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A simple yet decadent loaf of Cinnamon Swirl Bread is the best recipe for a holiday breakfast, a special brunch, or a grab-and-go snack. The cinnamon quick bread recipe tastes like sour cream coffee cake and features a ribbon of cinnamon pecan streusel for a surprise filling and a crunchy crumb topping. It’s a crowd-pleasing morning treat that you can easily make in advance — perfect for entertaining!

Side shot of a loaf of cinnamon bread on a wooden cutting board with eggs and cream in the background

Cinnamon Quick Bread

My neighbor, Chandra, brought us a loaf of this tasty cinnamon bread as a Christmas gift last winter. We quickly devoured the delicious treat, so of course I had to get the recipe. She was kind enough to share her tips (it turns out that she adapted this recipe to make her loaf), and now we can all enjoy freshly-baked Cinnamon Swirl Bread whenever the craving strikes. You only need a handful of simple ingredients to whip up this easy cinnamon quick bread recipe — no yeast required!

Slice of cinnamon swirl bread on a blue and white plate with cake stand in the background

Ingredients

This is an overview of the ingredients that you’ll need to make a loaf of Chandra’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Cinnamon: the warm spice that gives the bread its name! You’ll get plenty of cinnamon streusel on top of the bread and throughout the middle of the loaf.
  • Granulated sugar and light brown sugar: you’ll use granulated sugar in the bread batter and in the topping. The brown sugar also sweetens the streusel.
  • Pecans: for a little bit more toasty, buttery crunch in the streusel.
  • Butter: keeps the bread moist and light, while also adding flavor.
  • Eggs: for structure.
  • Sour cream: for moisture, a tender crumb, flavorful tang, and acidity that helps the bread rise.
  • Vanilla extract: more flavor.
  • All-purpose flour: the base of the bread.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: the leavening agents that help the bread rise.
  • Salt: to enhance the other flavors and balance the sweetness in the loaf.
Side shot of a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread sliced on a cutting board

What does sour cream do for this cinnamon loaf cake?

The sour cream is an important ingredient, thanks to its high fat content and its acidity. The sour cream adds moisture without thinning the batter, adds fat for creaminess, helps to control the browning, and activates the baking soda.

Sour cream coffee cake batter in a stand mixer

How to Make Cinnamon Bread from Scratch

There’s no yeast and no rolling necessary for this easy Cinnamon Swirl Bread! You’ll love the ribbon of cinnamon streusel throughout the middle of the loaf, as well as the cinnamon crunch on top. It’s quick, simple, and decadently delicious!

  1. Whisk together the cinnamon streusel; set aside.
  2. Mix together the batter.
  3. Spread half of the batter in a large, greased loaf pan or divide between two smaller loaf pans.
  4. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon streusel on top.
  5. Top with the remaining batter and then the remaining cinnamon streusel.
  6. Bake the bread in a 325°F for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
Loaf of cinnamon swirl bread sliced on a wooden cutting board

What to Serve with Cinnamon Quick Bread

This cinnamon swirl quick bread is perfect on its own with a hot cup of coffee, tea or mulled cider. For dessert, try topping a warm piece of the bread with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

For a more elaborate brunch spread, pair the loaf cake with any of these other morning dishes:

Close up front shot of a loaf of sliced cinnamon quick bread

Storage

  • Make-Ahead: This bread just gets better as it sits! The flavors come together and the sour cream in the batter keeps the bread nice and moist.
  • How to Store Cinnamon Bread: Always wrap your loaf in plastic wrap or foil to prevent it from drying out. The bread will stay fresh at room temperature on the counter for 2-3 days, and it will last in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • To Freeze: Cool the loaf completely, wrap tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Close up overhead shot of a slice of tasty cinnamon bread on a blue and white plate

Cinnamon Roll Quick Bread Recipe Variations

  • Cinnamon Raisin Bread: fold raisins into the batter. For a real treat, soak the raisins in rum first!
  • Apple Cinnamon Bread: fold grated or very finely-diced apples into the batter or try this made-from-scratch Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread.
  • Swap out the pecans for finely-chopped walnuts or almonds. Alternatively, you can omit the nuts altogether.
  • Add a glaze on top of the cooled bread (like in this recipe).
Square image of a piece of cinnamon swirl bread on a plate with cake stand and creamer in the background

Tips for the Best Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe

  • Use a large loaf pan (at least 9 x 5-inches) or two smaller loaf pans. This recipe yields a lot of batter, so it will likely overflow if you try to bake the entire loaf in one 8 ½ x 4 ½-inch pan. If you prefer smaller loaves of bread, Chandra divides her batter between two disposable foil loaf pans (like these), which tend to be a bit smaller (typically 8 x 3 ¾ inches).
  • Be careful not to over-mix the batter. You want it to come together so that everything is combined, but then stop stirring! Mixing too much will result in a dry, dense loaf.
  • The total baking time will vary depending on the type and size of the loaf pan(s) that you use. A dark metal, nonstick pan cooks the bread faster. By contrast, a lighter metal pan, a glass pan, or a ceramic pan might take longer than 1 hour. Also, if you’re dividing the batter between two smaller pans, it will definitely cook faster. Just keep an eye on it! You can tell that your loaf is cooked through when you insert a toothpick or long stick deep into the center of the loaf and it comes out clean.
  • Let the bread cool completely before slicing, otherwise the bread may crumble or tear when you cut into it. A long serrated knife is great for slicing through that cinnamon crunch topping!
Close up shot of slices of cinnamon swirl bread on a cake stand

More Quick Bread Recipes to Try

Side shot of a loaf of cinnamon bread on a wooden cutting board with eggs and cream in the background

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 slices (1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves)
Calories 341 kcal
A simple yet decadent loaf of Cinnamon Swirl Bread is the best recipe for a holiday breakfast, a special brunch, or a grab-and-go snack!

Ingredients
  

CINNAMON STREUSEL:

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup finely-chopped pecans

BREAD BATTER:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a large 9 x 5-inch loaf pan (or two smaller loaf pans); set aside. See my note below regarding the size of your loaf pan.

PREPARE THE CINNAMON STREUSEL:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, granulated sugar, brown sugar and pecans. Set aside.

PREPARE THE BATTER:

  • Use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract; mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • While the mixer is running on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix just until combined – do not overmix.
  • Spread half of the batter in an even layer at the bottom of the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon streusel on top. Spread remaining batter in an even layer on top, then sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake the bread for 1 hour (for a single loaf), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you're baking the batter in two smaller loaves, the baking time will be much shorter, so start checking the bread at about 45 minutes. Tent the top of the bread loosely with foil if it starts to get too dark before the center is cooked through.
  • Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely.

Notes

  • Use a large loaf pan (at least 9 x 5-inches) or two smaller loaf pans. This recipe yields a lot of batter, so it will likely overflow if you try to bake the entire loaf in one 8 ½ x 4 ½-inch pan. If you prefer smaller loaves of bread, Chandra divides her batter between two disposable foil loaf pans (like these), which tend to be a bit smaller (typically 8 x 3 ¾ inches).
  • Be careful not to over-mix the batter. You want it to come together so that everything is combined, but then stop stirring! Mixing too much will result in a dry, dense loaf.
  • The total baking time will vary depending on the type and size of the loaf pan(s) that you use. A dark metal, nonstick pan cooks the bread faster. By contrast, a lighter metal pan, a glass pan, or a ceramic pan might take longer than 1 hour. Also, if you’re dividing the batter between two smaller pans, it will definitely cook faster. Just keep an eye on it! You can tell that your loaf is cooked through when you insert a toothpick or long stick deep into the center of the loaf and it comes out clean.
  • Let the bread cool completely before slicing, otherwise the bread may crumble or tear when you cut into it. A long serrated knife is great for slicing through that cinnamon crunch topping!

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice (1/12 of a large loaf)Calories: 341kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 4gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 291mgPotassium: 136mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 458IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: cinnamon bread, cinnamon quick bread, cinnamon swirl bread, cinnamon swirl quick bread
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this today for my husband and it was a huge hit. Used a small loaf pan and a large loaf pan, the small one was done is 40 minutes and the large in 55 minutes. I followed the recipe exactly as written except for a little extra vanilla. Great loaf that I will be making again.