Easy Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe

By Published On: December 11th, 20233.6 min readCategories: Recipes

Here’s a super easy Christmas sweet bread recipe people will love! Give it as a handmade gift for your friends and family this holiday

A loaf of cinnamon bread on a cutting board

Here’s a super easy holiday bread recipe friends and family will love

I used to make all kinds of complicated (and messy) sweet breads, cookies, and candies for Christmas. But after the big “Fruitcake Fail” of 2019, I’ve simplified my baking to a single cinnamon swirl bread recipe that’s always a huge hit with family and friends at the holidays.

It’s really just a simple egg bread recipe amped up with a buttery cinnamon swirl, but it’s so delicious people will think you were sweating over a hot stove all afternoon to make it.

Better yet, it’s really versatile and can be served as sweet treat by itself, drizzled with a simple powdered sugar icing as a desert, and the way my family likes it — as deliciously decadent French Toast on Christmas morning.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

Makes 2 loaves / Oven 375°

Bread

  • 7 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp instant yeast or 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Icing (optional)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • Milk

Instructions

Bread

  1. Mix dry ingredients.Place 3 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix the ingredients.
  2. Warm milk and butter. Add ¼ cup butter and milk to a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl and warm until butter is soft and melting (110° – 115°). Mix well.
    Eggs and flour in a bowl

    Adding the eggs and dry ingredients

  3. Add milk and butter mixture to dry ingredients and stir. Add eggs and mix on high until everything is well blended (usually about 3 minutes).
  4. Add in as much of the remaining flour as you can using a spoon or your hands. Dough should be fairly stiff when you are finished.
    A bowl with bread dough in it

    Mix the dough

  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding flour until the dough is stiff and smooth (5 – 10 minutes).
  6. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and set dough aside in a warm area until it doubles in size (about 1 to 1-1/2 hours).
  7. Make cinnamon filling. While the dough is rising, warm your remaining ¼ cup of butter until is soft and starting to melt. Stir in the cinnamon and blend well so it’s smooth and free of cinnamon clumps.

    Cinnamon and butter for the filling

  8. Once your dough has doubled, remove it from the bowl and punch it down. Divide in half and make two balls. Cover, and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
    two ball of bread dough on a cutting board

    Dividing the dough in two

  9. Place the dough ball(s) on a floured surface and roll out until it’s flat. Using a pastry brush or spoon, spread your cinnamon and butter mixture thinly and evenly across the dough.
    rolling bread dough on a cutting board

    Spread the cinnamon & butter on your dough and roll

    Then roll the dough into a loaf.

  10. Place your rolled dough into a well-greased loaf pan and spread a little more butter and cinnamon mixture across the top.*
    Bread dough in a loaf pan

    The bread ready for the oven

  11. Bake in a 375° for 35 – 45 minutes. Cover it lightly with foil for the last 5 – 10 minutes to prevent it from over-browning your cinnamon topping.
  12. Allow to cool before serving or icing.
    A loaf of cinnamon bread on a cutting board

    Fresh cinnamon swirl bread ready for eating!

Icing (optional)

  1. Mix powdered sugar, vanilla and a dash of milk to make a slightly stiff icing (if it’s too watery, add more sugar).
  2. Pour over cooled loaf of bread and let stand so the icing dries. Cover lightly with foil or plastic wrap to prevent the icing from getting sticky.

* You can make swirled cinnamon rolls by making the loaves smaller and slicing before baking. (These are delicious with the icing over the top!)

There you have it! Delicious, cinnamon-spiced bread perfect for Christmas parties and as gifts. Enjoy!

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About the Author

author avatar
Terri Osterfeld
I'm Sage's wife and the real person in charge of Sage's Acre. He gets the yard, I get the house and the kitchen (unless I need him to do something in the house). I love making comfort food and baking, especially bread. I have no special training, but I did raise a herd of children and burned plenty before I perfected my technique. I love the simple, practical and homegrown. I also have a weakness for dachshunds (don't judge!).

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