The Secret Technique for Gorgeous Baked Goods

Here's our simple trick for baked goods with a polished look!

I learned about this baking secret when shooting a how-to video for our Slow Cooker Cinnamon Roll recipe. It’s a heavenly breakfast—but the sticky dough needs to be sliced with precision in order to create a braid. You’ll need a serrated bread knife and some cooking spray, like Pam.

Here’s the Trick…

1. It starts like many other sweet breads and baked goods. Roll up your dough jelly-roll style.

Rolling up cinnamon rollTaste of Home

2. Now comes the surprise. Spray your knife with cooking spray, then slice the roll of dough vertically. You’ll be able to slice through dough like a hot knife through butter!

Revealing the pattern within the cinnamon rollTaste of Home

3. Twist—and voila. A beautiful design is revealed.

Twisting cinnamon roll doughTaste of Home

The spray-and-cut helps make a spectacular cinnamon roll, but the technique can be used on all sorts of braided breads—and other baked goods, too.

How to Use the Technique Over and Over

Wreath-Shaped Breads

To create a wreath-shaped bread, form your dough into a ring. Then, coat your knife with cooking spray as you cut and turn the slices out, making this marvelous Chocolate Walnut Ring.

Chocolate Walnut Ring
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Sliced Cookies

Cut the slices all the way through to create these whimsical Baked Elephant Ears, just as good as any farmers market!

Baked Elephant Ears Recipe photo
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Pull-Apart Breads

Got a savory tooth instead of sweet? Reach for a recipe like the irresistible Tomato-Basil Pull-Apart Rolls.

Tomato-Basil Pull-Apart Rolls Recipe photo
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No matter which recipe you choose, spraying the knife with cooking spray between cuts gives you crisp, clean, show-it-off-worthy results. Why not add ’em all to your baking bucket list?

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Christine Rukavena
Christine loves to read, curate, sample and develop new recipes as a senior book editor at Taste of Home. A CIA alumna with honors, she creates cookbooks and food-related content. A favorite part of the job is taste-testing dishes. Previous positions include pastry chef at a AAA Five Diamond property. Christine moonlights at a boutique wine shop, where she edits marketing pieces and samples wine far higher than her pay grade.