My newest creation is a decadent cherry cheesecake pull apart loaf and it’s all thanks to my husband Mike. I’ll also begrudgingly admit that the large snowfall we had might also be responsible for this creation as there’s nothing like being stuck in the house on a Saturday morning with nothing to do.
There’s always something to do in my kitchen and that’s create! And do dishes. And clean up after everyone. And…
Let’s leave it at create before I depress myself further.
There were a few caveats to my Saturday morning creation fest but the main one is simply that I was not leaving the house to get ingredients. We had a really large snowfall here in Edmonton and as brave as we Canadians were, I was not in the mood to put up with even one more single step into a snowstorm. (This may have me not leaving the house until June this year.)
Pull apart bread has been around forever and every now and then it comes back into food vogue. The latest creations have you baking it in a loaf pan but the problem I have found is that there is no room in the loaf pans for the bread to really expand into it’s full gorgeous, bready beauty. So when I sat down to think of a new bread, I knew that it wasn’t going to be in a loaf style.
My monkey bread recipe is a tried and true family favorite and it got me thinking – and this is how you come about new recipes, you just sit there and ponder – about the fact that it fits into a bundt pan perfectly.
The other problem was, my husband asked me to create something using his two favorite flavors, cherry and cheesecake.
The dough balls that you roll for a normal monkey bread were not going to work, the cherries would fall out and my A type baking personality would just flip right out with the mess.
Thus, we are going to use strips of dough for the method and I’ll be showing you the how-to below!
Prepare the sweet dough recipe (at the end of this post) and roll out into a 12×18 inch rectangle.
When it’s time to place the dough into your bundt pan, cut the 6 slices in half again so you have 12 pieces. A word of warning, the cherries will get juicy, the dough will be slippery and you may get mad like I did.
It’s OK. The juice makes the loaf even prettier.
It works out better if the pieces slip and slide slightly. You want them to slope towards each other and not be a perfect line. They should almost fall over slightly towards each other and not stand like towers.
The pieces on the right of this picture are perfect, the pieces on the left are not. See how the right slope and fall while the left are standing apart?
Perfect. Embrace the mess.
Let the dough rise again for another 45-60 minutes until it’s doubled. This is a really important step for this loaf, because of the weight of the cherries within it, you have to make sure it’s really risen high.Don’t be impatient like me. I forced myself to wait a whole hour and it was worth it.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes and you will definitely have to cover the top with tinfoil once it’s browned and continue baking. This must be baked a long time to be perfect inside!
Here’s where the cheesecake comes in. You could try baking it inside, but we preferred the cherries taking the leading role in the loaf and then swirling and dipping the pieces in the cream cheese icing.
I’d even double the recipe for the icing and give each guest a little dipping bowl.
It’s to die for.
Here’s the full recipe, enjoy everyone! Happy Baking!
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup of milk warmed to 115 degrees
- ⅓ cup water warmed to 115 degrees
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons of bread machine yeast or rapid rise
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour plus extra for your work surface
- 2 tsp of salt
- 1/2 packed brown sugar
- ½ cup of melted butter
- 1 1/2 cups of cherries pitted and cut in half
- Cream Cheese Icing
- 1/2 cup of cream cheese
- 4 tbsp cream
- 3-4 tbsp of brown sugar
Preheat your oven for rising, turn it on to 175 degrees then turn it off when it’s heated, this is as warm as it should get.
In large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast.
This recipe is as easy to do by hand as it is by mixer, so pick your poison.
If you would like to use a stand mixer, mix flour and salt into the mixer bowl that is fitted with a oiled dough hook. Oiling the hook makes sure the dough doesn’t climb the hook and go all crazy on you. Works like a charm!
Using the lowest setting, start the dough hook going and slowly add the milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and let your dough hook do the work until the dough is shiny and smooth, about 6 to 7 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky but if it is too wet to come together into a ball, add an additional 2 tablespoons flour. It should just barely stick to your hands, nothing more. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form a smooth, round ball.
If you are ready for a workout and want to do this by hand, mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in the flour, then add the milk mixture, pouring into the well. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough is difficult to stir and it’s almost a ball in the middle of the bowl. Turn out onto lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating any loose scraps back into the dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes, giving those arms a workout and a half! Shape into a round ball.
Take the ball of dough and place in a well oiled bowl, covering it up. Put it the oven and let the dough rise until doubled in size, anywhere from 45-60 minutes.
When that is done, grease your bundt pan and set aside.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Take out the dough and on a lightly floured work surface roll it into a 12 by 18 inch rectangle.
Cut the rectangle into (6) 12 inch long strips. Each strip will then be approximately 3 inches wide.
Take the first strip, brush melted butter over it and sprinkle brown sugar on top.
Place as many cherries on top for filling as wanted, I did 10 half cherries per strip.
Place the next strip directly on top of the previously prepared one and repeat the butter, sugar and cherries.
Repeat with all layers, buliding a stack of dough layers.
Once you have all the layers in a stack, cut it into 12 pieces.
Place each piece in the prepared bundt pan, making sure that they will slant slightly so that each piece will rise and touch together, forming a solid pull apart loaf.
Cover with a towel and let rise for another 45-60 minutes, until the dough is doubled again.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. You should cover the top of the loaf once it's browned and continue cooking. To avoid a soggy loaf, you must make sure it's very well baked without burning the top, thus using tinfoil to prevent the top from over baking is crucial.
Once the loaf is cooled, combine all the cream cheese icing ingredients together, making sure the brown sugar is dissolved in completely. It is SO much better than icing sugar!
Spread over the top of the loaf and serve.