Cinnamon-Swirl Bread


I love Cinnamon-Swirl Bread! This is an easy, homey breakfast bread that is perfect for all those fall and winter holiday traditions, not to mention just about any chilly morning when you want a treat. Don’t you need this coming out of your oven today? Start with the standard one-loaf recipe for Grandmother Bread. Swirl it with all that sugar-and-spice goodness that will make your house smell like a cinnamon bun just exploded inside it and– Ah! I can’t wait. Let’s make it!

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How to make Cinnamon-Swirl Bread:

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let sit five minutes. Stir in the first cup and a half of flour with a heavy spoon. Add the next cup of flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again.

Now it’s time to play with dough!

Roll dough out on a floured surface into an approx. 12-inch by 7-inch rectangle. Brush lightly with melted butter. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar-cinnamon mixture over dough.

Roll up, pinching seams at bottom and ends. Place seam-side down in loaf pan. Let rise until tall and beautiful!

In more tips, as promised, to answer questions about bread-making, here are a few things to think about if you’re having trouble getting your bread to rise. First, always, check your yeast for the expiration date. Also, if you use bulk-size yeast (which I do) and store it in the refrigerator, be sure to take it out in advance and let it come to room temperature so you aren’t adding cold yeast to your bowl. If your bread doesn’t rise and your yeast is good, the next thing to look at is the temperature of your water. Your water should be very warm, almost hot, but not boiling hot. You should be able to touch the water comfortably. (Water that is too hot will kill your yeast.)

*If you’re brand new to bread-making and don’t trust yourself to the fingertip test for achieving the proper temperature with your water, hold an instant-read thermometer under the faucet as you’re running water. You want the water to be about 110 to 115 degrees.

Now, what is the temperature in your house as you’re making your bread? It’s hard to get bread to rise in a cold house. My favorite way to counter a cold house is to boil water in a small pot then place the pot on the lower baking rack of the (turned off) oven, place the bread on the top rack, and shut the oven door while the bread rises. I’ve heard other people say they heat the oven briefly on low (around 150 degrees), let it heat up then turn it off and set the bread inside to rise with the oven door open, which would also work just fine. Weather can be another factor. Low air pressure can affect rising time, so if it’s a rainy day, give your dough extra time or use one of the oven tricks as a helper. Also, be sure to knead your dough properly–inadequate kneading can hamper rising. And last but not least–did you forget to add the yeast? (That has even happened to me!)

One more thing–note this part of my directions: “….combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let sit five minutes.” The technical term for this step is proofing the yeast. During this five-minute period, your yeast should bubble at least a little bit as it dissolves. If you see absolutely no activity, something is wrong with your yeast.

(See more bread tips in this post.)

As you can see, I’m multi-tasking here, making one loaf of Cinnamon-Swirl Bread and one regular loaf of Grandmother Bread for dinner and kids’ sandwiches.

Bake Cinnamon-Swirl Bread at 350-degrees for 25 minutes. Makes one loaf. Double, triple, and so on as needed! If desired, drizzle baked bread with powdered sugar icing. (And how could you not desire?)

Powdered Sugar Icing:
Combine 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk (one to two teaspoons) for drizzling consistency.

Watch it disappear as fast as you can take it out of the oven and slice it!

Note: To make Cinnamon-Swirl Raisin Bread, add one cup of raisins to the water-yeast mixture as with Raisin Bread.

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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  1. LatigoLiz says:

    I notice you have glass bread pans. Is that your preference or is it what you use because you have it on hand? I have both glass and non-stick.

    I have a feeling I may be making a lots of bread and sticking to homemade stuff quite a bit from now on. Hubby may get laid off in the coming months and I have been out of the workforce for too many years to get something reliable and close to home quickly. Guess I need to start looking for more contract from home jobs, too! If anyone needs a page-layout/designer type person, please let me know!

  2. wkf says:

    Good morning. Thanks Suzanne for those tips. I tried grandmotherbread and it didn’t do right. But I WANT that cinnamon bread bad! So I’ll try try again.

    Latigo I hope your situation works out in your favor! I will be thinking Happy Thoughts for You and Yours.

  3. angiecmt says:

    Oh my goodness, yum, yum. May have to give it a try, or have my husband give it a try. He used to like to make bread 🙂

    Thanks for sharing with us!

  4. Becky says:

    You are starving me to death this morning and I don’t have time to make it. Must go to work. Not fair!

  5. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Liz, yes, I prefer glass bread pans. I did bread pan tips in this post here–
    so you might want to check that out for more info.

    Good luck with the job situation!!

  6. Suzanne McMinn says:

    or, here’s an actual clickable link (duh! I’m barely awake yet, LOL)– more bread tips here.

  7. Sarita says:

    Trying this one this afternoon. Thanks!

  8. Heidi533 says:

    I was already planning to make bread today. Now I might have to make this. I can already imagine how it will taste toasted with cream cheese on it.

  9. jane says:

    Loved it – I can just smell it. I have had to succumb to cheerios or oatmeal mostly for breakfast – my cholesterol is a wee bit high – aging – but on occasion I have biscuits, gravey, eggs and bacon and cinnamon buns. Love love love the aprong. Georgia is making me two, one Christmas and one regular. Cant wait to get them. I have sent her a craft care package with goodies she will soon take pictures and post on our forum ( the glass angel will be there )

    I am looking for glass pans at garage sales and thrift stores, if not WM though I am mad at them right now because they have NO – did I say NO canning supplies. Monday I am making Suzanne’s pumpkin butter, apricot pepper jelly and Tues the caramel apple jam. Cant wait.

    Good Morning everyone!!!

  10. Shari C says:

    Thank you for this recipe and describing it so well. I love cinnamon-swirl bread but have not attempted it …believe I will now. Thank you for all the tips you included.

  11. Tresha says:

    Thank you Suzanne for really trying to explain this bread making thing in major simple terms….I am NOT giving up…I can do this!!!! I am definitely NOT getting my water hot enough…I was using luke warm water and i thought yeast bubbles were bad so I was smashing them and stiring them! poor fellas never had a chance!!!

    Tresh in OK

  12. Stacia says:

    I can’t wait until I’m not almost 9 months pregnant and can bake stuff without the fear of falling into the oven! I can’t wait to try all your recipes (yes, all of them)!

  13. IowaDeb says:

    This would be so incredibly delicious as french toast!

  14. BethAnn says:

    Morning Suzanne,
    A ? or two for you….
    Approx. how long is that second rise? Also,I have some bulk yeast in my fridge….exactly how much is in 1 packet of yeast? I could probably look that one up on the internet, but it’s more fun to ask you!

  15. Suzanne McMinn says:

    BethAnn, the second rise is usually anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on temperature in your house etc. It’s been a while since I measured a packet of yeast (which is the best thing to do if you want to be precise). But since I don’t worry too much about being precise, LOL, I use one level teaspoon of yeast if I’m making one loaf, a little under a tablespoon if I’m making two loaves for Grandmother Bread.

    If I’m making French Bread, which is a smaller loaf recipe, I can get away with a teaspoon for two loaves or a tablespoon for three.

    I kinda wing it. 🙂 But I don’t like to waste yeast, so I use as little yeast as possible that I think will still make the bread come out right.

  16. Kelleh says:

    Oh this looks delicious! I’ll have to research all your bread hints and tips and then give this a whirl. Blaze is a huge fan of the cinnamon bread. :snoopy:

  17. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    OMG, now I’m hungry. Just got up. :catmeow:

  18. Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife says:

    There you go again……baking something so totally beautiful and delicious looking and now I have to add one more thing on my list of things to do. Generally I’m not very successfull with anything that requires yeast. It’s something I’m determined to master. Thanks for the recipe.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  19. Heather from KY says:

    Suzanne – I have made Grandmother Bread several times now and we all love it! My question is about your bread pans. You mentioned narrow ones work better at allowing a higher loaf. Do you have the dimensions of the bread pans you have the most success using? Did I see Pyrex on the pans? IS that the brand you own? The only problem I seem to have is getting a high, pretty loaf. Mine tastes just great, but not as high, therefore, not like the sandwiches my kids are used to eating on store-bought bread. And with little ones, looks really do count! Thanks!

  20. Remudamom says:

    Have you ever made a bread with apple in it? Looking for a recipe if you feel like experimenting!

  21. Robin G. says:

    That pretty much looks like the most delicious thing ever.

  22. Crystal B. says:

    Yum! Makes me hungry. 🙂

  23. TeresaH says:

    I alwyas get so hungry in here! :hungry:

  24. Jill S. says:

    Mine never comes out as good as yours.

  25. Amy Addison says:

    Looks like it would be VERY good with a nice, hot latte, a cozy blanket, a warm fire and a great book…..

  26. The Jillybean says:

    I will have to try this! I am nearing the end of a week of cakes on my blog. I had thought about making each one and posting pictures, then decided I would weigh 600 lbs. I just couldn’t risk it, especially with next week all about candies. There is also a couple of contest running, drop by for a visit

  27. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Hi, Heather! I know what you mean. Looks count to my kids, too. They want it to look like storebought sandwich bread! (Silly children!) The pans I use are Pyrex glass pans, 4.5 by 8.5 inches, 1.5 quart.

    Also, another tip for making homemade bread look more like storebought sandwich bread is slicing with an electric knife. An electric knife allows a smoother, thinner slice.

  28. Abiga/karen says:

    Another great bread recipe to try. Thanks! Blessings. :snoopy:

  29. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Remudamom, I make apple bread just like with raisin bread –add one cup chopped apple instead of raisins (or a cup of apples and raisins combined for apple-raisin bread). Or one cup apple then roll the dough out, sprinkle with cheddar cheese, and make apple-cheddar spiral bread. Or spread it with any flavor jam when you roll it out. Lots of fun variations, whatever combinations you like! The raisin bread variation works with any fruit–just one cup chopped fruit or combination of different fruits!

  30. Katharina says:

    30 years ago when I began baking breads I often came up with a brick after several successful batches of bread. This was a mystery to me for a couple of years. The problem was that I sometimes (thinking it would be healthier for everyone) left out the SALT. SALT is essential to the yeast and its ability to produce the gasses that cause bread to rise. I have never had a problem with rising since I learned that.

  31. Katharina says:

    I make a honey whole wheat bread. Two loaves will require 5 1/2 to 6 cups of flour. I use 4 1/2 t. of yeast and have never had any problems getting the bread to rise although it is a heavier dough than white. Experimenting with the amount of yeast may help those of you that are struggling with bread making.

  32. LatigoLiz says:

    Thanks! I will give my pans a go. 🙂

  33. catslady says:

    I’m too lazy to make any of this but for some reason I enjoy reading about it lol.

  34. Donna says:

    Ohhhh YUMMMMM…that reminded me of the heavenly homemade cinnamon rolls my ex sister in law used to make…they were so good..Your bread looks scrumptious!!!!! :mrgreen:
    All those tips are wonderful…I needed each one of them! I admire how NEAT your work is…I can tell how neatly you work/methodical..I so wish I was that way. I am sooo task oriented, with no patience, for that type of thing or things that take time…YET, I LOVE to spend a whole night, untangling a knot in a necklace…TEDIOUS work. LOL Go figure. My husband is very neat, slow, does beautiful work, so maybe I should make HIM the bread baker…but somehow, I don’t see that happening.
    I heard, if you put a wet paper towel, under your cutting board, it keeps it from moving. I tried it and it works.

  35. Estella says:

    Your bread makes my mouth water!

  36. Brandy says:

    Oh, gosh that looks soooooo good! And I like the idea of adding apples……*G*

  37. Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife says:

    I went into the kitchen this morning and baked a loaf of this bread, although I’m not a bread baker and rarely have luck with yeast. Here’s what happened, maybe you can help me figure out what went wrong.

    I let it rise for an hour, kneaded it lightly and did the cinnamon sugar/butter thing. I put it seam side down in the pan and let it rise again until it looked like yours does above….till it was well above the pan. I noticed when it went to put it in the oven it seemed to deflate a bit. When it was done baking and I cut it, it didn’t look like yours. The cinnamon swirly part was kind of smushed on the bottom and although the top part was light and airy the bottom of the loaf is heavy and dense.

    Did I not let it rise long enough in the bread pan. Thanks in advance for your help.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

    P.S. It does taste delicious although it’s deformed!!!!

  38. Susan says:

    Put a slice of that yummy bread just out of Clover’s reach and you will be able to milk her while she is straining to reach it!

  39. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Hey, Suzanne! (Sorry, I was gone for several hours!) Well, it sounds like the dough didn’t roll up evenly for you, for one thing, and actually it sounds a little bit as if you might have even let it over-rise (since it deflated). It’s hard to say, though. Breadmaking is a lifelong pursuit of perfection, LOL. If it tastes good, that’s a success! (Bake more bread! The more you bake, the better your bread gets, that’s always my best advice.)

  40. Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife says:

    Thanks!! I think I might have let it over-rise. That loaf is already gone so I’m going to make another and try it again, paying attention to the second rise.

  41. sunnid755 says:

    I used to bake bread. I miss it. I vow to try it again. Thanks again for sharing.

  42. Ann R Adrignola says:

    Have you tried making Grandmothers bread with a stand mixer like a kitchenaid?

  43. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Ann, no, I don’t have a stand mixer, so I don’t have any experience with that!

  44. Angie says:

    I finally got around to making this. Everything was going along fine, after baking, it looked beautiful. I let it cool a bit, and then I cut into it and the inside was still raw, to the point of being runny. I baked it exactly 25 minutes at 350 degrees. It looked like it almost needed to bake another 20 minutes. Afterwards, I put an oven thermometer in to make sure my oven temp was working correctly, and it was. Any ideas what went wrong? For what it’s worth, the crusty parts on the top, bottom and sides were delicious!

  45. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Angie, ack, honestly, I don’t know as that has never happened to me. I can only guess. It almost sounds as if your loaf was over-large and so therefore needed more baking time, but I’m assuming you followed the directions in the recipe so that shouldn’t be the case. Another thought that comes to mind is if there was too much moisture–as in too much butter? I melt 1/4 cup butter and brush it on lightly. It doesn’t need the whole quarter cup poured on there. Or maybe the dough as a whole wasn’t stiff enough–if there wasn’t enough flour put in the dough to start with. But again, I don’t know for sure! Bread is a lifelong experiment! 🙂

  46. Angie says:

    Well I will not be scared away by this failure. 😆
    And, I admit shamefully, I did use the whole 1/4 cup of butter! I didn’t completely follow the directions stating to “brush lightly”. I poured it on and smeared it around with my fingers. I bet that’s the problem, because I followed the rest of the directions correctly. I just figured, “More butter? Heck yeah!” Bad idea I guess. 🙂 I’m trying it again by golly because like I said, the cooked parts were fantastic! Thanks!

  47. rj says:

    o wow this does it. you’re amazing!! i’ve been browsing your blog on and off all day when i get a spare minute. i love what you’re doing!!

  48. Kate says:

    hi – this bread looks delicious! When you say ‘yeast’ how much active dry yeast does that translate to? I have those Fleischmanns packets…

  49. Linda says:

    I am really enjoying clicking my way through your recipe archive. The pictures are wonderful! And I just took a quick break to whip up your gingerbread recipe, which is now in the oven…even though it’s almost 10:30 pm!

  50. Leslie says:

    I attempted this yesterday but was very confused by your recipe. I guessed and apparently guessed wrong because I baked a complete failbread.

    In the recipe ingredients, “3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour” is listed. Then in the description you say, “The 4-5 cups flour is approximate” So what is the maximum amount of flour that should be in the loaf?

    I had no idea if i should put a maximum of 3 1/2 cups or a maximum of 5!

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Leslie, thanks for telling me that! That is a mistake–in the written part, not in the recipe amount. It should be 3 1/2 cups. However, any time you’re making bread, use the amount you need (the amount you can work into the dough properly). What did your bread do? If it didn’t rise, there may be another reason it failed because your dough would only take what it could take. (I’ll go fix that in the instructions, thanks!)

  51. Angelina says:

    I had my 11 y.o son and his friend have a baking day and they both made a loaf with my supervision. :bugeyed: They had such a good time stirring the dough, punching, punching, and punching it down, painting butter on their dough with basting brushes, dumping cinnamon/sugar on it and smearing it around. Myself and my kitchen was splattered with dough and flour..LOL, my son somehow had cinnamon/sugar mixture all over his pants. When their loaves were done, we poured the tasty glaze on top and we all tasted it and it is the best bread ever!!!! :french: My son’s friend was so excited to take his loaf home. Thank you for this fantastic recipe and it was such a fun and learning experience for the boys. We had a blast! thanks, Angelina in Kansas

  52. Christine says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU Suzanne!!!

    We have a local bakery that makes something similar for close to $7 per loaf! My kids love it but due to the cost, it is an extremely rare treat. I am absolutely thrilled that I will now be able to make it at home for a fraction of the cost. I can’t wait to try it!

  53. Rookie Breadmaker says:

    Greetings – I pray this message finds you well.

    I made this cinnamon swirl bread a few days ago, with the intent on using it for french toast. The bread turned out great, except for one thing. When I sliced it, the slices separated at the cinnamon swirl. It was almost like the slice unrolled – does that make sense? Because it did that, I was unable to use as french toast and my children just at the bread by itself with some fruit. I am definitely going to make it again, but how do I keep it from separating or unrolling at the cinnamon swirl?

    Thanks and many blessings~

  54. Sheila says:

    If you ever come up with a simple recipe for whole wheat bread , please let me know (I’ve been wanting to make some) btw gonna be baking your grandmother bread here in a few mins 🙂 and I may attempt the cinnamon swirl bread too :D.

  55. Sheila says:

    I made both your cinnamon swirl bread and grandmother bread last night (though next time I get the urge to bake late at night , I’ll just ignore it till the next morning LOL), they both turned out great , though there is a gap at the top of my cinnamon bread it still tasted really good (had some for breakfast this morning).And instead of baking it for 25 I baked it for 30 (just to be safe).Btw your grandmother bread is really excellent with homemade peanut butter and jelly :). I’m gonna try and make the homemade yellow cake today for mine and hubbys anniversary.Thanks for sharing your recipes :).

  56. Goodnewsfarm says:

    Ive been making this in my bread maker. Its not a swirl but everything all mixed together and boy is it yummy

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