Cinnamon-Swirl Chocolate Chip Bread

Incredibly moist chocolate chip quick bread with a sweet dark cinnamon swirl inside.

cinnamon swirl chocolate chip bread

slices of cinnamon swirl chocolate chip bread

I’ll never tire of cinnamon swirl bread. Growing up, my favorite school morning breakfast 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 talking 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!

slices of cinnamon swirl chocolate chip bread on a white plate

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. (Like banana bread!)

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cinnamon swirl chocolate chip bread

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

87 Comments

  1. We LOVED this bread!! You were SO right about the oil; it made this bread wonderfully moist and it really was even better on the second day! (The only reason it lasted until then was because I baked 1 8″ loaf and 1 mini loaf! I ate the mini loaf as soon as it cooled and the larger loaf was devoured the next day!) I only had 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips, but it still came out great; they were an awesome addition to this cinnamon-y swirled bread. Just wonderful!! 🙂 Thanks again for all your great recipes!!

  2. Hello Sally! I noted that you said you used a dark metal loaf pan, all I have at the moment are the light metal…should I adjust the baking temperature? Thanks in advance, I’m super excited to make this!!

    1. A light metal will be perfectly fine, Nik. The baking time may be slightly longer though. Be sure to cover the bread loosely with foil as it bakes to ensure even browning. Do not adjust the baking temperature.

  3. I made this today, and Oh.my.god, is it delicious! One of my favorite quick bread recipes I’ve made. I’m a little sad I made it to give as a gift. Could definitely go for some at breakfast tomorrow! Thank you for a wonderful recipe that I’m sure to make time and time again.

  4. Hi Sally,

    Intending to bake this using mini loaf paper pans (6 x 3.5 x 1.5 inches). How many mini loafs do you think this will make? Also, do I need to adjust the oven temperature as well as the baking time?

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi CLee, with those size pans, it sounds like you will have 2 mini loaves of quick bread. And I am unsure of the exact baking time since I’ve never tried this batter in those pans before. Definitely shorter than the recipe as written in a large 9×5 pan. The temperature will be the same though. Enjoy!

  5. I don’t know what I did wrong. I followed the recipe to the letter, but my bread came out totally wrong! It was burned on the edges and bottom but still soupy in the middle. I used a dark loaf pan too. Help!

    1. Did you cover the bread with foil? It also sounds like your oven was too hot. Do you use an oven thermometer?

  6. Just made this. It is incredible. And you were right,it does make the kitchen smell like a bakery.

  7. Hi Sally,
    I made this 2 weeks ago when we had lots of guests for the weekend and it didn’t last till Sunday morning! So this week when my mom and I were planning for next weekend’s guests she said “and you’ll be making the cinnamon swirl bread of course.” Like its a given!
    One thing though – like the previous reviewer, I too had trouble with the center not cooking and being underdone and the sides burning. I had to remove the foil, bake for awhile without the foil to get the center done, then replace the foil because the sides were getting burned. Any thoughts how to prevent/change this?

    1. Hey Cheryl! So happy this is now a go-to recipe for you. 🙂 Baking quick breads is always tricky with them baking evenly. Make sure you rotate the pan in your oven a few times throughout the bake time. My oven has hot spots and I found the edges to brown in certain spots more than others. One thing you can do that I sort of just thought of in my head. Take a piece of foil a little larger than the size of your loaf pan. Cut out the center like a picture frame and place the “frame” of foil just around the edges of the pan, so the edges are covered and the center is not. Does that make sense?

  8. We are thinking about heating up the bread and then spreading some Cinnamon swirl frosting (from your website)!!!!! Sooooooooooo good!!

  9. Hi, Sally!
    I made this bread last weekend for my friend’s party, and everyone LOVED it and ate it all!!!! I used butter scotch chips instead of chocolate chips just to save time to go to the store, but it turned out so good as well… I am going to make this bread again with chocolate chips this weekend.. just for me..haha..
    Thanks for the great recipes!!
    p.s. I baked your thick chunky chocolate chip cookies and cranberry white chocolate chip cookies a couple weeks ago as well…those are sooooo good!!!!!! 🙂

  10. Thank you for the recipe, Sally! I made it this morning and it came out wonderful! The hardest part was waiting for it to cool down. 🙂

  11. I made this today and it was a disaster. I used the 9×5 loaf pan as noted in the recipe, but if overflowed all over the oven.

    1. There isn’t enough batter to overflow, I wonder why that happened? Did you change the recipe at all? I’m sorry that happened.

  12. Hi Sally!
    I made this bread once before and it was delicious! I was wondering…can I add a few bananas to this recipe? I have two really ripe ones I’d like to use, but your other recipes call for at least three bananas…I was hoping I could sneak them into this one! If I can, do I have to adjust any of the other ingredients? Let me know what you think!
    Thanks, Nina

    1. You could add one banana into this – but I fear two would alter the texture of the bread. Maybe eat the other one on the side. 🙂

  13. Hey Sally! I bought a bag of cinnamon chips the other day and was looking for something to use them in. Would some taste good in this or do you have another suggestion?

    1. They would be divine in this bread, Claire! Enjoy.

  14. I made this yesterday – it were divine!

    My family kept on telling me to make it more often – we all loved the cinnamoney texture and the gooey chocolate chips.

  15. Jodee Weiland says:

    Cinnamon and chocolate…what a delicious combination for a sweet treat! Thanks for sharing!

  16. I was out of chocolate chips so I instead used nuts like you were originally going to and they came out great! The nut version is great and tastes really well in parallel to all the cinnamon! 🙂

  17. Sally, I need your help please! I had tasted this wonderful date loaf at someone’s house. It was a plain soft loaf with chopped dates and walnuts in it. It was wonderful! Texture was not quite dense like banana loaf. The ‘bread’ itself was very soft and pillowy. Do you suppose I could use this recipe and add the dates/walnuts, minus the cinnamon swirl? What is the texture of this bread? Thanks in advance!

    1. I’m sure you could try that with this bread recipe, Faye. It’s quite soft- I love its texture!

  18. When the cinnamon sugar is added between the 2 layers of batter, do you swirl it with a knife or just leave it as a solid layer?

    1. no swirl – just layer

  19. I absolutely LOVE this. My favorite flavor combination – I doubled the recipe. Also used regular size chips as that was all I had on hand – still absolutely wonderful. A few craters here and there due to the size of the chips – but the taste – exceptional! Thank you!

  20. Hi Sally, could I use normal size choc chips with this recipe? And if I were making mini loaves, how long should I bake them for and is there anything else I need to change?

    Thank you!

    1. Yep regular chocolate chips are fine. I am unsure of the bake time for smaller loaf pans.

  21. Hi Sally,

    Can I make this bread tonight for a work party on Thursday morning? Thank you!

    1. Yep! It will still be moist and soft on day 3. Cover tightly or keep in a tupperware.

  22. Dear Sally, I tried making this bread this morning but ended up with burnt top and bottom but the bread is SO moist. I’m still figuring out what went wrong with the burnt sides. FYI, I’m using electric oven of which you can choose to use top or bottom or both flames and I used both flames for this bread. Should I have used just the top one instead? I used the aluminum foil at first but more than halfway when I checked the bread, the melted sugar on top kind of sticking to the foil so I removed it. Appreciate your feedback ‘coz I loveeee your recipes. Thanks

    1. Silvia, it sounds like the oven was just too hot. I recommend just the top flame. Can you adjust the oven rack to the bottom level by chance? This should help tremendously.

  23. I always come here when I want to try a new recipe, and after finding this cinnamon bread recipe last night, I had to make it today. I loved how easy this is to make, and it’s delicious. I’d definitely make it again. Although my bread took much longer to bake. After about 55 minutes, it was practically raw in the middle. I’m not sure why that is, but all in all this is a really delicious and easy quick bread. 🙂

  24. Victoria zalucki says:

    I have a jumbo muffin pan that I want to use to make this as muffins. What would a good bake time to start with be? I have three kiddos so I’m bad about forgetting my baked items. I would make it as bread, and I’m sure I will for a weekend, but my oldest son who’s 6 wants muffins before breakfast.

    1. Start with maybe around 20 minutes.

  25. Hi Sally 

    Can I double up on the cinnamon swirl and/or the chocolate chips? 

    1. Absolutely!

  26. Followed recipe exactly and came out wonderful. Really hit the spot! I pretty much ate the whole thing myself! Made another one for the family. It’s that good!

  27. Could sliced apples be added into the swirl mix?

    1. That would be delicious! I’d maybe start with 1 cup sliced apples.

  28. Sally, I made this without the chocolate chips (I know… people in my family are a bit weird) and it was GREAT! Added to my SOS recipe list just next to your brown butter pound cake! 

  29. I wanted to serve this for a birthday, the guest of honor loves chocolate and cinnamon. If left of the cinnamon sugar on top do you think a cinnamon buttercream would be alright?

    1. A cinnamon buttercream on top would be delicious!

  30. Hi! I have made this recipe a few times, with a few tweaks to make it healthier for my kids… justification for eating it for breakfast! Question: how do you think it would work as a muffin? Thanks!

    1. Wonderful as muffins! I’d say 18-21 minutes.

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