Layered Sweet Loaf

Print Recipe
Apricot Citrus Cake

This scrumptious loaf, dotted with apricots and raisins and drizzled with a citrusy glaze, tastes bright and fruity. Its assembly creates a unique look and makes it fun to peel apart.

Serves: 6-8
Total time: approx. 4 hours
Active time: 45 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Special tools: stand mixer, med loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4″)


6 T milk, warmed to 100-110 degrees
1 1/2 t dry active yeast
2 c bread flour, divided, plus more as needed
6 T + 3 T unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pan
3 T + 1/4 c sugar
3/4 t salt
1 lg egg
3/4 t vanilla
1/2 c dried apricots, diced
1/2 c golden raisins
1 orange, zested
1 lg lemon, zested

2 oz (1/4 pkg) cream cheese, softened
1/3 c powdered sugar
1-2 T fresh lemon juice


In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine warm milk, yeast and 1 c of flour; mix well. Let stand for 15 min, or until foamy and doubled in volume.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 6 T butter, 3 T sugar and salt until well blended; add egg and vanilla and incorporate well.

In stand mixer bowl containing flour mix, using dough hook, add remaining 1 c flour and egg-butter mixture. On low speed, mix to a coarse dough, scraping bowl as needed. Increase speed to med; knead 3 min. Dough should be smooth, elastic and slightly cling to bottom of bowl. If sticky, add flour 1 T at a time.

Add apricots and raisins and knead on med speed for 1 min. Remove, cover with plastic wrap and let rise 45 min.*

In a sm bowl, mix together 1/4 c sugar, orange and lemon zest, reserving 1/2 t of each zest for the glaze. (Recipe is below.)

Butter loaf pan and set aside.

On lightly floured surface, roll out to 18 x 10″ rectangle, approx. 1/4″ thick. With long side to you, spread 3 T butter over dough, leaving a 2″ unbuttered edge on one short side. Sprinkle sugar-zest mixture over buttered area. Cut dough vertically into five equal strips.

Lift and stack each buttered strip to form a pile; gently press down. To finish, place the unbuttered strip on top of the stack, resulting in a stack of five strips, with short side to you. Using a sharp, non-serrated knife, cut the stack into five equal pieces.

Fit together each five-layer piece, cut-side up, in pan. Cover with plastic and let rise 1 hr, until almost doubled in volume. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake on middle rack for 40 min. Cool 10 min before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, 1 T lemon juice and reserved zests. For thinner glaze, add remaining 1 T lemon juice. Spread or drizzle over the loaf and serve.

*Dough can be made a day ahead: immediately cover, refrigerate, and extend rising time to approx. 1 1/2 hr.