Plum Cinnamon Swirl Bread: Doing the Heavy Lifting

Guys, I have to admit something. I’m on a bit of a roll. A roll that I’m actually kind of surprised at, and…proud of. What kind of roll you ask? A non-chocolate roll! (Although, when it comes to rolls, is one without chocolate really worth eating?) For the past month or so, I’ve been trying my best to think outside of the box, and let my fruits and vegetables do more of the talking. I mean, sure, any fruit dipped in chocolate tastes like heaven. But, sometimes, that very fruit or vegetable can shine just as bright on it’s own. Between the Hummingbird Bread of a few weeks ago, to this week’s creation, this month is all about letting the produce do the heavy lifting. So, without further ado, let me introduce to you: Plum Cinnamon Swirl Bread. This warm, spicy bread, features the sweet but subtle taste of plum, with a pronounced layer of cinnamon in the middle, for just the right kick. This guy has just the right amount of sweetness for you to be able to enjoy a pretty good amount of it, without feeling like you’ve just eaten an entire cup full of sugar.

We’ll start with our dry ingredients. First, make that swirl! Simply toss together your sugar and cinnamon and set aside. While it doesn’t look like much now, this little bowl of goodness will really impress you later.

Now, let’s put together your other dry ingredients that will go into the batter of the bread. In a medium bowl, mix together your flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. That’s it!

The next part is one of my favorite parts of this bread, for a few reasons. With this batter, our fat source will come from oil instead of butter. Oil, whether it’s of the vegetable, canola, or coconut variety, adds such a nice moisture to bread. While butter works in a similar way, I find breads made with oil to be a bit lighter and more moist. What’s also really nice about this, is that there’s no special equipment involved here. Just a bowl and spatula. When working with your wet ingredients, you’ll start by mixing together your egg and sugars. This is so that the egg can mix fully into the batter before other liquids are added. Here, I went with more brown sugar than white, because I find it compliments the cinnamon well.

Then, you’ll be adding and mixing in your buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Be sure to use buttermilk here, as it has a unique acidity to it that will counteract with the baking soda and make your bread rise. Without the acidity, you gonna have some sad, flat bread. Tasty, but sad. And, flat.

You can now go ahead and stir the dry ingredients into the wet, little by little. The mixture will be a bit clumpy. That’s okay! Be sure not to over mix when trying to smooth out the lumps. 

Last, but not least, fold in those little plum pieces. Drool.

To bake mine, I decided to go with petite loaves. But, you can make muffins with this mixture, or even a full standard loaf! You’ll simply need to adjust the baking time accordingly. Either way, you’ll want to put in the first layer of batter (about half of what will go in the loaf/muffin), and then get out that swirl mixture. Sprinkle on a pretty heavy amount. Basically, if you can see the batter underneath, you should layer on a bit more. Just make sure to save a bit for the top.

Use up the rest of that batter evenly in each loaf or muffin cavity, and then sprinkle on a lighter layer of the swirl mix.

Bake these petite loaves at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. You’ll know the loaves are done when they are golden brown on the outside, and pass the toothpick test. Once you let them cool, you can remove them from their pan and dig in!

From the outside, this bread already looks and smells so tasty. On the top, you can see pieces of that plum poking through the crusty, sugary top. 

But, when you cut in, it just gets even better. That cinnamon layer adds a little crunch to the inside and totally intensifies the subtle plum flavor. Seriously, still drooling here.

Since I’m a bit too busy cleaning off my keyboard from all of the cinnamon swirl greatness I’ve dropped on it, I guess I’ll have to wait until next week to share my BIG ANNOUNCEMENT with you. No, that was not a tease. I swear…

Until then, stay tuned and stay hungry!

Erin 

Plum Cinnamon Swirl Bread
A light bread, filled with the subtle sweetness of pears and warm taste of cinnamon.
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Batter
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. ½ teaspoon salt
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1 large egg, at room temperature1
  6. ¼ cup granulated sugar
  7. ¾ cup brown sugar
  8. 1 cup buttermilk
  9. 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  10. 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  11. 1 cup plums, chopped (3 plums)
Swirl
  1. 1 TBS cinnamon
  2. ¼ cup sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together wet ingredients – egg and sugars, then add buttermilk, oil and vanilla
  3. Mix together dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon
  4. Fold dry ingredients into wet batter, in small batches
  5. Fold in plums carefully.
  6. Divide batter into petite loaf tins (half batter, sprinkle in thick swirl layer, cover with remaining half of batter, apply sprinkle of swirl mix)
Bake
  1. Loaves: 350 degrees – 25-26 minutes
  2. Jumbo Muffins: 400 degrees – 6 minutes, 350 degrees – 21 minutes
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