Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

This is one of those recipes that was love at first sight. As soon as my eyes fell upon the picture of this bread on Joy the Baker, I wanted it on a plate in front of me, immediately. Like a lot of recipes though, it somehow found its way onto the back burner and I just got around to making it last week. It was absolutely, totally, 100% worth the wait. This bread tastes like the inside of a cinnamon roll. In retrospect, I would have drizzled this bread with a cream cheese icing. But even without it, ah-mazing. This is the perfect bread to serve to house guests, or for something special on Christmas morning.

Making the accordion-like bread is actually pretty simple…

First, get your dough ready and once it has risen, roll it out into a 12×20-inch rectangle.

Brush it all over with your butter, then sprinkle on alllll of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Slice into 6 strips (a pizza slicer is great for this job!)…

Then stack them on top of each other…

Then slice it the other way 6 times again, so you have 6 stacks of squares (Joy has a great photo of this step). You layer it into the loaf pan cut edges up, and then let it rise again…

Then bake it up into the most gorgeous loaf of bread you have ever seen.

Now that fall is on the doorstep, you can expect many more bread recipes coming your way!

One year ago: Chewy Chunky Blondies
Two years ago: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares
Three years ago: Cheddar Ale Spread
Four years ago: Miniature Italian Meatloaves

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Yield: One 9x5-inch loaf

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes


For the Dough:
2¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
¼ cup granulated sugar
2¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
¼ cup water
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned


1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside.

2. Whisk together eggs and set aside.

3. In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted. Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract. Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the mixture registers 115 to 125 degrees F.

4. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter. The eggs will feel soupy and it’ll seem like the dough and the eggs are never going to come together. Keep stirring. Add the remaining ¾ cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be sticky. That’s just right.

5. Place the dough is a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. *The dough can be risen until doubled in size, then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning. If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.

6. While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Set aside. Melt 2 ounces of butter in a saucepan until browned. Set aside. Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Set that aside too.

7. Deflate the risen dough and knead the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. The dough should be 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long. Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

8. Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips. Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again. You’ll have six stacks of six squares. Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book. Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw. A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.

10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto a clean board. Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up. Serve warm with coffee or tea.

11. The bread is best served the day it’s made, but it can also we wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.

(Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker)


75 Responses to “Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread”

  1. jen @ the baked life on August 23, 2011 at 12:04 am

    I made this a few months ago for a brunch party, and everyone loved it.

    I haven’t made it since, because I’m scared I’ll eat the entire loaf myself.


  2. Rebeca on August 23, 2011 at 12:08 am

    WOW, that is absolutely beautiful. I was just thinking I hadn’t baked anything in a while so this is DEFINITELY on the top of my list.


  3. Jen of My Tiny Oven on August 23, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I have been dying to make this forever!! Yours looks amazing! The cream cheese drizzle sounds like a perfect addition.


  4. Benthe on August 23, 2011 at 2:48 am

    This recipe has been waiting in my recipebinder for ever! I definitely want to try this but I’m afraid I’ll eat it all, it looks so good!


  5. Sasha (The Procrastobaker) on August 23, 2011 at 4:12 am

    I have wanted to try this bread for truly as long as i can remember, the garlic/cheesy versions too look AWESOME, but as its just my mum n I…im worried i may ‘have’ to eat more of this than would be decent in far too short-a time. One day though i WILL make it 🙂 yours looks just..perfect, i can only imagine how good it is!


  6. Heather @ Bake, Run, Live on August 23, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Oh holy yum! I so want this right now! I will be making this (along with Sasha’s garlic/cheese version).


  7. Blog is the New Black on August 23, 2011 at 6:01 am

    I’ve been eyeing this myself ever since it showed up on Joy’s blog… and then popped up on subsequent blogs. It looks wonderful!


  8. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance on August 23, 2011 at 6:30 am

    This reminds me so much of these monkey bread muffins I made a few weeks ago 🙂


  9. linda on August 23, 2011 at 6:57 am

    i saw this on joy the baker as well & book marked “to bake” & since i never did…
    you have inspired me to do so…
    love your posts!


  10. Heather (Heather's Dish) on August 23, 2011 at 7:50 am

    i made pull-apart bread for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it! i’ll have to try this sweet version next…yum!


  11. sherri lynn @ life of a wife on August 23, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I was the same way – I bookmarked this the day Joy posted it but have left it on the back burner. I still haven’t made it, and now probably won’t get the chance anytime soon since we’re in the middle of moving, but I cannot wait to try it! Yours turned out beautifully!


  12. Ally on August 23, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Mmm, I’d love to make this & add toasted pecans to the mix!



  13. Lisa on August 23, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Wow, this was a lot easier than it looked (I’ve never made pull-apart bread before)! Now if I can only convince myself to heat up the house with the oven…


  14. Robin on August 23, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Just LOVE your website!!! You have some amazing recipes! This is going on my grocery list right now. My family & I have a mini vacation this weekend with my parents and my father-in-law and this would be the perfect small breakfast food I was looking to bring. Thanks for sharing this and all your other amazing goodies!!! One question – do you have to use whole milk? Could skim milk be used in its place? We have skim milk on hand all the time but I didn’t know if it would matter here because of the yeast. I’m not one to use yeast in a recipe a lot. Thanks!


    • Michelle on August 23rd, 2011 at 10:23 am

      Hi Robin, I usually shy away from skim milk for baked goods. Whole milk is always the preference, and in a pinch I’ll use 2% (that’s what I keep on hand for cereal), but I wouldn’t use skim.


      • Robin on August 23rd, 2011 at 11:11 pm

        Good to know! Thanks! I’ll just get a small container of whole. I’m sure everyone will love it!


        • Robin on August 30th, 2011 at 9:02 am

          I have to tell you – I made this this past weekend and it was a huge hit! I added raisins to half of my loaf not sure if all of my family ate raisins and they were so good! I also did a little powdered sugar/milk drizzle on top to seal the deal. So good! Thanks for sharing!


  15. Jessica on August 23, 2011 at 9:01 am

    If my stove wasn’t on the fritz right now…this would be in the oven today!
    Maybe it will be in the oven after the super comes…..


  16. Gina Sandora on August 23, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Hi Michele:

    I make a similar version of this bread for my customers only our “Cinnamon Bun Bread is gluten free 🙂


    • Kat on January 24th, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      Can you please share your Gluten Free version Gina?


  17. Jennifer @ Jane Deere on August 23, 2011 at 9:36 am

    This looks wonderful…I so need some breakfast right now! I feel like a crazed hungry shopper at the grocery store!


  18. Heidi / foodiecrush mag on August 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Looks good enough to eat. Everyday. All day. Yum. My 7 YO daughter thanks you.


  19. Barbara on August 23, 2011 at 10:16 am

    My daughter is recovering from a tonsillectomy and we both decided we need to make some of this today. Yum! Thanks for sharing.


    • Michelle on August 23rd, 2011 at 10:24 am

      Aww, what a great project to do with her! I hope your daughter feels better soon and this bread souls the soul 🙂


  20. Valerie on August 23, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I really loove this bread! I always wanted to make it, i have to, i think i’ll make it next week when i come back to Mauritius!! I’ll take your recipe, i really like yours 😉



  21. Nelly on August 23, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Wow! Looks delicious! I am going to need to start having parties where I invite people to try my baking, or I am going to gain ALOT of weight!
    I am definitely going to try this one! om nom nom


  22. Sanjeeta kk on August 23, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Indeed it is the most gorgeous loaf I have seen of late! Lovely presentation.


  23. Emily on August 23, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Looks delish! Do you think it would be possible to make the day before, refrigerate, then bake? Was looking for a housewarming breakfast gift for a friend but it would be nice if she could bake it the next morning herself. Thoughts?


    • Michelle on August 23rd, 2011 at 10:49 am

      Hi Emily, You can refrigerate the dough overnight after the first rise, but the assembly and second rise need to be done the same day you bake.


  24. RavieNomNoms on August 23, 2011 at 10:44 am

    That looks like some seriously delicious bread! I love that it is pull cant get much better than that huh?


  25. mary rosenbaum on August 23, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Can someone post the link to Sasha’s version? Garlic/cheese sounds good too.


  26. Gen on August 23, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Yuuum!!! Cinnamon sugar sweets are some of my all-time favorites!


  27. Jaime - The Tomato Snob on August 23, 2011 at 11:17 am

    YES please! This looks unreal! Nom nom nom…


  28. Beth on August 23, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Love this….I have a weakness for cinnamon!


  29. Kim Bee on August 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I have to try this for my daughter. She loves cinnamon. Great recipe.


  30. Nicole @ Bake Me Blush on August 23, 2011 at 11:39 am

    When I saw this on Joy the Baker I was in awe… Now I’m being reminded of its visible deliciousness. Love all that cinnamon sugar. Yum.


  31. Dara aka The Skinny Pig on August 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I salivated. A lot. I want to make this! Looks gorgeous and I bet it tastes even better..


  32. Abby on August 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I need this in my life. (Great pictures by the way!)


  33. Katrina on August 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I’ve been meaning to make this for a while. Yours turned out great!


  34. Amy @ Gastronome Tart on August 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Ummm… yes please! This truly does look amazing! The whole thing reminds me of the inner part of a Cinnabon. Although obviously better tasting since it is homemade. Oh and better looking too 😉


  35. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. on August 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Oh boy, the thought of eating this bread fresh out of the oven with a big glass of milk is just heavenly! This looks awesome!


  36. Monica on August 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I agree – this is amazing bread! I love the idea of drizzling cream cheese frosting on it, definitely going to do that next time!


  37. Michelle on August 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    OH!! this bread is deeelish. I’ve made it a few times since seeing it on Joy the Baker :). It is very easy, quick and boy! does it smell wonderful the entire way through the process. First day of school in our house is Thursday and I’m thinking it would be another perfect opportunity (aka excuse 🙂 ) to make it once again :).

    Robin~ I just made this 2 weeks ago while we were on vacation and while I was at the grocery I forgot to get whole milk :/, so I did use skim and while I prefer to use whole milk in my baking, skim did work just fine.

    Also. . . my son would agree, Michelle, that this would be fantastic with a drizzle of icing. That’s in my plan for making this when he gets home from college on fall break . . . just another *opportunity* to make this awesome recipe 🙂


  38. Maria on August 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I bet I could eat that whole loaf! Looks amazing!


  39. Paula on August 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    It is a gorgeous looking bread, bet it was delicious and didn’t last long 🙂


  40. Jamie on August 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Is the mat from King Arthur Flour? Must get one, how handy! I love the stuff they sell.


    • Michelle on August 23rd, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      Hi Jamie, Yes it is, I love it!


  41. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen on August 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Yummm, I have been wanting to make this since I saw it on Joy’s site. Looks delicious!


  42. Ann on August 23, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    It kills me that I’m allergic to cinnamon – because I could eat the whole loaf! What a beautiful bread….as always!


    • Jamie on August 23rd, 2011 at 5:37 pm

      I have never heard of a cinnamon allergy, I’m so sorry! ACK!

      My mother introduced me to Saigon Cinnamon, my throat burned for days!


    • Michelle on August 23rd, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      Ann, I sympathize! In my mid-20’s I was diagnosed with a cinnamon allergy (among some other foods). I avoided it completely and went through a series of allergy shots, and 5 years later got re-tested. I was negative for any food allergies, and have been enjoying it (and the other foods) again ever since!


  43. joy the baker on August 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    your bread looks INCREDIBLE! awesomepants!


  44. Tina on August 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I am SO making this!!!!!!


  45. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen on August 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Gosh! Every time I see this I am reminded of how much I want it in my belly!


  46. Kelsey @ K&K Test Kitchen on August 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Totally agree – this bread was love at first sight for me too when I saw it over at Joy’s site, but I haven’t gotten around to it. I’ll definitely have to try it though now!


  47. Hester aka The Chef Doc on August 23, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Ooh! What a wonderful concept! I’ve been making cream cheese cinnamon rolls so I know what you mean about them tasting like cinnamon rolls! I’ll have to bookmark this 🙂


  48. Firefly on August 23, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    This looks so yummy 🙂 I’m not big on cinnamon usually, but this bread looks so inviting LOL Great recipe, I must try really soon 🙂


  49. CouponClippingCook on August 24, 2011 at 2:31 am

    What a fun recipe to make. And it looks so easy too. Not to mention that I’m sure it tastes totally delish.


  50. Irma on August 24, 2011 at 5:56 am

    I’ve made a pull-apart garlic bread a few weeks ago. The cinnamon and sugar is going to be my next project!


  51. Kerry on August 24, 2011 at 7:12 am

    It looks so good! Do you think you prefer it to normal cinnamon rolls?


    • Michelle on August 24th, 2011 at 9:30 am

      Oooh that’s tough, but I think I would still choose a cinnamon roll. But this is so delicious in its own right!


  52. Dea on August 24, 2011 at 7:25 am

    I loooove this bread so much! This goes so perfectly with a cup of coffee!


  53. Ali B on August 24, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I’ve seen this recipe all over the Internet but I’ve never got around to making it since I’m slightly intimidated by making my own bread. You make it look so simple and delicious, I’m definitely going to have try this soon! Thanks for sharing your version and step by step photos!


  54. Sandi on August 24, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Agree. Joy the Baker blog IS inspiring!


  55. April on August 24, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Yummmm! Why haven’t I made this yet? I’ve had this bookmarked since it came out! No more delaying, it looks delicious.

    Here’s the recipe with weight measurements and a lemon twist:

    Lemon-Scented Pull-Apart Coffee Cake
    From Flo Braker, Baking for All Occasions
    Makes a 9″x5″ pan

    Sweet Yeast Dough
    About 2 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
    2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup (2 1/2 fluid ounces) whole milk
    2 ounces unsalted butter
    1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) water
    1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    2 large eggs, at room temperature

    Lemon Sugar Filling
    1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
    3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (3 lemons)
    1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
    2 ounces unsalted butter, melted

    Tangy Cream Cheese Icing
    3 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1/3 cup (1 1/4 ounces) powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon whole milk
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  56. Connie the Cookie Monster on August 24, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    OMG it looks like a less messy version of cinnamon buns!


  57. Becki's Whole Life on August 25, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Too funny – I felt the same way when I saw this recipe on Joy’s site! Immediate bookmark….definitely something I am going to have to make now that fall is on it’s way. Looks beautiful!


  58. Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie on August 26, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I have been wanting to make this recipe too! I need to finally make it!


  59. Jessica on August 26, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Ok, my oven was fixed and I made this bread. It was lovely, delicious and wonderful, as written, but BF and I actually preferred the monkey bread recipe you posted. This is purely personal preference, but this is why.
    BF said preferred the more traditional bread dough on the monkey bread, rather than the richer egg based dough on the pull apart bread, He though the balls were a bit “fluffier”. I prefer the richer brown sugar caramel that was called for in the monkey bread, and If i wasn’t out of brown sugar, i would have used that to make the pull apart bread. Both however, make a beautiful presentation on the table!
    It is a good recipe, and i enjoyed eating it, but if i decide to do something like this again I will stick with the monkey bread! Thanks for the wonderful recipes!


  60. Tracy on August 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    This has been on my list for the longest time, too! Guess I better get to it! 😉


  61. Cristina on August 29, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I saw this and desperately wanted to try it but didnt have time to make it. SOOOOOO… I gave the recipe to my mom and VOILA it was magically made, and IT WAS DELICIOUS! It was like a cinnebon without the frosting…. sooo yum!


  62. John Batt on September 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    This looks so delicious – I’m going to have to try it. Love the idea of the cream cheese drizzle, too!


  63. MomTom on March 31, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Just made this today. It is as yummy as it looked. I used all milk, no water and I pressed some toasted pecans into the strips after the first cut. Perfection! My kids love it and so do I. Thanks!!!


  64. Horsecrazyclaudia on May 1, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Hi this seems like a wonderful recipe to try but i was just wondering if i could substitute the active yeast for instant yeast instead? If yes what steps would be different?


    • Michelle on May 2nd, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      This recipe does call for active dry yeast; do you mean that you’d like to use instant yeast instead? If so, yes, you could certainly do that – your rise times may be shorter than those indicated in the recipe.


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