Homemade Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

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Soft, chewy, loaded with cinnamon sugar, and topped with cream cheese frosting, this Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread recipe is absolutely the best.

There is nothing I love the scent of more than the smell of bread baking … well unless said bread is cinnamon bread… then be still my heart.  This bread I am sharing today is so close to the taste of a cinnamon roll, that I say it’s a perfect breakfast treat!

Each section of this Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread is layered with cinnamon, baked to a golden brown, the loaf is then frosted with a cream cheese frosting.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it pretty?  I seriously thought about not frosting it.  I mean look at how cool it looks just smiling up at you from that bread pan… all golden and coated in cinnamon sugar goodness!

But oh baby! I added the cream cheese frosting, with just a hint of nutmeg to it and Swoon!  It was perfection.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

This recipe for cinnamon pull-apart bread takes your favorite cinnamon bun ingredients and takes them up a notch, okay maybe two notches, to create the most decadent cinnamon bread loaf you can find. There’s no denying this bread is loaded with cinnamon sugar goodness. 

Perfect for Christmas morning, a weekend brunch, or any occasion really, this recipe is bound to be one of your favorite things to wake up to. 

cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread

If you are thinking this pull-apart bread recipe sounds a bit like monkey bread take note they are not exactly the same. Monkey bread, (sometimes called monkey brains,) uses biscuit dough or refrigerated dough made into dough balls that are then rolled in cinnamon sugar and baked. They may be similar in taste but they aren’t prepared the same way.  In this recipe, I’ve used dinner rolls to make monkey bread. 

If you love cinnamon pull-apart bread, you are sure to love these too: Blueberry Lemon Pull Apart BreadPumpkin Zucchini Streusel Bread, or this recipe for Applesauce Bread With Chocolate Chips.

cinnamon pull apart bread

Though there are a few steps to making this cinnamon pull-apart bread, it is completely worth the effort. If you want to get things off your to-do list you can tackle a few of the steps the night before you want to serve it.  Combine the cinnamon and sugar mixture and prepare the frosting. Make sure to store the frosting in the fridge. Alternatively, you can prepare the bread and keep it on the kitchen counter for a day or two before serving it. If you want to freeze the bread, freeze it unfrosted and then frost before serving it. 

Ingredients for cinnamon pull apart bread

For complete ingredients and instructions scroll to the bottom of this post for the full printable recipe. 

For the Bread:

  • Butter – Salted or unsalted, melted, butter.
  • Milk – Any kind of milk will work in this pull-apart bread. I used whole milk.
  • Cool water – 
  • Sugar – White sugar is used to sweeten the cinnamon bread. 
  • Yeast – Yeast is used to help the bread rise. 
  • Vanilla – Use real vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Eggs – Any kind of eggs will work, beaten.
  • Flour – I used all-purpose flour. You’ll need a few cups of flour for the dough and some for kneading. 

The Filling:

  • Butter – Salted or unsalted butter, melted.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar and brown sugar are used for the filling.
  • Cinnamon – Ground cinnamon gives this bread its cinnamon flavor.

For the Frosting:

  • Cream cheese – Low-fat or full-fat cream cheese can be used to make the frosting.
  • Powdered sugar – Also known as confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar.  
  • Nutmeg – Optional to add a sprinkle of nutmeg.

How to make this cinnamon pull-apart bread recipe

This recipe is a true labor or love. Don’t be put off by the long list of steps as these are completely worth the time and effort. Trust me on this one!

Prepare the Bread Dough

Combine milk and butter in a small bowl and microwave until the butter melts (takes about 45 seconds). Or melt over the stove in a small saucepan. Add cool water to the hot milk/butter mixture. The mixture should be about 110 degrees. I know some recipes call for warm water but I used cool water. 

Mix in sugar, then yeast. Add in beaten eggs. Add vanilla.

Stir in 1 cup of flour, and stir in the second cup of flour. Add ½ cup more if the dough is still really sticky. Next, add the next ¼ cup to the counter to turn the dough out to knead, adding more if needed. The dough will be slightly different than regular bread dough due to the high butter content. When the dough is ready, you will be able to make a nice impression with your hand and your fingers won’t get dough stuck to them when you pull it out. It’ll be a nice soft, slightly oily ball of dough.

Form dough into a nice ball and place it in a bowl to rise covered with a light tea towel. Find a warm place to put the dough. 

Let the dough rise for one hour. It will double in size.

 

Make the Cinnamon Sugar Mixture

In a small bowl, combine the white sugar with the cinnamon. 

 

Rolling the Dough & Stacking the Bread

After the first rise, punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured surface to roll out to a large 12″ x 20″ dough rectangle. I found it helpful to keep a ruler handy.

Time to fill it. Spread melted butter over the dough with your fingers, and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Spread evenly over the dough. Then cut into five 12″ x 4″ strips.

Stack these strips one on top of the other. Cut these strips into 6 equal sections.

Place them into a well-greased prepared pan, a bread pan works well. (like you are filing paper.) One behind the other. Tip: I find it easier to set the loaf pan on end and stack them that way.

Cover and let the dough rise for another 40 minutes. They will all be crowded together nicely in the loaf pan.

 

Bake & Frost the Pull Apart Bread

Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. 

Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Turn out on a serving platter. Frost with the cream cheese frosting once it has come to room temperature. 

Store leftovers in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. 

Love it? Pin it!

If you love this recipe for cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread, make sure that you don’t lose it! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!

FAQs about cinnamon pull-apart bread

  • What is Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread? Cinnamon pull-apart bread is made with dough that easily pulls apart and is coated in cinnamon, much like classic cinnamon buns. 
  • Can I use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast? Yes, active dry yeast can be substituted for instant yeast. If you use active dry yeast it may take a little bit longer for your dough to rise.  
  • What’s the purpose of adding vanilla to the dough? Vanilla enhances the flavor of the dough. 
  • Can I make this bread ahead of time or freeze it for later? Yes, wrapped tightly you can make this bread ahead of time to use later. You can keep it on the kitchen counter or freeze it. I suggest you frost it before you want to serve it and not freeze it with the frosting. 

 

Substitutions

Remember that when it comes to making substitutions in recipes, you don’t need to be afraid to get creative and use ingredients that suit your personal taste and dietary preferences. Make it your own!

  •  Use cocoa powder instead of cinnamon for chocolate pull apart bread.

  • If you don’t have a bread pan, a bundt pan also works. 

  • Use instant yeast or active dry yeast.

Tips & Tricks

  • Mix in raisins or chopped nuts for more taste and texture.

  • Spray the pan well with cooking spray so the dough doesn’t stick or line with parchment paper. 

  • Use a pizza cutter to cut the bread. 

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container or cover the top of the bread with plastic wrap. Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days on the kitchen counter or 3 months in the freezer.

Top view of Russian rose bread with powdered sugar

More Unique Bread Recipes to Love

Here are a few of my favorite pull-apart breads:

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for a ‘pièce de résistance’ for your next brunch table this cinnamon pull apart bread is for you. Soft, chewy pieces of cinnamon-infused bread topped with cream cheese icing, there’s really no better way to start your day. 

Michaela signature

Yield: 1 loaf

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Side view of cinnamon pull apart bread on a wooden board

Each section of this Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread is layered with cinnamon, baked to a golden brown, the loaf is then frosted with a cream cheese frosting.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours 18 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the Bread:
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cool water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • For the Filling:
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar combined with ¼ cup brown sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Frosting:
  • ½ cup soft cream cheese mixed with 1 cup powdered sugar until creamy. Sprinkle in a little nutmeg if desired.

Instructions

  1. Heat milk and butter in microwave until the butter melts (took about 45 seconds) Add cool water to the hot milk/butter mixture. Mixture should be about 110 degrees.
  2. Mix in sugar, then yeast. Add in beaten eggs. Add vanilla. Stir in 1 cup of flour, then stir in the second cup of flour. Add ½ cup more if the dough is still really sticky. Add the next ¼ cup to the counter to turn the dough out to knead. Add more if needed. The dough will be slightly different than regular bread dough due to the high butter content. When the dough is ready, you will be able to make a nice impression with your hand and your fingers won't get dough stuck to them when you pull it out. It'll be a nice soft, slightly oily ball of dough.
  3. When the dough is ready, you will be able to make a nice impression with your hand and your fingers won't get dough stuck to them when you pull it out. It'll be a nice soft, slightly oily ball of dough.
  4. Form dough into a nice ball and place in a bowl to rise covered with a light tea towel. Let the dough rise for one hour. It will double in size.
  5. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured surface to roll out to a 12" x 20" rectangle. (I found it helpful to keep a ruler handy.)
  6. Make your cinnamon sugar mixture in a small bowl.
  7. Time to fill it. Spread melted butter over the dough with your fingers, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Spread evenly over the dough. Then cut into five 12" x 4" strips.
  8. Stack these strips one on top of the other. Cut these strips into 6 equal sections. Place them into a well-greased bread pan (like you are filing paper.) One behind the other.
  9. Cover and let rise for another 40 minutes. They will all be crowded together nicely in the pan.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  11. Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Turn out on a serving platter and let it cool the rest of the way.
  12. Prepare the frosting in your mixer. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Notes

See the recipe post for step-by-step photos of the process.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 109mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 5g

Nutrition isn't always accurate.

 

This recipe was originally posted on August 9, 2015. It has been updated to improve user experience and reshared on October 17, 2023. 

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

 

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27 Comments

  1. I don’t know why that pull apart bread is so much more fun than simply slicing. I guess it’s the kid in me. Thanks so much for the recipe.

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