My love for baking in cast iron is something I came by honestly. All of the women in my big Southern family cook and bake in cast iron. Cornbread, biscuits, and cobblers – you name it and we’ll serve it up in a 10-inch Lodge skillet. Beyond their kitchen function, I’ve heard relatives talk about using cast iron skillets as doorstops, to scare away intruders (both human and animal) and on one occasion for a boat anchor. Did I mention my family is a tad eccentric? I digress. The point is this: Talk about multipurpose!
Much as I use my skillet, it’s been a while since I’ve served something up in cast iron here on the blog. I believe my last skillet post was this craa-aaa-zy town cinnamon roll. I thought that recipe was pretty darn good (and from your feedback, you guys loved it too!), but this recipe! This cinnamon skillet bread with warm cheesecake dip is perhaps even better! It’s seriously one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth.
I created a short video to show you how easy it is to make. I use ready-made white bread dough which can be found in the freezer section at most grocery stores. If you’re a purist, then you can use your favorite homemade white bread recipe or yeast roll dough for the cinnamon bread dippers (like the dough forthese cinnamon rolls). Of course, using the ready-made dough cuts the work down considerably.
I used Bridgford’s Ready-Dough for this recipe. Each package contains three 1 pound dough loaves, but you’ll need just one loaf.
The frozen ready-made dough will need to thaw before you use it. I just placed it on parchment on the kitchen counter until it was nice and soft. You can also thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
The dough buns get dipped in warm butter and covered in cinnamon-sugar. Warm butter is key here! It gives the buns a boost and they’ll rise quickly.
Cover the buns in plastic wrap, and after about 20-30 minutes they’ll be nice and plump. The cinnamon-sugar will begin to separate as the buns inflate; this is a good visual cue that they’re ready to bake.
Pour the cheesecake dip batter in the center of the buns and bake until the buns are golden and crisp on the outside. The cheese dip will be wobbly in the center, and that means it’s perfect for dipping!
I’ve been seeing so many versions of savory bread skillet dips across social media; I just had to figure out a way to make a sweet version. I’m so pleased with how this recipe turned out! It’s been a huge hit at our house. The cinnamon sugar forms a slight crisp crust on the top of the bread, while the inside stays angel soft. The buns are so divine with the cheesecake dip. I had a jar of prepared salted caramel that I drizzled on top. I would have gladly scattered some fresh berries on top if I’d had them, but the dish is mighty fine as-is.
Cinnamon Skillet Bread with Warm Cheesecake Dip
- 10 inch cast iron skillet
- 1 lb. frozen white bread dough thawed (I like Bridgford’s Ready-Dough brand)
- 1 cup 200g granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup 113g unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
- 1 package 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup 65g granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Prepared caramel sauce optional
- Using a paper towel, lightly coat a 10-inch cast iron skillet with cooking oil.
- Make the bread dippers: Divide the 1 lb. dough loaf into 10 equal pieces using a sharp knife. Shape each dough piece into a ball by folding the dough under itself and pinching it together at the bottom (see video tutorial for clarification). Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl; place the warm melted butter in a separate medium bowl. Dip each dough ball in the butter and then dredge in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place bun in the cast iron pan. Repeat process with remaining buns; place them in a line around the edge of the cast iron skillet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 20-30 minutes, or until the cinnamon sugar coating begins to separate.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Make the cheesecake dip: Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Beat using an electric mixer (or a whisk) until thoroughly combined. When the buns are raised, pour the cheesecake dip batter in the center of the skillet. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes, or until deep golden brown and fragrant. The cheesecake dip will be puffed and wobbly. Let cool slightly. Drizzle with caramel sauce, if using. Serve warm.
- Refrigerate leftovers (if there are any). Buns and dip can be reheated in single servings in the microwave.