Cinnamon Twist Bread

Cinnamon Twist Bread is a delicious bread recipe that combines sweet cinnamon and brown sugar in a fluffy dough. This soft and fluffy bread has an optional crunchy cinnamon topping and makes the perfect weekend breakfast or dessert.

Crunchy cinnamon topping on top of a loaf of bread.

What if you could take your favorite cinnamon rolls and turn them into an amazing loaf of bread? Well, that’s exactly what I did with this cinnamon twist bread recipe!

Several years ago, I had a similar recipe on Berly’s Kitchen and couldn’t wait to recreate something similar for this site. Let me just say, this version is so much easier to make.

It starts with a soft, fluffy bread dough. Then, I fill it with a combination of softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Finally, I add the crunchy cinnamon topping and bake it up!

It’s a little technical, but oh so good! We love to serve it with a breakfast skillet, an egg casserole, or next to a big bowl of stovetop chili.

Substitutions

  • Flour: We opt for bread flour when making this cinnamon bread. It contains more gluten than all-purpose flour which gives the loaf more structure and a slightly chewy texture. Use all-purpose flour if you don’t have bread flour handy.
  • Dairy: The fat in the heavy cream gives this bread a super soft texture. This is an easy swap with milk of your choice or even water. However, less fat in the liquid means a dryer bread. I haven’t made this loaf using a non-dairy milk like soy, almond, coconut, etc., and can’t say how it would turn out.
  • Yeast: Either active dry yeast or instant yeast works.

Variations

Cinnamon and sugar tastes amazing if you’re looking for a sweet yeast bread. There are some other filling ideas if you’d prefer a savory option.

Just be sure to omit all but 1 teaspoon of sugar from the dough.

  • Pesto: I’ve made this bread with pesto as the filling then added shredded parmesan cheese on top. It was amazing, but a little salty.
  • Jalapeño Cheddar: This might be my personal favorite! Shredded sharp cheddar cheese and pickled jalapeños give this bread a cheesy and spicy flavor.
  • Pepperoni and Cheese: Layer on pepperoni and shredded mozzarella for a cheesy pizza bread!

Equipment

I used the following equipment for this recipe.

  • Measuring cups (both dry and wet measure), whisk, spoons, and measuring spoons.
  • 9×5-inch metal loaf pan.
  • Sheet pan.
  • Stand mixer with dough hook. Knead the dough by hand if a stand mixer isn’t available.
  • Kitchen scale. Not 100% necessary but definitely helps with the measurement of ingredients.

Tips

  • For easy handling, place the loaf pan on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. It also keeps the bottom of the bread from over browning and helps with possible spillage.
  • Line the pan with parchment paper. While not necessary, it makes cleanup a cinch and helps the bread come out of the pan easier.
  • Omit the crunchy topping and use a sweet vanilla glaze instead.
Sliced loaf of bread topped with crunchy cinnamon on white plates.

Storage

Room Temperature: Store leftover cinnamon twist bread in a paper bag or airtight container for 2-3 days.

Refrigerator: For longer storage, you can refrigerate it for 4-5 days.

Freezer: This bread freezes well. Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. To serve, thaw the bread at room temperature and warm it on low heat oven if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you double this recipe?

It’s best to make two separate loaves and measure the ingredients separately for each loaf.

Can you make the dough ahead of time and bake it later?

Yes, the dough can be made ahead of time and baked later. Prepare the dough and place it in a large greased bowl.

Cover the dough tightly and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. When you’re ready to finish the bread, let the dough rise at room temperature for an additional 1-2 hours.

Why didn’t my dough rise?

This dough takes longer to rise than some yeast bread doughs, so patience is key. That said, there are a few reasons that it may not rise.

  • Expired yeast: Make sure your yeast isn’t expired; otherwise, the dough won’t rise.
  • Air temperature is too cool: Place the bowl in a warm area. The dough needs warmth and heat to rise.
  • Liquid was too hot: If the heavy cream and water are too hot when they come in contact with the yeast, it will die and the dough won’t rise.
Close up view of cinnamon swirl through a loaf of bread.

Cinnamon Twist Bread

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Author: Kim
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings

Ingredients

For the Bread:

  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream, warmed to 110°F
  • cup (80 ml) water, warmed to 110°F
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast, 1 standard packet (instant or active dry yeast)
  • cup (67 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (390 g) bread flour, divided

For the Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons (43 g) unsalted butter, softened so that it’s spreadable
  • ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Optional: For the Cinnamon Topping:

  • ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

To Make the Dough:

  • In a stand mixer bowl, combine heavy cream, water, yeast, butter, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then add the egg, remaining sugar, salt, and 2 cups of flour.
    ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
    ⅓ cup (80 ml) water
    2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
    ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon salt
  • Use a dough hook on low speed to combine, then gradually add the remaining 1 cup of flour. Cover and let the dough double in size, approximately 1-2 hours.
  • Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  • After the dough doubles, punch it down and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a large 9×15-inch rectangle.

To Make the Filling:

  • Brush softened butter on the dough, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, then roll up from one of the long sides like cinnamon rolls.
    3 tablespoons (43 g) unsalted butter
    ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Place the dough seam side down and use a sharp knife to cut it lengthwise, creating two separate pieces. Criss cross the dough in the center to form an “X” shape.
  • Continue braiding the bread by criss crossing it. Carefully twist the bread several times, then pinch the outer ends closed. Place the dough in the prepared loaf pan and tuck the ends under.

To Make the Cinnamon Topping:

  • Optional: In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, melted butter, flour, and cinnamon. Spoon the mixture over the dough and gently press it down.
    ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
    2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Cover the bread with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for another 30-45 minutes until puffy.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the bread reaches about 190°F-200°F on an instant read thermometer.
  • Let the bread cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Allow it to cool completely before slicing.
  • Scroll up and see the post for tips, substitutions, variations, FAQs, and storage recommendations.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 slice of bread. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
*Place the loaf pan on a foil lined baking sheet to catch any spillage or drips.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 390kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 6gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 251mgPotassium: 100mgFiber: 2gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 520IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of More Than Meat and Potatoes and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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