Old Fashioned Cinnamon Loaf Recipe 

 Originally Written: November 28, 2017

By  Hanna Trafford

I am very happy to share this recipe with all of you – as my new friend Selina Joyce from Alberta, Canada shared it with me.

Joyce enjoys visiting my website and was kind enough to take some time to send me a personal note,letting me know how much she enjoys what I do and telling me her story.

I very quickly discovered that we have a lot in common – especially when it comes to creating special family moments and future heirlooms.

Very much like Joyce, I have also created personal cookbooks – full of handwritten recipes and stories attached to them and gave them to my sons.

Some of the recipes had to be literally re-created, since both my grandma and my mom cooked as you would say “from their heads” and I have learned to do the same.

Joyce sent me this Cinnamon Loaf Recipe – it comes from her grandmother, who used to make it for her when she was a little girl.

Grandma passed away at a beautiful age of 105-1/2 and I totally understand why this recipe became so special – the Cinnamon Loaf is not only delicious beyond belief – it also fills the house with the incredibly comforting aroma of cinnamon and vanilla.

Thank you Joyce – and we are all looking forward to more recipes from you!

Old Fashioned Cinnamon Loaf


  • ¼ Cup of Shortening or Butter (I used butter)
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1 Teaspoon of  Salt
  • 1 Cup Sour Milk (To sour fresh milk, just add a  tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 3.4 cups of raisins (optional)
  • Vanilla Sugar (optional)

Topping Mix:

  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar


As I always say – it is a great idea to prepare all your needed ingredients first – it really makes cooking or baking much easier – and you won’t forget to add a thing!

1. Cream shortening or butter with sugar in a large mixing bowl
2. Add eggs, beating until fluffy.
3. Cream sugar and butter first, then add eggs and beat until fluffy – it only takes a few minutes.

4. Mix your dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add them alternately with milk to creamed butter and sugar. I used wooden spoon since I didn’t want my raisins to get chopped up by electric mixer

5. Mix until thoroughly blended.

6. Put half of the mixture into a loaf pan that you have greased with butter and lightly floured to prevent sticking.

7. Sprinkle about 1/2 the topping over the batter.

(I chose to use half of the cinnamon/brown sugar mix after putting the batter into baking pan and the other half on the top – you can do it either way)

8. Add rest of the mixture on top and swirl through with a spoon or a butter knife.

9. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar if desired

I used glass loaf pan to be able to take picture showing the cinnamon mixture halfway in the batter

Alternatively, you can put all the cinnamon and brown sugar in after the first half of batter, top with remaining batter and swirl with a spoon or butter knife. I chose to create a bit of a cinnamon/vanilla crust, that is why I topped the loaf with remaining topping.

10. Bake at 350 F for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

In the oven – let the baking begin and let that wonderful aroma fill the house!

Cool for about 10-15 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a rack and cool

This Cinnamon Loaf tastes incredible – especially when you serve it still warm!

This is now definitely one of my favourite recipes!


Hope you enjoy this recipe and thank you again Joyce! I will be happy to post your recipe, please send me your favourites – your input is very welcomed and much appreciated!



Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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  • I made this cake as it seemed like a great recipe. It is in the oven now baking. The only problem I have is with the directions. In the list of ingredients, you have a teaspoon of vanilla but no where in the directions does it say when to put it in. Being a seasoned baker, I knew where but if first time bakers were using this recipe, I am not sure they would know or remember to put it in. Thank you! Can’t wait to taste this!

  • Why not print the recipe so it can be copied. Sounds wonderful but have no way of fixing it without a printed recipe.

  • Deliciousness! I made this;however added a little shredded coconut and chopped pecans. Next time I’m going to swirl in raspberry jam. Thanks so much!!!!

  • So happy to find this recipe. ……my mom used to make this and after she passed away I couldn’t find her recipe she always added coconut into cinnamon sugar mixture….off to bake this now! Thank you!

  • Hi Hanna,

    Can you make this recipe in the mini loaf pans? If so, how long would you bake them? It looks delicious, cant wait to make it.

    • Hi Laura! I have not tried it personally – but I think it would work. As to how lon g to bake them, you will just have to keep watching and testing in the centre with a toothpick. When it comes out clean, the loaves will be done. Let me know how it worked for you!

  • I love this!! It is definitely one of my new favourite recipes. I’m a university student and I love that it’s quick and easy to put together, and it was very well-received by my friends too. Great recipe!

  • Hi,
    However you got this recipe, thank you so much for sharing. It’s delicious! My whole family loves it. Thank you and God bless you!


  • This recipe has received such a huge positive following every time I make it! It is do good I will be using it for our Island wide tasting and buying festival. Thank you for sharing!

  • I made this for the first time, yesterday, It was supper great, and easy to make, family loved it I will be making it again & again .Thanks so much.

  • You could easily do a “dairy-free” version of this loaf by using a non-dairy butter alternative, I use Earth Balance Buttery Spread and instead of souring milk you can sour coconut milk from a can (same proportions: 1 cup of coconut milk and 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice). I use the Earth Balance in everything and I much prefer it over butter when I bake.

  • I think the vanilla needs to be added somewhere,unless I missed it. I have scanned through several times. I know where it should be added but I don’t think it is in the recipe instructions.

      • You cinnamon loaf is delicious,,,the vanilla is not written anywhere in the recipe when to add it,,so I added it with the egg and butter, hope that was okay…I am looking for a really good carrot cake recipe and banana loaf ,,,I have so many and don’t know which one I like the best….

        • Hi Lucy! And thank for your comment! Both recipes you are looking for are on my website – all you have to do is search for the name. If you have a problem, let me know and I will be happy to send you both – tested recipes hundreds of times!

    • Hi Cristal! I usually buy vanilla sugar ready made (from a bakery supply sstore), but if you want to make it, use fine white sugar and put it into an air tight container with couple of vanilla beans. Have fun baking!

  • Hello Hana!!!
    I’m a little upset I really don’t know how to react! This recipe is MINE! It’s actually a very very old family restaurant! I even use the same advice in my own notes as to ow to sour milk Yes commonly known but I only use butter and only a few of the women in my family use raisins! It’s uncanny!!! And we just call it Bestemore’s Cinnamon Loaf! I am half Norwegian and Half Native Canadian! I’m rather shocked that after I leave Canada and move to Sweden with my Finnish husband I know hilarious! However I am very curious to know exactly where you got this recipe as I nor any of my family has ever lived near Alberta!!!! This is just too weird, NO-ONE has been aloud to share this recipe!!! I’m so curious it’s killing me!


    • Hi! And thank so much for your message! I got the recipe from Joyce – one of my readers from Alberta – she sent it to me saying it was her mother who made it for them regularly. She passed away at over 105 years old not too long ago.Here is the copy of message – and I must add that I love the recipe and personally have quite a few that were definitely family treasures that I have shared with everyone. Hope you will feel the same – there is something special about people being able to enjoy what we have loved for so many years – I look at it as a compliment! So – please do not be angry or upset, I have received lots of very positive and appreciative comments from those who made this wonderful Cinnamon Loaf>
      This is the message I originally got:

      Hi again Hanna,
      Here is one loaf recipe that I really have liked for a long time. My Mom used to make it for us when I was quite young. She just passed away in May of this year. She was 105 ½ . I have a lot of her recipes. My dad used to make hand lotion for us too. It made your skin so nice and smooth. I will look up a couple more of my recipes for you and send them on.

      ¼ Cups Shortening or Butter
      1 Cup Sugar
      2 Cups Flour
      2 Eggs
      1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
      ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
      1 Teaspoon Vanilla
      1 Teaspoon Salt
      1 Cup Sour Milk (To sour fresh milk, just add a touch of vinegar)
      Cream shortening with sugar, and add eggs, beating until fluffy. Mix dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk.
      1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
      3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
      Put half of the mixture into loaf pan, then the topping. Add rest of the mixture on top and swirl through with a spoon.
      Bake 350o F for 1 hour

      Thanks again for your message and please continue to enjoy my website posts!
      Mama Hanna

  • This seemed lovely and is in the oven as we speak
    should be ready for when my partner gets home from work
    I will let you know if we enjoyed it 🙂

    • I am sure you will love it! Got the recipe from a reader who lives in Alberta and it was her grandma’s recipe. I have made it probably dozen times since I got it and loved it every time! Let me know how it turned out for you, OK?

    • I made this on the weekend from an old book I had 30 yrs ago. Wondered if I switched white sugar instead for brown sugar when making the cinnamon mixture ( same amounts ). Found not enough cinnamon taste for me or just increase the cinnamon. Love the texture, so good, very light, just needed more cinnamon flavor for my taste.

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