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Lemon Pull-Apart Bread Made Simple With a Bread Machine

This lemon bread machine recipe is a sweet yeast breakfast bread flavored with lemon and orange zest. It’s ridiculously easy to make with a bread machine and a bundt pan.

No worries if you don’t have a bread machine. You can make it by hand or with a stand mixer. Directions here.

Lemony Pull-Apart Bread -- in a loaf pan.

My daughter-in-law recently asked me if I thought she could make a certain lemon pull-apart bread seen on Pinterest in her bread machine

Many regular yeast bread recipes can be converted so I took the bait. In the end, I actually adapted my own Monkey Bread recipe because…well… I think it’s better. I hope you agree.

However, I procrastinated because the original instructions for assembling the bread seemed rather complicated.  Surely there was an easier way than cutting long strips, stacking them, slicing the stacks, etc.

Recipe Inspiration

Then I remembered the bread my mom always made for us on Christmas morning.

She used a biscuit cutter to cut rolled-out yeast dough into many circles. Each piece was dipped in butter and coated with cinnamon-y goodness. Finally, the circles of dough were positioned vertically, like little toy soldiers lined up at attention, inside a faux-bundt pan. (I think it was actually a metal jello mold.)

Lemon Pull Apart Bread Made Easy with a Bread Machine - pieces on plate

My Mom’s cinnamon pull-a-part bread provided the inspiration I needed to make this recipe faster and simpler without sacrificing taste or appearance. Check out the process pictures below to see how I did it.

Click here to sign up for a FREE 6-day Quick-Start email course: “Make Fabulous Bread with Your Bread Machine.”

Can I prepare this recipe ahead of time?

I can’t wait to serve this delicious bread to my family on Christmas morning but you can be sure I won’t be getting up early to put it together.

I plan to mix, knead and assemble it the day before. See the notes at the end of the recipe for how to prepare this recipe a day ahead and then bake the next morning.

How to assemble and bake this Lemon Bread Machine Recipe:

Remove dough from bread machine pan to a floured surface.
Roll dough into a generally rectangular shape measuring approximately 8 x 10 inches.
cutting dough with a pizza cutter
Cut dough into large diamonds with a knife or pizza cutter.
arranging dough inside a bundt pan
After dipping each diamond into butter first and then sugary/lemon mixture, place each piece on its side in an upright position in a bundt pan. (Please ignore the cinnamon-pecan streusel mixture pictures and pretend it is a sugary/lemon streusel-like mixture.)
Continue until all diamonds are lined up around the pan.
Cover with a plastic shower cap, plastic wrap, or a tea towel.
pull-apart bread after it has been proofed
Allow bread to rise until almost double in size before placing it into a preheated oven to bake.

Pin the picture below to save for later.

pinterest image for lemony pull-apart bread

Did you try this recipe and enjoy it? Consider helping other readers (and me) by returning to this post. Leave a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t required.

If you have a question or tip to share, please leave it in the regular comments after the recipe so I can answer back. Or, email me privately: paula at

Thank you for visiting!

Lemon Pull-Apart Bread Machine Recipe

Lemon Pull-Apart Bread Machine Recipe

Yield: 1 bundt loaf
Prep Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

A simple pull-apart bread flavored with lemon and orange zest that you can make in your bread machine


  • 5/8 cup (150 grams) milk
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) table salt
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 1/4 cup (390 grams) unbleached flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon (7 grams) bread machine or instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) melted butter (for dipping dough pieces)
  • Lemon zest from 3 medium lemons and 1 orange mixed + 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar


  • 1 cup (227 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons (14-28 grams) whipping cream, milk, or coffee


  1. Dump first 7 ingredients into bread machine pan in order listed. Select dough cycle. After 5 minutes, lift lid and check dough. It should stick to the side, then pull away. If dough is too dry, add milk one tablespoon at a time. If too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time.
  2. When dough cycle completes (dough should be doubled in size), remove dough to a floured surface and roll into a rectangle roughly 8 x 10 inches in size.
  3. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the dough into large diamonds.
  4. Dip each diamond into melted butter, then into sugary lemon/orange zest mixture.
  5. Place first piece on its side in bundt pan. Lay second piece upright against first piece and repeat until all pieces have been lined up around the pan. You may have to push them together to squeeze in the final pieces. Perfection is not required.
  6. Cover with shower cap, plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to rise in warm place until almost double.
  7. Uncover and bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F. Lay a piece of foil loosely on top to prevent over-browning about halfway through baking time.
  8. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out of pan. Flip upside down so crusty top is visible.
  9. While bread is still warm, mix powdered sugar with liquid of choice and drizzle over the top.


To prepare a day ahead, follow instructions above through step 5. Cover dough that has already been arranged in a pan with plastic wrap or shower cap. Chill overnight. About 2 hours before you want to serve bread, remove bundt pan from fridge and set aside in a warm, cozy place until the dough has almost doubled in size. Bake as directed above. You can control the rising process somewhat by moving the pan to a warmer or cooler location, depending on when you want it to be ready to bake.

Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:

  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic--about 5-10 minutes. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: You can substitute active dry yeast for instant or bread machine yeast. There is no longer any need to dissolve it. Be aware that it may be a little slower acting than instant yeast, but it'll get there.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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Thursday 16th of April 2020

Genius simply genius to use a pizza cutter for making monkey bread. I never would have thought of that


Tuesday 11th of February 2014

I think I may have cooked to long. I will try again. This had a really great taste.


Tuesday 11th of February 2014

Loved the taste of this, but mine turned out dry. Not sure what I did wrong.


Tuesday 11th of February 2014

Hi Julie, Sorry about your bread. Is it possible you left out the butter or egg? Or maybe over baked it? Was the dough the right consistency when kneading--sticks to the side and then pulls away? Do you test your bread with a thermometer when baking? That really helps, especially with sweet breads that brown quickly.


Thursday 19th of December 2013

Just showed kent your website. For the record, he doesn't think this looks good. He's crazy! He told me to make cinnamon rolls.


Sunday 15th of December 2013

wishing you and your family best peaceful joyous Christmas every as i'm typing this the lemon pull apart bread is in my machine my hubby just didn't want to wait until Christmas day (i'll make another) he loves anything with lemons thank you for sharing diane ontario canada