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Cranberry and chocolate bread dusted with powdered sugar on a parchment lined gold serving tray.

Chocolate Cranberry Twist Star Bread

This Chocolate Cranberry Star Bread recipe makes a show stopping centrepiece for the holidays. It's studded with walnuts, cranberries and dark chocolate pieces. All it needs before serving is a light dusting of powdered sugar.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Chocolate Cranberry Twist Star Bread
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 377kcal


For The Star Bread Dough

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 8g envelope of active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 ¾ cups all purpose flour plus 1/4 cup more while kneading

For The Filling

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dark chocolate pieces
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon

For Brushing Over The Star Bread

  • 1 beaten egg

For Dusting Over The Star Bread

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar


Making The Star Bread Dough

  • In a large bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon of the sugar in warm water.
  • Sprinkle in the yeast and let it stand for 10 minutes or until it turns frothy.
  • In the meantime, place the milk, remaining sugar, butter and salt in a small pot over a stove top.
  • Heat the mixture over medium heat and stir till the butter melts.
  • Set aside and let cool to lukewarm temperature.
  • Whisk the eggs into the yeast mixture.
  • Add in the milk mixture and whisk again.
  • With a wooden spoon, stir in the 3 ¾ cups of flour. (the dough will be slightly sticky)
  • Transfer the dough to a work surface lightly dusted with flour.
  • Knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes, while adding in enough of the 1/4 cup of flour as needed to achieve a smooth and elastic dough.
  • Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl and turn the dough to grease all over.
  • Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let the dough rise in a draft free area for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Chocolate, Cranberry and Walnut Filling

  • Prepare the filling just before you're ready to roll out the dough.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, corn syrup, cranberries, chocolate pieces and walnuts.
  • Keep in mind that this mixture will be used to spread over 3 of the rolled out doughs. The top 4th dough will not have any filling.
  • Set aside while you quarter and roll out the dough.

Rolling And Shaping The Star Bread

  • First off, punch down the dough and divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.
  • Work with 1 piece at a time while keeping the remaining pieces covered with cling wrap.
  • On a lightly floured work surface and dusted rolling pin, roll out one piece of dough to an 8 to 10 inch circle. (This will depend on the size of your largest baking sheet as you'll need some growing space of about 2 inches more)
  • Transfer the rolled out dough to a parchment lined cookie sheet. (use a very large baking sheet)
  • Spread a third of the filling over the dough while pressing down lightly into the dough. (It gets messy and sticky but works out well. Simply wash your hands in between rolling the next round of dough.)
  • Sprinkle one teaspoon of cinnamon over the filling.
  • Roll out the second piece of dough and place directly over the first.
  • Top with some of the filling and sprinkle with another teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • Repeat with the third piece of dough. Roll out and place directly over the second round of dough,
  • Spread with the remaining filling and cinnamon.
  • Roll out the fourth piece of dough and place it over the third while pressing down gently. (this one will not have any filling over it)
  • Now we are ready to slice.
  • First, place a round cookie cutter or glass of about 2 ¼ inch wide over the centre of the stacked star bread.
  • With a sharp knife, cut the dough all the way through into four equal wedges while leaving the cookie cutter or glass in place.
  • Cute each wedge into 2 equal pieces while cutting all the way through. So now you have 8 pieces.
  • Cut each of the 8 pieces in half. And now you end up with 16 wedges all connected to the middle circle.
  • We are now ready to twist the wedges.
  • Grab hold of two wedges of dough that are side-by-side.
  • Twist the wedges away from each other making two whole twists and pinch the edges to seal.
  • Repeat with the remaining wedges to form the star bread.
  • Cover the star bread loosely with cling wrap and set aside in a draft free area for 30 minutes to rise slightly.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Brush the star bread with the beaten egg.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes.
  • When ready, the star bread will have a deep golden brown colour.
  • Let rest for about 30 minutes on a cooling rack.
  • Then serve while still warm from the oven topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.


Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 183mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg