Skip to Content

Bread Machine Lemon Bread: Eating it is the Best Part

Sneak Peek: This bread machine lemon bread recipe is a sweet yeast pull-apart bread flavored with lemon and orange zest. It’s ridiculously easy to make with a bread machine and a bundt pan.

If you think this sounds like monkey bread, you’re close, but no cigar.

My mom’s Christmas morning specialty was a cinnamon-sugar creation baked inside a round aluminum pan with a hole in the middle. Maybe an old jello mold? (See the picture at the end of this post.)

Using a biscuit cutter, she produced round discs of yeast dough. After dipping each piece in melted butter, she double-dipped them into a bowl of cinnamon and sugar just like monkey bread.

The way she arranged the dough pieces made all the difference.

The sugary circles of dough were positioned vertically inside the pan around the whole like little toy soldiers lined up at attention.

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

Eating it was the BEST part. We loved pulling the fragrant and buttery slices off one by one, like pulling off segments of a juicy orange.

No worries if you don’t have a bread machine. You can make it by hand or with a stand mixer– directions in the recipe notes.

Recipe inspiration:

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

Most 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.

My mom’s cinnamon pull-a-part bread described above provided the inspiration to make this recipe faster and simpler without sacrificing taste or appearance.

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

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • MILK: Use whatever milk you have on hand. The higher the fat content, the richer and tastier your bread will be.
  • SUGAR: Granulated sugar is best. If you want to substitute honey, only use 3 tablespoons as honey is sweeter than sugar.
  • SALT: The recipe was tested with table or sea salt. If you use Kosher salt, add 1/4 teaspoon more.
  • BUTTER: The butter in the bread should be softened, not melted. The dipping butter must be melted.
  • EGGS: I use large eggs in all of my bread recipes. If you use something smaller or larger, you may need to adjust the liquid accordingly.
  • FLOUR: This recipe was tested with unbleached, all-purpose flour. You could substitute bleached all-purpose flour. You may need less liquid or a little more flour if you do that so check your dough as it’s kneading. Bread flour is also an option but will make the bread a bit chewier.
  • YEAST: I use bread machine or instant yeast. If you want to use active dry yeast, add 1/4 teaspoon extra as it is slower to act.

bread machine crash course sign-up

Can I prepare this bread ahead of time?

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

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 Bread Machine Lemon Bread Recipe:

transferring the dough from the breadmachine pan to a floured silicone mat
Remove dough from bread machine pan to a floured surface.
rolling out the dough into a rectangle
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.
showing the layers in this pull-apart bread machine lemon bread
After baking, turn the bread out onto a plate and flip upside down so you can see the crusty top. Drizzle icing overall.

My mom’s old pan. Doesn’t this look like a jello mold? Wonder how old it is.

Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating in the comment section below. No comment is required.

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: Paula at

Hope to see you again soon!

Bread Machine Lemon Bread Recipe

A simple pull-apart bread flavored with lemon and orange zest that you can make in your bread machine
Paula Rhodes
4.67 from 12 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Mix and Rise Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 45 mins
Course Bread
Servings 16 slices


  • cup milk - 150 gr
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar - 50 gr
  • 1 teaspoon table or sea salt - 6 gr
  • ¼ cup butter - (softened) 57 gr
  • 2 eggs - (large size)
  • 3 ¼ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour - 390 gr
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon bread machine or instant yeast - 7 gr

Coating mixture:

  • ¼ cup melted butter (for dipping dough pieces) - 57 gr
  • Lemon zest from 3 lemons and 1 orange
  • ½ cup granulated sugar - 100 gr


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


Making the dough:

  • Dump the first 7 ingredients into the bread machine pan in the order listed. Select the DOUGH cycle, then START.
  • Check the dough at least twice by lifting the lid to take a peek. The first time, look immediately after the machine starts mixing to ensure the paddles are engaged correctly. 
    Look again 15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle to assess the consistency of the dough. For most recipes, The dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly.
    If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time.
    Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks just right. Read more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here.
  • When the DOUGH cycle is finished, if the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the pan to a floured surface. If the dough has not risen enough, leave it in the machine until it does before proceeding.

Shaping the dough:

  • Remove dough to a floured surface and roll into a rectangle roughly 8 x 10 inches in size.
  • Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the dough into large diamonds.
  • Dip each diamond into melted butter, then into sugary lemon/orange zest mixture.
  • 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.
  • Cover with shower cap, plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to rise in warm place until almost double.
  • Uncover and bake in an oven preheated to 350˚F for 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190˚F. If necessary, lay a piece of foil loosely on top to prevent over-browning about halfway through baking time.
  • Allow the baked bread to cool for 5 minutes before turning it out of the pan. Flip upside down so crusty top is visible.


  • 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 4 of shaping the dough. Cover dough that has already been arranged in a pan with plastic wrap or a shower cap. Chill overnight. About 2 hours before you want to serve bread, remove the bundt pan from the fridge and set it aside in a warm, cozy place until the dough has almost doubled in size. Bake as directed above. You can control the rising time somewhat by moving the pan to a warmer or cooler location, depending on when you want the bread 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. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/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 onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading 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 the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 227kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 210mgPotassium: 66mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 217IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Keyword bread machine recipes, bread recipe, lemon, lemon monkey bread, yeast breads
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating


Sunday 5th of December 2021

Yummy! BTW....your mom's pan is called a Savarin pan, according to Paul Hollywood. I think it came before the bundt pan.


Monday 22nd of February 2021

My family LOVED this bread even though I made it with all orange zest. We can't wait for lemons to be on sale to try the original lemon version!


Monday 22nd of February 2021

I just made this bread this weekend (first recipe from your site) and it was a HIT! I made it with all oranges because that's what I had on hand and I will definitely be making the lemon version ASAP! I can't wait for the week lemons go on sale!


Monday 22nd of February 2021

Hi Cathi,

So glad you like the Lemon Bread. I can imagine it's also good with all oranges. Thanks for coming back to say so!

Thursday 14th of May 2020


Thursday 16th of April 2020

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