Happy New Year, friends! Whether you’re looking for a great bake to start the year or looking for the best weekend breakfast/snack/dessert , you’re going to want to get to know this cozy cinnamon swirl quick bread!
Fuss free bakes are the name of the game right now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Classic cakes I grew up making, like my apple crumb cake have become staples over the past few months, and this cinnamon swirl beauty is now topping the list!
With a hint of vanilla and a ripple of cinnamon sugar running through the loaf, it’s exactly what you’ll find yourself reaching for with that first cup of coffee.
The quick bread comes together in a snap. A blend of brown sugar, vanilla and splash of whiskey all add to the warmth of the loaf and up the cozy factor. The other ingredient adding to the flavor parade, and what I believe is an unsung hero in the baking department, is buttermilk. Buttermilk adds immense moisture to the loaf, while also keeping it light at the same time. I love when something is satisfying, yet light, and this ticks all the boxes!
A simple mixture of sugar and cinnamon runs through the middle of the loaf (when you cut into it, it looks like it’s smiling!) and also coats it like a little throw blanket of flavor!
When making the quick bread the other day, I thought of maybe swirling the cinnamon sugar through the loaf with a butter knife, but I quickly remembered to leave it be! My favorite part of this bake is how the cinnamon sugar topping turns into this glorious crust as it bakes, sealing in all that moisture and flavor.
This is exactly what you’ll be looking at, and that crispy coating is everything! Doesn’t it just look homey?
It’s literally asking you to put the kettle on.
One really important tip when making this loaf is to line the loaf pan with parchment paper so you’ll be able to lift it out of the pan without messing up the cinnamon sugar topping. You can do this without parchment, but you risk losing some of that gorgeous crust when you turn it out of the pan.
In full disclosure, I completely forgot the parchment yesterday and I’m not even kidding when I tell you I totally panicked when I realized it!
Somehow I managed to slide it out of the pan seamlessly, but due to the beautiful crust on top, it is much easier to simply lift it out the pan with parchment paper.
It's also one of those bakes that makes the entire house smell like the holidays. Within 15 minutes, the scent of cinnamon was floating through the air and I was like a kid waiting by the oven for the timer to go off!
As soon as you cut into it, you'll realize this was a very good idea. The brown sugar, vanilla and whiskey all play supporting roles that tie the whole production together, and every few bites, you get the crunch of the cinnamon sugar topping, which is literally the icing on the cake!
Sorry, can't help myself!
What I love most about this bread, aside from the ease and the flavor, is how it seems to fit the bill for anything and everything. It's great with a cup of coffee in the morning, perfect when you want a little nosh mid-day, and always a shoe in for dessert.
Another perk is that it freezes really well, so you can totally make a double batch and freeze one. I love having an emergency quick bread on hand!
Hope you guys love this one!
Go grab the butter, preheat the oven and put the coffee on!
Happy baking! xo
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tsp. cinnamon
For the Quick Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. whiskey
- 1 cup buttermilk
For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
For the Quick Bread
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an 1-inch overhang on each side.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add egg, followed by vanilla and whiskey, making sure to scrape down the bowl, ensuring everything is combined.
- Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk, starting and ending with dries.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top with half the cinnamon sugar mixture. Pour the remaining batter on top and top with the rest of the cinnamon sugar.
- Bake quick bread for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Lining the loaf pan with parchment paper makes it easier to lift out of the pan and keep the beautiful cinnamon sugar topping in tact.
- You can use your favorite whiskey, bourbon, or brandy.
- If you cleaned out the bar cart, or prefer not to use it, you can simply leave it out.
- If you leave out the whiskey, I suggest increasing the vanilla extract to 1 tsp.
- Store quick bread in an airtight container at room temperature. It will keep for about 5 days, but rarely makes it past 2!
- If freezing quick bread, wrap it very well in plastic wrap. I usually wrap it twice.