The Ultimate Guide to Cinnamon Swirl Rhubarb Bread


Cinnamon Swirl Rhubarb Bread is a delightful treat that combines the tangy flavor of rhubarb with the warmth of cinnamon. This bread is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a family breakfast, a snack with tea, or a dessert to impress your guests. In this article, we’ll dive deep into everything you need to know about making the perfect Cinnamon Swirl Rhubarb Bread, from ingredients and preparation to tips and variations.

Ingredients for Cinnamon Swirl Rhubarb Bread

For the Bread

  • All-purpose flour: 1 1/2 cups
  • Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Baking soda: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Unsalted butter (softened): 1/2 cup
  • Granulated sugar: 1 cup
  • Large eggs: 2
  • Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
  • Buttermilk: 1/2 cup
  • Rhubarb (chopped): 1 1/2 cups

For the Cinnamon Swirl

  • Granulated sugar: 1/4 cup
  • Ground cinnamon: 1 teaspoon



  1. Preheat the oven: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan to prevent sticking.
  2. Mix dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Making the Batter

  1. Cream butter and sugar: In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla: Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients: Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour mixture.
  4. Fold in rhubarb: Gently fold in the chopped rhubarb until evenly distributed.

Creating the Cinnamon Swirl

  1. Mix cinnamon and sugar: In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon for the swirl.

Assembling and Baking

  1. Layer the batter: Pour half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the batter, then top with the remaining batter.
  2. Swirl the cinnamon: Use a knife to gently swirl the cinnamon-sugar mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect.
  3. Bake: Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool the bread: Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips for Perfect Cinnamon Swirl Rhubarb Bread

Choosing the Right Rhubarb

  • Freshness: Use fresh, crisp rhubarb stalks for the best flavor and texture.
  • Color: While both green and red stalks are fine, red rhubarb tends to be sweeter and more visually appealing.

Butter and Sugar Mixture

  • Creaming method: Ensure that the butter and sugar are thoroughly creamed to incorporate enough air for a light and fluffy bread.

Swirling Technique

  • Gentle swirling: Be gentle when swirling the cinnamon mixture to avoid over-mixing, which can blend the layers instead of creating distinct swirls.

Variations to Try

Adding Nuts

  • Walnuts or Pecans: Add 1/2 cup of chopped nuts for extra crunch and flavor.

Different Spices

  • Nutmeg or Cardamom: Add a pinch of nutmeg or cardamom to the cinnamon-sugar mixture for a unique twist.


  • Lemon glaze: Drizzle a lemon glaze over the cooled bread for a zesty finish.

Health Benefits of Rhubarb

Nutritional Profile

  • Rich in Fiber: Rhubarb is high in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Contains vitamins K and C, calcium, and potassium.

Antioxidant Properties

  • Anthocyanins: The red color in rhubarb comes from anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Overmixing the Batter

  • Result: Overmixing can result in a tough, dense bread.
  • Solution: Mix just until the ingredients are combined.

Incorrect Oven Temperature

  • Result: Baking at the wrong temperature can cause the bread to cook unevenly.
  • Solution: Always preheat your oven and use an oven thermometer if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use frozen rhubarb?

  • Answer: Yes, you can use frozen rhubarb. Thaw and drain it before using.

How should I store the bread?

  • Answer: Store the bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Can I make this bread gluten-free?

  • Answer: Yes, substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend.


Cinnamon Swirl Rhubarb Bread is a versatile and delicious treat that combines the tartness of rhubarb with the warmth of cinnamon. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a perfectly swirled, flavorful loaf that’s sure to impress. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner, this recipe is straightforward and rewarding. Enjoy the delightful combination of flavors and the satisfaction of baking something from scratch!

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