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. For a no-yeast bread, see my cinnamon swirl quick bread.
Homemade cinnamon swirl bread is one of life’s greatest treasures. 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. This recipe is basically a simplified version of our cinnamon crunch bread.
You know I love a good cinnamon sugar swirl (I mean, have you tried this cinnamon swirl banana bread??) But honestly, there is nothing on earth quite like the craft of homemade yeast bread. Isn’t it so satisfying? That’s why we have so many homemade yeast bread recipes on this website. Our favorite!
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.
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.
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 (or croissant bread), homemade bagels, cheese bread, and even star bread. With only a handful of basic ingredients, your kitchen will transform into a bread bakery!
- 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! If you need a quick refresher on tackling yeasted bread, review my Baking with Yeast Guide before getting started.
- 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!
- First Rise: The dough must rise twice. After you prepare the dough, let it rise until doubled in size.
- Swirl the Dough: After the dough rises, punch it down, then roll it out. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and roll back up.
- Second Rise: Place the rolled dough into a loaf pan and let it rise for 1 more hour.
- 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.
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.
More Homemade Bread Recipes
- Homemade Bread Bowls
- Cheese Bread
- Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
- Homemade English Muffins
- Dinner Rolls
- Sandwich Bread
- Nutella Babka
- Croissant Bread
All of my bread recipes and video tutorials!Print
Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- 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
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!
- 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 (spoon & leveled), plus more for your hands and work surface
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (75g) raisins (optional)
- Whisk the yeast and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar together in a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Overnight Instructions: Prepare the dough through most of step 3, allowing the dough to rise overnight in the refrigerator instead of in a warm environment. The slow rise gives the bread wonderful flavor! In the morning, let the dough sit on the counter until it comes to room temperature, then continue with step 4. I don’t recommend shaping the bread the night before as it will puff up too much overnight.
- 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.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt-Head Glass Mixing Bowl | Rolling Pin | Loaf Pan
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Keywords: Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread – Step by Step Photos
Bread flour is key to this cinnamon swirl bread recipe.
After the soft dough is prepared, place it into a greased bowl and let it rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
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.
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!
Reader Comments & Reviews
This is the best cinnamon swirl bread recipe yet. I have tried several. So good I doubled the recipe and made one with raisins and one without. I did substitute half of the swirling sugar for brown, and rubbed the 9X18 rolled out dough with cream. I also presoaked my golden raisins so they were soft. I have never found one of Sally’s recipies that I couldn’t trust or love. My only go to site I love.
I recently made the sandwich bread and loved it so much that I thought I’d try this one. Yet again another phenomenal recipe. I absolutely love it. Was so easy and the best cinnamon raisin bread I’ve ever had. It looks very pleasing too!
This bread is a showstopper in my book. It might be my fave from your site. I’m wondering when doubling if I should I lower the yeast amount? Asking because the notes in your sandwich bread recipe suggest lowering the yeast and butter when doubling, so I thought I’d ask. Thank you!
So glad you enjoy this! Yes, I would follow the same doubling instructions as the sandwich bread.
This *was* amazing! I only use nondairy and saw your note. I am so happy to say that coconut milk worked like a charm. My family devoured it. I am back to make 2 more. 🙂
This recipe is fantastic! Tastes great, good texture. I bet it would make an insanely good French Toast once it went stale. Per other reviewer suggestions, I added 2 teaspoons of AP flour to the cinnamon sugar mixture and egg washed the dough before adding the cinnamon mixture–both of these suggestions are to prevent gaps, and I achieved a nice tight swirl all the way through. Next time I will keep the rack in the middle or upper third of the oven though, as I did not get much in the way of browning on top.
This bread was absolutely delicious. I made it to step 3 then finished in the morning so we could have fresh bread for breakfast. Thank you for such a great recipe!
My friends and I stood around eating this and it was soooo fabulous! I didn’t think I would ever make bread this good!!
This bread was the best cinnamon bread ever. My husband and I both loved it and I’m not normally a cinnamon bread lover.
Changes made based on other reviews. Melted 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and spread on rolled out dough. I added 2 1/2 tsp of flour and 1 Tbls of brown sugar to cinnamon sugar mix and baked in a 12”x4” loaf pan. Baked for 50 minutes. Used thermometer and took out when temp was 190.
Thanks so much for great recipe!
made this yesterday and my whole family enjoyed it! i replaced the whole milk for a blend of full fat oat milk and unsweetened soy milk, and used miyoko’s vegan butter. i also added a few tsps of AP flour to the cinnamon-sugar mix before rolling, as other readers suggested. lovely recipe!
I made this tonight, used buttermilk instead of whole milk, added my raisins to the dough, and even though it TASTES right, it doesn’t look right. Almost doughy, but it is cooked all the way through. Any ideas on what I did wrong?
Hi Searcy, if the middle is doughy, it’s possible it needed a few more minutes in the oven. How soon after coming out of the oven did you slice into it? The middle of fresh baked bread can look gooey/gummy if it’s sliced too soon after coming out of the oven. Hope these tips help for next time.
I was wondering if I could use buttermilk for this recipe as well – just made the cheese bread this weekend (absolutely DELICIOUS, by the way!) and now I have buttermilk to use.
Hi! any chance this can be baked outside of a pan or in something else?
Hi Abby, you’ll need to sides of a loaf pan to help this bread contain its shape. For a bread that bakes directly on a pan, you might enjoy this artisan bread, cranberry nut bread, or no knead seeded oat bread.
this is my go-to recipe! ive used regular milk and butter, and I’ve made it with almond milk and vegan butter. you can’t tell the difference! the overnight method is the best – so yum!
I’ve made this several times now, thank you so much! I do slather about 1.5T of softened butter on the dough before adding the cinnamon sugar for extra richness but that is gilding the lily. What a great recipe – thank you!
Can the dough be made in a bread machine?
We haven’t tested it but can’t see why not!
I was wondering the same thing. I suppose you would put all the wet ingredients first, then the dry and use dough cycle. Since it’s had great reviews…I’ll give it a try.