Apple Cinnamon Pull-Aparts

apple pull-aparts

This was too big of an undertaking to make for Easter breakfast. I thought I was a few steps ahead by making the brioche dough the day before – this sweet bread was ready to eat by Easter afternoon! It smelled GREAT, and looked beautiful. The recipe does make 2 cakes, and instructions for advance preparation which would have been a much better plan! (next time….) It was worth the wait- no complaints from the family. This recipe is from More from Macrina: New Favorites from Seattle’s Popular Neighborhood Bakery by Leslie Mackie with Lisa Gordanier. We ate it with our hard-boiled Easter eggs and fresh fruit.

For the Baked Apples:

  • 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 T unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 T unsalted butter

For the Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 recipe Sweet Brioche Dough

1 large egg beaten with 1 tsp water, for egg wash

For the Buttermilk Glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 T buttermilk

Yield: Makes Two 9-inch cakes

  • Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly grease two round 9-inch cake pans with canola oil (I skipped this step!). Cut out two 10-inch parchment paper circles and place them in the bottom of the pans, creasing the outer edges so that the paper goes up the sides. Next, cut four 2-inch strips, each 15 inches long, and place along he insides of the pans (2 per pan), slightly overlapping, to ensure the pull-aparts don’t stick. Set aside.
  • To make the apples, toss them with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmet in a medium bowl. Spread them on the prepared baking sheet and dot with the butter. Bake for 10 minutes, then toss the apples to redistribute them on the baking pan. Bake for another 5 minutes, until the apples are soft to the touch but still a little firm and their juices have thickened somewhat. Cool for 10 minutes, then chop coarsely and set aside.
  • To make the cinnamon sugar, combine the sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Using a rubber spatula, pull the brioche dough onto a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into an evenly thick 7-by-16-inch rectangle; keep the longer side toward you. Spread the apple filling evenly over the dough, going clear to the edges. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the apples, reserving 1/4 cup for garnish.


  • Starting with the edge farthest away, begin rolling up the dough toward you. This dough is fairly soft, so be patient as you are rolling. The log will naturally stretch as you are rolling it, which is good. You want it to stretch to a final length of 24 inches. (Do your best to keep the log the same diameter from one end to the other.) When the log is finished, let it rest seam side down for a few minutes.
  • Halve the log so you have two 12-inch logs. Then cut each log into seven 1 1/2-inch pieces- they’ll resemble cinnamon rolls. Set 6 pieces on end around the perimeter of one prepared pan (I had 7 pieces), then place the last one in the center. Make sure they are evenly spaced – they will need room to rise. Do the same with the second pan. Lightly brush the egg wash on top, and sprinkle with the reserved cinnamon sugar. Let the dough rise until it’s level with the top of the pan and has expanded to fill it, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • About 20 minutes before baking, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
  • Bake the pull-aparts for (28 minutes on convection) 30 to 35 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Cool them in the pan for just 20 minutes (don’t let them cool completely as the sugars will set up and stick). Flip the rolls onto a plate and remove the parchment paper. The place your presentation plate on top of the rolls and flip again, presenting them right side up.
  • Make the buttermilk glaze by ┬ásifting the sup gar into a medium bowl. Add the vanilla and buttermilk and whisk to remove any lumps. Stream the glaze over the top of the pull0-aparts in a zigzag pattern. Serve warm.
  • Since this recipe makes 2 pans, you can freeze one and have it ready for impromptu company or Sunday brunch with your family: wait until the glaze has hardened, then wrap the entire pull-apart in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 4 weeks. To serve, remove from the freezer and let the pull-aparts thaw at room temperature for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the pull-aparts on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and reheat for 10 minutes.

apple pull-aparts

Sweet Brioche Dough


This is the most delicious dough that exists! It develops an even deeper and more complex flavor if made a day in advance– this is fortunate because it needs to be made a day in advance as it needs 3 hours to rise. ­čÖé I made it to use for Apple Cinnamon Pull-Aparts.┬áThis recipe is from More from Macrina: New Favorites from Seattle’s Popular Neighborhood Bakery by Leslie Mackie with Lisa Gordanier.

  • 1/4 cup luke warm filtered water (about 80 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm whole milk (about 80 degrees)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups (1 pound) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Yield: Makes One 9-by-5-inch Loaf

  1. Lightly oil a medium bowl with canola oil. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water with 2 teaspoons sugar (taken from the 1/2 cup sugar). Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the water. Mix until the yeast is dissolved, then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  3. Add the milk, vanilla, eggs, flour, and salt. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes to bring the dough together, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. Increase to medium speed; pinch off grape-size pieces of butter and drop them one at a time into the dough as it mixes (this should take no more than 2 minutes). Continue mixing for 2 to 3 more minutes (don’t shorten the mixing time!). Now gradually add the remaining sugar (1/2 cup minus the 2 teaspoons) and continue mixing for a final 4 minutes. With floured fingers, pinch a big piece of dough and pull it away from the mass. IT should stretch about 3 inches without tearing- it will feel a bit like a rubber band. If it tears, mix for another 1 to 3 minutes.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the prepared bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. (I put it in a proofing oven.)
  5. Once the dough has risen, you are ready to proceed with any recipe that requires Brioche.
  6. If you’re making the dough a day ahead- either for convenience or to develop more complex flavors- simply deflate it after its initial rise, then re-cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, pull it out 2 hours before you want to use it, and allow it to come to room temperature. The dough should be doubled in size and feel slightly warm to the tough. This dough is best used by the second day. If you’d like to freeze brioche dough, it’s best to form it into the desired shape, brush it with egg wash, wrap it well, and freeze for up to a week.

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