Cinnamon-Swirl Chocolate Chip Bread

Incredibly-moist quick bread with a sweet, dark cinnamon swirl inside. Oh, there’s chocolate chips too!

Super-moist, tender Cinnamon-Swirl Bread with Chocolate Chips by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Simple ingredients, easy to make!

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.

Super-moist, tender Cinnamon-Swirl Bread with Chocolate Chips by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Simple ingredients, easy to make!

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!

Super-moist, tender Cinnamon-Swirl Bread with Chocolate Chips by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Simple ingredients, easy to make!

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.

Super-moist, tender Cinnamon-Swirl Bread with Chocolate Chips by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Simple ingredients, easy to make!

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.

Cinnamon-Swirl Chocolate Chip Bread-2

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!

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

Print

Cinnamon-Swirl Chocolate Chip Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Moist and tender cinnamon-swirl quick bread sprinkled with chocolate chips.


Ingredients

Cinnamon-Swirl

  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar

Bread

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (120g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil (or canola; or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. I prefer a dark metal loaf pan, which seems to help brown quick breads more evenly.
  2. Make the cinnamon-swirl first by combining the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Make the bread: Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until combined. 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. Avoid over-mixing.
  4. You’ll have about 3-3.5 cups of batter. Spread half of the batter into prepared loaf pan. Top evenly with 3/4 of your cinnamon-sugar mixture. Gently spread the remaining batter on top as best you can and sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon-sugar. Sprinkle with a couple more mini chocolate chips if desired. Using a knife, gently swirl the batter with 1 simple swirl (I usually swirl a “S” shape) from the top to the bottom of the loaf pan.
  5. Bake the bread for 50-65 minutes, tenting loosely with aluminum foil halfway through bake time. Quick breads are thick and dense, so don’t be alarmed if your loaf is taking longer. To test for doneness, poke the center of the bread with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. Allow bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting.
  6. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Freeze baked and cooled bread for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. Room Temperature Ingredients: All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read here for more information.
  3. Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1 cup. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the bread won’t taste as rich and moist.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.

Keywords: cinnamon chocolate chip bread

Super-moist, tender Cinnamon-Swirl Bread with Chocolate Chips by sallysbakingaddiction.com. Simple ingredients, easy to make!

218 Comments

  1. Just made this for family, huge hit! Now I’m making second loaf to take to party tomorrow.

    1. Yay! Glad it’s a hit!

  2. Hi Sally! Could this recipe be doubled or would it be better to make 2 separate batches? Thank you for all your amazing recipes!

    1. Hi Candis! I recommend 2 separate batches.

      1. Candis Cook says:

        I made 1 batch & holy cow it was delicious…but didn’t look as pretty as yours! Thank you Sally for another amazing recipe!!

  3. Hi Sally. Loved this recipe. Thank You!!

  4. Made this last night for coworker’s birthday today. Not a lot of people in the office (it’s Friday) but the whole thing is almost gone in less than 3 hours! Rave reviews from those who I’ve heard from.

  5. I made this a few weeks ago and it was fantastic! Want to make again and am considering adding pecans to the cinnamon sugar swirl. Do you think this would work?

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Yes, feel free to add some crushed pecan pieces to the swirl – yum!

  6. You state in the direction is whisk, so you do not use a mixer at all in the recipe?

    1. Hi Peggy, Sine we don’t have to cream butter there is no need to use your mixer if you don’t want to! Simply whisking by hand is all that is needed here. Enjoy!

  7. My oven must be EXTREMELY off – I’ve had the bread in for over an hour (loosely covered) and the middle is no where near done. My oven pretty accurate for the most part. It smells amazing and it’s too burnt on the sides – but what am I doing wrong?!

    1. Hello! As far as flavor goes, this is so good. I didn’t have mini chocolate chips, so I used regular sized chips. I also added orange zest. I also had a problem with the bake on this. For me, I think loosely covering in foil was the wrong choice as the recipe suggested. Maybe this is because I used a glass pan? Mine came out raw in the top middle even after 75 minutes. I finally decided to cut the underdone parts off and keep the rest. Next time I will not cover with foil or perhaps use a metal pan.

    2. Thank you! Can’t figure out what I did wrong. An hour in the oven and sooo soupy on inside. And I’m a baker.

  8. Nimerta Kandhari says:

    It’s so delicious… Thanku Sally for such a wonderful recipe

    1. Nimerta Kandhari says:

      Any substitute for egg in this.. Thanku

  9. Hi Sally,

    Love love all your recipes and I would like to try this one but I am wondering if I could sub out the buttermilk for sour cream? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Trish, thank you! The bread will taste very dense using all sour cream. Instead, you can use 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup regular milk or buttermilk.

  10. This was amazing! I have never really baked before, but I have made many of your recipes and I feel so much more confident! Thanks, Sally!

  11. If I make it with the half greek yogurt/half milk option, does the greek yogurt need to be room temp?

    1. Hi Kaylee, I recommend bringing the yogurt to room temperature for best results.

  12. OMG, i try out your recipe. Its turns out amazing and i love it because it is quick and does not involve kneading. I switch the chocolate chips to butterscotch chips and add on cinnamon streusel topping. I ate half of the loaf within 45 mins. Thanks for sharing your recipe❤️.

  13. Joan Nichols says:

    I really love all your recipes, but my granddaughter must have gluten free. Can I substitute the flour with Bob’s Red Mill’s “1to1 baking flour”

    1. Hi Joan, I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flour but let me know if you try it!

  14. Hey Sally….can I make these into muffins?

    1. Absolutely! I recommend using this batter and following the same instructions as my blueberry muffins.

  15. This was easy to follow and very VERY delicious. Didn’t change a thing.

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