Cinnamon Swirl Bread - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Bread | Breakfast | Dessert

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

October 14th, 2020
5 from 12 votes
5 from 12 votes

Homemade yeast-raised Cinnamon Swirl Bread features soft and fluffy bread with thick swirls of sweet cinnamon. Each slice makes for the most amazing morning toast or better yet, use to make French toast for a special occasion!

Yield: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 55 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Like a slightly less rich cinnamon roll!
Texture: The bread is soft and fluffy and toasts up beautifully.
Ease: Totally doable, but more of a weekend baking project.
Pros: Beautiful and comforting recipe you can freeze.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? I already have. It’s a favorite!

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Homemade bread will forever and always be the definition of comfort food to me.

Take a super easy homemade bread dough, add cinnamon and sugar, and make it easy enough to toast every morning for breakfast? That’s the only way I want to wake up.

This bread dough is a dream to work with. Super soft, supple, and pliable. It comes together in a snap.

You don’t need to be a master at working with yeast to bake this recipe. I promise!


I’ve included a bunch of homemade bread baking tips below to ensure your success in the kitchen.

This is a super fun recipe to make with little ones, too. I find the transformation of simple ingredients like flour, yeast, and liquid into an amazing tall loaf of aromatic bread to be a magical one. It’s almost meditative!

How to Make Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Instant Yeast vs. Active Dry Yeast

Active Dry and Instant Yeast can be used interchangeably!

I like to use Instant Yeast (also called “rapid-rising” or “fast-acting”) because it can cut the dough rising time by as much as 50% and can be added straight in with the dry ingredients. No proofing is required. ⁠

Active dry yeast can actually be added directly in with the dry ingredients (like instant yeast) as long as the liquids are warm. However, proofing active dry yeast can be worth the extra step because it will work more quickly and effectively.⁠

Whatever you do, just make sure your water isn’t TOO hot which can kill your yeast.

The Best Loaf Pan for Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I like to use a metal loaf pan for baking Cinnamon Swirl Bread. They heat up and cool down quickly. Whatever you do, make sure you’re using a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.

Anything smaller and you’ll have too much dough which will balloon over the top and sides of your pan.

If you’re using a glass or ceramic pan, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and extend the baking time by about 10 to 15 minutes.

How to Roll Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Be sure to roll a very tight coil. Do this by stretching the dough slightly towards you as you roll up and around. This will allow the dough to rise and keep its beautiful shape. Pinch and seal the log once you’re done rolling and place it seam side down in the pan. The dough is very easy to work with so you shouldn’t need much additional flour.

How to Prevent Cinnamon Swirl Bread from Separating

The first time I made this recipe the swirls completely separated from each layer. In researching how to prevent this, I found a tip by Cooks Illustrated. Very lightly misting the cinnamon sugar with water after sprinkling on the dough helps to prevent major separation. You don’t want to use too much water, though, otherwise the filling will leak out.

How to Store Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature for up to 5 days. You can also slice and freeze the bread for toast.

How to Serve Cinnamon Swirl Bread

If making toast, you can toast frozen slices directly from the freezer. The bread is delicious with butter, but also with cream cheese!

How to Make French Toast with Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This bread makes AMAZING French toast! Use my favorite French toast recipe here, being sure to include the ‘drying out’ step in the directions to avoid soggy cinnamon swirl French toast.

More Delicious Bread Recipes:

5 from 12 votes

How to make
Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Rising time 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Homemade yeast-raised Cinnamon Swirl Bread features soft and fluffy bread with thick swirls of sweet cinnamon. Each slice makes for the most amazing morning toast or better yet, use to make French toast for a special occasion!


For the bread:

  • 1 cup warm whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
  • 4 cups (508 grams) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine salt

For the cinnamon swirl:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the egg wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the milk, butter, sugar, egg, egg yolks, and yeast. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add the flour and salt, attach the dough hook, and knead on low speed until a rough dough comes together. Increase to medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. Add more flour if the dough is unbearably sticky, just a couple tablespoons at a time. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until puffy and almost doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Punch the dough down. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll it into an 8 by 18-inch rectangle. With a pastry brush, brush all over with a thin layer of the melted butter. Combine the sugars and cinnamon and sprinkle over the buttered dough, leaving a 1-inch border on each long side.
  4. Using a spray bottle, lightly spray the cinnamon sugar with water to moisten. This will prevent too much gaping between the swirls. Roll into a very tight log, pinching the ends to seal to prevent the filling from leaking out and bubbling over while baking.
  5. Place the log seam side down in a lightly greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 hour, until it’s domed about 1-inch above the edge of the pan.
  6. In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk. Brush all over the top of the dough.
  7. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until deeply golden brown. If using a glass or ceramic baking dish, drop oven temperature to 325°F and bake for about 1 hour. An instant-read thermometer should register at least 185°F at the center of the loaf. Tent the loaf loosely with foil if it begins to brown too much.
  8. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing to slice. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature for up to 5 days. You can also slice and freeze the bread for toast.
Course : Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : bread, cinnamon, cinnamon swirl
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Sally — September 28, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    looooovveeee this recipe!

  2. #
    Celia Wilson — August 14, 2023 at 1:11 pm

    Can this bread be made in a bread machine?

    Thank you.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 16, 2023 at 6:54 am

      Hi Celia! We haven’t tried that, so we can’t say for sure! The dough mixing, kneading, and first proof may work in a bread machine, but the rest (shaping, filling, rolling, then the second proof, and baking) will need to be done by hand and baked in the recommended pan. Let us know how it goes if you give this bread a try! Happy baking 🙂

  3. #
    Autumn — July 26, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    This recipe is so good! I added 1/2 cup of raisins to the bread dough and did a slow overnight proof in the fridge. It was so delicious thank you!

  4. #
    Lisa — July 2, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    The main reasons I loved this bread is the fact that I added the salt to the wet ingredients instead of the dry, and while I was waiting for the bread to rise in the pan in my cool oven, I had a brain f-rt and put the oven on to pre-heat. Caught it after ten or so minute and my husband said, just let it cook! Which I did. And the bread came out great. Very forgiving, which is what I need as a new bread baker. Thanks Tessa!

  5. #
    Todd — May 25, 2023 at 9:16 am

    thanks now besides all the white bread I make I need at least three of these a week for people, seriously I love this recipe top notch , thank you

  6. #
    Donna — March 21, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    This was scrumptious. Only one question. Which way do you roll the log? Starting from the long side or the short side? I rolled mine tightly starting at the long (18″) side and I only got one swirl. Should I have rolled from the short (8″) side? Thank you!

  7. #
    Darryl — January 28, 2023 at 8:35 am

    Hello! I followed this recipe exactly but my loaf rose waaaay too much while baking. I did use a bread flour with high protein. Any ideas? Should I try cutting the yeast in half?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — January 30, 2023 at 11:44 am

      Hi Darryl! Hmm, that’s strange. Are you using the recommended pan size? Feel free to experiment with yeast levels, but I wouldn’t cut it down too much, as it may not be able to rise at all then. Let us know how it goes!

  8. #
    Jessica Erickson — September 8, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    Could you make this with a savory spread?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — September 9, 2022 at 7:42 am

      Hi Jessica! While we have not tested that out, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! There is a little sugar in the dough, but that shouldn’t be enough to make the dough too sweet for a savory filling. Just keep in mind that whatever you’re filling this with instead needs to be fairly dry – the wetter the filling, the bigger the gaps you’ll end up with because the steam from the moisture needs to go somewhere! Let us know how it goes if you try it out!! 🙂

  9. #
    Anne Chelekis — August 18, 2022 at 4:58 am

    LOVED THIS! My first attempt at cinnamon bread- but you might want to caution people about the possibility of swooning upon taking the first bite! I would add my photo, but I’m not sure how to do that here.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 18, 2022 at 12:11 pm

      Yay!! So excited to hear that this bread was sooo delicious, Anne!!!

  10. #
    Todd — August 12, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    Super easy and a family favorite now, I’ll be making many more with this recipe!!!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 15, 2022 at 8:43 am

      Yay!! So wonderful to hear that, Todd!!

  11. #
    Kathy P — July 21, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    My husband loves making toast out of this I. The morning!! It’s fun to bake too!!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 22, 2022 at 9:45 am

      So happy to hear that, Kathy! This bread definitely makes great toast 🙂

  12. #
    Sally — July 14, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    Delicious!!! Thank you so, so, much for sharing this recipe, you are a great Chef!!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 15, 2022 at 12:03 pm

      Hi Sally! I’m so happy to hear you loved this cinnamon swirl bread recipe! I will pass along your kind words to Tessa! 🙂

  13. #
    Jenn — November 19, 2021 at 7:41 am

    If using instant yeast how does the recipe change?

    • #
      Emily — November 19, 2021 at 5:04 pm

      Hi Jenn! You’re welcome to use instant yeast in this recipe, check out the pink tip box above the recipe for more details 🙂 You may be interested in reading our article Active Dry Yeast vs. Instant Yeast as well 🙂 I hope that helps, let us know what you think of this recipe!

  14. #
    Paul — April 9, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    It looks so healthy and delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I am sure it would taste good too.

  15. #
    Casey Samuels — January 11, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Loved this bread! My only advice is to add more of the cinnamon mixture than you think! I doubled it and would’ve been satisfied with even more! For sure will make again!!

    • #
      Tessa — January 12, 2021 at 11:58 am

      So glad you tried this recipe out!

  16. #
    Ashley — January 5, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Delicious cinnamon swirl bread! Very good rise and texture even with using all purpose flour. New favorite bread recipe!

    • #
      Tessa — January 6, 2021 at 12:09 pm

      Thrilled to hear this!

  17. #
    Tina — October 17, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    This is a fantastic cinnamon swirl bread recipe, and I have tried quite a few. I didn’t get as many twirls around but I am super pleased. I was wondering if I added a few handfuls of raisins or chopped apricots would it stay in place as well?

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