Food

Foolproof Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

Banana bread. Zucchini bread. Pumpkin bread. Quick breads (or non-yeast breads) are definitely my favorite thing to bake.

Why? Just like the name says, they are quick and easy, and no portioning batter into muffin tins (which can be messy) or special pans required. Plus, they are always easy to double so you can put the extra loaf in your freezer (if it makes it that far!).

My family has been loving this cinnamon swirl bread lately. It’s the perfect level of sweetness with a crunchy top and delicious cinnamon swirled throughout the loaf. The recipe is actually for two loaves, but needless to say, the second loaf has definitely NOT been making it to the freezer.

Let’s quickly get to the quick bread then, shall we?

First, cream together softened butter, granulated sugar and eggs. Add vanilla, buttermilk  (If you don’t have buttermilk, a quick substitute of lemon juice and milk works. Directions in the full recipe below!), flour, baking soda and salt, and mix well.

Pour 1/4 of the batter into each of the two prepared pans (so you should have 1/2 of the batter left in the bowl).

Make the cinnamon-sugar mixture by combining 2/3 cup of sugar and two tablespoons of cinnamon in a small bowl. Side note: I thought this bread would be even better with a brown sugar/cinnamon swirl and topping. I experimented with replacing the granulated sugar with brown sugar for the cinnamon sugar mixture. While tasty, it was too dense  – and not pretty – so I recommend sticking with the recipe.

Sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon sugar between the two pans (you will have 1/4 of the cinnamon sugar left).

Add the remaining batter to the pans and smooth with an offset  or rubber spatula.

Sprinkle the tops of the batter in each pan evenly with the remaining cinnamon sugar.

Swirl with the offset spatula or a butter knife for a marble effect.

Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes and tent each loaf with tin foil to prevent over-browning. Continue to bake for an additional 20-30 minutes (for a total baking time of 50-60 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean and the edges are pulling away from the pans.

Cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then loosen the loaves’ edges with a knife and invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cut into slices and enjoy.

Store tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to four days. To freeze, wrap the loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap and then place in a zip-close freezer bag. Freeze up to one month.

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

Makes two loaves

Ingredients

For the batter

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk (*To make a buttermilk substitute, place 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a 2-cup measuring cup and add milk up to the 2-cup line. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes and then stir vigorously.)

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the cinnamon sugar mixture

2/3 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray two 9″ x 5″ loaf pans and set aside.

2. Cream together softened butter, granulated sugar and eggs.  Add buttermilk (or substitute), vanilla, flour, baking soda and salt and mix well.

3. Pour 1/4 of the batter into each of the prepared pans (you should have 1/2 of the batter left in the bowl).

4. Make the cinnamon-sugar mixture by combining the 2/3 cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon sugar evenly between the two pans (you will have 1/4 of the cinnamon sugar left).

5. Add the remaining batter to the pans and smooth with an offset or rubber spatula. Sprinkle the tops of the batter in each pan evenly with the remaining cinnamon sugar. Swirl with the offset spatula or a butter knife for a marble effect.

6. Bake for 30 minutes and tent each loaf with foil to prevent over browning. Continue to bake for an additional 20-30 minutes (for a total baking time of 50-60 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean and the edges are pulling away from the pans.

7. Cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then loosen the loaves’ edges with a knife and invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

8. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to four days. To freeze, wrap the loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap and then place in a zip-close freezer bag. Freeze up to one month.

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