Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

34 reviews / 4.7 average

Okay, well, I guess I can eat cinnamon swirl bread all day if I must. Because when that smell speaks to me, game over.

Bjork and I have kind of a dysfunctional relationship with bread. I said WITH BREAD. Sheesh.

No, seriously though. There's this thing about just having two people in this house, one of which does not like sandwiches. Sand-wich-es. Don't even get me started on that. When we do buy bread, it goes straight into hibernation in its cozy home in the bread basket. And then I get my once-a-year peanut butter and honey toast craving and I go back to find it dying a slow, fuzzy death. Wahh.

Loaves of bread are just never in our house, ever, and it's a little sad.

But it's not like we don't eat bread. Duh. We both love bread-y stuff (I think they're called, like, carbs???) For example: donuts. muffins. cake. bagels. waffles. French toast - a Bjork all-time fave. and every other carb ever created.

As of lately, homemade cinnamon swirl bread with a gooey cinnamon sugar center has been added to that list. I just said gooey cinnamon sugar center.

Cinnamon swirl bread stacked on a plate.

If you're thinking Cinnabon, you are my best friend. This is totally Cinnabon-esque in that it has that really soft white breadiness wrapped in gooey, sticky, cinnamon sugar love. Except it's like a loaf of bread and it's way more versatile than a Cinnabon.

  1. It's highly toastable.
  2. It's also highly French toastable.
  3. It freezes like a dream. Today I took a few pieces out of the freezer and in 15 minutes they were soft and oozing with cinnamon sugar filling. How does that even happen?!

I generally feel intimidated by making bread so this homemade cinnamon swirl bread was kind of a big deal for me. I've made it four times now and every single time I've had success. Is there anything worse than waiting for your dough to rise, punching it down, and baking it into flat, dense little rocks? No. I hate it and it's a major reason why I don't bake yeast bread often. But this was a winner! I'm never letting this recipe out of my sight.

If you are not a bread maker, you're going to become one right now because this is a great foolproof starter recipe. Even if you are a little bit weird and have no interest in eating bread, or toasting it and smothering it with butter and honey, or frying it up into some kind of insanely delicious French toast soaked with maple syrup, just do it for the smell.

Now imagine I'm blasting that sweet cinnamon smell out of the computer screen and into your face. Just do it.

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A picture of Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread


This homemade cinnamon swirl bread is so simple and has a gooey middle cinnamon layer that stays soft long after the bread has cooled. Perfect for toast!


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups high gluten bread flour (add extra as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup white sugar


  1. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar with the warm water in a very large bowl. Add the yeast and do not stir. Let it sit until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the oil, salt, and flour. Mix by hand, adding more flour as necessary until the dough forms a large, soft ball. Flour a table or work surface and knead the bread for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and brush the top with a little extra oil (I typically just use olive oil for this). Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour. It should be very puffy. Divide the dough in half and punch it down.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll each half into a large rectangle. For more tight rolls in the bread, roll the dough thinner. For thicker softer rolls in the bread, roll thicker. It's up to you and it tastes great either way. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle over each loaf. Be generous. Roll up the loaves tightly and let rest for a few minutes before putting in the oven.
  4. Bake on a cookie sheet or baking stone for 30 minutes, or until it sounds hollow. When in doubt, overbake this one. It might look brown on the outside, but that's okay because the inside really needs to bake all the way to get the layers filled out. And it's really really helpful to let the bread cool before cutting into it, otherwise it has a tendency to sink down where you cut it. Slice diagonally and eat plain, toasted, or as French Toast.


Regular all-purpose flour will work for this recipe, but I preferred high gluten bread flour (it was a specific kind I found at a specialty food store) because it seemed to fill out the loaf a little bit more. With the regular flour, I found that there were more gaps in between the cinnamon swirl layers. Still delicious, though. 🙂

  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: homemade cinnamon swirl bread, cinnamon bread, cinnamon swirl bread recipe

A quick thing! High gluten bread flour worked far better than any other kind of flour I tried. All purpose worked fine, but I like the rolls/layers to kind of stick together so there aren't big gaps in each piece, and high gluten bread flour made it happen for me.

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    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I pinned this recipe awhile ago and finally made it last week. It is so good!! I’m pretty sure I ate 80%of the loaf! And I have 3 kids! I will definitely be using this recipe forever. Thanks so much for posting it.

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I love this recipe I am wondering how it would go it it was made with an egg bread dough?

      Oh well time to experiment I guess and my mum dad and grandmother can be my taste testers

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Ooooh. This brings back memories. The first time I ever made homemade bread it was a cinnamon loaf like this. It was oh-so-wonderful. I love cinnamon swirl bread, and I love the process too (and the SMELL!!). I always feel so industrious and pioneer-like when I make bread from scratch like this. Do you have a rough estimate for how many cups of the flour?? I might need to take a trip down memory lane. . . .

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Ha! Mistake. It should be 2 1/2 cups, more or less. 🙂 also, that new cake pan had its maiden voyage this weekend. Soo good. Check back Friday! 🙂

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    When I came to the US about 20 years ago, I remember having a cinnabon for the first time!!! I was mesmerized, my taste buds were on a journey they had never been before – and the result – I fell in love with Cinnabuns! 🙂
    So your recipe of this Cinnamony (Cinnabon like) bread!!! OOh cannot wait to try this!!!!
    Thank You for sharing this tantalizing recipe 🙂

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    How many cups of high gluten flour? On my computer it just has a dash in front of it, no number. Eek.

    I seriously get so intimidated thinking about making bread but this might be my ticket to trying again!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      2 1/2! So sorry… I tested and re tested it so many times that apparently I forgot the most important part.. Writing it down! 🙂

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Seriously? Lindsey it looks perfect. That swirl, the softness! So good looking and cinnamon swirl anything I am always game for!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    We are cinnamon swirl soul mates (posted nearly the same recipe on my site today…whoa. Virtual high five to a fellow cinnamon bread lover!). I meant to try freezing ours too…until we devoured an entire loaf for dinner. Whoops. Yours looks gorgeous!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Cinnamon Swirl Bread never lasts more than 2 days in my house. I can’t even imagine how good home baked swirl bread is. Aaaaand now I am drooling at my desk.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Your bread is gorgeous! I love cinnamon bread that I have seriously like 6 different cinnamon bread recipes…yeast, quickbread, with raisins, as dinner rolls, with oats, and as English muffin bread. I seriously love it. And yours is PERFECT! I need this!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh I just love cinnamon! I’ve been wanting to make cinnamon swirl bread for the longest time but have been a bit intimidated. This looks wonderful!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Did you use active dry yeast? This looks so delicious! I bet it would make amazing french toast!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Jakky always seems to have the best recipes 🙂 I love cinnamon bread any which way it is served. I usually just buy it from the bakery, but I’ve been branching out and baking lots of my own breads lately. I’ll have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing it, Jakky and Lindsay!!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      No, not exactly the same. In my experience, the high gluten flour (it was actually called high gluten bread flour) made the dough much softer and nicer to work with, and I needed a bit more of it to really make the dough stick together as I was kneading it. When I used regular white bread flour I noticed that the dough was more rubbery, and I didn’t like the finished results as well. It can certainly work but my favorite of all the flours I tried was the high gluten variety. 🙂

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      Trying this bread recipe for the first time right now. It looks amazing. Do you think a loaf would freeze well?

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love this! I like to make my own bread at home. I have never tried a swirl bread. Since I too suffer from the “oops I forgot I had bread and now it is green and moldy” syndrome, I love that this freezes well! Pinning to try later!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am so weird, Lindsay. I am not a huge fan of sandwiches either! I know. I KNOW! But I adore homemade bread. And yes, I will eat sandwiches on homemade bread! And I love french toast with homemade bread. Everything with homemade bread!! And the cinnamon swirl kind is just delightful. Totally the best. And yes, I was thinking Cinnabon! Pinning this gorgeous beauty!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    We are the same way – no bread in the house, because it just gets hard as a rock before I can take any interest in it. Homemade bread, on the other hand, is a different story… this would be gone in no time!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Homemade bread makes everything better, and it makes me turn into a bread fiend. I can withstand bread most of the time, but homemade just kills me! I’ve been wanting to do a cinnamon swirl bread just like this, so this one’s getting pinned right now!