cinnamon swirl quick bread overhead (2)
Breads, Breakfast recipes, Cakes, Desserts, Fall Recipes, Snacks

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

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This sweet quick bread tastes just like cinnamon rolls, without all of the effort! It’s made up of a moist and tender cake with cinnamon sugar swirled throughout!

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How to make cinnamon swirl quick bread

What is quick bread?

Quick bread refers to practically any bread made without yeast. Instead, the bread is usually leavened with either baking powder, baking soda, or a combination of the two. So basically, it’s a bread that comes together quickly (which you may have guessed from the name!). No rise times. No rest times.

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    One of the most popular quick breads out there is banana bread, but there are hundreds of different ways you can make quick bread! You can also make it sweet or savory.

    cinnamon swirl quick bread in plate
    cinnamon swirl quick bread close up on plate

    Cinnamon swirl quick bread ingredients:

    For the cinnamon sugar ribbon that runs through the cake, you’ll need:

    brown sugar: you can use granulated sugar as well, but while testing this recipe, I found the brown sugar made a more distinct swirl in the cake! So I mostly use the brown sugar for aesthetic, but it also adds a hint of molasses flavor
    melted butter or vegetable oil: I like to add a bit of liquid to the swirl because I’ve found putting just dry sugar can cause the swirl to kind of blend into the batter. Adding a bit of fat helps separate it from the cake batter. You won’t get a smooth, pourable mixture. It’ll just be a moistened, crumbly mix

    cinnamon swirl quick bread in baking dish

    For the quick bread batter, you will need:

    baking powder & baking soda: I like to use both for an extra light and moist quick bread!
    salt: helps balance out all of the sweetness
    more vegetable oil: I prefer using oil in this batter rather than butter because the oil yields a more moist bread that lasts longer. If you don’t have vegetable oil, any neutral flavored oil will work (like peanut, canola, or corn oil)
    sugar: again, you can use brown or granulated sugar, or a combination of the two! More brown sugar will yield a moister bread with a stronger molasses flavor
    buttermilk: You can substitute buttermilk for regular milk, but you may need less because regular milk isn’t as thick as buttermilk. You can also make your own buttermilk, but again, it will be looser than actual buttermilk. It still does the job just as well!
    vanilla extract

    cinnamon swirl quick bread overhead close up

    How to store quick bread:

    You store quick bread like basically any other cake or muffin. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, place in a plastic bag, or store in an airtight container. Try to seal as well as possible because air is the main factor that causes quick bread to turn stale.

    This quick bread will keep for up to 5 days at room temperature, but I would aim to finish it by about 3 days just because it does taste best fresh. (But I haven’t met anyone with a problem finishing this quick bread!)

    cinnamon swirl quick bread inside view

    You can also freeze quick bread for up to 2 months. To freeze, wrap tightly with a layer of plastic wrap, then cover with a layer of aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.

    To thaw frozen quick bread, set out at room temperature for a few hours until defrosted completely. Serve normally!

    If you liked this cinnamon swirl quick bread, check out some of these other recipes!

    cinnamon rolls
    banana bread
    sour cream pound cake
    easy apple crumb cake
    cinnamon swirl wreath bread

    Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread Recipe

    This sweet quick bread tastes just like cinnamon rolls, without all of the effort! It's made up of a moist and tender cake with cinnamon sugar swirled throughout!
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Bake Time 50 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
    Servings 1 (9×5 inch) loaf


    For the cinnamon swirl:

    • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
    • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter or vegetable oil * see notes

    For the sweet quick bread:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 3/4 cup granulated or brown sugar, or a combination ** see notes
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


    • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with butter or vegetable oil and line with parchment paper (leaving some hanging up the sides to make it easier to lift the cake out). Set aside.
    • Make the cinnamon swirl: In a medium sized bowl, combine your brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter or vegetable oil. Mix until you get a moist and crumbly mixture. Set aside.
    • Make the sweet quick bread batter: In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
    • In a separate medium bowl, combine eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Whisk to break up the eggs and combine everything. Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold the ingredients together until just combined. Take care not to over mix!
    • Assemble: Pour about 2/3 of your quick bread batter into your prepared loaf pan, and smoothen out into an even layer. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Using a wooden skewer or knife, swirl the cinnamon sugar into the batter by running the utensil through the batter. Top with the remaining quick bread batter.
    • Bake your cinnamon swirl quick bread in the center of your preheated 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean of batter (you may see some of the cinnamon swirl on the skewer). If you find your cake is browning too quickly, loosely tent with aluminum foil and continue baking until cooked through. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.



    * You can use either butter or vegetable oil. Using fat in the cinnamon sugar mix helps make sure your cinnamon swirl doesn’t blend into your cake batter! You won’t get a smooth paste. It’s going to look more crumbly, which is totally normal!
    ** You can use all granulated sugar, all brown sugar, or a mixture of the two in your batter. It depends how much molasses flavor you like!


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