A once-a-year decadent treat that is beaming with holiday magic: christmas morning star bread. It’s the festive version of a pan of cinnamon rolls…rich and buttery dough, layered with an orange & vanilla scented brown sugar filling, baked until golden and bubbling, then topped with a sweet pecan caramel sauce and powdered sugar. The BEST thing to wake up to on Christmas morning.
Closing out the Week of Christmas Giveaways with one last (and VERY exciting) giveaway with Williams Sonoma! I couldn’t get by during the holidays without a trusty KitchenAid mixer, and they’ve got a gorgeously-designed, exclusive white mixer that we’ll be giving away to one of you!
Because this time of year is when we need our mixers the most…to make lots of cookies, breads, sweet treats, pizzas, and truly anything else decadent and festive you can think of! I use mine so very often. And I used it to make this very beautiful Christmas morning star bread.
The dough for this star bread comes together really easily in the mixer. It’s full of brown butter, cinnamon-infused milk, vanilla + almond extracts, and a little bit of orange zest. Lots of subtle flavors that create the most perfect “Christmas morning” feeling.
The dough is divided into four, rolled out thin, filled with a buttery brown sugar filling, cut and formed, and then baked until golden. It’s a really fun process that results in the most gorgeous bread.
I’m topping this one with even more sweet flavor – a sticky pecan caramel sauce. Which is very over-the-top decadent, and very perfect for the holidays.
There’s nothing I’d rather wake up to on Christmas morning!
*giveaway now closed*
For all the details on how to enter the last giveaway, head over to Instagram. We’ll be giving away a KitchenAid Artisan White Mixer with Hobnail Bowl from Williams Sonoma!! For a bonus entry, make sure to leave a comment on this blog post below.
Thank you so much for tuning in to the Week of Christmas Giveaways, and I hope you enjoyed all of the recipes and wonderful holiday products. I’m hoping it’s inspired you to have a festive, delicious, and absolutely magical Christmas season by getting in the kitchen and creating beautiful food for those you love!
I’ll see you next week for even more holiday recipes leading up to Christmas Eve!Print
Christmas Morning Star Bread
a festive, decadent christmas morning star bread scented with orange and vanilla, topped with a rich pecan caramel sauce
Christmas Star Bread
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 tbsp + ¾ tsp dry active yeast
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ sticks (6 oz) butter, browned and cooled
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 3 ¾ – 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk, beaten
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- 2 sticks (8 oz) butter, softened
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp orange zest
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- raw sugar, for baking
Pecan Caramel Sauce
- 1 stick (4 oz) butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Whisk the water and dry active yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the milk and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat for 10 minutes (the milk should just barely come to a simmer). Strain the milk.
- Add the milk, sugar, cooled brown butter, and eggs to the yeast mixture and whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract, almond extract, and orange zest.
- Add 3 ¾ cups of flour and salt to the wet ingredients. Using the dough attachment, mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add in a little bit more flour. Once the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball, you’ve added enough flour. Continue to mix for 3 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes longer. Flour the inside of the bowl and place the dough in there to rise. Cover with a damp towel and rise in a warm space for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Mix the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, orange zest, and salt together until well-combined.
- Cut the risen dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle, about 1/8” thick. Place one circle onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spread 1/3 of the filling onto the dough, leaving a slight border. Repeat with the remaining layers and filling. Place the last piece of dough on top to complete the layers. Gently press the edges of dough together.
- Use a drinking glass to mark a circle in the center of the dough. Cut the surrounding dough into 16 even slices (see photos). Take two slices and twist them outwards then press the ends together to seal. Repeat until a star shape has formed.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Brush the star bread with the egg wash mixture and sprinkle heavily with raw sugar. Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes longer.
- Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Dust with powdered sugar and serve the pecan caramel sauce (recipe below) on the side.
Pecan Caramel Sauce
- Combine the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, cinnamon stick, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let the butter melt and mix well. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the pecans and salt. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve warm. If the caramel cools, it will harden. You can always put it back over low heat with a splash of cream to loosen up.
[This post was made in partnership with Williams Sonoma. Thank you for supporting the brands I love!]