Cinnamon Scone Bread

November 17, 2014
4.7 Stars
Photo by Bobbi Lin
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. —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lucía Navarro
    Lucía Navarro
  • lizund
  • Annie Scibienski
    Annie Scibienski
  • infinitezest
  • Fitmomee

131 Reviews

jamorsch August 14, 2021
Just had my first slice of this! Love it! Instead of currants, I used cinnamon chips. This one is going on the go to list.
Stacey V. December 6, 2020
This is a house favorite. We've been making it for years. Highly recommend. Easy to add chopped nuts to mix or streusel.
Stacey V. December 6, 2020
This is a house favorite. We've been making it for years. Highly recommend. Easy to add chopped nuts to mix or streusel.
Lucía N. September 6, 2020
I don't know if I did something wrong but the dough was sticky AF. It is in the oven right now and I really hope this tastes good, I don't want it to be a fail
Nancy K. September 6, 2020
It’s definitely a sticky dough.
Author Comment
mrslarkin September 6, 2020
Shoot! Sorry that happened. It’s not usually sticky for me. But sometimes if ingredients aren’t cold, or if the weather is very warm, or if I add too much liquid, it can affect the texture of the dough.
Yvette May 24, 2020
Made this over Zoom with my brother this morning - I opted for the faster option of scones while he did the bread. As I was eating the scones and loving them - although they weren't the most visually appealing as the streusel leaked out - he was still waiting for his bread to bake. And it was worth the wait. It turned out beautifully and he said he couldn't stop eating it. I can't wait to make again as the bread next time. Great recipe!
copywolf May 17, 2020
Absolutely great recipe -- have made it several times and it always turns out perfect. My "cheat" is that I do the whole thing in the processor, i.e. Step 6. You just have to use the pulse and take it out the minute it begins to form a ball. Lovely texture and crumb. Delicious flavor. Have one in the oven right now!
lizund April 16, 2020
This is one of the best breakfast pastry recipes I have made and owning B&B I try a lot of breakfast recipes. It’s irresistible!
Nancy K. April 12, 2020
Omg!!!! So yummy! Just made this for Easter breakfast while social distancing with my husband. We both loved this - the outer crunchy layer and the tender inside crumb. Sweet, without being cloyingly so. Perfect with coffee, pjs and guilty pleasure tv. Pretty easy to make, as well. I omitted the currants - I’m not a big fan of dried fruit in general. Yay!
Nancy K. April 19, 2020
Okay - so this recipe was so good that I just made this again - this time as scones. Never again. The filling oozed out just making a horrid mess on my sheet pan. I'm sticking to the bread version.
Annie S. May 19, 2019
I used 1/2 the currants and added golden raisins. It was stunning and delicious. Also note, I baked it in a disposable 8x 4 and that worked out fine.
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.
missshar August 4, 2020
Hello, I was wondering if you kept the egg in the recipe or substituted it with a flax egg.
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?????
Philippe F. June 12, 2019
So there are more photos!! I should have read the comments before making the recipe ;) Hope it turns out fine anyway :D
Sharon R. May 2, 2020
I didn't notice the photos either. They really help. I made it but didn't get all the filling in and my sandwiches were 6" long not 3" long. This really helps!
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!