There are so many good things about Thanksgiving dinner. There is the table piled with comfort food, the house full with family and friends, the first evening of holiday music playing, and a day to consider all the good things the year has brought.
There is something to be said, however, about Thanksgiving breakfast. It’s always overlooked, and often skipped while one focuses on cleaning house, peeling potatoes, and setting the table. But what better way to start a day of feasting, really. This cake is one big roll, stuffed with apples and topped with caramel sauce and toasted pecans. It’s perfect to have on hand for overnight guests and bribing kids to pitch in Thursday morning. It also just may remind one to pause with gratitude; this treat is still bread underneath. Breaking it with a loved one first thing in the morning is a sweet sort of communion, a unique way to stop and give thanks.
Caramel Apple Brioche Cake (and many more from our library of Thanksgiving recipes at the end…)
1 1/2 pounds brioche dough. I used Red Star Platinum yeast, but the Active Dry or Quick Rise versions work too
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cup brown sugar, well packed
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of black pepper
1 cup whole toasted pecans
1 apple, peeled, and grated or chopped into small pieces (I used a Gala apple, but Granny Smith would work nice, too)
Mix together the butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Grease an 8-inch cake pan with butter, then spread half the caramel mixture evenly over the bottom. Scatter the pecans over the caramel mixture and set aside.
Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 1/2 pound piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball. Roll out the dough to an 1/8-inch thick rectangle. Spread the remaining caramel mixture evenly over the rolled out dough, then scatter the apple over the caramel.
Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log and pinch the seam closed.
Roll the log into a turban shape.
Place the dough top side down into the cake pan. Allow the cake to rest for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350. Place the cake on a baking sheet in case the caramel bubbles over, and bake about 40 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. While still hot, run a knife around the outer edge of the pan to release the cake, and invert immediately onto a serving dish.
More Thanksgiving posts from years past: