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Homemade Monkey Bread Recipe

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This scrumptious Homemade Monkey Bread Recipe is an outstanding, 5-Alarm breakfast or brunch treat that will thrill your family!!

Much as I love my easy monkey bread or bubble rolls made with a box of pudding mix, this Homemade Monkey Bread is worth the effort!

Overhead view of homemade monkey bread on a white plate with a few rolls removed

Homemade Monkey Bread Recipe

Have you ever had a firetruck, with its lights flashing and sirens blaring, race down your quiet street and stop in front of your house? Not once, not twice, but at least 3 times? Granted, this has been over a couple of decades, but the initial episode was the most memorable. I was baking my first Cinnamon Monkey Bread Recipe.

We had been to Sedona, Arizona, and I had purchased a mini-cookbook from our bed and breakfast for Bubble Roll. It was made with frozen roll dough, a box of butterscotch pudding, butter and LOTS of sugar. I arranged the bread dough in the pan, topped with the dry ingredients, let it rise, and popped it in the oven. Well, little ol’ me didn’t realize that the 2 piece angel food pan I had used would leak the sugar syrup ALL over the bottom of the oven. Whoops. Well, problem easily solved. I turned on the self-cleaning oven and went on with my day.

It was shortly after when one of the kids reported there was smoke coming from the kitchen, then the hubby suggested there might be flames in our oven. The queen of denial said no way until the smoke alarm started blaring thus notifying our fire department that our home was in jeopardy.

I was just baking, I told the fireman, sheepishly, when he walked up our driveway. Eventually, I learned my lesson. When something starts smoking in my oven (which happens more than I care to admit!), I call my alarm company and instruct them to ignore any smoke signals from us that come their way. But you’re smarter than I am, and when you make this delicious cinnamon monkey bread, it will go off without a hitch! If you’re curious about my first attempt, it was an Easy Monkey Bread, made with a box of butterscotch pudding mix.

Overhead view of Cinnamon Monkey Bread Recipe

What is Monkey Bread?

Monkey Bread, also known as Bubble Roll, Bubble Loaf, or Bubble Bread, is a “sweet yeast bread formed by arranging small clumps of dough (which are usually dipped in butter) in 3 or 4 overlapping layers in a pan.” It can be sweet or savory.

It got its name since it’s a pull-apart food, and you eat it as a monkey would, with your fingers.

How to Make Monkey Bread from Scratch

  • My first tip on how to make monkey bread is to use a Bundt or Angel Food Cake Pan with a solid bottom. If your pan has a removable bottom, there will be a big mess in your oven after baking. Or even a fire! There is an Amazon link in the recipe for a one-piece tube pan (affiliate link).
  • Next, do not force the dough to rise with a too-hot oven. 85º is the goal. My new oven has a proofing setting which is set at 85. Placing a bowl of very hot water into your oven can also gently raise the temperature, but double-check with an oven thermometer.
  • Let the monkey bread cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes before inverting. This allows the caramel topping to cool a bit so it doesn’t all slide off the bread. If there’s any topping left in the pan, scrape it out over the rolls.
Bowl of monkey bread with a red handled fork

More Breakfast Recipes You’ll Love:

Fire truck in front of house

Photo courtesy of my son, Tom, who loves to document our family foibles.


This recipe was originally shared in August 2013. Photos and text were updated in 2020.

Side view of monkey bread recipe from scratch

Homemade Monkey Bread Recipe

Yeast rolls rolled in cinnamon sugar and baked with a caramelly glaze for a magnifent breakfast or brunch treat.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 8 servings

Ingredients

Dough

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided, 2 tablespoons softened (to grease the Bundt pan) and 2 tablespoons melted
  • 1 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package rapid-rise yeast (or instant)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Cinnamon Coating

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted

Optional glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200º, then turn it off. Grease Bundt pan with the softened butter. Set aside.
  2. In a large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Mix flour and salt in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. When the dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from bowl, and place in a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover bowl with greased plastic wrap and place in a warm oven (85 degrees) until dough doubles, about an hour.
  3. While the dough is rising, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Put melted butter in a second bowl.
  4. Pat dough into an 8 inch by 8-inch square. Cut dough into 64 pieces.
  5. Roll each dough piece into a ball, then coat balls in melted butter, one at a time. Roll in brown sugar mixture, then place the balls into the greased Bundt pan. Try to place the second layer of dough balls over the seams of the first layer...it makes a better presentation.
  6. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in your slightly warm oven (about 85 degrees) for about an hour or till dough rises about an inch above sides of pan.
  7. Remove pan from oven and preheat oven to 350º. Bake until top is deep brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto plate and let cool about 10 minutes before icing.
  8. While bread cools, whisk icing ingredients until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm monkey bread. Serve warm.

Notes

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Total time does not include proofing time.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 523Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 692mgCarbohydrates: 84gFiber: 2gSugar: 42gProtein: 7g

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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66 comments on “Homemade Monkey Bread Recipe”

  1. I’m surprised the firemen didn’t look around and ask for a bite of Monkey Bread. Looks and sounds absolutely delicious, Liz =)

  2. Considering my cooking abilities, I wouldn’t be surprised if the fire department came to my house. But luckily it hasn’t happened thus far and hopefully I can keep it that way!

    Looks delicious. 🙂

  3. omg if the fire dept. came here every time our fire alarm went off because of my baking….oh no. lol

    This monkey bread looks fantastic, it’s such a childhood favorite of mine so I’ll forever adore it 😀

  4. Love the pic! Oh the ones of the monkey bread are great too 😉 Seriously the dessert looks amazing, I have to make a monkey bread soon. I am sure the firemen would like to come over for a bite without the sirens calling.

  5. You can always bribe them with one of your sweets Liz! It´s a good thing I don´t have a fire alarm here, the burning spots in the bottom when it leaks do happen quite often here too. This monkey bread is insane!

  6. Something like your fire incident is so something that would happen to me, lol. I love monkey bread!

  7. Omg, that story is so funny. I’m sure everyone at some point has seen the fire truck arrive, maybe not for themselves. You brought back some funny memories from my own experiences though, thanks for that.

    This monkey bread looks so wonderfully sticky and full of cinnamon.
    Oh yeah!

  8. Good Morning Liz, first off I don’t know why I thought of Miss Liz Lemon. Tina Fey is so brilliant. Second you won’t believe how many times I wished to attempt to make monkey bread and never did. Maybe this will give me a boost in the right direction. It looks fabulous.

  9. My feeling has been telling me not to try the self cleaning option on my oven lol. I had a similar story 3 times too. One time it happened when I lived in a friends house here. The oven was on fire and the cables were melting. not my fault by the way, there was something wrong with the isolation. The only thing is that there was no fire brigade here at the time but it all went well, the fire was gone and my husband came for his first dinner (it was our 2nd date!). Now your monkey bread won’t do that to my oven right? =P Just joking it’s looking awesome Liz!

  10. Got a kick out of the pic:@) Glad everything was ok! I see quite a few things that sound interesting to me this week… Especially the Popper Alfredo! Your bread is beautiful and I know it didn’t last long:@)

  11. ha ha ha ha…oh no! Hilarious (since all was well)…and you got a story you can tell for ages ;). I love Monkey Bread, and yours looks beyond irresistible Liz!

  12. Haha, oh I can relate. I set off my smoke detector more time than I can count! Ours don’t directly alert the firemen though. We only ever had one real oven fire, caused by my sister of course. Thank goodness we own a fire extinguisher! And can I just ask you how on Earth you managed to make the world’s sloppiest food look so perfect and picturesque?

  13. My family loves Monkey Bread. Yours looks so yummy:). Thanks for sharing.

  14. We may or may not have had the fire trucks stop in front of our house. *ahem* But I’ve never had anything like this monkey bread. 😀 And that must be rectified!

  15. Lol…that was a good one Liz 🙂 Reminded me of some near accidents in my kitchen as well 🙂 Your monkey bread looks irresistible!

  16. Yeah, I’ve set off our smoke alarm too. 😉 Not often, but it does happen – mainly when I’m doing something with really high heat. Anyway, great looking monkey bread! I wonder how it got that name. No matter, it’d be wonderful no matter what we called it. 😉

  17. Haha Lizzy! Did you offer the firemen your bread?

  18. I’m kind of thankful I don’t have a self cleaning oven now! This would for sure happen to me. The bread looks awesome though.

  19. My neighbor freaks over residual firework smokes on NYE. She phones me to let me know there’s something caught on fire when nothing in the kitchen was on. This would have put her over the edge.. LOL! This monkey bread looks heavenly! I adore cinnamon so I know I’ll love this! 🙂

  20. My 4 year old son would be THRILLED to have a visit from the fireman! 🙂 Me, not so much. Love monkey bread and cinnamon – great combination!

  21. LOL!!! Better safe than sorry!!! The monkey bread looks absolutely wonderful!!!

  22. Thanks for the laugh, Liz! I love that your son took a photo of the fire truck. 🙂 We had a similar incident when I was finishing the cooking of a pot of chili for my sister and, because I hadn’t started the thing, I completely forgot about it there on the stove on simmer and WENT OUT. Can you imagine?! The firemen were called and I was called by the alarm company. We met at the house and when they walked through to check for fire, the pot was dry and smoking like heck. The fireman carried it carefully outside, set it in the yard and removed the lid. The funniest part was when he asked me what I was cooking. I said, “Chili.” And his response was a shocked, “You put BEANS in your chili?!” In Texas that is sacrilege. I replied, “Absolutely not! That is my sister’s chili!” We both shook our heads at her oddness.

    Monkey bread has been on my list for longer than I can remember but I’ve never made it. Your beautiful recipe has been pinned to my Recipes to Try board because I must remedy that!

  23. We have a similar alarm system – quite embarrassing when my sister tried to make scrambled eggs one morning, then my stepbrother charred up a pot by walking away from boiling pasta… at least the firemen are hot too!

    I love cinnamon bread FWIW and would dive into this

  24. I’ve never seen a monkey bread before but that glaze and cinnamon just sounds lovely! xx

  25. Fortunately Liz, (and I say this cautiously because you know what happens when you think or say something like this) the fire company has not had to come put out an oven fire here yet. However, my grandma, who always cooked up a storm, set her smoke alarm off weekly – lol. I’ve never made monkey bread and I have no good reason why. I know we would devour it – especially if it turned out looking as delicious as yours 🙂 Your son is a good at documenting history. A good story for his children someday…

  26. What a fun story! Kids make sure we never forget such events! This recipe looks excellent.

  27. Never a dull moment at your house!!! I only make Monkey Bread when the kids are home at Christmas. They would think it was the seventh sign if I made it at any other time.

  28. LOL I have burnt down a kitchen but I’ve never had the fire truck show up for monkey bread. 🙂 This looks SO good, Liz!

  29. I loooooooove monkey bread…I am so salivating right now and wishing I could have a big chunk of this one.

  30. I always blame my oversensitive smoke alarm. All I was doing was making bacon the other day, and it was going off. Ugh! But your monkey bread looks ooey gooey awesome!

  31. I’ve never had monkey bread so whenever I see a great recipe for it like yours I start swooning and saying “you must make it!”. Thank you!

  32. Ohh, yes please!! I could have this cinnamon monkey bread with that drooling sauce anytime! You always have such tasty, great looking recipes Liz!

  33. This is just hilarious..I hope the firemen weren’t too upset about that…did you at least offer them some of your delicious monkey bread?

  34. That’s a very funny story and it looks like you live in a nice neighbourhood. I love how level and green your lawn is. And I’ve never heard of monkey bread but it sure does look very yummy and perfect for a Sunday breakfast xx

  35. Your bread looks incredible, you’ve completely outdone yourself! 🙂

  36. Lizzy , you need to bake some goodies and bring it to the Fire Station ! I bet those nice firemen would love some of your gorgeous bakes 😀

  37. This is about the prettiest monkey bread I’ve every seen and a very funny story to go along with it!! 🙂

  38. Oh MY Lizzy Thanks God all is ok!
    I love this pretty monkey bread!!

  39. HAHAH, that’s hilarious, your sweet little boys must have a funny grin now reading this right..
    Liz, the bread looks yummmm. I just might bake one before school starts…I don’t know why I am in a rush to bake and cook a ton, I do it even during school days…maybe it’s just that it’s so stress free now.

  40. I had a similar run in with monkey bread. Luckily I don’t think the smoke alarm went off. It was just a pain to clean up. I still want to try monkey bread again, and this one looks great, not dry like many out there.

  41. LOL well I hope the monkey bread was worth all the effort! 🙂 I’m sure they’ve had that happen before… I’m always worried that our fire alarm will go off when we have something that starts to smoke the oven out…

  42. What a funny story…but not so funny if a real fire would have broken out! Your monkey bread is so irresistible, yummy, ooey-gooey goodness for a special morning with my favorite latte! xo

  43. I have never made monkey bread and have always wanted to. I’m bookmarking this for in the future use. Like maybe tomorrow!

  44. I have seen so many recipes for Monkey Bread that I really need to give this a shot! This looks luscious!

  45. Oh my goodness I can’t believe you actually had them show up that must have been embarrassing. Did you offer them some monkey bread? I am sure if they got to taste that amazing deliciousness it would have made the trip worth it.

  46. Hysterical Liz!!! I’ve set off the smoke alarm but the fire department hasn’t come to the house yet.
    Gorgeous monkey bread you baked. It’s one that is nudging me to bake one for the first time.

  47. Yummy! I so love monkey bread. Yours looks incredible!

  48. Oh goodness what a story! Monkey bread reminds me of home, my mom, weekend breakfasts and lots of love!

  49. I know I shouldn’t laugh… but what a funny story. 🙂 I love that your son took a photo. I can just see Bill.. “No, Mr. Fireman.. my wife was just baking…”. It’s nice to know even a superb baker like you has your harmless mishaps. The first time I made monkey bread… I didn’t realize it needed to be a bundt pan and I had raw bread in the middle of my monkey. Urhg. 🙁

    Your monkey bread is fantastic… bet the fireman wanted to stay to have a piece. 🙂

  50. Oh. My. Gawd. Little dough bites, covered with gooey glaze! I’m all over this!

  51. My man used to be a fireman and he will appreciate your story for sure! I see you overcame the issue and baked some fantastic looking monkeybread!

  52. Oh, Liz!! That is too funny!!! I can honestly say that my baking hasn’t brought the fire dept… yet. But in a few cases maybe it should have.

  53. Lizzy,
    I’ve never made Monkey Bread but I’ve seen recipes for it all over the place. Hopefully when I get around to making, it will look as good as yours.
    Annamaria

  54. Cinnamon is my favourite spice and your monkey bread looks fill to brim with cinnamon goodness. It looks delicious.

  55. Hi 🙂
    When does the softened butter get added? I see it in the dough ingredients, but not in the instructions.
    Thanks!

  56. Yum! My family and I love this recipe! I’m thinking about making this tomorrow!

  57. I have had the same thing happen to me with a batch of cookies that I totally blame on pregnancy brain! So embarrassing! This stuff is the best. My family asks for this monkey bread frequently, it is so good.

  58. Monkey bread is always a hit on the brunch menu! Everyone loves it! 

  59. I’ve had my own share of culinary mishaps. I dumped coals from the previous night’s grilling into a dumpster, and the dumpster caught fire. That did bring the fire department. I honestly didn’t know that coals could still be warm a full twelve hours later. Fortunately, no real harm done and I learned my lesson.

  60. Leaking sugar (and in fact anything leaking) in the oven is one of the worst scenarios, but the story itself is hilarious! I’ve never made and even tried (sad face) a monkey bread, but it looks phenomenal; so sticky, buttery, and scrumptious!

  61. I’ve never tried Monkey Bread, now I really want some.
    Amalia
    xo

  62. Liz, this is such an over-the-top dessert. It would be quite dangerous around me, as I would not be able to stop myself from taking bite after bite. YUM!. 🙂 ~Valentina

  63. Love the look of this bread! I’ll make extra for the firemen. 🙂

  64. Well, all families have foibles! At least this was worthy! At times like this I wish I had family around. I really need this monkey bread!

  65. Haha Liz!! Your incident reminded me of my college days. 1 day when I came to my apartment from college I saw firefighters in our complex and I was wondering whose apartment it was. No surprise it was ours. OMG I still remember that day .. This monkey bread looks absolutely amazing

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