A soft and fluffy sweet dough with tunnels of cinnamon sugar swirled throughout and baked to perfection. The glaze can be a simple vanilla glaze or you can go the more decadent route and use a creamy cream cheese glaze!
Happy Autumn friends 🍂🍁 I have such a lovely recipe to share today. A beautiful *twist* to a classic cinnamon roll that is just perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. This cinnamon tunnel braid loaf is a rich and decadent sweet roll dough, filled and rolled with buttery cinnamon sugar and twisted into a braid before baking. The technique of twisting creates delicious ripples of ooey gooey cinnamon sugar tunnels all throughout the bread. Shaping it into a loaf makes it easy to slice and eat as toast. Top with fresh fruit and you’ve got a perfect breakfast if you ask me.
Making this is super easy. It is just a simple cinnamon roll dough and instead of rolling into rolls we’re going to twist and shape the logs into a braid. I was inspired to make this bread after watching Jenny make it on her channel. The best way to explain this is for you to watch this video. You can see step by step how she creates the cinnamon tunnel braid loaf.
I used one of my favourite sweet roll recipes for this loaf as it’s failproof and loved by anyone who tries it. It’s a simple milk and water based dough using pantry staple ingredients.
- Whole milk: as this is a rich dough, I do use whole milk as the liquid. This makes the dough soft and fluffy. Along with the water used, the baked dough is light and airy.
- Instant yeast: also known as rapid rise yeast, I prefer this over active dry yeast. It’s quicker since you don’t need to activate it and always works perfectly. This is one of my favourite yeast brands to use.
- Softened butter: cut up into pieces, using softened instead of melted butter makes the bread nice and tender.
- Sugar: I mostly use brown sugar in the filling but with just a touch of white sugar, the perfect syrupy cinnamon sugar is created.
- Cinnamon: use a good brand as obviously this is the star flavour of the bread loaf.
- Salt: this goes for both the dough and the filling. Salt is crucial to bring out all the wonderful flavours of the loaf.
Another add-in that can be incorporated into the sweet roll is raisins. If you want to add them, fold in about 1 cup into the dough before you start kneading. When it comes to making the dough, it is much easier to use a dough hook on a stand mixer for kneading but if you don’t have a stand mixer then you can just knead the dough by hand for 15 minutes. It takes a little bit longer because you need to develop the gluten but the loaf will still come out perfect.
Simple cream cheese glaze
My go-to glaze for any baked bread is a cream cheese glaze that is loosened with cream. I absolutely adore this glaze because its reminiscent of actual cream cheese frosting but so much simpler to make. It’s also thicker than a regular milk/icing sugar glaze so it melts wonderfully into the crevices of the roll as well as sits scrumptiously on top.
A splash of vanilla and even pinch of salt makes it the perfect cream cheese glaze for any sweet roll, muffin or cookie.
I honestly can’t explain how delicious and heart warming this sweet roll bread is! We literally inhaled the entire thing!
It truly is such a pretty bake, perfect for breakfast or a late brunch or just a cool fall afternoon. I loved making this and I hope you guys enjoy it too!
Tag me @dutchbakerblog with all of your Dutch Baker bakes! 🧡
Other cinnamon roll inspired recipes to try: