Dollywood Cinnamon Bread


Everyday Culinary Delights 👩‍🍳


Dollywood, nestled in the heart of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, offers more than just thrilling rides and picturesque views. This beloved theme park, founded by Dolly Parton, encapsulates the charm and spirit of Southern culture. Visitors are drawn not only to its high-quality entertainment and scenic landscapes but also to its unique culinary offerings, with the cinnamon bread from the Grist Mill standing out as a highlight. A visit to Dollywood provides a blend of adventure and gastronomic delight, making it a must-visit destination in Pigeon Forge.

Significance of Cinnamon Bread in Dollywood’s Culture

The Grist Mill at Dollywood is not just another eatery; it’s a landmark that continues a tradition of artisan bread-making that harks back to historical times (History of Bread). Known for its cinnamon bread, this bakery offers more than just a treat; it delivers an experience. Each loaf is crafted with care, ensuring every visitor’s encounter with this cinnamon swirl bread is both memorable and delightful. The bread’s popularity is so profound that it has become synonymous with Dollywood itself, often considered a culinary emblem of the park. This delightful treat embodies the warmth and hospitality that Dolly Parton’s park is famous for, making it a quintessential part of the Dollywood experience.

Annual Sales and Popularity

Annually, Dollywood’s Grist Mill bakes and sells over 210,000 loaves of its famous cinnamon bread, underscoring its immense popularity. This staggering figure not only highlights the bread’s appeal but also its role in drawing visitors to the park year after year. People come from all over to savor the sweet, spicy aroma that wafts through Craftsman’s Valley, where the Grist Mill sits. The allure of watching bakers prepare the bread right before your eyes adds an authentic touch to the visitor experience, enhancing the park’s rustic charm. The success of the cinnamon bread mirrors Dollywood’s commitment to quality and tradition, making it a key player in the park’s popularity and a major contributor to its annual culinary sales.

Detailed Recipe Guide

Introduction to Recipe 

Dollywood’s cinnamon bread recipe offers a taste of the park’s magical charm from the comfort of your home. This recipe is celebrated for its delightful blend of sweet, aromatic flavors that evoke the spirit of Southern hospitality. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice, this guide will help you recreate a piece of Dollywood’s enchanting world. By following the steps outlined below, you can bake a loaf of cinnamon bread that is both luscious and comforting, making any day feel a little more special.

Ingredients List

  • Dough Ingredients

To begin your journey into baking Dollywood’s famous cinnamon bread, you will need the following ingredients for the dough:

  • 1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F, or 40 to 45 degrees C)
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon plus a pinch of white sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Cooking spray These ingredients form the base of the bread, creating a soft, elastic dough that is perfect for layering with the sweet, spicy topping.
  • Topping Ingredients

For the delectable topping that defines the cinnamon bread, gather these ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

This combination ensures a rich, caramelized crust that is sweet and slightly sticky, offering a perfect contrast to the soft, airy dough beneath. The sugars and cinnamon meld together under heat, creating those iconic swirls and a flavor that is deeply infused into each slice of bread, reminiscent of the treats found at Dollywood’s Grist Mill.

  • Glaze Ingredients

To top off Dollywood’s cinnamon bread, prepare the glaze with these simple ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons milk

This sweet, creamy glaze drizzles beautifully over the warm bread, enhancing its flavors and adding a visually appealing finish.

Step-by-Step Baking Instructions

Preparation of Dough:

  1. Activate the Yeast: Begin by combining the warm water, a pinch of white sugar, and the active dry yeast in a small bowl. Whisk them together and let the mixture sit until it becomes foamy, about 5 to 8 minutes. This step is crucial as it ensures that the yeast is active, which is essential for the dough to rise.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a stand mixer equipped with a whisk attachment, combine the bread flour, remaining tablespoon of white sugar, and salt. Mixing these dry ingredients first helps distribute the flavors evenly throughout the dough.
  3. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Once the yeast mixture is foamy, add it along with the melted butter to the dry ingredients. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead on medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, which should take about 8 minutes. The kneading process develops the gluten in the flour, giving the bread its chewy texture.
  4. First Rise: Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place (about 75 to 80 degrees F, or 25 degrees C) until doubled in size, approximately 1 1/2 hours. The first rise allows the dough to develop flavors and textures.
  5. Punch and Shape: After the dough has doubled, punch it down to release excess gases, then transfer it to a clean work surface. Knead it a few times before dividing it into two equal parts. Gently shape each part into a 3×6-inch loaf. Be careful not to overwork the dough, as this can affect the texture of the bread.

Making the Topping:

  1. Prepare Sugar Mixtures: In a small baking dish, whisk together the white sugar, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon. In another small dish, whisk the melted butter with the light corn syrup. These mixtures will coat the dough, adding flavor and creating the sticky, sweet topping that characterizes this bread.
  2. Coat the Dough: Once the loaves have risen and are puffy, dip each loaf first in the butter-corn syrup mixture, ensuring it is fully coated. Then, roll the buttered loaf in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, making sure to cover all sides and crevices. This double-coating process is key to achieving the rich flavor and caramelized texture of the topping.

Baking Process:

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line two 9×5-inch loaf pans with parchment paper, allowing some overhang on the sides for easy removal.
  2. Slash and Bake: Before placing the loaves in the oven, make four deep slashes across the top of each loaf. This not only adds a rustic appearance but also helps the heat penetrate the center of the loaves during baking. Place the loaves in the prepared pans and bake until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Cool and Glaze: After baking, lift the bread out of the pans using the parchment overhang and let it cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. While the bread cools, prepare the glaze by whisking together the confectioners’ sugar, salt, melted butter, and milk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the warm loaves or serve it on the side for dipping, adding that final touch of sweetness.

This detailed, step-by-step guide will help you create a delicious loaf of Dollywood’s famous cinnamon bread, perfect for sharing with family and friends. Enjoy the flavors of Dollywood at home, bringing a touch of the park’s warmth and charm into your kitchen.

Serving Suggestions

Dollywood’s cinnamon bread is best enjoyed warm, allowing the aromas and flavors to fully develop. Serve it as a comforting breakfast treat or a delightful afternoon snack. For an added indulgence, pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. During the holiday season, this bread makes an excellent gift, wrapped in festive paper and tied with a ribbon. Its versatility also makes it a wonderful addition to any brunch table, offering a sweet counterpoint to savory dishes. Enjoy creating memories around this delicious bread, reminiscent of the joys found at Dollywood.

Nutritional Information 

Each slice of Dollywood’s cinnamon bread offers a burst of flavor with a considerable calorie count due to its rich ingredients. A typical slice contains approximately 310 kcal, with the majority of calories coming from carbohydrates and fats. It also provides a modest amount of protein. The bread is a source of quick energy, making it an excellent treat for special occasions rather than an everyday staple. For those watching their sugar intake, consider adjusting the amount of glaze or sugar in the recipe. As always, enjoy this delightful treat in moderation to appreciate its taste while maintaining a balanced diet.


Why is Dollywood’s Cinnamon Bread famous?

Dollywood’s cinnamon bread has gained fame not only for its delightful taste but also for the unique experience it offers at the park. Made fresh daily at the Grist Mill in full view of visitors, the bread’s aroma draws crowds, becoming a sensory highlight of any visit to Dollywood. Its fame is further amplified by its association with Dolly Parton’s beloved theme park, which adds a special cultural and emotional significance. This iconic treat encapsulates the essence of Southern hospitality, making it a must-try for anyone visiting the park.

Can the bread be made at home?

Yes, the cinnamon bread can indeed be made at home. Dollywood has generously shared the official recipe, allowing fans to recreate this popular treat in their own kitchens. The recipe involves straightforward ingredients and steps that are manageable for bakers of all skill levels. By following the detailed instructions provided in this article, anyone can bake their own loaf and enjoy the warm, comforting flavors of Dollywood’s famous bread anytime. This accessibility helps spread the joy of Dollywood far beyond the park, bringing a piece of its culinary magic into homes around the world.

What makes the Grist Mill special?

The Grist Mill at Dollywood is special because it is the first fully operational grist mill built in Tennessee in over 100 years. It not only serves as a functional piece of history but also as the birthplace of the park’s famous cinnamon bread. This historical significance adds a layer of authenticity and charm to the bread-making process observed by visitors. The mill grinds its own flour, which is used directly in the bread, ensuring freshness and quality that contribute significantly to the bread’s famous texture and flavor. The Grist Mill remains a focal point of Dollywood, representing both the park’s commitment to preserving Appalachian craftsmanship and its dedication to culinary excellence.

Seasonal availability of the bread

Originally, Dollywood’s cinnamon bread was available only during the park’s operating season, which typically runs from mid-March to December. However, recognizing the bread’s popularity and the demand for its year-round availability, Dollywood expanded its offering. Since 2018, the cinnamon bread has been available all year at the DM Pantry inside Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. This expansion allows guests to enjoy this beloved treat regardless of the season, ensuring that the comforting taste of Dollywood’s cinnamon bread can be a part of family traditions and celebrations throughout the year.

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Dollywood Cinnamon Bread

  • Author: Naomi
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x


Dollywood’s cinnamon bread is celebrated for its rich, aromatic flavor and tender, fluffy texture. This recipe offers a delightful journey into the world of Southern baking, embodying the warmth and hospitality synonymous with Dollywood.



1 loaf bread dough (about 1 pound)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
For the Glaze (optional):
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
Prepare Dough: Roll out the bread dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
Add Butter and Cinnamon Sugar: Brush the surface of the dough with half of the melted butter. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the buttered dough.
Roll and Cut Dough: Roll up the dough tightly from one long side to form a log. Cut the log lengthwise to expose the layers of cinnamon and sugar.
Twist and Place in Pan: Twist the two halves together, keeping the cut sides facing up, and place in the prepared loaf pan.
Final Butter Application and Bake: Brush with the remaining melted butter. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Glaze (Optional): If using the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth and drizzle over the warm bread.


  • Yeast Activation: Ensure that the water is at the correct temperature (100 to 110 degrees F) for activating the yeast. Too hot and it will kill the yeast; too cold and it won’t activate properly.
  • Kneading: Proper kneading is crucial for developing the gluten in the dough, which helps create the bread’s soft, chewy texture. If using a stand mixer, the dough should become smooth and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  • First Rise: Find a warm, draft-free spot for the dough to rise. This is important as the right environment will help the dough rise properly. The dough should roughly double in size and not be rushed.
  • Topping Application: Be generous with both the butter-corn syrup mixture and the cinnamon-sugar mixture to ensure every bite is as flavorful as those served at Dollywood.
  • Baking: Oven temperatures can vary, so it’s advisable to check the bread a few minutes before the timer goes off. The bread should be golden brown and should sound hollow when tapped.
  • Glazing: The glaze should be thick but pourable. Adjust the consistency with more milk or powdered sugar if necessary. Apply the glaze while the bread is still warm so it soaks into the bread slightly.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 350 kcal

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