Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

(requested by Nathaniel)

This was another very early Pinterest discovery: Cinnamon Swirl Bread. I made it in early January and I was disappointed because my streusel swirl sank to the bottom. The only reason I haven’t made it since then was my father’s description: “It was delicious but the sugar made my teeth sing.”

But yesterday, we were at the dentist to get that sealant put on Nathaniel’s molars, so when he requested the sugar-infused cinnamon swirl bread I figured it was a chance to redeem myself, and if his teeth were going to sing they’d be well-protected.

I’m not sure I found streusel redemption, but damn this thing is good. I’m going to have to give most of it away because I think one bite is about eleventy billion Weight Watchers points.

The recipe isn’t very descriptive, so I made some procedural changes to bring it more in line with my baking experience. (I’m not sure any of them made a difference, but who knows?)

Although the original blogger has all the ingredients going into one bowl immediately, I began with flour, baking powder and salt.

dry ingredients with whisk

Then I prepped the stand mixer, and put in almost everything else: eggs, canola oil, cinnamon, buttermilk, vanilla, and sugar. But here was my dilemma: back in January, before I made this for the first time, I posted a question about this recipe on the blog where I found it. The recipe required one cup of sugar, and the streusel topping needed half a cup of brown sugar. I like to use less white sugar if I can, so I posted a question asking if the cake would still be okay with half white/half brown. I didn’t even see the response until today, several months later, but her response was this:

It should work but I’d stick to all brown sugar if you have it because that’s what gives it the rich flavor.

That was confusing. The recipe doesn’t say it’s brown sugar, it seems to indicate that it’s white sugar, so what to do? I decided she MEANT all brown sugar, so that’s what I did.

wet ingredients for the stand mixer

Then I just let the mixer work its magic, and I slowly added the dry mixture in, bit by bit.

mixing it in

Next came the fun part: the streusel for the swirl. Because one cup of brown sugar wasn’t enough to induce tooth-singing, I grabbed one of my favorite glass mixing bowls and mixed together a little butter, half a cup of brown sugar, and some cinnamon to make this amazing concoction:


Let the singing begin.

I poured just over half the batter into the pan, thinking that maybe my swirl would be more centered if I had more batter underneath. The recipe said to sprinkle half over the batter, but in hindsight, I’m thinking that doing it across the top in a single line might have been more effective. Too late.

sprinkled streusel

Then I poured the rest of the batter on top, hiding what may have been a streusel miscalculation.

second layer

I sprinkled the rest of the streusel mixture on top, which this time made a lot of sense, and threw the whole thing into the oven. Mine was done in just under 45 minutes, and from the outside, it looked pretty good.

fresh from the oven

The topping even merited a close-up.


I let it cool for about 15 minutes, finished cooling on the rack for about 45 minutes, then sliced it open to see how my swirl did.

Sadly, it still sunk to the bottom, hence the hindsight-based revelation that I’ve done this wrong TWICE now.

cinnamon swirl bread, internal

The good news? It’s amazingly delicious. It’s delicious in the same way as the snickerdoodle mini loaves I found on Pinterest after that, what I call “get-it-out-of-the-house-or-gain-ten-pounds-delicious”. It’s really delicious, and indulgent, and it’s what Nathaniel wanted so I’m happy I was able to give it to him.

Here he is, fresh from the shower, asking for one more piece:

Nathaniel wants more


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