Crazy for Crust

Aug 21

Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread

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This is one of those recipes that’s been ruminating in my mind for a very long time. Lucky for you, I finally made it.

Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread: like cinnamon rolls, but in a loaf of bread!

Oh, and maple glaze. Because, well, duh. Maple!

Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread - a cinnamon roll in a bread loaf!

Sometimes I get an idea for a recipe and I just can’t make it work. I try and I try and I try again and then I say some curse words because oh-the-waste, and then I give up and move on.

I gave this recipe a first go back in January, when I was writing my cookbookDessert Mash-Ups. I wanted a cinnamon roll that was a loaf of bread. I tried three times to get the recipe perfect but I just couldn’t make it work. I was super disappointed, and not just because I’d wasted 2 pounds of butter.

Fast forward 8 months and I finally figured out how to make cinnamon roll bread work!

You make cinnamon roll dough and turn it into pull-apart bread. Same recipe, different concept. And guess what? It worked!

Now, you may be asking me, what the heck is a pull-apart bread? In which case I’ll point you to this recipe and say, hang on, we’ll get there.

First, you start with cinnamon roll dough. If you need help getting to this point, see my helpful step-by-step photo tutorial in my favorite cinnamon roll recipe post.

That recipe is my absolute favorite, and I’ve used it for so many other cinnamon rolls, like Gingerbread, Almond, and Peanut Butter.

Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread (1 of 10)

Roll out your dough into a rectangle. Then comes the pull-apart part. It’s all about how you slice the dough.

Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread (2 of 10)

Slice your rectangle into 18 semi-squares. They’re not perfect, but that doesn’t matter. This is what creates the “pull-apart” part of the bread.

Next comes the reason I call this “cinnamon roll” pull-apart: the filling.

Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread (3 of 10)

I made a variation of the basic filling I use to fill my cinnamon rolls and spread a little on each square. Now, in my head I told myself, leave one plain. But obviously I forgot to do that, as you can see. The last piece of your bread needs to have no filling when you’re stacking, because you don’t want filling touching the pan.

But if you forget like I did, just turn it upside down. In case you’re a visual learner and just read that sentence 3 times and don’t get it (I’m right there with you) here’s what it looks like when you stack it:

Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread (4 of 10)

Stack all the pieces of dough, leaving both ends plain so no filing is touching the pan. Note: stack in two piles, not one as shown. The dough is soft after you’ve been working with it, so it’ll stick together and won’t “pull-apart” as much.

Place your stacks in your pan, like this:

Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread (5 of 10)

It won’t totally fill your loaf pan – yet. Cover with plastic and chill overnight and it’ll swell up to fit your pan just fine.

That’s one of my favorite things about my cinnamon roll recipe (and this bread): all the hard work is done the day before. The day of you just have to bake it and eat it. That’s my kind of breakfast!

Oh, but first you have to put icing on top. I mean…what is a cinnamon roll without icing?

I made mine maple because obviously I’m addicted to maple, but you don’t have too. Use your favorite extract: coconut, almond, lemon…or maple.


Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread - a cinnamon roll in a bread loaf!


This is like cinnamon rolls…but it’s bread. Pull it apart and shove it in your face.

Or get a plate, a fork, and a napkin. Whatever.

Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread - a cinnamon roll in a bread loaf!

Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread – your new favorite breakfast. It sure is mine. I’m so glad I tried this bread again. If you try something enough times…it’ll eventually work.

At least this time. :)

Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread

Yield: 12 servings

Cinnamon rolls - in bread form! Cinnamon roll dough is cut into squares and formed into a loaf of bread for a new twist on breakfast. Filled with cinnamon and topped with maple glaze, this is your new favorite breakfast.


For the Dough:

  • 1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup warm non-fat milk (heated to about 120 degrees, about 30-45 seconds in the microwave)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 - 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Paddle attachment & dough hook for your mixer

For the Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Frosting:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract, optional
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


Make the Dough:

  1. Place milk in a microwave safe measuring cup. Heat for 45-60 seconds in the microwave, until it’s about 120°F. (The time you heat it will need to be adjusted depending on your microwave. You can use a candy or a meat thermometer to test the temperature.) Add yeast and stir. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. Place sugar, butter, salt, and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until the butter is distributed throughout the liquids, although it may be chunky. Pour in the milk/yeast mixture and stir for a few seconds.
  3. Add flour and stir with the paddle attachment just until the mixture starts to stick to the paddle. Then replace the paddle with the dough hook. Continue mixing on low speed until the dough forms a ball in the center of the bowl. If dough is still very sticky, you can add an additional 1/4 cup of flour.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough ball in it. Spray the top of the dough ball with cooking spray (lightly) and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit for 2-4 hours until it doubles in size. Note on rising: if your house is warm, it should rise no problem. If it’s cold in your house, it may take longer for the dough to rise.

Prepare your Bread:

  1. Stir together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour until it forms a paste.
  2. Spray an approximate 9x5” loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. Once the dough is risen, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle, about 10” by 14”. Slice into 18 sections. Spread a little filling on each section, except for one (that will be your last piece, you don’t want the filling touching the end of the pan).
  4. Stack half of the sections and place in prepared pan. Stack the second half and place them in front of the first, making sure that the ends touching the ends of the pan have no filling on them. (You need to stack them in two sections because otherwise the weight of the top of the stack with seal the bottom of the stack together and it won’t be “pull-apart” anymore.) The stack won’t totally fill the pan, but it will once it rises again.
  5. You have two ways to continue. (1) let pan rise for 1 hour at room temperature then bake as directed or (2) cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator (if you chilled them overnight) and let them warm up to room temperature while the oven is preheating. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for about 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Make the frosting:

  1. Whisk the melted butter and powdered sugar until mostly smooth. Whisk in vanilla and maple extract (if using). Whisk in heavy cream and pour over warm bread and serve.

Recipe © Crazy for Crust. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls {With a photo tutorial!}

Perfect Overnight Cinnamon Rolls (17 of 27)w

Zucchini Cinnamon Rolls – one of my summer favorites!

zucchini cinnamon rolls (4 of 7)

Bacon Chocolate Pull-Apart Bread

Chocolate Bacon Pull-Apart Bread (7 of 8)

Sweets from friends:
Apple Pie Pull Apart Bread by Heather’s French Press
Lemon Pull-Apart Bread by Barbara Bakes
Chunky Monkey Bread by Something Swanky

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66 Responses to “Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread”

  1. Mir posted on August 21, 2014 at 3:37 am (#)

    Whoa, lady. This is amazing!! Love the step-by-step, too.
    BTW, I saw your banana bundt recipe on Yahoo the other day and was so excited for you!


  2. Aimee @ like mother like daughter posted on August 21, 2014 at 5:09 am (#)

    This looks absolutely amazing! Last time I made cinnamon rolls I had extra scrap dough and I made a mini pull apart bread loaf with it, but I can’t wait to try this. Also that maple frosting? I’m dying. Do you use the mapleine maple flavored extract or what?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 21st, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      I use imitation maple flavor (either McCormick’s or the Walmart brand!) :)


  3. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice posted on August 21, 2014 at 5:12 am (#)

    Pull apart breads are the best, Dorothy! I love that you created this cinnamon one. So delicious and fun to eat! Pinned!


  4. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking posted on August 21, 2014 at 6:35 am (#)

    The only thing I like more than cinnamon rolls are breads that I can pull apart! Oh and maple syrup, because, YUM!!! I am getting super excited for maple syrup season! Not that I haven’t been eating it all summer, because I totally have, :-) The glaze dripping! Dying!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 21st, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      It’s the best, isn’t it? MAPLE RULES.


  5. Anna @ Garnish with Lemon posted on August 21, 2014 at 7:20 am (#)

    Cinnamon roll dough? Genius! I need this in my life!


  6. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes posted on August 21, 2014 at 7:34 am (#)

    It looks fantastic. Love the addition of maple. Thanks for the link love.


  7. heather @french press posted on August 21, 2014 at 7:40 am (#)

    you know I am ALL about the pull apart bread – and I LOVE that you did this 100% from scratch :) it looks amazing


  8. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet posted on August 21, 2014 at 8:47 am (#)

    Hello, gorgeous! I could eat the entire loaf! Pinned!


  9. Niki posted on August 21, 2014 at 8:55 am (#)

    Looks amazing and I need to make this the next time I have family visiting. Just asking, but could you subsitute with the pb filling?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 21st, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Do you mean could you substitute PB filling? There’s no peanut butter in this recipe, but you could add it to the filling!


  10. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on August 21, 2014 at 9:32 am (#)

    I remember when Joy’s cinnamon pull apart bread swept the sphere a couple years ago and I seriously wanted to make it so badly but was up to my eyeballs in cookbook recipes and never did. And now I see yours. I have no excuse! Seriously it looks incredible! So soft, fluffy, and the icing. Yes, and it’s in abundance, the only way to do icing :) Pinned!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 21st, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      You must try it Averie. I can only imagine the flavors you’ll use! :)


  11. Kloe's Kitchen posted on August 21, 2014 at 10:02 am (#)

    Wow! I am such an addict to cinnamon rolls anything. Muffins. biscuits, cake, blondies, and of course the original., but I have never made pull-apart bread. I will have to give this a shot! Thanks so much fro sharing!!!


  12. Heather @ Shards of Lavender posted on August 21, 2014 at 10:05 am (#)

    Oooh, I’ve seen pull apart bread before, but never quite got around to making it. And that maple glaze is just staring me in the face! Must make this…


  13. Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted on August 21, 2014 at 10:44 am (#)

    I just love the way your brain works!


  14. Ashley | The Recipe Rebel posted on August 21, 2014 at 11:11 am (#)

    This is what my fall-craving dreams are made of. So glad it finally worked out!


  15. Laura Dembowski posted on August 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm (#)

    I’m so glad you figured this recipe out – it looks amazing! I made the mistake of looking at it while hungry and now I need it in my life!


  16. Teri posted on August 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm (#)

    That looks delicious! I was a little confused when you said cut the dough into 24 pieces though, when you only cut yours into 18 pieces. Which do you think will work better, 24 pieces or 18 pieces?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 21st, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Ha! That’s what I get for thinking 24 and actually doing 18. Sorry for the confusion. 18 is best! :)


  17. Erica @ The Crumby Cupcake posted on August 21, 2014 at 3:26 pm (#)

    Oh my Lord, this is definitely being made this week. Vacation enables my baking side!!! My mouth is watering just looking at it!


  18. Stefanie Digre posted on August 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm (#)

    Is it possible to use Pillsbury crescent rolls or biscuits instead of making your own dough?


  19. Crystal posted on August 21, 2014 at 4:31 pm (#)

    Super delicious!! Love pull-apart bread especially since it is cinnamon. Yay!! Love it!!


  20. Laurie F. posted on August 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm (#)

    You are a culinary genius! I must try this!


  21. Mom posted on August 21, 2014 at 5:23 pm (#)

    Wow, this looks great. Wish I had some now.


  22. Amanda posted on August 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm (#)

    What a fun recipe!


  23. Julie @ Lovely Little Kitchen posted on August 21, 2014 at 7:46 pm (#)

    Oh wow, this is so perfect! I love the layers! Can’t wait to try it!


  24. Jaren (Diary of a Recipe Collector) posted on August 21, 2014 at 7:52 pm (#)

    Love how they can be made overnight! Pinned!


  25. Jessica @ Sweet Menu posted on August 21, 2014 at 8:35 pm (#)

    This is so clever! Your hard work definitely paid off Dorothy!!


  26. Alyssa {Cake, Crust, and Sugar Dust} posted on August 21, 2014 at 9:49 pm (#)

    I’m so glad you kept trying, too! I bet it felt amazing to have mastered this one. There is nothing wrong with a cinnamon roll product in my mind! Pull apart bread is just an awesome variation that I have yet to try. Pinned!


  27. Kelly - Life Made Sweeter posted on August 21, 2014 at 10:05 pm (#)

    Dorothy, this bread is amazing!!! I love everything about it….the filling, that gorgeous glaze and that you made this just perfectly for us :) Thank you so much for the step-by-step photos too :) So appreciated and super helpful – pinning :) .


  28. Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen posted on August 21, 2014 at 11:30 pm (#)

    OMG my mouth is actually watering, I can only imagine how amazing this cinnamon pull apart bread smells when it is baking in the oven! I can’t wait to try this for my next family brunch! And this is an amazing tutorial on pull apart bread – now I have to make it :)


  29. Oana posted on August 22, 2014 at 2:21 am (#)

    That frosting dripping off the bread totally got me. It looks beyond delicious! Wow.


  30. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) posted on August 22, 2014 at 6:33 am (#)

    OMG girl wowza is all I can say. This looks unreal!!!


  31. Tara posted on August 22, 2014 at 6:34 am (#)

    Omg this looks ammmmmmmmmazing!!! I can’t wait to try it!! Dorothy, do you think that this would work using 2% milk? You are a phenominal cook and a huge inspiration!! :) Thanks for all your amazing recipes!! <3


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 22nd, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      I’m sure it would Tara! I only mention non-fat because that’s what we regularly have (and use). Enjoy!


  32. Tonia posted on August 22, 2014 at 6:59 am (#)

    I am totally with you on the maple glaze! My grandma used to make homemade doughnuts with maple glaze and I’ve been hooked ever since. Pinned!


  33. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction posted on August 22, 2014 at 7:37 am (#)

    Dorothy, you are a genius! This looks amazing!


  34. Eve @ Baking the Day posted on August 22, 2014 at 10:49 am (#)

    Pull apart bread is the best bread ever, especially in a cinnamon roll version. That maple glaze looks divine, so sweet and maple-y (if that makes sense). You nailed it!


  35. Kathleen R. posted on August 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm (#)

    Yum! I’ve never made pull apart bread but it looks wonderful :)


  36. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts posted on August 24, 2014 at 7:55 am (#)

    Looks incredible Dorothy!! My 9 year old is in love with anything cinnamon, and I know he will be obsessed with this. Need to make it soon!


  37. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen posted on August 24, 2014 at 9:12 am (#)

    Yup, this is the best bread ever! ESP with that maple glaze, lord knows I love me some maple!!


  38. Cate @ Chez CateyLou posted on August 24, 2014 at 3:54 pm (#)

    Dorothy I am just dying over this bread! I’m so glad you perfected it because this looks so incredible! I love cinnamon rolls and I love bread – and that icing?? YUM!!!


  39. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted on August 24, 2014 at 7:45 pm (#)

    I am SO happy you figured this out!!! Because ooooooooh this cinnamon roll pull apart bread is AMAZING-it looks so completely perfect!


  40. Trish - Mom On Timeout posted on August 26, 2014 at 7:14 am (#)

    Perfectly amazing and as a fellow maple-lover – I am all over this! Pinned!


  41. Jocelyn@Brucrewlife posted on August 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm (#)

    Can I just face plant into this bread?? Is that weird? Don’t answer that 😉 I can’t wait to give this a try!


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  43. Ashton posted on September 1, 2014 at 8:52 am (#)

    I can’t believe I missed this, but OMGIWANTITNOW! So. incredible.


  44. Kristyn posted on September 2, 2014 at 10:54 am (#)

    Can’t wait to try this – looks so delicious!


  45. Delia posted on September 6, 2014 at 1:44 pm (#)

    Made this baby today and oh damn! It is SO good!
    I made the filling with an extra portion of cinnamon, it turned out just wonderful Thank you for sharing this :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 6th, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      Yay!! I’m so glad Delia!! Love the extra cinnamon. :)


  46. Patty posted on September 8, 2014 at 7:36 am (#)

    I’ve wanted to make this ever since seeing Joy’s similar post a few years ago, but I’m basically a lazy baker. Your pictures have convinced me that it will be no harder than making cinnamon rolls, and maybe easier. Having typed that, is there a good reason not to slather on the filling before cutting? (Apart from needing one corner to be bare.)
    I’m with you on the maple glaze; it works so well on so many things!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 8th, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      I think you could do it after spreading the filling, but I was worried that if the filling was too close to the edges it would spill out and burn on the side of the pan, so I erred on the side of caution!


      • Patty replied on September 8th, 2014 at 7:36 pm

        My concern is the same as yours, but lazy baker that I am, I may give it a try and report back.

        • Patty replied on September 10th, 2014 at 4:24 pm

          As it turned out, I couldn’t spread the filling easily. Probably had something to do with the extra teaspoon of cinnamon that I added. (I can’t help myself; I’m a cinnamon addict, and there’s never enough for me! If I insist on adding extra cinnamon again, I might bump up the butter just a bit, too.) I used my smallest disher to evenly portion the filling onto all but one of the squares, and smeared as best I could. The dough was a dream to work with. It turned out beautifully, and I will look forward to making it again. The maple glaze was the perfect way to top it off.
          Thanks so much, Dorothy!

  47. Renee @ Awesome on $20 posted on September 10, 2014 at 11:22 pm (#)

    I’m thinking this is going to be completely amazing! And I always suck at rolling dough anyway.


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  49. susan posted on September 22, 2014 at 4:59 pm (#)

    you crack me up. i dont always comment but i read you thru my email. i was wondering, as now i HaVE to make this really soon, could i use maple syrup somehow? thanks!


  50. Cyndee posted on October 7, 2014 at 9:45 pm (#)

    I want to make this at work, but we don’t have a d’oh hook..can I use a food processor in place of the hook?


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