Cinnamon Swirl Bread with Hazelnuts

I adore surprises. I’m also really bad at them. THIS BREAD HAS A SECRET CINNAMON SWIRL ON THE INSIDE! Whoops. Meet my whole wheat Cinnamon Bread:

Cinnamon Bread with a Cinnamon Swirl, Whole Wheat Flour, and Hazelnuts

For as much as I relish the anticipation of unexpectedly popping by the home of two friends who have a newborn with a giant bowl of pasta to see their sleep-deprived faces glow, or attempt to act natural when Ben is bummed that we missed buying tickets to this weekend’s comedy show (guess who scored the last two!), I spoil the surprise every time. I become so darn excited, the surprise bursts out before I can stop it.

On the outside, Cinnamon Bread looks like your standard loaf: attractive, lightly golden, but nothing crazy—do not be deceived. On the inside, it’s studded with toasted hazelnuts and boasts a gorgeous, gooey spiral of cinnamon-sugar beauty that works its way into every bite.

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread with Hazelnuts

Whenever I grocery shop, the commercially-produced cinnamon bread attempts to seduce me. “Buy me,” it croons. “I promise not to go near your thighs, and I am worth this exorbitant price tag.” Tired of disappointing that persistent, pricey bread, I set out to create an affordable, healthy alternative for store-bought cinnamon-swirl bread that anyone can bake at home. This Cinnamon Bread exceeded my every expectation. Carb lovers, cinnamon lovers, and celebrators of life, rejoice!

Since I’ve already done the surprise-busting damage, let’s go big. Allow me to reveal a few other key characteristics of our Cinnamon Bread that you discover when you bake it:

  • Spoiler Alert #1: Cinnamon Bread is easy. Right now, you are thinking “Yeah right,” and that’s if your mother raised you to use only polite language. To be completely honest, I expected the swirl aspect of Cinnamon Bread to be challenging, but it was a cinch! Simply pat the dough into a rectangle, sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar fairy dust, roll that puppy up like a sleeping bag, and voila! You just formed a perfect cinnamon swirl for your Cinnamon Bread.
  • Spoiler Alert #2: Prepare of the scent of sweet cinnamon intoxication. Cinnamon Bread smells so tantalizing as it bakes, I was torn between either never pulling out of the oven or risking third degree tongue burns, rather than wait for it to cool.
  • Spoiler Alert #3: Heaven is about to hit your mouth. Toasty hazelnuts cuddle into a soft cinnamon-scented dough, and our thick cinnamon swirl makes every slice a little piece of paradise.
  • Spoiler Alert #4: Cinnamon Bread is made with whole wheat flour. Trash the rumors that whole wheat breads are dense and leaden. Cinnamon Swirl Bread is fluff-tastic.

 Cinnamon Bread with a Cinnamon Swirl, Whole Wheat Flour, and Hazelnuts

The secret to Cinnamon Bread’s super-fluff status: Red Star Platinum Yeast. Red Star Platinum is the reason that you are going to be deliciously successful with your very own loaf of homemade Cinnamon Bread. No matter your level or bread baking expertise (or lack thereof), with the right yeast and a little patience, you will be prancing around your home, perfectly swirled slice of Cinnamon Bread in hand (and in mouth.)

Cinnamon Bread with a Cinnamon Swirl, Whole Wheat Flour, and Hazelnuts

As I’ve shared previously, Red Star is the only brand of yeast I use, because it is foolproof. As long as I’ve used Red Star, I have never had a bread fail to rise. You don’t even need to take the water’s temperature, if you are feeling lazy—just ensure it feels quite warm (but not hot), and roll with it. The premium yeast in Red Star’s line, Platinum creates the most insanely fluffy breads that I have ever baked, a true asset for a lady that loves her whole wheat flour. I’ve started using Platinum yeast for my (almost) weekly loaf of Magic Multigrain Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread, and I’m never going back.

Now, for one final surprise: A GIVEAWAY from Red Star Yeast! One lucky reader will receive:

  • 1 Red Star Yeast Bread Cookbook to inspire your bread creations
  • Samples of Red Star Platinum Yeast to create the fluffiest of doughs
  • 1 Red Star apron to keep yourself neat and tidy as you knead
  • 1 loaf pan to bake your bread to a lovely golden brown
  • 1 thermometer to ensure your bread is baked for the perfect amount of time
  • 1 heavy-duty oven mitt to remove your freshly baked bread from the oven

** GIVEAWAY ENDED. Thank you to all who entered!**

If you can resist demolishing the entire pan of Cinnamon Bread the moment it emerges from the oven, it makes crazy tasty toast. Ben and I happily smeared multiple slices with butter and ruined our dinner. No regrets.

In fact, we loved Cinnamon Bread so much, I baked it a second time to create this heavenly make-ahead French Toast Bake. Thick, decadent, and requiring only 8 minutes to prepare, this French Toast Bake the ultimate in luxury for the supremely lazy. Brunch this weekend? I think yes.

Cinnamon Bread {Red Star Yeast Giveaway}

Yield: 2 loaves
Prep Time:
3 hrs
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
Fluffy Cinnamon Bread with a gooey cinnamon swirl. Hazelnuts add crunch and whole wheat flour makes this healthy bread a smart choice for breakfast and snacks.


For the Dough:

  • 3/4 cup water, — very warm but not hot (120–130 degrees F)
  • 2 teaspoons Red Star Platinum Yeast
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups  white whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons  vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg — slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons shortening, — melted and at room temperature
  • 1 cup hazelnuts — (toasted and roughly chopped)

For the Cinnamon Swirl:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  1. In a small bowl, combine the water and yeast. Let sit 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. To the bowl with the yeast, add the egg, milk, and shortening and stir to combine. Add the yeast mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir together with a large spoon (or mix on low speed) until the ingredients come together and form a ball.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (or switch to a dough hook if using a standing mixer.) Knead by hand (or on medium speed) for approximately 10 minutes (or by machine for 6 to 8 minutes), adding more flour as necessary. The dough should be soft, pliable, and slightly tacky but not sticky. During the final 2 minutes of kneading, gradually incorporate the hazelnuts, being careful not to crush them. (If you are using a machine, it may be helpful to knead them in by hand so that they are distributed evenly.) Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, until the dough doubles in size. To check dough readiness, gently press the dough with two fingers. If the indent stays, the dough is ready.
  5. Prepare the cinnamon swirl: In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
  6. Lightly oil two 8x4-inch loaf pans. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces (use a kitchen scale if you have one). Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface and pat into a rectangle that is 5 inches wide by 8 inches long. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Working from the short (5-inch) side of the dough, roll up the length of the dough, jelly-roll style as if you are rolling up a sleeping bag, pinching the crease with each rotation to seal in the filling and strengthen the dough’s surface tension. The loaf will spread as you roll, reaching 8 to 9 inches (the length of your loaf pan). Pinch the final seam closed with the back edge of your hand or your thumbs, then lift the loaf and rock it gently back and forth to even it out. Place the loaf in one of the prepared pans. Repeat with second piece of dough. Mist the tops of the loaves with spray oil, cover loosely in plastic wrap, then let rise at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, until the top of the dough crests above the edge of the pan and it is nearly doubled in size.
  7. Before the dough finishes rising, place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Once the dough has finished its second rise, place the loaf pans on a large sheet pan, ensuring that they do not touch. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the sheet pan 180 degrees, then bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes (depending on your oven), until the loaves reach an internal temperature of 190 degrees F. The finished loaves will be brown on the top, golden on the sides, and sound hollow when tapped.
  8. Immediately remove the bread from the pans, then let cool for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy warm with butter.

Recipe Notes

  • Store baked cinnamon swirl bread in ziptop bag or wrapped in foil at room temperature for 4 days or wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then foil, then freeze for up to 3 months. Do not store in the refrigerator, as the bread will become stale.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cinnamon Bread, Easy Homemade Bread

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Giveaway will remain open until Sunday, July 28th at 10 p.m. CST. Winner will be contacted via the email address used to leave a comment on this blog post and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Open to US residents over the age of 18 only. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. No purchase necessary to enter. Red Star Yeast provided me with the products mentioned in this post. As always, all thoughts are my own.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…


  1. Elizabeth Jenkins Reply

    I love cinnamon bread! I also love to make fresh peach scones in the summer. I’ve never used whole wheat flour in either but am going to try it with the Red Star yeast. Thanks!

    • Peach scones? That sounds soooo fab and perfect for summer. I’m a sucker for scones and definitely recommend giving a bit of whole wheat flour a shot. I think you’ll be happy with the results! Thanks for entering and have a great day!

  2. Elizabeth Jenkins Reply

    I like The Law Student’s Wife on FB.

  3. So, I’m on a low-carb diet at the moment (kind of, REALLY half-assing it here) so I need to stay away from this BUT… it’s good to know that swirly goodness is so simple once I get back to my senses! I’d add raisins, then eat it warm and toasted with butter and peanutbutter :)

  4. This bread is absolutely gorgeous!!

  5. My favorite bread is chewy and loaded with lots of grains.

  6. Oh Gawsh! I really could use a slice or 2 or 4 of this bread this morning. Love it!

  7. My favorite is definitely some sort of asiago bread. Like an asiago bagel. mmmmm

  8. Nothing beats a nice Challah bread, and I really enjoy soup in a bread bowl, but I definitely enjoy sweeter breads (banana, nut, cranberry, etc) as a treat all day

  9. My favorite bread is Whole Wheat with Wheat Berries!

  10. I follow you on Twitter!

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  12. cinnamon raisin bread for sure!

    katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

  13. like you on fb

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  14. like red star on fb

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  15. follow you on twitter @Kayday3

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  16. follow red star on twitter @Kayday3

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  17. follow you on pinterest @kad5243

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  19. tweeted

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  20. Reason number one why I stayed away from cinnamon bread is because I thought I always thought it was to pricey to buy. Now I can make it from home, I smell trouble or sweat from the five miles I’ll be running to work off the entire loaf I will eat.

  21. This is beautiful bread. I love cinnamon bread.

  22. This looks fabulous! I love that it’s healthy and easy too. I may have to make it for my husband. (and not tell him about the healthy part, of course!)

  23. This bread looks ridiculously good! Definitely adding it to my short list.

    I love banana bread (with some chocolate chips thrown in), but cinnamon raisin bread is a close second.

  24. Already follow you on Twitter and Pinterest, but tweeted your link!

  25. I absolutely love carbs, so I’m drooling over this, especially since it has hazelnuts in it too! Genius!

  26. Let love cinnamon raisin bread but I don’t like the prices the stores charge
    Always looking for good bread recipes

  27. I like you on facebook

  28. I follow you on Pinterest

  29. I receive your email

  30. I like Red Star Yeast on facebook

  31. I follow Red Star Yeast on Pinterest

  32. This bread is beautiful, Erin! I love cinnamon baked goods mid-summer, when I start to get sick of lemon-everything, haha! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you so much Georgia! I haven’t crossed my “lemon threshold” yet, but when I do, I’ll be another loaf of cinnamon something-or-other in your honor :)

  33. Favorite bread = pumpernickel!

  34. Cinnamon bread will always make me think of the Pepperidge Farm stuff I loved as a kid. Yours looks amazing! My favorite bread these days is the “seeduction” bread from Whole Foods.

    • That’s the exact bread that inspired me to make this Erica! And I’m pretty sure I sampled that bread at Whole Foods last time I was grazing, er, shopping. It was wonderful!

  35. Just followed Red Star Yeast on Twitter

  36. Just followed Red Star Yeast on Pinterest

  37. I love cinnamon bread, but my favorite bread is oatmeal walnut. It’s got to be homemade or an artisan bread, though, none of that grocery store stuff!

  38. I liked The Law Student’s Wife on Facebook :)

  39. I like Red Star Yeast on Facebook :)

  40. I love a twangy sourdough bread, just hot out of the oven with sweet butter!

  41. I LIKED Red Star Yeast on Facebook.

  42. Cinnamon bread is my favorite!!

  43. I love cinnamon bread! This recipe is definitely on my list of things to bake. Thanks!

  44. I follow you on Facebook.

  45. I follow Red Star on Facebook.

  46. Hazelnuts. Ha.zel.nuts!!! You’re a genius. WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?! Can’t get over it.

  47. I think it has to be cinnamon bread, or cinnamon rolls, and I’m on a quest to find the best recipe.

    • A nobel quest indeed Marian! If you find the perfect cinnamon roll, send it my way! I love cinnamon rolls too and might have to make those my next mission. A tough job we have :) Thanks so much!

  48. This recipe sounds and looks GREAT!

  49. Love that you added toasted hazelnuts! What a perfect addition!

  50. I love making different types of sweet rolls. Lemon blueberry, cinnamon, caramel. All of them!

  51. I have heard so much about Red Star Platinum yeast, and I am dying to try it. It looks like it worked wonders here – this bread looks so much better than any store-bought version! I can’t wait to try it. I just made homemade bagels with Red Star yeast, which were a huge success (thanks mostly to the yeast!) and that has to be my favorite bread product of all time.

  52. A perfectly baked baguette!

    • Alison, you know the way to my heart :) I studied abroad in France and have missed the 1 euro perfect baguettes ever since. How about you bring the bread, I’ll bring the cheese, and we’ll have a picnic. Deal?

      • Deal! I’ll bring some wine, too :) I totally miss French bread – that is, bread from France. When I’ve traveled there, I had baguettes for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

  53. Well for an indulgence, sweet cinnamon raisin bread can’t be beat!

  54. acolvinsquared Reply

    I’m an equal opportunity bread lover… but a fresh ciabatta is my fave!

  55. acolvinsquared Reply

    I follow The Law Student’s Wife on Twitter.

  56. acolvinsquared Reply

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  57. Cinnamon bread is really high up there. With butter, of course. I am also an enormous fan of tomato foccacia and will order it whenever available.

  58. I love challah, the first bread I learned to make and still my favorite!

  59. Wow, cinnamon bread! That’s awesome, and so much better than cinnamon rolls. I prefer the heartier taste and rustic texture of the bread to overly-sweet, sticky, white rolls. They should be labelled cakes instead…

    Favorite bread? My heart overflows at the sight of freshly baked, dark, rustic loaf of walnut-cranberry bread. The flavor brings rye to mind, but more mellow, and the bread lends a slight, woody note. Delicious. Close second would be either fresh Italian or French baguette, depending on what I want to pair them with. I’ve discovered that French tends to be a bit more sweet and light (in flavor).

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, Erin! The pics look fantastic– so perfect! The swirl part really impressed me, and your descriptions have totally convinced me to try. Also really glad you gave us a brand of yeast to try. I’ve always been afraid of baking whole wheat bread due to my father’s ghastly attempts.

    • I would take absolutely every type of bread on this list Louisa!! Especially that walnut cranberry–WOW! Thank you so much for your kind words too. I hope you love this bread and enjoy baking with Red Star Platinum. It’s a fantastic product!

  60. Signed up for emails! I eagerly await your next post! :)

  61. My favorite bread? A good homemade pizza dough

    • Absolutely one of my favorites too Karen! (Funny you say that…I just was working on a pizza dough post yesterday ;-) ) Thanks so much for commenting and have a great day!

  62. I subscribed to The Law Student’s Wife newsletter via email

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  69. Ain’t homemade the BEST?! I love cinnamon rolls or bake anything with cinnamon…the aroma is just irresistible. Bet your kitchen smell heavenly while you were baking this gorgeous bread.

  70. Pingback: French Toast Bake | The Law Student's Wife |

  71. I love homemade bagels! My favorite kind of bread!

  72. I follow Red Star on Twitter!

  73. ■Like The Law Student’s Wife on Facebook

  74. ■Follow The Law Student’s Wife on Twitter

  75. ■Follow Red Star Yeast on Twitter

  76. Tweeted “Visit @LawStudentsWife to #win a bread-baking prize pack @RedStarYeast”

  77. Sourdough is my favorite (of the moment), but that can change daily.

  78. I love whole grain bread, but who can resist gooey cinnamon rolls!?!

  79. I “like” The law students wife on Facebook

  80. I “like” Red Star Yeast on Facebook.

  81. I follow The Law Student’s Wife on Pinterest

  82. I follow Red Star Yeast on Pinterest.

  83. whole wheat bread with sunflower seeds

  84. One of our favorite breads (and there are many!) is Banana Bread made with whole wheat flour, buttermilk and maple syrup!

  85. followed red star on Fb

  86. follow red star on twitter kj20082006

  87. I liked the Law Student’s Wife on FB

  88. And I like Red Star Yeast on FB

  89. cinnamon rolls with pecans and a gooey top are the best waiting for it to cool off in the south to try the cinnamon bread

  90. I love any bread, especially when it is fresh out of the oven. My favorite when I was a child was Vienna bread with poppy seeds, or my grandmothers homemade banana bread.

    • Both sound just delightful Jeanne! I love my grandma’s recipes too, and I have never tried Vienna bread but have always wanted to. You’ve inspired me to keep my eye out for it now!

  91. My favorite is the Hawaiian bread–it’s the best!

  92. Kathy aka Mtrver Reply

    Okay, you all are making me hungry!!!!!!! LOL Bagels, raisin cinnamon bread toasted, soft pretzels, artisan breads, good old fashioned cinnamon rolls, homemade hamburgers buns……..Yep, I need a kitchen, not my desk at work right now! LOL
    Seriously, I haven’t met a bread I would ever turn my nose up at and your cinnamon bread recipe looks like one that just joined my list of bread “loves” Can’t wait to try it!
    As for my all time favorite. It has to be fresh from the oven “yeasty” good cinnamon rolls oozing with brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins.

  93. Marianne Sargent Reply

    My current favorite bread to make is a tomato-basil bread.

  94. In all honesty I haven’t met a bread I didn’t like. Choosing just one is so hard. I guess I would have to choose a baguette of crusty French bread.

  95. I like Red Star Yeast on Facebook.

  96. I liked The Law Student’s Wife on Facebook.

  97. Fresh Baked Ciabatta Bread is my favorite !!
    Your recipe looks amazing, its perfect for an early Autumn morning !!

  98. red bean buns, reminds me of childhood and going to asian bakeries on the weekends with the family :)

  99. Followed you on Pinterest :D

  100. Followed red star yeast on Pinterest :)

  101. I love to bake overnight cinnamon rolls!

  102. I liked The Law Student’s Wife on facebook.

  103. I like Red Star Yeast on Facebook.

  104. Favorite self made is oatmeal bread.

  105. I like you on Facebook.

  106. Grandma’s cinnamon rolls!

  107. My favorite bread is Pain L’Ancienne from the Bread Bakers Apprentice. It’s almost red on the outside from the carmelization of the sugars in the dough. It has a beautiful crackle when you break it open and the inside is cool and creamy. Total yumness.

  108. i love english muffins!

  109. i’m a fan of your blog on facebook

  110. fan of red star yeast on facebook too

  111. follow you on twitter

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  113. Can I use bread flour for this recipe? What happens if I don’t add the gluten?

    • Mira, this bread will work deliciously with bread flour. Simply sub 1:1 for the whole wheat and all purpose flours in the recipe, and you can also omit the gluten completely. The gluten is there to help with texture when whole wheat flour is used. Since you’re going for 100% bread flour, you won’t need it–your bread will be super fluffy all on its own!

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  123. I know it’s been a while since you posted this, but I have been lucky to find your recipe now. I’ve shared it in the last post of my blog, a round-up of different types of cinnamon bread. Hope you like it!

  124. How much milk????

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