Starbucks’ Chocolate Cinnamon Bread

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    Starbucks has this way of sucking you into their store. They have yummy drinks and they also have really good pastries. I mean, the lemon pound cake has got to be one of my favorites, and now this bread is edging towards the top of my list. This is their chocolate cinnamon bread, which I think, is one of their holiday treats. I never had it before until this past year. They had little samples of it and I tried it and it was SO good. I loved the crunchy sugary topping and the warm cinnamon flavor. I love that you can make it at home :) This bread reminds me of Christmas time, moreso this past Christmas because that’s when I first had it and it’s also when my SIL basically saved our upcoming honeymoon.

    For Christmas, one of my presents from my SIL was a Kate Spade passport holder, but let’s back up for a second. When I opened it, Jason and I didn’t realize it was a passport holder. We thought it was a really nice notebook holder. Except, for a really small notebook that we thought only Kate Spade would carry because you know, they want to make money off you so they make tiny sized notebooks to fit in their tiny sized passport holders. Well, good thing I texted my SIL about it because she said, “it’s a passport holder!” OH. RIGHT. DUH! This was a really good thing because it lead to me to go get my passport from my desk and to put it in its new pretty holder. Then I glanced at the expiration date. Oh, how lovely. March 2013. MARCH 2013?! Yeah. If it weren’t for that gift, we probably would’ve been strolling up to the international departures terminal on April 29th and having TSA tell us we can’t take our honeymoon flight out of the country because I have an expired passport.

    I applied for a renewal around mid-December. I checked the status of it online around early January, just out of curiosity to see where it’s at and it said I should receive it “on or about January 19th.” That date rolled around and I still got nothing. However, I received my old passport with holes in it. So that must mean my new one is coming soon, right? Oh, so wrong. I called the passport agency and they said they sent it January 10th. It was January 24th when I called them to say I hadn’t received it. And then, they gave me tracking number for it. I tracked it online and IT SAID IT WAS DELIVERED ON JANUARY 14TH. What the hell?! Freakout ensues. I ran outside and checked everywhere for it. Nowhere to be found. Long story, short, I had to re-apply for a non-receipt of passport and they had to re-issue me a new one.

    Here’s the best part: last week, we had a knock at our front door so we went to open it. It was one of our neighbors we’ve never met before with an envelope in his hand. He handed it to me and said, “I’m so sorry. I was out of the country for two months and this letter got delivered to us so I wanted to come give this back to you.”

    Guess what it was?


    How ironic is it that my passport, that I so desperately needed for April would get delivered to the wrong address and to a person that was out of the country for two months, therefore us never knowing if it was really lost or mis-delivered?! Of course.

    Only me!

    Starbucks' Chocolate Cinnamon Bread

    This Starbucks Chocolate Cinnamon Bread copycat is SO good  with the crunchy sugar topping and warm cinnamon flavor!
    Prep Time: 25 mins
    Cook Time: 50 mins
    Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 2
    Calories: 2580kcal
    Author: Julie Chiou
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    • 3 sticks unsalted butter room temperature, 1 1/2 cups
    • 3 cups granulated sugar
    • 5 eggs, room temperature
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa
    • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    For the topping:

    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    • Pinch of ground ginger
    • Pinch of ground cloves
    • 1/4 cup sugar sparkles, for decorating


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9x5 loaf pans with parchment paper with enough that they are hanging off both sides for easy bread removal.
    • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the topping EXCEPT the sparkle sugar. Set the topping mixture aside.
    • In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Then add in the eggs, one at a time, incorporating them well after each addition.
    • In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, water, and vanilla extract.
    • Alternating between the dry mixture and the buttermilk mixture, add the contents to the bowl of the stand mixer, mixing at a low speed. Mix until ingredients are well incorporated. You may need to scrape down the sides of your bowl once or twice.
    • Divide the batter evenly among the two prepare loaf pans. Divide the topping mixture between the two loaves then sprinkle the sparkle sugar on top.
    • Bake for 45-50 minutes (or longer). Use a toothpick and insert it into the middle of the bread to check for doneness. The toothpick should come out clean when bread is done.
    • Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before pulling up on the parchment paper to remove the bread from the pan and letting it cool completely on a wire cooling rack. Let cool before slicing.
    • Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


    Source: Starbucks
    Nutrition Facts
    Starbucks' Chocolate Cinnamon Bread
    Amount Per Serving (1 Loaf)
    Calories 2580 Calories from Fat 441
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 49g75%
    Carbohydrates 493g164%
    Fiber 24g96%
    Sugar 374g416%
    Protein 32g64%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.
    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
    Meet The Author: Julie Chiou
    Dinner for Two Cookbook
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    Recipe Rating


  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker says:

    This looks delicious! I never had chocolate cinnamon bread before. Will have to give this one a try –thanks for sharing!

  • Aimee @ ShugarySweets says:

    Love this bread Julie!!!

  • Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Oh my goodness, what luck with your passport! This bread looks so awesome, I bet it tastes divine :)

  • Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen says:

    Chocolate and cinnamon is one of my very favorite combos, so I will have to try this soon. I’m glad you got your passport all straight before the honeymoon!

  • Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking says:

    So glad to hear your passport story had a happy ending! You’ll have a fabulous honeymoon!
    And this chocolate bread, perfect with my coffee right now
    Thanks for sharing and thank you for the lovely comment left on my guest post (Meyer Lemon Tart) left on Sommer’s (A Spicy Perspective) blog

  • Jessie {Life As A Strawberry} says:

    I think I just died and went to heaven. You did it. You killed me with the drool-worthy bread and the Starbucks and the YUMMMMM. We don’t have Starbucks where I live now (womp womp) so I’ll be making this immediately and then dying of happiness all over again.

  • Renee @ Awesome on $20 says:

    This cake looks almost as ridiculous as a Kate Spade passport holder. I love what cinnamon does to chocolate. I can’t wait to try it.

  • Sarah says:

    I made this today and I don’t even know what went wrong.. The cake had no flavor and the top was all cracked and falling off. I followed the directions but it just didn’t turn out nicely!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Sarah, I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. The cake has lots of flavor from the cocoa powder – did you omit that by accident? The top is supposed to be crackly due to the spice mixture. I’m sorry it didn’t turn out the way you expected.

  • Bree says:

    Mmmmmm, I Just made it. It was heavenly!

  • Kelly says:

    I’m confused. You have the topping ingredients separate, but you say to mix everything but the sparkle sugar together. Should those be separate and put on top after pouring the batter into the pans?

  • Kelly says:

    Nevermind. I see it now. ^_^

  • Kelly d says:

    Made this tonight…halved the recipe and it made 12 regular muffins and 12 mini muffins. They are AWESOME! Thank you so much for sharing. My husband has already asked me to make them again.

  • Michelle D says:

    I made this bread because I had buttermilk that need to be used up. OH MY WORD!!!!! It is so wonderful. I brought one of the loaves to work and it barely lasted 30 minutes. I then had to pass the recipe out to everyone because they wanted it. I gave most of the other loaf away because I was blowing my diet mutching on it because I couldn’t say no. I will definitely be making it again and just plan to run several more miles to compensate.

    The only problem I had with it was that the middle seemed to sink in as it cooled but I didn’t care since the flavor and moistness was wonderful!

  • Andrea C. says:

    The bread turned our really yummy, very moist and like a cross between brownies and cake. I am not sure why, but it collapsed badly in the middle. It looked like a train wreck, but since it tasted so good I will try making the recipe again.

  • Serena says:

    Hi Julie, is the consistency of this bread supposed to be fudgy? I tried this yesterday. I have to say that I used the wrong amount of an ingredient (water – i had written 1/4 cup on my notepad in a really messy way, and i read “1 cup” instead). i tried to fix it by leaving the cake in the oven for a while longer (in order to allow excess water to dry). I just wanted to understand whether i got the right consistency or it is different because of my mistake.

    thank you!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Serena! No, the cake is not supposed to be fudgy. It’s supposed to be cake-like. Fudgy makes it seem too dense. Definitely think the extra water made the chocolate a fudgy consistency. Sorry that happened! I hope you try again!!

  • Serena says:

    Thank you Julie, never mind, my bad, the bread was eaten anyway :) my eaters around here do not make any “cake racism”… if something is good, they do not care about consistency and stuff… That’ll push me to try the recipe again… next time i’ll print your page, just to make sure that no mistake occurrs :D

    have a nice day!


  • Treasures By Brenda says:

    This sounds delicious & I haven’t even had it at Starbucks!

  • Christine says:

    Hi Brenda,
    I was wondering how crucial it is to use Dutch processed cocoa, because all I have is Hershey’s cocoa?

    • Julie says:

      Hi Christine, my name is Julie, not Brenda :) also, it’s not that crucial, you can use Hershey’s cocoa.

  • GG says:

    What? No addition of coffee to a chocolate bread that mimics Starbucks LOL? Coffee is almost a staple in any baked chocolates so I’m surprised that a Starbucks bread would exclude it. It looks delicious though so I’m happy to try it sans the coffee.

    • Julie says:

      Haha yeah, you’d think they’d have coffee in it!

  • Imelda says:

    Starbucks chocolate cinnamon bread is always a hit! It is so moist and it has flavor. I can freeze slices or a loaf and take out is needed. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • mahinkamran says:

    Looks yummy I am sure it’s 100% to die for

  • Marcy says:

    I made this for a day after the wedding brunch I hosted yesterday. I had made it earlier in the week and froze it. It defrosted beautifully and was fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  • Lisa says:

    Have you tried this using Hershey Special Dark cocoa powder? It is a blend of Dutch and natural.

    • Julie says:

      No, I haven’t but if you want to give it a go, feel free!

  • Kim H says:

    What are sugar sparkles?

    • Julie says:

      They’re like a type of sugar sprinkle! They just call them sparkles because they look like sparkles on top of the bread or other desserts!

      • Kim H says:

        Thank you:)

  • Amanda Cushing says:


    Yesterday I went to make the bread to welcome my new neighbors to the ‘hood. However, after the 50 minutes, and spillage over the pan sides, the bread was still very soupy and we just decided to abort the project. We think that the spillage was due to lost space from the placement of the parchment paper but that’s an easy fix. We think that, due to our high altitude location, was the reason that the bread didn’t cook after 50 minutes. Would you happen to have a high altitude adjustment that we could use for next time?

  • Paula B says:

    why Dutch preceded and not regular cocoa? I grew up on natural cocoa, and it’s all I ever have in my pantry. How will it effect the recipe to use natural?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Dutch-processed is darker vs. regular cocoa powder. You can use whatever you have on hand!

  • MICHAEL says:

    I didn’t know Starbucks sold something like this. I guess I’ve just never noticed it. I can’t compare this recipe to what you would get in the store, but this one is pretty good. I love chocolate and cinnamon together. There is definitely a strong cinnamon flavor here. I might even throw some chocolate chips or chocolate chunks into the bread the next time I make it.

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