Dollywood Cinnamon Bread

If you’ve ever visited Dollywood, you likely know about their legendary cinnamon bread. This sweet, gooey treat has become a must-have for visitors to the beloved theme park located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Fortunately, you don’t have to make the trip to Dollywood to enjoy this delicious treat. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to recreate Dollywood’s famous cinnamon bread in your own kitchen. Get ready to delight your family and friends with a loaf (or two) of this heavenly cinnamon bread that’s perfect for any occasion.

What is Dollywood Cinnamon Bread?

Dollywood Cinnamon Bread is a sweet, rich loaf that’s dipped in butter, coated in a cinnamon-sugar mixture, and baked to perfection. Once out of the oven, it’s typically served with a side of apple butter or cream cheese frosting, enhancing its flavors even more. It’s not just a bread; it’s an experience—warm, comforting, and irresistibly indulgent.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To make Dollywood Cinnamon Bread, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Dough:
  • 1 cup warm milk (about 110°F)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Optional Toppings:
  • Cream cheese frosting
  • Apple butter

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the Yeast Mixture:
    Start by dissolving the yeast in warm milk in a large bowl. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy, indicating the yeast is active.
  2. Make the Dough:
    To the yeast mixture, add the melted butter, sugar, egg, and salt. Stir well. Gradually add the flour, mixing until the dough begins to form. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it for about 8-10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl, cover with a cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until it doubles in size.
  3. Preheat the Oven and Prepare Coating:
    Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish. Melt the additional butter in a separate bowl.
  4. Form the Bread:
    Once the dough has risen, punch it down and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll each piece into a rough rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick. Brush each rectangle generously with melted butter, then dredge in the cinnamon sugar mixture, ensuring it’s well-coated.
  5. Cut and Twist:
    Slice each rectangle into six strips. Stack three strips together, then twist them slightly and place them into a greased loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining strips.
  6. Final Rise and Bake:
    Let the shaped bread rise for an additional 30 minutes in the pans. Then, bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
  7. Serve:
    Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool slightly before removing it from the pans. Serve warm with your choice of cream cheese frosting or apple butter.
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Tips for Perfect Cinnamon Bread

  • Yeast Activation: Ensure your milk is warm but not hot to touch; otherwise, it might kill the yeast, affecting the rise of your bread.
  • Dough Consistency: The dough should be tacky but not overly sticky. Adjust with a little more flour or milk if necessary to achieve the right texture.
  • Serving Suggestion: For a true Dollywood experience, serve the bread warm. It enhances the flavors and texture, making it even more irresistible.


With this detailed guide, you can bring a taste of Dollywood into your home by baking your own version of their famous cinnamon bread. It’s a perfect treat for breakfast, brunch, or a comforting snack any time of the day. Enjoy the process of baking and the delicious results—your homemade cinnamon bread is sure to be a hit!

Serving and Storage Tips for Dollywood Cinnamon Bread

Serving Tips:

Dollywood Cinnamon Bread is best enjoyed when it’s warm and fresh from the oven, as this enhances its soft texture and rich flavors. Here are some tips for serving it in the best way possible:

  1. Warm Before Serving: If the cinnamon bread has cooled down, warm it up slightly in the oven at 300°F for about 5-10 minutes or just until it’s warm to the touch. This will help revive the texture and flavor, making it almost as good as fresh.
  2. Add Toppings: While delicious on its own, you can elevate your cinnamon bread by serving it with toppings. Traditional options include cream cheese frosting or apple butter, but you can also try vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, or a dusting of powdered sugar.
  3. Pair With Beverages: This sweet treat pairs wonderfully with coffee, tea, or even a glass of milk. For a holiday brunch, consider serving it with hot apple cider or a cinnamon-spiced latte.

Storage Tips:

If you have leftovers or want to save some of your cinnamon bread for later, proper storage is key to maintaining its freshness and flavor.

  1. Cool Completely: Before storing the bread, allow it to cool completely. Placing warm bread in a container can lead to moisture buildup, which might make the bread soggy.
  2. Room Temperature Storage:
  • For short-term storage, wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. It can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • If you’ve sliced the bread, placing a piece of parchment paper between slices can prevent them from sticking together.
  1. Refrigerating Your Bread:
  • For slightly longer storage, you can refrigerate the cinnamon bread. Wrap it in plastic wrap and then in foil, or place it in an airtight container. It will last for up to a week in the refrigerator.
  • To serve, gently reheat in the oven or microwave until just warm.
  1. Freezing for Long-Term Storage:
  • Cinnamon bread freezes well. Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, or place it in a freezer-safe airtight bag or container. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature for a few hours. Reheat in the oven at 300°F until warmed through for the best texture and flavor.
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By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your homemade Dollywood Cinnamon Bread is delightful whether it’s fresh out of the oven or enjoyed as a treat later on. Properly stored, your cinnamon bread will continue to be a comforting indulgence ready to be enjoyed at a moment’s notice.

1. Can I use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast for this recipe?
Yes, you can use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast in this recipe. The main difference between the two is that instant yeast doesn’t require activation in warm liquid and can be mixed directly with dry ingredients. Use the same amount of instant yeast as active dry yeast, and mix it directly into your flour before adding the warm milk and other ingredients.

2. What can I do if my dough isn’t rising?
If your dough isn’t rising, there could be several reasons:

  • Yeast Viability: The yeast may not be active anymore. Always check the expiration date on your yeast packet before using it.
  • Temperature: The liquid used might have been too hot or too cold. The ideal temperature for the liquid is about 110°F-115°F. If it’s too hot, it might kill the yeast; if it’s too cold, it won’t activate the yeast.
  • Environment: Dough rises best in a warm, draft-free environment. Try placing the dough in a slightly warmed oven (turned off after heating for a minute), or in a microwave with a cup of hot water to create a warm, steamy environment.

3. How can I make this cinnamon bread vegan?
To make vegan Dollywood Cinnamon Bread, substitute the milk with a plant-based alternative such as almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk. Replace the butter with vegan butter or coconut oil, and use a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water, let sit until thickened) instead of a chicken egg. Ensure your sugar is vegan (some sugars are processed with bone char).

4. Is there a gluten-free version of this recipe?
Yes, you can make a gluten-free version of this cinnamon bread by substituting the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix. Make sure the mix includes xanthan gum, or add it separately according to the flour manufacturer’s recommendation (usually 1/4 teaspoon per cup of flour). Note that the texture and rise might differ slightly from the original, so some experimentation with hydration and rising times may be necessary to achieve the best results.

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