Cinnamon Scone Bread

November 17, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Scones are one of the most versatile baked goods around. They can be sweet or savory and filled with pretty much any combination of flavorings you can think of. This is my version of a cinnamon quick bread, adapted from my recipe for Royal Wedding Scones here in the archives. The layering technique is inspired by Joy the Baker's Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread.

There are many different ways you could play with this recipe. Next time, I'd try some espresso powder in the streusel. The zest of an orange would be a nice addition to the dough. You could omit the currants and use chocolate chips. Some chopped apples nestled in with the streusel would be very good. You see, it's endless.

The layering technique is a little time consuming, but totally fun. It's almost like building a lasagna outside of the pan. And any which way you end up layering, it'll still taste good. So don't sweat it.

If you prefer, this recipe can be prepared like more traditional scones. Just divide the dough in two pieces, pat one piece into a 6-inch circle, brush with cream, and sprinkle with streusel. Pat the second piece of dough into a 6-inch circle, brush with cream, place on top of the first round, cream-side down. (You are essentially making a streusel sandwich.) Cut into 8 triangles. Brush scones with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 425° F for about 20 minutes.

Food52 Review: WHO: Mrslarkin is famous for her scones. And soon, she’ll be famous for her scone bread, too.
WHAT: A miraculous hybrid of monkey bread, pull-apart bread, and scones.
HOW: Make a scone dough and cut it into 12 rectangular pieces. Brush each with cream and then make a sandwich tower by layering the scone pieces with cinnamon streusel. Flip your tower on its side and transfer to a loaf pan. Bake until you just can’t wait any longer (about an hour).
WHY WE LOVE IT: When this came out of the oven in our test kitchen, the Food52 staff descended on it like vultures. Within 5 minutes, it was gone. Some of us liked the crunchy, crusty ends, while others preferred the soft, warm middle. We went at it with our hands, but you could also slice it for a holiday brunch.
The Editors

Makes: 1 loaf


For the streusel filling:

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

For the bread:

  • 2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces or 319 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top of loaf
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cocoa powder, or espresso powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on dough
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In This Recipe


  1. For the streusel: Mix together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in the cream to make a streusel. This is not a chunky streusel. It's more of a sugary blend. Set aside.
  2. For the bread: Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a parchment-lined 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
  3. Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and pulse to combine.
  4. Add the butter and pulse about 8 or so times. You want to retain some small pieces of butter. Don’t blitz the heck out of it. Transfer the flour mixture to a large mixing bowl. If you've got some really large butter lumps, just squish them with the back of a fork.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the currants with the cinnamon. Add to the flour/butter mixture, and toss lightly.
  6. In a large measuring cup, place the heavy cream, egg, and vanilla. Mix well. Pour into flour mixture. With a dinner fork, fold the wet ingredients into the dry as you gradually turn the bowl. It’s a folding motion you’re shooting for, not a stirring motion. When dough begins to gather, use a plastic bowl scraper to gently knead the dough into a ball shape. If there is still a lot of loose flour in the bottom of the bowl, drizzle in a bit more cream, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together.
  7. Transfer the dough ball to a generously floured board. Pat dough into a 6- by 14-inch rectangle.
  8. Now the fun part. Please refer to the above photos for reference. Cut the rectangle into 12 equal pieces. Brush with cream. Sprinkle streusel on 6 pieces. Flip a non-streuseled piece onto a streuseled piece and continue to build the layers. It’s easiest to transfer the layers to the pan in sections. Lay them in the pan, like a sideways lasagna. Continue layering until fully assembled. Brush top with cream and sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Bake on the center rack for about 50 minutes. For the last 10 minutes, I cover my loaf with aluminum foil, as I don't want the top to scorch. Loaf is done when a cake tester comes out clean. Make sure to poke it into a cake layer and not a streusel layer.
  10. Let cool 15 minutes. I like this bread best served warm. Either rip the bread apart with your hands or cut slices long-ways to see the pretty striations of streusel.
  11. Alternatively, if the sideways lasagna technique is too fussy for you, build your scone bread in the pan one large layer at a time, like a traditional lasagna. So instead of 12 pieces, cut your rectangle of dough into 6 pieces, and proceed with the layering.

More Great Recipes:
Bread|Quick Bread|Cinnamon|Currant|Milk/Cream|Breakfast

Reviews (116) Questions (1)

116 Reviews

Mm February 20, 2019
Mrs. Larkin, this sounds oh so yummy but do you have a gluten free version?
Thank you!
Theresa February 9, 2019
Oh my, this is so good! I made this exactly as written, except I left out the currants. We waited for it to cool about a half hour and my patient husband and I just ate our first piece. I made a sling with the parchment paper that I lined the bread pan with and just lifted the whole loaf out. We are eating our second still-warm slice as I type this, and it is the best night time snack that we have had in awhile. Thank you for posting this. I will definitely make this again!
infinitezest February 4, 2019
I used King Arthur gluten-free flour, vegan butter and vegan heavy cream. This recipe adapted beautifully and turned out perfect! Literally could not stop eating it. Can't wait to try this with different fillings instead of the cinnamon streusel.
copywolf October 21, 2018
Incredibly delicious. Great flavor and texture. And I must admit, I cheated and did the mixing in my processor bowl and it came out just lovely -- exactly like the picture.
Ai R. January 5, 2019
Hi, can I asked how exactly you used the food processor? Did you just put all the ingredients in the processor bowl and pulsed it?
copywolf January 5, 2019
I did the equivalent of Step 6 in the processor rather than in a mixing bowl. Pulsed til it formed a ball. Then took it out and mixed in the currants and cinnamon so the currants wouldn’t get chopped up. Otherwise I followed the recipe and used the pictures for guidance. Have made it twice this way - great both times.
Cathy B. January 16, 2018
This is a great recipe! I made it for my non-profit board meeting and people raved about it. The directions were perfect (the pictures really helped.) It'll seem like too much sugar/spice mixture, but use it all anyway. You won't be sorry!
Jean January 16, 2018
Well, this is what happens when you are iced in, scrolling through Facebook, a recipe pops up and you show it to your husband -- you end up making it about an hour before dinner. Totally worth it! I didn't have enough cream on hand so I used a combination of cream, half/half, and whole milk -- I think it worked out fine. I also didn't have currants and my husband doesn't like them so I skipped that and just added a bit of cinnamon to the dough. I thought I had too much streusel for the layers so I put the rest on top. Next time I will manage to stuff more in the layers. I might add a bit more cream so I can make it stick to the dough better and pack in more. Still tastes great with the streusel on top. So much for resolutions!
Fitmomee January 9, 2018
This is so delicious and the fact that it just pulls apart makes it great for kids and for sharing - as a huge scone lover I could have eaten it all myself! I forgot to use cream in the streusel and using it dry turned out just fine. I used half greek yoghurt and half milk with a little melted butter since I didn't have any cream. will be making this again soon since it disappeared so quickly.
BobB138 August 21, 2017
Now making this for the second time. Tastes great, BUT I think the recipe needs some modifications.

First, most online recipes put the photos in with the text of the recipe, so you can read along and see what you are supposed to do. So I read along and got the line "Cut the rectangle into 12 equal pieces." At top of the recipe is photo of the final product; recipe says "Please refer to the above photos for reference." Easy enough, but seems a little tight in the pan, oh, well, go ahead. Now, I go back online and - for the first time - notice the arrows next to that one photo. OH!!! there are more photos! And the recipe's instruction should NOT have been "Cut the rectangle into 12 equal pieces." IMO, it should have read "First cut the 6x14 rectangle length-wise and then make 6 cross-cuts, so you end up with 12 rectangular pieces." Well, next time I will get it. I have now printed out the recipe along with the photos (which is not easy, by the way)

Second, consider having your webmaster figure out a way to print the photos with the recipe. No issue on Serious Eats, but here?????
Akhil S. November 30, 2016
Love the sound of this. I think this is perfect for this time of year, the cinnamon reminds me of the cooler weather, and it'll go perfect with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Two quick questions: 1) Can I sub the egg with something else? 2) Any substitute with the heavy cream, so that it can be a lighter recipe?

Can't WAIT to make this.
Author Comment
mrslarkin November 30, 2016
Hi Akhil, you can omit the eggs and substitute buttermilk or other dairy for the heavy cream. I would start with 1/2 cup to begin with, and add spoonfuls until the consistency is right. You want a dough that is firm enough to shape and cut. Good luck!
Lindsay June 27, 2016
I made this yesterday and it was a winner for me and my boyfriend! I am terrible about reading directions ahead so I accidentally used a slightly smaller bread pan and added a bit of extra cream to the streusel, but all in all this came out delicious. Very crumbly so it doesn't slice well, but the taste makes up for it. I love that it is not too sweet. It reminds me of a cross between a scone and a cinnamon coffee cake. I will definitely be making this again!
Aviva March 5, 2016
Yeah, not crazy about this recipe...Ithe taste was ok, but found it to be very heavy...and, as you and others have said, once it cools off, it becomes a streusel covered a pastry chef, at home,I like to make a recipe twice (once on different days) just to make sure the poor result wasn't because of external circumstances (humidity, rain, etc.) so, if I get a different outcome, I'll post it. Btw, the people who tasted it warm thought it was delicious, but my baking standards are higher than those of non bakers...
Craig December 21, 2016
Mm March 10, 2019
Wow is right. Thank you Mrs. Larkin for this delicious sounding recipe and all the positive comments that are definitely helpful, especially concerning gluten free & substitutions for when I don't have the correct ingredients on hand! I can't wait to try this!
Stephanie C. November 13, 2015
Can you substitute chopped apple bits for the currents? Or will the apples add too much moisture?
CDL March 20, 2015
I made this last week and I have to say the texture was great. However, mysteriously the streusel disappeared into the bread as if it never existed. Now, my streusel mix was very wet (I was distracted)so maybe that was the reason? I look forward to making it again.
Author Comment
mrslarkin March 21, 2015
Glad you liked it CDL. Definitely try for a drier streusel next time. It's not a thick streusel, just a nice thin layer of cinnamony flavor.
Mary-Claire F. March 9, 2015
Could you replace some or all of the cream with whole milk?
Author Comment
mrslarkin March 10, 2015
I've never tried it. Cream is what lends richness to the texture of scones. I would try replacing some, maybe half, with milk. I think if you go all milk, you'll make biscuits, which isn't a bad thing, really. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!
DAVID March 7, 2015
I made this bread with chocolate chips and cocoa. We can't stop eating it. Can't wait to try other variations. But, I'm going to try your biscotti next. Thanks
Author Comment
mrslarkin March 7, 2015
Yay! I'm so glad. (I love the biscotti - hope you like them, too.)
Natalie M. March 6, 2015
Hello, I was wondering if the dough can be made ahead the night before and then baked the morning after?
Author Comment
mrslarkin March 7, 2015
Hi Natalie, I haven't tried it, but based on some of the previous comments, it has been done.
Ai R. July 31, 2015
Yes I've done it several times, you just have to make sure you add some additional cooking time because the dough is cold.
Assonta W. January 27, 2015
This was our Christmas morning barely had time to cool down the kids loved it so much.
BavarianCook January 23, 2015
This bread was a big hit! I also prepared it the day before I was going to bake it…only to have a 3 hr power outage the Sunday morning I needed it, but it went into the oven as soon as we had power again and it rocked with a nice cup of tea! Thank you!
Kathy H. January 18, 2015
Given we love cinnamon and scones, making this bread is a no-brainer. It's worth all the calories. Second time around, it was perfect - just like the picture. It helps to have all the tools: bench scraper, thick ruler (if you're so inclined to actually measure dough), etc.. Hint: Upon blending wet and dry ingredients, I turned out on counter, lightly kneaded a bit, then wrapped in clear wrap, stored in fridge while I cleaned up mess. When making scones, I do the same. Cool dough is a key. Plus, I wear non-latex gloves (purchased at a medical supply pharmacy - like med. profession use), for mixing any pastry-type dough. Protects your manicure nice. Additionally, the heat from my fingers do not play havoc with the dough. I have a food processor but choose to be old-fashioned. Works for me. My success also came from re-reading and viewing pictures online as this bread comes together. Cannot stress enough, read directions, plus pictures on FOOD52 are priceless. Love this site.
Author Comment
mrslarkin January 18, 2015
Excellent tips, Kathy. Glad you liked it.
liz O. January 18, 2015
This sounded so good, so I made it for my breakfast club. I served it warm and it was quite good, but once it cooled off, it was so dry, it was not worth finishing. Fortunately, my husband, who is loathe to throw anything out, finished it up. My advice? Eat it before it cools off!
Author Comment
mrslarkin January 18, 2015
I like it warm, too, which I state in step 10.
Author Comment
mrslarkin January 18, 2015
P.S. if you have any leftovers, wrap well. It will keep about 2 days at room temp. it rewarms really nicely. I pop it in a 350 degree F oven till warm.