A basic cinnamon roll dough is easily transformed into a beautiful star (or snowflake) shape known as Star Bread. Inspired by a traditional European recipe, there are so many ways to make it! This classic version is so beautiful and impressive — you won’t believe how easy it is to create!
Star bread — also known as snowflake bread — looks fairly elaborate and potentially even difficult to put together, but it is so easy to make! It’s one of our favorite things to serve during the winter holiday season. We love a good old-fashioned themed dish, don’t you? Snowflake bread is about as winter as you can get. This recipe is simply bursting with cinnamon and sugar, and can be topped with either frosting or powdered sugar — your choice! It’s like a fun and festive version of a cinnamon roll. Add it to the menu for a yummy addition to a holiday brunch, or as a sweet dessert after a savory meal. No matter where and when you decide to serve yours, it’s always a fan favorite!
There are many different directions you can take the dough for this star bread recipe. We almost always use our homemade cinnamon roll dough, but you can also use:
- Store-bought dough (you’ll need about 2 pounds)
- Crescent sheets (2 to 4 packages)
- Puff pastry dough (2 pounds)
- Pie crust circle dough (4 crust rounds)
Sweet Topping Ideas
As mentioned, you can feel free to top your sweet bread recipe with your choice of frosting or simply add some powdered sugar. Here are some other fun topping ideas to try:
- Powdered sugar: Sprinkle powdered sugar over the star bread for a sweet and elegant touch.
- Honey: Drizzle honey over the star bread for a sweet and sticky finish.
- Melted Butter: Simply brush 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the top of the finished star bread.
- Simple Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon of water or milk and 1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract. Add more water or milk as needed to create a thin consistency that can easily be drizzled over the dough.
- Brown sugar and cinnamon crumble: In a medium bowl, stir together the 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon until well combined. Add in 1/4 cup of melted butter and stir until the mixture forms a crumbly dough. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the star bread just before baking.
One way to make this snowflake bread recipe ahead of time is to prep and then freeze it. You can either freeze the dough before baking or freeze it after you’ve baked it:
- To freeze the dough: Follow the dough recipe instructions on the recipe card below. “Punch” the dough down after it’s risen to remove any excess air. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then add a layer of aluminum foil. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months! When ready to bake, allow the dough to thaw in the fridge overnight, then follow the shaping and baking instructions as indicated.
- To freeze already-baked star bread: Allow the bread to cool completely, then place it in an airtight, freezer-safe container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through, about 5-10 minutes.
You can store any leftover star bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. If you want to get a bit more longevity out of it, you can also store it in the fridge where it will keep for one week. If you want to reheat it, you can do so in the microwave at 30-second increments until warmed through.
Other Flavor Options
Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.
Star Bread (AKA Snowflake Bread)
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons salted butter softened
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup salted butter softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs. Add in flour. Use a dough hook and turn on to a low speed.
- Once the flour starts to incorporate into the dough, increase the speed to medium. Add more flour as necessary so that the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough mixture should be soft and tacky, but not stick to your hands.
- Add more or less flour until the dough reaches the desired consistency. The amount of flour you add in bread making is always an approximation and you should go by feel.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Shaping and Baking Instructions:
- Take dough and divide into 4 even pieces. Roll each piece into a large circle, roughly the width of your baking sheet.
- Lay one circle down onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread 1-2 tablespoons softened butter on top in an even layer, leaving 1/4 inch around the edge of the circle. In a small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the butter.
- Continue layering with the remaining pieces, but leave the top 4th and final dough piece plain.
- Use a small 2-inch bowl to mark the center (or eyeball it) and then use a knife to cut 16 equal strands, leaving the small circle in the center.
- Take two of the strands and twist in opposite directions, 2-3 times, and then pinch the edges shut to seal. Continue twisting pieces together until all pieces are twisted and you have a large star shape.
- Bake immediately (no rising) in a 350 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes. Once cooled, serve plain, frost with your favorite frosting, or dust with powdered sugar.