Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread

I have six other recipes for cinnamon bread on my site. But this one’s different. Really, it is.

It has a cinnamon-sugar crust that’s so good. I find myself wanting to eat crust and that never happens.

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread - Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft & fluffy!

Normally I am not into crust or crusty breads. Although I like texture, I prefer soft and fluffy to crusty and hard. I would never cut off the crust like a 7 year old, but I don’t go out of my way to eat it, either.

But this crust is like shingles of sweetness on a big fluffy white house, flaking off in big chunks that are so nice to nibble on. It’s reminiscent of streusel topping, which I enjoy picking off unsuspecting coffee cakes and muffins.

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread - Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft & fluffy!

The bread is so fast and easy to make and comes together in 5 minutes with a whisk, in one bowl. I love it when I don’t have to drag out my mixer because it would seem to defeat the purpose of calling a bread a ‘quickbread’ if the ingredients need to be creamed, creating mixer dishes. Nothing quick about that.

The same cinnamon-sugar mixture that’s sprinkled on top before baking is also sprinkled into the batter, creating a cinnamon-sugar ribbon in the middle of the loaf.

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread - Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft & fluffy!

The only way to create that thick, delectable, wall of sweet crust on top is to sprinkle cinnamon-sugar generously over the surface before baking.

Not all of it adheres to the bread and you’ll have to remind your kids and husband to ‘Please, eat over your plate.’ And remind yourself, too, so that you’re not recreating a sandy beach on your kitchen floor with the stray cinnamon-sugar granules.

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread - Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft & fluffy!

The crust reminds me of sweet bark that’s slightly hardened, firm, and full of intense flavor.

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread - Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft & fluffy!

After peeling away the bark, the soft, light, fluffy interior is revealed thanks to the buttermilk. If you don’t normally keep buttermilk on hand, you can cheat and make some with regular milk by adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of milk and waiting for about 10 minutes.

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread - Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft & fluffy!

A bit of oil is used for softness because oil produces softer, springier cakes, muffins, and breads than butter. And this bread sure is bouncy soft.

As to not miss any buttery flavor, I used a little butter, too. While baking, the butter and brown sugar caramelize, creating subtle caramel undertones.

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread - Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft & fluffy!

The ribbon of cinnamon-sugar that floats through the interior provides another pop of flavor. It’s a bit like Cinnamon Swirl Bread, minus the work of kneading or rolling the dough into a cylinder.

The cinnamon flavor is present and notable, but it’s not overwhelming. Feel free to add more if you’re a true fiend.

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread - Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft & fluffy!

The bread is flavorful enough that it doesn’t need butter but if you’re so inclined, toasting it and smearing liberally with butter takes it from really good to gobble-the-whole-loaf supremely good.

Our toaster got a workout and has the cinnamon-sugar bits stuck in the crumb tray to show for it.

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread - Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft & fluffy!

Such an easy bread to make with great resutls, no kneading and no fuss.

From start to finish, this should go from cupboard and into your mouth in under an hour.

What are you waiting for?

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread - Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft & fluffy!

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread - Even picky eaters who want the crust cut off will go nuts for this sweet, slightly crunchy crust. The interior is so soft & fluffy!

Edited to Add 4/9/14 – Recipe has now been made and tested as muffins and they turned out beautifully

 Salted Caramel Buttermilk Brown Sugar Muffins

Salted Caramel Buttermilk Brown Sugar Muffins - Soft, fluffy muffins that are dripping with salted caramel! Best breakfast ever!

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Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread

The cinnamon-sugar crust is like sweet bark that encases the moist, light, soft and fluffy bread. A ribbon of cinnamon-sugar floats through the interior, providing another pop of cinnamon flavor. The batter comes together quickly and easily in this no-fuss, no-knead, easy and very flavorful loaf.

Yield: one 9-by-5-inch loaf

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 55 mintues


1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside (don't use an 8-by-4-inch pan; it's too small)
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar with the cinnamon and stir to incorporate; set aside.
  3. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute. After the butter has cooled momentarily (so you don't scramble the egg), add the egg, brown sugar, oil, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add the buttermilk and whisk to incorporate.
  4. Add the flour, nutmeg, baking soda, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don't overmix. Batter will be thick and lumpy. Don't try to stir the lumps smooth.
  5. Pour half the batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula. Sprinkle three-fourths (75%) of the cinnamon-sugar mixture (just eyeball it), distributed evenly over the surface of the batter. This creates the cinnamon ribbon.
  6. Top with remaining half of the batter, smoothing it lightly with a spatula. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture, distributed evenly over the top. It looks like a lot, but it's necessary to form the crust, and not all of it aheres.
  7. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes (mine took 50), or until top is set and firm, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before inverting.
  8. Invert bread over the sink or a paper towel to catch some of the non-adhered cinnamon-sugar and sprinkle it back on the bread. Place bread on wire rack to cool completely. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or may be frozen for up to 3 months. Makes wonderful toast.

Related Recipes:

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Butter – If you’ve never made bread before, this is a goofproof, foolproof, no-knead recipe that’s perfect for the first-time bread maker. You’ll never have a need for storebought English muffins again, especially because this bread is spiked with cinnamon-sugar and raisins

Cinnamon Swirl Bread – As close to a cinnamon roll as a bread can get and still be called bread rather than dessert. This bread is for the cinnamon lover’s and is abundantly flavored with cinnamon, which is used twice in the bread, and again in the cinnamon-sugar butter it’s served with

Cinnamon Sugar Crust Cream Cheese and Jelly Danish Squares – Underneath a wall of cinnamon-sugar is soft, moist, and rich cream cheese and jelly. Fast and easy to make

Raisin Bread for Raisin Lovers – Plenty of cinnamon and raisins in this soft, easy loaf

Oatmeal Raisin Rolls – Hearty, chewy, soft, lightly sweetened with honey, and full of texture from raisins and oats. Part dinner roll, part healthy cinnamon roll. Roll can be made ahead of time – make a batch from start to finish, freeze the rolls, and pull them out as needed for brunch, snacks, holiday gatherings or any time

Cinnamon Oatmeal Date Bars with Chocolate Chunks (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free) – Like eating a bowl of cinnamon oatmeal, in chewy bar form

Honey Dinner Rolls – Soft, light, fluffy, tender, moist and the dough has just enough chew to really sink my teeth into. The absolute best white dinner rolls I’ve tried and I will make this recipe over and over for years to come. Highly recommended for holiday gatherings, brunches, or anytime; and they freeze well

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls – Soft, tender, moist and the make-ahead option makes them as easy as just popping into the oven the next morning

Cinnamon or cinnamon bread fan? Crust-eater?

I’m a huge cinnamon fan. More is better. It’s rare that I make something and don’t use at least a pinch of cinnamon.

I like texture, but normally don’t like most bread crusts because that’s not what I call texture. Most of the time it’s like chewing on dry, tasteless cardboard. Why bother. Until this bread.


  1. The cinnamon bread looks amazing Averie, I will have to try this recipe.

  2. Hi Averie, this looks delicious! I’m just wondering if you have any suggestions on how to make this gluten free? Thank you!

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  5. I am so so impressed with this presentation. May I use your recipe as a link to my webpage? It is not something that will compete, but I do like to use a link which people will be interested in. I love this recipe and would be honoured to share it since you have had such beautiful photos and comments.
    Thank you.

    • Thanks for the compliments but I do not allow my recipes or photography to be reprinted on other sites. I work very hard on my recipes and photography and if people want to view them, they will need to come to my site to do so.

      You are welcome to link back to my site. But no reprinting of my images or recipe. Thank you for understanding.

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  7. Jennifer from Montreal Reply

    Oh yumm! I baked two loaves of your Cinnamon Ribbon bread this afternoon and am delighted to find another “keeper” recipe. I did not have buttermilk so I used powdered buttermilk culture that I picked up the last time I was in the States. That stuff is another keeper – brilliant!
    The texture is unexpected from such an easy recipe. My loaves are also darker inside than yours and I used light brown sugar. Instinct tells me it is my nutmeg and I will try using 1/4 tsp. less the next time I make it. And there will be a next time as it is an absolutely delicious recipe. Thank you, Averie!

    • Love the powdered buttermilk. It works great and I always have it on hand! If you ever have Greek yogurt, you can cut that with about half water/half greek yog to get the total amount of buttermilk you would have needed. Not a perfect shortcut or method, but it totally works :) Just tossing that out there.

      Anyway, darker inside. You have to remember that when I photograph things, I have to have all kinds of light reflectors bouncing light to make the food pop. Sometimes with light colored food, it picks it up too much and I can’t account for it in editing. So, in reality, maybe your loaves are darker than mine; maybe my food is under the influence of light bounces. Hard to say but try the nutmeg, too. Keep me posted!

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  10. Averie, it looks fabulous. My picky 6yo is in love with cinnamon sugar (muffins, coffee cake, snickerdoodles, cinnamon toast crunch cereal, and cinnamon toast, which he’s eating right now), and he will LOVE this recipe. I plan to bake it later this morning, but I have no oil; therefore, I’ll have to be a rebel and use a stick of unsalted butter (oh, the shame). I’ll let you know what he and my girls (and I… since I simple must do a quality check… What kind of mommy would I be otherwise?) think about it. I’m always excited to try a new recipe. (SN: I will have to replace the egg with a “flaxseed egg” per my son’s food allergies.)

  11. I am always looking for sweets with cinnamon, this one looks delicious, just printed it looking forward to trying it this weekend. Thanks for another good one. Rosemary

  12. Oh my goodness- this looks SO delicious. I need some this morning! Thanks for the pin-fest and kind words on my site yesterday! Totally made my day :)

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  14. This is absolutely delicious and so easy to make. I couldn’t wait for it to cool completely – had to steal a slice. Not too sweet, moist, and that crust is such a nice contrast. Tragically, when I inverted it over the sink, I lost one nice corner of the crust. What a waste! I do have one question. After the 15 minute cool time, my bread settled a bit so it’s not as tall as yours appears to be nor as it was when I removed it from the oven. But it is completely done and the toothpick came out clean when I tested it (45 min was plenty of time). Any idea why? Thank you for this great recipe! It’s a keeper.

    • Glad you are a big fan and enjoying it! Regarding the height, maybe you pan was fractionally larger than mine, thus a shorter loaf. Also sometimes food on camera/pics looks MUCH larger than it really is. I wouldn’t worry about it too much :)

    • Thanks so much. I’ll just enjoy it then!

  15. I just tried this recipe. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! It will become one of my staples.

    Thank you for not keeping it to yourself :)

    • So glad you love it so much and it’ll become a staple! And I’ve never understood recipe hoarding. If I have a great recipe, I blog about it! That’s the point of a food blog, right! But I know not everyone shares this mentality!

  16. I made it today and OMG its delicious! My family really loved it and I did too :D the cinnamon swirl is the best part ^_^
    And it took so little work to prepare- the perfect recipe when you don’t have much time and crave cake. Thanks for posting this recipes I’ll definitely make it again!

  17. I was a pro crust remover when I was a kid. No joke. I couldn’t stand it! Now I’m not so fussy about it, as long as it’s soft and fluffy. Or topped with cinnamon sugar. This looks amazing, Averie! Pinned.

  18. Hi Averie. Fabulous recipe as always. The ‘ribbon’ is lovely and makes this bread memorable. I made this for my man and I and we pretty much devoured the whole loaf. *blush* haha It has a muffin-y texture which we enjoyed very much. The nutmeg flavour was excellent. Thanks for sharing.

  19. I made this for breakfast this morning after finding it on Pinterest. It’s fabulously good, not too sweet and very easy. I am not sure that any will be left for this toasty goodness of which you speak. ;) Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  20. I saw this on pinterest this morning, saw buttermilk in the ingredients and closed the page. BUT I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I made it with a few alterations because I’m temporarily dairy free. I used vegetable ghee instead of butter and war water mixed with a tbsp of white vinegar instead of buttermilk. OOOOHH it’s soooo yummy it’s dangerous. It jusst came out of the oven a little while ago and my husband and I have finished half already! I’m gonna save this recipe as the “diet saboteur” … But it’s so worth it! Thanks

    • Glad the vegetable ghee and DIY dairy-free buttermilk worked well for you! So proud of your for being resourceful! And glad you and your hubby have polished off half already! Thanks for the glowing feedback!

  21. Thanks for a great recipe! It was so easy to make, and produced such a moist tender bread. I had to stop my daughter from picking off the whole top crust, which she says is the best part!!

  22. Thank you for this easy recipe. Made it last week and we all love it. However I thought the cinnamon-sugar sprinkle was a bit too much so I only put 2/3 , it turned out great!

  23. Yummy! Thanks for sharing. What a great breakfast bread!

  24. Made this as a loaf and it was delicious. Thank you!
    I saw you tried it as muffins also. I was thinking of doing that.
    How many does it make? And how long should you cook them for?

  25. This looks delicious! Do you know if replacing the all purpose flour with bread flour will make it softer/fluffier?

  26. Vanessa Anderson Reply

    I can’t see the recipe and i need to bake this now!!!

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  28. I am getting ready to make some of this yummy looking bread. I have a problem though. I only have the smaller size bread pans. Should I leave out a portion of the batter? Help!

  29. I’ve tried this recipe and the bread was excellent. It was so moist and the crust is really good. Thank you for the recipe

  30. Looks Delish!! Just curious…Can you add raisins to the batter, and if so, how much do you suggest? Maybe a half cup, as in your raisin muffin bread?

  31. I tried commenting and my daughter hit my phone, so I apologize in advance if this posts twice.
    Anyway, I made your candy corn cookies today to give as a gift on a Halloween plate. They were so good that my husband and I couldn’t stop eating them and I needed something else to make. So now this bread is baking and it smells amazing. I know where to go for recipes from now on. Thank you!

    • Glad the candy corn cookies turned out great and that you guys couldn’t stop eating them :) And yes this bread smells ahh-mazing while it’s baking! Enjoy! Thanks for LMK that you’ll be back to try more recipes – keep me posted how they go!

  32. I took this heavenly-smelling bread out of the oven about an hour ago and now I’m enjoying the first slice with a cup of hot cocoa. So good, especially with the autumn in full swing outside! It look so pretty with the cinnamon ribbon in the centre. The only thing I changed was reducing the amount of sugar that goes in the batter to 1/2 cup, and the result is spot-on. Thank you for this great recipe!

  33. Hi i really love your recipe although i haven’t tried it as yet the visual is lovely. Keep up the excellent baking and i wish you all the success.

  34. Made this for breakfast today & followed recipe almost as written. The only change was I reduced the nutmeg just a tad (1/2 tsp not the full tsp). I like nutmeg but not too much and I think that amount was perfect for my taste. Came out wonderful, I baked the bread 47 minutes total. My bf loved it and already ate 2 thick slices with some I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and coffee. My whole house smells amazing too :) 

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you and good call on adjusting the spices to your taste! So glad it’s a hit with both you and the boyf!

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  37. I like home-made bread, but your loaf  looks more like a cake than bread. Is it the photo?

  38. I made this yesterday and did three mini loaves. So good. I don’t know how you do it. Thank you for sharing the deliciousness!

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