Welcome to The Storied Recipe! The recipe for this award-winning Homemade Cinnamon & Brown Sugar bread comes from Liz Mulligan. Her grandmother packed loaves of this delicious cinnamon swirl bread into a wagon and brought it around to neighbors in her midwestern small town. Make sure you listen to Liz's episode while you make her grandmother's delicious brown sugar bread!
This bread is SO delicious I made 6 loaves that were gobbled down by my familybefore I could finally photograph one!
One tip from my podcast guest, Liz: Always toast her Cinnamon Brown Sugar Bread and slather with butter.
Truthfully, I didn't think the bread could get any better than the soft, gooey goodness that comes straight from the oven. But Liz was right: toasting the bread brought out the most beautiful golden color, a richer flavor, and made the gooey brown sugar in the filling warm and caramelized.
Enjoy a slice of this sweet bread with a cup of coffee for the perfect breakfast on a chilly fall morning.
Or, just like Liz's grandmother, make gifts of these gorgeous loaves!
For more uses, jump to How To Use in the outline below:
- What to Expect:
- How to Enjoy the Best Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- Listen to Liz's Warm Memories
- Follow The Storied Recipe in Your Favorite Player
- Substitutions & Variations
- Top tip
- More Breads from Around the World
- More Breakfast Recipes from Around the World
- Best Homemade Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Bread Recipe
What to Expect:
- This is a recipe for a yeasted bread, NOT a quick bread, so the structure is open and fluffy.
- Yeasted breads are good for all sorts of uses beyond toasting - see below!
How to Enjoy the Best Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- As Liz and her family attest, this Cinnamon Brown Sugar Bread goes to another level when it's toasted!! Butter is the best complement to the fluffy bread and brown sugar flavor.
- Use to make French toast topped with maple syrup or fluffy powdery sugar
- Use to make the best Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich ever!!
- Or - my favorite! - Cream Cheese and Jelly Sandwich
- Use these pretty small tins and make mini loaves for holiday gifts (or any time of the year).
- Make cinnamon rolls: Roll the dough more thinly (about ¼ inch) and cover with the brown sugar mixture. Roll up the long way. Slice into spirals about 1" (one inch) high and place in a pan with at least an inch between each roll. (But honestly, if you want to make cinnamon rolls... use The Pioneer Woman's recipe. It cannot be beat.)
Listen to Liz's Warm Memories
This award-winning recipe for Brown Sugar Cinnamon Bread is over 50 years old and locally famous in a small town in Michigan. The recipe and its developer, Virginia Dayton, were featured in multiple newspaper articles.
Virginia's granddaughter Liz shares all about her memories of eating this bread her her grandmother's old white farmhouse. Tune in to this heartwarming - but surprisingly raw and vulnerable - interview with Liz.
Follow The Storied Recipe in Your Favorite Player
Homemade cinnamon swirl bread sounds fancy, but I'd be money there's nothing here that you don't already have in your pantry!
Homemade Bread Ingredients
- Hot water
- White sugar
- Active dry yeast or instant yeast (either work fine.)
- All purpose flour (bread flour is not necessary for this rustic recipe.)
- Dark brown sugar (more flavor than light brown sugar)
See recipe card for quantities.
Although this is a yeast bread, don't be intimidated! Truthfully this is an easy cinnamon bread recipe for beginners. Brown sugar covers a multitude of mistakes in this recipe!
Make the Bread Dough
- Sprinkle Active Dry yeast in lukewarm water to activate.
- Melt shortening in hot water.
- Combine sugar, salt, egg, and yeast
- Gradually mix in flour.
- First rise: Let the dough rise until doubled in size.
Shape and Fill the Loaves
- Grease two loaf pans.
- Divide the dough into two sections
- Roll (or simply use hands to flatten) one section on a floured board.
- Roll the dough and place into prepared loaf pan, ensuring the seam is on top.
- Repeat with the second section
- Second rise: Let rise until doubled.
Bake the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Bread
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Brush the top of the bread with an egg yolk mixed with water.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack.
Substitutions & Variations
This is a very simple & basic homemade cinnamon bread. My best advice is to keep it that way.
- Mix butter rather than shortening with cinnamon sugar mixture
- Cinnamon Raisin Bread: After you've spread the cinnamon brown sugar paste on the bread dough, sprinkle ¼ cup of raisins over the for cinnamon raisin bread
- Virginia's recipe was rustic and had a soft white top. Add an egg wash for a shiny golden brown color.
- Cover the top with aluminum foil if it gets too dark before baked through.
- Standard loaf tins
- Mini or decorative holiday loaf tins
- Can place in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap on counter for 48 hours
- Freezes wonderfully!
- Freeze the loaves after the 2nd rise, before baking. Place in pan and bake from frozen. Add 10 minutes to bake time.
- Alternatively, freeze after baking. Set on counter to thaw for 2 hours.