Confession #99: I’m a Sucker for Christmas… Cinnamon Sugar Candy Cane Twists

by alexandra

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Raise your hand if you love Christmas!

My hand is totally up and waving, because Christmas is definitely my favorite time of the year. I love how the chill outside makes the warmth indoors seem so cozy and bright, and how the glow of Christmas lights inside our home makes every morning and night feel special. I love how so many shops offer steaming samples of hot chocolate or apple cider and sweet treats to go with them as your peruse the aisles looking for Christmas gifts. I love how everywhere you go, there’s a bustle of people doing last-minute shopping that tells you Christmas is right around the corner. And I love the Christmas music playing everywhere – familiar songs that don’t stick to one age group in particular. How can you not soak it all up?

Cinnamon Sugar Candy Cane Twists from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

This year, with family being spread out and less traditional Christmas plans in the works, I feel like I’ve missed out on some of the Christmas mood , and a lot of the Christmas baking. So when I came across the recipe for these Cinnamon Sugar Candy Cane Twists, I knew I had to try them out and add a little more festivity to the air. The twists are made from a yeasted dough that’s filled with a tempting mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon, and once baked, they’re drizzled with a sweet almond glaze. Sounds pretty delicious, right?

Cinnamon Sugar Candy Cane Twists from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

The awesome thing about these cinnamon sugar twists is that even though they’re made with yeast (which I know some people find a little complex), they’re really not that time-consuming or complicated. The recipe uses rapid rise yeast, which essentially means that you get to skip the whole first rising process of the dough. Rapid rise yeast is also really simple to use because you just add it to your other ingredients like you would with baking soda or baking powder –  no extra steps necessary.

Cinnamon Sugar Candy Cane Twists from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

If you’re not that comfortable with using yeast, or with making your own bread in general,  there’s a great site called Become a Better Baker where you can learn a lot more about baking with yeast. They have technique videos to watch, helpful informative downloads, and tons of recipes for bakers of all skill levels.  If you haven’t worked with rapid rise yeast before, their technique video for Using Rapid Rise Yeast will tell you exactly what it’s all about and show you how easy it is to use. Since this was my first time using rapid rise yeast, I watched it before making these twists. I couldn’t believe it when I learned how much faster it would make the whole bread-making process!

Cinnamon Sugar Candy Cane Twists from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

So, my point in all of this? Using yeast is easy. It opens up a whole new world of recipe possibilities. And it lets you make these super-scrumptious Cinnamon Sugar Candy Cane Twists that are just begging to be gobbled up on Christmas morning. In fact, if I were you, I’d make a double batch and give them to family and friends as part of your Christmas gifts. You’ll be the bread-making Christmas hero! :)

Cinnamon Sugar Candy Cane Twists from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

A few notes: If you want to make these when it’s not Christmastime, just make straight twists and skip the candy cane-shaping. ← Seasonal restrictions resolved! Also, there’s this pretty neat site called Common Kindness that lets you download coupons for various items while combining it with a good cause. Every time you “clip” a coupon, they donate money to a non-profit of your choice. Since there’s a coupon available for Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast right now, I though you might want to know so you can make this recipe!


Cinnamon Sugar Candy Cane Twists from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

Cinnamon Sugar Candy Cane Twists

  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 12 twists


Cinnamon sugar is twisted through a soft, tender dough to create these Candy Cane Twists. A drizzle of almond glaze on top of each one adds a sweet and delicious finish!


Twist Dough

  • 15 7/8 ounces all-purpose flour, divided (3 3/4 cups, spoon and sweep)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 envelope Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/8 ounces milk (1/4 cup)
  • 8 1/2 ounces sour cream (1 cup)
  • 1 ounces softened butter (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 egg

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

  • 2 1/2 ounces brown sugar (1/3 cup, packed)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ounce softened butter (2 tablespoons)

Almond Glaze

  • 4 ounces confectioner’s sugar (1 cup)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract**


  1. In a stand mixer, whisk together 4 1/4 ounces (1 cup) flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, salt, and baking soda.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk, sour cream and 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) butter and microwave for about 1 minute 10 seconds, or until the butter melts and the mixture is very warm (120-130°F). Add to the dry ingredients and beat in with the paddle attachment, starting at a low speed and increasing to medium, for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  3. Add the egg and another 2 1/8 ounces flour (1/2 cup) and beat in for another 2 minutes, increasing the speed to high as soon as the flour is incorporated enough to not poof out everywhere. Again, scrape down the bowl as needed during this process. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add enough of the remaining flour until the mixture starts to come together in a dough that isn’t too sticky.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic, incorporating the flour on the surface into the dough as needed. The dough should be soft, but it shouldn’t get stuck to the surface or your hands. Cover the dough with greased plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by whisking together the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle that measures 24″ x 8″. If the dough is really hard to roll, cover it and let it rest for another 5 minutes or so, and then try again. It also helps to lift the dough off the counter a bit and let it stretch. Make sure you’re keeping the dough at 8″ wide, too. You’d be surprised how easily it wants to roll out wider than that!
  6. Once the dough is totally rolled out, rub the remaining 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) softened butter over the entire top surface. You can pop the butter in the microwave for a few seconds if it’s still to cold to spread. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling evenly over half of the dough, so that it covers the 8″ of width and 12″ of the length. Fold the half that isn’t covered with cinnamon sugar over the half that is, so that you’re left with an 8″ x 12″ rectangle. Pinch all of the open edges together to seal the filling inside.
  7. Line or grease two baking sheets. Working from the longer (12″) side, cut the dough into 1″ wide strips. While you’re doing this, make sure that you stretch the dough out a bit if needed so that each strip is equal in width. Twist each strip several times and shape it into a candy cane.* I found that it was easiest to twist from one end at a time, or from the middle working outwards. Keep the strip of dough close to the counter while you twist so that it doesn’t stretch from its own weight and break. After shaping, place each candy cane twist on a prepared baking sheet, spaced apart from the others. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for another 45 – 60 minutes, or until very puffy and about doubled in sized.
  8. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375 F. Bake the twists for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are golden and they no longer look doughy. Cool slightly, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, top with almond glaze.
  9. To make the almond glaze, stir together the confectioner’s sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, and almond extract until smooth. Add up to 1 more tablespoon milk if needed to reach desired consistency. You want the glaze to be fairly thin. Use a spoon to drizzle glaze over each twist. Tip: Put some parchment under the twists before you glaze them to save yourself some cleanup!


*These cinnamon sugar twists don’t have to be reserved for the holidays! During the rest of the year, you can leave them as straight twists.

**If you’re not into almond extract, use vanilla extract instead (or any other kind you’d like.)

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Fleischmann’s® Yeast and Become A Better Baker™. The views and opinions expressed are purely my own. I do not have an affiliation with Common Kindness, but chose to mention it only because I thought it may benefit readers.

Recipe Adapted From: Bread World

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sara December 19, 2012

So pretty! These look super delicious.

Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 19, 2012

These twists are so, so fun! Love the candy cane shape!
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Lori @ RecipeGirl December 20, 2012

How cute and yummy!

Erika December 20, 2012

LOVE the photos/styling as usual and I adore the twist on these unique cookies. They kind of remind of these lattice cookies I saw earlier today on Tracey’s Culinary Adventures–they were eggnog flavored lattice sugar cookies. So cute, like these!
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alexandra December 20, 2012

Thanks Erika! These are actually a bread really, not so much a cookie – soft and fluffy. Kinda like a cinnamon roll in candy-cane form, but with a bit of a different texture. So good!

Julia | December 20, 2012

Such pretty desserts! I am not fan of a regular candy cane, but this one I’ll take, thank you very much. :)
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alexandra December 20, 2012

I hear you! I’ve never been a candy cane girl either, as much as I love peppermint. But these I clearly went for – cute shape of a candy cane and way better flavor. :)

Averie @ Averie Cooks December 22, 2012

Now this is a super fun idea – I love the shape and that they’re filled AND glazed. With an almond glaze – oh how delish!

Rene D December 14, 2013

Can these be premade and frozen for a later day?

alexandra December 16, 2013

I can’t say for sure, as Ive never done it, but usually bread does okay in the freezer. If you try it, be sure to cool the twists completely before wrapping tightly and freezing. You can add the glaze the day you serve them after defrosting. If you try it, please do let me know how it goes!

Beth L December 20, 2013

Can I do this all in the bread machine???

alexandra December 23, 2013

I don’t see why you couldn’t make the dough in your bread machine, but be aware that this dough uses instant yeast, so you’ll probably have to take it out of the machine early. The first “rising” only takes 10 minutes, whereas with active dry yeast it would take an hour or more. You’ll need to do the shaping, final rising, and baking without the machine.
If you do go this route, I would add the ingredients for the dough in the order your machine instructions specify.
Hope that helps!

becky December 7, 2014

How long do these keep for?

alexandra December 8, 2014

I would say that they keep for about a week tops, but bread is always better the fresher it is!

Jenny December 23, 2014

Could these be made the night before, formed and rise overnight in the refrigerator? I have several cinnamon roll recipes that you allow to rise in the pan overnight, then warm them up for an hour in the morning before putting them in the oven. I wondered if you had ever dealt with that with this recipe. Thanks! These look wonderful!

alexandra December 30, 2014

Hi Jenny! I’m so sorry that I’m just now answering your question, but if you’re still curious, I would say it might work. My only hesitation here is because the recipe uses instant yeast, but I still think if you were to refrigerate them overnight after shaping and then allow to finish rising the next morning, it would work out.

Lish November 28, 2015

These are in the oven right now, the dough is so nice to work with. Can’t wait until they’re done.

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