This Easy Monkey Bread Recipe is beloved by my family and embarrassingly simple to make! Perfect for the busy holidays or weekend company!

A semi-homemade recipe, with only a handful of ingredients, this Bubble Bread recently got rave reviews from a group of friends, many of whom plan to add it to their Christmas morning menus. These decisions were made after just a bite or two while gathered in my driveway for a socially distanced coffee date!!

Easy Monkey Bread pieces on a small white plate with orange slices

Why You Must Make this Semi-Homemade Bubble Bread

  • When I ask the gang what they’d like for Christmas breakfast, 3 out of 4 reply, “Bubble Roll!”I was dreaming of whipping up a new egg casserole, French toast, or some gourmet concoction.  Nope, they wanted this simple monkey bread recipe with rolls coated with caramel and baked in a tube pan. It’s just that addictive!
  • A box of butterscotch pudding mix and a bag of frozen yeast rolls make it super easy.
  • I’ve added a prettier version that takes a little extra time if you’re making this pull apart monkey bread for a special occasion. See note in the recipe card as it uses double the topping amounts.

I found this recipe after staying at a bed and breakfast in Sedona, Arizona. It uses frozen roll dough and a small box of “Cook ‘n Serve” not instant butterscotch pudding mix. The picky hubby is not a fan of caramel or butterscotch anything, but for some reason, this easy monkey bread recipe was a hit across the board. But I also have a Cinnamon Monkey Bread recipe from scratch if you’re up to the challenge. It’s wonderful, too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Monkey Bread?

Monkey bread is a sweet or savory yeast bread formed by placing layers of dough pieces into a pan, most commonly coated in butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Once baked, the dough forms a solid loaf.

Why is it called Monkey Bread?

There are a few theories, one being that the rolls look like a barrel of monkeys. Another references the 1940's term monkey food, meaning snack food. And a third dates back to a 1945 article in the Winnepeg Free Press, where actress Zasu Pitts first shared a recipe titled monkey bread.

How Long Do You Bake Monkey Bread?

Since there are numerous variations of monkey bread, some made with homemade yeast dough, and others with frozen rolls or biscuit dough, there is no one time that works for all recipes. My crockpot recipe takes 2-1 1/2 hours, and the other yeast bread and biscuit recipes take from 30-45 minutes in the oven.

Easy Monkey Bread on a white serving plate
Original recipe using full sized roll dough.

Tips for Making Bubble Bread AKA Monkey Bread

Now, I’ve made monkey bread from scratch (see link below) and even commented on my distaste for artificial butterscotch flavor in that post. But even so,  everyone who has tried this semi-homemade recipe has been impressed. Then when they find out how easy it is to throw together, they all want the recipe.

  • Make sure to use a one-piece tube pan and not an angel food cake pan with a removable bottom. I made this mistake with my first batch of this bubble bread and the fire department came after smoke filled our kitchen. The caramel oozed out of the bottom of the pan and made a horrific burnt mess in the oven. Oops.
  • I prefer a non-stick tube pan, but it will still need to be sprayed with Pam or another non-stick cooking spray to help the loaf release easily.
  • I’ve made a version replacing the butterscotch pudding with a box of vanilla pudding mix and adding a teaspoon or so of cinnamon to the dry mixture. That version one was more pleasing to me, but the kids still prefer this original.
  • The last time I made this easy monkey bread, it was an unusually hot fall day and the rolls rose much higher than I’d seen in the past. But they still baked up fine. That’s the beauty of using frozen roll dough.
Monkey bread in a white ceramic bowl
Optional version cutting each roll dough ball into quarters. You’ll need twice the topping amounts like 2 boxes of pudding mix, etc.

How to Make Monkey Bread in 6 Easy Steps

Start making this bubble bread the night before you plan to bake it for breakfast or brunch.

  1. Grease your tube pan well and layer the frozen rolls across the bottom. It will be two layers of rolls.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients and pour over the rolls. It will look like a lot, but don’t worry!
  3. Melt the butter and pour over the dry ingredients. PRO-Tip: I like to melt butter in the microwave in a Pyrex liquid measuring cup with a spout. It helps make for easier pouring. Don’t forget to cover it in plastic wrap to avoid a mess!
  4. Cover the pan with a greased sheet of aluminum foil and let sit at room temperature overnight.
  5. The next morning, preheat your oven and bake as directed.
  6. Let the baked bread rest for about 5 minutes on a cooling rack before inverting it onto a  serving plate. Pour any loose caramel left in the pan over the bread. Serve and wait for the onslaught of compliments.
Baked bubble roll in a tube pan before inverting onto a serving dish.

Bubble Bread for Special Occasions

If you need a showstopping version of this easy monkey bread, try this twist:

  • Defrost your roll dough overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Double the amound of butter and sugar mixture.
  • Cut the rolls into quarters.
  • Dip the rolls into butter, then the pudding and sugar mix. Plan some extra time to do this step. It’s not dificult, just time consuming.
  • Layer in the prepared tube pan. This is not hard, just time consuming!
  • Bake as directed.
  • Cool on rack for 5-10 minutes, then invert onto serving plate.
Bubble bread on a square white plate with 2 plump raspberries

More Recipes You’ll Love:

This recipe was first shared in December 2010. It was updated with much-needed new photos and text in 2020.

baked bubble bread on a white serving dish

Bubble Rolls

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 12 servings

A gooey, caramelly make-ahead monkey bread! There are two versions. The easier way uses whole frozen rolls that defrost overnight and are baked the next morning. The version in the photo in the recipe card using quartered defrosted rolls that are individually dipped in butter, then the sugar mixture (double everything except the roll dough).

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces frozen roll dough (I use half a 3-pound package of Rhode's frozen white roll dough)
  • 1 package butterscotch pudding mix, not instant
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Instructions

  1. Spray 10-inch solid tube pan with Pam. Place rolls in the bottom of the pan.
  2. Combine brown sugar, sugar, and pudding mix. Sprinkle evenly over rolls. Pour melted butter over rolls.
  3. Cover with a tent of foil sprayed with Pam. Let sit overnight on the counter.
  4. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350º. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. Carefully turn out onto a serving plate (butterscotch glaze will be very hot).
  5. To make Version B (smaller, rounder rolls when baked), double the butter and dipping mixture.
  6. Defrost the rolls overnight, then cut into quarters the next day.
  7. Dip each quarter of roll dough into butter, then sugar mixture, layer into pan and bake using the above directions.

Notes

Adapted from The Graham Inn's Recipes

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 460mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 3gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g

Thatskinnychickcanbake.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although thatskinnychickcanbake.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on thatskinnychickcanbake.com recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.

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