Braided Cinnamon, Apple and Pecan Bread

Braided Cinnamon, Apple and Pecan Bread |
  • Braided Cinnamon, Apple and Pecan Bread
Posted on September 24, 2015

Do you ever dream about baked goods?

Well, if not you’re about to start. Because this Braided Cinnamon, Apple and Pecan Bread is totally worthy of taking up space in your unconscious mind. And in your conscious mind too. And in your belly. It’s that good.

I’m crazy excited about this bread for like a zillion different reasons. But mainly because I thought that it was going to be a total fail. So you can imagine the smile that came across my face when I pulled it out of the oven and saw that it had baked up to golden, puffy perfection. And the happy dance that I did when took my first bite and found the flavors and texture to be spot on.

Yeah. It was a good moment.

Braided Cinnamon, Apple and Pecan Bread |

Wondering why I thought this recipe would be a fail? You can blame the shredded apples.

I knew the shredded apples would release some juices, which I tried to counter balance with a bit of cornstarch. But I still had a wet, sloppy mess on my hands. Literally. Like all over my hands. Braiding and shaping the bread was not a smooth process. And as I worked the dough, my hopes dwindled.

BUT the baking fairies must have been watching over me. Because in the end, I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. And I’m so glad that I didn’t throw in the towel.

This Braided Cinnamon, Apple and Pecan Bread is totally dreamy. And totally FALL! Make it for a special occasion. Or on a chilly Sunday morning when you need a big dose of “cozy” in your life.



Recipe adapted from my Braided Cardamom and Chocolate-Hazelnut Bread

Braided Cinnamon, Apple and Pecan Bread

Serves about 8

Braided Cinnamon, Apple and Pecan Bread


  • For the Dough
  • 3 – 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk, warmed to 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) very soft unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • For the Filling
  • 4 tablespoons very soft unsalted butter
  • 1 cup shredded apple (from about 1 medium apple)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • For the Glaze
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider


  1. Make the dough. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, cinnamon and yeast. Attach the dough hook attachment to your mixer. Add the warmed milk, butter and beaten egg to the dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Once the mixture is well combined, start slowly adding in more flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough is soft, easy to handle and easily leaves the side of the bowl. I used approximately 1 cup of additional flour.
  2. Mix the dough on low-medium speed for about 5 minutes, pulling the dough down off the hook as needed. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured countertop for about 5 minutes.
  3. Gather up the dough with your hands, shape it into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it with the oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with a thin kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
  4. Once the dough has risen, gently punch down the dough to deflate it. Remove it from the bowl and transfer it to a floured countertop. Shape it with your hands into a rectangle. Then using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 24 X 12-inch rectangle. This will take a little bit of time and effort because the dough is fairly elastic. But keep working at it!
  5. Make the filling. Spread the softened butter evenly over the surface of the dough (the layer will be thin), leaving about a 1/2-inch boarder around the edges. In a small bowl, combine the shredded apple, pecans, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Spread the apple mixture (again, the layer will be thin) over the buttered dough. Beginning at one of the long edges, tightly roll up the dough into a log. Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal it as best you can.
  6. Spray a baking sheet and the ring of a 9- to 10-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  7. Using a sharp knife, slice the roll lengthwise, creating two equal sized long halves, but leaving one end still attached by about 3/4-inch at the very end. Slightly rotate the halves outwards so the layers are facing upwards. The dough will be slightly wet at this point, as liquid is being released from the apples in the filling. That’s totally normal.
  8. Starting from the end that is still attached, cross the two halves over each other. Continue doing this until you end up with a single twisted/braided rope. Pinch together the end of the rope. Gently slide your rope onto to your greased baking sheet. Starting with one end, spiral the rope into a closed circle. Your going to be placing your spring form pan over/around the dough, so make sure the circle is smaller than the diameter of the pan. The circle doesn’t have to be tight (the bread will rise and puff up as it bakes, filling in any gaps), but it shouldn’t have a large hole in the center either (i.e. don’t make a wreath-shape).
  9. Place the ring of your greased spring form pan over/around the circle. Cover with a thin kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Position an oven rack in the middle position.
  11. Remove the towel from the dough, but leave the spring form pan in place. Transfer the baking sheet to your pre-heated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and puffed. Remove from the oven and set the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for about 10-15 minutes. Then gently slide the bread off the baking sheet directly onto the wire rack to continue cooling. Use a small knife or spatula to help release the bread from the baking sheet if it’s sticking in some places.
  12. Make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners sugar and apple cider until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the bread.
  13. Slice and serve. This bread is best when it’s still slightly warm. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2-3 days.


1. You want the butter to be very soft. Depending on the temperature of your house, you might have to microwave it for a few seconds to further soften it.


  • Oh my goodness, Liz! This is not only drop dead gorgeous, but it’s making me want to eat the screen!


    • Aww…thanks for the compliments, Tori!

  • Oh, I definitely dream about baked goods quite often Liz! This bread is GORGEOUS! I can see myself with a slice or two and a cup of hot tea right now!! So glad it worked out for you! Putting it on my list!


    • Thanks, Mary Ann! I know you’ll love it!

  • OMG this looks amazing!! I want to jump into a fluffy pile of this bread and then eat all of it. I don’t even care if I get sticky.


    • Oh you’ll totally get sticky! 🙂

  • Isn’t it AMAZING when you are convinced that a recipe is going to be a total and utter fail, but then it works out?! I dream of bread and all that frosting up there, hell yeah.


    • It’s the best feeling when something you thought was going to fail turns into something really great!

  • This bread is truly beautiful! Yeast breads always make me nervous. There is so much potential for a fail. That’s why there are special happy dances for breads that look like this! 🙂 The flavors are wonderful for the fall.


    • Oh yeah, I did lots of happy dances! 🙂

  • I definitely dreamed about pastry last night and you’re legit bringing this dream to life! So delicious- pinning!


    • Thanks, Medha! XO

  • Ah yes, the baking fairies are on my Christmas card list, I love them so! This delish braid would certainly be the object of my dreams, fo sho! So much flavor, all the carboliciousness..I want the whole dang thing to myself 😀


    • Yeah, I had a tough time sharing! 🙂

  • It is just the best feeling when a potential fail turns out stellar! This looks PHENOMENAL and I will surely be daydreaming about it the rest of the day!


    • The BEST feeling!

  • I think I would definitely dream about this bread! I love the delicious combo, Liz! Definitely perfect for fall! I can almost smell it bake…mmm!


    • Aww…thanks, Gayle!

  • i can’t believe you were worried about this bread for one second – it’s stunning! but i know how that can go when baking…. but the best is when a lovely mess comes together like this. xo


    • Thanks, girlfriend! Glad I stuck with it!

  • Ummm, enriched with butter, an egg and all the bits of apples. My goodness, Liz! A masterpiece and one to be celebrated! Sometimes the baking Gods are gracious other times, not so much! Beautiful work and I know over the top delicious!


    • Oh yeah, I put all the good things in here! Thanks, Traci!

  • I do dream of baked goods, and I’ve been toying with an apple soft pretzel but haven’t done it because I’m worrying about shredded apple in the dough. This came at a great time — good to know it worked so well! This bread is so gorgeous and bakery-worthy…I’m dying for some!


    • Thanks so much, Marcie! I hope you experiment with your pretzels. Sounds delicious!

  • This looks so good I’m willing to go to the grocery store and get the ingredients to make it (I HATE going to the store so that’s saying something for me lol). Can’t wait to give this a try!


    • Ha ha. That’s an awesome compliment then. And I totally feel you. The grocery store is a necessary evil for me! 🙂

  • That looks delicious!! Perfect for fall.



    • Thanks, Abby!

  • Gorgeous! I wouldn’t even care about eating wheat if I could have a warm soft piece of this with butter on top!


    • Aww..thanks, Julie!

  • Whoa nelly! That is one gorgeous loaf of bread right there!


    • Aww…thanks, friend! Miss you!

  • Um, do I ever! Only all day, every day. Now I’ll be dreaming about this gorgeous loaf of bread until I get me some. Pinned.


    • Ha ha. Thanks, Jennie!

  • I’m so impressed that you made this beautiful bread, Liz!! I’ve never made bread before! Isn’t it nice when things turn out perfectly when you are sure they are going to be disastrous?!


    • So nice when you get a pleasant surprise like this!

  • This braided bread is absolutely gorgeous! SO autumnal, especially with cinnamon, apple and nuts – I can just imagine the beautiful smells of the baking bread through your house <3


    • That is the thing I love best about Fall baking – all the amazing smells!

  • This bread is absolutely gorgeous, Liz! I’m kind of wishing I had a slice.. or three.. right about now.


    • Yeah, you need AT LEAST 3 slices! 🙂

  • This is seriously one of the prettiest things I have EVER laid eyes on. NOW I just want to lay my teeth on it for breakfast! Pinned!


    • Awww…shucks. Thanks for the great compliment, Taylor!

  • Oh my gosh, LIZ! This bread is beyond gorgeous! It’s an absolute masterpiece!


    • That’s such an amazing compliment coming from you, Allie. You’re baked goods always blow me away!

  • I am day dreaming right now about stuffin my face with this bread! So gorgeous and the flavors sound amazing! It’s cold and rainy here today, and I can not think of any better way to spend the day than curled up on the couch with a good book and the entire braid of this! Pinned! Cheers to a fabulous weekend, Liz!


    • Oh this is definitely the perfect bread for couch sitting and face stuffing!

  • I love the idea of using shredded apple in the filling. I am going to try this! Kudos for the great idea!


    • Thank you! I hope you love it!

  • Oh gosh I can totally see myself dreaming of this bread! It is sooo pretty and those flavors!!! Come to me bread! haha Happy weekend!


    • I hope you have a great weekend too, Ashley! XO

  • You had me at “apples, cinnamon and pecans” – there’s no better combo than that!
    The recipe sounds and looks amazing!

    Lots of love from Germany
    xx Lynn


    • Thanks so much, Lynn! 🙂

  • Pinterest brought me here – this image has me salivating!! So, so amazing.


    • Woo hoo! So glad you love it!

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