Cherry-Pecan Swirl Bread

Wow your brunch crowd with this Cherry-Pecan Swirl Bread.

Active Time:
40 mins
Chill Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 35 mins
12 serves

Wow your brunch crowd with this Cherry-Pecan Swirl Bread. If you're new to making bread from scratch, take your time with each step. Kneading can be sticky work, but don't overflour your work surface or the dough itself. This will make the bread tough and dense. To knead, fold the top of the dough in half toward you. Then, using the bottoms of both palms, push the dough away from you. Rotate the dough a quarter turn, and repeat the process until it becomes a smooth and stretchy ball, using little to no additional flour.

Cherry-Pecan Swirl Bread

Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer



  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar, divided

  • 1/3 cup warm water (100°F to 110°F)

  • 1 (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (from 1 orange)

  • 3 3/4 - 4 1/4 cups bread flour, divided, plus more for work surface


  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries, chopped

  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom


  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)


  1. Prepare the Dough: Cook sour cream, butter, salt, and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until butter just melts, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to 110°F to 115°F, about 10 minutes.

  2. Stir together warm water, yeast, and remaining 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in a bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

  3. Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and orange zest with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment on medium-low speed, gradually adding 3 3/4 cups of the flour, until a soft Dough forms and pulls away from sides but still adheres to bottom of bowl, 2 minutes.

  4. Turn out Dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, 10 minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup remaining flour in very small increments, if needed to keep the Dough workable. (It should be tacky but not sticky.) Place in a lightly greased (with cooking spray) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover; chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

  5. Turn out Dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a 20- x 16-inch rectangle. Coat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with cooking spray. Place a round sheet of parchment paper in bottom of skillet. Set aside.

  6. Prepare the Filling: Stir together brown sugar, cherries, pecans, softened butter, cinnamon, and cardamom until mixture is well combined and the texture of wet sand.

  7. Gently spread Filling over Dough, carefully pressing to adhere, leaving a 1-inch border on both long sides. Starting at 1 long side, roll up jelly-roll style. Using a serrated knife, cut log in half lengthwise. Arrange pieces side by side, cut sides up, on the work surface. Carefully twist together, keeping cut sides facing up. Form twisted Dough into a 9-inch ring, tucking ends underneath. Place in prepared skillet, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until almost doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  8. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in lower third position. Remove and discard plastic wrap from Dough. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil after 25 minutes, if needed, to prevent excessive browning. Remove from oven.

  9. Prepare the Glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice. Drizzle over bread. Serve warm, or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

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