Adding a layer of cinnamon sugar to any recipe just makes it so much better, wouldn’t you agree? This Cinnamon Swirl Bread has not one, but two layers of cinnamon sugar in it. And, the top of this bread has cinnamon sugar swirled into it, creating not only a beautiful loaf, but also a crunchy cinnamon sugary topping that is truly the icing on the cake in this quick bread recipe.
This Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipe is made lighter with the addition of cassava flour (read more about this ingredient below). And, it’s gluten-free and vegan, too. No one in my family had any clue it was any of these things when they devoured the entire loaf, so it’s fair to say this loaf is a real winner!
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How to Use Cassava Flour in a Recipe
If you haven’t heard of cassava flour before, it is becoming a more popular ingredient for gluten-free baking and grain-free cooking. It can be used as a substitute for all-purpose flour or any wheat-based flour in recipes.
What is cassava flour, you ask? Well, it’s made from the whole root of the cassava plant, which is a tuber and it resembles a sweet potato.
The package of cassava flour says it can be substituted one-for-one with regular flour, however, I would recommend doing so with caution. Unfortunately, cassava flour can be a bit finicky and sometimes cannot be replaced one-for-one with regular flour in certain recipes.
Cassava flour is very, well, dusty. Meaning, when you open the bag, scoop it and place it in a mixing bowl, it’ll kick up more dust (like with powdered sugar) than regular flour. However, cassava flour isn’t grainy or gritty, but rather soft and powdery. It also absorbs liquid and moisture in recipes more than regular flour, so this is why it’s not necessarily a perfect one-for-one substitution for regular flour.
I found cassava flour worked really well in this Cinnamon Bread recipe. How does cassava flour taste, you ask? Cassava flour has a mild, neutral taste, so you likely won’t notice it’s there. Why use it then? Well, it’s got a lot of great characteristics – see below.
Cassava flour is:
- nut-free, so it makes for a great alternative to other gluten-free ingredients such as almond and other nut flours in gluten-free recipes
- it’s lighter than regular flour imparting that lightness on the finished baked good
How to Make Cinnamon Swirl Bread
This plant-based, gluten-free recipe starts by making flax eggs. Flax eggs are really just a combination of water and flax meal. When they are allowed a few minutes to gel together, these ingredients take the place of eggs in plant-based recipes very well.
Next, mix together your cinnamon and sugar and set aside. Then combine the dry ingredients and mix in the wet including those flax eggs and you’ve got yourself a gluten-free, vegan cinnamon bread batter.
Next, pour half the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar mixture, and top with the remaining batter and remaining cinnamon sugar. It may seem like a lot of cinnamon sugar you’re sprinkling on, but trust me, it’s all good.
Now for the fun part – making those delicious swirls in the top of the cinnamon swirl bread! Take a butter knife, dip it into the top of the batter about 1/2 an inch down. Make swirls through the batter by dragging your knife across the batter like pictured below.
You may be tempted to create more swirls than are necessary. I highly recommend you stop after one pass of the knife across the top of the loaf. The swirl will get easily lost if you swirl too much in your cinnamon swirl bread!
Tips for Making Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- For this Cinnamon Bread recipe, I recommend spraying your loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray then lining the pan with parchment paper. The loaf will be much easier to remove from the pan once it’s baked than if you just buttered and floured the pan. And much easier to remove than if you sprayed the pan only. The reason you spray the pan first is to allow the parchment paper to stick to it. Plain and simple!
- To cut parchment paper to fit your loaf pan, start by lining the loaf pan up on top of a sheet of parchment paper with the short end of the pan facing you. Then cut the parchment paper along the long edge of the bottom of the pan so you end up with a long strip that fits perfectly across the bottom of the pan. Take the leftover piece of parchment and lay it the opposite way across the pan on top of the first piece of parchment paper. This way, when you go to lift the baked cinnamon bread out of the pan, you can use the overhang of the parchment to lift the bread straight out of the pan
- This Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipe is all mixed by hand, which is great news as you do not need to pull out your stand mixer or hand mixer (then be forced to wash it all and put it back!). While you’re mixing the wet and dry ingredients together though, mix just until combined. Even if there are one or two streaks of flour left behind or the batter looks lumpy, stop mixing. Overmixing the batter will result in tough bread. We want to maintain the lightness the cassava flour imparts on this bread
How to Adapt this Recipe
This recipe can easily be adapted for non gluten-free and/or non-vegan diets. To adapt this recipe for non gluten-free and/or non-vegan diets, use any or all of the following substitutions:
- replace the flax egg with one large egg at room temperature
- replace the gluten-free baking flour and the cassava flour with 2 cups all-purpose flour
- replace the non-dairy milk with whole or 2% cow’s milk
- follow the same directions as listed in the recipe to prepare the cinnamon swirl bread batter and bake it off
Useful Kitchen Tools for Making Cinnamon Swirl Bread
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