This Cinnamon Loaf is a deliciously sweet cinnamon swirl cake made in a loaf pan. Whether you eat it for breakfast, snack, or dessert, I highly recommend eating it warm with a little butter!
(This recipe for Cinnamon Loaf was originally posted in July 2008, but was updated with new photos in 2019).
I’ve heard rumors that cinnamon can help boost your mood. And I’m not here to scientifically confirm or deny these rumors, but what I am for is to tell you that it boosts my mood. Every time. If I could eat a slice of coffee cake every single morning, I honestly think I’d be the happiest person in the world. Don’t you remember being a kid and having a slice of toast topped with a cinnamon sugar mixture and realizing that, in that moment, you’ve never been happier? I’m telling you, it’s the cinnamon!
I highly recommend starting all of your days with cinnamon. The loaf/cake/bread part is debatable. But for happiness? I think it’s worth it!
CINNAMON LOAF RECIPE
I’ve made plenty of coffee cakes in my time and while they’re not hard at all, there’s something a bit more intimidating about making coffee cake than there is a cake in a loaf pan. We’re calling this recipe cinnamon loaf because I can’t bring myself to call it cinnamon bread and it’s not really a cake in a traditional sense, though it is certainly cake-like in that it’s a simple batter and streusel mixture layered in a loaf pan and baked. It’s cake-y… But maybe you’ll feel better about eating it for breakfast if we call it cinnamon loaf? Yup, let’s go with that.
The streusel is really just sugar mixed with cinnamon and the batter is a pretty basic one.
You’ll layer the batter and streusel in a loaf pan in thirds starting with the batter. And then pop it into the oven to bake for almost an hour.
Let it cool in the pan before taking it out and slicing it up. I highly recommend eating this cinnamon loaf with a little bit of butter. But you know what? It’s also pretty amazing eaten at room temperature with absolutely nothing on it. I mean, look at that cinnamon swirl middle!
Again, you could totally eat this for breakfast and just play it off as cinnamon coffee cake, which it essentially is. The crumbly cinnamon sugar top is absolutely scrumptious. And I promise that cinnamon will make you happy!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x5 loaf pan with butter.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar for about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after eat addition. Mix in vanilla extract and lemon zest.
- Mix 1/3 of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Mix 1/3 of the buttermilk in until just combined. Continue alternating flour mixture and buttermilk until everything is just combined.
- In a separate medium bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Pour 1/3 of the cinnamon mixture on top, followed by another 1/3 of the batter and another 1/3 of the cinnamon. Repeat one more time, ending with the cinnamon sugar on top.
- Bake on the bottom rack of your oven for 54-58 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
- Let cinnamon loaf cool in pan before removing from pan (run a knife along the edges if necessary) and slicing.
- Recipe lightly adapted from Closet Cooking