Cinnamon Swirl Gluten Free Quick Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Gluten Free Quick Bread

If your family ever goes on a weekday breakfast strike, like mine does from time to time, tempt them right back in with this cinnamon swirl gluten free quick bread. It’s an offer they can’t refuse!

Cinnamon Swirl Gluten Free Quick Bread

We’ve been having some breakfast issues in my house. And I’m afraid I’ve not reacted very well. Lots of “are you kidding me?” and plenty of “but you always loved those!” Once we get into a groove with a make-ahead breakfast that all 3 of my kids like and I feel reasonably good about, well I settle in to that groove. Heavily. Perhaps I overdid it? My kids are getting older now (they’re nearly 13, 11 and 9), and it could be that I should just leave them to their own devices in the mornings. Let them just.eat.cereal, forcryingoutloud! I’m not ready to give up yet, though. Instead I try to clear the decks by serving up something nearly too good to reasonably be called breakfast, like this cinnamon swirl gluten free quick bread. Which I served for breakfast with some fruit this morning. And, surprise surprise, not one complaint.

Cinnamon Swirl Gluten Free Quick Bread—Step by Step

The layered and then swirled batter doesn’t necessarily mean that the cinnamon-sugar mixture makes its way into every single nook and cranny of the quick bread. But it’s not meant to, you see. The swirling makes for a perfectly craggy and nubby top, one that makes the whole business taste like the perfectly tender coffee cake which it basically is, after all. And spreads out the cinnamon-sugar just enough.

Cinnamon Swirl Gluten Free Quick Bread

It’s not nutritious like oatmeal muffins, but it did serve to remind me and my children alike that I can, in fact, make something that they love for breakfast. Sometimes, you just need a win. You know? 

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 standard loaf


For the quick bread
1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

6 tablespoons (54 g) cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (8 fluid ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature

2 eggs (120 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the cinnamon-sugar mixture
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the glaze
1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon milk (any kind), plus more by the 1/4 teaspoonful if necessary


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and line with unbleached parchment paper a standard 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan and set it aside.

  • Make the quick bread batter. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter will be thick and fluffy.

  • Make the cinnamon-sugar mixture and assemble. In a small bowl, place the granulated sugar and cinnamon, and mix to combine well. Scrape half of the quick bread batter into the prepared loaf pan, and spread into an even layer with a wet spatula. Place half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top and shake into an even layer. Place the remaining batter on top followed by the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture, in the same manner. Using a wet butter knife at an angle perpendicular to the bottom of the loaf pan, carefully swirl the batter in all directions. The top of the batter should be craggy and uneven.

  • Bake the loaf. Place the loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F, rotate the loaf pan 180°, and continue to bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached, and the top is light golden brown and firm to the touch (about another 15 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the baking pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Make the glaze while the quick bread is cooling. In a small bowl, place the confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk. Mix well, until a thick paste forms. Add more milk by the 1/4-teaspoon, mixing to combine well, until the glaze falls off the spoon slowly, in a thick but pourable glaze. Add milk very slowly, as it is much easier to thin, than to thicken, the glaze. If you do thin the glaze too much, add more confectioners’ sugar a teaspoon at a time to thicken it. Drizzle the glaze in zigzag patterns all over the top of the cooled quick bread. Slice thickly and serve.

  • Adapted from Taste of Home and my recipe for Lemon Poppyseed Bread.


Comments are closed.

  • Morgan
    March 18, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    I made this bread over the weekend and it did not turn out for me. :( This could be a rookie mistake on my part but if I used the Better Batter blend, do I still need to add the Xanthan Gum? My bread turned out very gooey in the middle after it set for a while. When I first took it out of the oven it was a fluffy, beautiful top but when it set, it sunk significantly and the middle was very gummy – not bread-like at all. Any thoughts on what I may have done wrong?

    • March 19, 2015 at 7:48 AM

      Morgan, Better Batter already has xanthan gum in the ingredient list, so no, you don’ add more. If you did, you no doubt ended up with a gummy mess! That’s why the recipe says to omit the xanthan gum if your blend already contains it. It also sounds like you did not bake it for long enough. Please check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer, as well.

  • Vee
    March 17, 2015 at 4:06 AM

    Delicious! Although here in New Zealand we had it for afternoon tea not breakfast! Hehe. Great recipe. I did need to cook it longer than the recipe suggested but that might be an oven thing or slightly different flour consistencies. Whatever, it was fantastic and a new favourite in our house!

  • March 16, 2015 at 6:22 PM

    I can’t wait to make this. It looks divine and so easy to make!

  • GlutenFreeDairyFreeMama
    March 16, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    This was amazing! We demolished the first loaf within an hour of it coming out of the oven, so I made another loaf for the kids to have for breakfast throughout the week. (I have crazy picky kids too.) My husband enjoyed it and announced that it didn’t taste gluten free (which is the compliment of all compliments in this house). Also, since we have wheat and dairy allergies, I had to make a couple subs – I subbed out the butter for earth balance, the buttermilk for cultured coconut milk. It was still perfect! Thank you.

    • March 19, 2015 at 7:48 AM

      Good to know those substitutions worked! Thanks for letting us know.

  • Jennifer
    March 15, 2015 at 5:35 PM

    This was so moist and wonderful!! My son (who is terribly picky about bread) had 4 slices!! I didn’t even make the glaze. This will for sure become one of my breakfast staples.

  • Nancy McInerney
    March 14, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    I made this last night for a brunch at a friend’s house, and everyone loved it! I even forgot the glaze – it’s that good. Plus it was SO easy to make.

  • familychef
    March 14, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    Hi Nicole! Just a quick question about this recipe (it looks fabulous!)
    All I have on hand right now is Cup 4 Cup blend. Since it is high in cornstarch, would I need to adjust the amount of cornstarch you call for in the recipe? Or just use Cup 4 Cup as is? Thank you for everything!

    • March 19, 2015 at 7:49 AM

      Good question! I would replace the cornstarch, gram for gram, with more Cup4Cup blend. It is very high in cornstarch, yes, so that’s the way to go!

  • Joni G.
    March 13, 2015 at 11:38 AM

    I saw this and had to make it immediately! :) It takes like a cinnamon roll. VERY tasty! I shared at work and it was a huge hit!

  • March 13, 2015 at 9:50 AM

    Swoon! Oh my goodness, I feel like this would make a perfect birthday treat for my mom. Mmmm cinnamon swirl….

  • KB
    March 13, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    I have trouble mixing the softened butter into the dry ingredients by hand. I get unevenly distributed lumps. Should I be adding the other wet ingredients first?

    • Anneke
      March 13, 2015 at 10:56 AM

      It will work out, KB, I know it seems like it won’t, but as you add the other ingredients, it makes a nice, smooth batter. I do like to make sure my butter is super soft if I can, but I still get some lumps, too. They go away!

    • March 19, 2015 at 7:50 AM

      Make sure your butter is actually at room temperature before incorporating it, KB, and that your other ingredients are also at room temperature. If your eggs, for example, are cold, they will cause the softened butter to congeal. In baking, proper temperature is everything!

  • Caroline
    March 12, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    This freaking great. I’m Anneke’s daughter by the way. Wow wow wow. You were on point with this one. :) I’m making it again right now and I’m super excited. Amazing wonderful fantastic. Thank you very much.

    • Anneke
      March 12, 2015 at 7:01 PM

      That would be the dramatic joy of a 15 year old girl! She’s a delight, isn’t she? :)

      • March 13, 2015 at 7:47 AM

        You know I love it, Anneke!!!

    • March 13, 2015 at 7:47 AM

      Caroline, I wish I could hug you right now. You might not like it, but I’d force myself on you.

  • Jenn
    March 12, 2015 at 4:11 PM

    Can I make this using a bundt cake pan? My daughter really wants me to make this but I don’t have a loaf pan.

    • March 13, 2015 at 7:46 AM

      Hi, Jenn, Bundt cakes are a little tricky. You’d likely have to multiply the cake by at least 1.5, if not double it, and I honestly don’t know how it would turn out. Sorry!

      • Jenn
        March 13, 2015 at 11:16 AM

        Thanks Nicole. I decided to wait and I’m heading into the city for a bread pan. Do you use metal or silicone one?

  • Dori
    March 12, 2015 at 3:00 PM

    This looks just like the Cinnamon bread my grandma used to make. I am so excited to try this. It will remind me of her. Thank you! :)

    • March 12, 2015 at 3:08 PM

      Aw, Dori, I was really close with my grandmother, too, so that strikes a chord. :)

  • Anneke
    March 12, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    I made this last night and served it this morning. It is so good that I can’t stop thinking about it! The texture of the cake is possibly one of the best things I have ever had. The kids want me to make it often enough that they get to have it a lot, but not quite so often that they get bored. That is a fine line that I am totally willing to walk with this one, I might just make it again for tomorrow!

    • March 12, 2015 at 3:07 PM

      If that’s not a rave review, Anneke, then I don’t know what is. So, so glad they loved it (and so did you)!

  • Grace
    March 12, 2015 at 6:26 AM

    OMG – yesterday morning I was sorting through old recipes and came across my mother’s sour cream cinnamon swirl coffee cake recipe – yesterday afternoon while waiting in line at the Motor Vehicle office I caught up with my news feed and this lovely looking recipe appeared! I made it as soon as I got home – with 2 substitutions – 1) the filling was 1/2 brown sugar & 1/2 granulated sugar AND I added a handful of walnuts, chopped coarsely & 2) I did not glaze the finished loaf. It was amazing! It had the same taste and texture of my mom’s cake – even with using buttermilk instead of her recipe’s sour cream. This is a keeper – well, the recipe, that is – more than half of the loaf is gone this morning! Thanks Nicole!

    • March 12, 2015 at 7:42 AM

      That’s awesome, Grace! Love it when a recipe gets posted and made in the same day. Thanks for letting us know about your substitution. Sounds lovely, and how nice that it reminds you of your mom’s recipe. :)

  • Christina
    March 11, 2015 at 7:07 PM

    My friends son is allergic to eggs. Do you have any suggestions on an egg substitute? Thanks!

    • March 12, 2015 at 7:43 AM

      I generally prefer a “chia egg” as an egg substitute, but I haven’t tried this with any substitutions so you’ll have to experiment. Maybe ask your friend!

      • Christina
        March 12, 2015 at 6:13 PM

        She usually uses chia or flax. They are coming over tomorrow, so I wanted to surprise him with a baked good he could eat :-) I will use chia.
        Thank you!

  • Charlotte Moore
    March 11, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    How strange!! I left a comment yesterday about I would like to order the book for out granddaughter in law since she is GF. I also would like the one about bread making. Do you have to pay shipping if you ore order? My comment isn’t here.

    • March 12, 2015 at 7:43 AM

      All of my books are available wherever books are sold, Charlotte. If you order through amazon.com and you have Amazon Prime, shipping should be free, but you’ll have to check with the retailer!

  • Karla Gossen
    March 11, 2015 at 2:44 PM

    would i be able to use coconut sugar in place of the sugar

    • March 12, 2015 at 7:44 AM

      You might be able to if you grind it a bit finer, Karla, but coconut palm sugar is a better substitute for brown sugar than for granulated sugar. Feel free to experiment!

      • Karla Gossen
        March 12, 2015 at 2:10 PM

        thank you I probably will tomorrow morning

      • Karla Gossen
        March 13, 2015 at 7:20 PM

        made it using the coconut sugar. used as is in the batter but did process it finer to mix with cinnamon.

        i also chucked up an apple into the batter. only have 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 loaf pan so that is what i used. took a little longer to bake but turn out great. moist and good flavor and not overly sweet which i like

  • nancyb7
    March 11, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    I miss Hostess Ho Ho’s.
    I have both “Gluten Free on a Shoestring” & “GFOAS
    Bakes Bread” and they are absolutely dog-eared, dripped upon, etc. from
    use. I use them almost daily. My grandsons love the GF baked goods
    I make, even though they have no gluten sensitivities. The 14-year old loves to
    cook and proclaimed your recipe for New York Times-Style GF Sugar Cookies the
    best sugar cookie he’s EVER tasted…and I agree. It’s my favorite treat.
    Thanks for the wonderful recipes!

    • March 12, 2015 at 7:46 AM

      I love your comment, nancy! Would you do me a favor, though, and repost it on the Giveaway Thread? I want to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

  • Jennifer S.
    March 11, 2015 at 1:15 PM

    Oh Nicole – how I feel your pain. Today I got the grumpies to scrambled eggs. Like what is there not to like about eggs? I love them – eat ’em every day but not my kiddos. But we are not short order chefs so sometimes they just have to deal UNTIL.. you post something out of this world like this! YUM! can’t wait to make it!

    • March 12, 2015 at 7:48 AM

      Oh you know I hear you, Jennifer! My youngest swore she hated scrambled eggs for years. And now proclaims her love for them. Oh the humanity!

      • Mare Masterson
        March 12, 2015 at 9:35 AM

        Heavy sigh! I miss eggs! I get gluten type reactions from them now. Oh to be able to eat an egg or two again…poached, hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, egg salad…and deviled! Heavy sigh!

  • Mare Masterson
    March 11, 2015 at 12:05 PM

    Breakfast is hard for me, never mind the rest of my family. I am so not a morning person. I want to stay in bed until the last possible moment. I can’t even eat until I am at my desk at work (my stomach doesn’t like food too early)! I can no longer tolerate eggs. I need all the help I can get with fast, take away breakfast foods and I get tired of oatmeal. Oh, and I love cinnamon, so this is a win-win for me!

    • March 12, 2015 at 7:48 AM

      My husband is the same way with breakfast, Mare. And I think my little one may be as well, which makes her extra hard to please. I think when she grows up, she’ll be like you. :)

  • youngbaker2002
    March 11, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    Hi Nicole. this looks great! We love quick breads! And quick breads for breakfast are even better. So you have girl,boy,girl? Going on 13,11 and 9? Same thing here.

    • March 12, 2015 at 7:49 AM

      Yup! Girl-boy-girl. My daughter Bailey will be 13 next month, my son Jonathan is 11 and my daughter Ava is 9. They’d love this blog to be alllll about them, but since it’s about food I don’t really talk about them too much!

  • Rita
    March 11, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    Can you give a ballpark estimate of the amount of additional time to give it when you lower the temp to 325? This looks yummy!

    • March 11, 2015 at 10:02 AM

      So sorry, Rita! I included the total time of 45 minutes, and the initial time (30 minutes) but forgot to add the 15 minute time estimate for the final run. It’s in there now. Thanks for pointing that out!

      • Rita
        March 11, 2015 at 4:15 PM

        Thanks ! Making this tonight!

  • Anneke
    March 11, 2015 at 9:16 AM

    My kids are older than yours, and I refuse to give up on putting out something for breakfast! They need more than a glass of water and a dry rice cake, which is their idea of morning nutrition. I may not do well by breakfast everyday, but I try. They still all sit down at the same time and we check in about the day ahead. At least it is early enough that they are too tired to do a lot of complaining! This bread looks great, and I don’t have a plan for tomorrow. Nicole to the rescue (again)!

    • March 11, 2015 at 10:04 AM

      My kids never seem to be too tired to complain, Anneke! Glad to know you haven’t given up on breakfasts with your older kids. When they’re not going to school, I’m okay phoning it in sometimes. But when it’s a school day, you gotta have a good breakfast! ;)

  • Jackie Record
    March 11, 2015 at 9:10 AM

    Can you cook this in a bread maker? what would you change?

    • March 11, 2015 at 10:04 AM

      I would not recommend making this in a bread maker, Jackie. It’s a quick bread, not a yeast bread, which means it’s basically cake in a loaf pan!

  • March 11, 2015 at 8:12 AM

    WOW, and yes, we all need a win sometimes! We’re in a breakfast slump here too, and I imagine this delicious looking treat will pull us right out. Thanks Nicole!

    • March 11, 2015 at 10:06 AM

      Sadly, Dana, a breakfast slump would seem like a step up to us. We’d been in a breakfast collapse!

      • Slucero
        March 11, 2015 at 6:43 PM

        Hmm I wonder how this would work with a wetter inside, like Enterman’s cream cheese coffee cake?

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