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!

  • Cook 60 minutes
  • 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


  • 01

    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.

  • 02

    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.

  • 03

    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.

  • 04

    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.)

  • 05

    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.

  • 06

    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.