This Sweet Brown Bread is made with whole wheat flour and lightly sweetened with honey and molasses for a delicious loaf that is perfect with pretty much any meal!

If you have ever been to the Cheesecake Factory, then you have most likely experienced the brown bread that they bring to every table with your meal. For the longest time my family assumed it was some kind of offensive whole wheat loaf that was far too healthy to be tasty. Being the mom, I took one for the team and devoured the brown bread myself.

Little did they know, the brown bread was actually a fluffy, tender, lightly sweetened delight. Being the selfish person I was, I didn’t feel compelled to share this information.

However, they figured it out eventually. And now I’m required to parcel out the precious slices- which means that no one gets enough bread to be entirely satisfied. Which leads us to where we are today. A copycat recipe of the Brown Bread from Cheesecake Factory. Now you don’t need to wait for a special occasion or share with your newly enlightened family members. You can make this in the comfort of your own kitchen!

What is the Brown Bread at Cheesecake Factory?

It’s a soft, baguette shaped loaf with a rich, slightly sweet flavor from cocoa powder and molasses. At Cheesecake Factory, the dough is shaped into smaller loaves for perfect, appetizer sized slices. We opted to make larger loves to serve with a meal or to make toast! It’s up to you. If you split the dough in half, you’ll get two larger sized loaves like we have here.

What do you eat with Brown Bread?

Everything! Soup? Yes! Jam, yes! Plain old butter? Yes, yes, yes! It’s good with everything. We love it- and I know you will too! It is only slightly sweet, so it goes great with a meal or for sandwiches too.

How do you make Brown Bread?

We used our stand mixer to mix the ingredients for this loaf- but you can do this by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer. After kneading, you let the dough rise before shaping into loaves for a second rise. We baked these loaves for about 30 minutes, but if you are making smaller loaves, you might to check them around the 20 minute mark. After the initial bake we brushed the loaves with melted butter and sprinkled with oats and baked for another 5 minutes. This is a totally optional (but delicious!) step. This is really a very simple bread!

I WOULD LOVE YOUR FEEDBACK!  If you make this Sweet Brown Bread recipe, will you leave a comment and star rating below? Your feedback is super helpful for SHK parents and other readers who are thinking about making the recipeThank you!

sweet brown bread sliced on a cutting board

Sweet Brown Bread

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Course: bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brown bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Rise Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 3 loaves


  •  2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp yeast instant
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3-4 cups bread flour can use all-purpose
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp old fashioned oats


  • Combine the water, yeast, molasses, cocoa powder, oil, honey, salt, and 2 cups of the whole wheat flour in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until combined. I recommend using a dough hook if you have one.
  • Add one cup of flour at a time with the mixture running until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add the whole wheat flour first, then the bread/all-purpose flour. You may not need to use all of the flour. Knead in the mixer for 5 minutes. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky, but not sticking to the sides of the bowl.
  • Transfer the dough to a large, lightly greased bowl, then cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel.  Let rise until doubled in size. This will take 1-2 hours depending on how warm the room is.
  • Once the dough is doubled in size, remove from the bowl and divide it into two or three evenly-sized pieces. Two pieces will make large loaves.  Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silpat mat. Shape the dough into oval shapes and place onto the baking sheet. If you are making three loaves, you will need to use two baking sheets to make sure they have space to rise without touching each other.
  • Cover the loaves with a light dish towel and let rise again until puffy and doubled in size, about an hour. Right before baking, cut three slashes across the top of each loaf.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake the loaves for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and lightly brush with the melted butter, then sprinkle with the oats and bake for another 5-7 minutes, until browned and cooked through.  Cool before slicing.

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