Cinnamon Swirl Doughnut Loaf – A yummy loaf cake that has the texture of cake doughnuts and cinnamon flavor swirled throughout.
I decided to use this extra time at home to work through saved recipes that I’ve been meaning to try but just never did. You know what I’m talking about… we all have these recipes. For one reason or another, we’ve pushed them aside in favor of other recipes and just never went back to them.
For me, it’s always been this Cinnamon Swirl Doughnut Loaf. I’ve seen it floating around my Pinterest for years and it obviously stuck with me but not enough to make it for myself, I guess. Maybe I favorited more seasonal loaf/ muffin recipes? Who knows. But here I am, finally making this recipe.
Guys. I am so mad I didn’t make this earlier! The texture in the loaf is unreal – super moist, yet fluffy, but also a little dense like a cake doughnut. It goes so well with the crunch of the cinnamon sugar coating on the outside. Needless to say, we all LOVED this loaf.
How is this loaf made?
There are two main parts to making this loaf (1) baking the loaf and (2) coating it in cinnamon sugar. Let’s talk about each part in detail.
Cinnamon Swirl Loaf
Making this loaf is similar to any other cake or pound cake. The mixture starts with a butter and sugar base, the eggs are then added in with vanilla, and finally the dry ingredients are added in while alternating with the milk.
There is a key difference with this loaves and other cakes, however, and it comes with the signature swirl in this bread. It’s created by making a cinnamon batter and adding it into the middle of the loaf and on top.
To make this batter, 1/2 cup of the plain batter is separated and cinnamon and molasses are added to it to give it a beautiful brown color. You can even see the cinnamon flecks sprinkled throughout it.
The loaf is then baked completely and cooled before coating it in cinnamon sugar.
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
Once the cake is cooled, it’s coated in a mixture of granulated sugar, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon. To help the coating stick, the loaf is dipped in melted butter.
Tips & Tricks
- Make sure to cook the loaf completely before removing from the oven. If the loaf is too underdone, it will break apart when you remove it from the pan.
- Make sure to cool the loaf at least 20 minutes. This ensures that the cake firms up a bit before you handle it during the coating stage. If it’s too warm, it will start to crumble in your hands.
- Buttermilk is crucial for the soft texture of the loaf. However, you can make your own by adding 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar to regular milk.
Cinnamon Swirl Doughnut Loaf
For the doughnut loaf:
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup butter unsalted, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon molasses
For the coating:
- 1 stick melted butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan with nonstick spray. Make sure to get all corners. Set aside.
- In a bowl fitted for a stand mixer, add oil, butter, and sugar. Mix together on medium until combined. Add eggs one at a time, along with the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add 1/2 cup of flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix on low. Add in 1/4 cup of buttermilk and mix just until combined. Repeat with another 1/2 cup of flour mixture and the last 1/4 cup of buttermilk. End with the last 1/2 cup of flour mixture.
- Remove 1/2 cup of the batter and place into a small bowl. Add cinnamon and molasses to the mixture. Grab the greased loaf pan and place half of the plain batter to it. Smooth it out. Add 1/2 of the cinnamon batter and smooth it out. Top with the remaining plain batter. Spoon on the last of the cinnamon batter in small dollops. Using a knife, swirl the batters together but do not combine completely.
- Bake in preheat oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out with just a few crumbs when inserted. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then, using a sharp knife, release the loaf from the edges of the pan. Invert it over a plate to remove it from the pan. Let it sit on the plate to cool for 10 more minutes.
- While the cake cools, prepare the coating. Place melted butter in a shallow dish. Place sugars and cinnamon in a separate shallow dish. Stir them together until combined. Once the cake is slightly cool and easy to handle, gently dip the bottom in the melted butter and then dip into the sugar mixture. Repeat until all sides are covered.
- Slice the loaf and serve. Leftovers can be frozen up to 3 months.