People often tell me that they don’t bake because it’s not as fluid and creative as cooking, where you can add a dash of this or a pinch of that and still end up with a tasty, successful result. While it’s certainly true that baking relies on the right ratios of dry and wet ingredients, you can definitely be more creative than most people think, especially when it comes to flavors and spices.
Many experienced bakers tweak recipes all the time, which is what I did with this cinnamon swirl bread I found on Taste of Home. I added vanilla extract in the batter and a dash of nutmeg to the cinnamon-sugar mix, and I’m pleased to say that it turned out very well. Next time, I’ll probably add a streusel topping for some additional crunch, and I might bake two smaller loaves in 8 x 4 pans instead of one larger 9 x 5 one. While I didn’t stray too far from the original recipe, this successful quick bread is proof that you can spice things up – pun intended – with baking too.
For the bread
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour milk* (or buttermilk)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cinnamon sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- Dash of nutmeg
For the glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- About 3 teaspoons water
*To make sour milk, place 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and add enough milk to equal one cup, then stir. Let stand for 5 minutes before using.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom only of a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a large glass measuring cup, combine sour milk, egg, vegetable oil, and vanilla; add to dry mixture and stir until just combined. Batter will still be lumpy, and that’s fine – don’t over mix.
For cinnamon sugar, combine sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl, mixing well,
Spoon half of the batter into your loaf pan and cover with half of the sugar mixture, then repeat with remaining batter and sugar. Cut through the batter with a knife and gently swirl.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. You may want to cover your bread for the last 10 minutes of baking to avoid over-browning on the top.
Cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
To make drizzle, combine powdered sugar, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of water, stirring to combine. Add additional water to reach a thicker drizzling consistency, then drizzle over the loaf.
Wrap loaf in foil and store at room temperature.