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imple Homemade Holiday Bread with Apple filling

Christmas Star Bread with Apple Cinnamon Filling

Zoe Mai
What I love most about this homemade Apple Cinnamon Star Bread is its delightful looking that can impress pretty much EVERYONE. I also give you 21 filling variations (check it above) that you and your beloved family can play around with.
Prep Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings



  • 180 gr warm milk (30°C)
  • 50 gr unsalted butter , melted
  • 1 medium-sized egg
  • 5 gr instant dry yeast
  • 300 gr bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 30 gr granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)


  • 500 gr diced apple
  • 75 gr brown sugar  (add more, to taste)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Some soft unsalted butter and brown sugar (for the spread in each layer bread dough)


  • 1 tbsp unsweetened milk
  • 1 egg yolk



  • Dice the apples into small chunks
  • Add all apple chunks, brown sugar, and cinnamon powder to the small pot
  • Cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  • Remove from the heat, add 1 tbsp of squeezing fresh lemon or lime.
  • Cooling and ready to spread on the dough


  • Make a bread dough and let it rise for 60-90 minutes. Combine warm milk, melted butter, sugar, salt, egg, yeast, and flour in a large bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until well combined, then use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl. Cover and set aside in a warm place to the 1st rise for 60 minutes or until the dough has almost doubled in size. Sometimes you need 2 or 3 hours for your dough to get doubled in size, it really depends on the temperature where you leave your dough.
    (Watch me do this my video tutorial below.)
  • Knead and let it rise for 30 minutes. After the 1st rise, we take the dough out and knead for 10 to 15 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. Then, give the dough a 2nd rise for 30 minutes.
    *** If you are so busy and want to make the dough ahead of time, sure you can do it. Just check out some useful making dough ahead tips above.
  • Roll out the star bread. Knead the dough for 2 to 5 minutes and then cut it into 4 equal portions. Shape into balls. Roll each out into a rough 9 to 10-inch circle. Stack them on top of each other and spread apple filling between each layer. You should end up with 4 layers of dough and 3 layers of filling.
    *** I also give you 21 filling variations recipes that you and your beloved family can play around with.
  • Shape the star bread. Mark a 3-inch circle in the middle with a round cookie cutter or a cup. Cut the dough into 16 sections leaving the 3-inch circle in the middle untouched. Twist two sections away from each other and press the end together to form the star's point. You can twist 2 or 3 times for each star's point. There will be 8-star points in your loaf.
    *** Make sure you watch my video tutorial below to see how easy to make the twists.
  • Let it rest for 10 minutes, then bake. Cover the shaped bread and let it rest for 10 or 20 minutes before brushing with egg wash (1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk). Then bake in the preheated oven to 350 Fahrenheit (or 180 Celsius) for 25-30 minutes or until the bread is cooked well and golden brown on top.

Watch How to do it

Zoe's Notes

  • Make the dough ahead of time. You can read all the useful tips and the way to do it above
  • Filling tips: 21 filling variations recipes are ready for your choice here. However, keep in mind that the filling that you choose to make this star bread must be at room temperature and not too much liquid in it.
  • Storage: Keep well around 1-2 days at room temperature,  up to 3-4 days in the fridge, and 1 month frozen. How to revive the bread and make it fresh again to eat? You can read more here.
IF YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE: You will also love my Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, Carrot Muffins, and Zucchini Walnut Bread
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: I am totally in love with my Bamber Wood Rolling Pin and Silicone Pastry Brush (affiliate link).
Keyword apple bread, christmas bread, cinnamon bread, healthy recipe, holiday recipe, star bread