Amish Friendship Bread Cinnamon Twist

When I first got my starter for Amish Friendship Bread, I was excited at the idea of making bread every 10 days.

Now, I can’t seem to find enough people to give my extra starters, and the starter is taking over my life. I can’t keep making the same recipe every 10 days, especially one that’s so fattening. I needed a way to switch up the recipe and use my extra starters, so I started looking for alternatives.

I found this excellent cinnamon twist recipe and thought I’d give it a try. While it’s not any less fattening, it is a way to use up one of my extra starters.

This recipe is best made in the evening so you can let it rise over night; this lets you save the baking for the morning, so you have a ready-to-go breakfast.


I chose this recipe because it only needed one cup of starter, no milk, and very little sugar (white sugar that is, there’s lots of other sugar in it). I had the ingredients I needed for it without my husband needing to make a last-minute shopping trip.

For the Twist

  • 1 Cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/4 Cup Warm Water
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 1 Egg

For the Filling

  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • Softened Butter

For the Drizzle

  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Water or Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Maple Flavoring (Optional)

Step-By-Step Instructions

This recipe is more complex than the desserts I’ve made in the past. It takes a lot of time to rise and and lot of preparation to get it right. Additionally, the original recipe calls for a dough hook, which I don’t have. Kneading it by hand takes a lot more effort.

  1. Mix yeast, starter, and water (make sure the water isn’t too hot!) in large bowl. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Add butter, egg, and salt to the mixture. Then slowly add flour, a half cup at a time. When it gets too difficult to stir with a wooden spoon, start kneading with your hands. The dough should feel soft but not sticky. Don’t try to add all the flour if it doesn’t need it. I had lots of extra flour I didn’t need at the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Cover with greased clear plastic and keep it in a warm place. Let it rise for 1 1/2 hours – dough will rise but not double in size.
  4. While the dough is rising, make the filling. Combine sugars and cinnamon thoroughly. Set aside with butter.
  5. After dough has risen, divide dough in half.
  6. Using little flour (if any), pat or roll one half into a 12″×9″ rectangle.
  7. Spread a thin layer of softened butter over each rectangle.
  8. With a butter knife, score rectangle into thirds horizontally on the 12″ side (be sure not to cut through).
  9. Sprinkle an even layer of filling in the middle section.
  10. Fold up bottom section over top of filling.
  11. Spread a thin layer of butter over this section, then spread filling evenly over top.
  12. Fold the top third over the filling and press lightly to seal.
  13. You should now have a long strip 12″ x 3″. Cut this in half. Then cut each half into fourths to make 8 pieces.
  14. Hold each strip at both ends and twist one time in opposite directions.
  15. Place each twist on greased baking sheet about 1″ apart. Press both ends of twists to baking sheet.
  16. Repeat with remaining half of dough and remaining half of filling creating 8 more twists (a total of 16 twists).
  17. Cover and let rise in a warm place at least 2 hours (or up to 8 hours) on the baking sheet.
  18. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  19. While baking, make the drizzle. Combine drizzle ingredients and mix well. If the drizzle is hard and thick, heat it in the microwave for a few seconds.
  20. Remove from oven and drizzle the icing while hot.


  • You may not use all of the filling; In fact, I hardly used a fraction of the amount (I may need to adjust the size later).
  • When twisting, some of the filling may come out; that’s okay.
  • Warmth is necessary for bread to rise. When I made it the second time, our house was chilly, so the bread didn’t rise at all.

Nutritional Information

This nutrition information is for one twist. I calculated this using the MyFitnessPal App. This isn’t precise because it varies depending on which brands you use, how much filling you put in the twist, and how much drizzle you put on the twist.

  • Total Calories: 311
  • Total Fat: 5.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 28.5 mg
  • Sodium: 199.7 mg
  • Potassium: 78.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 58.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Sugars: 35.6 g
  • Protein: 3.5 g
  • Vitamin A: 1.6%
  • Vitamin C: 0%
  • Calcium: 0.8%
  • Iron: 5.3%

Look at Me Cook!

I had to attempt this recipe a couple times before I got it right. I think it matters what day the starter is on because the yeast needs to be more active. Also, I think it turns out better if you let the yeast rise a little before adding it to the starter, giving it a chance to grow a bit on its own.

First Attempt

The first time I did this, I assumed I was doing it right. I stirred the yeast and the starter and water together.

starter with yeast

I also made the filling – which only needed a little bit of stirring.

amish cinnamon twist filling

However, after I added the flour and egg to the recipe, things got a little bit rough. I’ve never dealt with dough so dry! I tried kneading it together but it just got more dense. Adding more water didn’t make it any better. I couldn’t work with it at all. I’m not sure if it’s because the starter was on day 5 of 10 or if I somehow misread the recipe or if I used too much flour – or maybe a mix of a lot of different things.

stubborn dough

No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t do anything to the dough. I had my husband muscle it, but it wouldn’t respond. We did manage to get it into two pieces, but there was no way to roll it out into a rectangle.

cinnamon twist dough

I ended up just taking chunks of the dough, sprinkling it with filling and then putting it on the tray. I gave up letting it rise anymore – I was tempted to throw it away without doing any more to it at all.

This is what I ended up with.

amish cinnamon twist fail

It was probably one of the worst cooking fails I’ve done so far. Oddly enough, even without rising and twisting it correctly, it still tasted fine with the powdered sugar drizzled over top. The end result was super dense, thick, and heavy – I think it’s because the dough was dense and dry. It didn’t rise properly, so it didn’t achieve ideal fluffiness and deliciousness.

But the fail wasn’t so bad that I gave up on it entirely. I wanted it to turn out right.

My Second Attempt

My second attempt started out much like the first. I put the starter in the bowl and mixed the rest of the ingredients together. I still had leftover filling from my first attempt, so I just used that.

However, I noticed a BIG difference with the dough this time. I used the starter on day 3 instead of day 5, I made sure the water wasn’t too hot, and mostly I let my bread making skills take over – I made sure I didn’t knead it too much or force extra flour into the dough.

If you look at the first attempt, you see the dough looked really dry and crumbly – this dough ball is nice and soft and ready to go!

dough ball

After the dough had risen, I divided it in half – my mom took the other half of the dough and helped me out. I tried rolling out my half into a rectangle, and I got this. Close enough!
rectangle attempt

Next, I spread a thin layer of butter over the “rectangle” and made some marks with my knife so I’d know where to fold it. Don’t cut through the dough, just mark it.

buttered rectangle

Adding the filling!
rectangle with sugar

Folding it up. It’s starting to look a bit like an envelope.
folded up

A little more sugar . . .
folded with more sugar

And then I folded it down. Now it looks a bit like a cinnamon-sugar wrap.
folded down

Here’s the wrap all chopped up into pieces. My mom did a better job at cutting her rectangle, probably because hers actually looked like a rectangle to start with.
chopped it up

Then just grab both ends and twist it around. The first twist I did broke a little, but they’re starting to look like actual cinnamon twists instead of just blobs!

Here they are out of the oven! Not quite as fluffy as I had hoped, but definitely an improvement over the first botched batch.

amish cinnamon twist

Oh goodness these are amazing – like long, hotdog bun shaped cinnamon rolls. I had no idea what I was missing until I made these.

Written By JenniBee


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