You want your dessert to light up the table, but you also don't want to face an 18-step recipe that takes up nine hours of your Saturday. We've got you covered with this impressive star bread.
Taste of Home
If you’re one of those people who have high baking aspirations but question the depth of your fancy baking skill set, then this star-shaped twisted bread is for you. It’s one of those desserts that appears far more complicated to create than it actually is. (Much like our Dulce de Leche Cheesecake.)
At the outset of this recipe, it may appear like you’ve made a jam-filled piece of origami—but don’t despair. Once you cut, twist and bake, you suddenly have something that would make Mary Berry speechless. Add a light dusting of powdered sugar for perfection. You’ve just become the star baker of any get-together, my friend.
Watch Us Make: Twisted Star Bread
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm whole milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Step 1: Make Your Dough
First, dissolve the yeast in a quarter cup of warm water. In a separate bowl, combine your milk, egg, butter, sugar and salt before adding the dissolved yeast and three cups of flour. Now, a fancy schmancy professional mixer will do a great job here, but I’ll have you know I don’t own one of those, and mixing by hand worked just fine. If your dough is gooey, make sure to keep adding flour a little bit at a time until it’s soft and forms a dough ball.
Cover a surface of your house in flour. A clean, flat countertop or pastry mat will do. Make sure, if you have young children in the house, they help with this. They will look at you wide-eyed when you ask them to put flour all over the counter. This will be the best day of their lives. Knead your dough ball until it is properly relaxed and stress-free. This takes about 6-8 minutes. Place it in a greased bowl, turning once to lightly oil the top. You don’t want the dough to stick to the bowl as it mutates into a giant dough ball. Let it take a nap for an hour.
Step 3: Your Dough Is HUGE
Well, it’s twice the size it was before. We don’t condone violence, but this is where you punch the dough down. Punching it releases the gas bubbles formed by the yeast, giving the bread a finer texture. Kids everywhere would also like to volunteer to help with this step.
After you’ve shown your dough who’s boss, put it back on the floured surface (hopefully you didn’t clean up yet) and divide the dough into four pieces. Roll one into a 12-inch circle. It’s OK if this circle is neither concentric nor perfectly round. We’ll take care of this later. Transfer it to a greased 14-inch pizza pan. In case you’re curious, you can also place it onto the greased back of a really big cookie sheet if you don’t own a pizza pan. I may have done that.
Spread a third of your jam on this dough circle to within an inch of the edge. Repeat this process twice, layering dough and jam and ending with your final dough circle.
If your layered dough is not a perfect circle because rolling out perfectly round dough circles is a pastry skill you don’t possess, use a sharp knife to cut the edge cleanly around so that it is a perfect circle. Marvel in your genius idea.
Step 5: Do the Twist
Place a 2 ½-inch round cutter on top of the dough in the center, without pressing down. A drinking glass will also do the trick. Make 16 evenly spaced cuts outward from this circle to the edge of the dough. Remove the cutter (or glass). Grasping two strips of the dough, twist them outward twice, away from one another. Pinch the ends of each strip together so your filling doesn’t try to escape. Repeat with remaining strips.
Step 6: Nap #2
Cover with plastic wrap and let your dough nap (er, rise) for another 30 minutes. While this is happening, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake your bread for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Ooh and ahh as you take it out of the oven and gape at its beauty. Brush it with melted butter so it’s shiny like a brand new car. Cool on a wire rack before giving it a light dusting of powdered sugar. Instagram it, for sure. Contemplate what other things you put inside it next time you make it. Nutella? Pesto? Definitely not at the same time.
I won grand champion honors in a potato festival baking contest with this moist chocolate cake. The icing recipe can be doubled for real sweet tooths. A great-grandma, I've spent over 85 years on the farm.
Granny always had a batch of these delicious, crispy cookies waiting for us at her house. When I miss her more than usual, I make these cookies and let the aroma fill my house and heart. —Valerie Hudson, Mason City, Iowa
This blueberry buckle recipe came from my grandmother. As children, my sister and I remember going to Pennsylvania for blueberry picking. Mother taught us to pick only perfect berries, and those gems went into this wonderful recipe. —Carol Dolan Mt. Laurel, New Jersey
We had a lot of family get-togethers when I was growing up. My grandmother, aunts and mom were all good cooks, and each had her own specialty when it came to bread. But Mom's was my favorite—she started making it 40 years ago. The flavors call to mind the taste of cornbread stuffing! —Shirley Smith, Yorba Linda, California
I loved skipping the boring school cafeteria meals and going to my grandma’s house for lunch. She spent most of her life in northeastern Minnesota, which is reflected in this bread's ingredients. Now my family uses this for our holiday stuffing. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
This blueberry coffee cake is my go-to recipe for all of our holiday get-togethers because it's perfect for breakfast or dessert. It's easy to make, and it's the most delicious coffee cake I've ever had. —Susan Ober, Franconia, New Hampshire
This scratch-made strawberry buttermilk cake is a family favorite. My grandma even carries out our family tradition by making this old-fashioned recipe each summer. —Claudia Lamascolo, Melbourne, Florida
My grandma was very special to me. She had a big country kitchen that was full of wonderful aromas any time we visited. This was one of her prized cake recipes, and it continues to be a favorite from generation to generation. —Denise Strasz, Detroit, Michigan
This recipe was passed down through my family from Grandma Irene and is a favorite of my dad and cousin Dennis. It's a true cookie lover's cookie: crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and perfectly dunkable. —Lori Rowe, Tigerton, Wisconsin
My grandmother made this zucchini banana bread for as long as I can remember, and I've been making it ever since I learned how to bake. Children love it for a snack, and it's good to serve at any meal. It's another delicious way to use zucchini, which is so abundant in late summer. —Eva Mae Hebert, Lafayette, LA
My grandma used to bake a version of this for me when I was a little girl. She would make it using fresh apples from her tree in the backyard. I've adapted her recipe because I love the combination of apples, pecans and caramel. —Emily Hobbs, Springfield, Missouri
The recipe for these dinner rolls, slightly sweet and so very flaky, was my mother’s. They are simple to prepare because kneading skills are not required and the dough is easy to handle. My grandchildren have renamed them "Grandma’s croissants"! —Bernice Smith, Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota
My grandmother made luscious fruit pies and cobblers using blackberries from her garden. I decided to follow her lead and create a blackberry cake that's always lovely with a summer meal. —Lisa M. Varner, El Paso, Texas
My grandma taught me to make this pie when I was 4. Over the years, I've kept it about the same with just a few changes. Flip it out the second it stops bubbling. The glaze makes it look especially delicious. —Francine Bryson, Pickens, South Carolina
My mother insisted that my grandmother write down one recipe for her when Mom got married in 1942: the how to make peanut butter cookies from scratch recipe. That was a real effort because Grandma was a traditional pioneer-type cook who used a little of this or that until it felt right. This treasured recipe is the only one she ever wrote down! —Janet Hall, Clinton, Wisconsin
I remember coming home sullen one day because we'd lost a softball game. Grandma, in her wisdom, suggested that maybe a slice of hot apple pie would make me feel better. She was right. —Maggie Greene, Granite Falls, Washington
I live in Missouri, but many of our family recipes come from New Zealand, where I lived as a youngster. I proudly claim a Down Under heritage! These special-occasion cookies bring back warm and sweet memories of my childhood, and I'm going to make sure they're passed on to the next generation in my family—no matter where they live. —A. Swenson, Camdenton, Missouri
My grandmother occasionally brought over this wonderful cake warm from the oven. The spicy apple flavor combined with the sweet cream cheese frosting made this recipe one that we treasured. Even though I've lightened it up, it's still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California
This kolache recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law, who received it from her mother! It was a standard treat in their family, made nearly every week. Now I make these kolaches for my own family for special occasions. —Maxine Hron, Quincy, Illinois
I can remember my Grandma Wheeler making these delicious muffins—we'd eat them nice and warm, fresh from the oven! She was a "pinch of this and handful of that" kind of cook, so getting the ingredient amounts correct for the recipe was a challenge. Now it's a family treasure! —Darlis A. Wilfer, West Bend, Wisconsin
When I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me how to make these rolls. I remember feeling so special when "we" served them. If you have never worked with yeast, this is the recipe for you. —Nadine Mesch, Mount Healthy, Ohio
This basic recipe was one my grandmother used for making crumble pies from fresh fruit. She simply substituted oats, gingersnaps or vanilla wafers depending on the fruit. Pear was always my favorite, and I added the ginger and caramel to give it a new twist. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
My grandma kept two cookie jars in her pantry. One of the jars, which I now have, always had these crisp and chewy gingersnaps in it. They're still my favorite cookies. My daughter used this recipe for a 4-H fair and won a blue ribbon. —Deb Handy, Pomona, Kansas
As far as I know, this cake recipe can be traced back to my German great-grandma. When I got married, my mother gave me a copy and I hope to someday pass it down to my children. —Stephanie Travis, Fallon, Nevada
I usually make these bite-size orange cookies at Christmastime, when Florida citrus is plentiful, but they're delicious any time of year. Every time I sniff their wonderful aroma, I remember my grandmother, who shared the recipe. —Lori DiPietro, New Port Richey, Florida
It isn't officially the holidays until I've made this treasured nut roll recipe from my husband's grandmother. The apple-walnut filling is moist, subtly sweet and flavorful. —Donna Bardocz, Howell, Michigan
My husband's grandmother made a variety of cookies every year for her grandkids at Christmastime. She would box them up and give each child his or her own box. This crisp, orange flavored cookie is one of my favorites from her collection.—Heather McKillip, Aurora, Illinois
Back where I grew up in Wisconsin, people have been baking this German treat for generations. We love it for breakfast or as a special dessert. It's no fuss to fix and impressive to serve. —Virginia Arndt, Sequim, Washington
My sister and I were in 4-H, and Mom was our breads project leader for years. Because of that early training, fresh homemade bread like this is a staple in my own kitchen.
-Karen Wingate, Coldwater, Kansas
My grandmother always had sugar cookies in her pantry, and we grandchildren would empty that big jar quickly because they were the best! I now regularly bake these wonderful cookies to share with friends. —Evelyn Poteet, Hancock, Maryland
I love this chocolate babka. It's a rewarding recipe for taking the next step in your bread baking. Even if it's slightly imperfect going into the oven, it turns out gorgeous. Look at those swirls! —Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
I've given a fresh summery twist to the classic blueberry buckle everyone loves by swapping out the blueberries for raspberries (my favorite) and adding sweet and tart lemon curd. This berry buckle cake recipe tastes great with vanilla ice cream! —Jenna Fleming, Lowville, New York
I asked my grandmother for this recipe after trying these irresistible spice cupcakes at her home. I love their creamy caramel frosting. They're such a scrumptious dessert, you actually forget you're eating your vegetables, too! —Virginia Lapierre, Greensboro Bend, Vermont
This easy-to-make bread goes well with a salad luncheon or a casserole dinner. But I especially like to serve it with spaghetti and pasta dishes. The cheese topping is its crowning glory! —Elaine Mundt, Detroit, Michigan
It's just not Christmas at our house until this festive cake appears. This is different from other red velvet cake recipes I’ve had; the icing is as light as snow. —Kathryn Davison, Charlotte, North Carolina
I think that as long as I’m in the kitchen baking I might as well make enough to share. This traditional recipe gives me three cheese-filled coffee cakes drizzled with a sweet vanilla icing. —Sheri Kratcha, Avoca, Wisconsin
There's no brownie recipe or mix I've ever tried that's better than this! And it's so easy—you can mix it in one bowl in just a few minutes. My husband's grandmother passed the recipe on; now our son makes these brownies for after-school snacks. —Becky Albright, Norwalk, Ohio
I've been making this bread for many years. It smells so good in the oven and tastes even better. I make bread almost every Saturday, and it doesn't stay around long with our sons home from college in the summer. —Perlene Hoekema, Lynden, Washington
We love quick breads, and I've found that they freeze nicely if properly wrapped. This is a scrumptious recipe to make before the holidays and freeze for last-minute guests or gifts. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
I only use this recipe on special occasions. It's an amazing variation on the pecan pie everyone knows—the filling is a custardy delight, and the meringue gives the whole thing a lightness that's the perfect ending to a multi-course feast. —Therese Asche, Maple Grove, Minnesota
Alabama has some tasty fresh blackberries. Decades ago, my mama was heading out to pick blackberries to make a cobbler, but she ended up going to the hospital to have me instead. This is her mama's recipe. The blackberries start on top, but then end up tucked under a golden brown crust after it's baked. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama
This cookie recipe from my 91-year-old grandmother was my grandfather's favorite. She still makes them and sends us home with the dough so that we can make more whenever we want, I love to make a fresh batch when company drops in. —Chris Paulsen, Glendale, Arizona
My family's best carrot cake recipe dates back to my great-grandmother! We bake up a few of these carrot cakes for special occasions to make sure there's enough to go around. You'll love the texture this pretty, moist treat gets from pineapple, coconut and, of course, carrots! —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
My grandma (I called her Baba) made these in her coal oven. How she regulated the temperature is beyond me! She always made extra rolls for the neighbors to bake in their own ovens. My mom and aunts would deliver the formed rolls at lunchtime. —Charlotte Hendershot, Hudson, Pennsylvania
Sufganiyot are believed to have first come from Spain, adapted from a similar treat, the sopaipilla. Others say the sopaipilla was borrowed from the Jews. Either way, as a tradition, doughnuts are an easy one to adopt, especially with this easy sufganiyot recipe. —David Feder, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
My dad would always tell me his mother made gingerbread with hot water and that it was dense and rich with molasses. Over the years I looked for such a recipe, to no avail. Then one day I was given a book compiled by an elderly woman who recalled recipes from her childhood in Virginia, and there it was! I made one slight change, substituting shortening for lard. For gingerbread lovers, this classic version is wonderful, whether you eat it hot and dripping with butter or at room temperature. &mda
This German classic is such a part of our reunions, we designate a special place to serve it. Five generations flock to the "Kuchen Room" for this coffee cake. —Stephanie Schentzel, Northville, South Dakota
These cheesecake bars layer a buttery pecan shortbread crust with a rich and creamy filling and sweet-tart strawberry rhubarb jam. For larger squares, cut into nine bars instead of 16. —Amanda Scarlati, Sandy, Utah
As a teenage foreign exchange student in the south of France, I was horribly homesick. Then my host family's Grandmother Miette arrived and asked if I'd like to help her bake this nutty tart from scratch. It turned my trip around and inspired my lifelong passion for baking. Weighing ingredients, roasting nuts, kneading dough—the art of baking transcends language. —Lexi McKeown, Los Angeles, California
My husband’s German family calls this Oma’s apfelkuchen, which translates to "Grandma’s apple cake." They’ve been sharing the recipe for more than 150 years. I use Granny Smith apples, but any variety works. —Amy Kirchen, Loveland, Ohio
This recipe has been handed down through many generations of my husband's family. The cookies were always in his grandmother's cookie jar when he'd visit. Today, he enjoys them more than ever—and so do I. —Debbie Hurlbert, Howard, Ohio
I remember my mom making these rolls almost every Saturday so they'd be ready to bake on Sunday for company or someone just dropping by. Although they take a little time to prepare, they're really not all that difficult to make. And there's nothing in the stores that can compare to them! —Jean Fox, Welch, Minnesota
I'm not a great baker, but I do love coffee. In an effort to practice my baking, I use up the morning's last bit of coffee to make this cake—literally. It is super moist and crumbly, and tastes like you dunked your cake right into a cup of hot joe. — Darla Andrews, Schertz, Texas
When my sister and I were little, we used to beg my mother and grandmother to make these buttery chocolate cookies during the holidays. Now, as moms ourselves, we get together every year to make Christmas cookies, and the chocolate logs are always on the top of our list. —Deanna Markkos, Western Springs, Illinois
I can still remember my grandma serving this delicious cake on the big wooden table in her farm kitchen. Every time I bake this unusual cake, it takes me back to those special days at Grandma's. —Diane Ganssle, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
I remember my Grandmother Voltie and Great-Aunt Ophelia making this southern-style pie for Thanksgiving. It was always one of the many cakes and pies lined up for dessert. —Angie Price, Bradford, Tennessee
My grandma loved these so much, she would hide them from my grandpa! I think of her every time I make a batch. Like Mexican spice? Try stirring in a little chili powder. —Michele Lovio, Thousand Oaks, California
I love the excellent texture of this easy cinnamon coffee cake recipe. Always a crowd-pleaser, its pleasing vanilla flavor enriched by sour cream may remind you of breakfast at Grandma's! Make it the night before a holiday to save time in the morning. —Eleanor Harris, Cape Coral, Florida
This beautiful, golden pan bread is especially good with a steaming bowl of homemade soup. The oats give it a distinctive flavor, and we really like the herb and Parmesan cheese topping.—Karen Bourne, Magrath, Alberta
Even though Nana is no longer with us, her treats bring me so much joy every time
I bake them. For a more indulgent version, double the frosting and pile it on high! —Chekota Hunter, Cassville, Missouri
My grandmother passed this recipe down to me years ago and now I make it for my own grandchildren. When preparing, make sure the chocolate layer is properly chilled before adding the next layer, or the coconut will sink into it. —Jason Purkey, Ocean City, Maryland
My mom serves this nutty coffee cake for Christmas breakfast each year. The simple recipe is a big timesaver on such an event-filled morning. Everyone loves the crunchy topping. —Becky Wax, Tuscola, Illinois
Amanda Kippert has been an award-winning freelance journalist for nearly two decades. She is based in Tucson, Arizona and specializes in food, health, fitness, parenting and humor, as well as social issues. She is the content editor of the domestic violence nonprofit DomesticShelters.org.