Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread - My most popular recipe | Kitchen Trials (2024)

Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread - My most popular recipe | Kitchen Trials (1)
If you’ve ever eaten there, you know; the Cheesecake Factory brown bread is everyone’s favourite. Delivered to the tables warm with little packets of butter, the five of us always fight over who gets the last slice while we wait for more to come. For years I just knew that I liked it, and didn’t even bother thinking about why. It wasn’t until I started trying to make it at home that I realized I liked it because of all the layers of flavour. And it just tastes damn amazing!

Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread - My most popular recipe | Kitchen Trials (2)
Molasses, honey, cocoa, espresso, whole wheat. The ingredient list made me scratch my head a few times while working on this one, but in the end, once I got it right, everything somehow made perfect sense. You’re going to have to trust me.

Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread, aka Chocolate Bread.
Or how to get kids to try it the first time.

Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread - My most popular recipe | Kitchen Trials (3)

I’ve been making this Cheesecake Factory brown bread almost monthly for 2 years now. You can see my first post about it here. The kids call it chocolate bread, but I just call it my favourite. I could eat all 6 loafs by myself. I don’t let myself, but I totally could.

I’ve learned a few things making this so many times. Like, even though all that research in the beginning told me they added a caramel colouring to their dough, that’s a step we don’t need to take. It looks great without it. You also don’t NEED to add the cornmeal to the bottom, or the oats to the top. Those just make it look so much nicer though, so I keep doing it. I’ll leave that step up to you.

Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread - My most popular recipe | Kitchen Trials (4)
I’m sure you could also make two big loaves, instead of the six smaller ones, but I like the little ones. I like to pretend that eating 10 little slices is WAY better for you then 3 or four big ones. I also like to pretend I’m Pink in the shower. We do what we have to to get by.

I’m not going to lie to you. My Cheesecake Factory brown bread isn’t the quickest, or the easiest bread to make. If you’re nervous about making bread (I only say this because I was), I’ve got a three step process for you to build up your confidence. Before I started making my own bread regularly I was terrified about screwing it up. I promise it’s not nearly as difficult as you may worry it is.

Step 1 – Crusty, Rustic, No Knead Bread

Start off with this one, my crusty, rustic, no-knead bread. It’s a super easy no-knead bread that you mix together with a wooden spoon in a big bowl. No mixer and no fancy shaping either. It’s what everyone calls “Artisan” bread.

Step 2 – Sweet Dinner Rolls

After that, give my dinner rolls a shot. This gets you using the mixer, and learning how to shape rolls. This dough is super easy to work with, and once you make these, you’ll feel like a bread making god. At least I did.

Step 3 – Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread

Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread - My most popular recipe | Kitchen Trials (7)Time to make my Cheesecake Factory brown bread. Don’t think that you can’t make this if you’ve never made any other bread. You totally can! Just don’t treat the dough too preciously. It’s just dough. It’s just bread. You’ve got this.

Trust your gut when you’re making it, even if you haven’t made bread before. If you think that the dough is too sticky to handle, add a little more flour to the mixer. If you think it’s way too dry, just add a little bit of water (like a teaspoon at a time). You’ll find lots of extra information at the bottom of my recipe to help you out here.

Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread - My most popular recipe | Kitchen Trials (8)
And most importantly – don’t forget the butter for it when it’s warm out of the oven! We usually have a couple of extra loaves left over. When they’re completely cool, wrap them up in plastic wrap, or put them in a zip-lock bag, and enjoy them the next night!

Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread - My most popular recipe | Kitchen Trials (9)

Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread

Yield: 6 mini loaves

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Additional Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread just like at the restaurant. This is my favourite bread recipe, and it's been the most popular recipe on Kitchen Trials since 2015!


  • 1½ cups warm water (105ºF)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2¼ tsp instant dry yeast (1 package)
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp espresso powder (or coffee)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • ¼ cup cornmeal, for dusting the bottom of the shaped (not baked) loafs (optional)
  • oats, for dusting the top of the shaped (not baked) loafs (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes to proof (it will become foamy on top).
  2. Using the paddle attachment in your stand mixer, whisk together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. Add the yeast mixture, butter, honey, and molasses. Mix on medium-low speed until combined. The dough will be fairly thick and a little tacky.
  3. Swap out to the dough hook, and knead on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes. This dough is thicker than your standard white bread, so it will be a little tacky, but will not pull or stick to the bottom of the bowl while kneading. If it feels too sticky, like it would stick to your fingers when trying to shape, add a bit more flour (see notes for more info).
  4. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise is a warm spot for two hours, until doubled in size.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 equal sized pieces, and shape into mini-baguette style logs, roughly 6" long and 2" wide. See below notes for directions on this.
  6. Place the cornmeal on a plate (if using), and set the loafs in it to lightly coat the bottom. Place the loafs on a lined baking sheet, with lots of space between them. Lightly wet the top of the loafs with your hand and some water, then sprinkle on a light dusting of oats. Spray the tops of the loafs with Pam (to keep the wrap from sticking), then cover VERY loosely with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and let rise for another 60 to 90 minutes, until nearly doubled in size again.
  7. Bake in a 350ºF oven for 25 to 35 minutes. The crust will be soft and squishy to the tough. Bread is cooked when the internal temperature is 190ºF, so feel free to use an instant read thermometer to check if you're not sure.
  8. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. If baking ahead of time, store tightly wrapped in plastic wrap once completely cooled, for up to 2 days, though it's best eaten the day baked. Gently warm in the oven before serving.


With the flour - Some days I find that I need to use more flour (probably depending on the weather, or how packed my cups are). the key is to have the dough feel tacky, but NOT sticky - none of it should stick to your fingers when you give it a squeeze.

For shaping mini-baguettes:

Use your fingertips to pat the dough into a rectangle, about 4" across. Fold the top 1/3 down, like a letter, and press the seam into the dough with your fingertips. You'll see that you're creating some friction at the top, this is good!

Fold the bottom up over the top, tightly, and press to seal again.

Here's a great video that shows this. Skip to the 1:15 mark for the shaping to start. Note that she's making true mini baguettes, that are more than double the size of these, so she needs to do a lot more folds. These loafs are just fine with only two.

Without a stand mixer:

Whisk together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, butter, honey, and molasses. Knead for about 10 minutes until combined. The dough will be fairly thick and a little tacky, but pieces shouldn't stick to your hands.

Continue with the recipe at step 4.

Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread - My most popular recipe | Kitchen Trials (2024)


What is the dark brown bread at The Cheesecake Factory? ›

Never mind that the actual restaurant name for these skinny little loaves is whole wheat baguette –– because the universally understood moniker is simply brown bread. It's also known as chocolate bread, a nod to the rich brown color but also to one of the four key ingredients for making your own version at home.

Why is the brown bread from The Cheesecake Factory so good? ›

There's more than one secret ingredient that gives The Cheesecake Factory brown bread its magical aroma, flavor and color. Here are the key ingredients that bring this bread to life: Molasses gives the bread its deep brown color, rich flavor and signature aroma.

Is Cheesecake Factory brown bread healthy? ›

Brown bread by THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY contains 0.5 g of saturated fat and 0 mg of cholesterol per serving. 71 g of Brown bread by THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY contains 2.00 mg of iron, 90.17 mg of calcium. Brown bread by THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY belong to 'Breads & Buns' food category.

Do you have to heat Cheesecake Factory brown bread? ›

That means you can toss those babies in the oven (Cheesecake Factory recommends heating them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes) and enjoy the rolls, baguettes, and slices all warm and toasty, just as you would at the restaurant.

Is pumpernickel the same as brown bread? ›

Pumpernickel is a type of dark brown bread that originated in Germany. Although there's some debate about the origin of the name, pumpernickel in German basically translates to “hard to digest,” due to the density of the bread.

Is Cheesecake Factory brown bread wheat bread? ›

The Cheesecake Factory's Famous “Brown Bread” is now available to enjoy at home! Savor the signature taste of this deliciously sweet wheat bread topped with oats. Enjoy dinner rolls alongside your favorite meal, make mini sandwiches, or eat them straight out of the bag!

What does Cheesecake Factory's brown bread taste like? ›

For instance, honey and molasses are two sweeteners that play a huge role in the taste of the bread. With the addition of these two ingredients in The Cheesecake Factory's bread, it's easy to see why the brown bread doesn't taste bitter or salty, like other restaurant breads.

Is pumpernickel healthier than rye? ›

Pumpernickel is often considered a bit healthier, more nutrient-dense bread option compared to many rye varieties (since the bran and germ provide some great fiber, protein, and micronutrients).

Does Cheesecake Factory bread have added sugar? ›

The Cheesecake Factory's "Famous 'Brown Bread' has about the same amount of sugar as a nibble of cheesecake. Known for their sweet cheesecakes, their brown bread only has 3 grams per slice, but it's all added sugar.

Can you ask for more bread at Cheesecake Factory? ›

That's because the brown bread is both free and unlimited when you dine in. If you've eaten at The Cheesecake Factory before, you'll also notice that you might not even have to ask for more bread. Instead, the basket is refilled like clockwork throughout your meal.

How do you eat Cheesecake Factory bread? ›

Cheesecake Factory Bread. Slather a slice of this Cheesecake Factory bread with whipped honey butter or homemade strawberry jam. Or, tear off a hunk to dip in a warm bowl of soup.

Does Cheesecake Factory actually cook from scratch? ›

Made from Scratch

With more than 250 items on our menu, it may be hard to believe that we make things fresh and from scratch in each restaurant – but it's true! Our prep kitchens are one of the busiest spots in our restaurants, and it's where the magic begins every day.

How long to reheat Cheesecake Factory bread? ›

Baking Instructions: heat for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F. Take bread out of bag before placing in oven.

What kind of bread is at Outback? ›

Everyone loves when the warm honey wheat bread comes to the table when dining out at Outback Steakhouse. It's soft, sweet, and perfect with whipped butter. It's the best way to start any steak and potato meal. Or serve it alongside a salad or soup.

What is dark brown bread made of? ›

Brown bread is bread made with significant amounts of whole grain flours, usually wheat sometimes with corn and or rye flours. Brown breads often get their characteristic dark color from ingredients such as molasses or coffee.

What does the Cheesecake Factory brown bread taste like? ›

Along with honey and molasses, apparently cocoa and espresso powder are also used in The Cheesecake Factory's bread to give it slight chocolate and coffee undertones. With all these sweet and rich flavors, no wonder the brown bread tastes so unique.

What is dark brown bread called? ›

To the untrained eye, rye and pumpernickel bread may seem pretty similar. They both can be a dark brown color, are commonly spread with cream cheese, and are known for having slightly unusual flavors compared to other breads. As it turns out, it can be easy to mistake rye bread for pumpernickel and vice versa.

What is the dark colored bread called? ›

Cocoa powder, molasses, and dark brown sugar lend the classic deep brown color to this flavorful pumpernickel loaf.


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