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Caramel-Topped Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

This cinnamon pull-apart bread is essentially a monkey bread from scratch with a homemade caramel topping. Perfect for holiday brunches!

cinnamon pull apart bread on white plate

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Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls on Christmas morning have been a tradition for a while. We’ve made Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, Meyer Lemon Rolls, Caramel Cinnamon Rolls and just plain old traditional Cinnamon Rolls.

The down side to this delicious tradition is that I either have to do all of the work the night before or I have to get up incredibly early.

Not anymore! I recently tried Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast for the first time. I was really impressed how it took time off from baking some of my favorite yeast based breakfast recipes because it only required one rise, making that special morning tradition just a little bit simpler.

Making things another step simpler, was taking our favorite Caramel Cinnamon Rolls and working that concept into Caramel Topped Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread. There was less work to prepare this concept as pull apart bread than as rolled out and sliced cinnamon rolls but the taste was just as yummy.

I hope my family doesn’t mind that we deviate just a little from our Christmas morning tradition this year with some Caramel Topped Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread instead of cinnamon rolls, because this recipe was a winner.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Ingredients

Making cinnamon monkey bread from scratch requires surprisingly few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make this cinnamon pull-apart bread recipe:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

How to Make Pull-Apart Bread

This cinnamon monkey bread from scratch requires a little extra time to make, but the basic steps are very simple. Here’s how I like to make this cinnamon pull-apart bread:

  1. Make the homemade monkey bread dough.
  2. Stir together the cinnamon-sugar filling.
  3. Beat together the caramel topping ingredients, then spread the mixture into the bottom of a greased fluted tube pan.
  4. Cut the homemade monkey bread dough into 36 pieces. Roll each piece in melted butter, then the cinnamon-sugar topping.
  5. Place all monkey bread pieces into the fluted tube pan. Cover with a towel, then let rest until doubled in size.
  6. Bake the cinnamon pull-apart bread until golden brown on top. Invert onto a plate before serving.
portion of cinnamon pull apart bread on white plate

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Can I Prep Pull-Apart Bread in Advance?

Unfortunately, no. This cinnamon pull-apart bread is best enjoyed warm straight from the oven. Leftovers are still delicious, but I wouldn’t necessarily serve them to guests.

Tips for Making Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

If baking with yeast is something that is intimidating for you, here are a few of my favorite tips for baking with yeast that take some of the mystery out of the process.

Use Fresh Yeast

I always make sure to check the expiration date on my yeast. If I don’t remember purchasing it, then it could have been in the pantry for months (or longer). Old yeast doesn’t yield reliable rising results.

If you don’t think you’ll be baking regularly, buy packets rather than jars of yeast to eliminate waste. Additionally, you can lengthen the life of yeast by storing it in the refrigerator, but make sure you let it come to room temperature before using.

Let the Dough Rise Until Doubled in Bulk

Consider the rise times listed in the recipe card below to be guidelines. My main concern: has the dough doubled in bulk? That is how you know the rise is complete. Once the dough has doubled in bulk — no matter how quickly or slowly it occurred — it’s ready.

Use the Finger Test

Now you’re probably wondering: How do I know that my dough had doubled in bulk?

The simplest method that I have learned over the years is to dust my fingers in flour and plunge them into the dough as the “guideline” recipe rising time nears. The hole that you make will quickly collapse if it is not ready. Give it another 10 minutes and try again. If the dough is ready, the indentations will remain.

More Holiday Breakfast Recipes:

If you prefer savory breakfast recipes, make this Quiche Lorraine for your holiday breakfast or brunch this year. It’s easy to make but looks like a total showstopper.

I like to make this Gluten-Free Coffee Cake for big holiday gatherings. I like knowing I’ve made food everyone will be able to enjoy.

When in doubt, whip up a batch of Homemade Waffles. This recipe requires no special ingredients and is a big hit with my family.

This Cardamom Citrus Coffee Cake is packed with spices, making it the perfect addition to any holiday breakfast spread.

I don’t think it gets more seasonal than these Cranberry Gingerbread Muffins. So easy to make, and so delicious!

What Christmas morning breakfast traditions do you have?

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Caramel Topped Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

Caramel Topped Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

Yield: 12-16 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

There was less work to prepare this concept as pull-apart bread than as rolled out and sliced cinnamon rolls but the taste was just as yummy. I love this for a quicker treat.


For the Dough:

  • 3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 packet Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk (whole, 2%, 1% OR skim)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg

For the Caramel Topping:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Spice Islands® Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter OR margarine, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a fluted tube pan by generously spraying the inside with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, dry yeast, and salt in a large mixer bowl and stir until blended.
  3. Combine milk, water and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH in 15 second increments until very warm but not hot to the touch (120° to 130°F. Butter won’t melt completely). Add to flour mixture with egg.
  4. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in just enough remaining flour so that the dough will form into a ball.
  5. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cover with a towel; let rest for 10 minutes.
  6. For filling, combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
  7. For the caramel topping, combine the butter, salt and brown sugar in a bowl and beat until well creamed. Spread in the bottom of a fluted tube pan.
  8. Cut dough into 36 pieces. Dip each piece into the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place in fluted tube pan on top of the caramel topping.
  9. Combine any remaining butter and sugar and drizzle over rolls. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes .
  10. Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then invert on serving plate.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 16 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 323Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 47mgSodium 281mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 1gSugar 21gProtein 4g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ACH. The opinions and text are all mine.

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zenat rashid

Monday 19th of January 2015

I like cinnamon pull apart bread