Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

by Dorothy Reinhold on March 27, 2020

Print This Post Print This Post Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread lives up to its name in flavor, beauty and speed. It's a deeply cinnamony, satisfyingly spiced bread that makes its way with ease from the breakfast table to the afternoon snack plate.

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread lives up to its name in flavor, beauty and speed. It’s a deeply cinnamony, satisfyingly spiced bread that makes its way with ease from the breakfast table to the afternoon snack plate.

If you or your family love the occasional cinnamon roll or donut hole as a breakfast treat, you’ll absolutely love this Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread.

We devoured our first loaf plain for breakfast and a few snacks here and there. The second loaf went to a neighbor as a welcome-to-the-neighborhood gift. The third loaf stayed home and was slathered with low-fat cream cheese for breakfast, sneaked its way into some lunch sacks, and even appeared with fruit for dessert.

I’ll note that this is a from-scratch pantry bread, as well, which is important these days. You’ll likely have every single ingredient on hand already.

How to make Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

Ingredients for bread on a white marble counter1. Assemble your ingredients and tools. This is always a good idea, no matter what you are making.

Batter in pan and cinnamon sugar is being sprinkled over it2. Mix up the batter and pour a layer into the pan. Mix up the cinnamon sugar mixture and pour a layer over the batter. Repeat.

Cinnamon sugar is being swirled into bread batter3. Use a butter knife to swirl the cinnamon sugar for a marbled effect inside the bread.

Cinnamon sugar swirled into the quick bread in a pan ready to bake4. Swirled and ready for the oven!

Baked bread cooling on a rack5. Baked and cooling on a rack.

Hand holding a slice of Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread6. For best slicing, wait a day to cut into it. It will be hard to wait. I forgive you if you don’t.

Questions and Answers about the Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

1. Does it matter what sort of cinnamon I use?
I encourage you to use Saigon or Vietnamese Cinnamon, because I find it the most pungent, strongest, richest and sweetest, but I always say, “Use what you have, or what you prefer.” If you know you prefer Korintje cinnamon (more mellow) or Ceylon cinnamon (less strong, no bite), go for it. And if you find a jar or metal container of cinnamon in the store that is just labeled “ground cinnamon,” you’ll be absolutely fine. This is not a bread that puts on airs.

2. What kind of milk can I use?
I usually bake with low-fat cow’s milk because that’s what I have on hand, but feel free to use full-fat milk, or any of the unsweetened non-dairy milks you prefer. 

3. Why do you call for olive oil?
I really like the way light flavored olive oil bakes up in coffee cakes, cakes and quick breads. You won’t taste any strong olive flavor, but you’ll get the health benefits of olive oil. You could use canola, vegetable or grapeseed oil if you prefer — any flavorless oil. 

4. What does it mean to marble it?
You want to hold a butter knife vertically, insert it into the batter (that has the cinnamon sugar mixture in the middle and on top), and swirl a couple of times. This will create a marbled effect so the inside layer looks pretty, instead of dividing the bread exactly in half with a layer of sugar.

5. What does it mean to be called a Quick Bread?
A quick bread is bread that has no yeast, but uses other leavening agents (such as baking soda, baking powder or eggs) to make it rise. And because it has no yeast, it mixes up into a batter like a cake batter, rather than a stiffer dough like a yeast dough. It can be mixed and immediately baked, whereas a yeast bread needs to be mixed, left alone to rise, deflated, left alone again to rise again and then baked. So we can rename this a SUPER quick bread! 

Loaf of bread with a slice cut and laid out in front of it, on a white marble counter

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 12 slices

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread lives up to its name in flavor, beauty and speed. It's a deeply cinnamony, satisfyingly spiced bread that makes its way with ease from the breakfast table to the afternoon snack plate.


  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar (divided use)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk (low-fat is fine; use whatever regular or non-dairy milk you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup light flavored olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg


  1. Heat oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour a 9- by -5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Mix 1/3 cup sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining 1 cup sugar. In a large measuring cup, combine milk, oil and egg, beating with a fork to combine. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring by hand just until moistened; do not over-stir or bread will be tough.
  4. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar mixture. (Yes, it will seem like a lot, but do it.) Repeat with remaining batter and sprinkle with the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture (you will use it all). Draw the tip of a knife gently through batter a couple of times to marble it. (If you run the knife through too many times, you risk stirring it all together instead of getting a marbling effect, so do this step gently.)
  5. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15-20 minutes. Loosen edges, remove from pan and place on a wire rack. Cool completely. Wrap and store bread overnight before slicing, if you can.
  6. Slice gently. Makes 12 slices.


Recipe source: Dorothy Reinhold | Shockingly Delicious

Slicing: You may eat it immediately after it cools of course, but it slices better if you can wait overnight. It also seems to improve with age and keeps well unrefrigerated, so if it is still around 2 days later, all the better and consider yourself lucky!

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Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread on a white plate, on a white marble counter

Shockingly Delicious spring sweets recipes:

Try them all!

1. Orange Posset
2. Greek Yogurt Tangerine Cake
3. Coffee Banana Breakfast Smoothie
4. Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread
5. Coconut Pecan Dream Bars

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy (Savory Moments) October 6, 2021 at 3:53 am

Oooohhhhh this bread looks absolutely scrumptious!! I’m definitely trying it soon and I bet the smell is so good.


Dorothy Reinhold October 6, 2021 at 8:58 pm

You’re right. The house smells amazing while it bakes!


Inger @ Art of Natural Liivng October 3, 2021 at 4:34 pm

Wow! Looks so good and it’s almost a 5-ingredient recipe!


Janel October 12, 2020 at 8:32 am

This was a hit! And I was definitely shocked about it being better the second day … very true! I actually found the top a bit too crusty straight out of the oven (yes, we tried it both ways, for the benefit of science. 🙂 Oh, and I used buttermilk ’cause I was low on other kinds of milk — worked just fine & may have added a bit of flavor.


Dorothy Reinhold October 13, 2020 at 8:02 am

I approve of your scientific approach. 🙂 Like the buttermilk idea!


Anita April 14, 2020 at 11:18 am

Absolutely moist and delicious! I used canola oil instead of olive oil, and used half and half instead of regular milk. I did use my Anolon loaf pan as well. I had to bake it for approx. 65 minutes in my oven. This is a fantastic recipe – definitely will be a frequent ‘do over’!


Dorothy Reinhold April 14, 2020 at 12:11 pm

I am so happy you love it! Your small tweaks are great…use what you have! I think the half and half is a fabulous idea. Well done!


Christie April 4, 2020 at 7:52 am

That looks so delicious. And packed with lots of cinnamon flavor.


Jane April 2, 2020 at 5:44 am

Thanks for the reply Dorothy!
I did use a spoon to scoop the flour as I always do, and I was careful not to over mix! I will try again, it is yummy,!!


Dorothy Reinhold April 2, 2020 at 7:41 am

The baking gods are on your side. I know it will work!


Jane March 31, 2020 at 6:24 am

I so wanted to love this! Mine came out dense and heavy. I used almond milk, do you think that was why??!!!


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2020 at 7:13 am

Aw….that’s a shame. It should NOT be dense and heavy. Honestly I have never cooked or baked with almond milk, so am not sure what properties it has that might screw this up. I have 2 other thoughts. How did you measure your flour? If you took the measuring cup and dipped it into your flour bin, you may have inadvertently gotten too much flour, because doing it that way packs extra flour into the cup. Hold you cup over the flour bin or bag (to catch anything that falls), take a spoon and scoop flour out with a spoon, and tip it into the measuring cup. Level it off by scraping extra back into the bag. You won’t mistakenly jam too much flour in the cup. The other thought I had was if you may have mixed the batter too vigorously or too long. Since this is a quick bread, we are not trying to develop gluten in the bread (which you would be doing if it were a yeast bread), so a very quick stir once the flour is added is all it needs. I wish I could see you do it…I might have other suggestions. Good luck. It’s a very tasty bread, so I hope you don’t give up on it!


Sandra March 30, 2020 at 1:16 pm

This quickly became a favorite at my house! So good!


Dorothy Reinhold March 30, 2020 at 10:51 pm

So happy to hear that! It’s hard to stay away from, that’s for sure!


Simply Inspired Meals March 30, 2020 at 8:26 am

This looks so delicious, I’m going to make it for breakfast right now!


Catalina March 29, 2020 at 2:05 pm

I would like to wake up with these! Love this flavor!


Cathy March 28, 2020 at 9:53 pm

This has just the right amount of cinnamon flavor!


Cindy March 28, 2020 at 12:14 pm

I’d love a big slice of this warmed for breakfast with a hot mug of coffee!


Lisa Kerhin March 28, 2020 at 6:47 am

It’s been a minute since I’ve made this bread, your recipe will be made soon!


Dorothy Reinhold March 28, 2020 at 11:06 am

I used to make this a lot in the 1990s. I can’t believe I never put this on the blog before now!


Jolene March 28, 2020 at 4:43 am

Absolutely love my Anolon loaf pan, those big, easy to grip edges are the best! Can’t wait to try this recipe!


Dorothy Reinhold March 28, 2020 at 6:34 am

I didn’t know I needed those handles/grips, but once I used them, I’m not going back!


Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert March 28, 2020 at 1:13 am

This Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread looks absolutely delicious! Yummy!


Hezzi-D March 27, 2020 at 5:40 pm

I love quick bread and that swirl is calling my name.


Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck March 27, 2020 at 5:19 pm

This would be a definite repeat in my house too! I love a cinnamony bread!


Karen March 27, 2020 at 4:06 pm

This sounds amazing Dorothy! And so simple! Makes me want to jump up and bake it right now.


Carrie Robinson March 27, 2020 at 3:35 pm

Oooooo… I am loving that cinnamon swirl! Looks so good. 🙂


Wendy Klik March 27, 2020 at 3:12 pm

I can almost smell this bread….looks so scrumptious.


Dorothy Reinhold March 27, 2020 at 3:28 pm

Oh, your house will smell divine as you are baking it!


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