Orange Pull-Apart Coffee Cake

I have been drooling over some gorgeous blog photos of a striated  sweet bread…all were adaptations of Flo Braker’s recipe for Lemon-Scented Pull Apart Coffee Cake.  Since my hubby has a great fondness for orange rolls, I swapped the lemons for oranges in Flo’s coffee cake and created a special breakfast treat.  Peeling apart the buttery layers, dripping with icing, we both immediately declared it a delicious success.

Next time I bake this, I’ll alter the icing to a simple glaze without cream cheese…but otherwise this coffee cake is spectacular as is…the dough is sweet and tender, and the orange zest infuses the loaf with citrusy goodness.

Orange Pull-Apart Coffee Cake


Adapted from Flo Braker

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (one envelope)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest


  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/4 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Grease a standard loaf pan (mine is 8½ x 4 inches).
  2. Mix 2 cups of the flour with sugar, yeast and salt in mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment.
  3. Heat milk and butter just in microwave or on stove top, just till butter is melted. Add water, then allow to cool till just warm (120-130º). Stir in vanilla.
  4. Pour the milk mixture into the flour and mix till flour is just moistened. Add eggs, one at a time, beating till incorporated. Stop mixer and add ½ cup of the remaining flour and mix on low till dough is smooth, less than a minute. Add 2 more tablespoons of flour and mix again till dough is smooth, less than a minute.
  5. Lightly flour work surface and knead dough for about a minute. Add up to another 2 tablespoons of flour if dough is too sticky. Place dough in lightly greased bowl, cover, and place in a warm place till doubled in bulk, about an hour.
  6. Mix melted butter, sugar, and zest for filling. Set aside.
  7. Punch down dough, then roll into a 20 x 12 inch rectangle on floured surface. Using knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into five strips...each 12 x 4 inches...use a ruler to be as accurate as possible (I trimmed some uneven edges). Spread filling over tops of each strip. Carefully stack all these strips on top of each other, so you have a stack of five 12 x 4 inch rectangles.
  8. Next, cut this stack into 6 equal rectangles, each two inches wide. Carefully, place each of these smaller stacks into the loaf pan, cut sides up. Cover and let rise in a warm spot till about doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 350º. Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on your oven, till top is browned. Cool on rack about 10-15 minutes then remove from pan to continue cooling.
  10. Make icing by beating cream cheese and powdered sugar till smooth. Add milk and juice, and mix till combined. Ice warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 1 loaf

    Total time: 2½ hours


      Nutrition Facts
      Serving Size
      Amount Per Serving As Served
      Calories 3330kcal Calories from fat 1230
      % Daily Value
      Total Fat 137g 211%
      Saturated Fat 80g 400%
      Transfat 4g
      Cholesterol 667mg 222%
      Sodium 1667mg 69%
      Carbohydrate 468g 156%
      Dietary Fiber 14g 56%
      Sugars 194g
      Protein 59g

      Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

      Calories 2000
      Total Fat Less than 65g
      Sat Fat Less than 25g
      Cholesterol Less than 300mg
      Sodium Less than 2,400mg
      Total Carbohydrate 300g
      Dietary Fiber 25g
      Did you make this recipe?
      Leave review!

      Visit some of my blogger friends who have also made this recipe:

      Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
      Elissa at 17 and Baking


      1. I’ve seen the lemon version, then got to thinking that an orange version of it might also be delicious. Then, what do I see when I visit your blog? Exactly what I was imagining. Thanks for the delicious recipe.

      2. No, no, no! It’s the beginning of Lent and you need to post recipes for thin gruel, not tempting sweet breads. 😉 This looks delicious.

      3. Pegasuslegend says:

        Sounds and looks perfect for everyday at breakfast these are my favorite flavors in the morning,also perfect for florida oranges

      4. So funny…I have had this recipe marked since I bought Flo Brakers book. I saw Joy the Baker do a cinnamon sugar version of this yesterday and commented and now here you are! GMTA!
        Your bread looks wonderful!

      5. Thank you, Lisa, Claudia and Carole!

        Carole, you crack me up 🙂 You’ll be notified first when I do a blog post on gruel~

      6. Elisabeth says:

        Wow Lizzy- it’s 8:00AM here, and I’m about to have my coffee but sure could use a beautiful homemade piece of coffee cake. I bet it was all gone in no time! Looks so inviting, and yummy!

      7. Betty Ray says:

        O gosh, this looks so good right now!! The hint of citrus must be delightful with the icing.

      8. The Country Cook says:

        Bookmarked. My husband loves orange too so I think this would be a hit. So you think next time you might make more of a glaze rather than an icing? Your pictures are gorgeous Lizzy!

      9. Sadik Ali says:

        Wow I love the hint of orange freshness in the coffee cake 🙂 It sounds so delightful 🙂

      10. This recipe does appear to be chasing me down and begging to be made. Next thing you know, it will force it’s way into my mixer, then into my oven and finally into my mouth! I love the orange variation.

      11. Cheryl and Adam says:

        This look so buttery and amazing! I missed breakfast today (running late!)and this isn’t making it any easier! We’re passing on the Sylish Blogger Award to you!

      12. foodies at home says:

        Great minds must think alike 😉 I bet it tasted great with oranges!!

      13. Wooooow this coffee cake looks DELICIOUS! So buttery and flakey! And the frosting seems to really take it over the top! I need to save this recipe somewhere prominent so I can try this.


      14. How fun and what a great idea! You won’t have to spend time slicing!

      15. Thank you all for the wonderful comments!!! I’m going to make this again with cinnamon and sugar…and a non-cream cheese glaze. I know that version will be fabulous, too!

        Cheryl and Adam, THANK YOU!!! You are so sweet to honor me with this award!!!

      16. Can you take one more comment Lizzy? 🙂 This looks amazing! I need to make this now!

      17. Oh my goodness! There is nothing about this recipe i would change…i can’t wait to make it!
        -abeer @

      18. Mrs Multitasker says:

        Love the look of this cake! So inviting!

      19. I saw one of the cakes with lemon and now orange, delicious! Your photos are gorgeous. I’m a yeast novice looking for my next baking project, and I might have to make this one.

      20. Searcher says:

        Liz, I LOVE orange rolls and this looks delicious. I’m going to make this soon. Thanks.

      21. I love your orange variation on this cake Lizzy! Maybe I should make it while we’re still technically in citrus season 🙂

      22. I agree…this looks and sounds AMAZING. Those flaky layers…those citrus flavors. Thank you for sharing this loveliness tonight. I hope that tomorrow is full of happy moments, joyful conversation and plates of satisfying food!

      23. This sounds and looks beyond delicious! Love this!! And must try asap!!

        Great blog; happy I found you!

        Mary xo
        Delightful Bitefuls

      24. Thank you for coming to my blog. When I see someone likes my site, its like getting a package delivered to the door. Wonderful fun! Your pull apart bread looks positively scrumptious. The flaky layers with the orange flavor sounds perfect. I am fretting because my brother and family are coming to visit next week and I just cannot decide what to put together. Every time I go to a blog, I want to make this and that and those!

      25. C&C Cakery says:

        I’ve never seen a “pull-apart” cake like that! Ingenious! I’ll definitely be pulling this idea out soon! Thank you so much for this delicious recipe!

      26. Kristen - Dine & Dish says:

        What a delicious recipe!!

      27. Annie's Dish says:

        This looks so yummy! I think that I would enjoy the orange instead of lemon too.

      28. Green Girl says:

        Oh Lizzy, these looks so good. Love those flaky layers and the citrus flavor. Definitely a must try. Thanks for sharing

      29. Kim, I made them the night before…no way could I get up early enough to have these ready on a week day…but maybe on the weekend 🙂

      30. Thanks, everyone for your sweet comments…this is a great recipe!

      31. Le Petit Lapin says:

        Oh that looks so delicious! Pull apart bread is something I’ve never tried baking, but it looks so good I think I need to change that!

      32. oh my. this looks heavenly.

      33. ButterYum says:

        Beautiful, Lizzy – sounds fantastic. Love the cream cheese frosting too. So much nicer than a powdered sugar icing.

      34. I have never seen such pull apart cake before.. 🙂 looks very interesting and tempting 🙂

      35. briarrose says:

        Perfect. I am such a sucker for orange rolls and this looks delicious. Something about that flavor just really hits the spot.

      36. Thank you all! I really appreciate you stopping by 🙂

      37. Eftychia says:

        Delicious and clever as well. I will give your recipe a try soon. Thanks for sharing!

      38. You are welcome 🙂

      39. Joshua Alan Burgin says:

        As I started this entry and saw the pictures, I literally said out loud, “No! Shut up! That looks amazing!” Haha! Citrus. Coffee Cake. Pull-Apart. I’m sold!

      40. Joshua, your enthusiasm made me smile! Thanks!

      41. Hi!
        That is a very interesting recipe! In fact, you have loads of other interesting recipes!

        Very well written blog! loved reading your posts 🙂

      42. Jeannie Tay says:

        Absolutely love this cake, am so going to bake this soon!

      43. I love pull apart bread…this sounds soooo good, Lizzy! That wonderful citrus-y note is a perfect treat in the morning 😀


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