Donna Hay's caramel pecan wreath with gingerbread glaze

Donna Hay's caramel pecan wreath with gingerbread glaze.
Donna Hay's caramel pecan wreath with gingerbread glaze. Photo: Con Poulos

Swirled with festive spices, this decadent pull-apart loaf is perfect for sharing at the Christmas table.


250ml (1 cup) milk

50g unsalted butter, chopped

525g (3½ cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting

110g (½ cup) castor sugar

1 egg, plus one extra, lightly beaten

2¼ tsp dried yeast


100g unsalted butter, chopped and softened

175g (1 cup) light brown sugar, firmly packed

60g (½ cup) finely chopped pecans

1 tsp mixed spice

Gingerbread glaze

60ml (¼ cup) water

110g (½ cup) castor sugar

1 tsp ground ginger

1 star anise

1 cinnamon stick


1. To make the dough, place the milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Heat until the butter is melted and the milk is lukewarm. Place the flour, sugar, 1 egg, yeast and milk mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes or until the dough comes together (it should be a little sticky).

2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Set aside in a warm place for 1½ hours or until doubled in size.

3. While the dough is proving, make the filling. Combine the butter, sugar, chopped pecans and mixed spice in a bowl. Set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan-forced).

5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 50cm x 25cm rectangle. Spread with the filling mixture. Starting from one long side, roll the dough up to form a log. Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough in half lengthways.

6. Join the top of the 2 pieces together and carefully slide onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Twist the 2 lengths and join the ends to create a wreath shape. Gently transfer to a baking tray, cover with cling film and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until almost risen. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

7. While the wreath is baking, make the gingerbread glaze. Place the water, sugar, ginger, star anise and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 3-4 minutes or until reduced slightly and syrupy.

8. To serve, brush the wreath with the glaze.

Tip: This is best served warm. If you bake ahead, cover and reheat gently in the oven.

Also try: Donna Hay's Christmas popsicles or Christmas layer cake.

This recipe features in our ultimate Christmas feast