Dollywood's Cinnamon Bread Copycat Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Dollywood Cinnamon Bread Recipe

Total Time
Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 30 min. + cooling
Dollywood dishes up such comforting southern food you might mistake it for home cooking. The most popular offering? This ooey-gooey Dollywood cinnamon bread.

Updated: Dec. 16, 2023

On top of being a beloved country singer, movie star and entrepreneur, Dolly Parton is an avid fan of Southern cooking. At Dollywood, her Tennessee theme park, visitors line up for homey favorites like ham and beans, funnel cakes and hand-breaded fried chicken. But one food draws a particularly long line: Dollywood cinnamon bread.

In front of a ravenous crowd, bakers at Dollywood’s Grist Mill slather fresh loaves with butter and cinnamon sugar, then bake until the bread is infused with melty, gooey, caramelized sweetness. The bread is served with creamy apple butter or buttercream. The park brags that it’s world-famous! Here’s why—and how to make it at home.

Dollywood Cinnamon Bread Ingredients

  • Active dry yeast
  • 2% milk
  • Bread flour
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Large egg
  • Salt
  • Flour

Topping:

  • Sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Butter
  • Optional pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice

Directions

Step 1: Proof the yeast and make a batter

Dissolve yeast in warm water, mix ingredients in to make doughTMB Studio

In a stand mixer bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm (not too hot) milk.

Add bread flour, butter, sugar, egg and salt. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Stir in just enough all-purpose flour to form a firm dough. You may need more or less depending on the humidity, the size of your egg and other factors. The dough should be firm, not slack or sticky.

Editor’s Tip: You can use frozen bread dough for this recipe. Just skip down to Step 5.

Step 2: Knead

Knead dough on a floured surfaceTMB Studio

Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about six to eight minutes.

Step 3: Let the dough rise

Cover and let dough riseTMB Studio

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.

Step 4: Prepare the spice

In a pie plate, combine the sugar and pie spice (or plain cinnamon, if you prefer the traditional recipe). Pour melted butter in another pie plate.

Step 5: Shape and season the loaf

Roll dough in butter and sugar and spice mixtureTMB Studio

Punch the dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and shape into an oblong loaf.

Using a sharp knife, make five slits across the bread dough. This allows the butter and sugar to penetrate into the bread. Roll the dough in butter, coating all sides. Then roll in the sugar mixture.

Step 6: Do the final rise

Place the dough in a parchment-lined 9×5-inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

About halfway through the rise, preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 7: Bake

Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Serve warm, with apple butter, jam or buttercream, if you prefer.

Editor’s Tip: Cover the loaf loosely with foil if the top is browning too quickly.

Dollywood Cinnamon Bread Recipe Tips

Bake until golden brown, serve warmTMB Studio

Can you customize Dollywood cinnamon bread?

Sure! Add pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice to the topping mixture for more flavor than plain cinnamon.

How do you store Dollywood cinnamon bread?

If you have leftover cinnamon bread, wrap it in plastic or foil and store at room temperature for two to three days. Refrigerating the cinnamon bread will make it dry out more quickly.

Dollywood's Cinnamon Bread Copycat

Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 30 min
Yield 1 loaf (16 pieces).

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1-1/4 cups warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 2-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • TOPPING:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice or ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add bread flour, butter, sugar, egg and salt. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough all-purpose flour to form a firm dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. In a pie plate, combine sugar and pie spice. Pour melted butter into another pie plate. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a loaf. Using a sharp knife, make 4 very deep slits straight across bread dough (without cutting all the way through the loaf). Roll dough in butter, massaging butter onto all surfaces until dough is thoroughly coated. Roll dough in sugar mixture, firmly pressing mixture onto dough. Place dough in a parchment-lined 9x5-in. loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°.
  4. Bake until golden brown, 30-40 minutes. (Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly.) Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 215 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 167mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

When I arrive at Dollywood, first things first: I head straight to the Grist Mill for some cinnamon bread. It's just that good! I like to make it with pumpkin pie spice at home to give it an extra flavor boost. —Amanda Singleton, Kingsport, Tennessee