Incredibly-moist quickbread with a deep, dark cinnamon swirl inside. Oh, there’s chocolate chips too!
You see this bread here?
It was supposed to be heavily drizzled with a vanilla glaze, BUT… was too incredible as is! Drenching it in a glaze would take away from all of it’s cinnamon, brown-sugary, chocolate chippy flavor.
I found myself sneaking a small piece after breakfast, after my workout, and heck – I even replaced my nightly popcorn bowl in the name of swirled quickbread. If I hadn’t promised Kevin’s motorcycle friends (yes, I’ve been on it. yes, it’s frightening!) a few slices, then we’d probably polish off every last sugary crumb in only 2 days.
I’ll never tire of cinnamon swirl bread. Growing up, my favorite school morning breakfast (umm besides strawberry toaster strudels) was cinnamon swirl bread, toasted and buttered. It sounds pretty boring, but if you’ve ever had a piece of buttered cinnamon-swirl bread, then you know what I’m talkin’ about!
I craved the same comforting flavors last week and before I knew it, this quick bread came to life. As I reached for a few pecans to toss into the batter, I accidentally grabbed the chocolate chips instead. Oops?
Swirled with cinnamon sugar, topped with more, and dotted with teeny tiny chocolate chips. It’s almost like cake – soft, tender, and moist. I mean common, look at that deep, dark ripple of cinnamon!
Baking science alert!
Imparting moisture are a few of my very favorite baking ingredients: oil, buttermilk, and brown sugar.
(1) First, the oil. I use oil in my Super-Moist Carrot Cake recipe and knew it was exactly what this quickbread needed. Butter is a fat that gives unbeatable flavor in my recipes, but nothing beats the moisture that oil brings – especially to muffins, cakes, and quick breads. There is so much flavor from the cinnamon, brown sugar, and chocolate chips that the flavor of butter would disappear anyway.
(2) The buttermilk. Don’t try to substitute the buttermilk with anything! Buttermilk is what makes my Triple Chocolate Cake so darn moist. You absolutely need buttermilk for this quick bread recipe. The lactic acid present is what will allow the baking soda to produce the leavening gas (carbon dioxide).
Don’t have buttermilk? Most folks don’t typically keep buttermilk in the house. Save yourself a trip to the store and make your own at home. Measure 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup. Then, add enough milk (1%, 2%, or whole) to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1 cup. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.
(3) Now the brown sugar. You’ll use both granulated sugar and brown sugar to sweeten the bread. Brown sugar is used (almost) exclusively to sweeten the batter, and white sugar is mixed with cinnamon for the swirl and topping. Brown sugar is one of my favorite ingredients – ever. I used light brown sugar in this bread, which is made with less molasses than dark brown sugar. You may use either dark or light in this recipe.
When you have those three imperative ingredients ready, all you have to do is mix your dry ingredients together. Then mix your wet ingredients together. Mix both seperately as much as you want! But when it’s time to combine the wet and the dry – be careful. Be very careful not to overmix. Overmixing your batter will develop the gluten and will result in a heavy, tough textured bread. That’s the last thing you want, trust me! Just mix the wet and dry ingredients together until *just* combined.
You’ll add the batter to the loaf pan with a heavy layer of cinnamon-sugar. Cutting into the bread and finding that cinnamon-swirl tucked inside? Magic. If you couldn’t tell by now, I get really excited over cinnamon sugar swirls.
Before putting into the oven, sprinkle a little more cinnamon-sugar and chocolate chips on top. Ya know, for fun.
Your kitchen is going to smell like a bakery. (You’re welcome.) There is just nothing like the warm, sweet scent of cinnamon bread baking in the oven. Especially on a chilly morning wearing fuzzy slippers and sippin’ chai tea.
There are two things that quick bread shouldn’t be: bland and dry. This bread is neither. If you can wait, this melt-in-your-mouth bread is even more flavorful and moist on day 2. It takes A LOT of willpower, so umm… you definitely don’t have to wait. But similar to how banana bread and carrot cake’s flavor intensifies overnight, this bread is just the same.
You could use this recipe to make muffins, too. I know you love cinnamon-sugar muffins as much as I do.
Besides tasting better than a cinnamon bun – yeah, I just said that – it’s an incredibly easy recipe!
Cinnamon-Swirl Chocolate Chip Bread
Moist and tender cinnamon-swirl quick bread sprinkled with chocolate chips.
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes plus cooling
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (accurately measured)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup (120g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 large egg, at room temperature*
- 3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar (or dark brown)
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk (no substitutions)
- 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil (or canola; or melted coconut oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. I prefer a dark metal loaf pan, which seems to help brown quick breads more evenly.
Make the cinnamon-swirl first by combining the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Make the bread: In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until combined. Make sure there are no brown sugar lumps remaining. Whisk in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk until there are no more lumps. Try very hard not to overmix, which will result in a tough textured bread.
Pour half of the batter into prepared loaf pan. Top evenly with 3/4 of your cinnamon-sugar mixture. Pour the remaining batter on top and finish with the rest of the cinnamon-sugar. Sprinkle with a couple more mini chocolate chips if desired.
Bake the bread, covered loosely with aluminum foil, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Poke the center of the bread with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. Oven times will vary between ovens. My bread took 56 minutes exactly. Allow bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting.
Bread stays fresh covered tightly at room temperature for up to 6 days. Bread's flavor and moisture are intensified on day 2. Bread freezes well, up to 2 months.
*Room temperature egg is highly suggested for this bread. It will disburse more evenly when mixed. To bring the egg to room temperature quickly, drop into a cup of warm water for 5 minutes.
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