This Braided Cinnamon Roll is a fun twist on a classic…literally!
Boo! Here we are at the start of another week. As we wrap up all of the Halloween fun today, it’ll soon be time to turn our attention to turkey, pecan pie and football on the couch. We’re smack in the middle of my favorite time of the year right now. From the beginning of October through the end of December, there’s a steady run of holidays. Holidays mean visiting friends and family. Holidays mean tasty food. Holidays mean fun!
And in addition to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, we now get to include Robbie’s birthday in this lineup. (He turns 1 on Nov. 19. 1-year-old…already. It feels like we were just bringing the little guy home from the hospital…and now he’s ready to smash his face into a birthday cake. More on that one coming up soon!)
Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite recipes to make whenever we have company in town. Perhaps it’s because I don’t usually make them when it’s me and Laura. Or perhaps it’s just because they’re delicious! One of my favorites is this Overnight Cinnamon Roll recipe…it’s definitely a keeper. Another favorite are these Maple Cinnamon Rolls that Laura and I discovered on a trip to Vermont a couple of summers ago. So many cinnamon roll options…so little time!
Laura’s parents were in town recently, and I was in the mood for cinnamon rolls. (Heck, I’m always in the mood for cinnamon rolls…but having company in town gave me a good excuse to make a batch!) But I wanted to mix it up a bit. I made a braided Chocolate Peanut Butter Bread a few months back, and I remember thinking I wanted to try this in a cinnamon roll form. I mean who can turn down a tasty Braided Cinnamon Roll?
So I took that Maple Cinnamon Roll recipe, but I changed it up a bit. Instead of cutting the dough into individual cinnamon rolls, I cut the dough lengthwise. Then I just twisted it back and forth keeping the filling on top as I went. (No point in letting all that delicious cinnamon roll filling sit on the bottom of the Braided Cinnamon Roll, right?)
Then I twisted that braid into a circle and baked it up in the oven. Woah! Talk about a fun recipe! This Braided Cinnamon Roll really sprung up once it hit the heat of the oven, and we ended up with a nice, large ring of buttery, cinnamon-y deliciousness. Needless to say, this one was a hit!
I didn’t make this as an overnight recipe, but you could easily adapt this so that the bulk of the work is done the evening before. Once the braid is made, just cover and refrigerate the dough until the next morning. Then just let the dough rise in a warm place the next morning for 30-45 minutes. No matter what time of the day you serve this Braided Cinnamon Roll, I can assure you that it will be a hit! Enjoy!
Braided Cinnamon Roll
For the Dough
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
For the Filling
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For Top of Crescent
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- sparkling sugar
For the Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1½ Tbsp milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
For the Dough
- Using a countertop mixer with the paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Stir until well combined.
- Add eggs and milk; stir until well combined.
- Add butter to the bowl and gradually increase speed to medium. Let mix for 6-7 min, or until dough is very smooth.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with towel or plastic wrap. Place bowl in warm spot until dough has doubled in size (~1 hour).
- Fold dough several times and then let sit for 10 more minutes (covered).
- Meanwhile, using a small bowl, make the filling by whisking together sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. (Note: The butter will be used later.)
- On a well-floured countertop, roll the dough into a 8”x22” rectangle.
- Brush the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle the surface with Filling mixture, leaving a ½” border on all sides.
- Starting with one of the long edges, roll dough into a cylinder and pinch edges together to seal.
- Slice dough lengthwise to create two halves. Twist two halves together, keeping the cut-side of both pieces up as you twist.
- Shape twisted dough into circle, pinching two ends together to seal.
- Place dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover lightly and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg together egg with 1 Tbsp of water. Brush top of dough with egg wash. (Note: You will only use ~½ of the egg wash.) Generously sprinkle top of dough with chopped pecans and sparkling sugar.
- Bake crescent at 375°F for 24-26 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed up.
- While crescent is baking, combine Glaze ingredients in a small bowl; whisk together until well combined.
- Once crescent is fully baked, let cool for 5 minutes and then drizzle with Glaze before serving.