Cactus Bread is a sweet, soft, slightly spiced dessert pizza that folks who go to Pizza Ranch restaurant make a special point to get! The actual Pizza Ranch recipe is a closely guarded secret, but I think this version is just as delicious! It starts with a light and airy focaccia crust topped with cinnamon butter and a delightful crumble topping that will leave everyone craving more! I also have an Apple Dessert Pizza that you will love!
What is Cactus Bread?
Cactus Bread is the name given to the cinnamon-sugar glazed signature dessert pizza found at The Pizza Ranch restaurants. It’s a delicious blend of cinnamon, sugar, and sweet glaze, all on top of a soft crust. But, don’t just enjoy it for dessert! It is a wonderful treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee, as a snack, or just to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Crust: We finally nailed the cactus bread with this crust. And, I do mean finally…we have tested this recipe more times than I care to count! For the softest crust that was the closest to the original, we used a modified recipe of my Focaccia bread. (We took out the Italian seasoning and garlic.) After a side-by-side comparison with cactus bread from the restaurant, this was one by far the winner in both taste and texture.
Cinnamon Butter Topping: This couldn’t be easier. Take butter, granulated sugar, and cinnamon and put into a microwave-safe dish. Heat for 20-30 seconds then stir. Using a pastry brush, get an even layer all over the semi-baked dough. You may think that the layer looks a little thin, but trust me, it’s enough.
Crumble: Arguably, this is my favorite part of cactus bread and what I spent a lot of time perfecting. I settled on the same crumble that I use for my Blueberry Lemon Loaf. It is perfect and goes perfectly with this recipe.
Glaze: The glaze is simply confectioners’ sugar and milk. Take a cup of confectioners’ sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of milk. (I prefer whole milk.) Start with 1 tablespoon then add more milk as needed to reach a loosed consistency. Pour the glaze over the warm cactus bread.
Can I use Store-Bought Pizza Dough?
Yes! If you have pizza dough to use, that would work. Bake the dough for 6 minutes at the oven temperature suggested on the pizza dough packaging. Next, remove it from the oven and add the toppings. Put the baking dish back in the oven to bake for an additional 12 minutes (or until the pizza crust is cooked). Let the bread sit for a few minutes before drizzling the glaze.
Can I Use A Different Pan?
Sure! Although a pizza pan is a traditional pan for a dessert pizza, it still tastes just as delicious when made in a different pan! I would recommend a 9×13-inch baking dish. Or, for a thicker crust, a 9×11-inch baking dish would also work. Another idea is to use an oven-safe skillet like cast iron. However, baking times may have to be adjusted if using a different pan.
Can I Add Toppings To Cactus Bread?
Sure! The classic recipe for cactus bread is known for its cinnamon butter, crumble, and glaze, but you could certainly add toppings. Try it with your favorite fruits or top with nuts (like walnuts, pecans, or almonds) for an added crunch to each bite.
How To Store Cactus Bread
Although best served on the day the cactus bread is baked, don’t let any leftovers go to waste! Once cooled to room temperature, store slices of cactus bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven or in the microwave.
- 1 cup (237 g) water, warmed (about 105°-110°F)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup (75 g) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 ½ cups (312.5 g) all-purpose flour
Cinnamon Butter Topping
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup (125 g) confectioners' sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons whole milk
- In a large bowl, combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes, or until the yeast begins to bloom.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and ½ teaspoon salt.
- Pour half of the oil mixture into the yeast mixture. Set the remaining mixture aside.
- Add the flour and remaining ½ teaspoon salt to the yeast mixture. Stir to combine.
- Add the dough to a greased bowl and cover. Let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a 12-inch pizza pan with parchment paper.
- Pour the remaining oil mixture onto the lined pizza pan.
- Transfer the risen dough to the pizza pan. Work the dough to the edges and use your fingers to create dimples in the dough.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- While the crust is baking for the first time, make the cinnamon butter and crumble.
Cinnamon Butter Topping
- To a microwave-safe bowl, add butter, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Heat for about 30 seconds. Stir to combine.
- To make the crumble topping, mix together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter in a small bowl.
- After the dough has been removed from the oven, brush the cinnamon butter over the crust in a thin layer, covering the entire surface.
- Sprinkle the crumble topping over the cinnamon butter, covering the entire surface to the outer edge.
- Place back into the oven for 10 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. While the bread is cooling, make the glaze.
- In a separate bowl, mix confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon milk until smooth and creamy. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Drizzle the glaze over the warm bread.
Did you make this recipe?
Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.