Frisian Sugar Loaf – Suikerbrood


A few years ago, my Mother-in-law introduced me to suikerbrood. I remember her serving it up thickly sliced on a small plate with tea. My brother-in-law made some comment about either I’d love it or hate it, but he loves it. It turned out I loved it! What is there not to love about bread that is swirled with cinnamon and pockets of sugary goodness?

After my first taste of this bread, I knew I had to find the recipe. I am a researcher by trade, and finding things are my specialty, but I searched for months for Dutch sugar cinnamon bread, but I didn’t find a thing. Why? Because it was Frisian! When I told J, he laughed and said, yes it is Frisian – pfffft!

There’s one recipe out there (that I know of) for Frisian Sugar Loaf – it’s from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete book of breads. I’ve tried this recipe three times and it’s still nothing like the Frisian sugar loaf that we occasionally receive as a treat.

I had to take matters into my own hands, I made a hybrid bread. This hybrid bread was based on the Cuban bread recipe with the cinnamon coated cracked sugar cubes kneaded in. Although the recipe probably strays FAR from the traditional Frisian sugar loaf, it worked for us. It tasted good, and although softer and fluffier than the real thing, we liked it this way. It tasted very similar to a cinnamon bun, but (dare I say it) healthier.

Could it be that the Frisians were the first to bring to us what we now know as cinnamon rolls? Just like the Dutch with their oliebollen (literally translated to as oil balls) are with doughnuts? If it is, there is much to be thankful for!



Makes 1 loaf

Adapted from “Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads”, by Bernhard Clayton



  • 15 g (1 T) sugar
  • 240 ml (1 c) hand-warm water
  • 2 t dry active yeast
  • 1 t salt
  • 375 g (2 ½ c) plain (all-purpose) flour (you may need up to 450 g, 3 c)
  • 80 g (½ c) sugar cubes, cracked into halves or quarters
  • 1 T ground cinnamon



1. In the bowl of the stand mixer, place the sugar, water and dry yeast and stir until incorporated. Allow to stand 5 minutes.

2. Add the salt to the yeast/water mix and stir.

3. With the dough hook attachment, mix the yeast mix and gradually add the flour until all of it is incorporated.

4. Once the dough is formed, knead for an additional 10 minutes.

5. Cover the bowl with cling film (plastic wrap) and place into a warm spot until double in size, about 60 minutes OR place into the refrigerator for an overnight rise. If doing a cold rise, take the dough out and allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding to step 6.

6. Punch the dough down and flatten to 1 cm (½ inch) thick. Sprinkle over the cinnamon coated sugar cubes, fold the dough and gently knead until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

7. Shape the dough to fit a parchment lined 11 ½ x 21 ½ cm (4 ½ x 8 ½ inch) loaf tin (pan), brush the top of the loaf with water. Place the loaf tin (pan) into a COLD oven. On the shelf directly under the dough, place a dish full of boiling water.

8. Close the oven door and set the oven to 200°C/400°F. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until brown and crusty and when tapped on the bottom, sounds hollow.

9. Remove the loaf and the attached parchment paper from the tin (pan) and transfer to cool on a wire rack. Once cool, remove the parchment paper, slice and serve, enjoy!


8 thoughts on “Frisian Sugar Loaf – Suikerbrood

  1. Pingback: Quark Stollen with Almond Paste « Honey and Spice

  2. Doesn’t water this hot “kill” the yeast–I’ve made sugar bread, loved my recipe, but lost it when I went gluten-free–am passing yours on to a friend, but I want to check on the water temp first. Thank you. Joan

    • Hi Joan, I’m glad you caught this, sorry about that. The temperature range has been removed from the recipe now, and I’ve replaced it with hand-warm water. I directly took that line from the book I was working with. In all of my bread baking days, I have never measured the temperature of the water. I either use room temperature water (and do the cold overnight prove), or hand-warm temperature (for a warm/room-temperature prove). I hope your friend enjoys this recipe, remember it’s not exactly like sugar bread from the Netherlands (wah wah), but good nonetheless. I also can’t eat it now, also gluten-free.

  3. The boiling water isn’t touching the bread, so there is no problem using it. There would be a problem if the bread pan was sitting in the water, or if boiling water was added to the yeast. This recipe is fine the way it is, go for it!

    • Hi Skye, you’re right, the boiling water isn’t touching the bread. The purpose of the boiling water is to create steam within the oven. It gives the bread a better crust.

  4. I tried your recipe, followed it perfectly except my Dutch hubby had eaten half the loaf before it even cooled! Next time I will leave the sugar cubes whole and use half the cinnamon to make it closer to what he knows from home.

    • Hi Regan – the smell of fresh bread and cinnamon is always a killer for me. It’s almost impossible for me to let it cool before slicing into it. I hope the whole sugar cubes and less cinnamon works for you. Thanks for visiting :).

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