A while back, knowing my love of any and all baked goods with awesome names, a reader tipped me off to something called monkey bread which turns out to be one of those doughy delights people have either known about their entire lives and cannot believe I have been deprived of or are 54 words into this post and still have no idea what I’m talking about. Don’t worry, prior to that, I’d been in the latter category too.
I researched it briefly but it turned out to be one of those things that I’m sure I’d polish off in ten seconds flat if you placed it before me, but that I’d never make myself because it turns out people largely make it with canned biscuit dough and I knew I’d never be able to bring myself to. Or at least not when I make such damned fine biscuits without cans.
But it came back on my radar a few weeks ago when my mother, Alex and I shared some, warm and gooey from the oven, at a local restaurant and all three of us have been obsessed since. Can you blame us? Their version contained marbles of a sweet, rich yeasted dough that had been dipped in melted butter, rolled in brown sugar and cinnamon, piled in a ring mold, allowed to puff and dome then baked until caramelized, flipped out onto a plate, glazed and eaten warm, our fingers pulling the bits of dough back apart. They were like cinnamon rolls and doughnut holes got together and made beautiful dough monkeys. Cinnamon buns. Cinnamon swirls. Dough babies. Monkeys. I think we all know that it was no longer in my power to resist.
Which led to this.
And this too.
Then more of this and that.
And then some.
Which led to this.
Which led to…
Whoops! If you’ve made monkey bread before, I needn’t explain to you why there are no basically of the insides, as they’re never long for this world. And if you haven’t made monkey bread before and still need some convincing, understand that it might just divide your existence into Life Before Monkey Bread and Life After Monkey Bread. Come, join us on the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Butter Caramel Dark Side. We’ve been waiting for you.
One year ago: Hot Fudge Sauce (psst, I’ll be renovating this recipe soon!)
Two years ago: A romantic meal to remember! “Whore’s” Pasta and a Bitter Salad with Broken Artichoke Hearts
Three years ago: Mom’s Chocolate Chip Meringues
[Note: The shortbread got some fresh photos taken in 2018, but someone forgot to post them until 2020. :) ]
Monkey Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze
Adapted just slightly from Cook’s Illustrated, who does not use a cream cheese glaze, but should
So here’s my favorite thing I learned about monkey bread when I was researching it: although it’s descended from the kind of buttery sweet yeasted breads that begat the kuchens and galettes of today and it began showing up in women’s magazines and community cookbooks in the 1950s, it was Nancy Reagan who put it on the map for a lot of people: she served it in the White House at Christmas. Her version involves a buttery brioche dough, dipped only in butter (no cinnamon or sugar, brown or white) and she suggests you eat reheated, with jam. It is fairly subdued. This one here is anything but. You’re welcome.
CI says this serves 6 to 8; we served it to far more people at a potluck brunch
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, divided (2 tablespoons softened, 2 tablespoons melted)
1 cup milk, warm (around 110 degrees)
1/3 cup water, warm (also around 110 degrees)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise, instant or bread machine yeast
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
2 teaspoons table salt
Brown Sugar Coating
1 cup packed light brown sugar (CI advises against dark brown, which they feel imparts too strong of a molasses taste; I suspect it wouldn’t bother me)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick or 4 ounces), melted
Cream Cheese Glaze
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus extra if needed
2 tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Get oven and pan ready: Adjust oven rack to medium-low position and heat oven to 200°F. When oven reaches 200, turn it off. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.
Make dough: In a large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast.
To proceed with a stand mixer, mix flour and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. (The dough should be sticky but if it is too wet to come together into anything cohesive, add an additional 2 tablespoons flour.) Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball.
To proceed by hand, mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make well in flour, then add milk mixture to well. Using wooden spoon, stir until dough becomes shaggy and is difficult to stir. Turn out onto lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating shaggy scraps back into dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Shape into taut ball and proceed as directed.
Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray or a tablespoon of neutral oil. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with more cooking spray or oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.
Make brown sugar coating: Place melted butter in one bowl. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a second one.
Form the bread: Flip dough out onto floured surface and gently pat into an 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces. I found it helpful to immediately separate them from the rest of the “grid” or they quickly reformed a big doughy square in 64 parts.
Roll each piece of dough into ball. Working one at a time, dip balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into bowl. (I found a fork to be helpful for this process.) Roll in brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in Bundt pan, staggering seams (something I didn’t do, but should have) where dough balls meet as you build layers.
Cover Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in turned-off oven until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes.
Bake bread: Remove pan from oven and heat oven to 350°F. Unwrap pan and bake until top is deep brown and caramel might begin to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes. (The reason for the “might” is that CI says that it should, but mine did not bubble, leading me to bake mine for an extra 5 to 10 minutes, during which it still did not bubble but go the dark crust you see in the photos. Next time, I’d take it out sooner.) Cool in pan for 5 minutes (no longer, or you’ll have trouble getting it out) then turn out on platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
Make glaze: Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar until smooth and light. Add milk and vanilla and this is where you can kick me because I completely forgot I was a food blogger for a minute there and know I added a touch more milk and sugar but did not write down how much. I have some nerve! Just taste and adjust — you’re looking for something that tastes equally tangy and sweet, and texturally thin enough to drape over the bread but thick enough that it will not just roll off completely.
Drizzle the glaze over warm monkey bread, letting it run over top and sides of bread. Serve warm.
Variation: So, as you all know, I have a little monkey to attend to while I am trying to cook and on Saturday morning, he was particularly distracting (read: cute) and I managed to accidentally slightly brown the melted butter you roll the balls of dough into. Do I need to tell you how amazingly delicious this was? Next time, I will do it intentionally, and get it all of the way brown. And then you can call it Brown Butter Cinnamon Brown Sugar Monkey Bread.
527 comments on monkey bread with cream cheese glaze
i’ve loved this my whole life…always used my mama’s recipe. gonna have to try this one now too!
I loooven Monkey bread! I always thought it was so wrong for people to use biscuit dough however. It’s a yeast bread growing up in my world. Glad you’ve discovered it now!
Monkey what??? Where have I been??
Sweet baby Jesus, Deb. Bread and brown sugar and cream cheese?
Dough hook attached. Stretchy black yoga pants ON. Let’s do this.
Beautiful Cake! Very different.
Yes!! Just what I needed!
I ate this for the first time a few weeks ago and, like you, had never heard of it before. I was very resistant to the dough-from-a-tube method and you saved me the trouble of concocting this myself. I think a batch of this is in order for the cabin this weekend!
While I love cream cheese frosting, monkey bread to me always features a caramel pecan syrup (I think you can do this in the pan a la creme caramel, but I’d have to check my stepmother’s recipe to be sure). At any rate, I’ve always made it using frozen balls of yeasted dough – easier than making your own, but it doesn’t really save any time over mixing your own, what with the thawing time. And now I think you’ve talked me into making this this weekend – thanks a lot!
I’ve loved Monkey Bread for the past three years of my life (though sadly it’s been of the canned biscuit dough variety)…and this version sounds way too tasty to resist. Time for me to get out Ol’ Mable (my trusty stand mixer) and crank out the dough!
I love monkey bread. And I love the fact that you offer directions on how to proceed without a stand mixer, which is something that often frustrates me when reading other (mostly baking) recipes. Thanks for both- can’t wait to try this.
coming over to the dark side…but first…since you commented previously you never get tired of hearing how cute jacob is…well he is…the “swirls” -“buns” -“dough babies” & “monkeys” – TOO adorable, handsome & precious!.
Just made this a few weeks ago because my frozen R*****s dinner rolls were thawed and I didn’t have time for them. But then Monkey Bread came to me, and I made time. Huge Mistake when you live alone. Huge.
So, it’s a great compromise when popping from a can is unimagineable and from scratch is un-fit-in-able. But when there’s time, I’m coming back!
I grew up in Los Angeles in the 70s. Monkey bread (from a bakery) was a staple for special dinners at our house. No sugar or cinnamon, just rich buttery rolls.
I make it every year for Thanksgiving for nostalgia, but have never tried the sweet version.
redick.u.lous: the bread, the child, all of it.
Hey Deb! I have been dying for a homemade Monkey Bread recipe because I agree that biscuits should not be from cans…ever. I can’t wait to make this, but I am a student with a half-equipped kitchen (aka. no bundt pan) so I was wondering if you thought I could make this in an alternate type of baking dish, maybe divide it between 2 round cake pans? Or a loaf pan? I hope this would work because seriously I need to make this ASAP.
Frenchie — In general, two loaf pans = one tube or bundt.
Just made it in one round cake pan and it worked fine.
Welcome to the dark side. It’s a fun and delicious place to be. I recently(ish) made some with pumpkin pie brioche dough. Oh yes I did. I’ll have to give this one a whirl. I’m not one to pass up another shot at making monkey bread.
My mother makes pinch bread for Christmas breakfast. It is basically this, but with nuts and candied cherries inside the balls of dough. Pretty delish, I tell you.
I’ve heard of/eaten monkey bread before, but came to it late in life. Yours sounds better than the biscuit variety.
I first got to know this a recipe on The Pioneer Woman but I haven’t tried it yet. Looks good to me! Now you’ve done it too I’ll have to give it a try! Your baby is adorable!
I’m so glad my mother cannot track where I leave comments, because…well, she’s been making monkey bread for as long as I’ve been alive, and she always…uses…canned biscuit dough. And I’ve never really been a huge fan of the stuff (it’s texture is chewy and not very pleasant), but every year at Christmas she makes it and I choke it down with a smile. So! I’m ecstatic that you’ve posted this, I’ll be sure to make it soon. As for my mother…she’ll go on using that gummy canned biscuit dough, because I don’t have the heart to tell her otherwise!
My kids and I just made this same thing on Saturday! But we call it bubble bread around here. Definitely avoid the kind made with canned biscuits, not worth the calories. This on the other hand … totally worth it!
I have always wanted to try this! I think I will for the next brunch I host…Although I do have a question about the yeast….can you use regular active yeast instead of the instant???
I love Monkey Bread… in our house we usually just go the easy route and use frozen yeast dinner rolls and then I sprinkle all the bread with butterscotch pudding (just the mix) before I drizzle with melted butter/brown sugar combo… YUM!
I love Monkey Bread! I haven’t ever tried a version with sugar and icing – usually it’s more of a plain yeasty roll. That being said, anything involving cream cheese and brown sugar must be incredible.
Paula Deen makes a similar tasty delight she calls gorilla bread – she wraps the biscuit around little squares of cream cheese. I find it much tastier as the tart and creamy cream cheese is a nice contrast with the sweet carmel-type stuff outside the dough.
Holy Cannoli, that looks divine!!!! Want it now. I’ve had monkey bread many times, but not with the cream cheese glaze. WOW!
I love delicious Monkey Bread! I disagree w/ above posters that the version made with canned dough isn’t worthwhile, though. It’s actually a great quick substitute, in my opinion. Sometimes I feel like whipping up a yeast dough . . . sometimes I want breakfast now (and yes, Monkey Bread is a breakfast food around here!)
p.s. Cute monkey bread story: I made some for Thanksgiving this year (of the yeast bread variety), and when we went around the room saying what we were thankful for, my 7 year old niece said, “Monkey bread”. It was the first time she’d had it. :)
Well, if you didn’t know about monkey bread, then I bet you still don’t know that there are also savory versions for those times when you don’t want a sugar comma!!!
My sister gave me a Monkey Bread Pan as a College Graduation gift. I haven’t used it yet, but am looking forward to it.
Oh my goodness! This looks incredible!! And so much fun to eat too!
Oh, I had forgotten about the joys of Monkey bread! I’ve made a version with Cardamom that is also TDF.
Oh my! It would be so easy to pop ball after ball of that scrumptious dough into my mouth. I appreciate that you used homemade dough.
This looks so wonderfully gooey and decadent!
There is most certainly a life before monkey bread and a life after monkey bread. It was one of the greatest things my boyfriend ever introduced me to. Maybe I will surprise him with some of this homemade monkey bread for our anniversary!
Thank you!! Finally! I’ve been trying to find a trustworthy recipe for monkey bread dough for 2 weeks! Made this for the first time 2 weeks ago from a kit someone gave me as a gift. In that version you toss the dough balls in a cinnamon+sugar mixture, place in pan, then cook butter and brown sugar into a delicious caramel-type mixture and pour it all over the dough in the pan, then bake. It was fantastic. Your cream cheese glaze sounds to-die-for, I might have to try that too!
Dang it, now I am supposed to be working and all I will get done this afternoon is count down the hours until I can make this!! I have always used frozen rolls for this but your looks so easy!
Think a long rise in the fridge overnight would work? I’m not the type to get up hours before brunch on a Sunday.
I have only had monkey bread one time and I will never forget that day – last day of senior year of high school at my friend Jennifer’s house. It was the BOMB
I haven’t had monkey bread since childhood. My grandmother made the canned biscuit variety a few times. I have been contemplating the yeasted kind for a while but would like my pant to still fit. I am thinking I will make this Friday night and leave to rise again in the fridge and bake Saturday morning. That way husband can eat the greater quantity and fend off the sugar hyped kids.
This is perfect! I have made monkey bread from the pre-made biscuit cans before and I was not very satisfied! I mean, you can’t really go wrong, but this will be MUCH better.
Thanks so much for sharing this!! I have had a savory monkey bread before – my first time was in college during Thanksgiving at a friend’s house. But this looks like a totally different beast. And honestly, this version looks even better. I love it – a sweet version.
I was just talking to my MIL about making monkey bread but didn’t want to make it out of a package… this is perfect!! Definitely must try this soon! Thanks :)
I love monkey bread! I like to make it with a healthy dose of orange zest. But I can’t have it in my house. No way.
I love monkey bread, my husband’s family introduced me. They make it with the canned biscuts. It wasn’t until I lived in Panama without refridgeration that I tried making them completely from scratch.
I made a batch for Christmas and took them out to share with the neighbors. I had several people tell me I needed to go into business to sell these. From then on I was the monkey bread lady. The thing people don’t realize is monkey bread is only good for the first 20 minutes out of the oven, then it hardens and the bread gets dry; at least my version does. I could never go into business because I wouldn’t be able to keep them fresh. This isn’t a problem in the house. I’ve never seen a batch last more than 20 minutes.
OH wow! I didn’t know what to expect when I clicked on “Monkey Bread” but I suppose it matched my expecatations? LOL the little dough balls look adorable.. they kinda remind me of donut holes. thanks for the recipe!
Haven’t had monkey bread in a long time. Definitely just say no to the canned biscuits (which are much overused and left me scarred from a childhood encounter with hot dogs wrapped in same. Don’t ask; I still can’t talk about it). Love the cream cheese glaze – that alone could lure me back to the monkey bread siren’s song.
did you try the peanut bacon brittles? i am a stranger to monkey bread. it looks divine; just what i need with my cup of tea as i sit by the window and watch snow falling.
beyond — Not that time, but when we went again (we’re obsessed) last week. They were good. But too salty/sticky for my tastes. I expounded on why I believed the caramelization process wasn’t what I’d hoped for but then realized my husband’s eyes were glazing over.
dana — You basically want the balls of dough to fall over the space between the ones below. This way, they won’t stack in straight lines. (I didn’t really follow this step and you can see that some of my bread looks elongated because two balls landed on top of each other.)
Oh I love Monkey Bread, however my recipe is a little different. I can’t remember everything off the top of my head, but something like frozen bread dough rolls, while still frozen roll in butter, cinn. sugar and place in bunt pan, then something with a mixture involving butterscotch pudding…darn it..can’t remember, but they are so sinfully good!!
This looks perfect! I’ve never had it with the cream cheese glaze, but I’ll be all about it now.
Was wondering if this could be made ahead of time and frozen before baking? Do you think it could be thawed and baked or just baked from frozen? Your thoughts please!
I used to work next to a Williams Sonoma that would put out samples of this baked good all the time. It’s one of those things you can smell wafting from the doorway. It was a sirens call.
My mom usually sprinkles raisins and nuts in between the balls. She always makes homemade yeast dough – never canned biscuit dough, ugh! We always call it “pull-apart-bread” – first time I heard monkey bread, I was very confused :)
monkey bread, where have you been all my life?
I love this recipe!!! We make it all the time (albeit with standard 10x sugar icing), and you will find as your adorable little monkey gets bigger that he loves to help make it. I dip the balls in the butter and then the kids roll them in the brown sugar. That’s their job since they use more sugar than I would, which makes my husband happy. My own discoveries: I usually clarify the butter; we prefer dark brown sugar and even more cinnamon; and you can make it the night before, than just cover it in plastic wrap in the fridge and pull out in the morning to warm up and rise for a yummy, yummy brunch without needing to be up early in the morning (more important once monkeys start sleeping in).
like most people responding to this post, I too am not a fan of the canned biscuit. i am stuck inside due to the enormous amounts of snow, so i am going to try this recipe (along with your macaroni and cheese recipe). mmmm…comfort food.
p.s. have you ever tried making sourdough bread? i’ve just begun the adventure and would love to see your viewpoint on the whole process.
Gah! A wonderful lady made this for me once when I was a teenager, serving it with fresh fruit and coffee for breakfast. I remember thinking, “That’s nice,” or something similarly non-descript and unappreciative. But then…the taste. Rich buttery sticky sweet yeasty-ness. Though I was across the country in another time zone, I immediately called my most trusted recipe source. “Mom…You’ve GOT to write this down…” One could seriously eat the WHOLE thing. Not that I have or anything…just sayin’…
Not that you can ever have too much sweets, but I thought some folks might like to know you can make a savory version of this too. Just sub the cinnamon-sugar roll with your favorite herb/garlic powder blend. Wonderful contribution for a pot-luck dinner or any other place you want lots of garlicky bread, but don’t have time to make individual servings. Also–the loaf keeps itself warm for a very long time, so you can set this out while you’re doing the rest of the dinner and not have to worry about it getting cold.
You’re killing me Deb. This is one of the first recipes I ever made (albeit from the can and in home ec) and it has a special place in my culinary heart. My friends are already joking with me about my woman crush on you, and you’re not making it any easier! Gonna have to make this soon. Thanks for sharing!
Ohhh My god. I just saw the mix at W&S. So glad I didn’t buy it.
my grandpa always served the james beard version for easter – it was my fav. my husbands family makes it with the canned dough and i refuse to take that short cut.
Yahoo serious??? You mean there are people out there who have never heard or tried of Monkey Bread before??? I’d assume this was a Southern vs. Northern thing, but my Yankee (NJ) mama made this for us kids growing up (in TN) and I can’t imagine a life without this.
MONKEY. BREAD. My mom made this many times throughout my childhood, and it never, ever fails to be devoured within the hour. She sometimes makes a cream cheese frosting, sometimes not. (I enjoy it both ways.) This may be just the pick-me-up for this ho-hum day…
Mmmm, we have cut out our monkey bread since discovering my daughter was allergic to soy (so canned or frozen dough was out). Not sure why I didn’t consider baking it with homemade dough. Now that I am baking more bread this seems like a brilliant idea!
I was actually going to make some today! It’s my husband’s favorite thing and lasts for about 5 minutes (if that!). I’ve always used frozen yeast rolls, but I’ll definitely have to try this version as I *do* love CI! Thanks!
we have monkey bread almost every saturday morning. if you are making your rolls from scratch I highly reccomend freezing them a few days in advance and assembling the night before and letting it rise covered on the counter overnight. then its ready to go straight in the oven in the morning. I almost always use frozen yeast rolls and add a package of cook and serve vanilla pudding to mine.
Thanks for posting this version – I will try it out. Growing up our kind Sunday School teacher would bring in a bundt pan of monkey break every Sunday. His wife used frozen bread dough. It was sprinkled with brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and dry butterscotch pudding (the kind that needs to be cooked before serving). What a wonderful memory!! He never went home with any leftovers.
LOVE monkey bread. I make it every Christmas for breakfast.
hi deb! i very much want to make this right now. i’m not a native speaker and i don’t understand what ‘staggering the seams where the dough balls meet’ means, i’ve googled it but only got unrelated content. kindly please explain or else we’ll eat staggering amounts of unstaggered monkey bread. i doubt anyone will complain, but i’m just very curious how that step might improve it, cause it looks allllllllright to me as it is. thanks!
I’ve never made it before – but thanks for the step-by-step pictures! Also, super cute pics of your little monkey!!! :) ADORABLE!
we have monkey bread every year on christmas morning. when i was little i loved rolling the dough in butter and cinnamon sugar and then sticking the bundt pan in the oven. then the next morning, it had risen! it was almost as magical as santa (almost!) still something my mom and i do to this day and i can’t wait to share it with my kids!
@ #14 Frenchie – my fiance’s mom just piles the dough balls on a sheet pan and bakes it that way. It’s not exactly the same, but you do get some crispy bits which is a nice addition to this already insanely awesome breakfast treat!
I love monkey bread! When I was little we would make it on Christmas morning and sometimes we would even hide little pieces of chocolate inside some of the dough pieces. It was like finding little presents in our food and it was so good!
I just added a note at the end about a brown butter variation, accidental or not. Yes, please.
This was a Saturday lunch at our house. I think my mom taught us to make it so we’d be occupied rolling the dough around little pieces of cream cheese (yep, cheese on the inside at our house) and coating them with cinnamon *just so.* This recipe gave her lots and lots of quiet time.
I looooove monkey bread but I’m afraid to make it because it would knowingly lead to an extra 5lbs in 3 days kind of thing.
Yes, monkey bread is delicious and gets eaten very, very quickly. We always had it on Christmas morning when I was little. I remember it was the first thing I baked for my roommates when we finally got a dorm suite with a kitchen in college; they were all very impressed. I will admit that I make it with canned biscuit dough, though. It’s so good and easy to make, I just don’t know that I would be able to change! :)
aaah! did you read my mind? i was just thinking today that i needed to research a monkey bread recipe to make for a get together tomorrow. and then your post appeared on my blog roll. it was meant to be :)
i first heard of monkey bread from my neighbor who makes it every christmas morning-a family tradition. i think they use a round cake pan and also make the dough from scratch. i can’t wait to try your version. thx!
“…like cinnamon rolls and doughnut holes got together and made beautiful dough monkeys.” – I gotta visual! lol… ;o)
…Oh Miss Smitten you’ve outdid yourself girl! I have to say that I have never had Monkey Bread – ever. Not the processed kind nor the homemade, made from scratch kind. Sad. Anyway, thank you and I am going to make this this week as a matter of fact, they look THAT dadgum good! :o)
…Btw, I love your photos. They’re not bright or flashy, kinda subdued and it makes your eyes focus on the food that is being photographed. I just love this site… :o)
…Blessings Mr. & Mrs. Smitten and Lil’ Smitten too…
Deb – looks divine! I’m used to the “monkey bread” from a can, as you mentioned ;)
Since you are such a fan of cream cheese – there is apparently something called “gorilla” bread… same basic recipe but you wrap each dough bit around a bit of cream cheese (maybe sweetened?)… I’ve never made it – but seems right down your alley :D
Enjoy all your cinnamon “monkeys” :)
That looks awesome and so irresistible! the kind of treat I love!
Wow! This is really new to me.. My desire to try to new things makes me want to make this, juste pour voir… but on the other hand, the whole cream cheese glazing pushes it to the edge for me. Can we do without it or is it really part of the recipe?
Cream cheese glaze??? Criminal! It just doesn’t need it. I double the butter/brown sugar to get more caramelly deliciousness! A must on Christmas morning.
So delicious! I’ve made monkey bread before (from a low calorie cookbook), but I’m sure this version is more delicious. All that extra butter, sugar and cinnamon (and of course, cream cheese)!
Oh! THANK HEAVENS! SOMETHING IN A BUNDT PAN!! HURRAH!
Seriously, this looks great and I’ve just gotten my car out of a snow drift (Wash-DC) for the first time in ten days. Forgive me if I’m giddy.
So glad to see Jacob returning to your post, too. I thought by now, he was off in college somewhere. (Giddy. I promise. Just giddy and weird.)
I’ve always wanted to make monkey bread. Like you I didn’t want to use canned biscuts. This recipe is perfect and looks so good I want to leave work right now and go bake some!
Mmm, monkey bread. I made my own batch earlier last week when I was snowed in at home, and now my roommate worships me ;)
holy cow. er, monkey rather. this look delightful. i can’t do cream cheese unfortunately, but maybe just a basic sugar glaze or some sort of nut butter glaze would work? thanks deb!
just linked to the buckle and it reminded me of the blueberry cream cookies from momofuko that martha stewart posted the recipe for OMG.. deb you should totoally make them!
Wow – this version sounds awesome! I had monkey bread (the canned biscuit kind) a few years ago and have loved it since whenever my friend made it, but have never made it myself cause I’d rather homemake something. Now I’ll have to give this a try! Thanks!!
The Betty Crocker Cookbook for Boys and Girls, published in the early ’60s, had a Jolly Breakfast Ring recipe that I adapted. Even at the age of 10 or 12, I had no use for biscuit dough or canned biscuit dough — I had to use my Mom’s recipe for dinner rolls. The Ring called for the brown sugar and melted butter to be put in the bottom of a bundt or angel cake pan, decorated with maraschino cherries and pecan halves (placed upside down so they’d be pretty). Then you made little rolls of dough, rolled them in butter and a cinnamon sugar-chopped pecan mixture. Let it rise, bake, and then turn out so the sticky brown sugar goodness would drip all over the baked rolls. Pretty good — but virtually the same as your recipe.
I started making my money bread using muffin tins (using paper liners inside) for “single sized” monkey breads. They work well and as far as taking this somewhere, you don’t have to worry about whose been grabbing what. :)
Also, this helps the rest of the monkey bread not become stale so fast. (Odd chance that we don’t actually eat it all at once, but it sometimes happens.)
They look adorable too. I make them in regular size muffin tins and the ginormous ones I got (made by Wilton I believe). Great for bake sales and for covered dish dinners.
There is also a recipe for monkey bread using a box of butterscotch pudding mix, but I prefer the original!
Oh. My. MONKEY BREAD WITH CREAM CHEESE GLAZE!!! Why did I not think of this before? I adore both! Bless you for posting a recipe that might make me get over my fear of yeast dough. (I know, it’s silly. But there it is.)
I could hug you right now. I’ve been telling my husband for almost 3 years that I would make this for him (he had never heard of it, I’ve adored it all my life) and I have failed miserably at keeping my promise… but now I’m gonna have to make it. Oh yum!
I LOVE monkey bread, to the point that i have even made a savory twist on it. Instead of the brown sugar and what not, sub in parmasane cheese and whatever dry savory herbs that you want to use (rosemary, oregano, and thyme are some of my favs). I make it for family dinners and it barely makes it out of the pan before it is gone.
Variation: Fry (or candy) some thick cut bacon, chop up and scatter between layers of dough balls. It’s as decadent and amazing as it sounds.
*Use turkey bacon if you’re keeping Kosher*
Monkey Bread is a Christmas tradition in my house. I have a recipe that includes dried berries and orange peel the cinnamon/butter mixture, and then the frosting is Orange Cream Cheese. It says it serves 10-12, but the six of us manage just fine.
I used to work at a small b&b and the owner proudly handed me her canned biscuit monkey bread recipe–which I was obliged to make until we got a real chef on board who promptly ‘lost’ the owner’s old recipe and we started making it from scratch. Hehe–it’s really not that difficult to make and makes a world of difference.
Now i’m thinking I should make a savory version of it…yum!
Deb, thank you for bringing Monkey Bread back into my life! This was a childhood favorite I used to make for class birthdays and have for whatever reason forgotten about it (I think my healthy angel blocked it out of my brain). I will be bringing this back from the 90’s for sure! :)
I’ve just been introduced to monkey bread — oh my. And we discovered that our local bakery makes chocolate and cheese versions w/croissant dough. Insanely good! Can’t wait to try this!
I always thought that monkey bread was one of those things that couldn’t be improved upon…. but you just proved me wrong! it looks SUPER!
There was a little bakery down the lane from us in northern Nova Scotia that made the most fabulous monkey bread. I’ve craved it ever since. This recipe looks, quite simply, to die for.
for those of you that want to try other versions, the la times did a great piece on it w/ three versions, one savory.
And here I am, thinking that monkey bread was always a savory thing – I see my ignorance is showing.
I will check the link that Anna posted from the LA Times, to learn more about the “primate” bread :-)
Monkey bread has yet to enter my repertoire – looks like it’s about time to try!
You are too funny. The only way my mom let us kids make our own monkey bread was with biscuits. Out of the can. And licking our fingers. But yes we’ve come a long way in our tastes. My son made the bread last summer and plans to work a version into camping this summer…go scout. You do have the most adorable monkey.
I do make these with Rhodes frozen rolls, sorry. However a new twist, and it is an old, old recipe, I put pecans in the bottom of the oiled bundt pan, then the rolls, then I sprinkle cinnamon & sugar and after that I pour in a 3oz package of dry butterscotch pudding for a carmel flavor. Just another suggestion but I am sure you will make somthing better with “homemade” butterscotch.
You do have an adorable little baby!!!
this looks stunning and happiness-coma inducing. i need it in my life immediately. think i will surprise my fiance with it-thanks for posting!
Loooove monkey bread. I make the biscuit-in-a-can variety but have long felt ashamed of the accolades I receive when I unveil it at brunch, feeling like a cheater, plus I wonder about the unpronouncable preservatives in the can. Cannot WAIT to try this. Before I do — where do you find instant yeast in NYC? I have access to all manner of exotic fruits and vegetables, but the baking sections at all of my neighborhood grocery stores are, shall we say, lacking.
I have loved this forever, isn’t it amazing! I use the recipe from Creme de Colorado which doesn’t call for dipping in sugar but still is a little on the sweet side.
You know how you completely forget about something and then you start hearing about it a lot? This has happened with me and monkey bread. A new bakery near us makes garlic monkey bread to die for and now you have taken me back to my childhood monkey bread – but made it better!
Oh my gosh, it has been forever since I’ve had monkey break…at least 5 years. This looks and sounds phenomenal – truly an indulgent treat.
Oh my god! I can already tell that I will be classified into the life before, life after monkey bread category. I don’t think I can make this unless I immediately, and I mean immediately remove it from my house, or else we will eat it all.
oh my. this looks fantabulous!
I made monkey bread a while back but not the fancy kind. in culinary school baking class, we had loads of extra dough and i refused to waste it, so i sprinkled it in cinnamon sugar (doused, rather), tore off pieces, and shoved them into a bundt pan. out came tasty, lovely, pseudo monkey bread :).
Saw that you recommended to someone that they could use a tube pan with this…FWIW I once set my grandparents oven on fire do just this as the pesky buttery goodness seeped out and onto the floor of the oven.
OMG! I love monkey bread but you just took it to an entirely new level.
I grew up eating this in Milwaukee and we always used frozen bread dough. Not me! I love to make fresh bread. I’ve never seen it with a glaze. I just printed the directions though and they are literally two full pages. Slightly daunting.
Thank you, thank you! I’m of the camp who grew up eating monkey bread but had to give it up since I stopped eating canned biscuits several years ago. This version may be more work, but it will be worth it. I can’t wait to try it. And the cream cheese glaze? You are taking things to a whole new level.
Can I just say that I love that you seem to use or at least adapt Cooks Illustrated recipes? I’d recently started watching their PBS episodes (cooks country) and getting their magazines and I like them.
Also: thanks for ruining my diet. Ok, not really a diet, but thanks for making me want to cook instead of work out.
Thank you…. this looks amazing… and NOT what I need to be cooking :) or eating but I’m going to try this one out this weekend.
My grandma used to make something like this, only we called it “Pull-apart”, and hers had pecans. Pecans covered in caramlized gooey goodness. I need to try to recreate it, only better ’cause no canned dough, and cream cheese icing.
This is an absolute staple in my family’s summer vacation diet. We’ve never made it with frosting, but it is always the job of the youngest cousin to limb onto the counter next to my grandmother (queen of the monkey bread!) and shake the dough pieces in a ziploc bag with the sugar mixture until coated. But our recipe calls for toasted pecans in there too and I just can’t do with out them!
I grew up having Monkey bread on holidays and still dream about it today! I can’t imagine it with home-made dough! I will have to make!
So we are really on a similar wave length, albeit mine is more literal and I made a doggy cake because it looks like my dog. I have to put it up soon, but now I have to make monkey bread! Time flies when you are baking dough because its named after cute animals.
I have to say that I have no problems with canned biscuit dough. I am not ashamed.
I feel like the cinnamon sugar AND the cream cheese glaze would be a little on the cloyingly sweet side. Can you assure me otherwise?
Editorial side issue: in the third paragraph of text, it says “Alex and I shared a had some,” a typo you may want to fix. Of course, it adds charm the way it is. Your choice.
Jill — Thanks. I didn’t find it too sweet. There’s a bit of salt in the dough, so there is balance. But you’ll have to see for yourself. We’re talking about something squarely in the realm of dessert, of course. (Also, hm, you might be mentally comparing the glaze to a cream cheese frosting, which uses much, much more powdered sugar. Some recipes use a whole box for an 8-ounce package. This is nothing at all like that.)
Anna — You should not be ashamed. I do not judge! I will eat them whole, no matter how they were made. I just… have to make things from scratch. It’s a compulsion.
Also Kelly — I was thinking of the one-piece tube pans.
Tiny Kitchen — I got mine at Whole Foods actually. I buy the one-pound bag and keep it in the fridge. It’s nice to never run out of it, even if I have thrown out parts of bags when they’ve hit their expiration date. (You still save a lot of money buying the larger bag. Like, a LOT.)
I’ve been making monkey bread for years with my daughter. We use a plain biscuit recipe that calls for oil and milk. Then, after a bath in the butter and a roll in the cinnamon sugar, we bake them in a round cake pan in one layer, almost touching each other. They aren’t the piled up, fancy pull-apart kind, but they are mixed and baked and on the table in under 1/2 hour. And perfect for when the kids want to help in the kitchen. I’m looking forward to trying this gourmet version. Thanks!
I love monkey bread. I too, prefer a yeasted version, but I do make it with canned biscuit dough for the kids on the weekends. My favorite pull-apart bread is a savory version of this. Try dipping the nuggets of dough in butter then rolling in a mixture of parmesan, garlic, and herbs before rising and biking. Incredible!
Deb, I have been making this for my kids since they were babies (now in their 30’s), as they ripped off a piece, they always said eeek, eeek, eeek (making monkey sounds) then laughed hysterically! Hope Jacob has as much fun in a year or two eating it!!!
I have been waiting for a ‘homemade’ recipe for monkey break! Thank you a million times over.
Sweet merciful crap. I need it.
Could I use active dry yeast instead of rapid rise?
Yeast questions — Instant and active dry are not the same. Instant is used in 3/4 quantities of active dry (and has a few other nuanced differences, such as being more stable and not needing to be proofed in warm water, though this recipe does it anyway). So that there is the exchange, but your rising times might be different.
My cousin has a cheddar and bacon version that rocks!
Thank you… have been a huge fan of monkey bread since I was a kid… and have been looking for a reason to make it soon… (for like the past year) and now I have one… just so I can try this recipe for myself!
so when I was in high school I got this crazy notion to take AP Calc…bad idea…except that on test days our teacher would make monkey bread…to ease the pain…looking at the pictures makes my heart beat fast in a panic and my mouth water all at the same time!
p.s deb that baby of yours is too cute :-)
Too funny about the canned vs. homemade biscuits. I started making mine from scratch last year, and I’ve never looked back. Not just because I love making things from scratch, and not just because they taste so much better to me. But also because although my 4 year-old twins LOVE my homemade biscuits, they won’t touch biscuits from a can. “It doesn’t taste good, Mommy.” Girls after my own heart!
I do like Monkey Bread, but I have to say…I would have been too tempted to bake those little morsels of dough (barely touching) on a sheet pan just the way they were; au natural! What a great party appetizer they would be (with a little less sugar in the dough).
What could be better than a sweet yeasted bready recipe coated with cream cheese? We are super excited about trying this recipe! My two boys will be impressed by the name too! Thanks!
monkey bread is my mom’s favorite. I love it too. before you ever posted this, I was using Martha Stewart’s recipe. with a tweak in yeast and adding cinnamon and nutmeg into the bread. And I also use a caramel sauce alll over the moneky bread. yummy
Wow, I was just looking for a good monkey bread recipe from scratch earlier today since I hadn’t ever had it before either but didn’t want to use canned biscuit dough. What a coincidence :o)
if you want a savory version, infuse melted butter with garlic, sprinkle with parsley, or oregano/basil, or dill, or……… AMAZING alone or with soups…the bread comes out crunchy/toasty on the outside and so soft and amazing on the inside…
There’s another, savory, version where you roll the dough in cheddar. I don’t suppose you’d like to work on that?
Never had it but it’s next on my list! The pictures sold me. Thanks for inspiring me to hit the kitchen.
One of my friends recently introduced me to monkey bread. It wasn’t bad but it would’ve been a whole lot better had it had the cream cheese frosting on top like yours does. Excellent find.
I’ll throw my hat in the gorilla bread ring. You stuff the little biscuits with cream cheese and then add pecans to the glaze. I’m not always the biggest fan of Paula Deen, but that stuff is to die for.
I am going to try to resist this recipe. I will fail at some point though, I’m sure.
mooooooooooonkey breeeeeaaaaaaaad! normally I’m all for the old fashioned way but I’m really in love with the crappy store bought biscuits version…I’ll try this one some day but for now I’ll have to make the easy one super soon!! (so easy…I usually make it the microwave)
Thanks for posting, I have been meaning to make this for some time. The family used to pick this up on the way to Tahoe from a great bakery called Schaats. One question, is there a way to do a part of the recipe ahead? Maybe let the dough rise in the fridge overnight before starting on the cutting and rolling and dipping steps? Thanks!
You were in my head on this one. Last night, while I was making James Beard’s soda bread, my husband asked me to make a cake. I happened to see a recipe for it in Beard on Bread but forgot about when I saw this blog post. Yum!
I made a couple of modifications that might interest you.
I did not have light brown sugar, so I used dark and it was CRISP AND AWESOME. Certainly a heavier and sharper in flavor than if I’d used light, but I loved it.
I did not have any regular cream cheese, but I did have mascarpone cheese left over from a cake I made a couple of weeks ago. Since it technically is cream cheese, I decided to run with it. For this, I only used 1T of milk and added just a touch more powdered sugar. It was incredibly awesome and my husband delighted in being able to dip the cake into it.
Thanks for the great recipe. Yum!
I have a couple pounds of already risen, no-knead challah dough in my fridge waiting to be braided. I may re-purpose half of it into monkey bread!!!! Wish me luck on my dough adventure.
I make Monkey Bread all the time, but mine is made with Cream Biscuit dough instead of yeasted dough. You should try it that way too, it’s very yummy! My Cream Biscuit dough is almost the same as yours :-)
The version I’ve always had, you put melted butter and brown sugar in the bottom (ala pineapple upside down cake) with chopped pecans. Then pile the dough in. When you bake it and flip it over, you get monkey bread ala caramel pecan cinnamon rolls.
I’m a fan myself of monkey bread, but I also like to add just a pinch of nutmeg. Somehow it just adds a kick, if you know what I mean. :)
Thank you so much for this recipe! When my 8-year-old saw the picture, she wanted to make it right away, so we did. It’s a great kid recipe, and my two (4 and 8) were happily employed rolling and dipping the bits of dough.
I used White Whole Wheat (my usual bread flour) and it worked very nicely, but needed more milk to make it work. When I reread the recipe, though, I wasn’t that surprised, since 1 1/3 c of liquid doesn’t seem to me like it would make a soft dough with 3 1/4 c flour, but maybe I’ve just been baking with whole wheat for too long and have forgotten how white flour behaves.
It came out absolutely wonderfully! Some of the sugar was gooey, and some was crunchy, and every bite delicious!
I just made your cinnamon rolls last night for an early (read: 8am) meeting. I ate three of them!! I think I might have to wait a little bit before making this, but it looks delectable.
I first heard of Monkey Bread when the NYTimes published Nancy Reagan’s recipe, which, politics aside, is quite good.
You’re always the first out of the gate! I’ve had this recipe in my recipe box for years. DECADES, even. I’m afraid of making it because I know I’m just the type to down half of it by myself, and then the other half to keep it company.
Deb, this is one of those reasons that being a Southern girl is so freakin’ awesome; recipes like this are always around us in the South. This is one of my very favorite Southern recipes — and it is so truly Southern what with the butter and biscuits and all. I have to admit that when I make monkey bread I always use refrigerated biscuit dough but I could see that this would be even better.
Sweet Lord that looks amazing!!!!
Oh wow! I haven’t had monkey bread in years, but my childhood best friend’s mom used to make it. I remember sitting at her kitchen table, pulling apart the sweet, sticky bits, stuffing ourselves. I’ve never actually made it but this looks SO good that I might just have to tacke it this weekend.
Can you add a share on Facebook link or add your recipes on Facebook? I would LOVE to share with my friends, but cannot figure out how to do it, other than pasting the link in my status update! I have fond memories of my great aunt making this recipe when I was a young child – a long, very long, time ago – and now I know what I will be making this weekend!
Your blog is my first go-to for ideas.
Anne K — I realize it’s not the clearest/easiest thing to find, but at the bottom of every post before the comments begin there is a link that says “Bookmark”. If you click on it, it will give you a pop-up option to share on a zillion different sites, including Facebook. Which I just tested and works great. Hope that helps!
Oh, this is torture! I have been craving this for weeks, with no time to bake, and now tomorrow is the beginning of Lent and there will be no dessert for a few weeks.
(*Sigh*) I am thinking that Easter Sunday breakfast would be a good place for such delicious decadence. And I agree that no amount of sad, canned biscuit dough can compare to the yeasty, puffy, cinnamon-y goodness of the real thing. I have never tried the cream cheese glaze but it does sound intriguing. You are full of good ideas.
Your little Jacob is the cutest monkey of all!
This seriously challenges my gluten free diet….
The appearance of this monkey bread reminds me of City Bakery’s bakers muffin which is amazing!
This monkey bread also sounds a lot like a traditional jewish-yemenite breakfast bread (called kubaneh), they eat it on Saturday morning and it slowly bakes in the oven all night on a low heat, it’s delicious! Their version is more savory, it is a little sweet but no cinnamon involved.
Question: What size bundt ring did you use? I think mine would be too small for this recipe, it’s about 8-10 cups (I’m not sure)
I love your blog and have tried – and loved – a number of your recipes. Monkey bread goes a long way back in my life, but I make it with finely chopped walnuts or pecans mixed into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Yummmmm! They are a worthy addition. I’ve never had it with cream cheese glaze. I may have to make some soon.
I’ve heard of monkey bread before but have never tried it…after this post I am longing to be on the other side too! Take me oh delectable looking monkey bread!!!
Know what you mean about cooking/baking with a little monkey around :)
OMG!! Long-time skulker, first-time commenter. Cannot BELIEVE you’ve lived without monkey bread this long, but GOOD HEAVENS woman, you’ve taken it to a whole new level. Cannot wait to try this on the fam and watch the mommy worship begin. Thanks for another winner!
I JUST finished reading a post at Serious Eats (http://bit.ly/99bLFA) about individual portioned monkey breads with caramel dipping sauce – probably the best idea I ever heard of and have never seen. Needless to say, I’m kicking myself for not finding this delight before moving away from Seattle. I plan on making up for this oversight soon by trying yours, Deb.
Geesh – my aunts used to make this. I always thought it was just some strange family thing.
My aunt makes a special variation on this. She takes frozen cinnamon rolls and cuts them in to fourths, then lets them sit out overnight in a cream and sugar mixture. After they bake in the morning, she whips up a caramel sauce and lets it soak through all the layers of cinnamon monkey bread. It is the most heavenly thing I’ve ever had for breakfast.
Mmmm…monkey bread is my family’s traditional Christmas morning breakfast. Pop the cold pan into the oven right before bedtime, it rises overnight, and the first person to wake up turns on the oven. Of course, now that I live alone, it’s all mine, mine, mine!! :)
Wow, I made this for the first time in my Home Ec class! Oh the memories…so good. Haven’t made it in years, may have to inflict this on my co workers. lol
This looks like such a lovely and fun recipe! The outcome is gorgeous! :)
This was the way my babysitter always used to shut my brother and I up. Of course, we used the dough out of the can (and it always scared us when it popped, without fail), but this looks so much better than ours ever did. Might have also had something to do with the fact that we probably ate more of the sugar than got on the monkeybread, but Barbara left at 4, so it wasn’t her problem.
I think it’s time I initiate my sister into the ways of monkeybread. I have a new goal for the next time I’m home.
Once again, brown butter makes everything doubly delicious. I love the step by step photos of the process – so beautiful! I’ve never made monkey bread, but the first time I watched a pastry chef make it on tv I nearly cracked my tv screen trying to jump in there for some!
I always thought monkey bread was another name for banana bread……monkeys, bananas, get it?
Don’t get me wrong, I like bananas, but OMG this looks divine! Given that I don’t think I can get canned dough here in Oz, guess I’ll be using the recipe :D
I made this tonight. Sooooooooooo good! (even without the glaze, although I also prefer to gild the lily). I did find that I needed more of the sugar mixture, so just put some additional brown sugar in the bowl and added a few shakes of cinnamon. Deb, I’m wondering if there’s a way to make this in advance and have it ready to bake in the morning. One recipe that’s out there for monkey bread using commercial dough has you put the frozen balls into the pan on the countertop at bedtime and then by the morning they’ve thawed and risen, ready to bake. So I’m wondering how it would work to freeze the non-risen cinnamon-sugared pieces and then use the same procedure once they’re frozen. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Emilie and others who want to do this ahead of time — There is definitely potential to make the dough and let it rise in the fridge overnight or to form the entire bread (rolled in butter as well) and let it rise in the fridge overnight. I haven’t tested it this way but this method generally works with most bread recipes (i.e. you can pause at any point, just wrap well in fridge, bring back to room temperature and pick up exactly where you left off the night before, including continuing the current rise if it did not fully double in the fridge). Hope that helps!
Awesome! I make a variant of this: orange rolls/orange monkey bread. Butter, frozen orange juice concentrate, orange zest and a little sugar melted together. Dunk the yeast dough balls in and make it otherwise the same way. Tart-sweet treat; also perfect for Christmas morning or a brunch! And yes, homemade dough is better, but frozen rolls cut up as they thaw, or canned biscuits also taste good.
Oh man. Haven’t had monkey bread for ages and now won’t be able to sleep for wanting it. Yours looks seriously good.
I’ve been eyeing the Cook’s Illustrated monkey break recipe for a while…you just convinced me to go ahead and make it! I’ve only had monkey bread once when I was little and loved it. I’m not a canned biscuit kind of person either, and in any case I wouldn’t be able to find them in Paris even if I wanted to, so these are perfect!
gyaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!! u re killing me deb. i dont know how many times i scrolled up and down this page… i must must must make this!!! BUT! idont have a bundt pan!! how how how??? cani just halve the recipe and put em in a 8 inch round pan?? will it work???? must.make.bake.eat.grin
Cannot wait to try this. Like, today.
(and Jen, I like your savoury version too – thanks!)
And as for that monkey of yours… I’m speechless. Too yummy for words.
Goodness me!!! As someone from DownUnder (Australia) I have never heard of Monkey Bread – but it sounds scrumptious and looks decidedly decadent – all that bread, sugar and butter….what a way to go!! Think I will have to introduce a new tradition into our Easter treats. NB: no such thing as ‘biscuits in a can’ down here -besides half the fun is in the making from scratch and eating the rewards for some ‘hard’ work. Cheers!
My boys think monkey bread is the “be all and end all”! Their absolute favorite treat! I was deprived as a child-my mom never heard of it :(
I’m in the “after” catagory, but I bet it’s been since I was a child that I’ve had this. Oops, that means that my kids are all in the “before” catagory, not for long. ~LeslieMichele
Hi, i soooo want to make this! the thing is… it looks gorgeaous without the glaze! any chance anybody wants to take some time and tell me why the glaze is recommended? [i’ve never actually had anything like this, so i don’t know what it compares to]
In the dutch province Zeeland they make this in turd-like shapes! they call it ‘bolus’, which is an old word for pile of shit…
VERY seriously considering walking out of the office right now to go home and make this.
I probably would have just said No to Ms. Reagan’s version, but put cream cheese glaze on cardboard and I’d give it a try. This will be my Easter recipe to celebrate what the husband and I call “the purification ritual.” That it’s called Monkey Bread will thrill him to no end. Thanks!
I mostly come here to see sweet Jacob and the recipes are secondary now.
The two monkeys are so cute.
BTW This looks YUM!
Have I been deprived my whole life!? This sounds FANTASTIC.
And right up my alley.
YUMMM! I love monkey bread and that cream cheese glaze? OH MAN! What evil have you unleashed! :) Way to go!
Oh no I wish I had this a day earlier, just gave up sweets for lent!
I just can’t get past that kid of yours. The HAIR! Egad! :)
Your monkey bread is beautiful. I have made Monkey bread since the 70’s (boy that dates me). Sometimes I add pecans in with some of the dough balls. I always do my dough from scratch like you but if someone ever wants a quick version, just buy frozen bread dough and cut in small pieces and continue with the dunking etc. Scratch is better though but in a pinch the frozen works just fine. — Sherry
@MK: I STILL have my tattered copy of the Betty Crocker Boys & Girls Cookbook! It was my first cookbook, and I still make some things from it. Especially the Hot Fudge Pudding Cake. We always called it “Chocolate Slop.”
And Deb, the Monkey Bread looks divine!
Grand memories of monkey break when I was a kid. It’s also good made only with butter or else with some herbs to accompany dinner and other savory dishes. Also try it out in muffin tins because tiny monkey bread muffins sure are cute (and obviously you have cute monkeys all figured out).
I, too, have made the version with frozen rolls where you let it sit overnight to thaw and rise, then bake first thing in the morning. Deb, your recipe looks divine and I shall try it soon… perhaps even this weekend.
Also, Waving “hi” to Jen (comment #144) for that awesome idea of a savory version! Rosemary, asiago and garlic, anyone?
Mmm, we love monkey bread in our house, and, yes, we make it with refrigerated biscuit dough, however the name has degenerated over the years to “Monkey Balls” which sounds a lot dirtier than we originally intended so surely it evens out in the end….
I have always wanted to try this.
I made this last night and it was great! Mine didn’t rise again after I made it into little balls, but it was still really good. I’m not sure there is any left after my boyfriend and his friend had a gaming/munching session last night. Thanks for all of your really great recipes! I live in a small college town with not a lot of nice places to eat, so it’s great to have a resource to help me make really great meals!
Gaw….monkey bread is the best sinful breakfast treat ever. I have only ever had it made with refrigerated biscuit dough (there used to be a little old lady that worked for me that would bring this to us on occasion – I loved her). SO awesome. I love that you reinvented it with the cream cheese glaze.
OMG, I usually use my bread machine to make the dough, which is fine. But brown sugar???!! I’ve only used white, but I know brown sugar will make it even more delectable! Forget the frosting, it won’t make it till then with my kids around! What a mouth-watering photo!!!
When I was a little kid I told my mom I wanted to bake bread so she said look in the cookbook and pick one out. Of course I picked Monkey Bread, because what kid wouldn’t? It was the simple butter kind so now I’m going to have to try this revved up version.
Welcome to our Monkey-Bread-Lovin-World! I will admit that I’ve only made it with canned biscuits (shame on me) but maybe I’ll try it your way just once :)
My family loves this bread…often make it with frozen roll dough, leave it out on the counter overnight and then bake in the morning (just make sure not to overfill your pan!) Making it from scratch allows you to make the dough balls whatever size you prefer, but the frozen dough works as well. We used to have homemade cinnamon rolls as our Christmas morning breakfast, now the kids request the bubble bread, will certainly have to try the browned butter, sounds delicious. We’ve always used the cream cheese glaze, would be barren without it!
My version of Monkey Bread is made by dipping the pieces of dough in orange juice. Not quite so sweet but delicious.
Adding cream cheese glaze to something already sticky gooey yummy treat is my kind of treat. I’m a big fan of monkey bread – and have even adapted a savory version rolled in parmesan cheese!
How sad that you’re only now discovering Monkey Bread! However, while I’ve loved the stuff for years I’ve never made it myself because I didn’t know there was a non-canned-biscuit option. I’ve been freed from the clutches of Hungry Jack! Thanks for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it! Any tips for making ahead and reheating?
Awwww, Monkey Bread! My mom makes this every Christmas morning, it’s such a family tradition for us! I want some RIGHT NOW!
Oops, just saw your response to other inquiries about making ahead. Sorry!
I’ve never had monkey bread but this looks like something I MUST make. Yum!
A local bakery here in Portland, OR makes what they call Monkey Muffins. They use the scraps of their croissant dough and also add pecans. They are ridiculously good.
This looks amazing! Is there any way to do this ahead of time, in parts (ie for a brunch the next day?)
This is the MOST AWESOME-EST bread on the planet! My kids ADORE this and MAKE me make it when they come home from university. It is a must-do!!!!!!
Thanks for sharing it with newcomers.
Wow, gotta get the girls in on this one!
Mmmm, monkey bread! *LOVE* this stuff. When I first discovered it, I was like, “Oh, monkey bread! Where have you been all of my life?” I’m even worse than the people who use canned biscuit dough. I buy a premade monkey bread-thingey in the freezer section and just heat it up in the microwave (I know, I know!). I always make cream cheese sauce as monkey bread reminds me of cinnamon rolls and I would *never* eat a cinnamon roll without cream cheese icing. I’ve been planning to graduate to the canned biscuit version. I have not conquered my fear of yeast yet, but this or cinnamon rolls just might make me do that.
Never really cared for monkey bread but that was probably because I’ve only ever had the canned biscuit type. Maybe this will help me change my mind.
Mmmm….sounds like a recipe kids would love….also sounds like something I’ll enjoy vicariously through you, b/c once you start making Monkey bread, you’ll never stop! (kinda like why I never venture into cream puff/eclair territory–ha ha).
My family does this but they call it Pick-Apart-Cake and serve it on Christmas morning. Also with raisins (which is bad in my opinion).
I am going to make this tomorrow! I always shied away from the canned biscuit one and now I have a for sure recipe to follow. thanks so much!
My son growing up with a Home Economic’s teacher as a mom begged me to please make him canned biscuits like all the other moms. I felt insulted! These really look good, but would have to make them for a crowd or my husbands eyes would be glazing over, too!
My mouth is watering beyond belief. I’m bananas for monkey bread!
I made these this morning and they are fantastic. Not as much work as I thought – it all came together just as you said. I was short on all purpose flour so I substituted one cup of whole wheat flour with no ill results. Oh, and no bubbling for me either but I took them out at the specified time and they are perfectly cooked. Would love to know a technique for preparing ahead of time and baking in the morning. Snow day today, though so plenty of time…kids are loving them. Thanks!
This has long been a Christmas morning favorite at my house. My mom always makes it with nuts on top… I hate nuts in my pastries, but nothing can ruin a good monkey bread. I’m so glad you’ve finally discovered all the glory of “cinnamon bun + doughnut hole” babies = monkey bread. Yummy!
Oh my goodness! I just made the canned version for the first time the other day and was thinking to myself how much better this would be if it was made from scratch! Thanks for doing all the leg work for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it.
Oh my goodness…this looks amazing! I love monkey bread! Thanks for reminding me how much I have been missing by not making it lately…
I got an eerily similar recipe from a college friend’s mother, who got it from her mother. It was entitled simply “Pattye’s Coffee Cake”, and the recipe called for a 5 lb bag of flour, because really, who makes just one of these? I have to make enough for the neighours. And their cousins. And their cousins’ neighbours. My friend’s mom collects bundt cake tins and uses them all in a huge coffee cake baking frenzy every Christmahannukah.
MONKEY BREAD. ok. 1. I didn’t know it was called that. 2. I had it for the first time this past christmas when my boyfriend’s sister’s minnesota born and raised boyfriend (are you lost yet?) made it for us. he used those CANNED balls of dough and while i watched him construct it he saw my eying him and IT suspiciously, as he said, “just trust me on this one.” so by morning, they had doubled in size, we baked them (we made one savory – rosemary, olive oil, that sorta thing & one more like yours, i.e. way more awesome) and to my astonishment – i actually kinda really thought it was delicious… however in my head i thought, this lacks TWO THINGS: REAL (not canned) dough + some sort of goey glaze that would make it really sticky and moist. you’ve have hereby read my mind and i thank you. my waistline does not thank you, but it’s a good thing my mind’s charge around here. why is it called MONKEY bread anyway? am i missing something “monkey” about it ?
I had to throw the first batch of dough out because it wouldn’t come together, I made the mistake of adding a whole cup of water, I didn’t read the instructions like I should have, Anyway second time around I read everything carefully and measured everything before starting the dough again but even after the two additional tablespoons of flour it wouldn’t come together so I added a bit more and it still wouldn’t come together, I turned the whole wet mess on my floured counter (huuuge mistake) washed and greased the bowl and scraped the whole thing in..its in the oven now I wonder if it will rise )=
Wow. I wish I would have had this recipe last week. I made monkey bread for my co-workers and it was nothing like yours! I’ll have to make this for them soon! Thanks for posting.
Omg. I had nearly forgotten about the joys of Monkey Bread… my Nanna used to make it (accompanied by squeals and giggles from my cousin and I who used to whip out the Monkey Bread Dance for just such occasions) with maraschino cherries and baby food applesauce strewn throughout the sort-of layers. Thanks for the sugar coma/goofy childhood memories :)
Hey Deb! not like you have a million+1 things to do and a big list of stuff to cook/try.. but speaking for funny names, you should try this crack pie. we’d love to hear your interpretations!!
I can just imagine this with a Maple glaze…time to make two recipes and compare…oh my family will LOVE me this weekend!
I think it is called Monkey bread because monkeys can’t keep their grubby little paws from grabbing one little tasty morsel after another!
This looks so good! My grandmother made this for us all the time (minus the icing) when she was alive. I make it now for my kids, but we always call them ‘pull aparts’. Probably because we literally sit around them at the table and pull off our little pieces like circling vultures!
You’re killing me! Here I am, sick as can be (okay, it’s just a slight cold, but still) and not feeling well enough to make this myself. My husband doesn’t know the first thing about baking, so I guess I am out of luck until this sore throat and sniffles pass. :(
I’m so excited about this. So excited that I decided to make it tonight…
…and may have flubbed it. For some reason, I read and wrote down on my recipe card 2 T salt instead of 2 t salt. I went really scant on them (probably ended up being just over a teaspoon in total) because it seemed weird, but my dough is so salty. I halved the recipe and added it to the botched dough, in the hopes that it will turn out ok for my women’s group meeting tonight!
Both times the dough was REALLY sticky. Really really sticky. I had to add a lot more flour to make it do anything cohesive. Maybe my liquid measure is broken.
I’ve been dying to try making this and came close to buying a crazily overpriced monkey bread making kit at williams-sonoma. Will definitely try this first!
HOW COULD YOU???? I am having the worst day ever in the history of everything, and then to come here and see a recipe for monkey bread! I don’t have the power to resist. I printed it immediately. In truth, I’ve been looking for a good monkey bread recipe for three months, and I’m so happy to have found one I can trust. Now I must buy a bundt pan.
While I’ve never had monkey bread, my hungarian grandmother makes “Caveman Cake” which is a very similar concept, but the chunks of dough are bigger and stuck together with a mixture of apricot jam, crushed walnuts, sugar and lemon rind… probably the quintessential eastern-european cake flavours!
I went and baked a version of this cake (long-time family favourite) with my grandmother not long ago… the recipe is here – http://eatitgood.blogspot.com/2009/10/neanderthal-dessert.html
It seems to me that if you like monkey-bread – you’ll LOVE Caveman Cake!
I was one of those people who’d never had monkey bread til I made it about a year ago. I used canned biscuits cause sometimes, I just like the taste of them. Homemade biscuits are near and dear to my heart, but sometimes flaky Grands biscuits rock. I put the gooey plate of it in front of my husband, he tried it then he looked at me like I’d been tricking him all these years with cereal and pancakes!
It is insanely addictive. It’s one of those foods I’ll keep eating past knowing I’m full but it just tastes so good!
I highly recommend some pecans studded throughout!
Definitely will make this one now that I see how easy it is to make the dough from scratch (also have to admit that I’m one of those Grands-biscuit-in-a-can users from waaaaaaay back!).
I also make a savory version of this that rolls the dough balls (yeast bread dough) in olive or canola oil, then Italian spices and freshly grated parmesan cheese. It’s to die for with homemade tomato soup!!
STEP AWAY FROM THE CAMERA! YOU ARE ABUSING DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY AND BLOGGING!!
ELEVEN pictures when 1 or 2 would have been enough.
I’m 7.5 months pregnant and have had gestational diabetes from the start (so, very limited carbs and sugars). I am making this and the previous two recipes ON THE DAY that I get home from the hospital. It’s not like I’ll be getting any sleep, so I might as well be making up for lost carb consumption time.
(And, Jojo, must disagree. The more gastro-porn, the better.)
I just made your cinnamon rolls for my husband as an anniversary presant this morning and they were delicious. He woke up because they smelled so good! Totally looking forward to making this next, looks amazing!
By the way, I do not agree with Jojo, I love the photography. The step by step pictures really help me to know what it is supposed to look like. Actually, your photography has inspired me to get a real camera myself.
These look delicious! I grew up with a version of Monkey Bread which involved (roughly) a stick of butter, a package of cook & serve butterscotch pudding mix, plus an amount of brown sugar. You put that mixture in the pan, drop about 18 frozen dinner rolls (the dough kind, not the already cooked kind) on top and let it sit on the counter overnight. Bake in the morning and invert on a plate… We always thought it was delicious. However, I can only imagine how much better Monkey Bread which is completely homemade must taste!! And cream cheese? YUM.
You didn’t mention switching to the dough hook. You do for kneading, don’t you? Thank you I check your blog every day!
Margid — The dough hook is in the first line of how to proceed with a stand mixer.
WOW!! I must say that I will have to give these a try. I never wanted to make monkey bread because I could not bring myself to used canned biscuit dough, but was too lazy to make my own… You made it look absolutely incredible!
This looks a lot like the recipe for monkey we made growing up (nothing packaged in our house) but we never thought to add the cream cheese frosting. Seeing this makes be a bit sad at all those missed opportunities for total perfection. Beautifully done.
my friend at work makes it all the time…..Im now going to try it
Deb, I loved your recipe. My son has renamed them though. A warning to you, teen boys are rather rude. Take a look at my poor quality photos of my attempt.
I think I’m going to fourth the gorilla bread suggestion. Every year when our store does inventory, our manager brings it in. I have to limit myself to only once a year. And monkey bread has to be saved for Christmas morning. Otherwise, I would not fit through the door. :)
Brown butter? I bow to your greatness!
My mother used to buy the frozen stuff at the grocery store – which was tasty, but, my goodness. I saw this recipe and IMMEDIATELY ran and made some. It has been out of the oven for something like ten minutes and it is half gone already. The only thing even close to a problem I had was this:
I set aside all of my ingredients ahead of time: my flour and softened butter and melted butter and brown sugar, and so on and so forth. This meant that I had to sort of re-melt my butter eventually, but whatever, it is all good.
But then! My bread was done, and I had this little bowl with two tablespoons of softened butter in it. And I looked at my monkey bread, and I looked at the little bowl, and felt a lot like someone who puts together and entertainment center and finds they have a screw left over.
I mean, the bread was delicious, but I can’t help wondering if I missed something important somewhere. For what was my little bowl of softened butter intended? Aside from a piece of toast, which is where it ended up.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I grew up on this stuff but ate it with canned biscuits. Sadly the thought never crossed my mind to make my own biscuit dough to make these! You are awesome and I can now make them without that stuff. Seriously, my kids will love you!
looks unbelieveably tasty! I must try this recipe!
today I don’t mind being at the bottom of the monkey barrel at comment #264.
because today is unlike every other day.
I am thrilled to be living back in my hometown, nyc, where you are living too
just because of this post.
not only am I about to promptly send this post to a great friend of mine & fellow baker in London (who is from Israel), but I will dash into work tomorrow to prepare it for the brunch pastry basket this weekend.
there’s not enough space left to fill the rest with thank you, so you’ll just have to imagine them trailing off into the abyss, like Mickey’s reproducing broomsticks.
These days when blogs are filled with quinoa, sorghum, amaranth, gluten-free, Acai, pomegranate concotions of every sort, I feel like I’ve dropped onto a giant pillow of delicious comfort food circa 1940 when GirlCooks wore cherry-covered aprons, shared recipe cards with their names written carefully at the top and had names like Ida, Harriet, Zorada and Irene…thank you, thank you…bake on girls!!!!!
My mom always rolled the dough pieces in cinnamon sugar, then poured a hot pineapple-caramel sauce over the top before baking. SO good. Made monkey-muffins for my daughters mini-themed party, worked like a charm.
I have this in the oven right now! ( I added an extra heaping tablespoon of powdered sugar and an extra “scant” tablespoon of milk for the glaze. This makes for a great consistency!) My boyfriend loves monkey bread, so when I saw this recipe, I knew I HAD to make it!
ps. your little monkey is adorable!
I love monkey bread w/yeast dough, but if you want a quick fix just make your favorite biscuit dough and do the same. . .different texture, but ooh so immediately gratifying. Even better with more butter spread on while warm (haha)
Oh, this is fantastic ! I can feel my fingers (and face) getting all sticky already. The “Cinnamon Brown Sugar Butter Caramel Dark Side” is definitely where I want to be. Thanks Nancy, thanks Cooks Illustrated,… and thank YOU for this recipe, the fun text and sublime photos ! :)
oh deb pls pls pls tell me i can make this a plain round 8 inch pan??? will i need to halve the recipe ????
NINU — This page is a great resource for pan size conversions.
Shuna — Can we bring Jacob by to drool all over them? (Or, I’ll blame him. We’ll know better.)
Kitty — In the beginning, it says to butter your Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter.
I have been making monkey bread for years, and it is a favorite at our house for holiday and birthday breakfasts. Sometimes I change the spice: orange peel and cardamom instead of cinnamon is one of our favorites. I also usually sprinkle chopped pecans over the dough as I am layering it.
There are so many love-notes here for you, I can’t see if someone already had this suggestion: as this recipe is essentially Baked Sugar held together gently by some dough, perhaps it would work extremely well with challah dough (one could skip the glaze and serve it at some very festive meal :)
I love your photographs
I’ve never heard of Monkey Bread, but I am thinking that I need to try it asap!!!
I’m a huge Monkey Bread fan, but I’ve always had it plain. I’ll have to try this variation!
i’ve been wanting to start playing around with yeast breads, and this looks like a great place to start. monkey bread is my favorite!! i have a local bakery that makes this with what i can only assume are chunks of puff pastry…imagine this same delight, but the pieces of bread are actually as buttery and flaky as pieces of croissant. UNbelievable.
btw, kitty – i had the same question! so glad you asked for clarification…i was going to post the same question :)
Thank you for this! My friend talks about making monkey bread all the time but she does it with pre-made biscuit rolls and I just can’t bring myself to try it. I can’t wait to make this for her.
Thanks also for including plenty of photos. I enjoy seeing both the process and the result and always click over to flickr to see any extras.
We make this every year for Christmas morning. My Mom always used frozen bread dough, never biscuit dough. Also, we called it pull aparts not monkey bread but it’s all the same anyway. I love this stuff like crazy but that’s why I only make it once a year!
i’ve never been a HUGE fan of monkeybread, but i think the addition of cream cheese frosting might change my mind! i was at Target last night, and i saw a Monkey Bread Kit! coincidence?? i think not!! clearly, you’ve made monkeybread an overnight sensation :)
A funny story about what happens when you don’t let the monkey bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes before flipping it out:
Thank you for posting this! My daughter has been wanting me to make monkey bread, but all the recipes I found use refrigerator biscuit dough, which I DO NOT want to use. I think the kids and I will make this today. And Cook’s Illustrated is our favorite food magazine!
Okay, I’m going to incur wrath here, I’m sure…and I’ll preface by saying bread is not my specialty…but. I made this today, just took it out of the oven about half and hour ago. I’m sure it’s me, but I wasn’t impressed, it seemed to be missing something. Maybe the nuts I’m accustomed to having in monkey bread (which I thought about adding, but didn’t). It also seemed so dry :( I have to say I prefer the good old version, YES with hungry jack biscuits. Sorry, just being honest, I’ve loved other things I’ve made from this site, and would definitely love to try many more!
This is sooo good! We have been making this as our ‘go-to’ for holiday breakfasts for years. I love the browned butter idea~ those little ‘monkeys’ are so wise!!
ooh…forgot to mention, we also add pecans or macadamias~ depending on preference for the day.
I know this will offend your gourmet palate but my childhood experience with monkey bread included canned biscuits, the same this then that technique but with some cook-top pudding mix thrown into the sugar cinnamon mixture, plus walnuts and raisins. Snow day bliss, let me tell you. Now I can’t stand the thought of a canned biscuits (unless it is deep fried with honey at the drive in movies) and make the recipe with yeast rolls as you do. Like Janet (#283) said though, wetter is better.
Also, since you mentioned the funny name of monkey bread, the kiddos around here (Virginia) call it both “monkey” bread and “bubble” bread, which I prefer.
My best friend in college made it savory – each piece was rolled out and then dipped in melted butter and dill. Dee-lish! I will be making your version next time, however. Thank you for sharing.
I made this today and it turned out great! I have to say, everything I’ve tried from here has turned out well. The monkey bread reminds me of the Scandinavian sweet breads that I grew up with. Good stuff- thanks again!
LOL… my first run in with Monkey Bread was back in the 70s. Back then it consisted of 4 cans of Pillsbury Biscuits, not home made dough. While I love the Cinnamon and Sugariness of it all; some folks don’t like sweet for breakfast. Lunatics!, I know. I recently found a savory version that uses a whole pound of bacon (BACON!); cheddar cheese, green peppers, and onion. Honestly it just rocks, ’cause there’s BACON. What’s nice is if you use Turkey Bacon, the kosher crowd will love you to pieces.
Absolutely delicious. I just dug into mine and can’t wait to share with my husband. I only hope there will be some left when he gets home from work…
To the comments on an overnight rise in the fridge: I just made this, but tried to let it rise overnight in the fridge, and it just didn’t. It spent 12 hours in there and hadn’t really budged. So I put it in the warmed oven, as suggested, and it took about 2 hours to get puffy enough to bake. Still good at the end, but not exactly the short cut I thought it would be.
Sarah — Thanks for the feedback. What I forgot to add (I usually do when people ask about do-aheads on yeast doughs) is that I find that the overnight restings rarely save time. It always takes me about two hours to get my cold dough back to room temperature — in that two hours, I could have just started a new one, worked straight through.
OMG this is so awesome. last weekend I decided to make Monkey Bread and wanted to make it from scratch, so I winged it…and it came out poorly. I am so excited to have this “from scratch” recipe. My family will be excited tomorrow when I actually make it! MMMmmmmmm Thank you!!!
i want some of that! i love me some monkey bread, and i also have a fondness for funny names. a couple that i discovered were orangutan bread (like monkey bread but made with orange sweet roll dough) and catepillar bread :) http://pooryorickspub.blogspot.com/2008/08/orangutan-bread.html
We call our son Mr. Monkey Pants because he has been so active since birth. And because of that (and because we have forced items on him) he now loves all things monkey. Can you tell me where you get that fabulous monkey book that Jacob is looking at? He would LOVE it. And I’m going to love the monkey bread… it’s new to me too.
Get thee behind me, baked goods!!
Save me from myself!
The nuts – where are the nuts? The nuts put this over the top! Pecans on the bottom of the pan and again when half of the dough is in the pan. I melt brown sugar and white sugar in the butter and pour some over the whole thing when it’s in the pan. Saves time if you don’t want to roll each piece in cinnamon sugar or adds to the insanity if you do.
I still don’t understand when a person should serve monkey bread.
This looks amazing!!
I love all the photos you add, it helps me if I can see the whole process, not just the end result.
Monkey bread is so good! Breakfast disguised as dessert anyone?
Count me in.
“They were like cinnamon rolls and doughnut holes got together and made beautiful dough monkeys.”
I love this post so much.
Um, last week I made the cinnamon buns you posted a while back here and the second half of my roll got a little squished and awkward in the cutting process, so I just wadded it all up like a ball of paper and then tore of little balls to form monkey bread. Or something like it at least.
I made this last night- at times simultaneously nursing my 5 week old, and it turned out PERFECTLY! Thanks for posting… :)
I made these tonight and they were a massive hit! I was hoping to have leftovers but they’re all gone already! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! I’d been wanting to make monkey bread for a while but didn’t want to cheat.
I have one question though, I browned the butter like you suggested and the flavor didn’t really come out. Did I brown butter correctly? (Just heat butter on the stove until its kind of nutty and brown.) Or is there something else I should have done to make the brown butter flavor more noticable? Because I was in love with the brown butter smell and super excited to eat it in the monkey bread and it was still kind of absent.
Janet — No, it’s totally possible that the flavor wouldn’t really come through. I only lightly browned mine and it was just barely noticeable. I was hoping that there was more potential there but I guess brown butter really needs to be on a center stage to taste pronounced. (I also noticed this when I brown-buttered my blondies a couple weeks ago. The taste was there but not as loud as I had hoped.)
I made this yesterday and everybody LOVED it! It was fun to make, and it was absolutely irresistible when hot out of the oven. It was just a tiny bit on the sweet side for my taste. Next time (and there will be MANY next times!) I might dial back the sugar and add some chopped walnuts. I had never heard of monkey bread before, so thanks for enlightening me, Deb!
Whew! Three HUNDRED comments already!? I have to thank you, Deb. Just yesterday I was hankering for monkey bread but couldn’t bring myself to buy a can of “biscuits” and didn’t have the motivation to invent a from-scratch, yeasted recipe that would satisfy my craving. You’re awesome.
I just tried your recipe yesterday.
It was delicious.
My friends that were lucky enough to be around were all thrilled!
I unfortunetly did not have any cream cheese so I made a mix of crème fraiche and “petit suisse” (a creamy yogurt), it came out nicely but I’m sure it’s quite different from the flavor of your glaze.
Oh well! Next time…, because there definetly will be a next time!
Thank you for sharing.
I decided to make this for my aunt’s birthday yesterday, and it was quite a hit! There wasn’t enough left over for seconds, sadly. Other than it being time consuming, I loved everything about the recipe. I made my glaze a bit thicker than yours, so it was more like an icing–very good!
Yummm! Of course it is best with the homemade dough, but a better than canned biscuit dough is the frozen bread loaves… I first saw this made on Good Morning America several years ago by, of all people, Cindy Crawford as a Christmas morning tradition! Thanks for sharing!
Darlin’… I have to tell you that this recipe made grown men weep and call for their Mommas. I had the guys over for my turn of the Thursday Nite Poker Club and made two batches, one for my kids and one for the club. And let me tell you that when I put it in the oven, the smell alone had these macho Harley riders reminiscing about tugging at their Momma’s apron to help cook. When it came out of the oven I had to beat them off with a pool cue until it was cool enough to release and frost. Later, two butter and cinnamon-sugar coated decks of cards went into the trash and my kids ran screaming when JC went sneaking upstairs and stole half of their pan. He claimed temporary insanity. I think the judge will agree.
This was an awesome bribe for a coworker to call someone I didn’t want to talk with! It came out great at altitude (Denver), I didn’t make any modifications. I added about an extra tablespoon each of milk and powdered sugar to the frosting. I probably could have added a bit more milk, it wasn’t quite drizzleable, but close enough, and very tasty.
Oh! And I did all the prepping and raising last night and put it in the fridge in the bunt pan after the last rise, so all I had to do this morning was just put in the oven and cook and make the frosting. That worked great so I didn’t have to get up at 4 just to have it made and get to work on time.
I remember making this for breakfast when I was 12 and 13 and had time to make food in the mornings. I was always amazed at how delicious AND easy monkey bread is…one of my all time favs!
(and the cream cheese glaze is a new spin I will definitely have to try)
Deb, thank you for this wonderful recipe. I sent this link to my friend to made it last night and did not enjoy it. I decided I would make it this morning and try for myself. I made more than 64 pieces of dough, and therefore had to get more brown sugar out and melt more butter, and placed some brown sugar in the bottom of the bundt pan before stacking. After letting the dough rise for the second time I took the remaining butter and mixed with remaining brown sugar to pour over top. The result was nothing short of spectacular. Do not be stingy with the butter, or the sugar in this one as I fear it was the downfall of my friend’s prior attempt. I did not make the frosting since I used so much sugar and butter it was sweet by itself.
Everyone was posting about making this a breakfast food- you just blew my mind. I am definately looking forward to the next holiday breakfast- Easter, here I come!
When I was a kid in the 60’s we used to go to PA Dutch Country and stay on a Mennenite (sp?) farm. The farmers wife made this bread, but it was called pluck-it. Maybe Monkey Bread has its roots in Amish or German baking.
I make this every christmas eve for christmas breakfast. However I do cheat and use Rhodes frozen yeast rolls, do the same thing only leave it to rise overnight with a tea towel over it and bake it in the morning. The last two christmas’s I used the Rhodes frozen cinnamon rolls instead and it was great.
I love making monkey bread, it never lasts long in this house!
So, I was debating this and then you threw in the cream cheese icing and now I know i have no choice. This must be made.
And another post to prove why I love Smitten Kitchen so much.. Deb, you are crazy! Good crazy! How do you manage to get around to making such things?
Monkey bread – a Christmas and Easter tradition!
Yumm! I made this, but it was chocolate filled.
There’s a great article about monkey bread — including a possible Zasu Pitts connection (and how can you not love that name?) — in the L.A.Times. I saved it and read it (finally. I’m a mom, which should explain the delay, despite the buttery, gooey goodness discussed in the article) a few weeks ago but have yet to make any of the recipes from it (which include YUM! Olive Oil-Thyme!). Here’s the link: http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-monkeybread21-2009oct21,0,7695464.story
I monkeyed around a little bit with this recipe this morning. I have a vanilla obsession, so I put some vanilla bean in the cinnamon/brown sugar combination. I don’t know that it made a difference but it made me feel better. Also, I added orange zest to the cream cheese glaze/frosting and it was delectable. I ate a few spoonfuls before glazing anything with it. I was talking with one of my patients yesterday while i was looking at the recipe and verbalized how excited I was to have a recipe for monkey bread that I usually made from a can, to which he replied “You can get monkeys out of a can?” (I work in post-op recovery with highly medicated patients). Considering that I don’t really believe in canned food, I was so excited to make these from scratch and was definitely not disappointed…
I’m making this this morning and using 2 loaf pans because I don’t have a bundt pan.
1. I should have checked first to make sure my loaf pans were the same size- they’re not.
2. This is the excuse I’ve been needing to go out and purchase a bundt pan.
Amazing! I made this last night for breakfast this morning and it was such a treat! For anyone who wants to know if you can make it the night before you can! Just do everything up to the part of the second rise after forming the balls and putting them in the pan. Instead of putting it in a turned off oven – put it in the fridge to rise overnight. The cooking times definitely need to be extended since the dough will be slightly cold. Otherwise if you have time let it sit out and come to room temp before baking. It was like an entire pan of the inside morsel of a cinnamon roll! I only regret not letting it get caramelized like Deb’s did – I may have taken it out a bit too soon for that! Thanks for sharing this incredible recipe!
The first and only time I made monkey bread was in my middle school Home Ec. class. If you can imagine a bunch of sweaty middle school students’ hands rolling sticky balls of dough, you’ve got the right idea! This post makes me want to give it another try. In my kitchen. With clean hands.
Made this yesterday (with the cauliflower tart). Yum! Have only ever had monkey bread made with refrigerator biscuits. So nice to have a better alternative!
I just made this and omg it is so good. I mixed some cinnamin sugar with butter and put it at the bottom of the pan and after a few layers and so when I took it out of the pan it ran over the bread and was all gooey and wonderful. I think next time I’ll try some chopped pecans like others have mentioned. Thank you so much for the recipe!
I made this today and it was wonderful. I skipped the icing since I felt it really didn’t need anything being super fantabulous on its own. Maybe next time. My next attempt might be one of these savoury types people have been commenting about.
My favorite part of a cinnamon roll is the middle, gooey part. Every bite of this monkey bread tasted like that.
I have been intrigued by monkey bread for years, but have not attempted it because of the canned biscuits. This recipe turned out so well. I loved it and so did my husband! Thanks
i’m back to report complete success, and in hostile conditions, too. i had to make some changes simply because i lacked ingredients: i used half whole wheat pastry – and i thought there was a delectable nutty background, probably what was needed for the brown butter to really come through. did the dark brown sugar, excellent there too. finally, i had no cream cheese, so i melted bittersweet + white chocolate + butterscotch and it was delicious. i took it to a potluck and everybody loved it. come see: http://arhivafleurdesel.blogspot.com/2010/02/monkey-bread.html
thanks for a lovely recipe!
my god, deb, you’ve seriously out done yourself with this one. the cream cheese glaze really makes it. it’s uh-MA-zing. it’s like a giant goo-ey cinnamon roll but somehow BETTER. like if i had baked a pan of my most favorite cinnamon rolls and carefully out out the soft, delicious middle parts and crafted a dessert out of those.
gah, i hear it calling to me from the kitchen. what have you done!!
I just made this. It’s sitting on my kitchen counter, in a pool of caramel syrup. It’s majestic, spectacular, very impressive, cinnamony, sugary, sticky, deliciously doughy… *sigh* I’m using the greatest possible self-control not to grab the plate, rush off to somewhere private and tear at it indulgently. It’s reserved for dessert tonight, after a main course of Chana Masala (thanks, Deb!! It tastes delicious!!) and rice =)
Just a few notes:
I used my bread machine for the dough; just dumped all the dough ingredients into the mixer, turned it on the ‘dough’ setting and let it do its thing. Result? Shiny, perfect, stretchy dough without a hint of stickiness (didn’t need any extra flour!!) and no effort on my part. Perfection…
Although the recipe says to ‘pat into 8-inch square’ it really wasn’t working for me. So I just grabbed my rolling pin and rolled it out. No stickiness = no flour needed on rolling pin = no mess. I’m happy *huge smile*
My pizza cutter worked PERFECTLY for cutting the squares, although I cut WAY more than 64!! I found the rolling in sugar and cinnamon time-consuming (will probably roll with hands rather than dip with fork next time, might be a bit quicker) but completely worth the effort. I did need a bit of extra cinnamon sugar as a result of having more than 64 balls but no butter (despite spilling ¼ onto the floor!!).
I realized as I was turning the monkey bread out the Bundt tin (no problems, whatsoever, by the way!! Someone warned me that I was using way too much butter for greasing. Don’t be stingy, please. It’s for a reason!) that I had forgotten to roll the squares into BALLS!! Eek!! But my monkey bread looks almost exactly like yours, Deb so maybe I discovered a time-saving shortcut without knowing it?
I didn’t have any cream cheese or vanilla for the glaze, but used my thick homemade yogurt, a little extra icing sugar and less milk. The glaze tasted gorgeous and is now hardening slightly in my fridge before I pour it over the cooling monkey bread.
I’m SO excited!! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Deb!!!
I heard of monkey bread recently (before it was like, ‘Monkey bread? What on earth?!) and found a recipe online that called for refrigerated biscuit dough =( which is not available here in Africa. Therefore I resigned myself to a life without monkey bread (sad, I know!). No longer!! With Deb the impossible becomes possible!! YIPPEE!!!
I introduced my family to monkey bread years ago, but admittedly, having 3 adorable monkeys at the time under age 5, I did indeed use the canned biscuit dough. But having made it “for real” since, there is no comparison!
I made this Friday night to bring over to my boyfriend’s parent’s house Saturday morning. I completely assembled it Friday night and stuck it in the fridge, set my alarm for 6 am, got up and took it out of the fridge and then went back to sleep till 9am. At that point I stuck it in the oven…. And here is where I hit my problem. Baked up beautifully, let it cool 5 minutes in the bundt pan, turned it over – and my monkey bread turned into monkey balls. It didn’t hold it’s shape whatsoever (tasted freakin amazing tho). Any thoughts to why it didn’t hold the shape????
First: awesomely, amazingly, dangerously delicious. I made a few tweaks: used regular rise yeast and just let it rise on the counter overnight (my house is generally about 60 degrees). I’m not a cream cheese fan, so i did the brown butter and added a little bit of salt and vanilla to it (salt because otherwise the sweet seems a little intense). And then, i used 3 instead of 2 tsps. of cinnamon because i really love the strong kick of it. After baking and cooling and gorging, in order to not devour the whole thing at once, i broke it into smaller sections and wrapped them in plastic wrap, then popped them into a plastic bag and froze them. Now, when i need a fix, i just take out a hunk and re-wrap it in aluminum foil, pop it into the toaster over at 375, and in about 10-15 minutes, it’s ready and as tender and perfect as it was straight from the pan on day 1.
Wow, thank you so much for this recipe!! I just made this and OH MY it is so good. I just absolutely detest the kind made with canned biscuits, actually, I detest everything about canned biscuits. I guess that is why I had never made this before, haha!! Thank you again… as always I LOVE your site!!
Have I missed something with the divided butter for the dough? I don’t see what to do with the softened butter.
3rd sentence: You use it to butter the pan.
I’m making this for a brunch-for-dinner meal I’m going to directly after work tomorrow night. Since I’m going there directly from work, there’s no time for baking. What’s the recommended reheating method? Also, should I wait and glaze it tomorrow after reheating? Thanks for this lovely recipe!
Redhead’s bacon peanut brittle is available online for those of us who no longer live in New York City:
Ah, monkey bread and puppy chow. Two strangely named culinary delectables that make people in the know giddy and those that don’t confused.
As a woman on the verge of successfully navigating the kitchen: this makes me want to die – in a good way of course. If the first picture of the full finished monkey bread product didn’t sell me, the pictures of butter dipped dough and cinnamon and sugar covering the butter did. It sold me. I was not hungry moments before this so I both thank you and sort of wish I had never seen this post, lol.
Mostly I just thank you! :)
That looks amazing: so great to have the step by step technique to follow.
It also reminds me of the equally (if not more so) strangely named south african treat: steak with monkey gland sauce. if ever mentioned to a non south african they look at you as if you are crazy but its just a bbq sauce after all! i’m thinking i could do that and then your monkey bread for dessert!
This always smells heavenly whenever I stroll the Ocean City boardwalk! I absolutely must make this, but I fear that I’ll eat it all…
I made this for my two year old’s jungle themed birthday party. Everyone was impressed, including my cinnamon roll snob husband – thanks!
So, I’ve been watching quietly in the shadows for months. Your site has all the elements; great food, nice photography, cute baby. But now the final element has me shouting from the rooftop. MONKEY BREAD! I grew up in the south and my grandma made monkey bread (with pecans) for me whenever I visited. Thanks for the delicious memories–this will be my personal birthday cake 2010.
Just a question: how long will this take to make? Roughly… I’m planning to make this for the second time tomorrow for a youth group meeting BUT…last time I didn’t really time how long it took to make (it was a Saturday afternoon lazing around project!!) and I REALLY need to make this in time so it will already cooked but still warm when the guests arrive.. Thanks!!
Hannah — I think I had estimated 3 hours BUT if you’re like me and much prefer not to feel rushed (I’m a lazy, slow cook) give yourself a window of 5 hours.
We just made this for our weekly cooking playdate: My kids mixed up the dough in the morning, then all the kids helped pile up buttery dough in the bundt pan. A HUGE success: The kids were in heaven, and so were the adults. And the prospect of monkey bread kept my preschooler still in a seat for 30 minutes (his idea, not mine), which is a neat trick. The glaze is genius. A couple pictures, and our raving recommendation: http://bit.ly/bpHvmB. Thanks for the from-scratch, step-by-step instructions!
Instant biscuit dough used for Monkey Bread is an abomination. That is all.
Oh, and also- I’ve had a version made with instant caramel pudding. Also quite delicious.
Made this fabo bread as a baking intro for my colleagues at my new workplace – went down a storm! but I agree the longer you leave the dough to rise, and rise, and rise the better. I think I made it to 4 hrs in the end. Great recipe!
Thank you for the recipe! I’ve only had monkey bread a few times in the distant past and it was always delicious, but I’d never made it myself…until now! Your post inspired me to give it a try, and I’m so glad I did! My family appreciated it too :)
I couldn’t help myself. I threw in some pecans on the bottom and when I turned it out…heaven!!!
i am making monkey bread right now! i am making it with the little girl i babysit and she had a blast. tonight my friends and i will have this for dessert after our pre-winter formal dinner! hopefully it’ll be a success… it’s in the oven now!
The youth group actually attacked me!! They grabbed the serving knife & spatula and were about to kill each other (AND ME!!!) over the last piece!!! This is a VERY dangerous goodie to make!! (in the good way…I think!!!)
And now, on pain of certain death, I MUST make this every youth group from now on…*sigh* I’ve got my work cut out for me!!!
When I saw this recipe, I knew it was something my girlfriend would love. Well she has a broken toe and is in a lot of pain, so I thought what better time to make some Monkey Bread (which BTW I had never heard of before).
Took about 7 hours from start to finish (maybe 2 – 3 hours of actually doing work, the rest was waiting for the first and second rise).
It turned out amazing, my girlfriend was so happy. My modifications were adding 2 tsp of milk, 1/4 tsp of vanilla, and a few pinches of powdered sugar to the glaze. You mentioned adding milk & sugar to the glaze beyond the amounts given, so I was prepared for that.
Thanks for the recipe, I’ll be looking forward to more.
I was at Williams Sonoma yesterday and I spotted a mix for monkey bread-they wanted 22 dollars for it (I’m in Canada). Yikes and you had to add the butter and brownsugar and milk etc. I can’t believe anybody would buy it.
When I saw this recipe, I had to make it and join you on the other side. Usually I religiously follow a recipe for the first time like a sheep, but I have a compulsion when it comes to yeasty desserts type breads and it is chocolate. What I did was to add some cocoa to the sugar mixture (1 tablespoon) and I sprinkled some choco between the layers of dough. Maybe the cocoa was a mistake cause I seem to have less caramel than I would’ve liked. Was also worried that too much choco between the layers would’ve caused it all to slide apart (Still yummy and delish, but not so pretty). Next time, I think I’ll just wrap little chunks of chocolate in the dough. Monkybread is dangerous as It’s too easy to tear a little chunk off every time I walk by. This is like my training wheels before I try your chocolate babka recipe.
Love this blog. Always come here if I’m looking for a an idea for dinner or dessert; to compare notes or be entertained. Really appreciate all the work you put into it.
i was a monkey bread virgin before i made this 2 days ago. WOW! the recipe was spot on megalicious just as i thought it would be.
this will be my fav Monkey Bread recipe from this day forth! thanksalot for sharing this great recipe!
Made this today with leftover pizza dough. It was fantastic!
I made this last night/this morning — made the dough, formed and dipped and rolled and piled the lovely little doughy marbles last night, and let them rise in the fridge overnight. I baked the whole lovely mass this morning (only let them sit on the counter for an hour or so, too — they hadn’t quite come to room temperature yet), and it was FANTASTIC. They rose perfectly to the edge of the bundt pan and not a millimeter above, and they were perfectly cooked all through.
Also, I made the cream cheese glaze *exactly* as written (well, with “a splash” of vanilla instead of “1/4 tsp”), and I thought it was perfect, both in terms of taste and texture.
Thank you so much! This is definitely going to become a regular in the company-brunch rotation! :)
Thanks for the recipe. Looks like it’s very tasty and easy to cook.
Om. Nom. Nom! I’m in love. And I think this will totally take the place of cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning! Of course, I’ll totally be making it before then, though! :-)
For anyone interested, this also works with the master Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day recipe (basic flour, water, salt, yeast dough). I’m sure it’s even more awesome with this enriched dough, but I already had that dough in the fridge and ready to shape!
I grew up calling it “Monkey Brains” instead of Monkey Bread and I still call it that to this day! Just the other day my girlfriend had a zombies party and I mentioned this recipe. She made me swear to make it asap.
While I love the idea of making the dough from scratch, I’ll probably always use the canned biscuits! This is an excellent recipe and so much fun to make and entertain with. This is a recipe that is GREAT to have kids help with. And nobody needs a dish- everyone just huddles around the cake with napkins and tears at it. Delicious!
just had a thought that the reason CI reckons it will only serve 6-8 people is because it is just soooooo good. just putting it out there. :) can’t wait to make it!!
This was fantastic. I did not plan well so I had to let the dough rest overnight. I think it made it too dense, but it is still really fantastic. Yummy!
All I have to say is WOW! Made this for the 1st time last week, and it was a hit! Actually, it was such a hit I was requested to make it again..2 days after the first batch. The 2nd time around, I didn’t bother rolling the dough into balls, just cut it into little squares and dipped those…same effect as the dough rises sorta roundish anyway…same terrific taste, though!!! I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone! It’s become one of my new party desserts, and will be a star at the English style teas I host every summer. Thanks for so many wonderful recipes!
Oh my, this was so amazingly delicious and it looked really beautiful too. I made it for our weekly Lost watching party, but then everyone canceled so we had to eat it by ourselves. I kept it wrapped very tightly to try to keep it for the next few days and would put it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds in the morning for breakfast. I am anxious to try a savory version with olive oil, fresh herbs and cheese next time we have people over.
i really really love all your recipes and this monkey bread turn out perfect.
i’m wondering if you ever tried pao de queijo before, if yes, please do share.
grew up with monkey bread! the best! make little minis in individual bundt pans too! very fun, everyone has their own perfect little doughy delight!
We just ate this, and it was breathtaking! I took the extra step of browning the butter, but I’m not sure it was worth it, as I also doubled the cinnamon, and the nutty flavour of the butter wasn’t really discernible. Definitelya keeper. I don’t have children of my own, but I’m sure this would go down particularly well with a glass of milk, for those little monkeys!
I just made this last night and my husband is a monkey bread conissuer and he LOVED IT! He grew up on the biscuit from the store version and he couldn’t believe how great it was! He said it was like rediscovering an old friend, and the friend is like 10X better than you remember. Thanks for the recipe!
L A M B…Life after monkey bread. Just made my first batch. Writing you and stuffing it in my mouth at the same time. What else in life have I been missing? Thank you!
Yummy!! We loved this. I split it into two loaf pans and my husband and I ate one after the toddler went to bed. Can’t wait to share the other first thing in the morning for breakfast!!!
mmmmm – had never heard of monkey bred before coming acorss this. the kids and i made it today and i am eating it right now – omg! gooooood (= i added a chopped over-ripe banana to the yeast to make it even monkier and i like it!
Even though I had a series of mishaps while making this (the pre-baked finished product fell to the floor- 5 second rule!- and i didn’t have a bundt pan so i used an angel food removable bottom pan- burning cinnamon sugar in the oven leaking out of the non connected pans!) it was insanely tasty. we (2 of us) ate nearly half of it in 10 minutes. the rest is for breakfast!
Hey Deb! I LOVE monkey bread but have never made it from scratch before…I’m so excited! I’m making it for my firefighter husband and all his friends, who are conviently off of work tomorrow (sudden flu bug…;-)), but I was wondering about the butter in the dough…it says to use melted butter when mixing it with the mixer, but also to use the melted when dipping…did you mean to use the softened butter in the mixer? I don’t think it will make a difference, but I just wanted to check.
BTW the most recent pics of your darling baby in the Irish Soda Bread post melt my heart. If you need a babysitter, I wouldn’t mind commuting from Rhode Island! ;-)
Hi Liz — There’s melted butter in different parts of the recipe. When you’re making the dough, you use the melted butter listed in the “dough” section of the ingredients (2 tablespoons). When dipping/rolling, you use the melted butter in the “brown sugar coating” part of the ingredients (8 tablespoons). The softened butter is used to butter the Bundt pan, in the first group of instructions. Good luck!
Thanks Deb….just came out of the oven and lookin’ good! Everyones house should smell this good before noon!
This was crazy good. I made it for my family dinner and it was devoured in seconds. It was like little balls of the inside of cinnamon rolls. I did have to double the sugar mix but I may have just been butting too much on. It was perfect though!
I was excited to visit relatives so I could have enough people to eat this (instead of just me and my husband)… amazing!
One thing – to the commenters who said no to the overnight rise – I made my dough, put it in the fridge overnight, and took it out when I was getting the rest of the items ready. It warmed enough while I was getting ready and helped me cut the bread into pieces more easily. turned out just fine, but still took over 1.5 hours once I got up (rolling and dipping, rise for 45min, bake for 35)… I also had to make more cinnamon-sugar mix (was I using too much per roll? who cares!)
Thanks, Deb! it was great!!
This monkey bread was wonderful!!! I used 2 bread pans instead of the bundt pan, and had wonderful success! I accidentally let it rise too long (90 min) on the initial rise as I also have a little baby at home, but it didn’t seem to make a difference in the final product! Yum it was great! Like tons of tiny cinamon roll balls all piled together with gooey cinnamon caramel! This would be PERFECT for easter brunch!
Love love love the monkey bread. Its a standard in my family, always with a yeast dough. I like to make mine in my rose shaped bundt pan and I tend to pour the remaining butter over the dough just before popping it in the oven. The butter and sugar caramelized gorgeously and it looks so amazing when you depan it. No need for further glaze.
Made this last night and it turned out fabulously! I was much less careful with excess butter (I didn’t let it drip completely, I was pretty fast and messy with getting it into the sugar, and was getting sugar all over the dough and in the butter in the process), and it still turned out great. My boyfriend and I had never had it but are already planning for it to be a Christmas morning tradition!
This was the perfect meal for breakfast during March Madness. Made this on Thursday afternoon during the third session of the day, put in the fridge overnight, woke up for the 9 o’clock game and let rise for a bit, then stuck in the oven. Was ready before halftime was over. and like previous comments: yes, the whole thing is like the center of the cinnamon roll (the best part). Food coma city. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Deb! I got to finally got to try this recipe. It was absolutely delicious!!! It is SO worth it to make the dough, rather than use the canned dough. I loved everything about this bread. It is definitely dangerous!
I made this yesterday and oh my god it is so INSANE! Best thing ever. Incredible. Not enough words to describe how good it is. This blog makes my life so much better! And my husband, me and my friends so much fatter! Love you!
An overnight rise modification works!
Made it yesterday and it was awesome! I sub’d ‘instant yeast’ with ‘active dry yeast’ because its all I had. I let the first rise go for a few hours. Then coated in butter and sugar and let the second rise go overnight–baking in the morning. It worked great and I passed on the link to this recipe to a few new fans. Yum!
Deb, thank you for this AMAZING recipe! It was my first successful experience with yeast in a brioche type dough and it was a complete success.(the result can be seen here: http://estouest.blog.lemonde.fr/2010/05/25/a-sweet-alternative-to-a-boring-breakfast/)
I used two loaf pans, and let them rise in the fridge overnight. The magical moment occurred when I turned over the first loaf pan on my serving plate. I muttered a “waouh”, a word that became louder as I took my first bite. I shared it with some friends throughout the day: it was big hit! it made me want to try it with chocolate or some other extravagant coating ingredients.
I have now made this recipe a few times (a million times thank you! it’s so delicious), and today decided to experiment with monkey bread muffins. To my surprise and ultimate happiness they worked!
Instead of slicing the dough into 64 pieces, I did 72 to keep the number in each cupcake-tin-cup (12 cups) an even 6. Then I realized that my cutting was not symmetrical so I separated the pieces by size. When I distributed the sugared-dough pieces into the cups I put 3 small in the bottom and 3 larger ones, staggered, on the top. I kept the oven temperature the same, but cooked them for around 20-25 minutes rather than the 30-35. I also used a simple translucent sugar glaze as my parents were not keen on the cream cheese glaze I made last time (they’re crazy, I know).
Anyway, thanks for an awesome recipe!
I myself like it with a sticky sauce in the pan first, so when you flip it over the sticky sauce (brown sugar and butter, corn syrup, vanilla, cinnamon) drips down it… Yum!
I have even made it in a dutch oven on a pioneer trek… I let it rise over night and cooked it in the morning. YUM!
m.snow – Thank you SO much for posting your cupcake version. I was just wondering how I would do it. Your tips just saved me the anguish of wondering throughout the entire process if it’d even work.
& Thank You Deb for making your posts so mouth watering that even on my laziest day you motivate me to tackle a tasty project.
This is a highly belated comment but I just made this monkey bread–couldn’t have been easier and turned out beautifully, all golden brown and cinnamony and made my tiny apartment smell delicious. Thanks!
I’ve made this twice. The first time, I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out amazingly. However, it took a long time to do and it was a little messy for me [the part with the dipping]. The second time I made it, I put the dough together and a few minutes before taking it out from it’s first rising, I melted the brown sugar and cinnamon with the butter in the microwave. After cutting the dough into the smaller pieces and rolling them into balls, I dropped them into the brown sugar/melted butter mixture and used a spoon to place them into the bundt pan and poured the rest of the unused mixture over the dough balls. Much easier and just as delicious. =D
All I have to say is… AMAZING!!!!!
I’m somewhat a novice at cooking and baking, and I’ve been enjoying learning using recipes like this. Preface: it turned out awesome (my dad, who is “dieting,” stood over the finished product eating it piece by piece and proclaiming that it should be illegal). However…
I’ve been somewhat cavalier in my use of kitchen equipment, and I saw that the recipe used a pan with one of those things sticking out of the middle. Of course, I think, “I have a pan with a thing sticking out of the middle!” and I used that. Except that it was an angel food cake pan, not a fluted pan, which apparently makes a really big difference. I put the bread in the oven, left to take a quick shower, and practically died of carbon monoxide poisoning when I got back. Apparently the bottom of an angel food cake pan is OPEN and the copious amount of butter dripped to the bottom of the oven, leaving what can only be described as beurre noir from hell.
The kitchen was de-smoked (with the help of no less than three fans), the oven is being cleaned, and the bread is tasty enough that the inevitable cancer from smoke inhalation might just be worth it.
In my family we call this bubble loaf and it is indeed a thing of beauty… particularly when chopped walnuts are added to the sugar and cinnamon mixture. It can also be made with sourdough culture (I just use a basic white french bread recipe with my culture to make bubble loaf dough). Good to see that the glory of gooey cinnamon goodness is being spread to the masses. :P
I had been wanting to make this recipe since you posted it earlier this year. I finally decided to make it for Christmas day breakfast. I started all the preparation the night before and put the dough to rise in the fridge overnight after having coated the dough balls with the butter/cinnamon/sugar mixture. The dough didn’t really rise in the fridge overnight, so I put it in a 200° oven and let it rise for about an hour before continuing the real baking at 350°. It worked perfectly! Also, I don’t have a bunt pan so I used a 8×8 square pan and all of the dough fit just fine. Thanks for such a delicious recipe!
roommate had no clue my dough was rising in the oven and turned it on to 425º to make a pizza. hooray melted plastic! hooray semi-baked dough mid-rise!
starting over though. this looks too delicious.
Hi Deb! Love, love, love, your blog! I printed this recipe today and noticed that your content and photos copyright is from 2006-2010. It 2011 now :) CHEERS
Lizkin — Yikes. Where is it outdated? I changed the footer on the first day of the year…
as a kid we always had monkey bread at christmas
I never liked canned dough so I was glad to see this recipie
can’t wait to eat it
Just made this. It is everything I was hoping for. I’ve been stalking your site for a while and love it!
I am so happy to have found this. I love monkey bread, but all the recipes I’ve found all use canned biscut dough which I refuse to buy or use. This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank You.
Just saw this made on Cook’s Country – checked their website but unwilling to subscribe. I am so glad you have adapted it here:)
Going to make this soon & post about it! It looks like just the thing that would be a hit in my house! :) Thanks!
I made this for a “Zoo” themed Valentine’s day gift to my bf and it was such a big hit! We both loved it and he kept saying how it tasted like mini doughnuts. :) I just posted some photos and the recipe on my blog.
i made this last year (when i could still eat gluten! sad..) and am only now getting around to posting it because i miss it so much! i also had no charge of the dough since it was my mom’s secret recipe, but i still posted your dough recipe, and definitely, credit where credit is due :)
thanks for a wonderful recipe!
I’ve read your recipe several times. Maybe I’m blind, but I can’t find out what I’m supposed to do the extra 2 tablespoon of butter that the dough ingredients mention. I see what to do with the 2 tbs of melted butter, but what about the 2 tbs of softened butter? Do I incorporate it into the dough? Thanks
In the first step, you butter the Bundt pan with it. Don’t worry, I had to read this three times and then do a word search to find it! It’s been a while…
Thank you, Deb! One my “dah!” moments… But I baked the monkey bread today and followed your recipe exactly, just added filling (chocolate and plum butter) to the balls to crank up the calories :-). It tastes great. Thank you posting this recipe.
I made this for some friends over the weekend, using vegan butter and almond milk to match their dietary needs, and it turned out amazing. Thank you so much for this recipe!
I am making this recipe now and thought it was cute/funny that of all the reviewers, no one noticed that you said to mix the yeast mix in a large measuring “cup.”
I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a while now and I finally made it tonight. It was delicious! I currently don’t have a bunt or tube pan so I decided to split the dough balls between two loaf pans. Also I decided this was a great way to share the monkey bread love. My husband and I ate one loaf right out of the oven and the second loaf is going to his office in the morning (I’ve gifted them with many other of your dessert recipes. It is the only way I can continue baking while not gaining ridiculous amounts of weight.)
However like many others this is not my first meeting with monkey bread. I actually made it in my 7th grade home-ec class in 2001. And Yes we made it with canned biscuit dough, but in my teacher’s defense we only had 45 minutes to do everything (and 35 kids to supervise!). I’m quite excited to find a grown up version of this! Also glad it is a bit of time commitment otherwise I’d make it WAY to much!
Thanks for a GREAT recipe!
I made it yesterday for a good friend’s bday, (he asked for the Smitten Kitchen monkey bread specifically!), and it was wonderful.
The cake was a huge hit at the party, and there wasn’t even a crumb left after 10 minutes :)
Here’s a link to my Monkey bread gallery:
First off… hubby gives this an A++ – lol! I made this last night with my 8.5month old, just learned to crawl, about to topple over on the tile floor daughter at my feet. This was a challenge but it turned out really really well! I didn’t have cream cheese in the house and can only imagine this would be out of this world with cream cheese glaze but is pretty scrumptious without.
I made two amendments out of necessity. First I used a spring form pan as I don’t own a bundt pan. When I checked on things after 10mins in the oven I was shocked to see buttery brown sugar goodness tripping out the bottom – duh that was not smart! A cookie tray on the rack below saved any additional damage but I will certainly either get a bundt pan or use loaf pans next time. And there will be a next time.
For my second amendment I have a question… I only had active dry yeast in the house and used it as a substitute. My dough/finished product, while still tasty, seems to be more ‘hole-y or stringy’ than I expect it should be. Can you explain the difference in active dry vs. rapid rise yeast and let me know if you can substitute effectively?
Generally, you want to use 3/4 the amount of active dry that you would use instant yeast. However, even with that substitution, I find active dry to work faster than instant. It’s terribly confusing, I know, as “instant” yeast is also called “rapid rise” and yet it’s not particularly faster. Those terms, from what I understand, refer to the fact that instant yeast does not need to be “activated” or proofed first — you can use it instantly, from the packet. Hope that helps.
Thanks Deb!!! And on another note… I made the Monkey Cake for my husband’s birthday today and it was absolutely FANTASTIC.
I made this for the first time at Christmas but some people call it LAND OF NOD, as you leave it out the night before and it rises while you sleep. In my recipe though, its super simple and not as labour intensive. You buy the frozen dough balls (20, small bag for $3) and seriously its done in 15min max if that. Bake it the next morning when you wake up. Here is a version of it:
PS: the name Monkey Bread is a cooler name though, but same thing pretty much.
made this yesterday – amazing! i searched forever for a homemade monkey bread recipe because i didn’t want to use premade dough. this is perfect. thank you!!
i made this recipe few weeks ago for my friends and i…OMG!! heaven!! was everyones reply!! we’re still drooling over it!! thanx..
I just finished making your recipe for monkey bread (after having the canned variety for the first time last Christmas) but found it to be more “slimy” between the balls of dough than “gooey”. I did not have a Bundt pan so I used a round baking dish, and while the outside caramelized perfectly, the inside took on an unpleasant slimy texture.
Was it the pan that caused this? Or do you know what else I could have done wrong? Thank you!
Any ideas/suggestions on how to make this the night before?
HeeHee. I was introduced to this as “monkey brains”, which is what we always call it when I serve it. Sooo yummy.
Brilliant recipe… I took it out of the over at around 35mins and that was enough time. The sugar didn’t bubble either but has caramelised. I’m from Australia and hadn’t heard about monkey bread until reading your blog. Thanks!
Superbe recette ! merci :)
Oh dear, in a second of boredom I clicked the surprise me-button and now here I am, in the midst of a working day and all I can think of is monkey bread…. Thanks!
Deb, do you think any of the steps could be done ahead of time? I’m thinking about this for Christmas morning and thinking I’d like to do some of the process the night before…
Sorry, you already answered my question above! Please disregard my comment and keep up the great work. :)
Can’t wait to try this for Christmas morning with my new bundt pan! What about starting the night before you serve but just leaving it out on the countertop after the first rise? This so you don’t have to wait for it to return to room temp when you wake up? I’m not so familiar with yeast so wondering if this is okay. Thanks for any input!
Leaving it out at room temperature would give it too much time to rise, and the yeast would stop working. There are some recipes that allow for very long room temperature rises, but they use only a pinch of yeast.
I requested this for my birthday cake this year. It stuck to the pan a little bit (it was more of a ‘monkey pile’) but it was SO GOOD. Four of us polished off the whole thing in less than ten minutes. I may never eat again.
Making Monkey Bread yet again for a New Year’s BBQ this afternoon. Keep making changes and one thing I do consistently now is to make the balls different sizes which also helps with the staggering of the balls. Thanks fora yummy recipe. As a raw dough eater this one is a winner too!
This has become a boxing day tradition in our house..thank you….we call you dear auntie deb in our house……when someone stops by and nibbles something yummy…..oh, it is from dear auntei deb on the web! happy new year
This was a perfect snow day activity. Thanks for the recipe!
Well, I’ve been baking this fantastic bread since it was posted, and I’ve been using all 4T butter *in* the dough, less about 2t that I brush on the pan. No wonder it’s always a little sticky… (I can’t believe it took so many rereads for me to notice this!). But it’s delicious with the extra butter — doesn’t go stale once it’s cooled — so I’m not gonna go back!
I’ve made this, variously:
-In 3 8″x4″ loaf pans
-In 1 10″ Bundt
-With AD yeast and an overnight 2nd rise in the fridge (which worked fine for me)
-With a double-handful of crushed and toasted pecans mixed into the cinnamon-sugar mix
-Using 4 oz. cream cheese instead of 3 oz. and adding milk and powdered sugar mostly by taste. (Best if the intended audience wants something a little less sweet).
omg!!!!!! Made this today for a second time and I just can’t get enough of it. I’m thinking about making a second one. It is so freaking easy and delicious, it’s dangerous. I browned the butter completely and used dark brown sugar and the flavor was to die for. My only complaint is that there was definitely not enough glaze, I’m going to double it next time.
DO AHEAD: for those wanting to do it ahead of time, I did mine the night before. I prepared the dough, dipped it in butter, coated it in sugar and put it all in the pan and put it straight in the freezer. I took it out early the next morning, it took about 6 hours to defrost and rise in a fairly warm place. It came out great!
Just an update for my fellow celiacs: I successfully made this gluten free! I used a crazy combination of flours (sorghum, brown rice, white teff, potato, tapioca, sweet rice, and a wee bit of amaranth) and added some flaxseed gel for binding. The marbles turned out a little dense, and they all fell apart when I removed them from the pan, but it was sooooooo tasty! I already miss it.
Hi Deb! Thank you for always being my go-to recipe site! I am doing a big St.Pat’s boosey breakfast and was wondering, can I make this the night before? Assembly and everything, then just pull it out of the fridge and pop it in the oven?
Hi Erin — I am sure it would be just fine.
Thanks for the recipe! I made it for Easter brunch today with an orange glaze and it was delicious – not too sweet, but perfect.
I made this for my husband’s birthday and it was really fabulous!! Although it took the majority of the afternoon from start to finish… it was well worth the effort and so fun doing it! Mine overproofed a little in the bundt pan (I read the directions wrong and thought you said 1-2 inches above the top of the pan instead of below!), but it still turned out amazing. I love grabbing just 1 little ball! I would recommend making double the cream cheese frosting, those little guys are just begging for some cream cheese to dip into! You’re amazing Deb!
Deb – I LOVE this recipe. I have always wanted to take it to a brunch but obviously wanted the warm-out-of-the-oven version. Is it possible to allow this to continue to rise in transport and pop it in the oven on arrival? Thanks!
Courtney — Of course. I’d get it to about 30 minutes before it’s done rising and keep it in the fridge until you leave. It can finish on the ride over.
I had a few overripe bananas lying around, and wasn’t in the mood for regular banana bread (ie non-yeasted). And yes, I know the train of thought is lame, but I figured “hey, I’ve got bananas, monkeys like bananas, why not try making monkey bread”. Mind you, I had never tasted money bread before…
So I mashed the bananas and added them to the dough, decreasing the amount of milk and sugar (I guess I always have to fiddle with perfect recipes too…)
Four hours later and out came this deliciously lumpy mound of sticky goodness. The banana-butter-cinnamon-brown sugar combo didn’t turn out too bad I’d say!
I skipped the frosting because I’m lazy, didn’t have the ingredients on hand and wanted to have more of a decadent tea-time treat rather than a dessert.
My only problem occurred when i turned it out of its pan. Some of the little balls of dough fell off. I suspect this is due to the fact that I used a springform pan with a “bundt-like” bottom, and some of the gooey sugar and butter mixture leaked instead of caramelizing and sticking the pieces together. One more reason to buy a *real* bundt pan ;)
Thanks for bringing so much joy to our tiny kitchen deb!
wow dude really good to know you weren’t in the mood for regular banana bread. thanks for sharing your train of thought, it made my day.
thanks for telling us you are lazy, i guess we will not be allocating you any urgent tasks.
Nice idea! I try it this weekend :) thank you for inspiration!
I came here hoping for an eclairs recipe but this will do, haha.
I just made this recipe, and it was PHENOMENAL. Small problem – I had no powdered sugar around, so I substituted the sugar and milk in the glaze for about 1/3 cup maple syrup. I highly recommend it!
Hi Deb! I just made this recipe today and holy moly did it take a lot of work. I never realized monkey bread was so involved (my friend actually challenged me to make it…). I had a terrible time with the dough, though. It was really wet, and even after I added (a bunch) more flour, it never really got dry or “shaggy” (I mixed by hand). I was wondering if you had any idea why that might be? The bread ended up tasting good, but it also wasn’t really gooey, and it completely fell apart when I tried to take it out of the pan. Also, the tops never browned either. I have never made bread before of any kind, so I was also wondering how I could tell by eye in the future when it’s done baking? Thanks so much!
I was just scrolling down the comments and lots of people seem to have trouble with the dough, esp. with mixing it by hand. Just a tip: use a bread-maker! I have one and I just dump all the ingredients into it, turn on the ‘dough’ setting and voila! It even allows time for the dough to rise in the heated mixing part.. So nice :) This makes the recipe far less labour-intensive as all you have to do is cut & roll the balls. Hope this helps..
Okay, so I’ve been super excited about this for a while, and today my husband and I made this our kitchen project. It failed. Miserably. The dough didn’t rise. It didn’t turn out the way yours looks. I swear, it was so hard, we could break our teeth on them. :S
Where did I go wrong
Hi Bats — Are you sure your yeast was good? That’s pretty much the main reason that bread does or does not rise.
I used dark brown sugar and loved it!
I have made monkey bread several times before, and I was really excited to try the SK version! I’m sad to say, it did not turn out well. I followed the instructions to the T and am a practiced baker, and unfortunately it came out all wrong, and I have no idea what happened.
I buttered the pan.
When I dipped the dough balls I did noticed that as I got to my last 8 or so there was very little butter left – is it possible that some of the liquid was lost due to the boiling/browning process? I’ve not browned butter many times.
I let it rise in the pan until it was actually almost at the top, then covered it tightly with two layers of saran, and put it in the fridge. The next day I let it sit out, covered, for about 1.5 hrs before I put it in a 350 oven. It didn’t really re-rise from falling a bit in the fridge. It was in the oven for 35 minutes on the dot, and it sat for only 5 min.
When I went to take it out, all of the pieces on the edge had a hard coating on them, and many stuck to the pan despite a knife loosening. There was absolutely no gooey-ness or sticky-ness to the monkey bread at all, so much so in fact that it pretty much fell apart as I tried to coax it from the pan.
It was not good :( I can’t figure out whether I made an error somewhere, or whether it’s really not a good idea to dip&fridge in advance. Help in diagnosis?
Hi Sarah — I am sorry you had trouble. What jumped out to me in your description was that it fell in the fridge. That definitely doesn’t sound right. It should grow in the fridge, albeit very slowly at the hindering temperature. If the yeast was already no good or over-risen, there would be no saving it in the oven, and it could lead to harder pieces.
Deb, greetings from Russia! I’m still a bit confused about the yeas tvolume and types of yeast to use. For doughs i usually use dry yeast. Standard package here is 7 gr. Do you think it will be enough? And am i right to understand that i can do all the preps in advance including both risings and then keep it in th fridge overnight and bake it from the fridge? i will just need to bring back to the room temperature. Or its better to make second rising in the fridge overnight and then bake it in the morning?
Here, there are two types of yeast. Both are dry and come in 1/4-ounce packets which are also 7 grams and hold 2 1/2 teaspoons. One is called Active Dry Yeast (and needs to be proofed) the other is the one called for here Bread Machine or Rapid Rise or Instant Yeast. (Doesn’t require proofing.) I think the second method you mention is more ideal if you have a choice.
Thank you so much for your response! And for your inspiring recipes as well!
Made this recipe this weekend! So good! I used dark brown sugar which, as you guessed, is delicious and not over-powering at all (to my taste). The only other changes I made were to use some white whole wheat flour in the dough and the addition of half of a blended banana in the icing, which made it feel more moneky-esque. If that’s a thing. Thanks, Deb!
I can’t believe how perfect this recipe is. I wanted a yeast dough (the canned biscuit variety is a very sad version indeed), with stand mixer instructions and, as a bonus, got two brilliant tips; 1) browned butter for dipping (hits head with palm), YES!!! 2) cream cheese frosting drizzle, lord have mercy.
Thank you so much!
I made this today. I didn’t have cream cheese, so I skipped the glaze. It was perfect even without it. I don’t have a bunt cake pan, so I divided the recipe into two loaf pans. I made one pan with pecans and raisins–like an inside out cinnamon roll. And one pan with chocolate chips and pecans. I think next time I’ll add some cocoa powder to the filling for that one. This is a keeper.
What would be the best way to make this for the day after Christmas morning? We are traveling on Christmas day to a sibling’s house and would love to have this the next morning for the whole family. I’ve tried making it ahead of time and freezing it (at the point that the balls have been dipped in butter/sugar mixture) and it didn’t come out great…maybe I just didn’t let it defrost/rise long enough. It should be able to be frozen at that point, right? Maybe I froze it at the wrong step…any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help, Kim
Ok, I have read the yeast comments above. I am using ‘fast action bread yeast-perfect for bread machines”. Half the time the dough does not rise. What am I doing wrong. If I understand correctly, it should not require proofing. (Lots of yeast questions…..perhaps you should think about adding Yeast to your tips section in 2014!
Sarah — I really need to add a post about yeast but fear it would take forever to write. ;) Instant does not technically speaking need to be proofed. (Actually neither does Active Dry, but as it is less shelf-stable, it’s safer to do it.) This recipe is adapted from CI; for reasons I don’t know, they often recommend that cooks proof instant yeast. I think you can skip it.
Perfection! My daughter and I had such a great time making this. I rolled the dough into balls, dipped them in the butter, and then dropped them in the brown sugar mixture. My five-year-old daughter then took over–she tossed the pieces in the sugar and then neatly arranged them in the pan. We baked the bread the evening before we were going to eat it. When it had cooled we wrapped it in plastic wrap and stored it overnight. In the morning we heated the bread (now covered in aluminum foil ) in a 200 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes and then drizzled the glaze over the bread. It was moist and delicious in the morning, not dried out at all. Awesome recipe!
Lea you make a great point about baking it ahead of time, but i wonder if you turned it out of the bundt pan to cool, then put it back in to warm it up? or on a baking sheet? Deb, any ideas? i’m hoping to make it this weekend for a youth group event.
I love the fact that you offer directions on how to proceed without a stand mixer
Hey Deb – just made this recipe today – it was FABULOUS, thank you for sharing another successful recipe! Re: the instant yeast question, I have a 1/4 lb of Fermipan in my fridge so I tend to use that and adjust all my recipes accordingly. You’re right, it doesn’t need proofing, and I don’t have fresh milk in the house (lactose intolerant here; I keep dry milk around for baking though and it saves the step of scalding fresh milk with yeasted doughs), so I made the following changes:
Mixed 1/3 cup dry milk with the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Heated up 1 1/3 cup water, melted the butter. Added the water and butter to the dough and mixed it up in my mixer. I did need to add almost another full cup of flour to get the dough firm enough to form into a ball, but it all turned out perfectly otherwise, and I didn’t make any other modifications to the recipe.
I have made this recipe a million times – but last night decided I wanted it for breakfast to surprise the kids this morning. So…. I followed the recipe through to where the balls are dipped and placed in Bundt pan, but then instead of the second rising, I covered with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator. About an hour before I wanted to bake it, I removed it from the refrigerator. Preheated the oven to 350 and baked per recipe, then put the yummy glaze on!! It was perfect!!! So there is an alternative if anyone is pressed for time!!
To Marianne’s point, if you are refrigerating at any point in the process overnight, and wrap in plastic wrap, should the plastic wrap touch the dough or just be wrapped tightly around the bundt pan?
Congratulations on your pregnancy!
Courtney — No, I would try to keep it loose. And, as an extra layer of security, spray the plastic (the side that will face the dough) with nonstick spray so if they do go bump in the night (I think I’m hilarious, oof) you won’t lose any dough that sticks.
HAHAHA – thanks, Deb!!
I have been making cinnamon rolls for my neighbors for Christmas for a few years but have never been totally satisfied with how they have turned out. I make them and freeze them and deliver them for them to make on Christmas morning. I was thinking that this year I would do monkey bread instead. Would love your advice on how best to prepare these if I plan to freeze them and what the instructions would be for thawing/baking.
This recipe is the bomb dot com. Needs more butter.
I made this and added apples to the very bottom of the pan and in between two layers of the bread. OMG. YUM!!!!! And absolutely do the browned butter!
Question: I’m bringing this to an evening potluck but I only have a few hours free before the potluck starts – probably not enough time to make this from start to finish. Can I prepare the dough the night before and let it ferment in the fridge until the next afternoon? (So it would rise in the fridge from, let’s say 11:30 pm to 3 pm the next day.)
Absolutely. The time in the fridge doesn’t need to be limited, it will grow extremely slowly and most of the proofing will finish as it warms up before you bake it.
Made this with an overnight first rise, as per Deb’s approval, and it was perfect. A total hit. Thanks!
First off, I love your recipes and have made a bunch with great success, so thank you. Second, Iv always read that monkey bread is best eaten day of. I shy away from recipes you have to eat in one go, especially rich ones like this. How did yours hold up? Is it just as good a day or two later? Thanks!!
It’s best on the first day, but still extremely delicious, especially rewarmed, on the second.
Help! My daughter has just been told she has to cut out cinnamon (allergy). She cried and said Christmas is ruined. Monkey bread has been part of our Christmas morning for the last 5 years. Any ideas how to ‘ save Christmas?’ No pressure!
How about rolling the balls of dough in vanilla sugar with a kiss of nutmeg or almond? Split a vanilla bean, rub the seeds into sugar with your fingertips…
Almond. Perfect! Deb saves Christmas!
Just made it. I browned the butter and made a sauce with the leftover sugar and butter to drizzle before popping into oven. Divine. That dough! Thanks, Deb!
I’ve read the recipe through a few times and I might be missing something but, where do you utilize the 2tbsp softened butter that the dough recipe calls for? I only see where you add the 2tbsp melted butter, but it’s possible it’s right in front of my face and I’m not seeing it.
You use it to butter the bundt pan. Took me a minute too, even though it’s right there.
Can you roll the dough balls and assemble bread in the bundt pan and then refrigerate overnight? I’d like to make this for brunch, but don’t have the time in the morning to put it together.
Yes, I was wondering the same thing!!
I haven’t done it the night before yet but am thinking about it tonight — can report back. Or you report back and let us know how it goes?
Hi Deb (and Kate),
If you were to do this overnight, where would you stop the recipe? At the first or second rise? I was thinking it would make more sense to stop after it’s in the bundt pan, but wasn’t sure. I think I’m going to try it out tonight!
Hi! I made this doing the second rise (after the balls have been rolled in the butter/sugar and placed in the pan) in the refrigerator overnight. Took it out this morning – could tell the dough had risen as it should – and popped it in the oven. Worked very well! Perfect New Year’s Day breakfast with minimal effort this morning. Thanks as always, Deb! HNY!
I did the same thing this morning- put it in the fridge after I had rolled the dough and coated it in the butter & sugar. Baked up perfectly this morning, just needed few extra minutes in the oven – our fridge was very cold this morning. Thanks!
Is 2tsp salt right? Seems like a lot of salt. Doesn’t make it too salty? I’m not a fan of salty desserts like salted caramel so, curious if it’s similar to that.
I made this today as written with 2 tsp salt. That is correct. It did not taste salty at all.
I made this today for New Years bowl games. Followed the recipe exactly but skipped the cream cheese glaze due to laziness. It was delicious anyway.
It was great even after sitting out for a few hours. Didn’t get hard like the canned biscuit type does.
Great recipe Deb! I also got your new cookbook for Christmas, can’t wait to try the rye English muffins.
Oh my gosh, this is SO GOOD. Every ball is like the inside of a cinnamon roll, which is, of course, the best bite. I’m not sure why I’d ever make cinnamon rolls again! For those wondering, I baked mine in a springform pan, let it rise overnight in the fridge after the butter/sugar step, and left it out for about an hour before baking for about 25 minutes. My 3-year-old loved dipping the balls in the butter and sugar (and licking her fingers, of course), so it was a surprisingly kid-friendly recipe once we got to that step, and her help actually made the whole process go a lot faster. Not something that can usually be said with a 3-year-old in the kitchen ;) Don’t skip the glaze!
My grandma makes a version of this, but she puts raisins inside the balls and 5 minuts before taking out of the oven, she pours a lot of sugar syrup that makes the balls soften and separate from one another… its divine!
I don’t have a bundt pan. What could I use instead? Would a springform pan work?
I think a springform would work, or two loaf pans.
Very good, easy recipe. Used dark brown sugar instead of light brown, it didn’t make the caramel too dark or too bitter.
I made it in a big 14 cups bundt pan, it was enough for 15 people at a cookout.
I made this monkey bread recipe for my family’s Thanksgiving breakfast this year and it far surpassed recipes that I’ve used in the past. Everyone raved about it. This will be our new tradition. Thank you for such a great recipe!!!
can the dough be made ahead and frozen? if so how would you do it…would you freeze after the rise but before making the balls or freeze it in balls? also would you then defrost in the fridge overnight before assembling? Thank you!
Amazing as is every recipe I have made from Smitten kitchen!
Is there any way to make this for breakfast/brunch without getting up at 6am? Could you make the dough and let it rise overnight?
Yes, in the fridge.
Thanks, Deb! I went ahead and made it in the morning. It was done and consumed by mid afternoon. Dinner was a light affair :)
Can I make this with regular yeast rather than rapid? I’m thinking of maybe making the dough the night ahead and then finishing the process in the morning.
Yes, but I would warm the liquid here first to get it started. It’s not mandatory but I find it evens up the proofing time.
Just finished putting the cream cheese glaze on top! A couple of the balls on the bottom stuck to the pan when I flipped it out, but sticking them back on was no big deal, and I kept one out to try. THESE ARE AMAZING! Like another commenter said, it really is like the center of a cinnamon roll. Delightful.
I was nervous about how it was gonna come out, because mine did not rise above the level of the pan, but it still tastes delicious and has a good fluffy texture. Highly recommend!
I made this! Used dark brown sugar and skipped the glaze. Did the first rise overnight in the fridge. Enjoyed by all! I’m thrilled. My grandma even took some home; she said she’ll never use biscuits again :)
Inspired by my grandmother’s version of this, I mixed a package of cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix into the brown sugar instead of cinnamon. Highly recommended.
I’ve made monkey bread for Christmas morning for decades: you can make it the day before and refrigerate it overnight, or freeze it and thaw it while everyone’s opening stockings and mainlining coffee (my family gets up Early on Christmas morning). One difference: I always have a lot of rugelach filling (sugar, cinnamon, walnuts and raisins spun in the food processor) around, because I like to make rugelachs fresh throughout the holidays, and I use that to dip the dough in (plus butter, of course). I’ve never tried a cream cheese glaze, seems like a v good idea.
Hi! Did this yesterday and it was delicious, thank you for the recipe! I did have quite a bit of melted butter and sugar/cinnamon mix left at the end – do you use this to make some kind of sauce? Thank you!
I just always dump my extra over the top after I build it.
My Mom has made monkey bread for my brothers and I every Thanksgiving morning whilst we watch the parade for my entire life. Our recipe includes a stove-top brown sugar butter caramel that you pour over the cinnamon sugar-coated balls in the bundt pan. It’s extra luxurious but I figure we might as well go all in if it’s monkey bread
thanks for giving this information this is quite relavent.
HI! need help on this. I made it and everything went what seemed like very well .Dough seemed right, but the initial rise, didnt really double….then I did the balls and did that rise and those didnt change size either .then baked and they look and seem delish, but I think mostly undercooked and didnt come together to be pull apart the balls are all still separate. I want to do it again cause looks perfection, but this just isn’t right and I dont know where I went wrong. :( Thanks!
If you used active dry yeast instead of instant, the yeast you used may not have been alive (though maybe you proofed it and found otherwise). Another culprit could be not kneading enough to form sufficient gluten. I used a stand mixer with a dough hook and went a few minutes longer than the recipe suggest, until the dough cleared the bottom of my mixing bowl. No issues with the rise on my end, hopefully that helps you troubleshoot.
Would an overnight rise in the fridge work for this? Like, assemble through the step where you’ve dipped the bread and butter, rolled in cinnamon sugar and then put in pan and then cover and put in fridge overnight? Let it set out for 30 minutes or so the next morning and then bake? I want to make this for Christmas morning but ain’t no way I’m going to wake up early enough for us to eat it for breakfast.
Yes, it could, although they might merge together more. Won’t taste bad though!
Instead of cutting out 64 squares, I just pull off a chunk of the dough and roll it into a ball. This time, I added a dried cherry inside each ball, and it was delicious! I think it would also be good with pieces of apple or most any fruit.