Bread, Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Lightened Up, Snack, Vegetarian

Social Distancing with Cinnamon Walnut Quick Bread for Sunday Brunch


You’ve been warned. I said I’d end up baking during these crazy pandemic times. After irrationally craving cinnamon rolls–it is a Sunday morning–, I settled on making a version of Joanna Gaines’ cinnamon swirl quick bread from her cookbook, Magnolia Table. As a Christmas present, I’ve looked through this cookbook, but haven’t had a time to tackle any recipes. Given my brunch cravings and the copious time on our hands, I settled on making Cinnamon Walnut Quick Bread, but a lightened up version of this classic. I still think it’s crazy that the original recipe for this bread was supposed to have 2½ c sugar and a third of a cup of oil. Here, we use just under three-fourths cup sugar, less than a tablespoon of oil, and mix coconut and raisins. It’s perfect right out of the oven, but I recommend it cooling longer than we did, since we were a bit too eager to slice it up, thus left with some crumbly pieces. Ted and I enjoyed this warm, served with a cup of coffee and a side of Greek yogurt and strawberries (see first photo after recipe!). It was the perfect stay-at-home Sunday brunch.

Ingredients (makes 1 loaf with 12 slices).

Filling & Topping:

  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 2 T coconut sugar
  • 1 T shredded coconut
  • 2 T oats
  • 2 T raisins
  • 2 T chopped walnuts
  • 1 t flour
  • 1/2 T coconut oil, at room temp, reserved for “topping”


  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c almond flour
  • 1/2 c turbinado sugar
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 c unsweetened almond milk *
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced *
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c chopped walnuts
NOTE: you can use 1 c buttermilk; I just don’t have any, so I substituted milk + citrus, keeping the 1:1 ratio of buttermilk to regular milk.


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a loaf pan.
  2. Combine ingredients for the filling, cinnamon through flour, in a small bowl and toss well. Do NOT add coconut oil yet. Set aside filling.
  3. In a large bowl, add dry ingredients for bread, flour through salt, and whisk well. Add the wet ingredients, milk through vanilla, and mix well until smooth batter forms. Fold in walnuts.
  4. Pour half the batter into the greased loaf pan. Generously coat with the reserved filling, still omitting coconut oil; you should have at least half remaining. Repeat the layers with the remaining batter and filling, so you have a layer of batter, then filling, batter again, and then filling on top.
    • NOTE: I had leftover filling once both the middle layer and top were evenly coated. I removed any walnuts and raisins to add to the top and saved the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture to add to something like oatmeal.
  5. Using pea-sized crumbles of coconut oil, evenly distribute over the top of the bread, so the oil can melt during baking.
  6. Bake for 40-50 min. Remove when toothpick comes out clean. You may need to place foil over top to prevent burning if bread requires a longer baking time.
  7. Let cool for 10 min before trying to remove from pan. Then cool on wire rack.
  8. Slice up and enjoy!

Adapted from Joanna Gaines‘ recipe, “Cinnamon Swirl & Walnut Quick Bread with Walnut Topping” in Magnolia Table.

Nutrition for 1 of 12 slices.
180 calories  •  8.8 g fat (42%)  •  22.4 g carbs (48%)  •  4.7 g protein (10%)  •  2 g fiber  •  12.4 g sugar
  •  120 mg sodium
* These are estimates based off specific products I used and how I entered ingredients in a fitness tracker. This is completely subjective and used to give a rough nutritional estimate.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s