Cinnamon Raisin Breakfast Ring

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Preparation info

  • Makes one 10 inch 25 cm diameter ring, about


    generous servings
    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

This is just the type of treat to serve when you have guests for breakfast or brunch. Rather than fuss with preparing it the same day, make and bake it the day before—you’ll just need to reheat and cool it right before serving. Many recipes for this type of yeast-risen coffee cake use a very sweet dough, but I find that after the addition of the sweet filling, these are entirely too sweet. I like to use brioche dough for this—its delicate buttery flavor marries perfectly with the cinnamon raisin filling. Sometimes this type of a ring is finished with an icing, but I prefer a simple dusting of confectioners’ sugar.


Cinnamon Raisin Filling

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dark raisins or currants
  • cups (about 6 ounces) pecan pieces, coarsely chopped

Egg wash

  • 1 large egg well beaten with a pinch of salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • 1 cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan lined with parchment or foil


  1. Prepare the brioche dough up to the end of step 6. Place the dough in a buttered bowl and turn it over so that the top is buttered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling. Use a rubber spatula to beat the butter until it is smooth and fluffy, then beat in the sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press it into a rough square. Flour the dough and roll it to a rectangle approximately 10 × 15 inches (25 × 38 cm. Use a medium metal offset spatula to spread the filling evenly all over the dough. Evenly scatter the raisins and 1 cup of the chopped pecans over the filling.
  4. Starting at one of the longer ends, roll up the dough jelly-roll style, without stretching it. Pinch the end of the dough in place to seal.
  5. Bring the pan close to the roll of dough, and roll the dough right onto the pan. If the rim of the pan stops the roll of dough, gently lift it onto the pan without stretching it. Arrange the roll so that the seam is underneath and join the ends to make a circle about 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. Overlap the ends where they meet and pinch them together as neatly as possible. Gently press down on the roll with the palm of your hand to flatten it slightly.
  6. Use scissors to cut from the outside of the perimeter about ¾ of the way through toward the center inches (4 cm) apart all around the ring. Working right to left, one at a time, give each cut piece of the ring a twist to the right, so that the spiral of the filled dough is facing upward.
  7. Cover the ring with buttered plastic wrap and allow it to rise until doubled, 1 to 2 hours, depending on the temperature of the room.
  8. About 20 minutes before the ring is fully risen, set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).
  9. Carefully brush only the outside surfaces (not the exposed spiral parts) of the ring with the egg wash and scatter the remaining ½ cup pecans on the egg-washed surface.
  10. Bake the ring until it is well risen, deep golden, and firm, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then slide the parchment onto the rack to finish cooling the ring completely. Immediately before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.


Slide the ring onto a platter and cut it at the table. It needs no accompaniment.


Keep the ring loosely covered with plastic wrap on the day it is baked. Wrap and freeze for longer storage. Defrost, reheat at 350°F (180°C) for 10 minutes, and cool before serving.