Buttery bun dough rolled in lemon sugar, baked, and covered in a thick lemon glaze. The perfect make ahead breakfast, brunch or dessert!
Hands up: how many of you hated lemon growing up?
Pretty sure my hand is up there, too.
As a kid, I thought dessert was chocolate or – well pretty much just chocolate.
It didn’t have to be full-on chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie would be fine. I’d even take an oatmeal raisin (though not if there were chocolate chip nearby). Maybe apple crisp if there was ice cream, or hey, just the ice cream.
Speaking of ice cream, I don’t think my mom has ever bought chocolate ice cream. I don’t even think I had store-bought chocolate ice cream until I moved out of the house (though we’ve always been big fans of going out for ice cream, so luckily I had a little more selection there). My mom has always been very specific about some things she likes.
Vanilla ice cream (or a swirl is fine).
A certain bun recipe.
A certain chocolate chip cookie recipe.
A certain double chocolate chip cookie recipe.
And I never felt cheated growing up, you know? My mom always made fabulous food, and her buns and cookies are legendary (I hear those snickers (not to be mistaken with Snickers)).
But now that I’m a somewhat responsible adult, living away from my parents and even doing an all right job at keeping my own kids alive and well, I get to branch out and experiment with some of the things I never had growing up. Cheap ketchup, imitation Cool Whip, chocolate ice cream, peanut butter (my dad does not like peanut butter!), and maybe even a new recipe here or there.
I’ve also grown to appreciate some new flavours, like lemon, and now I’m totally obsessed. Maybe it’s a lot like sour candies. The sweet and the tangy pair so well together, I can’t get enough.
It’s the same thing with rhubarb, right? I hated rhubarb growing up. I wouldn’t touch it. And now? Love it.
I like to think my life is better, fuller, now that I can enjoy a wider range of desserts. That’s what it’s all about, right? Sugar?
I first made this lemon monkey bread with biscuit dough, and I baked it in a pie plate similar to these Cinnamon Roll Bites. It was pretty good, but I really just wanted to make it again with yeast bun dough.
I was kind of dreading putting the whole thing together in the morning so I could bake it, and then I realized I actually didn’t have to. You can make pretty much any yeast dough recipe and let it rise in the fridge overnight. The dough doesn’t rise as quickly, so your fridge won’t be overrun with your monkey bread when you open it up in the morning.
It’s such a great way to have a fresh breakfast or dessert without a lot of fuss. You can make it up and let it rise on the counter for an hour or so, and then put it in the fridge to slow it down. Or you can let it sit in the fridge all night to rise before baking it in the morning.
*I used one full batch of my homemade bun dough (bread machine and stand mixer instructions). You could also use bought bun dough (which you can usually find in the freezer section of the grocery store), homemade biscuit dough (like I use in the Cinnamon Roll Bites) if you don’t want to deal with yeast dough, or you could use bought biscuit dough (found in tubes in the refrigerated section). You can make it as quick or as homemade as you want!
- *1 batch bun dough
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 tsp grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 1 cup powdered icing sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Grease a large bundt pan well and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine 4 tbsp melted butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest.
- Roll bun dough into 1” balls and cover in lemon sugar mixture. Place in greased bundt pan. When all the dough has been used, cover with plastic wrap, then cover with in foil, and set in the fridge overnight (you can also just let it rise on the counter for 1-2 hours and bake that day).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and tin foil from the bundt pan and bake, uncovered for 55-65 minutes. If your top buns are browning too quickly, place the tin foil back over after 30-40 minutes and continue baking.
- Combine all glaze ingredients. Drizzle immediately over monkey bread or let sit for 30 minutes for a thicker glaze (the butter will begin to firm back up and will give the monkey bread a thicker coating of glaze).
- Serve warm or room temperature.
You might also like these Cinnamon Roll Bites: