Cinnamon Swirl Bread

12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Rising 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes

Cinnamon Swirl Bread is a homemade sweet yeast risen bread recipe that looks elegant and tastes delicious and no bread machine necessary!

If you enjoyed my recipes for Iced Banana Bread, Gooey Monkey Bread or Apple Fritter Bread you should try out this fancy, elegant dessert bread that is perfect for holidays, birthdays or any special occasion.Cinnamon Swirl Bread sliced


Homemade cinnamon swirl bread is a delicious treat that you can whip up when you’re trying to impress some important guests (or you’re just feeling super fancy.) Homemade bread is delicious but this recipe does have a longer cook time because the instant yeast does need to rise so don’t wait until the last minute to start the cinnamon bread recipe.

Plus you can use this recipe to make some delicious French Toast or Easy French Toast Bake. Brunch will never be more delicious!


  • Grease a loaf pan.
  • In a small saucepan, mix the butter and milk and gently heat until warm.  Allow to cool, then gently stir in yeast and set aside.
  • Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  • Combine the sugar and eggs in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  Once well mixed, add in the yeast mixture and stir it all together. Gradually beat in the flour mixture on medium speed.
  • Change out the paddle attachment for a dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed.
  • Warm up a glass mixing bowl and then coat it with a drizzle of canola oil.
  • Toss the dough in the mixing bowl so that it’s coated and then cover it in plastic wrap. Set it in a warm place and let the dough rise around 2 hours.
  • Once it’s completely risen, take the dough out of the bowl and roll it out into an 18 to 24 inch rectangle and trim the edges to make them neat.
  • Mix the sugar and ground cinnamon together and sprinkle it over the dough.
  • Starting at the side opposite you, roll the dough tightly.
  • Set the rolled bread dough into your greased, floured pan seam side down.
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it rise for another 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven while the bread dough is rising.
  • At the 2 hour mark, mix together the egg and milk to make an egg wash.
  • Brush the wash over the top of the swirl bread and put it in the oven to bake.
  • After the outside turns golden brown, take it out and let it completely cool on a wire rack before eating it.

Notes for the Perfect Cinnamon Swirl Bread:

  • Dust the greased surface with flour until it’s coated but doesn’t have extra powder hanging out in the bottom. You probably want to use an 18 or 24 inch loaf pan for this recipe.
  • Make sure to not allow the milk and butter mixture to boil. Once it’s warm to the touch but not burning you, let it cool before adding the instant yeast, stir gently and let it sit at room temperature.
  • Make sure that the milk mixture is not over room temperature when you add the instant yeast or it will die.
  • You can use all-purpose flour or bread flour.
  • Make sure that the cinnamon/sugar mixture is evenly spread and you don’t get too many clumps (the last thing you want to do is bite into a lump of ground cinnamon.)
  • If your dough is way too sticky and keeps coming apart, add some flour and keep kneading.
  • Make sure that your rectangle isn’t wider than your loaf pan or you are in for some disappointment. Spread melted butter onto the dough.
  • Once you roll the dough, when you reach the end, pinch the seam flat to keep it from unrolling and undoing all your hard work.
    Cinnamon Swirl Bread from above


Although it made for a good story, the rumor that the American author Henry David Thoreau invented cinnamon swirl bread is not true.

Most likely, cinnamon swirl bread started off as a variation of either Stollen, a traditional Christmas cinnamon raisin bread eaten in Germany, or Kulich, a Russian Easter bread with an iced top and colorful sprinkles.


  • Serve: you can leave your cinnamon bread out at room temperature for 1 to 2 days before it gets too stale.
  • Store: your leftovers will be good in the fridge for about 10 days so feel free to serve it up for a nice, post-holiday brunch once the dust dies down.
  • Freeze: you can keep cinnamon swirl bread frozen for up to 2 months. Cinnamon Swirl Bread on a cutting board

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread is a homemade sweet yeast risen bread recipe that looks elegant and tastes delicious and no bread machine necessary!
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted

For greasing:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened

Egg wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk


  • Melt butter with milk. Heat until very warm, but don't boil. Allow to cool until still warm to the touch, but not hot. Sprinkle yeast over the top, stir gently, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Sift flour and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix sugar and eggs with the paddle attachment until combined. Pour in milk/butter/yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add half the flour and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the other half and beat until combined.
  • Switch to the dough hook attachment and beat/knead dough on medium speed for ten minutes. If dough is overly sticky, add ¼ cup flour and beat again for 5 minutes.
  • Heat a metal or glass mixing bowl so it's warm. Drizzle in a little canola oil, then toss the dough in the oil to coat. Cover bowl in plastic wrap and set it in a warm, hospitable place for at least 2 hours.
  • Turn dough out onto the work surface. Roll into a 18 x 9 inch rectangle. Smear with 2 tablespoons melted butter.
  • Mix sugar and cinnamon together, then sprinkle evenly over the butter- smeared dough.
  • Starting at the far end, roll dough toward you, keeping it tight and contained and pinch the seam to seal.
  • Smear a 9x5 loaf pan with softened butter. Place dough, seam down, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix egg with milk, and brush over the top.
  • Bake for 40 minutes on a middle/lower rack in the oven. Remove from the pan and allow bread to cool.


Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 222mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 384IU | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This was delicious!! Personal preference, I added some raisins. Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe!!

  2. I made this for my dad’s birthday and he LOVED it! The bread was eaten only within a few days too. Even though I had to add more flour, it was still, to me, a perfect recipe. It wasn’t too sweet and the cinnamon pulled it together! 🙂

  3. Wow did mine ‘proof’! The first rise ended up with more like a four times sized mass and the second one about three times the size of what it started at, rolled and placed in the loaf pan. I punched it down but didn’t re-roll it because of the cinnamon layer and baked it. It rose some more in the oven. Taste okay but I’d like to know what I did wrong! What size load pan are you using?

    1. It should be in a 9×5 pan. I’ve edited the recipe card to include it now. Sorry about that.

  4. This bread looks amazing and it is on my to-bake list! Wanted to know if it is enough I just use the dough hook or should I knead it by hand again. Also is it possible to substitute whole wheat flour?

    1. I’m so glad you’ve decided to try it. I would use the dough hook, it just makes things easier. As far as whole wheat flour, I’ve not tested it but would think you would need to use less when substituting for all purpose and you’d also need to add a bit more milk so it’s not dry. Hope this helps with everything. Enjoy!