Adding a layer of cinnamon sugar to any recipe just makes it so much better, wouldn't you agree? This Gluten Free Cinnamon Bread Recipe 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 Gluten Free Cinnamon 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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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Gluten free cinnamon swirl bread is super easy and quick to make—no mixer needed
- It’s a great recipe to serve as a breakfast treat or afternoon snack for your whole family
- Hot and fresh from the oven, you can’t resist this melt-in-your-mouth bread with thick, gooey swirls of cinnamon
- Make this bread gluten-free and vegan…or not. It’s totally customizable based on your preferences!
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
Ingredients & substitutions
- Flax meal: you’ll use this to make an egg replacement, or for a non-vegan version of cinnamon swirl bread you can substitute one large egg
- Sugar and cinnamon: for both the bread batter and the sugar cinnamon swirl in the middle
- Gluten-free flour: I like to use a gluten-free flour blend like Bob’s Red Mill that you can substitute cup-for-cup for all-purpose flour
- Cassava flour: another gluten-free flour you’ll use in this recipe, made from the cassava plant
- Non-dairy milk: adds extra moisture and helps tenderize the bread. Almond, soy, rice, oat or coconut milk are all great options. And of course, you can substitute dairy milk if you prefer
- Canola oil: use this oil to add lots of moisture to the quick bread recipe
- Baking powder and salt: for extra lift and flavor
How to make gluten free cinnamon bread
Begin by preheating your oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Prepare an 8 x 4-inch bread pan by coating it with cooking spray and lining it with parchment paper. The cooking spray will keep the parchment from sliding around in the pan.
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.
After you’ve made the flax egg, in a separate bowl whisk together the cinnamon-sugar mixture for the topping and set aside.
Then combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl: gluten-free and cassava flours, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and sugar.
Combine the milk, oil and flax egg. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and you’ve got yourself a gluten-free, vegan cinnamon bread batter.
Next, pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan, sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar mixture, and top with the remaining batter. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on top of the bread. 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 on top of the cinnamon swirl bread! Take a butter knife and dip it into the top of the batter about ½ an inch down. Make swirls through the batter by dragging your knife across the batter as pictured below.
You may be tempted to create more cinnamon 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!
Once you’ve got the perfect amount of sugar cinnamon swirls in your bread, bake the batter for 45-50 minutes. For best results, let the finished loaf cool for 15-20 minutes before you lift it out of the pan using the sides of the parchment paper. Set it on a cooling rack and slice once it’s come to room temperature.
How to adapt this recipe
This gluten free cinnamon bread 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
- For this Gluten Free Cinnamon Bread recipe, I recommend spraying your loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and 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, mix just until combined. Even if there are one or two streaks of flour left behind or the batter looks lumpy, stop mixing. Over-mixing the batter will result in tough bread. We want to maintain the lightness the cassava flour imparts on this bread
Like this recipe? Follow me on Pinterest for lots more recipes just like this one! And don’t forget to pin this recipe for later by clicking on one of the images below the recipe. Or, click on any of the images in this post to save to Pinterest.
What is the secret to baking with gluten-free flour?
The easiest way to bake with gluten-free flour is to buy a store-bought blend that can work as a cup-for-cup substitute for traditional all-purpose flour. Follow the recipe and when measuring, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with the flat edge of a knife.
Do I have to line the pan with parchment?
Using parchment paper makes it easy to remove the baked loaf while keeping the cinnamon sugar topping intact. However, you can grease the pan with butter or cooking spray if you don’t have parchment. Just be aware that some of the topping will likely spill when you turn the loaf out of the pan onto a cooling rack.
Can I freeze this cinnamon swirl bread?
Absolutely! If you don’t plan to eat the fresh bread within a day or two of baking, store it for up to three months in the freezer. Simply slice the remaining leftovers and transfer to an airtight container. Remove slices as needed and thaw at room temperature.
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- 1 tablespoon flax meal
- 2 ½ tablespoons water
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup gluten-free baking flour such as cup-for-cup or measure-for-measure
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup non-dairy milk such as coconut, almond, cashew, soy
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Spray an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving some overhang, then set aside.
Prepare the Flax Egg:
- In a small bowl, add flax meal and water.
- Whisk together to combine and set aside while you prepare the topping and bread batter
Prepare the Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
- In another small bowl, mix together the ⅓ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Set aside
Prepare the Bread Batter:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the gluten-free and cassava flours, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- In a separate bowl, combine the milk, oil and flax egg, whisking to combine.
- Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon just until thoroughly combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour half the batter into the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Repeat with remaining batter and sprinkle with the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Draw the tip of a knife gently through the batter a couple of times to swirl it.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes then remove from the pan by lifting the bread out using the flaps of the parchment paper and place on a wire rack.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing
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