December 22, 2021
Cinnamon Swirl Loaf!
*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details!*
A homemade cinnamon swirl loaf with soft homemade dough, a cinnamon sugar filling, and swirled together to create a stunning bake!
I love bread!
Oh hey bread, it’s been a while… ages in fact. The last time I put a bread recipe on my blog was all the way back in Easter with my Mini Egg rolls… and that is FAR TOO LONG! I was missing the fresh homemade bread dough of dreams – and how better to bring it back, with a cinnamon bake… my cinnamon swirl loaf.
I am fully and utterly in love with all things bread I cannot lie. I love bread. Bread is life. And a bake like this is absolute top tier bread – one of the bread bakes of the gods you could argue! Too far? Maybe for some – but honestly I am utterly obsessed with this bake and I am sure you will all be too.
Cinnamon swirl loaf
For this bake, you can imagine it was heavily based on my homemade cinnamon rolls recipe. The recipe has been insanely popular since posting it over three years ago! It was so popular it made it into my first recipe book (which was based on popular blog recipes!).
One other bake in my recipe book was my chocolate cherry babka – it is the most delicious recipe that I am utterly obsessed with. It has also been so popular in amongst those who have bought the book. But one thing I wanted to do? Merge my two recipes together to create this beauty of a cinnamon swirl loaf.
This recipe has a soft vanilla hinted homemade bread dough (made with 7 ingredients, all easy to purchase at a supermarket!), a cinnamon sugar butter filling, and a simple vanilla icing sugar drizzle.
This recipe is the dreamiest of dreams when it comes to bread baking – and you will all want to bake it over and over, just like I have. It can be served warm and you can leave and slice for whenever its needed. You can microwave slices of it if you fancy some for dessert one night – it is dreamy!
For the bread dough, I used strong white bread flour. It is the go-to flour when it comes to bread, because it is bread flour! An obvious statement, but I really do think it creates an amazing texture. Technically, this recipe will work with regular plain flour, but you will get a more cakey texture.
You can also use a wholemeal bread flour, or even a mix of the two – you just want to have the same weight of flour in total. Sometimes I love a mix of wholemeal bread flour with regular strong white bread flour, because it actually creates an utterly wonderful flavour! Especially when mixed with vanilla and cinnamon.
For this recipe, I used this dried yeast – it is by far my favourite dried yeast to use. As per the notes on the recipe, you can use fresh yeast – when using fresh yeast you need to use double the quantity of dry. When using dried yeast, depending on brand, you need to make sure to read if it needs activating.
The yeast I use doesn’t need activating, but if the yeast you use does, add it to the warm milk to activate. Often it just needs to sit in the warm environment for about 5-10 minutes, and then you can move on with the recipe as listed below! So easy, so worth it. Promise!
The process of making bread dough can be a bit of an effort, but a million times easier when you use a stand mixer with a dough hook. If you don’t have one, it’s not the end of the world. You can mix the dough with a spatula in a bowl, and then knead by hand. It just means it takes longer to smooth the dough out to the stretchy soft texture you need.
It is so important to let the bread dough rise properly – and this can really vary in time. Try not to take the timings in the recipe as gospel, because it really can vary by hours. In the summer, the bread dough will rise SO much quicker compared to peak winter. You want the dough to double in size before you move onto the shaping stage.
Shaping, bake and decorate
When shaping the dough, an even rectangle is best – as it makes the rolling stage easier. Make sure to brush the melted butter all over the rolled out dough, and sprinkle and press in the cinnamon sugar. Roll the dough as tightly as you can, and then cut lengthways – you want to try and keep the dough as tight together as possible.
Wrap the dough in a two strand plait and carefully place into a lightly buttered 2lb/900g loaf tin. It doesn’t matter if the dough squishes slightly as it’s part of the charm of the bake – but once in the dough, you need to let the dough rise again. It’s good to preheat the oven in this time, so you can bake straight away.
Once baked, and beautifully golden and delicious, let the cinnamon swirl loaf cool. I know its painful to wait, especially if you smell the bake because oh my gosh it is utterly beautiful – but once cooled, decorate with a drizzle of icing. This is optional, but it is a sweet and delicious touch – and finishes off the recipe perfectly. ENJOY!
Cinnamon Swirl Loaf!
- 450 g strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 10 g dried active yeast
- 50 g caster sugar
- 90 g unsalted butter (cold and cubed)
- 200 ml full-fat milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 medium egg
- 25 g unsalted butter (melted)
- 100 g light brown soft sugar
- 1-2 tbsps ground cinnamon
- 150 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tbsp water
- Sift the flour into a large bowl, and add the caster sugar and dried active yeast. Mix these together so they are all evenly distributed.
- Rub the cold and cubed unsalted butter into the dry mixture so it resembles bread crumbs, like you would when making scones. I use my fingertips to do this.
- Gently heat the milk until warm - but not piping hot. If heating in a pan, you want it to just about start having steam come out of the pan.
- Add the warmed milk, vanilla, and egg to the dry ingredients.
- Knead the dough together for 7-10 minutes. It will be sticky at first, but it will soon come together. I use my KitchenAid with the dough hook to make this easier.
- Once kneaded, it will be springy to touch, and not sticky.
- Transfer into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover the top of the bowl with cling film. Let it rise for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Whilst the bread is proving, whisk together the light brown sugar, and ground cinnamon for the filling. Leave to the side for now.
- Once the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured work surface, and roll out to a large rectangle. Mine ends up being about 40cmx30cm.
- You want it to be as even a rectangle as possible so its easier to roll up, and the dough can be thin here.
- Gently brush the surface with the melted butter, and then sprinkle over the sugar/cinnamon mix.
- Roll the dough from long side to long side, so that a ~long sausage~ is formed.
- Carefully cut down the middle of the long sausage, and twist the two halves together making a two strand plait.
- Place the dough into a lightly butter 2lb/900g loaf tin and cover lightly with clingfilm.
- Let the dough rise for about 30 minutes, and towards the end of this, preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan.
- Bake the cinnamon swirl loaf in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
- Leave to cool in the tin, and then make the icing. Simply whisk together the icing sugar, vanilla and water until a thick icing paste is formed, and then drizzle over the loaf.
- Slice, and enjoy.
- This is best on the day of eating, but will last covered for a couple of days. You can microwave slices to warm through and refresh.
- You can easily reduce or increase the amount of cinnamon that you use in the recipe, but I typically use two tablespoons for mine. I like it really cinnamon-y.
- If you want to use fresh yeast, you need to use double the weight.
- Check the dried yeast packaging - some need activating. If they do, you can add it to the warm milk to activate.
- I recommend this loaf tin!
Find my other recipes on my Recipes Page!
You can find me on:
© Jane’s Patisserie. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and credit me, or link back to this post for the recipe.
How long does this stay fresh after baking? I hope to make it for Saturday, would Tuesday be too early to make and refrigerate?
Hiya! Its best eaten fresh, though you can freeze it or you can warm up the slices before serving! Hope this helps! x
Hi Jane, someone commented above asking about a video and you asked them to check your social media.I have checked your social media pages and wasn’t able to find a video on this recipe; I’ve also searched around the date (Decemeber 2021) in case it wasn’t published on the same day. Sorry if we are missing something but could you direct us to the link? Especially as it involves kneading, cutting and plaiting dough a video would be super helpful!
Hiya! It was posted to my instagram on dec the 7th. Hope this helps! x
Is there anyway that the loaf could be made up to the baking stage and left in the fridge to bake the next morning please? I’ve got visitors coming for breakfast and this would be perfect 🙂
Hiya! yes absolutely, this should be fine! For best results, bring it back to room temp before baking. Hope this helps! x
Hi there! I came on here looking to do the same thing with the dough. Did it work out?
I’ve been reading around putting dough in the fridge, and I’m worrying about it continuing to cold-proof while in the fridge (to the point that its over-proofed) or that the bread will end up really stiff after baking. Hoping you could share your experience!! Thank you x
Hi Jane, a picture of the loaf being cut and rolled would be helpful, so you have a video on this, couldn’t find it online.
Hiya! Take a look at my social media pages – I have videos of all of my recipes there! Hope this helps! x
Hi Jane, I want to give this recipe a go. After you put the dough in to the two strand plait, what way do you put it into tin?
Hiya! I put it in lengthways, down the length of the tin. Hope this helps! x
Hi, I wonder if you could do the first prove overnight perhaps in the fridge so it’s ready as a breakfast treat?
Yes absolutely, you can do the first or second prove overnight in the fridge, but it does slow down the process as it needs to come back to room temp before continuing. Hope this helps! x
Can this be frozen Jane? Thanks in advance.
Yes absolutely! For up to 3 months! Enjoy x
i’ve made the cinnamon rolls probably 10 times before and they’re amazing! just wondering will regular granulated sugar be okay when using brown as i am finding it hard to get a hold of:))
Hiya! So sorry – we are slightly confused please clarify which sugar you mean and we will be able to help! x
Can I use whole meal bread flour for this? The shops only had whole meal 🤦🏻♀️ Xx
Yes you can! It’ll just change the taste, and maybe slow down the proving as it’s a slightly heavier flour! x
I have a two oven aga and find things bake more easily if I divide the mix between two 1lb loaf tins. Can you tell me if this ok and how long to cook. Also, if you are familiar with an aga, can you advise on position in which oven and use of cold shelf.
Thanks very much for your help.
Could you add dried fruit to this?
Thanks so much
Hiya, I don’t see why not – sounds yummy! Enjoy! x
Hello as my little one can’t have dairy would it be ok to replace full fat dairy milk with for example almond milk ? or would it not work ? would anyone know pls?
Hiya! Yes for sure this will be fine! Enjoyyy x
Hi, I am wondering if you can put up the option of getting the recipe in Cups and tsp., TBL. ? I live in America and our recipes don’t come in ounces or grams. The recipes look good but I hate to look up everything just to try one. Thanks
1 cup = 225g of dry ingredients,
It’s very very quick to Google
I made this today – unfortunately when I slit the dough in half to plait it, it unravelled and the cinnamon filling sort of spilled out so when I baked it, it caught on top. HOWEVER it was TOTALLY delicious! Will definitely make it again!
This happened to me too… any tips Jane?
Hiya! Next time i’d advise just perhaps trying to roll it tighter! Hope this helps! x
Hi Jane I love your recipes and have always been successful with them.I tried this loaf twice the week and failed miserably.When you get the mixture to rise and get it out of the bowl to roll,do you literally just tip it out and roll it into a rectangle,or do you knead it into a soft dough again.i tried both ways.Both were uneditable.please help.was so looking forward to this being a success.Thank you
Hiya! I tip out onto a floured surface, and roll out with a rolling pin. Hope this helps! x
Can you use semi skinned milk?
I used semi skimmed milk in the cinnamon rolls recipe and it never caused an issue, all I buy is semi skimmed so I will use that for this aswell
This looks delicious but can you make it using skimmed milk? If it’s the fat content of the milk that helps enrich the dough, could you add a little extra butter to make up for this? Thanks!
I’d love to know this too- I can’t get out to get full fat but am desperate to make this lol
Can this recipe be done in a bread maker machine?
Hiya! You can do the kneeding process in the machine! Hope this helps! x
This sounds amazing!
For step 3, do you mean that you a) cut it across the middle into two equal length parts, or you b) cut it open from one end of the long sausage down to the other end?
Hiya! I mean from one end to the other, so you end up with two long thinner sausages! Hope this helps x