Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread

Make this copycat version of the EPIC Cheesecake Factory brown bread that is loved and devoured by all who dine at this incredible American restaurant. The rich brown color comes from the molasses, honey, whole wheat, espresso, and cocoa powder. These unique ingredients create the tastiest bread that no one can resist!

If you’ve ever tasted this bread, you know what I’m talking about! Cheesecake Factory got it right with this melt-in-your-mouth bread. Fluffy and perfect with softened butter. If you love bread and serving it alongside your meals, try making my Grandma’s bread, these easy 1-hour rolls, or cheesy garlic bread.

Close view of baked brown bread loves. Once loaf is sliced with butter spread onto a piece of bread.

What is Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread?

Cheesecake Factory isn’t just for cheesecake. Before ordering your food, your server brings you a warm loaf of their signature brown bread to enjoy as you read their endless menu of possibilities. Don’t judge the bread by its color because everyone at your table will devour it…even the kids. It has the fluffiest texture and a slight sweetness in flavor from the brown sugar and honey. Sprinkled with rolled oats on top for some added texture this is a perfect loaf of bread!

Their menu is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. And every table is greeted with this ever so popular brown bread. I’ve even gone there a time or two just for the brown bread! It’s that good! Now you’re in luck because you can make this bread at home! But if you’re looking for more Cheesecake Factory copycat recipes, I have you covered. These avocado eggrolls are always a favorite and this chicken madeira is incredible! And for dessert, make this red velvet cheesecake. They have one similar to mine at the restaurant but I think mine is better!

Ingredients to Make Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread

Basic everyday ingredients are all you need to make this brown bread. And if you keep them on hand you can make it whenever you want! You may be skeptical of a few of the ingredients, but trust me on this, it just works! The unexpected combination of ingredients creates the fluffiest tastiest brown bread you’ve ever tried.

  • Whole Milk: Warmed, but not hot.
  • Brown Sugar: Just a little for sweetness. Sugar also helps activate the yeast.
  • Active Dry Yeast: Just one packet of instant active yeast.
  • Molasses: Adds moisture and chewiness to the texture of the bread.
  • Honey: Adds sweetness.
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter in this recipe.
  • Whole Wheat Flour: Whole wheat flour makes the fluffiest bread!
  • All-Purpose Flour: A combination of white and wheat flour is perfect for bread.
  • Instant Coffee Powder: Trust me on this one! Your bread won’t taste like coffee. It just adds bitter notes of flavor that balance with the sweeter ingredients.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Make sure it is unsweetened!
  • Salt: To balance the flavors.
  • Rolled Oats: Just a little sprinkle on top! It bakes into the bread adding a delicious and unexpected texture.

Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread Recipe

There is nothing like homemade bread and this soft Cheesecake Factory brown bread recipe can be made to enjoy all week long for sandwiches. Once you experience this bread at home, you’ll want to make it all the time! Follow my step-by-step instructions below on the recipe card.

Make the Dough

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm milk, brown sugar, and yeast. Stir to combine and allow the yeast to become frothy for about 5 minutes.
  2. Once the yeast is ready, add the molasses, honey, butter, wheat flour, 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, instant coffee powder, cocoa powder, and salt.
  3. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until everything has come together to form the dough, about 2-3 minutes. At this point assess if you want to add additional all-purpose flour. If additional flour is added, do so ¼ cup at a time. Mix until combined.
  4. Increase the speed to medium and allow the dough to be worked for 3-4 minutes. This step helps to develop the gluten and strengthens the dough. The dough should still be slightly sticky but easy to handle with lightly oiled hands.

Proof the Dough

  1. Remove the dough from the stand mixer and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, then allow the dough to rise for about an hour.
  2. Once the dough has about doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and cut it into thirds. Pound the air out of all the loaves and shape them into loose rounds. Place the loaves into separate lightly oiled bowls and cover them.
  3. Allow your loaves to rest for 30-45 minutes, until they have grown nearly double in size.
  4. Remove your dough balls from their bowls and place them, smooth side down, onto a lightly floured surface. Stretch each dough ball out slightly and roll into 3 baguette shapes, about 8 inches long. Be sure to secure the seam at the bottom of each loaf so they don’t come undone while proofing and baking.
  5. Place the formed loaves of brown bread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave at least a 4-inch gap between the loaves. Cover and let the bread loaves proof until they are double in size. Depending on the temperature of the room they are in this time may vary anywhere from 30 minutes to 1:30. Set a 30-minute timer and check the loaves every 15 minutes after your initial timer.
  6. While the loaves are proofing, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Shape and Bake

  1. Once the loaves are proofed and ready to bake, brush the tops of each loaf with water and sprinkle the rolled oats on top. Bake the loaves for 20-30 minutes. The internal temperature of each loaf should reach 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Once the loaves have finished baking, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into them.
First process photo of the milk and yeast in a mixing bowl. Second process photo of the dry ingredients added to the mixing bowl. Third process photo of the bread proofing. Fourth photo of the loaves shaped before baking.

Tips For Shaping the Bread Dough

This Cheesecake Factory brown bread dough recipe is so versatile. You can divide the dough and shape it any way you like! Make smaller loaves, round loaves, or even rolls! When making loaves, split this recipe into 2, 3, or 4 loaves, depending on the size of loaf you want. These bread loaf pans are AMAZING! I highly recommend using it for this recipe.

Close overhead view of the bread loaves baked on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Storing Leftover Bread

Homemade bread doesn’t have any preservatives in it, so it doesn’t last quite as long as store-bought bread. Here are my tips for keeping your Cheesecake Factory brown bread fresh for as long as possible.

  • On the Counter: Make sure your bread has completely cooled for at least a few hours before storing it. You can store in a bread bag or bread box for a few days, or transfer bread directly to an airtight container for up to a week.
  • In the Refrigerator: Store your bread in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week.
  • In the Freezer: Place the bread in a sealable freezer bag and store it for up to 3 months.
Close view of butter being spread onto a slice of brown bread.

More Delicious Bread Recipes to Try

I LOVE making homemade bread! We rarely buy bread from the store because I enjoy the process so much. Here are a few of my favorite recipes that are perfect for beginners or seasoned pros!