There’s nothing quite like the iconic Dollywood Cinnamon Bread. Coated in butter and brown sugar and cinnamon, this soft pull-apart bread is a must try. Your family will love this gooey breakfast treat.
While cinnamon rolls are my all time favorite weekend brunch treat, this gooey, light as a feather Dollywood cinnamon bread is a close second. The girls just love this stuff and I even had my “not sweet eating” husband digging in. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool long enough so that you don’t burn your mouth.
This recipe came about because of a trip we had to cancel to Dollywood. Natalie is my roller coaster loving daughter but somehow she was born into a family that doesn’t like roller coasters. I have bad motion sickness so over the years, I just stand at the bottom and wave. She and my husband had a trip planned to Dollywood over the past year that they had to cancel. She was so disappointed on missing out on the roller coaster but also she wouldn’t get to try the famous Dollywood Cinnamon bread. So of course I had to try to recreate it.
There are “official” recipes out there that have been sanctioned by Dollywood, so I started there and made a few changes here and there. We ended up with an amazing cinnamon bread that is coated with butter and then brown sugar and cinnamon. The super soft dough is light as can be, you can eat a loaf by yourself before you even realize it! 🙀
This cinnamon pull-apart bread is different from the Dollywood version in that theirs is topped with a powdered sugar glaze and served with apple butter. We tried it with both of these additions, and did not like them. The cinnamon bread is pretty sweet and adding a frosting on top was too much for even my sugar lovers. Apple butter, while delish, was just lost on this bread and we didn’t like the combination,
Where can you find Dollywood Cinnamon Bread
Dollywood is a theme park located in Pigeon Forge Tennessee in the Smokey Mountains. The area is a popular tourist attraction due to its beautiful location and this theme park. The park boasts the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster and of course cinnamon bread. It’s made daily and can be purchased at The Grist Mill within the theme park.
Why you’ll love it
- Gooey brown sugar and cinnamon glaze.
- It’s coated in butter!!
- The dough is light and soft.
- It’s easy to make
- You can make the dough the night before
While this might sound like a cinnamon roll just baked in a loaf pan, it is very different. The dough itself is much softer than cinnamon roll dough. This is what makes it so easy to pull off sections. Also the topping is not just brown sugar and cinnamon, it has a little corn syrup which makes it gooier than a cinnamon roll. You’ll need a napkin!
What you’ll need to make cinnamon pull-apart bread
- Bread Flour – with its higher protein content, it gives it a better texture. You can substitute All Purpose flour if you need to.
- Yeast – Rapid or Active will work, you only need half of packet so you might as well double the recipe. What are you going to do with half a packet of yeast.
- Butter – You will use a whole stick.
- Corn syrup – This comes in either light or dark, you want light corn syrup. Light just refers to the color, not the calorie content.
- Brown sugar and cinnamon – this is what you’ll coat the dough in before baking.
What is unique about Dollywood cinnamon bread is the way it’s formed after the dough has risen. In order to achieve gooey topping in each bite, slits are cut deep into the dough and then the dough is dipped into butter and then into a brown sugar cinnamon mix. The slits allow not only glaze on every bite, but it makes it easy to pull off a section of the bread to eat.
How do you make Dollywood Cinnamon Bread
Step 1: Let the yeast proof for a couple of minutes in some warm water and then add it to the dry ingredients with some melted butter.
Step 2: Knead for about 5 minutes with a dough hook in a stand mixer, cover and let it rise in a warm place. When you poke your finger in, it should leave an indentation.
Step 3: Form the dough into two loaves, spray with cooking spray and let them rise for about 30 minutes. (If you want to refrigerate, do so as soon as you form the dough into loaves)
Step 4: Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in one dish and melted butter and corn syrup in another.
Step 5: Cut 4 deep slashes across each loaf, and then dip both sides into the butter/syrup mixture.
Step 6: Coat each loaf in the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture making sure you get into each of the cuts you made in the dough.
Step 7: Place the loaves in parchment paper lined loaf pans and drizzle the remaining butter over the top, then sprinkle with remaining brown sugar mixture.
Step 8: Bake for about 30 minutes and then let cool for about 15 minutes if you can.
Why should you use bread flour when making a cinnamon bread recipe
Bread flour has a higher protein content than All Purpose flour which will result in a higher gluten formation. In addition, it will absorb more liquid. This is why it is the flour of choice for breads and rolls. The bread flour will give your loaf more structure. That doesn’t mean you can’t use All Purpose flour for this or any bread recipe. The texture may be a little different but it’s not significant enough to notice once all the gooey topping is added.
FAQs and tips
You can substitute All Purpose flour in this cinnamon bread recipe. The texture might be slightly different but not enough to make a difference in the final outcome.
An Amish Cinnamon bread, is more bread like with cinnamon swirls while Dollywood cinnamon bread is more like a cinnamon roll than a bread.
Yes, this recipe makes two small loaves, so if you’re feeding a crowd, double the recipe.
If you happen to have any left over or made an extra loaf, you can freeze it and re-warm in the oven once thawed. It will not be quite as good as fresh out of the oven, but still delcious.
Yes, once you have formed the dough into rectangle shapes, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes and then cut and coat the loafs.
If you’ve had the cinnamon bread at Dollywood, let me know how this one compares.
More sweet breakfast ideas
Dollywood Cinnamon Bread
- ¾ teaspoon yeast
- 1 ½ cups bread flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- cooking spray
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- Dough: Add yeast to a bowl with ½ cup of warm water, add a pinch of sugar and let it sit until it starts to foam, about 5 minutes. If it doesn’t get foamy, throw it out and try a new pack of yeast.
- In a stand mixer, combine the flour and salt and add the melted butter and yeast. Make sure the butter is not hot. Knead with the dough hook for 5-8 minutes, until it is smooth. Place it in a bowl sprayed with cooking spray and cover. Place in a warm area and let rise for about an hour until double in size.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. Punch down the dough and cut it in half. Shape each half into a three by six inch rectangle. And place on the baking sheet. Spray some plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the dough. Let it rise until it is about double, 30 minutes.
- Topping: In a pie dish, whisk the melted butter and corn syrup together. In a separate dish, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Preheat the oven to 350º and line two nine by five inch loaf pans with parchment paper.
- Cut 4 deep slashes across the top of each loaf, cutting about half way through. The dough will be very soft and will deflate as you work with it. Dip each loaf into the butter mixture, turning to coat both sides. Then place it in the brown sugar mixture making sure it is completely coated and the topping has gone into the slashes. Place in the loaf pans.
- Pour the remaining butter mixture over each loaf. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar mixture over the top. Bake until lightly brown, about 25 minutes. Lift the bread out of the pans and let cool on a baking rack for about 15 minutes.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Make sure neither the water or the butter is too hot or it will kill the yeast, if the yeast does not get foamy, try again with new yeast and cooler water.
- Try placing the dough in a warm microwave to rise. Boil some water in the microwave and then place the dough in the microwave.
- You can use all purpose flour instead of bread flour.
- Light corn syrup refers to the color and not the calorie count.