Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Breakfast is a tricky thing. It’s important to get your day started off on the right foot, and the first meal of the day can go a long way for you. Most of us, however, rarely ever budget time in the morning for it. The result is that we’re left with mostly ready-made options, of which quality can vary to an extreme. Sure, a piece of toast isn’t exactly filling, but sometimes it’s all you can do before rushing out there into the cruel arena of “not-home”, as my introverted self has come to think of the outside world. This breakfast/ time problem has, oddly, come even more to the forefront as I’ve essentially stopped drinking coffee. I have a feeling you’ll be seeing more quick-breakfast solutions in the coming weeks…

So if it’s toast for breakfast, it might as well be something delicious, and with the extra sense of love that comes from something that was baked in your own oven. This swirl bread is more than a fun weekend project, it’s a respite.

Instructional video


Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Swirl Bread

A twist on the Pepperidge Farm grocery staple cinnamon swirl bread, this enriched loaf is loaded with flavor. This is a great weekend project, and the yield of 2 loaves worth of dough makes it worth your time.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Proofing Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 2 Loaves


  • Stand Mixer This can be done by hand, but it'll be a workout!



  • 2 C Milk 2% or Whole is best
  • 2-1/4 tsp Active dry yeast This is one packet's worth. Instant yeast should also work fine.
  • 5-1/2 C Bread flour AP flour should also work, but could affect the crumb structure a bit,
  • 3 tsp kosher salt or 1-1/2 tsp table salt
  • 6 Tbsp Butter Melted and cooled
  • 6 Tbsp Granulated sugar
  • 2 Egg yolks

Filling (for 2 loaves)

  • 4 Tbsp Butter FULLY softened to room temp
  • 1/2 C Brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • Zest from one orange
  • 1 C Dried cranberries

For the top of the loaf

  • 2 Tbsp Butter

Cranberry/ Orange Jam

  • 2 C Orange juice
  • 1/4 C Dried cranberries Chopped as small as desired
  • 1 tsp Corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp Cold water


  • Gently heat milk to 110 degrees in microwave or on stovetop
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a large bowl of mixing by hand) combine milk, yeast, butter, sugar, and egg yolks. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt
  • Add half of the flour/ salt mixture into the wet ingredients and mix with dough hook just until the flour is wet, then add the second half of the flour. Mix until fully combined, then knead with dough hook for 8-10 minutes, or by hand for 16-20 minutes, until the dough passes the window pane test.
  • Form the dough into a ball and set into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and leave in warm dry place until doubled in size, ~60-90 minutes.
  • Prepare a loaf pan by lightly oiling it with a paper towel or cooking spray. Optionally, add parchment paper to help with lifting loaf out of the pan.
  • Combine room temperature butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest into a small bowl. Mix until fully incorporated into a uniform paste
  • Once the dough is doubled in size, turn out onto lightly floured work surface and divide into 2 equal pieces. If you would like to freeze one or both of the loaves, see notes below for instructions.
  • Roll dough out into a 9"x18" rectangle with one of the 9" sides facing you. Spread filling evenly on the surface of the dough, leaving a 1" border with no filling along the sides and top of the dough. Sprinkle dried cranberries evenly.
  • Starting from the bottom 9" side, roll the dough up gently and tightly into a log. Stitch the sides together, then place the log seam side down into the loaf pan. Cover and let proof until about 50% larger in size, about 60 minutes.
  • While dough is proofing, preheat oven to 350°
  • Once dough is finished proofing, remove cover and place into preheated oven until the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway though baking.
  • Immediately after removed from oven, brush the top of the loaf with 1-2 Tbsp butter. After about 15 minutes, remove the loaf from the pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Cranberry orange jam

  • Combine orange juice and cranberries into a small pot, bring to a simmer.
  • Combine cornstartch and water into a small bowl, mix until fully incorporated into a slurry. Then add slurry to OJ and cranberries. Stir to combine.
  • Allow orange juice to reduce to a jelly-like consistency, maintaining a lively simmer and stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and set aside. Jam can be kept in the referigerator for about a week.


Freezing instructions for dough:
Once dough is portioned into two equal loaves, coat with flour and seal into airtight container, either a Ziploc bag or Tupperware. Frozen dough can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. The day before you would like to bake, take the dough from the freezer, and set into refrigerator. The next day, roll the dough into a 9″x18″ rectangle and continue with recipe instructions from that point.

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