This Cinnamon Roll Bread Loaf is deliciously buttery, fluffy and packed with cinnamon. Perfect for a special breakfast or as sweet treat to enjoy with your afternoon tea, this Cinnamon Swirl Bread will also be great for Christmas and the Holidays!
Why we love this recipe
If you love Cinnamon Rolls but are looking for a fun way to twist the classic recipe, this Cinnamon Roll Bread is perfect for you! Combining eight brioche cinnamon roll logs assembled inside a loaf pan, this recipe will give you the delicious taste of cinnamon roll but in a new original form.
Just like this Cinnamon Babka, this cinnamon sweet bread make an deliciously indulgent breakfast or sweet treat that is perfect for the Holiday season - or all year round.
It is a super fun recipe to make with kids as well and a great edible gift idea!
The ingredients required here are basically the same that you would use if making brioche-style cinnamon rolls (scroll down to recipe card for all quantities):
For the Brioche-style Dough:
- Milk: preferably Full-Cream / Whole Milk for the best flavour and texture. It needs to be lukewarm but not too hot or it might kill the yeast.
- Sugar: Caster Sugar or Fine White Granulated Sugar.
- Yeast: Instant (dried) Yeast - but you can also use Active Dry Yeast. You just have to make sure it is properly "bloomed" - or re-hydrated in a lukewarm liquid before using it.
- Plain / All Purpose Flour: you can use bread flour instead, but this will give you a lighter, fluffier dough.
- Cinnamon & Salt: a little bit of ground cinnamon is added in the dough for extra flavour. The salt is a fine table salt.
- Eggs: Medium size eggs, at room temperature (it is really important for them not to be cold). One extra egg is also used for the Egg Wash - but is optional.
- Butter: unsalted butter, very soft.
- Optional: Raw Sugar or Demerara Sugar to be sprinkled on top of the cinnamon rolls bread for an extra crunch.
For the Cinnamon Roll Filling:
A simple mix of soft unsalted Butter, Brown Sugar and Ground Cinnamon. Optionally, you could also add different spices, some chocolate chunks/chips or even chopped nuts!
How to make Cinnamon Roll Bread
The first step is to prepare the cinnamon roll dough - which is basically a basic Brioche Dough that has a little bit of cinnamon added to it.
Making the Dough
- Photo 1: Place the warm Milk (it shouldn't be too hot or it will kill the yeast) and one tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix, then stir in the Yeast. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or until you can see small bubbles on the surface; that means that the yeast is alive.
Note that "blooming" (or rehydrating) the yeast is optional here because we are using Instant Yeast that does not require to be rehydrated. I personally like to do it anyway as a way to check that the yeast is alive. If using Active Dry Yeast instead of Instant Yeast, this step is mandatory.
- Photo 2: Mix in the Eggs.
- Photo 3: Add the Flour, rest of the Caster Sugar, Ground Cinnamon and lastly the Salt. With the dough hook of your mixer, knead on medium speed until a sticky dough comes together and all the ingredients look incorporated.
Make sure to add the salt last so that it does not come in direct contact with the yeast, which might kill it. If needed, use a spatula to help the stand mixer start.
- Photo 4: Add the soft Butter a little bit at the time while continuing to knead until all the butter has been incorporated. Stop and scrap the bowl with a spatula if / when needed; the dough will get greasy and sometimes gets stuck on the edges of the bowl.
- Keep kneading on medium high to high speed for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the dough passes the "windowpane test" (see FAQs section below for the definition of windowpane test). The dough will still be a bit sticky and quite soft.
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and leave it to proof in a warm spot for about 1,5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. Alternatively, place it in the fridge to proof overnight for 8 to 12 hours (more info on overnight proofing in the FAQs section below).
Shaping and Filling
- Prepare the Cinnamon Rolls Filling by mixing together the soft butter, cinnamon and brown sugar in a small bowl.
If the filling seems quite soft or too liquid (if the butter was too warm), place it in the fridge to set again for a few minutes.
Scroll down to the recipe card below for a video showing how I shaped the cinnamon roll bread!
- Photo 5: Punch the dough to deflate it and transfer it over a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.
To be precise, use a kitchen scale to weight out the dough and make sure all pieces are equal.
- Photo 6: Shape each piece of dough into a log shape.
- Photo 7: With a rolling pin, roll each dough into a small, thin rectangle. The longest side should be at least as long as the Loaf Pan you are using.
- Photo 8: Spread a little bit of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon / spatula.
Assembling & Baking
- Photo 9: Roll each piece of dough on itself to create a long log shape, as you would when making cinnamon rolls. Gently roll each log under your fingers to seal the seam. Repeat the process until you have 8 logs.
Alternatively, you could also roll the dough into a large rectangle, spread the cinnamon filling over it then cut it into 8 equal pieces before rolling each piece on its own to get the log shape.
- Photo 10: In a lightly greased and lined Loaf Pan (baking paper or parchment paper), place the logs of dough next to and on top of each other to create an un-even pattern. You can twist some of the logs together to create a pretty pattern or just place them on top of each other.
I used a 11,5x30cm / 4,5x12 inch loaf pan.
- Photo 11: Brush the bread with an Egg Wash to give it a golden look.
- Photo 12: Optionally, sprinkle some Raw or Demerara Sugar over the cinnamon roll bread for an extra crunch.
- Cover the loaf pan and leave it to rise again for 30 to 45 minutes. Preheat your oven on 180'C/350'F, then bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes or until it has risen and is golden brown.
- Let the cinnamon roll bread cool down completely before taking it out of the loaf pan.
I personally serve the bread like that on its own, but you could also drizzle it with Icing, sprinkle some Icing or Powdered Sugar or top it with a Cream Cheese Glaze for example.
You can substitute the AP Flour with the same quantities of Bread Flour, but Plain/AP Flour is used here to give the dough a lighter, softer crumb.
The windowpane test is a simple way to check that the dough has been kneaded enough.
Pull a small piece of dough and gently stretch it between your fingers. If the dough breaks quickly, it needs to be kneaded for longer. If it stretches easily without breaking and you can see light coming through it, it has passed the windowpane test.
Proofing the dough in the fridge overnight is a great way to create deeper flavors and also get a dough that is easier to work with (as it will be less soft / sticky).
Prepare the cinnamon roll bread dough in the evening, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to proof overnight (or for 8 to 12 hours). In the morning, take the dough out of the fridge and let it come back to room temperature for about 30 minutes before cutting it into 8 pieces and fill / shape the bread.
Unfortunately no; this recipe is for a cinnamon roll bread with yeast as opposed to a cinnamon roll quick bread.
Tips for Success
- "Activate" the yeast: there is nothing worse than going through all the effort to make this bread only to realise the yeast was dead and it did not rise. A simple way to insure this does not happen is to "bloom" the yeast, aka re-hydrate it in a warm liquid and wait to see if there is a reaction (small bubbles, froth, strong yeast smell etc...) before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Proof the cinnamon roll bread dough overnight in the fridge will create deeper flavours and a lighter texture. The dough will also be easier to roll and work with when it has been proofed in the fridge.
- The Cinnamon Roll Logs don't have to be placed in a specific way inside the loaf pan; you can really have fun twisting them around each other to create fun patterns! You could even braid them.
- Customise the cinnamon filling with the addition of chopped nuts, dried fruits, citrus zest/peels or even small chocolate chunks!
Storing & Freezing
This cinnamon rolls bread is best eaten fresh within a day for a really tender crumb but will remain fresh for 2 to 3 days. Individual slices can be re-heated in the microwave or toaster.
The cinnamon bread will freeze well. It can be frozen in one piece (place it on a tray in the freezing until fully frozen then wrap in one layer of plastic wrap and aluminium foil) or in pre-cut slices, separated with baking / parchment paper. Leave to thaw at room temperature when ready.
Made this recipe? Let us know if you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below! And don't forget to share your creation on Instagram with the hashtag #abakingjourney and tag @a.baking.journey
Cinnamon Roll Bread Loaf
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- 75 ml (5 tablespoons) Full Cream / Whole Milk - lukewarm
- 60 gr (1/4 cup) Caster Sugar - or fine white granulated sugar
- 9 gr (2 teaspoons) Instant Yeast
- 3 Eggs - at room temperature
- 350 gr (2 1/3 cup) Plain / All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/3 teaspoon Fine Table Salt
- 90 gr (6 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter - very soft
- 1 Egg for Egg Wash - optional
- 120 gr (1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter - very soft
- 100 gr (1/2 cup) Brown Sugar
- 2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- Raw Sugar / Demerara Sugar to taste - optional
I highly recommend using the measurements in grams & ml (instead of cups & spoons) for more accuracy and better results.
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- Place the lukewarm Milk in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix it with one tablespoon of the Caster Sugar. Add the Yeast, stir then let it bloom for about 10 minutes - or until the mixture looks bubbly / frothy.75 ml (5 tablespoons) Full Cream / Whole Milk, 9 gr (2 teaspoons) Instant Yeast
- Add the Eggs then the Plain/AP Flour, rest of the Caster Sugar, Ground Cinnamon and finish with the salt (see note 1). Knead on medium speed with the dough hook until a sticky dough comes together.60 gr (1/4 cup) Caster Sugar, 3 Eggs, 350 gr (2 1/3 cup) Plain / All-Purpose Flour, 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, 1/3 teaspoon Fine Table Salt
- Add the soft Butter a little bit at the time, kneading until incorporated before adding more (see 2). Keep kneading on medium high to high speed for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until the dough passes the "windowpane test". The cinnamon roll dough will be very soft and still slightly sticky - that's normal!90 gr (6 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave it to proof in a warm spot for about 1,5 hours, or until it has doubled in size - or overnight in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours.
- Mix together the soft Butter, Cinnamon and Brown Sugar in a small bowl. Set aside (see note 3).120 gr (1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter, 100 gr (1/2 cup) Brown Sugar, 2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- Punch the dough to deflate it and transfer it over a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces (see note 4).
- Shape each piece of dough into a log shape then roll it into a thin rectangle with a rolling pin. The longest side of the rectangle should be at least as long as the Loaf Pan you are using.
- Spread a little bit of the cinnamon filling over the dough, then roll the dough on itself to create a long log shape. Repeat the process with the 8 pieces of dough (see note 5).
- Lightly grease and line a Loaf Pan with baking paper (used a 11,5x30cm / 4,5x12 inch loaf pan). Place the rolls of dough inside the loaf pan next to and on top of each other to create an un-even pattern. You can twist some of the logs together to create a pretty pattern or just place them on top of each other.
- Brush the bread with an Egg Wash then sprinkle with the Raw / Demerara Sugar.1 Egg for Egg Wash, Raw Sugar / Demerara Sugar to taste
- Cover with a tea towel and leave to proof again for 30 to 45 minutes or until it has risen again.
- Preheat your oven on 180'C/350'F, then bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Let the cinnamon roll bread cool down completely before taking it out of the loaf pan.
- Make sure to add the salt last as you don't want it to be in direct contact with the yeast, which might kill it. I personally like to mix all the ingredients with a spatula first until just combined before using the stand mixer hook attachment.
- The dough can get quite greasy when you add the butter so feel free to stop and scrap the edges of the bowl to help the machine when required.
- If the filling seems quite soft or too liquid (if the butter was too warm), place it in the fridge to set again for a few minutes.
- To be precise, use a kitchen scale to weight out the dough and make sure all pieces are equal.
- Alternatively, you could also roll the dough into a large rectangle, spread the cinnamon filling over it then cut it into 8 equal pieces before rolling each piece on its own to get the log shape.