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Giant Morning Bun Spiral Coffee Cake

This Morning Bun Spiral Coffee Cake with Nuts and Orange Marmalade is made to impress! Swirls of nutty brown sugar-cinnamon filling are nestled in a brioche-like dough for a coffee cake like no other.

Spiral coffee cake in springform pan after sides are removed

Calling this recipe a coffee cake doesn’t really do it justice. When you think of coffee cake, you probably think of a square of vanilla-flavored cake topped with streusel like my Apple Crumb Coffee Cake. You definitely don’t picture spirals of marmalade-brushed brioche filled with finely chopped nuts and a buttery brown sugar streusel.

But maybe after you make this recipe, you will!

With the holidays just around the corner, your brunch and breakfast schedule is probably about to start filling up. Whether you’re hosting a get-together with friends or family or you’re a guest at someone else’s home, this spiral coffee cake is a guaranteed show-stopper. Pair it with a mug of homemade gingerbread latte for the ultimate hygge holiday experience!

Overhead view of spiral coffee cake ingredients

What You’ll Need

Despite the stunning looks of this recipe, the ingredients needed to make it are simple! Here’s a quick round-up with notes as needed. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

  • Butter
  • Pecans – Don’t use the salted, roasted variety. You want to be able to control the salt level.
  • Walnuts – See above, you also don’t want to use salted walnuts here.
  • Brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Nutmeg – I highly recommend grating your nutmeg fresh. It just doesn’t compare to the jars of grated nutmeg you buy at the store.
  • Active-dry yeast – Don’t use instant yeast—it’s not the same!
  • Sugar
  • Salt – I always user kosher salt in my recipes.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Whole milk – The fat in whole milk is important for getting the right texture for the dough. So go whole or go home. 🙂
  • Eggs – Let two of the eggs sit on the countertop for a bit to come to room temperature. Room temperature eggs result in fluffier baked goods.
  • Orange marmalade – Apricot jam will work too, like in this pumpkin bread.

How to Make Morning Bun Spiral Coffee Cake with Nuts and Orange Marmalade

This recipe has a lot of steps, but it’s not necessarily hard. Follow along with the images below to guide you through the process.

Prepare. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with non-stick baking spray.

Overhead view of coffee cake filling in glass bowl with spoon

Make the filling. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large bowl in the microwave or in a saucepan. Stir in the nuts, followed by the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Combine milk and butter. Cut the remaining butter into pieces and place it in a large bowl with the milk. Microwave for about a minute (or warm it on the stovetop), or until the mixture is warm but not hot. 

Proof the yeast. Pour the milk and butter mixture into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle in the yeast, then stir. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.

Make the dough. Add a cup of flour to the bowl with the yeast and stir to combine. Next, add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, salt, and 2 eggs. Mix well, then incorporate the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time. The dough should be soft and pull away from the sides of the bowl when it’s done.

Knead the dough. If you’re using a stand mixer, knead the dough for 8 minutes, sprinkling with additional flour if needed. To knead by hand, turn out the dough onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

Melt the marmalade. Place the marmalade in a small saucepan and melt it over low heat, stirring constantly.

Roll out the dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to an 18×10 inch rectangle. 

Top the dough. Brush the melted marmalade onto the surface of the dough, then scatter the pecan-walnut mixture over the top. Use a rolling pin to press the nut filling into the dough a bit to keep it in place. Cut the dough lengthwise into 2-inch-wide strips.

Six photos showing the assembly of spiral coffee cake

Make your spiral. Take one strip and roll it around itself, then place it in the center of the prepared springform pan, cut side down. One at a time, wrap the remaining strips around the center, until you have a spiral. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot away from drafts for 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in bulk.

Bake the cake. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and beat the yolk from the remaining egg with a fork. Brush the coffee cake with the egg, then place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Overhead view of spiral coffee cake with knife and coffee mugs

Cool and serve. Let the coffee cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edges and remove the sides of the springform pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tips for Success

Here are some tips to make sure your spiral coffee cake turns out perfect!

  • Make sure your yeast isn’t expired. Expired yeast isn’t like using flour or cocoa powder that’s past its prime—it might not rise! 
  • Toast the nuts. If you want to amp up the nutty flavor in this recipe, you can toast the nuts before making the filling. Place them in a skillet over medium heat and toast them until they’re fragrant and lightly browned. Transfer them to a heat-proof bowl right away so they don’t burn in the skillet.
  • Keep an eye on your morning bun while it bakes. If the middle browns faster than the perimeter, cut a small square of aluminum foil and place it over the part that’s browning faster.
Spiral coffee cake on rustic wooden table with coffee mug in background

How to Store

This giant morning bun cake is best eaten within a day or so. If you’re making it for a gathering, make sure you don’t make it too far in advance! Once it has cooled to room temperature, wrap it in plastic wrap and store it on the countertop. I usually just put it on a big glass plate or even use a cake stand with a lid.

Can I Freeze it?

Yes, if you want to get a head start on making this, you can freeze it for up to 2 months. Wrap it in two layers of plastic, then let it thaw at room temperature overnight before serving.

Closeup of whole spiral coffee cake
Print

Giant Morning Bun Spiral Coffee Cake

Swirls of nutty brown sugar-cinnamon filling are nestled in a brioche-like dough for a coffee cake like no other.

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8-12 slices
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided use
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • -ounce packages active-dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs, divided use
  • ½ cup orange marmalade, melted

Instructions

Prep. Spray a 10-inch springform pan with PAM or another baking spray.

Make the walnut filling. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large bowl by heating it in the microwave for about 30 seconds or in a saucepan on the stove over low heat. Add the chopped pecans and walnuts, then the brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Mix well, then set aside.

Warm the milk and butter. Cut remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into small pieces, then combine with the milk in another large bowl. Microwave for about 1 minute or on the stovetop over low heat, until very warm. If the milk is hot let it cool off a bit before proceeding – it should be about the temperature you would put in a baby’s bottle.

Proof the yeast. When the milk/butter mixture is warm – not hot – pour it into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast, stirring once with a spoon. Allow mixture to rest (proof) for 5 minutes.

Make the dough. Add 1 cup of flour to the yeast mixture and mix until blended. Add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, the nutmeg, sugar, salt, and 2 eggs, mixing well. Add remaining flour ½ cup at a time until you have a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Using a stand mixer, knead for 8 minutes, sprinkling with flour as needed until you have a smooth dough. If kneading by hand, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding additional flour as needed. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Melt the marmalade. While the dough is resting melt the marmalade in a small saucer, stirring constantly.

Roll the dough out to an 18×10 inch rectangle. Brush the melted marmalade all over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle your pecan-walnut mixture on top. Press the nut filling into the dough by lightly rolling over it with a rolling pin.

Assemble your giant morning bun. Cut the dough lengthwise into 2-inch-wide strips. Take one strip and roll it around itself before placing it in the center of your springform pan, cut side down. Now, one at a time, wrap the remaining strips around the center strip, until you have a mass of shaped dough that looks like this. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Make an egg wash. In a small bowl beat the yolk from the remaining egg with a fork, then brush the coffee cake with it.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden. If the middle of the coffee cake browns faster than the outer portions of dough, cut a small square of aluminum foil and place it over the part of the cake that is browning faster.

Cool and serve. Cool coffee cake for 5 minutes before running a butter knife around the edges and removing the sides of the springform pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

This giant morning bun is best enjoyed within a couple days of making it. Store on the counter covered with saran wrap or in a cake stand.

Keywords: cinnamon roll coffee cake, christmas morning breakfast, morning bun recipe, yeast cake

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