What happens when monkey bread meets cinnamon rolls and gets wrapped in fall flavors? You get this deliciously decadent pumpkin cinnamon roll pull-apart loaf. It is the perfect centerpiece for a fall breakfast or brunch but in our house, it probably won’t make it to the table fully in tact.
Pumpkin, spice, and everything nice
This recipe is adapted from Cookie & Cups amazing Pull Apart Cinnamon Roll Bread, which was in turn, adapted from a recipe by Fleischmann’s. It is a favorite in our house, particularly with my nephew.
Just like the original, this cinnamon roll loaf is buttery and sweet and oh so gooey. To add a seasonal spin we added pumpkin puree to the dough and bumped up the cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice. What takes this loaf over the edge is the delicious cream cheese frosting.
So much better than ordinary cinnamon rolls
Baking a monkey bread-like cinnamon roll loaf means that there is lots of delicious filling for every single roll. And there are also lovely edges to savor if you like having a bit of crusty crunch.
Another plus for a “rustic” baker like me is that you don’t have to make perfectly identical rolls. Often times the end pieces are a bit smaller compared to the center pieces. That’s okay – for this loaf it doesn’t matter. Everyone may choose their own perfectly-sized roll.
Worth the wait and the calories
This is not a recipe you pull together in under an hour. All told it takes almost 2½ hours from start to finish. But as with many things, anticipation is part of the experience. There is something both agonizing and satisfying to wait for dough to double in size. Knowing that your wait will be rewarded in the end makes it all the more bearable.
And to commandeer Prue Leith’s catchphrase, it is most definitely “worth the calories.”Print
This decadent loaf is full of fall flavors, perfect for a Sunday morning breakfast or brunch. It is adapted from Cookie & Cups recipe for Pull Apart Cinnamon Roll Bread.
For the dough
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 packet instant (“rapid rise”) yeast
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
For the filing and topping
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup butter, very soft
1/4 cup butter, melted
For the frosting
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2–3 tablespoons milk
To make the dough
Combine 1 cup of flour, sugar, dry yeast, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn mixer to low and stir the ingredients until combined, about 30 seconds.
Place the water and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high in 20 second increments until very warm (120° to 130°F). (Butter won’t melt completely). Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture in the mixing bowl along with the pumpkin puree and the egg.
Turn mixer to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add in 1½ cups flour and mix for 2 additional minutes at high speed. Stir in just enough remaining flour so that the dough will form into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until it forms a ball.
Replace the paddle attachment on your mixer with the hook attachment and turn to medium speed, allowing the mixer to knead the dough for 6 minutes until smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers. Cover with a clean towel and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Alternately, you can knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for 6-8 minutes.
To make the filling and topping:
While the dough is resting, make the filling. Combine the sugars, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Measure ½ cup of sugar/spice mixture for the filling and set aside the remaining mixture to use as the topping.
To assemble the loaf
Coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper. Coat the parchment paper with nonstick spray. Set aside.
When the dough is rested, roll it into a 7 x 24-inch long rectangle using a rolling pin. Spread the ¼ cup of room temperature butter on top of the dough. Sprinkle evenly with ½ cup of the sugar/spice mixture.
Beginning at long end of the rectangle, roll up tightly, and pinch the seams to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut into 24 equal slices.
(Note, if you have limited counter space like we do, you can split everything into two batches.)
Dip each cinnamon roll into the melted butter and then coat in the reserved sugar/spice mixture. Place each roll into the prepared pan. Sprinkle any remaining topping over the loaf.
Cover the pan with a clean towel and let the loaf rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the loaf pan on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (to catch any spills) and bake bread for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center is cooked. If you notice the top getting too brown, lightly tent the loaf with foil.
Cool the bread for 20 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a serving tray.
To make the frosting
While the bread cools, make the frosting. Place the cream cheese and butter into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix for 1-2 minutes until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
With the mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Add the milk, starting with 2 tablespoons of milk then adding more until the desired consistency is reached. Mix for 2 minutes until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed.
Drizzle the frosting on top of the loaf and serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Inactive Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Breads
- Cuisine: American
- Calories: 582.78
- Sugar: 61.37 g.
- Sodium: 257.56 mg.
- Fat: 21.25 g.
- Saturated Fat: 12.97 g.
- Carbohydrates: 94.26 g.
- Fiber: 2.41 g.
- Protein: 6.04 g.
- Cholesterol: 76.78 g.
Keywords: pumpkin, cinnamon, cream cheese