I saw a wonderful looking recipe on 17 and Baking just this week – a Lemon Pull-Apart Coffee Cake. It looked delicious and I’m a big fan of lemon but … I couldn’t help thinking this would be great made “cinnamon roll” style.
So this morning, I had a go at it, combining the recipe above from 17 and Baking with the filling and icing from this All Recipes recipe for Cinnamon Rolls.
I’m pleased to report that my little experiment was a great success. It was very yummy! The only I would do differently next time is to add more of the brown sugar filling. I think it needs to be ewwy gooey-er! So I’ve increased the filling amount in the recipe adaptation below. Of course, if you’re not looking for ewwy-gooey, simply use half the filling recipe.
Pull-apart Cinnamon Roll Loaf
Summary: This is a wonderful treat for the family, perfect for a winter afternoon. This bread also freezes well.
- For the Sweet Yeast Dough:
- 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 whole milk
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- For the filling:
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
- 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- For the frosting:
- 1/2 of a 3 oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- To make the dough, mix 2 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Combine the milk and butter in a glass measuring cup and microwave until the butter is melted, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Add the water, and let rest a minute until just warm (120 to 130° F). Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the milk/butter mixture into the flour and mix until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, on low speed, mixing until each egg is well incorporated. Add another 1/2 cup of the remaining flour and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth, soft and slightly sticky.
- If using a stand mixer, switch to the kneading hook and knead with the mixer for about 1 minute, adding up to an additional 1/4 of flour if the dough is too sticky to work with. If kneading by hand, turn out dough onto a floured work surface and knead, adding flour as needed.
- Place the dough in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, make the cinnamon/brown sugar filling by combining the brown sugar and cinnamon and mixing well. Set aside.
- Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Generously grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with butter.
- When dough has doubled, turn out onto a well-floured work surface and gently deflate the dough with your hand. Flour a work surface and roll the dough into a 20″ by 12″ rectangle. (*Tip: trimming into an exact 20×12″ rectangle, will make things easier going forward). Use a pastry brush to spread the softened butter evenly and liberally over the dough.
- Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough crosswise in five strips, each about 12″ by 4″. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top and press lightly into the butter with your hand. Top it with a second rectangle, sprinkling that one with 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar as well. Continue to top with rectangles, sprinkling each one with sugar, including a layer of sugar on top of the last layer. (You will have a stack of five 12″ by 4″ rectangles, all buttered and topped with cinnamon sugar.
- Slice this stack crosswise, through all five layers, into 6 equal rectangles of 4″ by 2″. Carefully transfer these strips of dough into the loaf pan, cut edges up, side by side in a long row.
- Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled in size, 30 to 50 minutes.
- Place loaf in the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, cover the loaf loosely with foil (to prevent further browning of the top) and continue to bake for about 10-15 minutes. Test loaf with a cake tester in the centre to make sure it isn’t doughy (or if you have a thermometer, until it reads about 180° F. when inserted in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing by combining all the ingredients and mixing thoroughly.
- To remove loaf from pan, run a knife around the outside. Flip the loaf over onto your hand, then flip back onto the cooling rack so that it’s right side up. Place a pan or paper under the cooling rack. Spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the warm loaf with a knife, pushing icing down into the cracks and crevices.
- Eat warm or at room temperature. You should be able to “pull-apart” pieces of the loaf or you can also cut the loaf with a knife once it’s cooled.
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 25 min | Total time: 2 hours 45 min
Number of servings (yield): 12