This Glazed Lemon Monkey Bread is made with homemade 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?
I hear you. 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 ever bought chocolate ice cream when I was a kid. I don’t even think I had 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 was always pretty particular about some things she likes.
Vanilla ice cream (or a swirl is acceptable).
And I never felt cheated growing up, you know?
My mom always made fabulous food, and her homemade buns and cookies are pretty legendary.
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. And maybe even throw a few new recipes in here and 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, richer, now that I can enjoy a wider range of desserts. That’s what it’s all about, right?
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 a great yeast bun dough.
How to make this Lemon Monkey Bread ahead:
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 monkey bread won’t be all over your fridge when you wake up in the morning.
Simply prepare up to the point of baking, then cover tightly and refrigerate overnight until ready to bake. Remove from the fridge and let come to room temperature while your oven preheats, then bake as directed.
Variations of this Lemon Monkey Bread:
- To make this Lemon Monkey Bread simpler, you could use store bought biscuit or yeast bread or bun dough.
- Try swapping the lemon zest and juice for orange or lime
- You can bake in a 9×13″ pan if you don’t have a bundt pan — just keep an eye on it as it may be done sooner
*This post, recipe, images and video have been updated since its original posting in May 2015
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Glazed Lemon Monkey Bread
Yeast bun dough
- 1/4 cup warm water 105-110 degrees F — warm but not hot
- 1.5 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast I use instant, but either works in this recipe
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-3.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon zest from 4 lemons
- 1 cup powdered icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Yeast bun dough
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the 1/4 cup warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes or until bubbly — this is how you know your yeast is working. This step is technically not required when using instant yeast, but I do it always anyways, so that I know my buns will be a success.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a very large bowl if you are kneading by hand), whisk together the 1 cup warm water, butter, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt. Add the bubbly yeast mixture and stir to combine.
- Place the bowl in the stand mixer and put the dough hook on the machine. You can also knead by hand.
- Add the flour, one cup at a time, and mix until nearly combined before adding more. You can use all purpose or whole wheat or a combination. Start with 2 cups flour, mixing until each is incorporated, then gradually adding more.
- Add up to 3.5 cups flour total, very gradually at the end, until the dough comes together in a smooth, soft ball and does not stick to the sides of the stand mixer. When you touch it, it should be smooth and slightly tacky but not sticky.
- Place dough in a large lightly greased bowl (you can use the same bowl and grease it), and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Set in a warm spot (I use the oven with the light on — turn the oven on to preheat for 2-4 minutes before turning off and adding the dough) and let rise until doubled, about 1.5 hours.
Lemon Coating and Assembly
- Grease a large bundt pan well and set aside.
- In a small bowl put the melted butter. In another small bowl, combine the 1 cup sugar and lemon zest.
- Roll bun dough (after rising) into 1” balls and dip first in butter and then cover in lemon sugar mixture. Place in greased bundt pan.
- When all the dough has been used, pour any remaining butter over the top and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and set in the fridge overnight to bake in the morning or let it rise on the counter for 1 hour and bake that day
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap or towel from the bundt pan and bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown on top.
- Carefully run a knife around the edges of the monkey bread while still warm. Place a large plate on top of the pan, and flip to invert.
- Stir together powdered sugar and just enough lemon juice so that it comes together — the more lemon juice you use, the thinner the glaze will be.
- Drizzle over monkey bread and serve.
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