This cinnamon wreath bread is made up of a soft and fluffy yeast dough with a gooey and sticky cinnamon sugar filling, all topped with a sweet icing. Bonus: it's shaped like a beautifully festive wreath! Read on for step-by-step pictures & instructions, as well as a video tutorial.
If you love cinnamon rolls as much as I do, then this wreath bread recipe is for you! It tastes exactly like cinnamon rolls, but it's shaped into a super festive wreath!
The idea behind this recipe was kind of a mash up between classic cinnamon rolls and our braided garlic bread. The shaping for the bread is very similar to the garlic bread recipe, but there are a few extra steps to get 2 loaves of bread.
Below we have step by step pictures and a video you can follow along with to make the shaping process a lot easier! It's not difficult to get the wreath shape. But it'll definitely help if you read through the recipe at least once before giving this recipe a try 🙂
How to make cinnamon wreath bread:
Start by making the yeast dough. Nothing too special here. First, combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes to foam. Add in your warm milk and egg, and whisk to combine.
Add the flour, salt, and melted butter. Stir until the dough starts to come together, then knead for about 5 to 10 minutes (by hand or with an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook). Add flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. It should be smooth and slightly tacky, but not sticky.
Place in a well oiled bowl. Cover, and set aside in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until almost doubled in size.
Next, we'll make a cinnamon sugar spread that you may have seen before in cinnamon roll recipes. Simply combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and softened butter in a bowl until it forms a thick paste. Set aside to shape the dough.
Transfer the risen dough to a floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a rough rectangle that's about 9 x 14 inches large. Spread the cinnamon sugar filling on the top of the dough, leaving about a ¼ inch boarder around the edges.
Now here's where we start the shaping process! First, wrap your dough up tightly (going lengthwise) into a log (picture #1 & #2 above).
Cut the log in half lengthwise to expose the layers inside (picture #3). Then, cut each half down the center again lengthwise (picture #4). So you should be left with 4 long strips of dough, with the cinnamon sugar layers visible.
Next, you'll need to braid the dough. Working with 2 strips of dough, pinch the ends together (picture #5). Then pick up one side of the dough (picture #6) and pull it over the other side (picture #7 and #8). You can either do this clockwise or counterclockwise.
Continue the process of picking one side up and pulling it over the other until you reach the end of the strip of dough. Pinch the other end together to seal.
Repeat with the other 2 pieces of dough. You should be left with 2 braided pieces of dough now.
Transfer each piece of dough onto a large parchment lined baking sheet and shape into 2 circles. Connect the ends together and pinch to seal.
Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes, or until near doubled in size. Bake in the center of a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown on the outside.
Make your powdered sugar icing by whisking together powdered sugar and milk or heavy cream until your get your desired consistency. Drizzle on top of the wreaths. This bread is best served warm and fresh!
How to store cinnamon wreath bread:
Just like any other bread recipe, this bread tastes best the day it's made. But it will last for up to 3 days at room temperature, or around 5 days in the fridge. Make sure to cover well or place in an airtight container/plastic bag for maximum freshness!
If I don't plan on finishing this bread the same day (rarely), I like to leave it unfrosted because then you can reheat it in the oven! You can reheat this bread for 5 to 10 minutes in a 350°F oven, or until warmed through.
You can also freeze this dough (unfrosted)! To freeze, wrap tightly in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. To defrost, place in the center of a preheated 350°F oven frozen and warm for 10 minutes, or until defrosted and warmed through.
If you liked this cinnamon wreath bread recipe, check out some of these similar recipes!
Cinnamon Swirl Wreath Bread Recipe
For the bread dough:
- ½ cup warm water, between 105°F and 110°F
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 & ¼ teaspoons (1 package) instant or active dry yeast
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ cup warm milk, between 105°F and 110°F
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and shaping
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the cinnamon sugar filling:
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
For the icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- Make the bread dough: In a large bowl, combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Stir and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, or until foamy on top. Add in the warm milk and egg. Whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, salt, and melted butter to the yeast mixture. Mix together until a rough dough starts to form. Knead using your hands or an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment for 5 to 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. If the dough is sticking to your hands or the bowl, add in 1 tablespoon of flour until it's slightly tacky, but not sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a well oiled bowl. Cover, and set aside in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until nearly doubled in size.
- Make the cinnamon sugar filling: In a medium sized bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and softened butter. Stir together until you're left with a thick paste. Set aside to roll out the dough.Prepare 1 large (or 2 medium sized) baking sheet(s) by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Shape the wreaths: Transfer the risen dough to a floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a rough rectangle that's about 9x14 inches large. Spread the cinnamon sugar filling over the top of the dough, leaving a ¼ inch boarder around the edges.
- Roll the dough up (starting from the 14 inch side) into a log. Cut the log in half lengthwise down the center. Halve each piece of dough again by cutting down the center. You should now have 4 long pieces of dough with the cinnamon sugar layers visible (see below for video or above for visual).
- Working with 2 pieces of dough, pinch one of the ends together. Braid the dough by picking one side up and over the other side. Continue twisting one side over the other until you reach the end of the 2 pieces. Pinch the other end to seal. Repeat the braiding process with the other 2 pieces of dough. You should now have a total of 2 braided logs.
- Transfer the braided logs onto the parchment lined baking sheet(s). Shape each log into a circle and connect and pinch the ends to seal. Cover the 2 wreaths, and set aside again in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes, or until near doubled in size. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Uncover the dough, and bake in the center of the preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Set aside to cool slightly before icing.
- Make the icing: Combine powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk or heavy cream in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together until smooth. If needed, add a splash more liquid to get the icing to your desired consistency. Drizzle on top of the wreaths before serving!This bread is best served warm and fresh!