Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This homemade cinnamon swirl bread recipe is a family favorite and only requires a handful of basic ingredients. It’s soft and tender with the most unbelievably gooey cinnamon swirl inside!

Cinnamon swirl bread

Homemade cinnamon swirl bread is one of life’s greatest treasures. (Though it’s a stiff competition with homemade cheese bread!) Hot & fresh out of the oven, the smell alone will captivate a large crowd. The bread is buttery soft and the hypnotizing swirls are deliciously sweet. There is nothing on earth quite like the craft of homemade bread!

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

Homemade bread

Updated & Improved Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe

The first time I made homemade cinnamon swirl bread was a few years ago. I’ve always loved my recipe, but I 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.

Comparing two different rolling methods for homemade cinnamon swirl bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Make Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Today I’m teaching you how to become a bread baking master. This recipe is very similar to my sandwich bread recipe, but it’s a little sweeter. Follow my tips and soon you’ll bake homemade croissants, bagels, cheese bread, and even star bread! With only a handful of basic ingredients, your kitchen will transform into a bread bakery!

  1. Prepare the Dough: The first step is to mix the bread dough. You need 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 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!
  2. Use Bread Flour: All-purpose flour doesn’t have enough strength to support the rise and structure of cinnamon swirl 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!
  3. First Rise: The dough must rise twice. After you prepare the dough, let it rise until doubled in size.
  4. Swirl the Dough: After the dough rises, punch it down, then roll it out. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and roll back up.
  5. Second Rise: Place the rolled dough into a loaf pan and let it rise for 1 more hour.
  6. Bake: Pat yourself on the back because congratulations, you’re a bread baker with the simplest homemade cinnamon bread recipe in the world.

Step-by-step photos below the recipe!

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

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.

Homemade cinnamon swirl bread

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Cinnamon swirl bread

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This homemade cinnamon swirl bread recipe is a family favorite and only requires a handful of basic ingredients. 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)

Instructions

  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 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 2 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 1-2 hours. (For this warm spot, I suggest using the oven. Preheat to 150°F (66°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 9×5-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 9×18-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 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!

Notes

  1. Overnight Instructions: Prepare the dough through step 3, allowing the dough to rise overnight in the refrigerator. The slow rise gives the bread wonderful flavor! In the morning, continue with step 4. I don’t recommend shaping the bread the night before as it will puff up too much overnight.
  2. Freezing Instructions: Baked bread freezes wonderfully! Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then warm to your liking. You can also freeze the bread dough. After punching down the dough in step 5, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then punch the dough down again to release any air bubbles. Continue with the rest of step 5.
  3. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt-Head Glass Mixing Bowl | Rolling Pin | Loaf Pan
  4. Milk: 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.
  5. Yeast: I always use Red Star Platinum yeast, an instant yeast. If using active dry yeast, the rise times could be slightly longer. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  6. Flour: 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.
  7. Kneading: 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.

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread – Step by Step Photos

Bread flour is key to this cinnamon swirl bread recipe.

Bread flour and bread dough

After the soft dough is prepared, place it into a greased bowl and let it rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

Homemade cinnamon swirl bread dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Roll Cinnamon Swirl Bread

After the dough rises, punch it down and shape the cinnamon swirl bread. Roll it out into the 18×9-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with a blend of cinnamon and sugar, then roll it up tightly just as you would cinnamon rolls.

How to shape homemade cinnamon swirl bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cinnamon swirl bread dough

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. When it’s ready, brush with melted butter and bake. The bread is massive!

Cinnamon swirl bread in a pan

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

 

183 Comments

  1. My 11 year old daughter and I made this today and it turned out great! I’m trying to teach her bread making skills, and this was a straightforward recipe. It’s really delicious and not overpoweringly sweet.

  2. This was absolutely AMAZING!!!! The bread was super soft and like the ones you buy at the store but even better because it was homemade. I used raisins and they were super!!! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

    1. Hi Patricia! I’m not 100% positive without testing those exact measurements myself. The rolled/shaped logs would have to be length of the pans, so 5 inches long. Let me know exactly what you test.

  3. Hi Sally. I am looking for a bread loaf recipe. Can I make this without cinnamon part in it ??? Will it be good ???

  4. Sally, how do you feel about a cinnamon streusel topping to this recipe; would it be too much and load it down? Thank you.

    1. I think it sound great, however the bread rises VERY tall and the streusel would end up falling off the loaf as it rises. It might not be the best idea!

  5. Hi I just saw this recipe today and made this, it tasted so good but lacking the cinnamon flavor which I’m sure is because I didn’t put the whole sugar cinnamon mixture.. But I was curious how much of the cinnamon sugar mixture do you put in? Its says to sprinkle it, but is it like only a little bit or the whole sugar mixture? haha for future references

  6. Fabulous recipe! I used a cup of milk and no water and allowed the dough to rise (first rise) overnight in the refrigerator, which made it super easy to rollout and roll up in the morning. Once shaped, I let it rise about an hour and a half. Absolutely delish!

  7. This recipe works great. My wife loves it with the raisins. Thank you for a perfect recipe.

  8. I’ve made this bread twice in the Past two days! It’s ridiculous how easy it si to make and how flavorful it is. I let it rest in the refrigerator overnight & it came out beautifully. I made the other loaf same day & it still gave me great results! Such a flavorful bread and it isn’t overly sweet. I need to make it with some golden raisins next time. It’s so fluffy! Thanks for such a great recipe.

  9. Best, best recipe ever! I wish I could include a picture of my masterpiece. Just gorgeous and delicious. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I’ve made this bread twice in the past five days. It is delicious! The dough is a dream!!! Perfect cinnamon bread-check!
    I would love to see your take on a cinnamon swirl coffee cake-like the kind you get at the grocery store but better. Thanks, Sally!!

  11. I have baked cinnamon bread (using a different recipe) for over 20 years as Christmas gifts. If you want to add more spirals to your loaf and more flavor, spread the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the entire rectangle. Then pull 1/3 in from the left, add more cinnamon/sugar, then the final trifold from the right and again MORE cinnamon/sugar. Then roll. This makes a picture perfect loaf.

  12. Hi Sally! Thanks so much for all of your incredible recipes! My dad LOVES raisins, and for this recipe, I’m wondering if you think I can add more than a 1/2 cup of them, or whether you think that’ll compromise the results. Thanks so much in advance for any guidance ! Happy holidays!

  13. I tried this last week and it was great. I was hoping to would be a little sweeter though. I know other recipes use confectioners sugar with the cinnamon as well. Have you tried this? Also when folks say they let it prove in the fridge, I am assuming this is the second proof, correct? Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Laura! I haven’t tried it, but you can definitely try adding confectioners’ sugar to the filling if desired. You can proof the dough in the refrigerator either time, but it will take significantly longer because of the cool temperature.

  14. I started making this bread back between 2014-2017 and I absolutely love it. I thought there used to be a recipe attached at the bottom for this amazing French toast recipe using this bread. Do you happen to still have it. It required heavy cream and half and half I think. Happy Holidays and I look forward to hearing back from you.

    1. Hi, Rebecca! I’d recommend making two separate loaves rather than doubling. It helps the ingredients to incorporate better. Hope this helps!

  15. My 1st attempt at cinnamon swirl bread & I was pleasantly surprised! I added raisins to the dough during kneading & it held up wonderfully. My loaf never got the hollow thud sound when finished; it had a little give to the center but was perfectly done. I’ve become a fan of Sally & her baking addiction! The chocolate chip cookies have been a family fav for a while now. Thanks Sally!

  16. Thank you Sally for this recipe! the dough rose really well twice but the bread didn’t get bigger while baking. In fact it decreased in volume. Would you have any advice ? I used active dry yeast.

    1. Hi Mathilde! Collapsing dough is common when dough has been over-proofed or rose too long or too fast. Follow the rise times indicated. Your environment may also have been too warm. I hope this helps!

  17. There are large gaps in between my swirls towards the top and the center of the swirl sunk down to the bottom. The swirls on the end pieces look perfect, but the middle doesn’t seem right. Did I not bake it long enough?

    1. Hi Sarah! Gaps are natural with this time of swirled bread, however, there are 2 fixes. First, try using confectioners’ sugar in place of granulated sugar in the swirl topping. (Mix it with the cinnamon.) The confectioners’ sugar has extra sticking power to help the dough adhere to itself. Second, the dough could have been over-proofed right before baking, which caused the bottom layers to collapse. Both are easy fixes if you decide to try the bread recipe again. 🙂

  18. This bread is fantastic!! I finally got around to making it, and I know I will be making it often! So easy, soft, and it made the perfect cinnamon swirl!! Thankyou Sally! 🙂

  19. I am just trying this and wondering if before adding the cinnamon/sugar mix if could add a thin layer of applesauce. Thank you for the recipe.

  20. Hi Sally – big fan of all of your recipes! I just took this out of the oven and can’t wait to try it. It’s not as pretty looking as the cheese bread. Do you think I can split this bread down the middle and twist it like the cheese bread? Thanks again!

  21. Hello! Planning to make this today. Can you use whipping cream? Conserving our milk for now!
    Please let me know thank you!
    Can’t wait to try it!
    Also your bread with the cheese rolled up was amazing!

  22. do you think you could use this recipe to make cinnamon buns? if you cut the roll into slices, then let them do the second rise in a cake pan?

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