Cinnamon Star Bread


Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Cinnamon Star Bread on a round wooden board

With layers of cinnamon sugar and a sweet glaze, this cinnamon star pull-apart bread is a festive alternative to classic cinnamon rolls.

It’s feeling super festive around our house. The toddler excitement for Christmas is palpable – the air is buzzing with it. I can’t help but have picked up some of that excitement myself. I was running a few final errands over the weekend and pulled up to a stoplight. When I looked in my rearview mirror, guess who I saw? Santa. In the SUV behind me. I’m sure he has more than a few final errands.

We’ve been baking throughout December but have a few more baked goods still on the list. This one will surely be making an appearance on Christmas morning. It feels special enough for Christmas, but is actually easy (and fun!) to make. I tested this recipe five times in recent weeks and have become super fast at building the star. It doesn’t take long even the first time – see many photos below to help you along!

This bread was inspired by a gorgeous photo I came across at King Arthur Flour, though my version uses my favorite one hour dough. The dough is light, fluffy and rises fast. It makes a great base for the caramelized cinnamon sugar throughout the star. The final star is drizzled with a light sugar glaze. Which is optional. Though I’d recommend that you opt in.

drizzling icing over Cinnamon Star Bread

How to Shape Star Bread

Shaping this bread isn’t hard, but photos tell it best.

Note: The day I was photographing this, the food blog gods were smiling and my dough rolled into perfectly round circles. In all other tests, I rolled out wonky lopsided circles. The finished bread looked great either way. Don’t sweat it if it doesn’t look perfect.

rolling dough out into circles on a floured surface

The dough circles should be about 12 inches across. Use a ruler or the long edge of a standard sheet of paper (11 inches) as a guide.

measuring dough circles for cinnamon star bread

Transfer the first dough circle to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Brush with butter.

brushing dough circle with butter

Top with cinnamon sugar.

adding cinnamon sugar to dough circle

Repeat the process with remaining dough + melted butter + cinnamon sugar.

layers of dough circles on a parchment lined sheet pan

Finish with a bare piece of dough on top. Place a small bowl in the center to act as a guide for shaping the star.

several layers of dough circles with a small glass jar in the middle

Make 8 small slits in the dough.

making small slits in a circle around the glass jar

And then make 8 more small slits between those (for a total of 16 slits). Looks like the sun. If the sun was filled with butter, cinnamon and sugar.

making larger slits around the glass jar

Use a serrated knife to slice through all of the layers to form 18 strips of dough. It’s already pretty, but not done yet.

cutting the dough circles into triangles

Using both hands, take two adjacent strips and twist them outwards, revealing the layers inside.

twisting each triangle of dough

Pinch the strips together and tuck them under. Repeat all the way around the bread, forming a star!

uncooked star bread on a parchment lined sheet pan

Let the star rise for 20 minutes in a warm spot. Then brush with egg wash and bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 17 minutes.

cooked Cinnamon Star Bread on a parchment lined sheet pan

Drizzle with a glaze (just powdered sugar + vanilla + water).

drizzling Cinnamon Star Bread with glaze

There you go! Grab a slice and stay awhile.

removing a piece of Cinnamon Star Bread

More Fun Bread Recipes

Favorite Tools

Pin this now to save it for later

Pin It Now
Cinnamon Star Bread on a round wooden tray
4.56 from 36 votes

Cinnamon Star Bread

With layers of cinnamon sugar and a sweet glaze, this cinnamon star pull-apart bread is a festive alternative to classic cinnamon rolls. 
Prep: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 10 servings


  • Stand Mixer
  • Small Mixing Bowls
  • Rolling Pin
  • sheet pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • Serrated Knife


For dough:

  • cups warm Water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
  • 1 Tbsp Instant Yeast
  • 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 4 cups (500 g) All-Purpose Flour

For assembling star bread:

  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Egg

For topping (optional):

  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp Water


  • Make dough:
    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar (portion for dough). Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  • To the yeast mixture, add the butter (portion for the dough), salt, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix on low-speed until the ingredients begin to come together.
  • Still on low-speed, add 1 cup of the remaining flour and mix for 1 minute more.
  • Add the remaining 1 cup flour. Mix on low-speed until the final addition of flour is fully incorporated into the dough. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (It should make a slapping sound against the sides of the bowl.)
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover it with a dish towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
  • While dough rises, prepare filling / egg wash. In one small bowl, combine sugar (portion for assembling) and cinnamon. In another small bowl, melt butter. In a third small bowl, whisk egg.
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Shape dough:
    Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Using a serrated knife, slice dough into three even pieces.
  • Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll out into a 12-inch circle (no need to be super precise - it's okay if it looks messy!). Transfer dough circle to prepared sheet pan. Brush with melted butter. Top with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • Roll out a second circle the same size as the first. Place it on top of the filling-covered circle. Repeat the process by adding butter and then the remaining half of the cinnamon-sugar. Top with the final dough circle.
  • Place a 3-inch small bowl or round biscuit cutter in the center of the dough.
  • Use a serrated knife to cut 16 strips from the center bowl to the outside of the dough, slicing through all of the layers.
  • Using both hands, take two adjacent strips and twist them outwards, revealing the layers inside. Pinch the ends of the strips together and tuck them under slightly. Repeat with all remaining dough strips to form 8 spokes on the star.
  • Remove the bowl from the center of the dough. Allow dough to rise for 20 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C.
  • Just before baking, brush bread with whisked egg.
  • Bake until light golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes.
  • Glaze bread (optional)
    Whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and 1 Tbsp water. Add more water a bit at a time until glaze is smooth and pours easily. Drizzle over bread.
  • Serve immediately.


Inspired by King Arthur Flour.
Make ahead (refrigerator): You can shape the star up to 8 hours ahead and refrigerate overnight. Brush with egg and transfer directly from the refrigerator to the heated oven. Add 2 to 5 additional minutes to baking time.
Make ahead (freezer): If you'd like to make this bread up to a month ahead, shape the star and then transfer the bread to the freezer. Once frozen solid, wrap it tightly and freeze for up to one month. 12 hours before baking, unwrap bread and place it on a parchment lined sheet pan. Let the bread defrost in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Brush with egg and transfer directly from the refrigerator to the heated oven. Add 4 to 8 additional minutes to baking time.


Calories: 510kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.00
Calories: 510
Keyword: breakfast, Christmas, cinnamon recipe, entertaining, Holiday recipe
Like this? Leave a comment below!Jump to Comments

*This post contains affiliate links*









Want to save this recipe?
Get it emailed to you directly! Enter your email below.

About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.56 from 36 votes (26 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 5 stars
    I want to try to make this bread for my family (5 people). Is the amount of each ingredient mentioned in this article will be enough for 5 people? or will I need to double each as if I will make 2 star bread?

  2. Great recipe- we’re looking forward to enjoying this on Christmas morning. Just pulled it out of the oven and it looks great despite my lopsided dough circles. One edit to the recipe- in step number 8, it says to divide the dough into 4 pieces. Should it actually be 3 pieces? I ended up having an estra layer I think, and it was hard to stretch all of them into 12 inches.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Kimina – hope you enjoyed it! Now that you’ve made it once, it will a breeze the next time. It only took me one practice batch to make it super easy the next time. And you are absolutely right about the error in the recipe – I’m so sorry for that! I did test it with 4 pieces, but as you mentioned, I found it hard to get the circles fully rolled out. 3 dough layers seemed like enough. The recipe has been updated. Thanks so much for catching that.

  3. 5 stars
    I have made this before with a different recipe (with strawberry jam instead of cinnamon) and it was good, but Oh Jess! Your dough was so much better! It rolled out beautifully and was so easy to handle. I will definitely be using your recipe from now on. I made it today to take to a family Christmas dinner. Thank you!

    1. Debbie – hooray!!! I’m so glad to hear this! I use that dough all the time now – it’s so easy to work with. I’m so glad you found that to be true as well.

  4. 5 stars
    i like it but please nex time tray to pute the ricepe by kilo or gram it will be more esey tnad thank u i will tray it today frome my ricepe

  5. 5 stars
    Oo, I was never really into baking bread, but this one looks extremely good – I would love to prepare something like this, hopefully my manual skills will be enough to give it such a shape. Thanks for sharing this idea with us!

  6. When you say to pinch the strips together, are you actually sealing them so they stay together or just tucking them under where it’s not visible? I’m going to attempt this Christmas morning but don’t want to screw it up. Thank you!

    1. Hi Jane- I pinch them together enough to loosely seal them. The cinnamon sugar will likely make them not sticky in places, so tucking them under just makes it all look neat. Point is – dont worrry too much if they dont fully seal but sealing them is the general goal

  7. 5 stars
    This looks like the perfect sweet dish for Christmas brunch. You’ve done an excellent job of making even a non-baker feel I can do it. Thanks and you guys have a great holiday!