Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Loaf – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Loaf, found over at Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice. I was all “Ooh, cinnamon rolls! I love cinnamon rolls!” and then I looked closer at the recipe and was like “Daaaaamn youuuuu Naaaaance! ::fist shake::” because I’m a slacker and making my own dough is the sort of thing that makes me slump over like a spoiled rotten teenager and whine about how my life is sooooooo harrrrrrrrrd.

But then I remembered that I’m not a princess (YET), so I sucked it up and got it done.



I’m aware that that’s an awful picture. Ugh. Anyway, the ingredients are flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, egg, butter, brown sugar, and milk. Oh, and instant yeast. I bought that instant yeast at the dollar store and was sure it wouldn’t work worth a shit, but it worked just fine. Dollar store for the win!

Stir together your flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Set aside.


Then stir together your brown sugar and cinnamon, and set THAT aside.


AND NOW WE HAVE TO SCALD OUR MILK. I have never scalded milk before, and I was all slump-shouldered and pouty like a bratty princess while I was Googling “Seriously, do I have to SCALD my milk? For REAL?”, and Google’s consensus was that I might not need to, but I should SUCK IT UP, PRINCESS and do it just in case. So put your milk in a small saucepan, and put it over low-medium heat.


What you’re doing is bringing your milk juuuuuust to the point of boiling without letting it actually boil. It’s helpful to have a kitchen thermometer to put into the milk, because you want to heat it to 180ºF. If you don’t have a thermometer, no big deal – just let it sit on the heat, stir it occasionally (you don’t want the milk to scorch), and when it gets bubbly around the edge, take it off the heat.


This will take approximately 748 years.

Remove it from the heat, and stir in 3 T butter, which may or may not be softened; it doesn’t matter. It’s going to melt anyway.


Stir ’til it melts. Add in your 1/2 c. water, and let the liquid cool ’til it’s lukewarm (110ºish, if you’re using a thermometer). Someone in this house might have accidentally added cold water to the butter/milk, and then had to put it back on the warm burner until it warmed up since.

“Was it me? I think it was me. Sorry!”

The instructions on the original recipe directs you to use an electric mixer with a dough hook to add flour to the milk mixture. I found that using my paddle beater worked better for me until the mixture got dough-y, whereupon I switched over to the dough hook.

So using your mixture, slowly beat your flour mixture into your milk mixture, add the lightly beaten egg, and if the dough is too wet (“too wet” = it’s really sticky when you touch it) add a bit more flour until it’s only lightly sticky when you touch it.


Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it until it’s smooth and elastic. I would describe exactly what “smooth and elastic” means, but I don’t know how to describe it. Pretty much, it’s smooth. Also, elastic.  You’ll know it when you see it, AIN’T THAT HELPFUL?


I am horrifying when it comes to rolling out dough, so I begged Fred to do it since he’s 3,000 times better at it than I am.


Roll the dough out into a roughly 20″x12″ rectangle. I called this good enough.


Spread the dough with your softened butter. I used the back of a spoon to do the spreading, because that’s what works best for me.


Cut your dough into 5 strips. Clearly I have not the ability to make even strips, but it didn’t matter THAT much. God, look at that strip that’s six times the width of all the other ones. I shouldn’t be allowed in the kitchen.


Sprinkle the first strip with the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture you mixed together way back at the beginning.


I didn’t get a picture of this next step because I suck, but basically you take an un-sugared strip, lay it on top of the sugared strip, and sugar it. At the end, you have a stack of sugared dough strips.

I had an issue with the way the instructions were written in the next part, so I had to ask Fred to interpret them. Apparently what you do next is cut the stack of strips into six equal(ish) squares. Fred did that for me, too.


Then you lay your loaf pan on its end, and stack the dough into the pan. “Cut side up”, say the original instructions, which I failed to realize at the time, so I just stacked them in there willy-nilly. Then set the pan right-side up and kind of shift the dough pieces around until they fill the pan and are straightish.


At this point, you’re meant to loosely cover the pan and let the dough rise for an hour in a warm place. But since I wanted to have the loaf ready for breakfast the next morning, what I did was cover the loaf pan and stick it in the fridge overnight.

When Fred got up the next morning, he put the pan in the microwave (which is the warmest place in the kitchen. NO, he didn’t turn the microwave ON, very funny) and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then he baked it. He didn’t take pictures because, well, I forgot to ask him to do so, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

This is what it looked like when I came downstairs the next morning, after it had been baked.


Then I made icing to put over the top, because all cinnamon roll type foods need icing.


Pardon the professional-looking picture. I was in a hurry. I dumped about a cup of confectioner’s sugar in that measuring cup, added a dash of vanilla extract, and then drizzled milk in, and stirred, added a little more milk in, and stirred, and so on until I had icing that could be drizzled over the top of the cinnamon loaf.



The verdict? Meh. Maybe it was because I let it sit in the fridge overnight, but I think it actually could have used more cinnamon sugar, and possibly even more butter. It was too bready for my taste (yeah, I know, shut up), and Fred felt the same (though he liked the way the cinnamon, sugar, and butter combined at the bottom of the pan to make a tasty caramel.)

We each tried some of it, but the chickens got the majority of it (and loved it.) I hope Nance’s turned out better than mine!


Nance’s Take:

I picked the recipe this week because it sounded damn good.  Cinnamon, butter, dough and brown sugar. A total win for this fat-fatty.


This is scalded milk (with butter). Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? I once knew an older lady that got scalded as a child when she fell back into a pot of  boiling water.   They had to use maggots to eat away at the dead flesh in order for it to heal.  Awful, right?  I will remember this story forever because I was so horrified when I heard it.   And now I’ve shared it with you so you can remember it, too. You’re welcome!


I admit to being confused regarding how to deal with the the dough so I ended up at Pioneer Woman’s site so I could see what was going on. Sometimes pictures are helpful. Go figure.  And yes, I was making cinnamon pull apart bread after 5 in the evening.   What?


I should not be allowed near anything that involves flour.  And stupid me decided to double the recipe because apparently I enjoy making twice the mess!  Please ignore the gold nail polish as I have been going through a white trash phase.


Had to break out my mom’s old candy making board. I love this board because it’s retro for days.   Yes, I know that it’s really just a piece of countertop that someone cut out for her, but it’s fixin’ to be a family heirloom now.  If it doesn’t get destroyed when our house goes over the hill like Shirley’s been predicting for the last 15 years.   I’m not sure if that’s before or after our furnace blows up because it could, ya know.  I know you’re jealous that she’s my mom.  Please try and manage your envy.


Women who can roll things out in the shape and size that they want impress the hell out of me and I SALUTE YOU.  Please note my white-knuckle attempt at making a proper rectangle.  No, I did not measure it.  GIVE ME A BREAK.


I had a helluva time figuring out the cuts, etc. I suppose a ruler would have came in handy, but that’s too much like math for me. Better to struggle and suffer for my art.


OMG, I absolutely had to take a picture of this! You know how normal people just use a paper towel and wipe it into their hand to throw away? My mother thinks this stupid vacuum is THE BOMB.  It’s so ridiculous.  She’s there for 15 goddamn minutes doing that when I could have been done.  Heh.


This is what they looked like when I pulled them out of the oven (40 minutes) and started to frost them without taking a picture first. That’s cream cheese frosting because I thought it would be like a cinnamon bun from the mall type of experience.


This is Rick being rude and taking a picture of a huge mess and I’m trying to block it with another plate.


Truth game. This was a huge fail. They were not cooked in the middle and gross. I used a cream cheese frosting and put it on hoping that it would melt down into it like a drizzled icing. Um, no. It just melted a little bit and sat there looking like it was something that curdled. The good news is that I had about three spoonfuls of the frosting while I was making it.  Yay for me!

I didn’t allow the animals to try this sugary mess so in lieu of silly cat/dog pictures I’m going to leave you with a tale.  A tale of how a po’ married couple marched their asses into a Snobby Williams Sonoma store located in a horrifyingly wealthy suburb of Pittsburgh.

They purchased only two items (that were on clearance for $1.99 each).  There weren’t many to choose from, but they managed to get two that they thought represented them the best.  They stood at the counter with serious faces watching Miss Hoity-Toity Saleslady wrap them in tissue paper and gently place them in a sturdy bag.  And when they arrived home they carefully unwrapped them, gave them a quick washing, and made sure they lived happily ever after in their new home.

Please allow me to introduce the latest members of our family…



Cinnamon Roll Pull-Apart Loaf - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: breakfast
Serves: 53 chickens
  • Dough:
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet (0.25 ounces) instant yeast
  • ----------------------------------------------
  • Filling:
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Stir together dry ingredients (sugar, flour, salt, yeast) in a bowl; set aside. (Note: use 3¼ cups of flour; you can add more flour during the mixing stage if needed.)
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon (filling); set aside.
  3. Place milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, and scald it - ie, bring it almost to a boil (but don't let it boil). If you have a thermometer, bring the milk to 180ºF. Be sure you stir the milk frequently while it's heating.
  4. Remove milk from heat when it's scalded; add 3 T butter, and stir until melted. Add water and let cool 'til it's lukewarm (about 110ºF).
  5. Using an electric mixer, gradually add flour to milk. Add egg (lightly beaten). If necessary, add more flour until a moist dough forms.
  6. Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured surface. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (a few minutes).
  7. Grease a loaf pan (9"x5" if you're measuring)
  8. Roll dough into a rectangle measuring roughly 20″x12″.
  9. Spread softened butter evenly over dough (Robyn uses the back of a spoon to do so).
  10. Cut dough crosswise into five strips with a pizza cutter, each roughly 12″x4″ in size.
  11. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over first buttered dough strip. Top it with a second strip, and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over that strip. Continue with the remaining strips until you have a stack of five sugared dough strips.
  12. Cut the stack of dough strips into 6 equal(ish) stacks, around 4" by 2".
  13. Set your loaf pan (which has been sprayed with cooking spray or Baker's Joy) on on of its ends. Stack the dough stacks into the pan, cut side up.
  14. When the dough stacks are all in the pan, carefully turn it right side up and shift the dough around until it fills the pan and is (mostly) straight.
  15. Loosely cover the pan and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.
  16. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake the loaf 30 - 35 minutes or until lightly browned. When cooled, ice with your favorite cinnamon roll icing, if you want to.
  17. -----------------------------------
  18. Cinnamon Roll Icing
  19. (All measurements approximate)
  20. One c. confectioner's sugar
  21. One tsp vanilla extract
  22. One to two T milk or cream
  23. Place confectioner's sugar in a bowl or 2-cup measuring cup. Add vanilla. Drizzle milk into sugar, and stir. Repeat until the icing is the preferred consistency. Drizzle over cinnamon rolls.


Sugar-Free Monkey Bread – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Single-Serve Monkey Bread, found over at Tasty Kitchen. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, and at first I was all “Ooh, monkey bread!” and then I was all “Oh. Sugar free monkey bread…” God knows I could use less sugar in my diet, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so off I went!


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Reduced-fat crescent rolls, Splenda (or Stevia or whatever sugar substitute you prefer), cinnamon, light butter (I honestly did not know there was such a creature as light butter), sugar free maple syrup.

I had intended to not EVEN tell Fred that this was a sugar free recipe because he can be a bit of a judgmental douche when it comes to sugar free, fat free stuff, but he wandered into the kitchen when I was gathering my ingredients, so the jig was up.

Here’s the thing about reduced-fat crescent rolls, or at least the ones that I had: they’re a pain in the ass. I got the first can of them open and went to unroll them, and they just kind of.. shredded. You’re suppose to take each triangle and divide it into three equal pieces, but as I went to pull the first triangle off the rest of the dough, it fell apart and I was all kinds of “OH, HELL NO.” and might have had a bit of a temper tantrum wherein I threw the dough into the pig bucket.

Luckily there was another entire roll of crescent dough yet to go, so I decided to halve the recipe (there only being the two of us, after all) and made Fred come into the kitchen and deal with the dough. I opened the can for him, and he started to unroll it, whereupon it fell apart on him.

(I was glad it wasn’t just me!)

He thought for a moment, then mushed the dough together, kneaded it for a moment, and then started pulling off pieces of dough and rolling them into balls. I had him put the balls on a plate while I mixed together the Splenda and cinnamon, and then had him roll the balls in that.

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Then I sprayed the muffin tins and had him put four balls in each tin while I mixed the syrup and butter and cinnamon. He was TOTALLY my kitchen bitch.

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I drizzled the syrup/ butter/ cinnamon over each set of four crescent dough balls, then stuck the whole shebang in the oven.

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It smelled really good while it was baking (I love cinnamon), and then after they were done baking, they had to sit for 15 minutes and I was drooling by the time that 15 minutes was up. I scooped one out onto a plate for Fred, who was waiting impatiently, and one for myself.

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Fred took one bite, spit it out, and dumped the rest in the trash, because he is a great big drama queen. I kind of wanted to stab him in the face, but I figured that was just anger due to hunger talking, and began eating mine.

I didn’t care for it, honestly. It tasted kind of fake and chemical and was just not my thing. I couldn’t even give the rest of the stuff to the pigs because Fred objected to giving them sugar-free stuff due to the chemicals (and yet doesn’t mind giving them cookies from the Dollar Store that are made in China and are likely comprised of nuclear waste and plastic, so I am totally rolling my eyes here), so hmph.

Not my thing but, y’know, they can’t all be hits!


Nance’s take:

Our family tradition is to have Monkey Bread every Christmas morning. I make it up on Christmas eve and pop it in the oven while we un-wrap gifts. By the time we’re done, the monkey bread is done and we chow down. It’s a fatty family tradition.  We call them Monkey Balls which is the original name (take a good look at them).  Apparently there are some uptight people out there that managed to get the name changed because only a few people still call them monkey balls.  They should have just called it cinnamon dough balls or some shit and got rid of the monkey part if they were going to be so bent out of shape about it.  I mean, really.  Why even keep the word monkey?  It makes no sense. It’s not like monkeys are known for their baking skills. Or their love of cinnamon sugar. All they do is make faces, screech and throw their feces!  And, oh my god, can I rant about the puritanical ways of people any longer?  SHUT-UP, NANCE.

122507 - Monkey bread.

This is a picture of what my usual monkey bread looks like. Pretty, if you’re into things that will make your blood sugar soar.  The recipe for this one is located here.

My husband loves monkey bread. But he’s a Type II diabetic and monkey bread loaded with sugar (and butter!) is something he shouldn’t be eating. Especially until I take out a few more life insurance policies (I just look stupid).

I’ll be honest, I don’t hang out at  I believe it’s founded by Pioneer Woman and I’m just not into her recipes (nothing personal, cute kids, just not into it).  I found this recipe when I was trying to find a way to make monkey bread just a little more healthy than my usual recipe.


Am I the only person that hates this fucking packaging? I mean I’m completely convinced that one of these days it’s going to blow up in my face. I tense up the minute I have to open the goddamn thing and then, and THEN, it’s a pain in the ass to get out of the freaking tube! Pillsbury needs to change the way it does things, man. Eh, who cares. I don’t usually buy their crap anyway.


Truth game. I made this recipe after 9 o’clock on Sunday night (with the entry due for Monday morning). I was not in the mood when I saw that the recipe said to divide each triangle into 3 equal pieces. BLOW ME.


I made 3 balls before I got disgusted and walked the hell away. Rick took over because he knows that I have no patience (and thankfully he has more than enough for both of us).  I took the pictures.


Splenda and cinnamon. I imagined that this was going to take ALL FREAKING NIGHT and OHMYHELL, WHY DID I PICK THIS RECIPE? Wah, wah, wah. I’m TIRED.


I decided to throw it all into a big plastic bag and do it that way. Rick thought it was a good idea until he realized I was going to put all 24 balls in at one time. He took the bag from me because I was doing it all wrong. Apparently one has to put only a few in at a time to make sure they are completely coated and WHO GIVES A SHIT?


Do not mock the old cupcake pan from hell. When I make cupcakes I use those foil cupcake wrappers that stand up on their own. You won’t believe how hard it was to find this damn thing. And also, the perfectly covered dough balls are compliments of the RickMonster (the ones that are not perfect, mine).


Stirring butter, syrup and cinnamon (hush, I needed more pictures).


This is my mom (tube-top/pajama bottom wearing Shirley) trying to get them out of the pan without smooshing them. I was PISSED because my beat-up cupcake pan led to an incident in which there is STICKY SHIT ALL OVER THE BOTTOM OF MY OVEN. Now I have to run the self-cleaner on my oven and DO YOU KNOW HOW ANNOYING THAT IS? AND IT SMELLS.

Bitch. Thy name is Nance. And Nance had a headache that required ice packs and a shot of whiskey (for Rick).


These look like calf nuts (shout-out to Pioneer Woman) on a platter. I think my pathetic monkey bread up there on the aluminum foil covered pizza pan looks better.


A close up. The outcome? Shirley liked them because she said that she didn’t think they were as sweet as the ones I normally make. Rick and I were not impressed. At all.  I thought they were a huge pain in the ass and why go through all that trouble for something that tastes sub-par? This recipe is not going into rotation. In fact, it’s already in the garbage. I may try and make my recipe with Splenda and Splenda Brown Sugar just to see what happens, but until then I’m going to stick with what I do every year. Make my regular monkey balls and only eat two balls. I’m pretty sure since Rick is watching his health, he’ll be joining me this year. We would rather have a little bit of something that tastes fabulous than a lot of something that tastes like crap. Lesson Learned.


Single-Serve Sugar-Free Monkey Bread - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe
Original Source/Author:
: Breakfast
  • 2 cans (8 Oz. Can) Reduced Fat Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • ¼ cups Stevia/Splenda (or Sugar Substitute Of Choice)
  • 3 Tablespoons Cinnamon, Divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Butter
  • ½ cups Sugar Free Maple Syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray (I suggest using non-stick muffin tin to prevent sticking!).
  2. Open up the cans of crescent dough and cut each triangle into 3 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece of dough into 3 equal-sized small balls, totaling 24 balls per pack of crescent rolls. (Note: balls should be smaller than golf balls, but big enough that about 4 balls will fit into each muffin tin.)
  3. Combine the stevia/Splenda (or whatever sugar substitute you choose) with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon in a small bowl. Toss the dough balls in the cinnamon-”sugar” mix until the balls are well-coated.
  4. Next, melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl for about 30 seconds, or until melted. Add the syrup and the remaining tablespoon of cinnamon to the melted butter. Stir and set aside.
  5. Place four balls into each individual muffin tin and pour the butter-syrup mixture over each muffin tin, until the dough balls are almost covered in the syrup mixture (if there isn’t enough to cover each muffin tin, I just add a bit more syrup to each tin).
  6. Bake for 15-–20 minutes, or until a caramelized crust forms on the top of each little monkey bread.
  7. Remove from the oven, and let cool for about 15 minutes. Use a knife to remove the edges and serve on a pretty plate, preferably while still warm!