Easy Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake

Cinnamon swirl loaf cake topped with cinnamon-sugar is buttery and delicious! This tender homemade loaf cake made with Greek yogurt and buttermilk celebrates cozy cinnamon spice. Top with vanilla glaze and enjoy for brunch or dessert.

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake

This effortless loaf cake reminds me of plush vanilla pound cake paired with an irresistible cinnamon-sugar ribbon and topping.

Drizzled with vanilla glaze, each bite tastes like freshly baked snickerdoodle cookies or warm cinnamon rolls!

Love loaf cakes? Find more inspiration and ideas in my popular round up of best loaf cake recipes!

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake

Tips for making this recipe:

  • Mix up the cake batter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Layer cake batter in a loaf pan with cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake cake until golden and a cake tester comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached, 42 to 45 minutes. Cool cake completely before glazing.
  • Make vanilla glaze and drizzle or pour over the top of the cake before serving.

Perfect Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake

Room Temperature Ingredients – Bring butter, egg, Greek yogurt, and buttermilk to room temperature before beginning. Room temperature ingredients incorporate more easily and create a smooth cake batter.

Baking Pan – Use a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan for this recipe. I recommend using a light-colored aluminum pan to ensure that your cake bakes evenly and doesn’t over-brown on the sides or top too quickly.

Prepare Baking Pan – Lightly spray the bottom and sides of the pan with nonstick spray. Line loaf pan with a sheet of parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan. The overhang will help you easily remove the baked cake from the pan.

Cinnamon Swirl – To make the cinnamon swirl, spoon half the batter into prepared pan, smoothing with an offset spatula. Tap the pan sharply to reduce air bubbles. Sprinkle a generous layer of cinnamon-sugar mixture over the batter. Spoon remaining cake batter into the pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.

Cinnamon Sugar Topping – Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar over the top of the cake batter and bake until the cake is golden and the top springs back to the touch.

As the cake bakes, the cinnamon-sugar topping forms a crackly cinnamon-sugar crust, reminiscent of the signature ripples of snickerdoodle cookies.

Vanilla Glaze – Whisk together melted butter, salt, vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Drizzle the cake with glaze and let set before slicing and serving.

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake

How to Make Buttermilk

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, it’s easy to make your own buttermilk substitute: Mix 1/3 cup room temperature milk and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir together and let stand for 10 minutes before using.

Freezing Tips

Let loaf cake cool completely on a wire rack. Once fully cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and then wrap again in foil or place the wrapped cake in a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months.

The day before you plan to serve, let the cake thaw overnight in the refrigerator (still wrapped to prevent condensation), then bring to room temperature. Glaze just before serving.

To freeze cake slices, use a serrated knife to slice the cake and wrap each slice in plastic wrap. Store the slices in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw slices at room temperature.

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake

More cozy cinnamon sugar recipes:

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Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf Cake

  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 42 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf, 12 slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

This simple and delicious cinnamon swirl loaf cake tastes like snickerdoodles! With a cinnamon-sugar swirl and vanilla glaze, you’ll love this easy cake.


Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon

Glaze

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line the loaf pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  2. Make cake: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. Combine yogurt and buttermilk in a small bowl. Reduce speed to low and add half of flour mixture, beating just to combine. Add yogurt mixture, then finish with remaining dry ingredients.
  3. Cinnamon swirl: Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Spoon half the batter into prepared pan and smooth top with an offset spatula. Tap pan sharply to reduce air bubbles. Sprinkle 2 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter evenly over the cinnamon sugar and smooth with an offset spatula; tap pan sharply again. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over the top of the batter.
  4. Bake cake for 42 to 45 minutes, until cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes; carefully lift cake from pan and cool completely.
  5. Make glaze: Whisk together melted butter, salt, vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cake and and let set before serving.
  6. Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 


Notes

Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own buttermilk substitute. Mix 1/3 cup room temperature milk and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir together and let stand for 10 minutes before using.

Freezing Instructions: Once fully cool, wrap loaf cake in plastic wrap and a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months. The day before serving, move the cake to the refrigerator (still wrapped to prevent condensation) and defrost overnight. Bring to room temperature, remove plastic wrap, and add glaze.

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Keywords: Cinnamon, Sugar, Snickerdoodle, Loaf Cake, Pound Cake

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27 Comments

    1. Hi Sandra, this loaf stays fresh for up to 2 days at room temperature, or several days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it (I recommend freezing without the glaze). Happy baking!

  1. Hello! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe. I made this loaf cake several times during the pandemic for my family and we think it is absolutely delicious. Do you have any suggestions for converting it into a 2 layer cake? Thanks in advance!

      1. Wow looks delicious, I can’t wait to make this. Would mixing milk and lemon juice work as a substitute for buttermilk in this recipe because it’s hard to find it where I live.

      2. Hi Gemma, yes you can make your own buttermilk substitute with 1/3 cup room temperature milk and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Mix and let stand for 10 minutes before using.

  2. I love this cake. It’s simple to make, and it comes out fluffy like a cinnamon roll. My husband’s taste buds thought it was so mouthwatering he ate half of it!

  3. DELICIOUS! Mine came out so moist and dense. I will definitely be keeping this recipe for future use!

  4. This is absolutely so delicate and delicious. It’s light and fluffy in texture. It’s buttery taste melts in the mouth! I recommend to everyone to try this recipe.

  5. Amazing! I love this cake. So easy to make and so delicious. I like to add a little extra cinnamon because I love spice. 🙂

    1. This is definitely a favourite at our home and I always bake a double batch or I’ll have some broken hearts! The last time I made it, I went a little creative and topped it with a Cinnamon Streusel Topping (1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon powder, 1/4 cup melted butter and a pinch of salt all mixed together.) Drizzled with the icing sugar, it was divine!