Christmas Tree Bread Recipe

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Christmas Tree Bread is a sweet treat to make for family and friends this holiday season. Use your favorite dough and top with a green glaze and cherries.


Christmas Tree Bread is a nostalgic treat from my childhood.  In high school, my best friend Natalie’s mom would make this Christmas Tree Bread treat for our family each year, and I thought it was the most wonderful gift.  It was both delicious and cute.  The perfect combination. The yummy flavor I would liken unto the cousin of a cinnamon roll, with an almond twist!

Christmas tree bread

If you have a favorite dough recipe, it will work perfectly for this Christmas Tree Bread.  If not, feel free to use my dough recipe below.  Prepare your dough as usual, through the first rise.   (This rises a few times, so plan on that when preparing.)


Christmas tree bread

As you can see above, I drew lines on the dough for how I would cut it out to make it look like a Christmas tree.

Christmas tree bread

I then cut that part out.  It looks more like a mushroom than a tree right now.

Christmas tree bread

Then you slice  lines on both sides of your dough tree.  You will pull and twist these to make them easy to pull apart after baking.

Christmas tree bread

Started at the bottom and began twisting each “strand” and folded it in like below.  This is where you can really start to see the Christmas Tree Bread take shape.

Christmas tree bread

Doesn’t that look pretty? If you didn’t want something sweet, you could just bake the bread like this. As I twisted, I also gently stretched each branch of the tree as well.

There are many options for your Christmas Tree Bread

At this point, you have a few options.  There are two “fillings” that technically go inside the  folded arms of the tree. I just showed you the above first so you know what you are creating. After I did the above, I gently pulled off the arms (though you can put the filling in before you create the arms) to put in the filling.

Christmas tree bread

My friends’ recipes does not call for dying the first filling green, but I thought adding some food coloring would make it more festive.

Christmas tree bread

There seemed to be too much to just put in the middle, so I folded the limbs back over and put more green frosting/filling on top as well. The next crumbly filling could have also gone inside, but I just crumbled it all on the top. I may have snitched a bite or two instead of putting it inside (oats, butter, sugar, almond extract). My son took this pic of my hand—handling the filling.

Christmas tree bread

Mmmm, yum!

Christmas tree bread

I made little dough balls with the cut out part from the bottom, and covered the tree with the oats filling. It has almond extract in this topping, and though ILOOOOVE the taste with the extract in it, if there are nut allergies, you can simply omit that ingredient.

Pop it in the oven and—Voila!  You have sweet Christmas tree bread.  I popped a bunch of halved marachino cherries as “ornaments” on top. My friend also said you can purchase the candied green and red cherries at Christmas time, but I just used the stemmed cherries here.

Christmas tree bread

Pull apart, and enjoy!

Christmas tree bread


Christmas Tree Bread Recipe


  • 2 T yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 4 cups flour

Cream Filling:

  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 3 T flour
  • 1 t.vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • green food coloring, optional
  • maraschino cherries, halved

Almond Filling:

  • 1/4 lb. butter (1/2 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 t. almond extract


Dissolve yeast in milk which has been scalded and is lukewarm. Add eggs, salt, sugar, shortening, and 3 cups of flour until the dough ise soft.  Knead until smooth and elastic, add the last cup as needed. Let the dough rise until it doubles in bulk. Make into giant oval on an oil sprayed baking sheet, and cut to the desired shape. Let that rise 1 hour. Add the cream filling, add the almond filling. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes. Top with halved cherries. *Use this dough recipe, or your favorite.

I hope you enjoy this treat this holiday season, and can make a few to share with your friends–they will surely love it!

You might also like:


Christmas Present Pretzel Treats

Cornflake Christmas Wreath Recipe

Corn Flake Christmas Wreath Recipe

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies



To see more of my past Christmas Ideas, click here!

To see more Christmas family ideas, click on this link or on the image below!

Click here for everything Christmas!



Join The Discussion



  1. This is SO cute! I’m having a Christmas party and I think I’ll make this. I just pinned it.


    • Kristen Duke says:

      I’m so excited to hear all about it—it would be a great addition to any Christmas party (and it’s so pretty AND yummy!)

  2. Yum! I so have to make this!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      I’m certain you’ll love it!

  3. That is such a fun idea! I love it! I bet you could make a pizza out of it and use mini pepperoni’s as the ornaments! 🙂

  4. Melanie says:

    I’ve never seen this before! I love it! I’m going to make it for some Christmas celebrations this year for sure…just wondering – does it need to be served warm, fresh from the oven, or could you make it earlier in the day and serve at room temp?


    • Kristen Duke says:

      Sorry I didn’t see this sooner, did you make it? I like it room temperature, but it’s also yummy warm!

      • Melanie says:

        I am making it this Saturday to take to a friends for dinner. Is it wrong that I’ve been dreaming about it since I saw this post???!!!

  5. Charity says:

    Hi! This looks tasty and fun! I’m trying to make it, but the cream filling turned out really thin. Am I missing something? I used 1 cup milk, 1 egg yolk, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/3 cup sugar. Thanks for the fun recipe!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Hmmm, sounds right. You could always add more flour to thicken it…did it run off and not stay on? Mine was a bit runny.

  6. What a fun idea Kristen!
    Thanks for linking up! I featured your post in my wrap up
    Have a great rest of the weekend.

  7. Mel says:

    That is a great idea, I have to have a shot at this, although I think I’m going to do a savory option, pinning

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Savory option sounds delicious, too!

  8. Sumo says:

    Oh my, this sounds delicious! And what a fun thing to share with family and friends! I’ll be featuring this on my blog tomorrow.


  9. megan says:

    Just a note to let you know this post was featured on the At Play Blog today.

    We have over 1,400 recipes and craft projects at
    I hope you’ll stop by


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  11. This may be the prettiest tree I’ve seen this season Kristen! What a fun idea!

  12. Tonia says:

    Yum! I love everything bread related!

  13. petra says:

    I’m going to try this with pesto, feta and cherry tomatoes for a savory version.

  14. Allyson says:

    Hi Kristin, I tried making the filling twice and it was so runny…still much runnier than your picture above. It ran off the bread and was just more of a consistency of milk. I used extra flour but it wasn’t helping and you could really taste the flour. I tried using less milk but it didn’t make enough filling…Is there something I’m missing??please help!

    • Diana Meredith says:

      I had the same problem, Allyson! What I ended up doing was heating the milk over low/medium heat, adding the flour, then stirring until it began to thicken. I then added the sugar and let it dissolve as I continued stirring. At this point, it was about the consistency of yogurt. I added the salt and vanilla and stirred it all in. Then I took the pot off the stove, and added the yolk while stirring quickly so that it didn’t cook the egg. This worked well for me…hope it works for you if you try it!


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