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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Cinnamon Bun Pie Cooking View

Pi(e) day is coming, friends, and I want you all to be prepared. Normally I would post a pie recipe on the day itself, but this pie is so insanely wonderful, I feel obligated to share it with you now, well in advance, so you can be prepared to make it when Pi(e) Day arrives. Cinnamon bun pie is maybe the best thing to happen in a pie plate since salty honey pie (but don’t tell salty honey pie I said that!) It is kind of like a gigantic cinnamon roll, but way way better.

Given the choice between a cinnamon roll and this pie, I would choose this pie every single time. Here’s the thing: cinnamon rolls are great, but the ratio of dough to gooey deliciousness is never right for me. This pie has exactly what I’m looking for – a delicious yeast dough base which, though excellent, mainly functions to deliver lots and lots of the insanely irresistible filling. And when the filling involves brown butter, liquid cheesecake (insert gasp emoji here), and perfect streusel topping, well, this is one of those situations when “too much of a good thing” just isn’t a thing. I could totally go Bruce Bogtrotter on this pie. And who knows, maybe you will too!

I’ll probably share one more pie recipe actually on Pi Day because I have more good ideas, but this one simply couldn’t wait! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Cinnamon Bun Pie
Yield: 1 9-inch pie


For the liquid cheesecake:

  • 225 grams (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 150 grams (¾ cup) granulated sugar
  • 6 grams (1 tbsp.) cornstarch
  • 2 grams (½ tsp.) kosher salt
  • 25 grams (2 tbsp.) milk
  • 1 large egg

For the dough: 

  • 275 grams (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 6 grams (1½ tsp.) kosher salt
  • 1.75 grams (1¼ tsp.) instant (rapid rise) yeast
  • 185 grams (¾ cup plus 2 tbsp.) water, at room temperature
  • Grapeseed oil

For the streusel: 

  • 40 grams (¼ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 20 grams (¼ cup) old fashioned oats
  • 2 grams (1 tsp.) ground cinnamon
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp.) kosher salt
  • 30 grams (2 tbsp.) light brown sugar
  • 25 grams (2 tbsp.) butter, melted
  • 0.5 grams (1/8 tsp.) vanilla extract

To assemble: 

  • 80 grams (¼ cup) butter
  • 60 grams (¼ cup) light brown sugar
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp.) kosher salt
  • 2 grams (1 tsp.) ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. milk, for egg wash
Cooking View


  • To make the liquid cheesecake, heat the oven to 300˚ F. Line a small loaf pan (8 x 5-inches) with parchment paper. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the sugar and mix 1-2 minutes more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and salt. Whisk in the milk and then the egg until you have a homogenous slurry. With the mixer on medium-low speed, stream in the egg mixture. Mix for 3-4 minutes, until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Bake 15-20 minutes. Gently shake the pan. You want the cheesecake to be firmer toward the outer edges but still jiggly in the center. Continue to bake as needed until this texture is achieved. Do not overbake – you want this to be under baked! Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then transfer to the fridge to cool completely before using in the recipe.

  • To make the dough, combine the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the water gradually, stirring on low speed, until the mixture has come together in a shaggy mass. Knead on low speed for 3 minutes or until the dough is smooth and cohesive. Knead for 4 more minutes. Brush a bowl with grapeseed oil. Add the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until puffed up.

  • While the dough is rising, make the streusel and brown butter. To make the streusel, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar in a bowl and stir to combine. Add in the melted butter and vanilla and toss until small clusters form. To make the brown butter, place the butter in a heatproof bowl and cover with a lid or plate. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, until deep brown in color and nutty in aroma. Let cool completely, stirring frequently to distribute the browned bit (use the refrigerator or freezer to speed chilling, if necessary.)

  • To assemble and finish the pie, heat the oven to 350˚ F. On a lightly floured surface, gently punch down and flatten the dough. Roll the dough out into a round big enough to line a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Carefully place the dough in the pie dish. Use the back of a spoon to spread half of the brown butter in a even layer over the dough. Use the back of another spoon to spread half of the liquid cheesecake in an even layer over the brown butter. Spread the remaining brown butter in an even layer over the liquid cheesecake. Sprinkle the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in an even layer over the brown butter. Gently press down to adhere to the butter. Carefully spread the remaining liquid cheesecake on top. Sprinkle the streusel in an even layer over the top of the cheesecake layer. Brush the exposed edges of the dough with the egg wash.

  • Bake for 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. After 40 minutes, gently shake the pan. The center should still be slightly jiggly but the edges should be more set and slightly puffed. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.


  • Atara

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it, and loved the Matilda shoutout :)

  • Oh Annie! You’ve outdone yourself! I’m definitely going to give this a go!

  • Holy smokes!! That filling is simply amazing! I love this pie!

  • Katie

    Thank you so much for posting your recipes in GRAMS! I wish everyone did :)

  • Heather M.

    I think I just fell in love with a pie. Also, maybe an (in)appropriate breakfast food, but I would totally do it.

  • Annie

    Heck yes, I could totally get down with cinnamon bun pie for breakfast!

  • Amber

    Annie, it made me so excited to see this in my feed this morning! My son just learned what pi is, and it has been fun to have someone else to scheme with me on how to make pi day special! Knowing you celebrate it too, I was hoping you would post a recipe early. He wants a shepherds pie for dinner and a raspberry pie for dessert, but I might persuade him with this one! :)

  • This looks so unbelievable. I am bound and determined to find a way to make this gluten free friendly!

  • Annie

    Amy, your comment completely made my day. The things you describe are the same things that have caused me to stop reading almost all blogs altogether (with a few exceptions). My dedication is to sharing good recipes that I love that I think my readers will enjoy, and sharing products I’m genuinely interested in without concern for sponsorship opportunities. It means so much that you enjoy this perspective. Thank you so much!

  • Pam

    This looks fantastic! just one question, i believe in following a recipe with exact ingredients especially the first time making a recipe, one thing i have never used is grape seed oil, wondering why you choose this over other oils?
    And to echo the other readers, i love and trust your blog- when i need a recipe that is sure to impress Annie’s Eats is the place i look.

  • Annie

    The grapeseed oil isn’t essential in this case. It is a good neutral oil particularly for baking, and because of that, it is the oil used in all Milk Bar recipes. In almost all situations, you could sub canola or vegetable oil for a similar result and particularly here since it is only being used to grease the bowl for the dough proofing. I just left it as such since it is the Milk Bar convention, but feel free to use a different oil. Enjoy!

  • Andrianna

    Just serve it with a poached egg on the side and you’d have a perfect breakfast! :)

  • Andrianna

    How firm does the filling get? I was thinking of maybe doing these as pie bars but I don’t want a big gloopy mess! Thanks :)

  • Emma

    Okay, you just made me order the Milk Bar cookbook (as if the “funfetti” birthday cake and chocolate chip passion fruit cakes that you posted weren’t enough motivation). This baking fanatic is going to have some fun projects ahead! And I completely agree with what mamy81 said below. The integrity of the content and the reliability of the recipes set this blog apart for sure.

  • Yum! Looks delicious!

  • What an incredible looking pie!

  • Stephanie

    My inquiry is completely unrelated to your post, but I’ve been following you for years, love your personal style, and trust your opinion, so I am hoping you can provide some much needed insight. I recently moved to Indiana from Cleveland, Ohio, and am in need of a new hair stylist in Indianapolis or a surrounding area. Are you comfortable recommending someone through your blog? Any guidance you can provide is greatly appreciated.

  • Terra

    Hello! I’ve been following your blog only recently. Upon seeing this pie, I finally decided that this is it – this recipe is a must try. We don’t use cornstarch where I live, not sure where to purchase it. Here we use potato (farina) starch. Would you regard it as an adequate substitute?

  • I’ve been eyeing this pie in the Milk Bar cookbook for AGES and just wondered if it was worth the effort…so happy to know that it is! Not sure if I can get it ready for pi day (surgery rotation..GRRR) but my spring break is coming up and I see so many slices of this in my future.

  • Leah

    ??? Just wondering the texture of the crust. I made this yesterday and I’m pretty sure I over-kneaded, overbaked, or didn’t let the rise happen properly. The middle was amazingness, but the bread crust was too dry and chewy. I am determined to make a second attempt even tastier.

  • Annie

    Aw man, that’s a bummer! If I had to guess I would bet on it not having risen enough. I hope you have better success next time around! Glad the filling was amazing though!

  • Annie

    Boo surgery rotation :( :( :( I’m so ’bout to make your butterscotch blondies. Haven’t been able to get those off my mind since you posted them!

  • Annie

    Not totally sure, I would recommend Googling for a substitute. Good luck!

  • Annie

    Yes! I use Lauren McConnell at MDG Salon in Carmel. She is THE BEST! I don’t know the going rate for cut and color at various salons but I assume she is at the high end of the spectrum, but she is SO worth it. I have a hard time trusting anyone with my hair but I adore and trust Lauren so much. Can’t say enough good things about her! (Also, she and I have become great friends as well. In addition to being a great stylist, she is a fabulous person!)

  • Annie

    Thank you so much! You are so sweet. I truly appreciate your nice comment :D

  • Annie

    I think the best way to understand is just to read the description of how the texture should be when you take it out of the oven. Set on the edges but jiggly in the middle, and definitely not puffed or browned. Enjoy!

  • Andrianna

    Ok thanks! Probably not great for pie bars then, but I’ll definitely have to try the recipe as written :)

  • Susan Adelgren Chester

    Wow!! This pie was amazing. I made 5 different varieties of pie to celebrate today with our Middle School staff, and we all agreed this one was the show-stopper. Totally worth the extra effort. Thanks so much for sharing, Annie!!
    For any who are interested, I made this exactly as Annie directed and it was perfect. I did end up letting the dough rise for almost 2 hrs due to kitchen management of all the different pies I was making. It was wonderfully tender.

  • Jessica Kahn

    Hi Annie, I’m in the middle of making this and I made the dough twice, and both times it came out extraordinarily sticky and gooey, totally unworkable. It was like I needed to add an extra cup of flour in. Do you know what may have caused this? I kneaded it with the dough hook as described in the directions. Thank you! Jessica

  • Annie

    Did you measure the ingredients by weight or volume?

  • Jessica Kahn

    I measured by volume – does that not work with dough?

  • Annie

    It’s not that it doesn’t work, just that it is far less accurate so there is a greater likelihood of having to adjust quantities to get the right texture. Your cup of flour may be totally different than someone else’s cup of flour, but grams are grams. I recommend measuring by weight whenever weight measurements are provided so you will get to that desired texture/end result with less improvisation.

  • Jessica Kahn

    Oh ok, that’s great to know! When I have some downtime, I’m going to give it another try. I ended up using a layer of cinnamon rolls with your liquid cheesecake filling and streusel on top and it came out delish. Thank you!

  • Leah

    Thanks, Susan. (And Annie!) I really really really wanted to love the whole pie – I mean, a yeast crust?!?! I WILL try try again.

  • Brenna G

    Hi Annie, I am making this pie this weekend and I also have the Milk Bar cookbook. I noticed you called for rapid yeast instead of the active dry yeast in the book. Did you just substitute the type of yeast 1:1? I was looking online and some sites said I needed to use a yeast calculator if switching between types. One yeast calculator I saw recommended 1.3g of rapid yeast for 1.75g of dry active yeast. Does the exact weight of yeast in a recipe make that much of a difference when converting between types of yeast? The volumes between the types of yeast seem to be much different as well. I assume you used the rapid yeast in the quantity you specified and were happy with the results? I’m new to working with yeast doughs and I’m hoping to pull off this pie for Easter. Thanks so much for your insight! :)

  • Annie

    Hi Brenna,
    I use rapid rise yeast all the time, no matter what the recipe calls for. In my opinion, it works much better than active dry yeast and has far more consistent results so I don’t even bother using active dry anymore. I always just sub 1:1, no need for special calculations or anything. Enjoy!

  • Kelly B

    I made the liquid cheesecake the afternoon before and refrigerated it overnight, taking it out when I made the dough. It worked out just fine! :)

  • Tara

    How! Annie
    I made this for Easter and it was such a hit. I wish I had doubled the liquid cheese cake filling (was that delicious or what?) since I had a 10 inch deep pie dish. Everyone loved the recipe. One question though the bottom of the pie was slightly soggy. Do you know why?
    every time I make a dessert from your blog for family It becomes our new favourite. Love your selection of desserts and especially because they are not overly sweet.
    Thanks so much!

  • Annie

    Hmm, I’m not sure I have a good answer for that one. The bottom of mine wasn’t soggy. It might be a difference in oven temp/baking time/the properties of the pan used. I’m so glad it was a hit though!

  • Kristen

    Would a store bought pie crust work OK for those who don’t have a lot of time to make the homemade dough? I love homemade dough, but some days/weekends I feel like there just isn’t enough time!

  • Annie

    This pie would just not be the same with store bought pie crust. For one thing, it is completely different since the dough for this pie is yeasted and store bought crust is not. I would just recommend waiting until you have the time to make the pie as it deserves to be made. The end result will be well worth it.

  • Stephanie

    Thank you so much for your recommendation! I had an appointment with Lauren the other day and she did a phenomenal job. I was skeptical to try a new stylist, but she really exceeded my expectations. As a bonus, she was so friendly and I had a great time talking with her. Thanks again!

  • Annie

    Yay! That makes me so happy! Lauren is the best!!!

  • Erin

    I am dying to make this for my friend’s baby shower brunch. Due to timing I don’t think I can do it all that morning… any ideas of how I can do some beforehand? OR- do you think I could safely reheat it that morning in the oven? Help!

  • Annie

    You can make it ahead and reheat in the oven. The Milk Bar cookbook says it can be kept fresh in the fridge for three days well wrapped and then reheated in the oven at 250˚ F for 10-20 minutes. Enjoy!

  • Kristin Cabana Fitzgerald

    I always weigh my ingredients, but I scooped out the yeast with my measuring spoons. 1 1/4 teaspoon turned out to weigh much more than 1.75 grams. I checked twice with the same results, so I’m going with the weight. Wish me luck!