Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Jump to Recipe

 

Welcome back to my 2015 recipe for homemade cinnamon swirl bread! I’m republishing this post with updated pictures and instructions.

I’ve adored this bread for the past 3 years, but always knew the assembly had room for improvement. As I prepared another loaf the other week, I attempted a different approach to rolling up the dough. Instead of shaping the dough into a thick 9-inch square, I shaped it into a thin 18×9-inch rectangle. Spread the cinnamon sugar on top and tightly rolled it end to end. This method produced more swirls in each slice. The loaf also rose taller as it baked. I couldn’t believe the BIG difference this SMALL change made and knew you’d find it interesting (and delish!!) too.

(And, coincidentally, I’m in Kansas this week on a “Wheat to Bread” tour with Red Star Yeast, a cherished company I’ve been working with for almost 6 years. I’ll share more about the fun trip in a separate blog post soon!)

So here I am with the same trusted cinnamon swirl bread recipe with updated step-by-step photos and easier-to-follow instructions. Let’s do this.

Simple homemade cinnamon swirl bread is a family favorite bread recipe! The recipe makes just 1 loaf. Soft and fluffy slices of fresh bread have a gooey cinnamon swirl! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Tall and delicious homemade cinnamon swirl bread! Fresh bread recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Simple homemade cinnamon swirl bread is a family favorite bread recipe! The recipe makes just 1 loaf. Soft and fluffy slices of fresh bread have a gooey cinnamon swirl! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

THE DOUGH

Make your dough. It all begins with yeast, sugar, water, milk, butter, bread flour, and salt. The thing about homemade bread is that the ingredients are SO basic, but throw the word “yeast” in there and many feel intimidated. I promise promise promise it’s not difficult to throw this dough together. As long as you give the yeast, sugar, water, and milk a few minutes to sit before adding the other ingredients, you’re on the right track!

Bread flour is our secret sauce. All-purpose flour doesn’t have enough strength to support the rise and structure of the bread. Bread flour is sold right next to the all-purpose flour in the baking aisle and if you need some recipe inspiration with your leftover bread flour, try any of these recipes!

The dough rises twice.

FIRST RISE

The first rise is right after all the dough ingredients are mixed together. Allow it to rise for about 2 hours, punch it down, then roll it out into the 18×9-inch rectangle we discussed above. Sprinkle the dough with a blend of cinnamon and sugar, then roll it up tightly. There were raisins in the original recipe, but I was out of them when I made it recently. The cinnamon swirl bread is obviously DYNAMITE with raisins. You know I’ll always encourage more raisins in your life, so they’re included in the recipe below.

Below are 6 step-by-step photos. (1) The ball of dough. (2) The dough after the 1st rise. (3) The dough rolled out into the 9×18-inch rectangle. (4) Rolling up the dough into a loaf. (5) The loaf ready to rise. This will be the 2nd rise. (6) The dough after the 2nd rise.

King Arthur Flour bread flour for homemade cinnamon swirl bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make homemade cinnamon swirl bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Homemade cinnamon swirl bread dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to shape homemade cinnamon swirl bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to shape homemade cinnamon swirl bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make homemade cinnamon swirl bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make homemade cinnamon swirl bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com

SECOND RISE

After the dough is tightly rolled up, place it into your loaf pan and wait for the dough to rise above the edge. This takes about 45 minutes. Brush with melted butter, then bake.

All done! The baked loaf is massive!

I still can’t decide which is best:

  • The smell of homemade cinnamon swirl bread baking.
  • The buttery, fluffy interior.
  • The hypnotizing, gooey, sticky, delectable cinnamon swirl.

But there’s no need to choose when we can have it all. Your family, friends, guests, and anyone with tastebuds will surely be impressed. And you can pat yourself on the back because congratulations, you’re a bread baker with the simplest homemade cinnamon bread recipe in the world.

If you’ve already tried this bread recipe, I would love to hear how this new assembly works for you! And if you haven’t tried this bread recipe yet, now’s the time. You can do it!

Comparing two different rolling methods for homemade cinnamon swirl bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Simple homemade cinnamon swirl bread is a family favorite bread recipe! The recipe makes just 1 loaf. Soft and fluffy slices of fresh bread have a gooey cinnamon swirl! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Simple homemade cinnamon swirl bread is a family favorite bread recipe! The recipe makes just 1 loaf. Soft and fluffy slices of fresh bread have a gooey cinnamon swirl! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (1 standard package) active dry or instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and divided
  • 3 cups (390g) bread flour (plus more for your hands and work surface) (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (75g) raisins (optional)

Directions:

  1. Whisk the yeast and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar together in a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer.
  2. Heat the water and milk together on the stove or in the microwave until warm to touch, about 110°F (43°C). Pour over the yeast/sugar and whisk until combined. Cover loosely and let sit for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is frothy.
  3. With a wooden spoon, rubber spatula, or the dough hook attachment on low speed, beat in 4 Tablespoons of butter until it’s slightly broken up. Add 2 and 1/2 cups bread flour and the salt. Mix on medium-low speed, then add enough bread flour (usually around 1/2 cup) to make a soft dough that no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Knead by hand or with the mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth but still slightly soft. Smooth into a ball and place into a lightly greased bowl. (I just use the same bowl. I take the dough out, spray with nonstick spray or grease with butter, then put the ball of dough back in.) Turn the dough to coat all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in a slightly warm environment to rise until doubled in size, around 1 and 1/2 - 2 hours. For this warm spot, I suggest using the oven. Preheat to 200°F (93°C), then turn the oven off after preheating. Place the covered bowl inside and shut the oven door. This is your warm environment.
  4. 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 (if using) together. Set aside.
  5. Punch down the dough to release the air. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin, shape into a 9x18-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top, leaving a 1-inch border around the sides. Roll the dough up very tightly into a 9-inch log. Pinch the ends to seal. Place into prepared loaf pan bottom seam side down. Cover loosely and allow to rise in a warm environment until the dough rises to the top of the pan, about 45 minutes - 1 hour.
  6. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position then preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Melt the remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter and gently brush the top of the loaf. Bake until golden brown and, when gently tapped, the top of the loaf sounds hollow, about 35-45 minutes. If you find the top of the loaf is browning too quickly as it bakes, tent with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and cool loaf completely on the wire rack.
  7. Slice and serve. Cover and store leftovers at room temperature for 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Bread tastes delicious when toasted in the toaster!
Make ahead tip: Freeze baked and cooled bread for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. This is not an overnight dough. Do not allow to rise longer than time listed.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Whole milk or 2% milk are best. I don’t suggest a lower fat milk. Readers have used nondairy milks with success, but I haven’t personally tested it.
  2. I always use Red Star Platinum yeast, an instant yeast. If using active dry yeast, the rise times could be slightly longer.
  3. Higher protein flour like bread flour is best for this bread recipe because of its strong gluten formation and high rise. All-purpose flour will yield a flimsy bread.
  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 as directed in step 3.

Did you make a recipe?

Tag @sallysbakeblog on Instagram and hashtag it #sallysbakingaddiction.

© 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. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

SHOP THIS RECIPE

 

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt-Head Glass Mixing Bowl | Rolling Pin | Loaf Pan

131 Comments

All Comments

  1. Hi Sally, thank you for re-posting this! I haven’t tried this recipe since but now I see the wonderful pictures I really hope I get around to it this week!
    Small thing: somehow the link to other recipes with bread flour went missing. At least I can’t seem to find it… Thanks.
    Have an inspiring time in your travels 🙂 Sina from Germany

      1. So, my 8-year-old son tried this recipe out today! He was eager to do most of the work himself, I was assisting 😉
        But let me tell you, if baking with kids one has to be prepared that every little thing takes a lot (like: a lot!) more time and you patiently have to watch children make mistakes without constantly correcting them so not to discourrage them… i. e. when brushing the loaf with melted butter after the 2nd rise I was all “don’t push to hard, no, you don’t have to do it with that much pressure, be careful, please…”, fearing for the wonderfully risen loaf to be pushed down… This can be really hard for perfectionists, I tell you! 😉 But when the bread came out of the oven smelling so good, and when we finally tried it, sharing it with friends at a playdate, it was so worth it! He was so proud of what he had made. And it was delicous!
        Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  2. Oh, and the print-button only lead me to “no posts matched your criteria”… Maybe this is a temporary problem? I’ll try again later.

  3. Oh my goodness this looks so good and one of my favorites too. I am going to have to try and make this. You make it look so easy. I’m not great in the kitchen, but I want to get better. This one looks like a good place to start. Thank you for positing this. I can’t wait to try it.

  4. Love this recipe! Sally, do you have a proofing box? I got one this year, and all my breads come out perfect now.

  5. I remember this recipe when you first posted it. I thought there was no way I could make this but in the back of my mind I so wished I could. I have seen a lot of people post that you have helped them become better bakers and now you can add my name to that list. I used to be so afraid of yeast that by the time came to make something with yeast in it I was a wreck!!! I just made this for the first time and it is sitting on the counter cooling and most of all, I am proud of it!!!!☺ Thank you Sally, for everything you do!!

    1. This just made my day, Wendy! I’m SO SO happy that you have broken out of your comfort zone and conquered your fear of baking with yeast. Now go enjoy your hard earned cinnamon bread! 🙂

  6. As the granddaughter of a wheat farmer, I welcome you to Kansas! Come to my house and we’ll bake something sweet! Can’t wait to try this recipe. Your site is my #1 food blog to follow.

  7. Have you ever tried chopped nuts or chopped nuts and raisins? I’m thinking the finely chopped nuts such as almonds might taste good.

  8. You can get rid of the gaps between the filling and bread by brushing on a mixture of an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water before sprinkling on the cinnamon/sugar.

  9. Sally,

    Great post.
    I have fond memories of my mom making cinnamon swirl bread weekly. She always made two loaves and four loaves of white.
    The best warm out of the oven.

  10. So excited about this recipe because my son is on a ‘cinnamon raisin bread’ kick right now. I cannot wait to make this for him.

  11. I would like to make this for my Airbnb guests but don’t want to get up before dawn to get it started. Can I get all the way through the start of the second rise, leave it overnight, then finish it in the morning or will it be weird?

    1. Hi Jan, I suggest baking the bread the day before and cover it tightly overnight, it’s still wonderful in the morning! I don’t suggest starting it the night before and finishing in the morning. Enjoy!

  12. This is amazing! It is taking lots of willpower to not make another loaf after we devoured the one I made yesterday.

  13. I followed the recipe exactly and my bread did not rise AT ALL during the second rise☹️ The only thing I noticed is that I preheated my oven to 200 degrees and then turned it off before I put the dough in. But when I took it out 11/2 hours later, the dough and bowl were actually hot. Would that have killed the yeast? I’m so sad, I was so excited about this recipe!

    1. Hi Amy! What type of yeast are you using? The temperature could have been too hot for the yeast and if that’s the case, I’m so sorry for suggesting it. If you decide to try it again, you can let it slowly rise (both times) on the counter.

      1. Hi, Sally,
        My dough seemed to rise just find the first time, but rose only a little the second time…certainly nowhere near over the top of my pan. I was using rapid rise yeast. Any idea why this happened? Thank you, Laura

  14. This is an incredibly simple recipe (don’t be afraid of using yeast if you’re new to it… this recipe is straightforward) that produces an amazingly delicious product! Besides the time it took to rise, I was only actively working on this bread for like 30 minutes maximum which is perfect. And when the bread came out of the oven, we were so eager to try it. My husband is a cinnamon roll fanatic, and he may have even liked this more than Sally’s cinnamon rolls! You will not be disappointed with this recipe! The bread is a beautiful texture and flavorful. Add this to your “must bake” list ASAP!

  15. This bread is incredibly good! Excellent cinnamon flavor and the bread flour makes a huge difference. This bread will be baked many times! Thanks Sally!

  16. Thank you so much for such a detailed and delicious recipe! Most of the time when I bake a new recipe, it fails the first time. I baked this fully expecting a first-time fail. I was so happy (and surprised) that this turned out on the first try, and it was delicious.

  17. This was fantastic, and so simple to make! One of my sons suggested that we make it in the fall and spread homemade apple butter on it! Yessssss! I am all about that! He said it tastes like Christmas!

  18. Hi Sally,

    I had the exact same experience as Amy, who commented that her dough and bowl were actually hot when they came out of the oven after the first rise and then didn’t rise at all during the second rise. I preheated the oven and turned it off, as you suggested.
    I used Redstar Platinum yeast, as you have highly recommended it. It was definitely foamy and activated before I added the flour and salt.
    I will definitely try again, and leave the dough on the counter to rise. I will let you know how it goes.

  19. Amazing. I made this today and it is scrumptious. I used dark brown sugar in the cinnamon mix instead. Rose and cooked perfectly. Thank you!

  20. I tried this recipe again today, leaving the dough on the counter for both rise times.
    It turned out beautifully! It is picture perfect and so delicious! Thank you for another great recipe.

  21. I made this today with my 5 & 3 year old daughters. They absolutely loved it and had so much fun making it! What a great first bread recipe for them to try- it turned out perfect. Thanks!

  22. Wow! I love this recipe. So easy to follow and the result was fabulous! Thank you for this recipe and all the hints. This will become a family staple!

  23. Hi Sally! Do you think this loaf would hold up to a crumb topping? Maybe after brushing with the butter?

    Thanks!
    Celeste

  24. Hi Sally!
    I finally got around to making this bread yesterday. I followed your exact recipe using 2% milk & it rose beautifully both times & baked up nicely (you’re instructions are always so clear & easy to follow!). The swirls are so pretty & its so soft & delicious that I can’t believe I made it! I’m thinking these delicious little loaves would make great gifts. Thank you so much for making me an awesome baker!

1 2 3

Reviews

  1. This is amazing! It is taking lots of willpower to not make another loaf after we devoured the one I made yesterday.

  2. This is an incredibly simple recipe (don’t be afraid of using yeast if you’re new to it… this recipe is straightforward) that produces an amazingly delicious product! Besides the time it took to rise, I was only actively working on this bread for like 30 minutes maximum which is perfect. And when the bread came out of the oven, we were so eager to try it. My husband is a cinnamon roll fanatic, and he may have even liked this more than Sally’s cinnamon rolls! You will not be disappointed with this recipe! The bread is a beautiful texture and flavorful. Add this to your “must bake” list ASAP!

  3. This bread is incredibly good! Excellent cinnamon flavor and the bread flour makes a huge difference. This bread will be baked many times! Thanks Sally!

  4. Thank you so much for such a detailed and delicious recipe! Most of the time when I bake a new recipe, it fails the first time. I baked this fully expecting a first-time fail. I was so happy (and surprised) that this turned out on the first try, and it was delicious.

  5. Amazing. I made this today and it is scrumptious. I used dark brown sugar in the cinnamon mix instead. Rose and cooked perfectly. Thank you!

Questions

  1. Love this recipe! Sally, do you have a proofing box? I got one this year, and all my breads come out perfect now.

  2. Have you ever tried chopped nuts or chopped nuts and raisins? I’m thinking the finely chopped nuts such as almonds might taste good.

  3. I would like to make this for my Airbnb guests but don’t want to get up before dawn to get it started. Can I get all the way through the start of the second rise, leave it overnight, then finish it in the morning or will it be weird?

    1. Hi Jan, I suggest baking the bread the day before and cover it tightly overnight, it’s still wonderful in the morning! I don’t suggest starting it the night before and finishing in the morning. Enjoy!

  4. I followed the recipe exactly and my bread did not rise AT ALL during the second rise☹️ The only thing I noticed is that I preheated my oven to 200 degrees and then turned it off before I put the dough in. But when I took it out 11/2 hours later, the dough and bowl were actually hot. Would that have killed the yeast? I’m so sad, I was so excited about this recipe!

    1. Hi Amy! What type of yeast are you using? The temperature could have been too hot for the yeast and if that’s the case, I’m so sorry for suggesting it. If you decide to try it again, you can let it slowly rise (both times) on the counter.

      1. Hi, Sally,
        My dough seemed to rise just find the first time, but rose only a little the second time…certainly nowhere near over the top of my pan. I was using rapid rise yeast. Any idea why this happened? Thank you, Laura

  5. Hi Sally! Do you think this loaf would hold up to a crumb topping? Maybe after brushing with the butter?

    Thanks!
    Celeste

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Archives

Categories

Sally's Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More

Sally's Cookie Palooza

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

Sally's Pie Week

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×