Crazy for Crust

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. 🙂

Servings: 12 servings

Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Bread

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.

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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  6. Wonder if you can use this recipe to make Cinnamon Rolls?   I would think so since it’s the same dough.  Looking forward to trying this recipe!

  7. Heat milk up to 120 deg. F?  that seems too high.  I usually heat it up to about 105 deg.  F.  Then I heard if you get the liquid too high you can kill the yeast?  

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