Quick Amish Cinnamon Bread Recipe

Quick Amish Cinnamon Bread Recipe

Traditionally, Amish cinnamon bread, or Amish friendship bread, is made with sourdough starter and passed down from friend to friend, similar to a chain letter. However, not everyone has a sourdough starter or has the time to make and maintain one, so this quick version substitutes tart yogurt to mimic the sour sourdough starter flavor instead.

This cake-like bread isn’t much like its origins at all, though. While bread that is made from sourdough starter typically takes hours, if not days, to complete, this bread comes together quickly and takes very little effort. According to Elizabeth Coblentz, a member of the Old Order Amish and the author of the column, “The Amish Cook,” true Amish friendship bread is “just sourdough bread that is passed around to the sick and needy.” Hinting that this bread is not only bread to share with friends and family, but is also meant for sharing with those less fortunate. Perhaps a good tradition to begin with your family would be baking Amish cinnamon bread and sharing it with those in need over the holidays, then you could pass off the recipe to friends and family and ask them to do the same.

Feel free to get festive with this bread and add dried cranberries, pumpkin swirl, or chocolate chunks. This bread is all about community, giving, and sharing, which is why it’s so perfect for the holiday season.

“The Amish cinnamon bread had good warm-spice flavor and was an easy preparation. The top was crusty with swirls of cinnamon-sugar in the center. It’s a tasty basic quick bread that can be enjoyed any time of the year.” —Diana Rattray

Amish cinnamon quick bread tester image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for topping

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Quick Amish Cinnamon Bread ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F. Spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

    Cooking spray bootle and a greased loaf pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes if using a handheld mixer, 8 to 10 minutes if mixing by hand.

    Granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter in a bowl, and a hand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds.

    Vanilla and eggs added to the sugar mixture in the bowl, next to a hand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Add the yogurt and milk. Mix until fully incorporated.

    Yogurt and milk added to the bowl with the sugar mixture, next to a hand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Sift in the flours, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and baking soda, and mix until just incorporated.

    Batter in a bowl with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Spread half the batter into the prepared pan.

    Batter in a loaf pan and in a bowl with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of the batter in the loaf pan.

    Cinnamon sugar in a bowl and on top of the batter in a loaf pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Top with remaining batter and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

    Sugar on top of the batter in the loaf pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes.

    Baked Cinnamon bread on a loaf pan, next to a toothpick

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Allow the bread to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

    Cinnamon bread on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  12. Slice and serve with butter.

    Quick Amish Cinnamon Bread sliced on a platter with butter

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Variations

  • Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins to the batter.
  • Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chunks, sprinkling half in the middle along with the cinnamon sugar and half on top.

How to Store

  • Place completely cooled quick bread in a resealable bag or airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze a completely cooled loaf of quick bread, wrap the whole loaf in plastic wrap, then wrap again in aluminum foil or place in a resealable freezer bag. Label with the name and date and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To freeze individual slices of quick bread, arrange them on a baking sheet and place the pan in the freezer. When the slices are frozen solid, wrap each one in plastic wrap and place them in a resealable freezer bag. Label with the name and date and freeze for up to 3 months.

How do I know when quick bread is done?

You can usually tell quick bread is done when a toothpick or wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center. Quick bread is generally done when it is between 200 F and 205 F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf.

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