This cinnamon pull apart bread starts in a bread machine and is baked in your oven for the fastest and easiest prep but keeps all the delicious crispy edges you love.
I simply adore our bread machine. We use it to make so many delicious and easy breads, but there is definitely something to be said about crispy cinnamon pull apart bread fresh from the actual oven.
One of my favorite tricks is to use our bread machine to prepare bread dough that I plan to bake in the oven.
You can measure and dump the ingredients into the bread pan in just a few minutes and then it is completely hands-off until it is time to transfer it to the rolling mat.
This pull apart bread was so easy to make and would be a delicious treat for any family gathering you have during the coming holiday season!
Serve it for breakfast or an afternoon treat with coffee, your family will love pulling slices from the loaf and nibbling on them!
Why This is the Best Recipe
This is the best cinnamon pull apart bread recipe because:
- Bread Machine Prep: I love each of these delicious bread machine recipes but this one is especially fun because all you need to do is measure and dump. The prep should take you less than 5 minutes. The dough turns out perfectly!
- Roll and Sprinkle: Pull apart bread is easier to make than cinnamon rolls. You just roll the dough flat and pile it up for the bread pan. So fun.
- Crispy Cinnamon Edges: All those layers of dough are coated in crispy cinnamon sugar. The loaf practically sparkles when it comes out of the oven!
- Soft Doughy Centers: The bread inside is similar in flavor to a cinnamon roll and has that soft chewy center.
- Chewy Caramel Base: The cinnamon sugar bakes down into a gorgeous caramel-like filling that pools at the bottom of the bread. This not only helps the loaf to stick together but adds a wonderful flavor to each pulled slice.
Like most of my easy bread machine recipes, you need only a few ingredients to make this recipe!
- All-Purpose Flour
- Kosher Salt
- Instant Yeast: You can use bread machine yeast, active dry yeast, or instant yeast.
How to Make the Dough
I think the easiest and fastest way to prep this dough is in a bread machine.
I always grab my Cuisinart bread maker when I want to make dough. I think it mixes the best out of the various bread machines we've tested.
When you use a bread machine to prep dough you plan to bake in the oven, you cut down on a lot of the work time that leads up to the rolling stage. It is a very hands-off process.
Just pop the ingredients into the bread machine and then you're free to do other things while your dough mixes and rises.
If you don't have a bread machine, you might be wondering if a bread maker is worth it. Spoiler alert: My answer is YES! but you can debate that for yourself with the pro's and con's in my list here.
And if you're excited about the idea of using a bread machine, you can read the best bread machine for beginners article here. We tested 5 major models and compared them for you.
Add the Wet Ingredients First
The first step to filling a bread machine bread pan is to add the ingredients IN THE ORDER THEY ARE LISTED.
This almost always means that you'll be adding the liquid ingredients to the pan first.
Add the milk and the egg. Cut the softened butter into chunks and scatter them into the pan like this:
This is a good time to double check that the paddle attachment is in the pan. It is a lot harder to add it once you've added the dry ingredients and your bread will fail if it isn't in position.
Add the Dry Ingredients
Next, add the dry ingredients to the bread pan.
Simply spoon the flour right over the top of the wet ingredients.
Then, sprinkle the sugar and salt around the perimeter of the pan. Use a spoon to dig a shallow well in the center of the flour and that's where you'll add the yeast.
Your pan should look like this:
Choose the DOUGH program on your machine and let the break maker do it's thing.
Keep an eye on the pan as it mixes, you may want to scrape the sides to make sure all the flour is in place.
The dough setting will take about an hour to an hour and a half to finish.
Prepare the Dough for the Baking Pan
Once the dough is finished, you're ready to prep it for the oven.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured baking mat. Remove the bread paddle if it is still stuck in the dough.
At this point, you'll also want to melt the butter and mix the cinnamon sugar coating. Just prep them and set them by your work station.
Roll the dough out to a 20 x 12-inch rectangle.
Use a pastry brush to spread the melted butter evenly all across the surface of the dough.
You should reserve just 2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar for sprinkling over the top of the loaf before baking first. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mix evenly over the top.
Use a pizza wheel to cut the dough into 5 equal strips.
The work in the opposite direction to cut the strips into 5 pieces each. You'll have a mat filled with small rectangles when you're done.
Stack those rectangles up on each other like a deck of cards like this:
Butter an 8 x 4-inch bread pan and then carefully transfer the stack of bread squares into the pan so they are standing on end like a file folder full of papers:
Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it rise for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Remove the plastic wrap from the bread pan and place the bread on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
The sugar will cook into a delicious caramel and may bubble up over the sides of the pan. This will help prevent a sticky mess in your oven.
Bake the bread for 20 minutes and then loosely cover it with aluminum foil to prevent it from browning too much.
Continue to bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the center of the bread registers 195°F with a thermometer.
Let the cinnamon pull apart bread rest in the pan for just five minutes.
Run a spatula or knife around the perimeter of the pan to loosen the bread from the sides.
Then transfer the warm bread to a clean platter for serving.
If you let the pan sit too long, the caramel at the base of the bread will make it nearly impossible to release the pull apart bread from the pan. It will all stick firmly to the bottom.
If you try to remove the bread from the pan too soon, the pull apart slices will fall apart.
Set yourself a timer for those 5 minutes of rest time and just work carefully as you tip the bread out of the pan onto your platter.
The cinnamon pull apart bread is a huge hit with kids who love to tug at those crispy cinnamon coated slices at the table.
I love to serve it warm from the oven but completely cooled slices made a delicious afternoon treat for the family, too.
The bread is best served the day you baked it but will keep in a bread bag for 2 - 3 days.
You may wish to reheat the bread in the oven for a few minutes to help improve texture of the leftovers.
More Easy Bread Recipes
If you love this cinnamon sugar pull apart bread, you may also love my homemade cinnamon swirl bread. It is like a sliceable cinnamon roll!
Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
- 2 ½ cups bread flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon instant yeast
For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Add the ingredients for the bread dough to your bread machine pan fitted with the paddle attachment in the order they are listed, starting with the milk and ending with the yeast.
- Helpful Tip: Sprinkle the sugar and salt around the perimeter of the pan and use a spoon to dig a shallow well in the center of the flour for the yeast. This keeps things separate until they are ready to mix.
- Add the pan back to the bread machine and select the Dough Program. Keep an eye on the machine as it blends the ingredients. You may need to scrape down the sides of the pan if things don't combine evenly.
- Once the Dough program is finished, transfer the dough to a lightly floured baking mat and remove the paddle. Roll the dough out to 20 x 12 -in rectangle.
- Melt the butter and use a pastry brush to spread it evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon with a fork and reserve 2 tablespoons of the mixture in a small bowl. Sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over the top of the dough.
- Use a pizza wheel to cut the dough into 5 strips lengthwise. Then cut another 5 strips widthwise, this will make 25 rectangles. See photos above for clarification.
- Rub ½ tablespoon of softened butter all around the inside of a 8 x 4-inch bread pan. Carefully stack the rectangles into a single pile and gently transfer them into the pan so that the cut edges are facing up, like a deck of cards. Sprinkle the reserved 2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar over the top. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the plastic wrap from the bread pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. The sugar will bubble up as it bakes and this helps avoid spills in your oven.
- Bake the bread for 20 minutes and then loosely cover the top with aluminum foil to prevent it from over browning. Continue to bake for another 20 - 25 minutes or until the bread registers 195°F on a thermometer when tested in the center.
- Let the bread cool for just 5 minutes in the pan and then run a spatula or butter knife around the perimeter of the pan to loosen the bread. Transfer the bread to a platter to serve warm or let it cool. The sugar will form a delicious caramel at the base of the bread and if you let it cool completely in the pan it will be very difficult to remove.
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