Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe - Pinch My Salt

I’ve been baking bread since I was small. My mom baked bread a lot when we were kids and my sister and I used to have fun helping (dressed in our matching chef’s hats and aprons, of course).

Kids Baking Cinnamon Swirl Bread - Pinch My Salt

Nicole (Nickle, back then) on the left and Penny and the right.

Kids Baking Cinnamon Swirl Bread - Pinch My Salt

At some point, I took things into my own hands and started baking my own bread. Cinnamon Swirl bread, to be exact. For whatever reason, once I learned how to make that, it was the only bread I made for years. It wasn’t until we moved overseas a few years ago that I was bitten by the breadmaking bug (actually, attacked is more like it!). I will never stop making the cinnamon swirl bread but I’ve since branched out into all types of bread from standard whole wheat sandwich loaves to focaccia to sourdough (my latest obsession!).

There is nothing in the world like the smell of bread baking in the oven and nothing more satisfying than cutting into a loaf and knowing that you created it with your own two hands.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe - Pinch My Salt

Here is my old standby, adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book (1973):

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

7 to 7 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast or 2 t. instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 C. milk
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. shortening (I generally use butter)
2 t. salt
2 eggs

1/2 C. sugar
2 t. ground cinnamon
In large mixer bowl combine 3 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In saucepan heat milk, 1/2 cup sugar, shortening and salt just till warm (115 – 120 degrees), stirring constantly to melt shortening. Add to dry mixture in mixing bowl; add eggs. Beat at low speed with electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic (5 -8 minutes). Shape into a ball. Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.

Cover; let rise in warm place till double (about 1 hour). Punch dough down; turn out on lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Roll each half into a 15×7-inch rectangle. Brush entire surface with water.

Combine the 1/2 cup sugar with the ground cinnamon. Spread each rectangle with half the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Roll dough up as for jelly roll, beginning with narrow side. Seal long edge and ends by pinching together. Place, sealed side down, in 2 greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise in warm place till almost double (35 to 45 minutes). Bake at 375 degrees till done, 35 to 40 minutes. (If crust browns too quickly, cover with foil last 15 minutes of baking.) Remove bread from pans and cool on wire racks. Makes 2 loaves.

My favorite way to eat this bread (other than right out of the oven with tons of butter) is toasted with tons of butter!

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  1. Jennifer

    Oh, that looks so good. And I bet it smells divine!

    1:52 pm  Aug 12th, 2006
  2. Bea at La Tartine Gourmande

    looks very nice! I love the way the bread “rolls”

    12:44 pm  Aug 13th, 2006
  3. Pearl

    Ooh, I love cinnamon bread. Haven’t had or made it in ages…what a gorgeous pic of it. (and if I say gorgeous more than a couple dozen times, you may reserve the right to slap me. 😉 )

    11:52 pm  Aug 13th, 2006
  4. Nicole

    Thanks everyone! Pearl, if it’s been that long since you’ve made cinnamon bread, maybe it’s time 🙂

    9:09 am  Aug 14th, 2006
  5. Patricia Scarpin

    I live in Brazil and I’m simply nuts about cinnamon. I tried this recipe yesterday and couldn’t wait to let you know that it’s fantastic!! The bread is delicious, very soft and the center part, with the cinnamon, is amazing!
    Tks for sharing this wonderful recipe with us!

    P.S.: your blog is so nice!

    4:30 pm  Sep 11th, 2006
  6. Nicole

    Patricia, thanks so much for stopping by to let me know you made the bread! I love sharing recipes and the best part is hearing what other people think! Those cinnamon muffins on your site look wonderful!

    4:51 pm  Sep 11th, 2006


    6:02 am  Sep 20th, 2006
  8. Nicole


    This recipe works great with whole wheat flour. What I usually do is replace half the all-purpose flour with whole wheat. The rest of the recipe stays the same. You can experiment with using more whole wheat flour but I think the half and half is a good compromise. It boosts the fiber but still gives you a fairly light loaf. I’m thinking of working towards creating an entirely new recipe for 100% whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread so check back every once in a while if that sounds interesting 🙂

    8:58 am  Sep 20th, 2006
  9. Angelina


    Great recipe, and comments. I think you sould try using real cinnamon and not cassia. The two sticks shown on the site is cassia a substitute fro cinnamon.

    Real cinnamon is weter and smells divine

    Check out how you can identify cinnamon by visiting the below site

    12:50 pm  Mar 11th, 2007
  10. Phyllis

    I would think the sticks are just for decorative purposes only!
    The recipe SAYS ground cinnamon.

    And thanks Nicole!! I have been looking for this recipe since I moved back in 1993!! I lost my book. The book at the library has a different cover and the recipe just isn’t quite the same.

    8:12 pm  Mar 20th, 2007
  11. Phyllis

    I made it last night and it was just like I used to make it!!!
    And at the last minute, I decided to try your 1/2 cup of butter instead of the 1/2 of crisco. I was glad I did!
    I had never tried it before and was a little afraid that it wouldn’t rise as well. But they turned out to be large full loave with no air spaces!!
    It was perfect and I’m so glad you were generous enough to put this on this website so that I could find it after all these years!

    THANK YOU!!!

    7:14 pm  Mar 21st, 2007
  12. Phyllis

    Where in the world are you Nicole!!!!? :o)
    I just posted my last comment at 1:14pm Indiana time and the post says it was posted at 7:14PM! Are you in England or some place? 6 hours time difference.

    Okay, I looked around the site and saw that you are in Sicily!!!

    I also made a 37 page cookbook two years ago. I made it for my niece who likes to come over around the holidays and help me make candy for Christmas.
    It has photos of the finished product along with the recipes, but also I incorporated family photos over the years on the pages (specific to that recipe). My mother (her grandmother) passed away in 2004 and I made the cookbook for her for her 2005 birthday.
    I have printed out the pages for myself, but I’m a procrastinator when it comes to things for myself. I made digital pages and put them in a digital scrapbook. All of my favorite recipes I gave her so that they won’t die with me!!!
    I want to have pages in MY cookbook with recipes and pictures that friends have given me. It is strictly a personal cookbook.
    May I put your picture on the page with the cinnamon bread?
    I like to remember where the recipe’s came from and in this case, where the recipe RESURFACED from!!!!

    7:31 pm  Mar 21st, 2007
  13. Deborah

    I can smell this baking and I haven’t even pulled the flour out of the cabinet yet! I’ve recently been bitten by the bread bug myself, so this is going to the top of recipes to be tried. 🙂

    11:30 pm  May 13th, 2007
  14. Chris

    great post and fabulous recipe! There is littel better than the smells of cinnamon bread toasting…

    12:26 am  May 14th, 2007
  15. sandi @ the whistlestop cafe

    Thank you for inviting us into your kitchen. The cinnamon bread was wonderful~ but somehow I ended up with flour all over.
    Those were some precious future cooks!

    4:27 am  May 14th, 2007
  16. Denise

    Oh, that sounds great! The recipe and photo remind me of a bread my grandfather used to eat. I might have to try this to see if it’s the same. If it isn’t I imagine it’s similar. Thanks!

    Denise –

    4:31 am  May 14th, 2007
  17. Corinne

    I really should try baking bread one of these days! How can someone who grew up like us not make homemade bread?! well I guess Penny and I got left out when it came to the family cooking gene! I know your mom would love Pinch My Salt! I love you! keep on baking!

    4:50 am  May 14th, 2007
  18. mallow

    I’ve had a stack of “maybe” recipes lined up for my next Saturday morning. I think this one has moved to the top of the stack. The picture is beautiful, and I can only imagine how good that bread must smell!

    7:07 am  May 14th, 2007
  19. Ruby

    These pictures are awesome Nicole, also nice to see Penny with the chef outfit and a huge cheesy grin!!
    Can you please make this bread for me? I will exchange it for some salsa!


    7:24 am  May 14th, 2007
  20. Scat

    Love it!

    4:42 pm  May 14th, 2007
  21. shivapriya

    Hi Nicole
    You are ur sis looks cute with that chef hats. Pictures looks great and recipe too.

    8:08 pm  May 14th, 2007
  22. Sandy

    One of my favorites! Do you like butter, by any chance?

    11:28 pm  May 14th, 2007
  23. Dustin

    So tell us, does your birth certificate say Nickle? Don’t be shy…Hippie. I guess that’s why we love our mom’s, they are so creative. I know a guy named Wonderful, and a girl named Sunshine…I can just smell the patchouli.

    8:37 am  May 15th, 2007
  24. Nicole

    Deborah: I hope you try it!

    Chris: Thanks! I agree. Cinnamon bread is soooo good toasted!

    Sandi: I always end up with flour everywhere!

    Denise: You should try it and find out!

    Corinne: I don’t know what happened to you guys! 🙂 But you should bake more, it’s fun and makes your house smell good!

    Mallow: If you make it, please let me know how you like it!!

    Ruby: I’ll make it next time I stay at your house. But Ron has to make blue cheese burgers too 🙂 And the salsa, of course.

    Scat: 🙂

    Padmaja: Thanks! We were pretty cute 🙂

    Sandy: I LOVE butter 🙂

    Dustin: Haha…no, my birth certificate actually says Nicole. The “Nickle and Penny” thing must have been my parents idea of a cruel joke because we were teased all throughout our childhood 🙂

    9:47 pm  May 15th, 2007
  25. Stephanie

    This is one of the best blogs entries ever. It incorporates your life and recipes. I love it. Although subtle, it is such a tribute to your mom–who we all learned from and loved.
    And memory–when we were roommates in Oregon–I distinctly remember coming home from work and walking in the living room, where the kitchen table had been moved–covered w/flour–and then you came out from the kitchen w/flour on your face–and of course the wonderful aroma of the cinnamon bread–yummy. It was the best–no lies everyone–this is one friend that knows, this woman can cook!!!

    11:24 pm  May 17th, 2007
  26. Dustin

    Friend #2 knows this woman can cook.

    11:51 am  May 18th, 2007
  27. Stephanie

    Heeheehe Oops–let me correct myself–I am one of many friends of Nicole, that knows she CAN cook, bake, etc. 🙂
    Nicole you have a fan club for sure. And who would have known, the meals/treats/ noodles/snacks you made in the past..would be so memorable today w/all of us. And now you are basically sharing it with the world.

    9:52 pm  May 18th, 2007
  28. Ana

    I just posted about a cinnamon load bread too, although mine has oatmeal in it… Yours look simply delicious!!! Seems like a very light bread, wow!! My son would have loved this one too!

    10:55 pm  May 19th, 2007
  29. Nicole

    Stephanie: Thanks, Steph! You have a better memory than me because I can’t even remember baking bread in Oregon. Although I do remember finding a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Bread Book at the used bookstore on Hawthorne (for a dollar, I think!) and I was so excited to have my own copy because my mom didn’t give me the book when we moved away. So, that’s probably when I made the bread 🙂

    Dustin: Thanks! Guess I should start planning on a going-away dinner for you guys soon…better start submitting your requests!

    Ana: Great! I’ll head over and check out your cinnamon bread now! 🙂

    7:06 am  May 20th, 2007
  30. Paige

    That looks like a wonderful breakfast bread. I’ll have to give it a try next time I have a free Saturday.

    1:16 am  Jun 19th, 2007
  31. earnest uke

    we are glad to received your directions on how to do bread.we thanks,may our god bless in full amen

    11:28 am  Apr 19th, 2008
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  33. angie

    Cant wait to try this recipe. Thanks for posting it

    7:17 pm  Dec 10th, 2008
  34. char

    Would anyone know how to convert this recipe to be used in a bread machine?

    12:48 pm  Mar 25th, 2009
  35. Allie

    Hi! I’ve been searching for this recipe forever, and I’m really glad I found it again. My best friend’s mom has this same cookbook, and I actually got second place in a baking competition with this recipe. Needless to say, it’s popular with friends and family. I haven’t been able to find a copy of the same book ever since I returned it to my friend, so I was a little distraught. Anyhoo, I just wanted to say thanks so much for posting it! I’ll be sure to check out your blog from now on for other awesome recipes! 😀

    9:50 am  May 8th, 2009
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  37. Crystal

    Hi there. Would I use 2 pkgs of quickrise?

    10:58 am  Aug 17th, 2009
  38. Nicole

    Crystal: I’ve never used quickrise yeast, so I’m not sure whether you would need two packages or only one. Does it say on the package whether it can be substituted one to one for regular active dry yeast?

    5:22 pm  Aug 17th, 2009
  39. Crystal

    Hi there. Nope, it doesn’t say that. It does however say it is 2 1/2 tsp worth of yeast.
    I used 2 and it worked out great. We ate it while still hot, beautiful texture and nice and sweet. YUM!!!
    Thanks so much.

    9:10 am  Aug 18th, 2009
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  42. Dana

    This looks preposterously good. What a lovely tribute to your mom.

    9:01 am  May 4th, 2010
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  46. Mary

    Hi, have you ever made this in a bread machine? I’ve gone back to work full time and working on my master’s. I’ve recently bought a zojirushi bread machine and wondering if I could use that to make this recipe. The recipe looks yummy!!

    7:30 pm  Dec 13th, 2013
  47. Nicole

    Hi Mary, I have not made this in a bread machine, but I was thinking about trying the dough in my Zojirushi sometime. I think you’d have to divide the recipe in half and then just run the dough cycle. You still have to take the dough out after the first rise and roll it up and bake it yourself so I don’t know that it would be much of a time saver for you, but it’s a delicious bread and worth making occasionally 🙂

    9:05 am  Dec 14th, 2013
  48. Sadie

    This is just one of the many cinnamon swirl breads I’ve made recently in an attempt to solve the persistent problem of large gaps around the swirl, and in some cases a significant gap between the top crust and the bread. This is the best so far. There was still a slight separation around the swirl in some places but no gap under the top crust. The bread is more soft and tender than some cinnamon breads and makes delicious toast. One comment about the yeast – the recipe calls for 2 packages active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast. One package of active dry yeast is 2 1/4 teaspoons. Two packages would be 4 1/2 tsp of active yeast. I’ve found that in most bread recipes instant yeast is subbed for active yeast in the same quantity. Is the 2 tsp instant yeast a misprint? I made a half recipe and used 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast and it was fine.

    6:11 am  Oct 27th, 2015
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