I have a cinnamon bread recipe. I am confused about some of the measurement's. It calls for 1 cup of shortening, unsalted butter and melted butter. It does not tell me how much unsalted butter or melted butter. The directions says add the butter to 1/2 cup of sugar and salt, would this be the butter or the shortening? It does not say any thing about adding the shortening any were in the directions. The melted butter is for the top I think. The cinnamon and more sugar have no amount either, those I think I can use my own judgement. I have never tried to make this type of bread before. Can someone help me figure this out?

I've bolded the parts I'm not sure about:

2 pks of yeast

2 cups of scalded milk

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup butter flavor shortening or 1 cup real shortening

Unsalted butter

7 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

Melted butter or margarine




Mix yeast and water

Mix sugar and salt stir together add butter, but do not stir

Pour scalded milk over sugar, salt and butter.

Add 3 cups flour mix until soft dough forms.

Mix eggs and yeast into dough

Add more flour until dough is stiff knead for 8 minutes

Put into a greased bowl let rise until doubled. Punch down let dough double again

Then take dough out of bowl and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then Divide in half roll into 15x7-inch rectangle

Brush butter over the top of rectangle (I think this is the melted butter) Then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Repeat 4 or 5 times.

Roll up jelly roll style and put into loaf pans. Cover and let rest for 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes Add nuts over the cinnamon and sugar (optional)

This is word for word. I do not have a phone so I cant put pictures on here.


2 Answers 2


I'm guessing that the parts with "??" are someone's notes, whether actually handwritten on your copy, or transcribed, and that beyond that this is a recipe that's gone through some modification and transcription without careful editing.


1 cup butter flavor shortening or 1 cup real shortening

Unsalted butter??

This is the fat that's incorporated into the dough. The second line reads to me like someone wondering whether they can use unsalted butter instead of the shortening, especially given that the instructions refer to mixing in butter. Could be the recipe originally called for butter and someone changed it to shortening without changing the instructions, or that someone tried to change it to call for butter but only changed the instructions, not the ingredient list.

Melted butter or margarine??

You also need fat to brush on to hold the cinnamon sugar. It's inconvenient but not that unusual for the recipe not to include a quantity; you just use as much as you need. This is entirely separate from what you mixed into the dough.

Honestly, given that the recipe looks a bit unreliably written and you're having trouble, I'd just find a clearer recipe, unless you really are set on making this specific recipe (like an old family recipe).

  • Yes the ?? are from me to let everyone know what part exactly I was unsure of.
    – GJ.Baker
    Jul 24, 2017 at 22:02
  • The rest of the recipe is exactly how it was written. I found it in a recipe book that I got after my mom passed away this year. I'm sure it was not her recipe it was not her hand writing.
    – GJ.Baker
    Jul 24, 2017 at 22:09
  • Still, it was handwritten. That leaves you open to all kinds of weird things happening with notes. It seems quite likely that the first is just an alternative to the shortening (as opposed to you needing both), given that shortening isn't in the directions but butter is. And the second looks like just a run of the mill case of omitting a quantity for something where the exact amount doesn't matter.
    – Cascabel
    Jul 24, 2017 at 22:36
  • The ?? are from me to let everyone know exactly what I was unsure of. I found the recipe in a old cook book of my moms. I don't think it was hers the writing does not look like hers. I also don't remember her ever making it. I think you are right I will find another recipe to try.
    – GJ.Baker
    Jul 24, 2017 at 23:12
  • Sorry I commented twice. oops
    – GJ.Baker
    Jul 24, 2017 at 23:14

A quick inspection of common 'Cinnamon Bread' recipes suggests that what your recipe is say is 1 cup of Shortening OR Unsalted Butter; plus some melted butter ('some' being enough to baste/coat the bread with). Shortening and butter are often interchangeable in a recipe, at least 'functionally' (that is for the chemical properties) Butter will most often produce the 'tastier' result.

Edit: After you added the recipe you are using I am revisiting what I wrote earlier to say that while the way this recipe is worded the distinction between 'butter flavored shortening', 'shortening', and 'unsalted butter' is unclear as written but that by ratio (fat to flour) would be consistent with the idea that 'unsalted butter' is offered as an option to the shortening. I would have to second @Jefromi's suggestion: find a better (more well written) recipe.

  • Ok this is great because I don't have shortening, I was going to go buy some.
    – GJ.Baker
    Jul 24, 2017 at 19:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.