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Monkey Bread recipe

Prep Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 12 servings

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This classic Monkey Bread recipe is made with yeast dough (the best way!), coated in cinnamon and sugar and baked to golden caramel perfection. Make ahead and freezer friendly!

monkey bread whole on white plate on white background

If there is any sweet breakfast concoction worthy of a Christmas brunch, it’s this Monkey Bread.

I used to make Monkey Bread a lot, and I love experimenting with different flavors (this Lemon Monkey Bread is a personal and reader favorite!).

And these Cinnamon Roll Bites come close, but they are a little quicker to get to the table — if that’s what you need, check it out! But the fact that I’ve never shared a great, class Monkey Bread recipe here? It’s not right.

We’re changing that today.

No one is mad about it.

There are so many things I love about monkey bread — I mean, soft and fluffy bread, cinnamon sugar, caramel glaze, in one convenient make ahead package?

It’s hard to go wrong.

But in this post I’m also going to share how to make it ahead and refrigerate for several days, or freeze (baked and unbaked!) so you can enjoy Monkey Bread really any time you need it.

monkey bread with white glaze drizzling from spoon

Which is probably going to be a lot 😉

What’s in Monkey Bread?

Many recipes call for refrigerated biscuit dough which is fine — I am the type who understands the need for a shortcut here and there to make life doable.

But when I really want a fantastic Monkey Bread?

Only yeast dough will do.

If you need to, you can purchase store bought bread or bun dough to use in place of the homemade dough in this recipe.

The ingredients in this Monkey Bread are:

  • yeast dough (we’ll get down to the nitty gritty down below)
  • butter
  • cinnamon
  • sugar
  • more butter
  • more sugar
  • cream
glazed monkey bread overhead on white plate on white background

How to make Monkey Bread:

  1. Prepare your dough (again, if you need to cheat, go ahead and purchase store bought dough but stick to yeast if you can find it) and let it rise so it’s nice and fluffy.
  2. Roll your dough into small balls, dunk in butter, then in cinnamon sugar.
  3. Place them all in a greased bundt pan, with a little caramel sauce in the bottom and the rest poured down over all those crevices 😉
  4. You can either bake, refrigerate or freeze, but we’ll get into that later!
  5. Once it’s baked, let it cool slightly before turning out onto a large round plate and watching that glorious caramel run all down the sides.
  6. Resist the urge to devour the entire thing. Unsuccessfully.

How to make Monkey Bread ahead:

In the refrigerator:

You can prepare your Monkey Bread up to the point of baking, then cover tightly and refrigerate up to 2-3 days.

Personally, I prefer to prep it the day before I want to bake it because it will continue to rise very slowly in the refrigerator.

In the freezer:

To freeze unbaked Monkey Bread:

You can also prep your Monkey Bread up until the point of baking it (including the second rise), and cover tightly and freeze on a flat shelf.

Once frozen, you can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To bake, let thaw at room temperature for 5-6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Once thawed, let rest at room temperature (in a warm spot, in the sun or in the oven with the light on) for 60 minutes before baking as the recipe calls for.

To freeze baked Monkey Bread:

You can also prepare as the recipe directs, then let cool to room temperature, wrap tightly and freeze.

To serve, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature for several hours. Reheat in a 275 degree oven just until warm.

monkey bread piece being removed by hand

Can I use refrigerated biscuit dough instead of homemade yeast dough?

You can absolutely use biscuit dough to make this Monkey Bread, but like I said before, if you can find refrigerate or frozen yeast bread or bun dough, that is going to give you the best results!

There is nothing like making Monkey Bread with a great yeast dough — you won’t regret it!

If you are using biscuit dough, you can cut out the rise time and bake immediately.

More make ahead breakfasts you’ll love!

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Monkey Bread

This classic Monkey Bread recipe is made with yeast dough (the best way!), coated in cinnamon and sugar and baked to golden caramel perfection. Make ahead and freezer friendly!
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings 12 servings
Calories 543.83kcal

Ingredients

Monkey Bread Dough

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar 50 grams
  • 3 teaspoons quick or instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 cups all purpose flour 500-625 grams

Caramel sauce

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered icing sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

Monkey Bread dough

  • Heat milk in the microwave on high for 45-60 seconds until warm but not hot.
  • Stir in sugar and yeast with a whisk. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
  • Pour yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if kneading by hand), and whisk in softened butter, eggs and salt. The butter may be slightly lumpy but that is fine.
  • Place the bowl in the stand mixer and attach the dough hook.
  • Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour one cup at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Add enough flour so that a soft but not sticky dough forms.
  • Drizzle a clean bowl with oil and place dough in the bowl. Turn to coat the dough in oil and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

Caramel sauce

  • In a medium saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and cream.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, and cook 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • Place melted butter in a small bowl.
  • In another small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Assembly:

  • Grease a 12 cup bundt pan well and pour the caramel sauce in the bottom.
  • Once dough has risen, tear into small pieces and roll into balls — they don't have to be pretty!
  • Dip balls in melted butter, then coat in cinnamon sugar before placing in the prepared bundt pan. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
  • Set in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 30-60 minutes until puffed slightly.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until top is light golden brown.
  • Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before gently loosening with a small spatula or knife, then inverting onto a large round plate.

Glaze

  • In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and just enough milk to make a thick glaze. If necessary, add additional powdered sugar to thicken to desired consistency. Pour over monkey bread while warm and serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 543.83kcal | Carbohydrates: 70.16g | Protein: 7.52g | Fat: 26.9g | Saturated Fat: 16.45g | Cholesterol: 97.24mg | Sodium: 308.4mg | Potassium: 131.85mg | Fiber: 2.64g | Sugar: 35.86g | Vitamin A: 854.52IU | Calcium: 66.65mg | Iron: 2.3mg
Keywords cinnamon roll bites, monkey bread

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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