had or presumably will ever have.
    After that we went to purchase ice cream at the local Chisum ice cream store. I loved the boxes the ice cream came in with big color polka dots on the box.
    Thanks for the memories. Hope I can make this soon. : )

  • indy wrote:

    I made this today! Soooo yummy! I doubled the cinnamon and brown sugar… And glad i did! I will make it again tomorrow with a bit a sweetened condensed milk! Thanks!

  • Teresa Berry wrote:

    Just came across your website via pinterest.  Your cinnamon bread looks amazing!  Just on question, though.  Why slit the top of the loaf?  My father was a baker for a number of years.  He made cinnamon bread for a bakery.  I don’t remember his loaves had a slit.  Will try this week to make your cinnamon swirl bread.

    Thank you.

  • Elite wrote:

    I was very disappointed I followed the recipe  exactly and after 1 hour the dough didn’t rise was in  the oven as per your directions and the  yeast was not expired  I am not impressed!!!  

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      You must have had a dud package of yeast. It can still be bad even if not expired.

  • sandra wrote:

    My swirl cinnamon bread rose, browned nicely but the inside did not get done.

  • Kelly wrote:

    im new to making bread but this was a great help and it turned out amazing!

  • Kyle wrote:

    Thanks for the recipe! Made it today and it looks fantastic!

  • Kisha wrote:

    Can I use mg bread maker for the kneading?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Not sure- I don’t have a bread maker so I’m not familiar w/ them!

  • Cori wrote:

    I let the dough rise in the oven following your exact instructions. The dough started to bake. It was hard on the outside and too hot to knead after 60 minutes. Is that normal???

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      No, that is not normal! How did the dough start to bake?? The oven should be off and it should only be slightly warm after having been turned on briefly and then off again.

  • Cori wrote:

    Can I make this recipe with whole wheat flour instead of all purpose? Should I use half whole wheat and half all purpose? What do you recommend? Thanks!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Hi Cori, I have only tried it with all-purpose, so I can’t recommend with complete confidence. Sometimes half whole wheat works out just fine with bread recipes though.

  • Leslie wrote:

    I made this bread last week. I followed everything step-by-step but the bread turned out kinda dry and on the heavy side. I’m not sure why…any suggestions?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      too much flour? Working the bread too long?

  • Zoraida wrote:

    My first loaf came out terrible as I didn’t have enough flour so I halved the ingredients resulting in a poorly risen bread. Smelled great though. As I write this comment I am currently rising my neatly rolled bred in its pan for 30 min. Before placing it in the oven. Now my only setback may be that I don’t actually have an over, I have a toaster oven. I will update and let you know how my toaster over baked this bread. I am eager to see the result and either way I will enjoy it, because I just simply love cooking. Lets see what happens!!


  • LeAnn wrote:

    Thank you for responding. It was a fun Sunday afternoon project for my 13 year old daughter and I. She made her first loaf of bread and is proud of herself and my husband and I can’t wait to taste her handiwork!