Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread.

This simple recipe for homemade cinnamon swirl bread is a family favorite. It’s soft and tender with the most unbelievably gooey cinnamon swirl inside!

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread-- It's soft and tender with the most unbelievably gooey cinnamon swirl inside!

There’s no chocolate.

There aren’t any sprinkles.

No cookie dough or cake batter-y things.

Caramel? Nope.

Candy bar chunks? Not today.

No frosting, buttercream, streusel, or glaze.

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread-- It's soft and tender with the most unbelievably gooey cinnamon swirl inside!

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread-- It's soft and tender with the most unbelievably gooey cinnamon swirl inside!

Just plain, wholesome, old-fashioned goodness. One of life’s most simple pleasures baked in your very own kitchen. A golden loaf of freshly baked cinnamon swirl bread with (I’m sorry) raisins. Slice it, toast it, butter it, savor it. Use it to make some insanely good french toast or layer some brie, apple, and honey on top. (–> you have to try that.)

There are few things in this world yummier than fresh baked cinnamon swirl bread. No amount of sprinkle, caramel drizzle, or chocolate thingamajig can compare. It’s a hug in a loaf pan. A giant, comforting, carb-filled hug. And that is why I’m sharing my favorite recipe for this family favorite bread with you today. Hugs.

Let’s make homemade BREAD! Guess what? It’s easier than you think.

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread-- It's soft and tender with the most unbelievably gooey cinnamon swirl inside!

Start with some superior yeast, like Red Star Platinum. It’s what I use in all my bread, roll, and sweet dough recipes. Its premium formula strengthens dough, increasing puffiness and spring in your finished recipe. Better yeast = better bread.

Let’s not ignore that impossibly adorable spatula! Got it from Target. Shocker.

Other things you’ll need: bread flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon, whole milk, water, and raisins. Yes yes, the raisins are optional. But the other stuff is required to make the best of the best cinnamon bread.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This dough will rise twice. After the first rise, punch the dough down and roll it out into a 9-inch square. Sprinkle the cinnamon, sugar, and raisin magic, I mean filling, on top.

The most important thing you will do in this recipe is rolling the dough. You have to roll it up tightly. Very, very tightly. If it’s loosely rolled, you’ll end up with a giant hole in the center of the bread because the layers will separate. Still tasty, of course. Attractive? No. Not in the slightest.

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread-- It's soft and tender with the most unbelievably gooey cinnamon swirl inside!

Allow the dough to rise again in a buttered loaf pan until it nearly reaches the top of the pan. It will take about 45 minutes – 1 hour. During this time, dream up all the wonderful ways you’ll enjoy your feast of cinnamon-y carbs.

This dough is massive. It’s so fluffy!

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread-- It's soft and tender with the most unbelievably gooey cinnamon swirl inside!

Enjoy the smell of your kitchen as this gorgeous loaf bakes. I still can’t decide which is best:

  • The smell of the bread baking.
  • The buttery, fluffy interior.
  • The gooey, sticky, cinnamon swirl.

Probably the sticky swirl. But why choose when we can HAVE IT ALL! With a smear of butter on top. Your family, friends, guests, and anyone with tastebuds will surely be impressed. And you can pat yourself on the back because congratulations, you’re now a bread baker with the simplest homemade cinnamon bread recipe in the world.

Hold onto this recipe!

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread-- It's soft and tender with the most unbelievably gooey cinnamon swirl inside!

Your future is looking very swirly.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 


Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This simple recipe for homemade cinnamon swirl bread is a family favorite. It's soft and tender with the most unbelievably gooey cinnamon swirl inside!


  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk1
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (1 standard package) Red Star Platinum yeast2
  • 5 Tablespoons (72g) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (390g) bread flour (plus more for your hands and work surface)3 (measured correctly)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (75g) raisins (optional)


  1. Grease a large bowl with butter or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine the water and milk together in a medium heat-proof bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. You wan it slightly warm but not hot. Then, whisk them with 1/4 cup sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment4. Let stand for 5 minutes or until slightly frothy. Add 4 Tablesooons butter and beat with the hook attachment on low speed for 1 minute until the butter is slightly broken up. Add 2 and 1/2 cups bread flour and the salt. Mix on medium-low speed, then add enough flour (usually around 1/2 cup for me) to make a soft dough that no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Then knead the dough with the mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth but still slightly soft. On a lightly floured surface with floured hands, smooth into a ball. Place into prepared greased bowl and turn to coat all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size-- around 1.5 - 2 hours. For this warm spot, I usually preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Turn the oven off after preheating. Place the covered bowl inside. This is your warm environment.
  3. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with butter or spray with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, toss remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the cinnamon, and raisins together. Set aside.
  4. Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured work surface. Lightly flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a 9-inch square. Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top, leaving a 1-inch border around the sides. Roll the dough up very tightly into a log. Pinch the edges to seal the seams. Then, place into prepared loaf pan, bottom seam side down. Cover loosely and allow to rise in a warm environment once again-- until the dough rises to the top of the pan, about 45 minutes - 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Melt the remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter and gently brush on top of the loaf. Bake until the top of the loaf is golden brown and, when gently tapped, the top of the loaf sounds hollow-- about 35-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then use a spatula to help loosen the bread from the pan and allow it to cool completely on the wire rack before slicing and serving.
  6. Make ahead tip: Cover the bread tightly and store at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Freeze the bread for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. This is not an overnight dough and should not rise for longer than the periods listed.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Whole milk is preferred. 2% is OK. I do not recommend any other milk.
  2. Instant yeast preferred. If using active dry, expect around a 50% longer rise time.
  3. Higher protein flour like bread flour is required for this bread recipe because of its strong gluten formation and high rise. Using all-purpose will yield a flimsy bread with gaps between the layers of swirl.
  4. If you do not have a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, you can mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, then knead the dough by hand for 6-8 minutes.

Did you make a recipe?

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


Try this bread in french toast casserole (omg.)

French Toast Casserole on




  1. Cinnamon swirl bread was our favorite when we were little too! We just had some a couple weeks ago to bring back old times!

  2. You’re right–there really aren’t many things better in life than homemade, fresh baked cinnamon swirl bread! 🙂 I absolutely love this recipe; I bet it’ll soon become a family favorite over at this house too!!

  3. Your bread looks perfect Sally!! Love those swirls!

  4. Baking homemade bread just has magical effect! I can totally see myself making this amazing homemade cinnamon bread right now!

  5. I still haven’t conquered my fear of baking with yeast!!! I’m so afraid it ISN’T “so fluffffffy I could die”! My nightmare haha. It would probably haunt me 😛

    This bread doesn’t have any glaze, but how GOOD would it be with one???

  6. wholesome, classic, bread goodness are needed sometimes!!

  7. This is the softest bread I have ever made. WOW!

  8. Cinnamon swirl bread definitely takes me back to my childhood – think it was all I ate as a kid! Thanks for reminding me how much I love it Sally.. I have to get my hands on some or make it myself soon.

  9. Oh yum!
    I’m always afraid to try baking with yeast but I might have to for this recipe. It looks AMAZING!

  10. Your directions were spot on – thank you!! Was a great hit at Easter and very tasty!

  11. This looks delicious.
    You must do dishes 24/7. haha

    A friend told me about your site.

    I think it’s great that you are doing this for a living.

    I’m a military wife who goes where the government tells us to,
    so I am hopeful to have my “job” portable. — through my baking blog.

    Thanks for this recipe.

  12. There is nothing quite as homey and delicious as homemade bread! Yum!

  13. Sally, Thank you! I made your cinnamon swirl bread recipe and it turned out exactly as I imagined. My husband and I enjoyed it on Easter morning and we were so happy with how it tasted!! While it was rising, I pulled together your ingredient list for the Soft-Baked Funfetti Sugar Cookies and they were a hit at our family gathering! Grandpa had 3 – the out of town visitors had 3 each and the rest of the family kept making trips back to the cookie tray for more! They were so happy to have such a tasty sugar cookie and I told them all about your recipe book and the website! Lots and Lots of love to share when I am baking your goodies! We’re so excited when you share new recipes with us! <3 Sarah and lover of Sky-High Blackberry Apple Muffins!!! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Sarah! I love hearing about how much my recipes are loved. I’m glad you gave this cinnamon bread a whirl!

  14. tried this bread and it was asawesome n soft as it looks. one of the best breads i have tried. you should definitely put up more yeast bread recipes of diff sort …your pizza base recipe is a no-fail too! love your recipes. keep em coming.

  15. Hi Sally,

    First of all, I’m a big big fan of your blog. Started following two months back and I’m totally hooked on to it. I make sure I atleast ry two recipes every week from your blog. I love the page layouts and your pictures. Your recipes are spot on. Can never go wrong. Thanks a ton for teaching me to bake. 🙂

    In this recipe, I was wondering if I could replace bread flour with whole wheat or multigrain flour since I always have them in my pantry. This is my first attempt at baking bread so fingers crossed.

  16. Those well test just perfect with my morning tea)

  17. There is something about cinnamon swirl bread that never disappoints. This bread looks tender and delicious! There was a similar bread in the New York Times the other day. I’ll be trying this soon!

  18. I made this bread this weekend and in one way it was an epic fail, but on the other hand it was still delicious! The fail was that I must have the ultimate conditions for yeast growth in my house because the bread literally exploded, it rose so much. Like, it rose so much that it was 5 or 6 inches above the pan. Like, it rose so much that the sugar mixture dripped down the side onto the bottom of the oven. I took a picture it was that impressive LOL! But, despite the mess, the bread was delicious and my kiddos especially enjoyed it. I will be making it again, but this time I am going to make it into buns, some filled with cinnamon and sugar and some filled with coconut and sugar. Yummy!!

    • Oh my! I’ve never had dough rise like that before Laura! Wow. Impressive conditions in your home. So glad you all enjoyed the baked bread though!

  19. Hi Sally! I have been a fan for a long time now. 🙂 This recipe looks amazing!! We recently learned our 2 yr old has a dairy allergy so I have been learning substitutions w everything. I have found the butter substitute for baking but see you have that you do that recommend anything other than whole milk. Is that keeping skim milk users on alert or does that apply to us amond milk users too? Thanks so much! 

    • Denise, almond milk is just fine here! You just don’t really want a thin, fat-free milk like skim. Thicker milks, like almond, are great.

  20. After finishing the supermarket cinnamon swirl bread a friend brought me back from the States, I just had to google for a home-made recipy, because it is SO delicious. I have never seen anything similar here in the Netherlands.

    The dough is rising in the oven right now. I think I messed up some of the quantities due to conversion to metric system, and I had to substitute some of the American ingredients for Dutch versions, but all in all, it looks similar to your pictures. Let´s see how it turns out! 😀

    Thank you for putting this recipe online so that we can also enjoy the goodness across the ocean!

  21. I usually don’t write reviews for anything or comment on how amazing something from your site came out, but this bread must be written about. This was my first time ever making bread. I’ve been wanting to make some for some time but I was afraid of the yeast (which I’ve never worked with before) and that I probably wasn’t going to have the patience for bread.The 4 hours are TOTALLY worth it! Nothing from your site ever comes out wrong! This bread is absolutely marvelous. I left out raisins and next time I will definitely be adding chopped pecans to the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Thank you Sally, for making my first-ever bread experience worth my time and delicious. 🙂

  22. Amazing! Really easy and delicious! Awesome flavor and texture. I will be holding onto this recipe forever!!

  23. Hi, your bread looks delicious!!! I only have wholewheat bread flour. Will it work about the same or will it be more dense… Let me know what you think.  

  24. I have made this recipe before and worked perfectly it was delicious! But now I’m in Europe and i don’t have access to bread flour, so does normal flour work? i would love to show this off to my family!

  25. What do you do when in a higher elevation

  26. thank you for a recipe of homemade cinnamon swirl bread! It’s tasty bread! What bread maker do you have? I love bread and toasts. I think that it will be tasty toasts. Have you a toaster? I want to buy toaster but I don’t know what to choose. I saw a nice review of the best toasts at What can you say about Breville smart toaster BTA840XL?

  27. Can this bread recipe be used for regular bread and with other fillings?

  28. Recipe is a hit in my house! Disappears as soon as it is made! Thanks a lot for sharing! 🙂

  29. I just made this with my son. We accidentally used all purpose. It did slightly effect the bread swirls but nothing too awful. But it was still fluffy and oh so yummy.

    • Glad it still turned out ok!!

      • It was so yummy! I’ve made a loaf every day this week. My boys can’t get enough lol. I switched to bread flour and get better results. This recipe also works well with gluten free flour if you roll it tight so the filling doesn’t gap.

  30. I have such a craving for this bread right now! I know you’re not always on your blog/able to reply to comments but I’m really hoping for a quick one today I know you highly recommend whole milk, which is great cause it’s usually what I have on hand anyways, however I used the last of my whole milk w/ breakfast this morning and my local grocery store was sold out 🙁
    I do have whipping cream and buttermilk though, would either of those work?

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