This Amish Cinnamon Bread is an easy no knead quick bread version of Amish friendship bread with no yeast or sourdough starter required. It’s like a big hug baked up in a loaf pan.
Amish cinnamon bread makes two loaves; one to keep, and one to give.
The soul of Amish friendship bread is sharing, and this simplified no yeast version makes sharing so much easier. Gift a loaf to a friend, a neighbor, a first responder…whoever’s making a positive impact on your life these days. I believe that more is not always better when it comes to baking, and this no-frills Amish cinnamon bread is as delicious as anything that will ever come out of your oven. The pure flavor of zesty cinnamon is rich, warm, and so inviting. It’s definitely the star of this recipe.
the story of Amish cinnamon bread (friendship bread)
Amish Friendship bread, which became popular in the late 20th century, is a sweet, yeasted sourdough-based bread that is typically made with a starter that is shared and passed along from person to person. The bread recipe is handed down through generations of Amish families, with each developing their own particular variation. Today’s recipe is a quick bread version of this fun tradition!
what you’ll need for easy Amish cinnamon bread
- cake flour,
- I use cake flour for an extra tender crumb, but you can also use all purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- ground cinnamon
- I use whole milk, but you can use an alternative milk, or, even better, buttermilk.
- vegetable oil
- using oil instead of butter in baking results in a moister bread. You can use melted butter if you prefer.
- baking powder, baking soda, and salt
- vanilla extract
- the combination of vanilla and cinnamon is heavenly!
Cinnamon is such an interesting spice. On the one hand it’s the most ho-hum of baking ingredients, but on the other it can be powerful and exotic when you actually let it shine (it even has a hint of heat.) A tablespoon of cinnamon gives just the right punch of flavor to this bread.
Why I use Saigon cinnamon in this recipe
- Saigon cinnamon is one of several common types of cinnamon used in cooking. It’s got a stronger, spicier flavor than the common ground cinnamon you’ll find in the spice aisle of the grocery store. It has a little bit of a peppery edge, which I love.
- You can now find different types of cinnamon in bigger grocery stores, so check them out and see which ones you love. Mine is from McCormick.
don’t you love that crackly crust?
It shatters when you slice into it, and that’s part of the charm ~ those little crispy bits are magical! Theoretically you should let your Amish cinnamon bread cool before digging in, but I can never manage that. There’s something irresistible about slicing into warm bread; I think it has everything to do with the aroma and big moist crumbs falling every which way. The messier it gets, the better 🙂
Ok, ‘nuf said about this bread, it’s good, make it. You’ll be happy.
What does sugar do in a quick bread recipe?
Sugar does much more than just sweeten baked goods. It affects texture, making it moister and more tender. It helps muffins, quick breads, and cakes etc. to rise higher. It promotes an appealing browning. And most of all it enhances the flavor.
Note: this is a sweet bread, and yes, there is a lot of sugar in the recipe but remember, you’re making two loaves, and this is meant to be a special gift-worthy treat.
How can you reduce the amount of sugar in this Amish cinnamon bread?
You can experiment with reducing the amount of sugar by about 1/3 without too much trouble, King Arthur Flour recommends reducing sugar to no more than 50% (by weight) of the flour in a quick bread recipe.
Taste of Home recommends switching out one egg white for an extra yolk when trying to reduce sugar in a recipe ~ the extra yolk replaces the lost moisture.
You can try subbing in maple syrup or honey (about 3/4 cup for each cup of sugar) but you may need to reduce the liquid a bit to make this work.
Use Stevia, a plant based sugar alternative, and follow the package instructions for baking substitutions.
When reducing sugar this bread, don’t skip the top sprinkle ~ it adds nice crunch and will help boost the sweet experience even if you’ve used less sugar in the body of the bread.
to freeze Amish cinnamon bread
Like most quick breads, this will freeze beautifully. You can freeze the whole loaf or individual slices. Be sure to let it cool completely, and double wrap to prevent freezer burn from drying it out. I like to do plastic followed by foil.
more quick breads to try
- Perfect Pumpkin Bread
- Nutella Banana Bread
- buttermilk peach bread
- Lemon glazed raspberry bread
- buttermilk peach bread
- Strawberry Buttermilk Bread
- Buttermilk Lemon Bread
Amish Cinnamon Bread
- standard 9×5 loaf pan
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 3/4 cups cake flour, you can also use all purpose flour
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk
- 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325F Grease two 9×5 loaf pans and line with parchment paper. I like to spray or butter the parchment paper itself as well, see note below. Iif you only have one pan that's fine, just bake the second bread later.
- Whisk the sugar and cinamon together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Make sure everything is well combined, then add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until there is no dry flour left, don't over mix. Lumps are fine.
- Pour the batter evenly into your two prepared pans. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top of both loaves.
- Bake for about 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter on it. Moist crumbs are fine.
- Cool the bread on a cooling rack, and if you have used the parchment paper, lift them out after 15 minutes or so. If you didn't use parchment, go around each loaf with a blunt knife to loosen all the edges, this bread has a tendency to stick.
Questions and Reviews
This is another fabulous recipe, Sue! Thank you so much!! I am gluten sensitive, so I made two changes. I used King Arthur Flour’s Measure for Measure mix in place of the all-purpose flour and add 1 3/4 tsp. Xanthan gum, and the loaves are just wonderful. Next time I might do a GF cake flour by replacing 1/8th of the GF AP flour with cornstarch, but there’s really no need. I also forgot to add the cinnamon sugar topping (I was listening to an audiobook…oops!) and realized it mid-way through, so pulled the loaves out and added it. This turned out okay but most of the topping was sliding off by the time they were baked. So I put them under the broiler for a couple of minutes: Voilà! Crackly tops! Looking forward to doing it properly next time as I’m sure they will taste even better. I sprayed my non-stick loaf pans generously with Pam, lined with parchment and sprayed the parchment, and did not have any issues at all with sticking… possibly because I failed to add the topping right away? Will find out next time as there will definitely be a next time. When I serve this everyone had seconds!! It’s definitely a keeper. 🙂
Oops! Looking at the recipe again I realized I made other changes. Used olive oil in place of vegetable oil and almond milk in place of whole milk. As others have said, the loaves are crumbly, but when it tastes this good, that’s part of the charm in my book!
Can you substitute butter or coconut oil for the vegetable oil?
Yes, but I’d melt the butter first.
Can you truly use cake flour or AP flour? I have both, can’t wait to try this!
Yes, either will work.
I made this bread this morning. wondering why my bread sank in the middle. I live at an elevation around 5000ft. Could that be the problem? I simply LOVE your emails with all of your recipes!!! They are spot on!
You probably do need to tweak most recipes for baking at that elevation Becky. Here’s a few tips from Taste of Home:
Liquids: You will need to increase the liquids to prevent your cake from drying out. Since liquids evaporate faster in high altitudes, adding more liquid will keep your cake moist. Sometimes, it’s as simple as adding an extra egg—or using an extra-large egg instead of a large egg.
Flour: You may need to slightly increase the amount of flour when baking at high elevation. Rapid expansion of those air cells can make the cake coarser even if it doesn’t make it fall, and you may need more flour to reach the same consistency. You won’t need much; just 1 extra tablespoon at 3,500 feet, and then one more tablespoon for every additional 1,500 feet. This tip is tricky, though. Sometimes you need to decrease the flour by about the same amount, because it can be drier at high elevations and the batter will absorb more liquid. Experiment!
Sugar: You’ll also need to decrease the amount of sugar called for in a recipe. Faster evaporation causes an increase in sugar concentration, which weakens a cake’s structure. Decreasing the sugar by about 1 tablespoon per cup will ensure the cake’s structure is strong enough.
Baking powder: Decrease the baking powder, which is a leavening agent. Since leavening gases expand more quickly at higher elevations, you don’t need as much of the agent. Reduce each teaspoon by 1/8 teaspoon at 3,000 feet and by 1/4 teaspoon at 7,000 feet.
+Thanks will try it next time I make this bread.
Hi Sue. I want to make this for a meeting, and want to avoid the bread falling apart as much as possible.
Is there a way? Cutting slices in advance when bread is cooled? Can’t wait to try it!
I’m not sure what would be best, this isn’t the ‘neatest’ bread in my collection, lol. I’m thinking letting the bread cool completely, and be sure to line your pan with parchment so you can take it out for slicing. Then either slice and put back together into a loaf form for transport, or slice as you serve it. You might also consider my apple cider doughnut loaf cake, which is great and a little less crumbly on the top.
This bread is incredible – my family loves it, it’s gone within hours and you can’t mess up the recipe – no matter what boneheaded move you pull, it will still be wonderful! This was one of the first things I made during the pandemic and I’ve been baking ever since! Thanks Sue!
Haha, love this comment, thanks Weiss!
Will low fat milk work instead of whole milk?