The Best Cowboy Bread Recipe

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This easy Cowboy Bread recipe is a cross between fluffy bread and sweet coffee cake. Prepare it in under an hour for a sweet bread recipe perfect for breakfasts, snacks, or desserts! 

Up close photo of a square of the best cowboy bread with a fork.

What is Cowboy Bread, Anyway? 

Also known as pan de campo, cowboy bread is a type of fairly flat, crumbly bread. Originally, it was eaten by cowboys who worked on ranches in Texas. They prepared it in small, portable ovens which contributed to its distinct taste and texture. 

This version is a sweeter take on traditional recipes. Unlike the original version, which is often enjoyed with beans or soup, this is eaten more like coffee cake

Ribbons of cinnamon and sugar running through a slice of cowboy bread.

What is Cowboy Bread Made Of? 

This recipe comes together with just a few pantry staples to form a bread batter and a streusel-like topping. Here’s an overview of what you need: 

  • SugarGranulated sugar sweetens the bread batter. Then, we use a combination of white sugar and brown sugar for the topping. 
  • Butter – Adds a rich flavor, keeping the bread moist. Feel free to substitute a neutral oil like light olive oil or avocado oil if preferred!  
  • Egg – Adds structure to the bread. 
  • Milk – Whole milk will create the richest flavor and most tender texture, but any milk or non-dairy milk you like best will work. 
  • Flour – We use regular all-purpose flour. However, you can substitute a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour if you need this recipe to be gluten-free. 
  • Baking Powder (aluminum free) – Make sure it’s fresh! Otherwise, your bread won’t rise. 
  • Cinnamon – Adds a subtle sweetness and warm flavor. 
A slice of cowboy bread showing the buttery cinnamon and sugar inside.

How to Make the Best Cowboy Bread Recipe 

Before you begin, preheat your oven, and grease a square baking pan with cooking spray. 

  1. Whisk the wet ingredients. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the sugar, melted butter, and egg until smooth. Then, add the milk, and whisk again to combine. 
  2. Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. 
  1. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix just until smooth, and pour the batter into the prepared pan. 
  1. Create the topping. Whisk all the ingredients for the topping in a third bowl. 
  1. Top. Drop spoonfuls of the topping over the bread batter, making sure the bread batter still peaks through. 
  2. Bake. Transfer the dish to the oven. Bake until the bread is lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake, or your bread will turn out dry! 

How to Store 

Allow the bread to cool completely, and store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Or, freeze it for up to three months. 

Thaw the bread in the fridge overnight. Then, enjoy it at room temperature.

Or, warm it in the microwave for ten to 15 seconds. We love to add a pat of butter, too. It makes it extra decadent! 

Up close photo of cinnamon and sugar cowboy bread on a fork.

The Best Cowboy Bread Recipe

Make this easy cowboy bread recipe with pantry staple ingredients in under an hour for a quick, sweet bread recipe perfect for breakfast or dessert!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: All American
Keyword: breakfast, brunch, coffee cake, cowboy bread
Servings: 9 pieces
Calories: 400kcal
Cost: $5.00



  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or neutral oil (light olive or avocado)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch salt



  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray an 8×8 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, melted butter, milk, and egg until combined.
    1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter or neutral oil (light olive or avocado), 3/4 cup milk, 1 egg
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until just combined. Pour into the prepared 8×8 pan. Set aside.
    1 2/3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, pinch salt
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the topping ingredients and pour or drop by spoonfuls over the pan of batter. Drop spoonfuls of topping over the batter with the batter still peaking through.
    1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. If desired, serve topped with butter!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temp for up to 3 days.



Be careful to not overbake or the cake will be dry. 
Oftentimes, we like to cut a piece in half and top it with a pat of butter when serving.


Calories: 400kcal


  1. Sounds delicious! Can’t wait to give it a try!!

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