Everything Pull-Apart Rolls with Cream Cheese Filling

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rolls in a round baking pan

These brunch-friendly rolls are inspired by Bagel Bombs from Momofuku Milk Bar, but use a soft, tender roll. Fill them with cream cheese and top with Everything Bagel Seasoning for a savory all-in-one bread inspired by bagels.

If the time for Everything Bagel Seasoning has passed, I don’t want to know about it. I know it had a moment a while back and recipes using it popped up everywhere, but this ingredient is a true staple in our kitchen. We use it on everything from avocado toast, to fried eggs, to roasted salmon

But today’s recipe feels like a more obvious use of the bagel-inspired seasoning. The rolls you see here are not quite bagels, but they have all the flavors of warm, soft Everything bagels right out of the oven. This recipe is a classic, simple dinner roll recipe that I have adapted into a variety of bread recipes over the years. It is light, fluffy, tender, and very simple. Even if you’re not an experienced bread baker, you can make this bread!

What is Everything Bagel Seasoning?

Everything Bagel Seasoning (or “Everything-but-the-bagel Seasoning”) is a combination of all the ingredients you would typically find on top of an Everything Bagel. These include white sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, and flaky sea salt. 

We did a side-by-side comparison of the versions from Thrive Market and Trader Joe’s when we were planning this recipe. Thrive inched slightly ahead because it had slightly more salt (=more flavor), but both are great. You can also make your own.

rolls filled with cream cheese in a towel lined basket

How to Make Everything Pull-Apart Rolls

This recipe starts with a simple bread dough that needs about an hour to rise. However, beyond making the bread, the key step is to slice and freeze the cream cheese that will be used for filling. It not only makes the cream cheese easier to add to the center of the rolls, but helps it to hold its shape through the first part of the baking time so that it doesn’t soften too much and leak out. This is a tip I picked up many years ago from Amateur Gourmet’s post on Bagel Bombs. (He actually makes the original recipe from the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook.) 

Once you have the dough made and the cream cheese frozen, the process is simple:

  1. Divide the dough into 12 even rounds. 
  2. Roll each dough round into a ball and flatten it slightly. Press the chilled cream cheese into the dough and pinch the sides to enclose. 
  3. Line the filled dough up in two 8-inch round cake pans or a 9×13 baking pan.
  4. Let the dough rise for 20 minutes while the oven heats.
  5. Brush with butter and sprinkle with Everything Bagel Seasoning.
  6. Bake at 400°F / 200°C until golden brown, 16 to 22 minutes. 

Possible Variations

  • Change cream cheese – Use your favorite cream cheese in the filling. Veggie or scallion are great. Or you can chop some scallions and add them to plain cream cheese for those scallion cream cheese vibes.
  • Change topping – Don’t have Everything Bagel Seasoning? No worries. Use your favorite bagel toppings – just sesame seeds, just poppy seeds, or just large flaky sea salt. 

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baked rolls in a round baking pan

baked rolls in a round baking dish

Everything Pull-Apart Rolls with Cream Cheese Filling

These brunch-friendly rolls are inspired by Bagel Bombs from Momofuku Milk Bar, but use a soft, tender roll. Fill them with cream cheese and top with Everything Bagel Seasoning for a savory all-in-one bread inspired by bagels.
Course Bread
Keyword breakfast, brunch, Homemade bread
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost $6.00


  • Stand Mixer
  • 2 8-inch Round Baking Pans or 1 9x13 Baking Dish
  • Serrated Knife


For the Rolls:

  • 1 1/2 cups Warm Water (110°F / 43°C)
  • 1 Tbsp Instant or "Fast-Acting" Yeast
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 4 cups All-Purpose Flour, divided, plus more for dusting (500g)
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt

For the Filling:

  • 12 oz Cream Cheese

For Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted (2 Tbsp = 28g)
  • 2 Tbsp Everything Bagel Seasoning


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Next, slice the block of cream cheese into 12 even (or close to even) pieces. Place these on a parchment-lined sheet pan or plate and freeze while preparing the dough.
  • Return to the yeast mixture, and add 2 cups flour and salt. Mix on low until ingredients come together.
  • Add remaining 2 cups flour and mix again on low until flour is fully incorporated.
  • Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (The dough will be very sticky and soft at the beginning of the mixing time, but should start to come together. You can add more flour a bit at a time as needed to help it come together, but wait until after it has been mixing for about 4 minutes before adding it. The key to light fluffy rolls is adding as little extra flour as possible.)
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the sides so that the dough gathers in the bottom. Cover with a dish towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes. (I like to turn on the oven's light and let the dough rise inside the oven. The light produces just enough heat to help the dough rise quickly. In a cool room, it will take about 30 minutes to double.)
  • Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans or a 9×13 baking pan.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form it into an even ball. Dust the top of the dough with some more flour.
  • Using a serrated knife, cut the dough into quarters. Slice each quarter of dough into 3 even pieces (you should have 12 pieces of dough).
  • Dust your hands with flour to prevent sticking. Working with one ball of dough at a time, gently flatten into a round disk. Add one piece of frozen cream cheese to the center and wrap the dough around it, pinching the eggs closed very firmly to completely enclose the cream cheese. (Make sure to seal these tightly so the cream cheese doesn’t leak out during baking.)
  • Place dough balls into prepared pan(s) with the seams facing down.
  • Heat oven to 400°F / 200°C. Cover the rolls with a dish towel and put them near the warm oven to rise for 20 minutes.
  • Lightly brush the rolls with the melted butter. Top with Everything Bagel Seasoning.
  • Bake until golden brown, 16 to 22 minutes. (Note: If there is space between the rolls such as when using cake pans, the rolls should finish on the lower end of the cooking time. If baked in tight rows like in a 9x13 pan, they should need the longer cook time.)
  • Let the rolls cool slightly and then gently flip the pan over to remove the rolls. These are best served warm, within an hour or two of baking.

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The post Everything Pull-Apart Rolls with Cream Cheese Filling appeared first on Inquiring Chef.