Homemade Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread

Homemade Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread - so pretty and totally irresistible. | pinchofyum.com


I am totally smitten with this. Consumed. Overwhelmed. Carried Away. Which is good, because I could use a little food distraction so I don’t dwell on the fact that I’m going back to work today after three and a half years of winter break. I love my job, you guys. But I at the moment I love my comfies and my bed just a leetle beet more.

This bread makes me think of happier times that did not involve me trying to start my sub zero temperature car in a very sub zero temperature garage. In heels. Cute.

It reminds me of the happy/warm time when Bjork and I went to a baking class led by the lovely Bea Ojakangas, expert in Scandinavian baking and author of several award winning cookbooks. Can I just say? What a doll.

Homemade Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread - simple, pretty, and totally irresistible. | pinchofyum.com

One of the things Bea taught us how to make was called Pulla. Or Pulla bread. Pulla loaves? I guess I’m not really sure how to say that, but I am sure that this bread was unique because it’s mildly sweet with crushed cardamom seeds and it’s 190% delicious. She had us make a whole big batch of Pulla dough and then divide it into three sections, to make three kinds of loaves with it. But I only remember one, and that was this cinnamon roll pull apart bread loaf. It actually had a really fancy, official Scandinavian name that I don’t remember. Carb brain freeze.

I’m just calling it Homemade Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread, half because it’s easier to remember and half because it has the word “Pulla” in it. And half because it doesn’t have cardamom in it so it’s not technically Pulla, which is why I didn’t want to actually name it Pulla.

It’s complicated.

Homemade Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread - simple, pretty, and totally irresistible. | pinchofyum.com

In case you forgot: I am not a bread baker. Please see this if you need confirmation.

Here’s the thing about yeasted bread – it takes fooooooooooor evvvvvvvverrrrrrr. And then when it doesn’t turn out, I obviously handle it like a normal person and I never cry and pout and pull my hair out because I’ve been waiting all morning for a large slice of warm, soft, fluffy bread soaked in honey butter. What, me? No, never.

I definitely didn’t get this right on the first try and there may or may not have been hair pullage.

But then by some frosted cinnamon roll miracle, I got it right. Soft, cinnamony, and fresh out of the oven right.

Homemade Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread

At our class, Bea taught me that you really have to rely on your sense of feeling (like literally, your touch) and your good judgement to make bread just right. When we were baking with her, I would touch the dough and it would become a nightmare.  Totally unworkable and sticking all over my hands. And then she’d take it from me and give it some gentle TLC and it would turn into silk in about 5 seconds. Some people just have the touch.

The takeaways were a) don’t overflour (apparently I am a complete flour hog) and b) be gentle with the dough and let it rest when it becomes crabby; it will respond well.

Oh, and c) a KitchenAid mixer reeeeally helps.

Homemade Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread - simple, pretty, and totally irresistible. | pinchofyum.com

The bread is just meant for perfectly cozy mornings where school is canceled (but I won’t dwell in the past anymore, promise) and you’re inside with a blanket and a hot mug of coffee and a little ambition.

And a hungry tummy.

Homemade Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread - so pretty, and totally irresistible. | pinchofyum.com

I’ll just say these last two words to you: HONEY BUTTER.

Homemade Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread - so pretty and totally irresistible. | pinchofyum.com

5.0 from 16 reviews
Homemade Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread
Serves: makes 2 loaves
  • 1 package (2½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cups mik, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 8-9 cups sifted white flour (lean towards 8)
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons solid butter
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1½ cup sugar ** see notes
For the Glaze
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  1. Make the Dough: Dissolve the yeast in the warm water; it should be frothy. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add mix the milk, sugar, salt, eggs, and 2 cups of flour and mix on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add 3 cups of the flour and mix at a slightly higher speed; the dough should be quite smooth and glossy in appearance. Add the melted butter and stir in well. Mix again until the dough looks glossy. Stir in the remaining flour until a stiff dough forms.
  2. Rest and Knead: Turn out the dough onto a surface dusted with flour. Gently toss it around a few times so it becomes lightly coated with flour. Place back in the mixing bowl, cover, and let the dough rest 15 minutes. Knead (with your mixer if possible) until smooth and satiny. KitchenAid says you should the dough hook on Speed 2 for four minutes for kneading bread, which is what I did. Place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until doubled in bulk. It should be very soft and workable, like the picture in the post.
  3. Roll and Cut the Bread: On a floured surface, divide the dough into 2 parts to make 2 loaves. For each loaf, take one part at a time and roll it into a large rectangle. I didn't ever measure mine but it was probably 9x13, about ½ inch thick. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together. Spread 2 tablespoons butter onto each dough rectangle, sprinkle with just enough cinnamon sugar to cover, and roll into a log starting on the long side (short works too - just depends on how you want the loaf to be shaped and how long your baking sheet is). Place seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut diagonal slices like pictured in the post, almost down the bottom of the log. Arrange the cut sections so that they lean to alternating sides. Let rise for about 20 minutes to puff up a little bit. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Bake: Brush the loaves with the beaten egg. Bake for 20-30 minutes on a baking stone or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do not overbake or the loaves will be too dry. Remove from the oven when a light golden-brown. Let cool slightly. Whisk the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla together to make a glaze. Pour over the loaf and let set. Slice or pull apart and serve. Yummy!
Sugar Overflow: The first two times I made this, I had sugar overflow. Well, I did a little bit on the third time, too, but it was just a tiny bit and I was able to easily scrape it off. To avoid the sugar bubbling out and burning on your pan (bleh), make sure your butter is very solid, not melted, when you spread it on the dough. Also, just use enough sugar to cover the dough in a thin layer.

Amount: This recipe makes TWO loaves. Here is more information on delaying baking. They don't recommend freezing, but I did freeze half of the kneaded and risen dough, and then thawed it on the counter overnight and it worked beautifully.

Hey hey. Fun math equation on how many hours went into this post, just for my fellow nerds who like to know about these kinds of things.

3 hours learning about it and making it at the class + 3 hours for my first (failed) attempt at home + 3 hours for my second (successful) attempt at home + 1 hour to photograph + 1 hour to import, edit, upload, and tag photos + 2 hours to write recipe and text =

13 hours spent on this post.

And I love you goodbye.

Homemade Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread - so pretty and totally irresistible. | pinchofyum.com
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  1. 1: Bea Ojakangas – SO FREAKIN ADORABLE! I want to be her.
    2: Please have school cancelled days more often if it means we get to eat cinnamon-roll-pull-apart-bread.
    3. Thank you for spending 13 HOURS on this. I <3 you
    4. I have never made bread before, but my tastebuds are telling me that this needs to happen.
    This looks incredible Lindsay! Pinned!

  2. Yum!

    P.S. I’ve also been told off for being a flour hog.

    • There is a very easy fix for that….BUTTER! My mother uses cooking spray to coat her kitchen counter before rolling dough. I used butter on both the counter and the rolling pin and nothing sticks. And it is soooo much easier to clean butter off a counter than it is flour!

      • Catrina says:

        OMG Michelle, this is the best tip of 2014! Wow…I make bread often enough, why didn’t I think of that?

      • You don’t want to do the cooking spray our butter on your work surface. There is a reason that you flour your surface. As you work the dough. You are adding in more flour but also at the same time activating the gluten and the yeast to join together and give you the life and the density that it needs. There is normaly two reasons flour is a hassle for some people. 1. they put all the recipe calls for all at one time into it. This is an Absolute No No for bread. Add half of what it calls for and then keep adding by 1/2 cup measurements. Remember your dough is still going to get the rest of the flour it needs when you Knead the Dough on your floured surface. The other thing that makes bread hard for some to do is the Kneading. It is one of the most important steps in making bread. Shortcuts in this area often ends up in not so great bread. Kneading should take NO LESS than 10 min using a stand mixer. If you are doing it by hand 10-20 min of real effort kneading. Set a timer and keep track it is important. You can take breaks and come back to it. It is in this stage that you are setting up the Gluten fibers and the rest to give you that perfect loaf. Hope this helps.

        • some how I think that if I will not put the flour at once the gluten will not open evenly. because as we work with the dough the gluten start to became elastic.

  3. Oh, don’t those look delicious! I love the descriptive photos too, they are very helpful when making this type of recipe.

    Stay warm everyone!

  4. looks delicious *drools* can’t remember the last time I had cinnamon rolls.

  5. Sandy Marshall says:

    Great photos!

  6. This is so beautiful! I just recently wrote a post about quick method croissants which were inspired by Bea… I am rather envious that you got to meet her. I will be baking this as soon as I can get to my kitchen

  7. What a labor of love Lindsay! This bread looks worth every minute though. I hope your day back at work goes well. Stay warm, and if all else fails: carbs.

  8. Looks AM-AZ-ING!!!! Bea Ojakangas is so cute!!!!! I hope your school is cancelled for the rest of the week. I love having you make amazing things for us. 😉

  9. Constance Morgan says:

    This looks yummy! I want to make these for my babies Saturday. I new to the baking world so this may be a silly question. What do you mean by “turn out the dough”?

    • Just gently scrape the sides of the dough ball away from the bowl, so it kind of falls or “turns” out of the bowl and onto the counter. It’s really hard to literally just scrape it up into your hands and transport it to the counter or the work surface, so you kind of “turn it” out of the bowl. Does that make sense?

      • Yes, but after you gently turn out the dough, you put it right back into the bowl???? Why??? Is this correct? Is there a step missing?

        • You’re right Niki, the way I wrote it didn’t really make sense. I think the purpose is just that it coats the dough with flour and makes it easier to handle because after mixing it all up, it’s pretty sticky. Bea took it out, gently tossed it around so it got a little floury on the outside and was manageable to hold, touch, etc, and then put it back in the bowl. I added a note to the recipe about that.

  10. Such a beautiful bread. I really need to try this.

  11. Oh my gosh, what a yummy looking cinnamon rolls!! I’m in love with this recipe! Already pinned and on my list to try asap!

  12. What a fantastic and innovative way to make cinnamon rolls (i.e., my fave thing in the whole world).
    I have a question though, how did you managed to not eat it all right out of the oven. I most certainly would have done it, completely disregarding the fact that I should have taken pictures…talking about priorites 😉

  13. Haha, love this. I’m glad you put the total time down because it’s ALWAYS longer than you’d think, right?

  14. oh heaven. i need some time with pulla, alone time.

  15. It’s amazing what a snow day can do! This looks absolutely beautiful and mouthwatering. Worth every hour, ha!

  16. These look too good. I would not have believed you had any problems with bread unless you posted it. They look prefect!
    I am in to cinnamon rolls too; just did a cinnamon roll cake for the blog a few days ago, so I am well ware of the homey sweet goodness they deliver.Thanks for sharing your adventure with bread making!

  17. You are a trooper for putting in 13 hours for 1 post! Thank you for your diligence your rolls turned out beautifully .

  18. Wow! Your 13 hours was totally worth it because this looks amazing =)

  19. It’s so gorgeous!! I have a soft spot for cinnamon rolls – they bring back fond memories of my mom baking them on cold winter days. This pull-apart version is so fun and pretty!

  20. Wow! 13 hours! Looks amazing, it was totally worth it, right? 😉 Especially since you get TWO loaves out of it! I love Scandinavian baking. Such great stuff.

  21. Ahh, yeast and me are not friends. But, I did have some success recently with homemade pretzels, but I’m going to have to build up some courage to work with yeast again. But these pictures are gorgeous!

  22. Those were 13 really, really well spent hours!! This bread is simply amazing! I’d give just about anything to pull a piece (or 5!) through the screen!

  23. Lindsay…….this looks like absolute perfection and I would imagine it taste heavenly too! Thirteen hours…..where do you find the time?

  24. I am definitely not a baker either. I tried to make biscuits the other day until I noticed that I kept using the wrong flour in two failed attempts. These are gorgeous by the way.

  25. It look so divine I am going to make some for my kids today. Thank you for share . It is very fun article.

  26. Thanks for posting. I can’t wait to try it – after living in Finland for two years, I’m obsessed with pulla! And just so you can sound extra fancy, the official name is korvapuusti. :)

    • Whoa! No wonder I couldn’t remember it. I don’t know if that’s what she called it (she had a specific name for the cut cinnamon roll thingy) but thank you for making this post a little smarter with your expertise! :)

      • Hi! Greetings from Finland! You could have easily named these pulla, as pulla means just sweet bread in Finnish (though usually pulla is seasoned with cardamom). And a separate cinnamon roll is called korvapuusti, but if you bake them “pull apart” style in a round cake pan, that is called Bostonin kakku (=Boston cake). As to the origin of the name, I’ve got no clue.

  27. Two words.. Yes Please! Deliciousness!

  28. I am so hungry just by looking at this picture. I am definitely going to make this someday. Man this looks good!

  29. Lindsay this is just gorgeous! I love that you had a class with a woman like Bea – she reminds me of so many women from MN where I grew up. What I wouldn’t give to be back there now, taking a class! Not overflouring, being gentle, not overworking dough, yes, things I have learned too. And that you just have to go by feel sometimes, which is why blogging about yeasted dough recipes can be so hard when you just have to say, well, it should feel…like this :) Your bread is just stunning! Pinned!

    • Exactly. Like I wish I could describe perfectly the correct way it should bend and fold and just act like silky smooth elastic in your hand, but pictures will have to do. Maybe video next time! :)

      • This bread is gorgeous! I love to bake breads and rolls and I hear you about the difficulty in teaching others about bread via a blog. It’s such an art to be able to use visual cues, smells, etc to bake well.

        Question – did Bea talk about different flours? Did you use all-purpose flour and do you recall what brand? To add even more confusion, the protein count of these flours is all over the place:)

        • All purpose! :) I don’t remember her saying much about it other than that she was pretty low-key in terms of brands, types, etc. She seemed really practical about just using regular grocery store ingredients.

  30. After much thought, I think i will just go buy me some cinnamon rolls lol… I feel like i will be the crying and pulling hair kinda girl haha 😉 this looks amazing and Bea Ojakangas looks like a little cutie straight out of a movie. Sorry you are going back to work in cold weather…. where are you working? I thought you just did the blog from home.

    • Hi Kristin! I’m actually still teaching part time – I’m a reading interventionist at an elementary school. :) And I totally hear you on the cinnamon roll buying. Sometimes you can make them, but sometimes you need to just have it done for you! :)

  31. Ahhhh, I wish I could eat this every single day of my life – it looks INCREDIBLE!!

  32. Bea looks so fun to cook with! I bet she has awesome tips and tricks for everything!

    Making the cinnamon rolls in a pull apart bread just makes it funner (I had a kid moment)

  33. Hmm I do always trust a Scandinavian cook. This looks like a good choice for a freezing Minnesota day when we’re there next month. Maybe my mom can do it even haha kidding.. kind of.

  34. OH! I never thought to cut my cinnamon rolls like that! Awesome.

    And I love Bea. My mom is Scandinavian, so I have several of Bea’s books. :)

  35. Mmm … I could literally smell the Cinnabon shop in my local shopping centre in Athens Greece when I read this post … would be great to smell that at home!
    As for the time spent creating this post, well that actually made me feel a little better about how long I’m spending on my posts right now! I’ve literally just started my blog and it’s taking me a VERY long time to figure everything out! Hopefully I’ll get faster 😉

  36. You totally took my breath away with this!! YUM!

  37. Yeah if you could just package up that log and ship it over here, that would be greatly appreciated :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  38. 13 hours…that is a significant amount of time.. Wow!
    I owe you at least this:
    Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou
    Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou
    Thankyou and one last extra one for good luck @ your job ThankYou.
    I’m making this tomorrow morning!

  39. Wow! This roll looks so yummy! Honey butter!

  40. Ha I love your humor. I didn’t have a long break, but this MN weather makes me so cranky to ever have to leave my bed. Cinnamon breads are the only yeast bread that I crave. This may have to be a Saturday experiment.

    • Uff and then your burnout blog is speaking right to my heart. Please accept my long distance Minneapolis hug.

  41. I love this recipe! Will be making for breakfast tomorrow!

  42. Our cold in PA has been nothing like your cold, but I wanted to extend my break too. Extra sleep, my slippers, baking….all still calling me. Unfortunately, the offices were still open even though the schools were closed, so I had to work yesterday. However, just looking at this bread is warming me!! Glad you tried again!

  43. I think your 13 hours were WORTH IT!

  44. 13 hours, but it shows! :-) what a great post, and that loaf looks just like I want to grab it from my computer screen!

  45. Hi! I would love to make this bread. Just wondering if you used any specific attachments for the stand mixer, i.e., did you have the dough book on the whole time? Did you use the whisk or paddle attachments? Thanks!

    • First I had the paddle for the initial mixing of the dough, and then for the kneading I used the dough hook. I added a note to the recipe to specify that. Thanks for the reminder!

  46. Hello Ladies!
    I just wanted to mention a tip! When cutting the log into rolls, using floss instead of a knife works wonders!!

  47. This is just fab :-) But I can’t wait so long on the Sunday morning (or rise at 6, which I prefer not). Can I make the roll in the evening and just bake it in the morning? Please, please, tell me I can :-)))))

  48. I want to marry this cinnamon roll pull apart bread. And I love your photos! Gorgeous. :)

  49. Came across this recipe via Pinterest (thanks, original pinner!!) and knew I would have to try it as soon as possible – so I made it today! It tastes fantastic, even though loads of the sugar mix bubbled out! Shame I can’t post a photo here!!
    Oh, and a question, do you eat it with the honey butter??? Very decadent!!

    • That happened to me, too, on the first try. Was your butter melted? I think for me that was a big part of the problem – it all just came running out of the sides. It did a lot better (as pictured) when the butter was solid and I literally just smeared it on the dough vs. brushing it on the dough. Also, I think if the sugar layer is too thick it sort of melts. I will add a note about not using all the sugar, just enough to cover the dough. I really appreciate your comment! Feel free to send me your picture via email.

  50. 13 hours well spent b/c this bread is perfection! I can’t get over how delicious and perfect it looks! I can’t wait to try it out. Pinning!

  51. I’ve just taken the first one out of the oven. It doesn’t look as good as yours but it looks pretty good and it tastes amazing.

    • Wow – I’m so impressed that you made it already! With something that’s such a big time commitment, I always wonder who will actually do it. :)

      • When I saw it I knew I couldn’t rest until I tried it. I just toasted some for breakfast. It was delicious. Thanks.

  52. YUMMY! I can’t wait to try to make this. It looks so delicious!

  53. 13 HOURS?? That is true dedication and it looks like the results paid off! I would love this for breakfast and what a fun way to serve a crowd!

  54. You have such a beautiful way with words! I really enjoy reading your stories, and your writing style makes me giggle. (Especially the hyperboles — I can only imagine how cold it is in Minnesota right now!) I love the way the unbaked roll looks, almost like one long cinnamon roll. It reminds me a little of epi bread loaves, the way you cut it. Anything sweet and bready and pastry-y (yes, that’s now a word) is always fantastic in my book!

    Hope your last two days back at school have been good!

  55. Vickie Noble says:

    One of my favorite things to bake is cinnamon rolls. I am always looking for different recipes. I have a couple of standard recipes in my collection but am always drawn to a new method or ingredient list. Oh, by the way…you left out one important step in figuring your time…enjoying the rich, warm rolls with a cup of hot coffee or tea.

  56. Wow, I love how you showed off the makings of this great roll recipe! It doesn’t look as hard as I would have thought :) YUM…and my boys would inhale the entire roll.
    As a fellow Minnesotan (sobbing right now)…I totally get why you’d slightly dwell on the severe weather and school closings 😉 It really jumbled up the week for us, too!

  57. this looks fun to make and so yummy!

  58. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank goodness you love us enough to spend 13 hours. It looks freaking amazing.

  59. These look incredible! We made cinnamon buns from scratch once and weren’t entirely pleased with the results. Can’t wait to try this! Pinning it to the to do list!

  60. This looks delicious! I love the idea of making a pull apart bread with cinnamon rolls! Can’t wait to try this! And while I’m at it, I’ll just make a chelsea bun version too!

    I love making bread. Can you tell? Just posted about an amazing Mediterranean Tomato Bread a few days ago 😉

  61. Ha just made your cinnamon loaf (also needed 2 attemps) and it’s brilliant!!! Thank you for sharing :-)

  62. Ohhhh, I wish I still ate white flour and yeast! I’d totes support you and make this bread since you spent so much time perfecting it! And it sure is beautiful!! I appreciate all of the work you do here! I always look forward to your posts and hope you can rest easy at some point and are able to get some good, long breaks in! :)

  63. Looks delicious. Thanx for encouraging me to try since I don’t bake bread either. Will toss in a bit of cardamom though ~ always looking for more opportunities to use it!

  64. Looks amazing! My daughter is currently enrolled in a culinary high school and absolutely LOVES cinnamon rolls, looks like a Mother/Daughter project! Yeah! Just wish I saw it two days ago, when we had a snow day

  65. Honey butter! Oh sweet goodness gracious. Last week my husband and I went through three. THREE. Baguettes that were slathered in honey butter while still piping hot and crispy. It was heaven! It’s now our go-to snack/dinner (yeah, I’ll admit it…) when I can’t be troubled to actually “make” anything. And I’m okay with that.

  66. This looks so yummy! Could the recipe be cut in half to make just one loaf?

  67. Hi Lindsey! Great post. I love how you mentioned the time it took to develop the recipe, edit photos and write etc. I was recently stressing out that I fuss to much on recipes, editing and writing but now I know that there are other bloggers out there as well who do the same to produce high quality recipes and content. Anyhow, big kudos to you and your husband. I bought your book a few months ago and it has been my number 1 resource. Thank you for such great (and hard) work!

  68. LOVE this post and cannot wait to make these!!! Thank you! Always interested in nordic recipes to remind us of our heritage.

  69. I made these today and even my grandma couldn’t stop saying how much she loves it!! :)
    thanks so much for sharing!!!!
    greetings from germany 😉

  70. Thank you for taking the time to put this together. I am new to bread and dough making. However I followed your recipe to the T. It was worth it.!!! The best Cinnamon rolls we have ever eaten. Possible because I made them myself and your directions were very clear.
    Thank you!
    Happy 😉

  71. can you make this without a stand mixer?

  72. Frank Hill says:

    FYI Pulla is from Finland. It is considered a Coffee Biscuit. And it is heaven. When Pulla is made it is braided in a long braid and then baked.

  73. Wow! I came across this through Pinterest, and knew that I had to make it for a group of friends we had visiting yesterday. I was a little wary, as I don’t have a stand mixer, so gave it a really good kneading. It came out *perfect* – your really clear directions and photos helped so much. One that I will definitely make over and over again. So – thank you from New Zealand :-)

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