Cranberry-Vanilla Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
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Total time:
Yield: 1 loaf, about 16 servings

Recipe photo

A not-too-sweet alternative to coffee cake, this bread is a decorative and tender addition to the holiday breakfast table, an elegant hostess gift, or a delectable coffee-break snack.

Cranberry-Vanilla Cinnamon Swirl Bread

star rating (8) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: 1 loaf, about 16 servings
Published: 10/01/2011




  • 1/2 cup Baker's Cinnamon Filling*
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup chopped dried cranberries, optional
  • *Baker's Cinnamon Filling is key to making a really tasty bread. If desired, substitute 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar mixed with 1 to 2 tablespoons cinnamon (to taste) and 1 tablespoon soft butter.


  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Garnish (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons pearl sugar


1) To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients by hand, mixer, or bread machine, mixing and kneading to form a soft, slightly sticky dough. The dough will feel very sticky at first, but reach for non-stick spray instead of more flour for your hands and work surface.

2) Place the dough in a covered bowl and allow to rise until almost double (45 minutes to 1 hour). To facilitate shaping the dough, refrigerate it overnight. This is also good to consider if the bread is to be served for brunch.

3) After the dough's first rise, grease your hands and a 10" (inside diameter) ring mold. The dough will be soft and still a bit sticky; pat it out on a greased surface to a 12" x 18" rectangle.

4) To make the filling, combine the Baker's Cinnamon Filling and water; or use the substitute listed at left, NOT combining it with water. This substitute filling will be crumbly, rather than paste-like; that's OK.

5) Spread the filling over the dough, then sprinkle with the dried cranberries.

6) Starting with a shorter side, roll the dough into a log and pinch the seam together.

7) Cut the log into 10 to 12 equal pieces, and arrange them in the ring pan so they overlap one another by 1/2" or so.

8) Cover the pan with a large over-turned bowl, and let the bread rise for 15 to 30 minutes, until puffy. While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

9) Place the bread in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until firm and golden brown. The center should measure 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.

10) Remove the bread from the oven, and allow to cool in the pan.

11) Just before serving, make the glaze by combining all the ingredients, adding enough milk to make it pourable. Turn the bread out of the pan, and drizzle the glaze over it. Garnish with pearl sugar, if desired.

Yield: 1 loaf, about 16 servings.


  • star rating 02/01/2015
  • caren352 from KAF Community
  • Delicious! I overlapped the pieces around the edge of a spring pan and then put the ends swirl side up in the center of the spring pan. It came out so pretty! I am now modifying other recipes to cook this way -- ie) onion buns, almond bread, garlic bread. I do cook the bread 5-10 minutes longer since it is thicker since the center is covered.
  • 12/26/2013
  • hubblecat from Baltimore
  • I didn't rate the recipe since I didn't get to taste it--I gave it away at a gift exchange. I rolled it from the long end instead of the short end, shaped the roll into a ring seam side down, then sliced at about 1 1/4" intervals about 3/4 way through, twisting each slice 90 degrees. I then baked it on parchment on a large baking sheet. It looking gorgeous! My only criticism is that the vanilla turned the icing brown which was not as esthetically pleasing as the white glaze in the photo. I hope they loved it anyway!
  • star rating 12/14/2013
  • Liz from Dearborn
  • I prepared this for a gift exchange breakfast. I replaced the sugar-cinnamon filling for a cream cheese-cranberry filling. I mixed 8 oz of cream cheese with 1t. vanilla and 1/3 cup of sugar and 1 egg along with zest from one lemon and one orange. I spread the filling on the flattened dough, sprinkled with the cranberries and rolled up the dough as directed. It looked messy but once baked it was beautiful and everyone loved it. The bread was airy and flakey. I will definitely make again for Christmas and prepare using the sugar-cinnamon filling.
  • star rating 12/14/2013
  • Oh Yummy from KAF Community
  • Delicious and nice for gift-giving. The dough is easy to handle and work with especially if you put it in the refrigerator overnight. If you don't have a RING MOLD (like me),..... I cut the dough in 1/2, rolled each piece into 12x8 rectangle, added the filling, placed on a greased cookie sheet, made 2 rings like a Swedish tea ring (seal the edges & ends together; cut with scissors 2/3rd of way in, 1 inch apart & turned each 1-inch section out w/ filling showing). Makes for a beautiful presentation. HINT: Potato Flour substitution - decrease 1 1/4 c. water to 1 cup water & add 1/2 cup potato, mashed. To avoid potato lumps - I used a hand blender to 1st mix the potato with the water to make it smooth before adding the other ingredients.
  • star rating 12/12/2013
  • jerihurd from KAF Community
  • Lovely dough. Instead of the cinnamon filling, I made a spread of almond paste, dried tart cherries, chocolate, a bit of almond extract, and an egg white, with enough cream to make it spreadable. Shaped the ring, put it in the refrigerator overnight, then finished it off in the morning. Teachers at work went nuts over it.
  • star rating 12/07/2013
  • Carol from Kerrville, TX
  • I just made this today. I couldn't wait to try it so I have already had a few bites! I was worried because my store ran out of KA all-purpose flour over the holidays and I bought the only unbleached flour they had which was a brand unknown to me. I weighed it half a dozen times and every time was different, so I used the average of 5 oz for my per cup weight. Then I worried the dough might be too dry, so I added one egg yolk, but otherwise I stuck to the recipe. My dough was easy to handle. At the very last minute, because I have no ring mold, I decided just to bake the rolls in a pan. They took less time to bake but turned out just beautiful.
  • star rating 12/07/2013
  • member-cmarias from KAF Community
  • Excellent recipe. Although it looked way more "rustic" than I had wanted when it went into the pan, it came out of the oven looking pretty darn good. With the help of my BFF "sparkling white sugar", it looked VERY good. The taste and texture were great, but I would have liked it a little better if I had spread butter on the dough before adding the filling...Everything is better with more butter, isn't it?We'll do that next time and perhaps use fresh, coarsely chopped cranberries instead of the dried ones.
  • star rating 02/13/2012
  • abc236 from KAF Community
  • Delicious! And easy to make. I made the dough in the evening and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning I filled it with a can of almond schmear since we all love almond paste. I sprinkled some pearl sugar on top before putting it in the oven. The aroma when it was baking was absolutely wonderful, and it tasted great with our weekend breakfast. It reminded me of a Swedish almond paste coffee cake. Next time I will add some cardamom to the dough to make it taste even more like a Swedish treat.

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