An easy to make brunch dish is perfect for entertaining any time of year, whether you’re enjoying a lazy Sunday morning on a warm summer day or cozying up to the fire place on a chilly winter morning. One dish that I particularly enjoy is this Brown Sugar and Coconut Cinnamon Bun Bread, which captures the spirit of delicious, yeasted cinnamon buns in a one-bowl bread that can be put together in less than 5 minutes and ready to eat in about an hour! If that isn’t a great reason to stay in for brunch, I don’t know what is.
The reason that this bread can be made so quickly is that there is no kneading or shaping of the dough. The dough has a soft, batter-like texture, so it can be easily stirred together with a spatula or whisk. It is poured into your baking dish and allowed to rise for just a few minutes before the topping is folded in to it. Everything comes together as the bread bakes, leaving you with a coffee cake-like bread that tastes just like a really great cinnamon bun with none of the mess.
The bread itself is lightly sweetened with brown sugar and vanilla, but most of the flavor comes from the filling. The filling is made with a buttery brown sugar and coconut mixture, seasoned with cinnamon and allspice. The filling is downright addictive, and melds perfect with the brown sugar dough. While you could top this off with a drizzle of frosting, like a traditional cinnamon bun, the bread is quite moist and has plenty of sweetness, so it doesn’t really need the frosting to complete it. It smells amazing and tastes just as good – especially if you happen to like coconut as much as I do!
Brown Sugar and Coconut Cinnamon Bun Bread
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp active dry or rapid rise yeast
2/3 cup warm milk (100-110F; low fat is fine)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 tbsp butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
Lightly grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Dissolve the yeast in a measuring cup filled with the warmed milk, then stir milk mixture, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and egg into the flour mixture. Mix well, until very smooth. Pour into prepared pan and let rest for 15 minutes.
While the dough rests, mix together butter, brown sugar, shredded coconut, cinnamon and allspice in a small bowl using a fork until all the butter has been incorporated into the sugar and mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of rested dough and then swirl in with a spatula or a butter knife, making sure to fold it into the batter as you swirl.
Place pan into a cold oven, then set the oven temperature to 350F.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until bread is lightly browned at the edges and the center of the bread springs back when lightly pressed. Some of the sugar mixture on top may still be bubbling.
Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave, if desired.