Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull Apart Loaf – Pumpkin spiced dough is covered in a cinnamon brown sugar, cut into squares, and stacked into a loaf, that then gets baked to fluffy perfection.
Yup, another pumpkin recipe! I’ve gone full-pumpkin and won’t be letting up until Christmas takes hold. I even made some pumpkin ravioli for my family for dinner last week. That’s right- sweet or savory, I can’t get enough pumpkin this time of year.
This recipe is a new take on an existing recipe I have for pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Instead of rolling the cinnamon and dough into a bun, the dough is cut into squares and stacked into a loaf. It’s called a Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull Apart Loaf. My husband equated it to monkey bread. He isn’t wrong, except the loaf isn’t baked in a pan loaded with brown sugar to give it a shiny glaze. Instead the baked loaf is topped with cinnamon icing for that extra sweetness.
Before we get further into the recipe, though, here are some more looks at this killer loaf.
Making the dough
For this recipe, I used the exact recipe from these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, but only half as much. That amount of dough can make two loaves, but I only needed one for this recipe so I simply halved the recipe.
The dough is very similar to traditional enriched dough used in cinnamon rolls. However, I had to adjust a few things to get that pumpkin flavor. First, I replaced some milk with pumpkin puree. I can’t simply add the pumpkin puree to a classic dough recipe because the dough will be too wet. So when adding pumpkin puree, I had to remove some milk.
Lastly, I added in pumpkin pie spice, which consists of a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Now the dough is ready for mixing and kneading. After that’s done, set it aside to rise for an hour and a half.
Assembling the loaf
Once the dough has risen, it’s rolled out and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Then, the sheet of dough is cut into 5 even strips. Each strip is then cut into 4 squares. The squares are stacked together to make a tall loaf. The loaf is then laid into a loaf pan and covered for rise for another 30 minutes.
Finishing the loaf
The risen loaf is baked in the oven until browned and done in the center, about 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Once removed, drizzle with a cinnamon icing, made by simply whisking powdered sugar, cinnamon, and milk until smooth.
Tips & Tricks
- Make sure you knead the dough until soft and smooth to ensure the loaf is perfectly soft and fluffy.
- When you cut the squares, the cinnamon sugar filling will probably spill over the counter. Once you form the loaf, you can scoop up the spilled filling and spread over the top of the loaf.
- The loaf may look ready on top but ends up being doughy in the middle. That’s why I like to take the temperature of the center to know if it’s really done. The center should reach about 205 degrees when it’s done. If the top gets too brown and the center isn’t done, simply cover with foil as it continues to bake.
- Let the loaf cool in the pan for no more than 10 minutes and then remove from pan. If it cools completely in the pan, the gooey filling will act as a glue and the loaf won’t come out easily from the pan.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull Apart Loaf
For the dough:
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1⅛ teaspoon instant yeast
- ⅓ cup canned pumpkin puree
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
For the filling:
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1½ tablespoons butter softened
- 1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the icing:
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream
For the dough:
- First we will begin making the dough. Heat up milk in a small sauce pan until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and add salt and stir. Let it cool down to lukewarm to the touch.
- Once milk is cool, add to a large bowl fitted for stand mixer, along with flour, oil, egg, pumpkin puree, spices, sugar, and instant yeast. Attach dough hook to the mixer and mix on low until dough forms, about 2 minutes. Once dough is formed, increase speed to medium low and knead for 5 minutes until dough is smooth.
- Lightly grease another large bowl and place the ball of dough into bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 1 ½ hours, where it will be double the size. I like to place mine in the microwave to keep it away from any cool draft from the A/C.
- When dough has finished rising, remove cover and, using your fist, punch the dough down and remove from the bowl. Roll out on a well-floured surface into a 12×20 inch rectangle and spread 1.5 tablespoons of softened butter to the edges. Mix the brown sugar with the remaining cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle evenly across the butter.
- Cut rectangle into 5 even strips vertically. Then, cut each strip into 4 squares. Stack all the squares together (don't smoosh them down tightly) and place into greased 9×5 loaf pan. If any filling spills onto the counter, simply scoop it up and sprinkle over the loaf in the pan. Cover again and let rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Once the loaf has risen, bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the tops have turned golden brown and the center reaches 205 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 mins while you make the icing. The, remove and place onto serving plate. If you leave it in the loaf pan, it will be hard to get out once completely cooled.
For the icing:
- Place powdered sugar to a spouted cup. Add cream, cinnamon, and salt and whisk together until smooth. Add more cream if it's too thick that it won't pour. Then, pour over the baked loaf on serving plate and serve.