Cinnamon Swirl Bread

cinnamon swirl bread next to stick cinnamon on pewter plate

In a rush? You can cut straight to the cinnamon swirl bread recipe at my Tumblr.

After my Snickerdoodle bread recipe, I realized that I really need to cut back on my sugar. All this bread quickly adds to my calorie count for the day, and I’m so busy baking that I don’t have any time for exercise! So, yes, I’m becoming a bit pudgy around the middle.

But I still crave sweet bread like nobody’s business.

I did a little searching and found a good way to still enjoy tasty desserts without overdoing things in the fat department: cinnamon swirl bread. True, this bread has sugar, but it also balances that sugar with a dash of cinnamon, resulting in a loaf that has all the flavor and not nearly as many calories per serving, at least compared to my Snickerdoodle recipe.

Just pop that gorgeous slice in the toaster for a fast and easy breakfast!

slice of cinnamon swirl bread next to stick cinnamon on pewter plate

Of course, my swirl still needs a little work. I haven’t had a lot of practice rolling dough, though I’m becoming an expert at kneading it. With a a little time and practice, I bet you could make an even prettier, tastier loaf of cinnamon swirl bread than I did.

Time

Prep time:  35 minutes
Rise time:  2 hours
Cook time:  35 to 40 minutes
Total time: Approximately 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make cinnamon swirl bread:

  • 1/4 Cup White Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour, Divided
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 2 1/4 Teaspoons Dry Active Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil*
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Egg

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

  • 1/4 Cup White Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

*You’ll also want a little extra oil or butter to brush over the bread at various stages in baking. Another 2 tablespoons of either will be about right.

Additional Equipment

Ready to make bread? Don’t forget to have these items on hand:

If you have a little extra dough at the end of this recipe, you may also want a mini loaf pan.

Instructions

Stir together sugar, yeast, salt, and 1 1/2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl.

flour in bowl with measuring spoon

Combine warm water and oil, and then add it to the mixture.

cinnamon swirl batter

Stir in egg and beat until smooth.

cinnamon swirl bread batter

Add the remaining flour and stir until the dough becomes easy to handle. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until it becomes a smooth ball. It will feel slightly tacky to the touch but able to hold its shape.

cinnamon swirl bread dough ball

Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Turn the dough a couple of times to coat in oil. Cover and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour depending on your room temperature.

dough doubled in size after rising in white bowl

Gently press the dough to deflate, and then turn it out on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a 18-inch by 9-inch rectangle. My rectangle wasn’t precise, but it got the job done.

dough rolled out into rectangle next to rolling pin

Combine cinnamon and sugar to make the filling. Brush the dough with melted butter and then sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the dough.

dough covered with cinnamon sugar next to rolling pin

Starting with the 9-inch side of the rectangle, roll the dough and then pinch the edges to seal.

cinnamon swirl dough roll next to rolling pin

Place dough with the seams facing down in the pan.

cinnamon swirl dough brushed with oil and resting in pan

Brush the loaf with oil, cover loosely, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and move rack to the lowest position to ensure a softer crust. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The top of the loaf will look golden brown and the bottom will sound hollow when tapped.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread Cooling on Rack

Turn loaf out onto a cooling rack and brush with melted butter.

finished cinnamon swirl bread

Slice and enjoy! I ate my bread with a smidge of butter, though I bet this would taste divine with a little cream cheese as well.

Secrets to Success

The first time I made this bread, I didn’t do a great job rolling out my rectangle. I figured, eh, I could just squish everything together and hope that it would fit in the pan.

Unfortunately, it did NOT fit in the pan the first time. I tucked the ends under in hopes that the second rise would get everything to merge together. Not only did the ends not merge properly, but it altered how the bread cooked, so I ended up with an overdone crust and a raw bottom. The swirls had huge gaps, too, so the bread fell apart when sliced.

messed up cinnamon swirl bread

Ugh, it was such a mess.

Anyways, the second time I made it, I had a similar problem. I rolled my rectangle with a lot more care, and I did my best to keep things together. But I still had too much dough.

So, I lopped off one side of my bread, just enough so the loaf would fit in the pan like it should. On a whim, I rerolled the remaining dough and popped it into a mini bread pan. The dough looked a bit like a baby slug at this point, so I didn’t have any high expectations for it.

mini cinnamon swirl dough in pan

I popped the mini loaf at the same time I cooked the bigger one, and I checked on the little one every 5 minutes to make sure it didn’t burn.

After about 20 minutes, I thought the loaf looked nice and golden brown, so I took it out and let it cool while the bigger loaf continued to cook.

mini cinnamon swirl bread on cooling rack

Much to my surprise, the baby loaf turned out delicious, and it even had a better swirl than the bigger loaf. Everything cooked evenly, too, so I thought it deserved a little mini photoshoot, too.

mini loaf of cinnamon swirl bread

I think if I try this recipe again, I may experiment and make 4 mini loaves and see how they turn out. If the mini loaves are a success, I’ll make a new post and share it with you.

Nutritional Information

This recipe didn’t go overboard on the sugar like some of the sweeter bread recipes I’ve tried in the past. It was just sweet enough to give a little flavor, but not so sweet that I felt sick for eating it. I was happy to discover that the calories per slice weren’t over the top either.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread Nutrition Label

I averaged about 14 slices per loaf, though I like to cut my bread on the thicker side. You may have 12 or even 16 slices depending on how you cut your bread, so your calories per serving will vary accordingly.

Did You Try It?

Even though I had a much better result the second time I made this bread, I think it still could have gone a little better. If you look closely in the photos, you’ll see that I had some gaps in between my swirls, and some sections look a little softer, as if they could have cooked for longer. I’m not sure what else I should have done to get a tighter swirl or a more even bake.

If you tried it, let me know how things went! I’d love to see how your swirl turned out, and I’m open to your suggestions for making a better loaf of cinnamon swirl bread.