This homemade Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake is an easy quick bread recipe that's moist and tender with a big cinnamon sugar swirl and topped with the most perfectly crunchy streusel.
Pretty staple baking ingredients are used to make this cinnamon cake – check them out below.
- Granulated sugar: Just a perfect hint of sweetness.
- Eggs: Large eggs are the perfect size for baking. Pasture raised is best if you can find them, if not, free-range is the next best thing. Try to take them out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before making the batter.
- Full fat plain Greek yogurt: Adds a ton of moisture and a little tang. A lower fat content is fine, but make sure it’s plain flavored. Chobani is always a great go-to. In a pinch you could use sour cream instead.
- Vanilla extract: Builds up the flavor in the cake. Vanilla bean paste is also great!
- Canola oil: Adds to the moisture with the other wet ingredients. You could also sub vegetable oil or any other neutral oil here.
- All purpose flour: Go-to baking flour. You can sub 1:1 gluten free flour if needed.
- Baking powder: Leavening agent. Make sure it’s not expired.
- Cinnamon: It wouldn't be cinnamon loaf without cinnamon, right?!
- Salt: Kosher salt.
- Butter: Melted unsalted butter is the binder of the streusel.
- Brown sugar: Just a bit of light brown sugar gets added into the streusel to give it a deeper flavor.
Step by step instructions
This easy cinnamon swirl quickbread comes together in a few straightforward steps.
1. Combine the eggs and sugar. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar.
2. Add the rest of the wet ingredients. To the mixing bowl add the greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and canola oil.
3. Add the dry ingredients. To the wet mixture, add the all purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until just combined.
4. Make the cinnamon-sugar mixture. In a small bowl combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon.
5. Assemble. To a prepared loaf pan (lined, greased), pour half of the batter and spread into an even layer. Then sprinkle ¾ of the cinnamon sugar on top. Using a knife or offset spatula, gently swirl the cinnamon sugar filling into the bottom layer of batter without fully mixing them together. Top with the remaining batter and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon mixture over top.
6. Make the streusel. Combine the melted butter, sugars, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Sprinkle in an even layer over the top of the loaf.
7. Bake. 350F for 50-60 minutes until deeply golden. Baking time may vary depending on your oven.
Tips and tricks
- Preheat the oven before you start making the batter so it’s at temperature when you’re finished assembling.
- Use an oven thermometer to help make sure your oven is at the right temperature. (for example, mine preheats hot, and I have to wait for it to come down to temperature before I add the food in).
- Bake with room temperature ingredients – let them sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (an hour is better) before making the batter.
- It may seem like a lot of cinnamon sugar, but when it bakes it becomes a delicious gooey layer inside, and a crunchy layer on the top.
- Don’t over mix the batter. The more you mix, the less tender the cake will be.
- Use a light-colored baking pan. Darker pans get hot faster and the outside will cook more quickly.
- To tell if the cake is done cooking, insert a toothpick or cake tester into the middle and if it comes out with just a few crumbs, it’s done. If it has any wet batter on it, it’s not done.
- Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before taking it out of the baking pan, this will let it settle. After the 10-minute mark put it on a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Make a simple sugar glaze with powdered sugar, milk, and a little vanilla to drizzle over top – it’ll be reminiscent of a cinnamon roll!!
- You can make this in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed if you prefer.
Storage and reheating
Tips below on how to store and reheat this cinnamon swirl loaf cake.
- Store: let the cake come to room temperature and store in an airtight container. It’s good for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.
- Freeze: cut it into individual slices, wrap in plastic wrap then aluminum foil, and put in a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: warm in the microwave until heated through.
How to serve
This cinnamon swirl bread is great recipe any way you slice it, and is perfect for breakfast or a dessert.
Serve alongside an extravagant breakfast with eggs, fruit, and bacon. Or as a quick slice with a cup of morning coffee.
For dessert, it's simply a perfect cake on its own along side coffee or tea!
Really just the shape! Cake is baked in a square, round, or rectangular baking dish. Whereas a loaf is baked in a loaf pan.
I usually spray with non-stick spray, then do one long strip of parchment paper along the wide side of the pan with at least 1 inch of overhang. This is the one I use.
Yes! You can use a regular cake pan, muffin tin, or mini loaf pan. Cake would cook about 30 minutes, muffins about 20 minutes, and mini loaf pan also about 30 minutes depending on the size of the pan.
More loaf cake recipes
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Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake
For the cake:
- 2 large eggs room temp
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup plain whole fat Greek yogurt
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the swirl:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
For the streusel:
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 350℉ and prep a standard loaf pan by greasing it with non-stick spray, butter, or ghee and lining it with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the 2 eggs and 1 cup granulated sugar.
- To the mixing bowl add the 1 cup greek yogurt, 1 ½ vanilla extract, and ½ cup canola oil.
- To the wet mixture, add the 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk until just combined.
- Make the cinnamon sugar mixture: In a separate small bowl combine the ½ cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
- To a prepared loaf pan (lined, greased), pour half of the batter and spread into an even layer. Then sprinkle ¾ of the cinnamon sugar on top. Using a knife or offset spatula, gently swirl the cinnamon sugar filling into the bottom layer of batter without fully mixing them together. Top with the remaining batter and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon mixture over top.
- Make the streusel: Combine the 3 tablespoon melted butter, 2 tablespoon light brown sugar, 2 tablespoon granulated sugar, ¼ cup flour, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Sprinkle in an even layer over the top of the loaf.
- Bake at for 50-60 minutes until deeply golden. Baking time may vary depending on your oven.