Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze

  Monkey bread has long been a favorite recipe of mine, with its warm, gooey, cinnamon goodness.  It’s one of those foods you savor in your childhood and long crave into your adulthood and the rest of your life, but never find yourself enjoying it as often as you would like.  As a child, it was a rare treat; my mom didn’t really bake many things outside of muffins, cookies, or birthday cake.  Cinnamon rolls almost always came from a can and homemade doughnuts weren’t a thing until I began to bake for fun.  Although this pull-apart cinnamon grapefruit bread with earl grey lavender glaze isn’t monkey bread, it closely resembles it (sans the gooeyness) in way of the process.

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze

  I recently realized there aren’t any recipes on my site with grapefruit as an ingredient.  I thought it best I post at least one including grapefruit before the season runs out, which is when I decided on this pull-apart cinnamon grapefruit bread with earl grey lavender glaze.  When it comes to grapefruit Florida ruby red is the best(in my opinion) and it’s what I used for this recipe.  Though it’s only the zest you need for the bread, still, I’ve found that that variety is what holds the flavor in the peel the best.

  I wish this bread had lasted longer than it did.  It was taken rather well by my family, my mom especially.  Which is surprising because she doesn’t like lavender and this had dried lavender sprinkled all over the top to add more flavor.  In any case you don’t have lavender on hand, just make a trip to your local garden center.  Most stores where plants are sold have small pots of lavender growing as of now and you can find them rather cheap as I did.  Once you have one, pluck as many buds off as you can and set them out to dry, then use.

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Grapefruit Bread with Earl Grey Lavender Glaze



1 tablespoon active dry yeast

3/4 cups whole milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

zest from 1 grapefruit

3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes

 sugar, cinnamon, and butter coating

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

 earl grey + lavender glaze


1 cup water

2 earl grey tea bags

1 sprig of fresh lavender


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons of the tea you made

dried lavender buds (optional)


 for the dough

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and heavy cream until warm.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the yeast and pour in 1/2 cup of the warm milk, stir slightly and let it sit until the yeast dissolves and is foamy(5-7 minutes).  Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl, set aside.  Once the yeast has dissolved, add the egg yolk, sugar, and remaining milk and whisk until just combined.  Sprinkle in 1 cup of flour, the grapefruit zest, and the soften cubed butter; mix on medium-low speed with the dough hook attached and slowly pour in the remaining flour.  Continue to mix until the dough begins to wipe the sides of the mixing bowl clean.  It should be very soft, but not sticky.  Remove from mixing bowl and place in a lightly buttered bowl.  Cover with a thin towel and let it rise in warm, dry place until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  2. 10 minutes before the dough has finished its rising process, preheat the oven to 350°F / 177°C.  Butter well the sides and bottom of an 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper, lightly buttering this as well.  Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl and set aside.  On a plate, combine the sugar and cinnamon.  
  3. Once the dough has finished rising, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands for 1 minute.  Begin to tear various sized pieces (medium to small sizes) of dough in your hands and roll into a ball.  Dip the dough ball into the melted butter and cover with the sugar mixture, lastly place the dough ball in the pan.  Continue this process until all the dough is used and is evenly distributed in the loaf pan.  Place the pan on the lowest rack in the oven and bake for 55 minutes to an hour, until nicely browned.  Cool 10 minutes in the pan.  Using a sharp knife, carefully loosen the bread from around the edges of the pan.  Invert onto a plate and drizzle generously with the glaze.  Top with dried lavender and enjoy warm!

  for the glaze:

  1. Bring the water to a boil with the lavender sprig, then remove from heat and add the two tea bags.  Steep for 10 minutes then remove the lavender sprig and the tea bags.  Cool the tea completely before using.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift the confectioner’s sugar.  Add two tablespoons of the cooled tea to the sugar and whisk until smooth, it should drizzle thick and not runny.  If it’s runny, add a 1/4 more of powdered sugar.  if it is to thick, add 1/2 teaspoon more of tea.  Drizzle onto the bread when it’s still warm and top with dried lavender buds.

Vanilla Bean Macadamia Nut Cake with Lavender Buttercream

  It’s cake time!  You’d think as much as I love baking and eating cake I’d make more of them.  I’m thinking about creating a page on here dedicated entirely to cakes.  I really want to start making more of them and I feel a page for that reason would remind me to make them more often.  If I do create a page, I’ll try and make other cake flavors besides chocolate variations(I’m a little crazy for a good chocolate cake), don’t worry, haha!

  This cake flavor was inspired by the most delicious latte I drank at a local coffee shop.  It was a vanilla lavender latte, and the shop grows their own lavender for it!  It tasted amazing, so I started to envision it making a really good cake flavor.. then thoughts of white chocolate and macadamia nuts came to mind (probably because everyone seems to be making those cookies right now) and now I have this cake.  Which is so good!

  Yes, I realize my ways of gaining inspiration are odd ones, haha.  A sip of coffee, a smell, or just looking at a flower can spark it for me.  It isn’t all that bad, considering I’m prone to get myself in a creative rut very easily, so any help getting out of it is fine by me.

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  Oh, and see that cake stand?  Besides clothes(cause who doesn’t love vintage clothes), it is my best vintage find yet from Etsy.  You know those people who see shoes while walking through Target and just HAVE to buy them all?  Yeah, that’s me with cake stands.  I really couldn’t pass this deal by!  One can never have too many stands, right?

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  Now back at this cake.  It’s so good.  Wait, I already said that. . . It’s delicious, moist and full of flavor.  The buttercream is something else, too.  It has a pleasant floral taste which, by the way, isn’t too strong.  I really love lavender and the thought of it in buttercream just sounds perfect(it is, believe me).  The cake itself is sweet, but not super sweet, and the macadamia adds a nutty flavor.  The white chocolate ganache is more of an accessory which is why I drizzled only a little just to make it look more elegant, but it still complements the other flavors.

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Vanilla Bean Macadamia Nut Cake with Lavender Infused Buttercream
Serves 8
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
  1. 3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 1 1/4 cups sugar
  3. 1 vanilla bean*
  4. 3 eggs + 1 yolk, room temperature
  5. 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  6. 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 2 tablespoons lavender syrup
  9. 1 cup milk
  10. 2/3 cups macadamia nuts, chopped finely*
Lavender Syrup
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 cup lavender buds/leaves (dried or fresh, I used fresh. You can also use the leaves and buds)
Lavender Infused Buttercream
  1. 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  3. 4 tablespoons lavender syrup
  4. Pinch of sea salt
White Chocolate Ganache
  1. 2 ounces heavy whipping cream
  2. 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  1. *To chop the macadamia nuts, just put them in a food processor/blender and pulse till chopped finely.
  2. *To scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean pod, use a sharp paring knife and split down the center of the pod and scrap all the seeds out and use them as directed.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F/ 177°C. Prepare two, 6-inch cake pans. Grease the pans then line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  4. In an electric mixer, beat the butter till smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the sugar; beat till light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes on medium-high speed. Scrape down the sides again and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
  5. In another bowl, add the vanilla, vanilla beans, and lavender syrup to milk and stir. Set aside. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half the flour to the butter mixture and half the milk. Beat on medium speed till incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the remaining flour and milk. Beat till just combined. Stir in the chopped nuts with a spatula.
  6. Evenly divide batter into prepared pans, smooth and level the top by using an offset spatula. Bake 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or the cakes spring back up after a light touch with your fingers. Bake the full 26 minutes at first then test to see if done, if not, bake in 3 minute intervals till done. Cool in pans 10 minutes and using a sharp knife, loosen the edges. Move to wired racks to cool completely.
  1. In a small sauce pan, add the water, sugar, and lavender. Bring to a boil and stir till sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from stove top and steep for 1 hour(or over night for a more powerful flavor). Remove the lavender and run syrup through a very fine meshed strainer.
  1. In an electric mixer with beaters attached, beat the butter and salt till smooth. Add the powdered sugar and lavender syrup and beat till light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  1. Chop the white chocolate and place in a bowl. In a small sauce pan, bring the cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir then set it aside for 10 minutes. Stir till smooth. If it is runny, let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
Assemble Cake
  1. Once the layers have cooled and the buttercream and ganache have been made, level the tops of the cakes by using a serrated knife and carefully cut off any dome that may have formed during baking. Once the layers are leveled, place cake on a stand/plate to be assembled.
  2. Place the first layer in the center of your stand, then spread about 1 cup of buttercream evenly around the top. Place the second layer, bottom side facing up, onto the iced layer; and finish icing the cake by using all the frosting around the cake. Carefully pour ganache over the top and let it drizzle down the sides. Cut and serve.
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