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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

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