Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter-Pecan Roll

Posted by on Jun 19, 2024 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, nutty, yeast bread | 0 comments

This Apple Butter-Pecan Roll is something special, a gorgeous and small round of braided bread jeweled with pecans. It’s perfect for a few people to share as a treat.

Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter-Pecan Roll

Honestly, I’d rather have this than most cakes. It is as delicious as it looks, but it does take time to make and dirties a lot of dishes in the process. Definitely a special occasion kind of thing.

Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter-Pecan Roll

I modified this immensely from a recipe called Sweet Potato-Pecan Sweet Roll in Bake from Scratch’s September/October 2023 issue. Obviously, I replaced the sweet potato, but I also extensively rewrote the recipe to try to clarify what should be used and when. I find it very confusing when, in an already complicated recipe, I need to divide things within the ingredient list.

Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter-Pecan Roll

I hope that some of you take on the challenge of this recipe and find my new version doable even if it is still daunting!

Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter-Pecan Roll

This recipe results in a gorgeous small coronet of braided bread, shining with glaze and jeweled by pecans. It is perfect for a few people to share.
Course: Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword: pecans, yeast bread
Author: Beth Cato


  • instant read thermometer
  • nonstick spray
  • cake pan
  • Rolling Pin
  • kitchen shears or knife


Dry dough ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Wet ingredients for dough

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or soured milk [see note]
  • 1/3 cup apple butter
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar packed
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces


  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk or half & half
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter melted (5 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons pecan pieces


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the dry dough ingredients: flour, brown sugar, salt, yeast and nutmeg. Dig a well in the center.
  • In a small saucepan, gently bring to medium heat the wet dough ingredients: buttermilk/soured milk, apple butter, and butter. Stir until the butter is melted and an instant-read thermometer is over 100-degrees. (Don’t go over 120 or the heat may kill the yeast.)
  • Pour the saucepan contents into the well in the flour. Use a big spoon to stir until combined.
  • Heavily flour a clean surface. Turn out the dough onto it and knead until the mixture is elastic and only mildly tacky, about 8 to 10 minutes. Flour hands and surface more if necessary.
  • Apply nonstick spray inside a medium bowl. Place dough inside, turning to grease all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for about 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, put nonstick spray in a round cake pan.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the first three filling ingredients: cinnamon, ginger, and brown sugar.
  • Punch down the dough and let it rest about 5 minutes. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface again and roll into a 14×8-inch rectangle. Spread the 2 Tablespoon softened butter over the dough, leaving a bare 1/2-inch frame around the edge. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the butter, forming a thick layer. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of pecan pieces on top.
  • Roll up the dough, long-ways, and pinch the seam to seal it. Rock and roll the dough tube, stretching it out, evenly extending the length to 15 inches. Arrange it so the seam is on the side facing you.
  • Use kitchen shears or a knife to cut the log in half lengthwise, but leave it connected by an inch at one end. Turn the cut sides to face upward. Carefully twine them together in a simple braid, bringing the uncut end around to tuck underneath, forming a braided circlet. Place inside cake pan with the cut sides facing up. Cover again to rise in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  • Place bread in hot oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes; an instant-read thermometer plunged into the middle should be over 190 degrees. If it’s looking very brown near the end, cover it with foil for the rest of the bake.
  • Cool for about 20 minutes as the glaze is made.
  • Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, butter and salt. Dribble over warm bread so that the glaze cascades along the ridges. Sprinkle pecan pieces over the top.
  • Serve immediately. Any leftovers are best if warmed briefly in the microwave or oven.



    To make soured milk, place 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Pour in milk or half & half to equal the 1/3 cup called for by this recipe. After about 10 minutes, the mixture should be thick and curdled.

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