Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce.

Sticky, cinnamon-spice pull-apart Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce. It’s much easier than you think! 

Sticky, cinnamon-spice pull-apart Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Monkey Bread made completely from scratch. Monkey see, monkey do.

Stumbling upon quaint little bakeries while venturing through new parts of town are what I like to call “happy accidents.” I’m a foodie. Actually, no. I’m a dessertie.

Fate was by my side last week because I was instantly inspired to make my own monkey bread at home after spying one in a local bakery.

Sticky, cinnamon-spice pull-apart Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Monkey bread is a sweet, sticky, gooey pastry often baked in a bundt pan and served for breakfast or as a decadent snack. The bread is made with pieces (or balls) of sweet yeast dough baked together with melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar. It tastes like cinnamon rolls, but better. To eat it, you tear the bread piece by piece – sort of like how little monkeys pick at their food.

In short, monkey bread is heaven on earth.

Today I’m bringing you the best of the best. It is a completely from-scratch recipe for monkey bread. A warm, extremely doughy, cinnamon and sugar spiced, butter-laden confection just begging to be dug into.  I completely covered the bread in pecans (optional!) and an easy homemade caramel sauce because… why not?  Go big or go home.

Reasons to make this monkey bread right now:

  • The balls of dough are beyond soft.
  • Softer than any sweet roll I’ve ever made before.
  • Fluffier than any piece of homemade bread I’ve eaten before.
  • Stickier than any sticky bun I’ve tasted.
  • Each ball of dough is hand-rolled into melted butter and cinnamon sugar.
  • Each piece is dripping in caramel and glazed pecans.
  • Save time by making it the night before.

Sticky, cinnamon-spice pull-apart Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce! sallysbakingaddiction.com

I like to call this monkey bread “sticky bun cake.”  Because it truly tastes like sticky buns rolled into little balls and baked together like a cake. And that’s essentially what it is, anyway!

It might look tricky, but this is truly not that hard to make. Here’s how I did it:

Start with 1 standard package (2 and 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast. For my monkey bread, I used Red Star Platinum. I am in no way compensated for saying this but I swear by Red Star, especially their superior Platinum line. Guaranteed fluffiness and volume. It will also save you time.

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water. Once you stir the yeast around in the water and allow it to foam and dissolve, add the rest of your ingredients: 1 and 1/4 cup of 2% milk (lukewarm at 110F – 115F degrees), 1/3 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 eggs, salt, and 3 cups of all-purpose flour. Beat with a handheld or stand mixer until a soft dough forms. Then, manually stir in more flour to form a firm dough. I used 5 cups of flour total. Then you’ll knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic; about 6-8 minutes of kneading. The dough is SO soft and easy to work with- you are going to love it.

Form dough into a smooth ball and place it into a greased bowl, turning once so that the top is greased. I sprayed a bowl with cooking spray as my grease. Cover the dough and place in the refrigerator to let it rise overnight, or for about 8 hours. I made this monkey bread late Friday evening and was SO eager to wake up on Saturday morning to get started on the next step.

You’re going to wake up to a very cold and puffy ball of dough. It will double in size. Mine was extra puffy because I used Red Star Platinum  yeast. Here comes a fun step: punch the dough down and watch it slightly deflate. Don’t punch it too hard, just a gentle punch to redistribute the air pockets inside and make the dough easier to divide into portions for the dough balls.

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce

This part is also fun: melt 1 stick of butter in a small bowl. Set aside. Mix together 1 cup of sugar and 1 hefty Tablespoon of cinnamon in a shallow bowl. That’s a lot of cinnamon, yes. I am no stranger to cinnamon; I completely LOVE the stuff. I probably ended up using 1.5 Tablespoons total. Go by your taste preference.

Tear off small pieces of dough and roll into a ball. One by one, dip the dough balls into the melted butter and then generously roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. I heavily coated the dough balls because I wanted a ton of cinnamon/sugar in each bite.

Aim for about 40-45 balls of dough. The dough balls are not enormous – about 1.25 inches in diameter.  You need to make sure you have enough to fill the bundt pan, so be modest with their size. Begin to layer them into the pan with some chopped pecans. The pecans are optional but I love the extra texture they bring. Rolling each ball of dough took me about 20 minutes. Not so bad!

Sticky, cinnamon-spice pull-apart Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now it’s time for some caramel. The caramel is beyond easy to make. It’s the same homemade caramel sauce I used for my Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls. PS: You could make my homemade salted caramel instead.

You’re going to use this homemade caramel sauce twice in the recipe. First, you’ll pour half of it over the balls of dough before putting the bread into the oven. Then, you’ll pour more on top of the monkey bread before serving.

Sticky, cinnamon-spice pull-apart Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce! sallysbakingaddiction.com

While it’s baking, the sticky caramel seeps in between all of the dough balls and pecans, allowing everything to stick together. The dough balls will expand quite a bit as well – you’ll be alarmed by how puffy they get! That’s what makes this monkey bread so fluffy and soft.

And it smells like homemade cinnamon rolls baking. That’s essentially what it this monkey bread is anyway.

Once the monkey bread is finished in the oven, allow it to cool for about 5-10 minutes. Then, invert it onto a large serving plate and cover with the rest of the caramel sauce (you’ll have to heat the caramel for about 30 seconds in the microwave). Watch as the extra caramel topping drizzles down the sides and in between all of the cracks and crevices. This monkey bread is out of this world!

Sticky, cinnamon-spice pull-apart Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Sticky, cinnamon-spice pull-apart Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce! sallysbakingaddiction.com

You can either cut this bread into large uneven slices or let everyone pick off the gooey pieces themselves – you know, like monkeys. That’s what we did! Before you know it, the entire thing will be gone. Ooey gooey success! Eat it warm for breakfast, snack on it all day, have more for dessert, and then again at midnight.  Monkey bread is acceptable any time of day. For real.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make! 

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce

Yield: 1 bundt pan; 14 servings

Total Time: overnight

Print Recipe

Be sure to read all of the instructions before baking.



  • 1 standard package (2 and 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast (such as Red Star Platinum)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110F-115F)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups warm 2% or whole milk (110F-115F)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour (measured correctly)

Easy Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream (no substitutions)

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)


  1. Make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir it around a bit and let it sit for about 2 minutes. Add the milk, melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and 3 cups of flour, Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. About 5 cups total.
  2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-7 minutes. Do not over-knead, which will lend tough and chewy bread. The dough is ready when it is smooth and when you can poke it with a finger and it springs back. Form dough into a smooth ball and place into a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. I greased the bowl with cooking spray. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Make the caramel sauce: The caramel sauce can be made ahead of time (up to 1 week) and heated in the microwave for 30 seconds before using. To make the caramel, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted, add brown sugar and heavy cream. Stir constantly over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Allow to bubble for 3-4 full minutes, no more. Set aside.
  4. Make the cinnamon-sugar topping: In a shallow bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar. In a separate small bowl, melt the butter. Set aside. Spray a 10-12 cup bundt pan with cooking spray. Set aside. Punch the cold dough down very gently to allow the air bubbles to release. Pull apart pieces and roll into balls, about 1.25 inches in diameter. You will need 40-45 balls total, so be modest with their size. Dip each ball, one by one, in the melted butter and then generously roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat them well. You may need more cinnamon-sugar depending how heavy you coat each ball.
  5. Arrange 20 dough balls into the bundt pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the pecans. Top with remaining dough balls and pecans. *If you did not use Red Star Platinum yeast, cover the pan and allow dough balls to rise again for about 45 minutes at room temperature. If you did use Red Star Platinum yeast, move ahead to the next step and bake right away.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F. When you are ready to bake, warm the caramel sauce up for about 30 seconds. Stir, and top the dough balls with 1/2 of the caramel sauce. Reserve the rest to pour on top after it is baked.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cover loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly.
  8. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then invert onto a large serving plate. Warm up the caramel sauce again and drizzle over the bread before serving. You can either cut the bread into generous slices or let everyone pick off the gooey pieces themselves. Monkey bread tastes best served on the same day, but will stay fresh for 3 days if stored covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  9. Make ahead tip: This recipe is designed to be made ahead! In step 2, you'll see that the dough needs to rise for at least 8 hours or overnight. The caramel sauce (in step 3) can also be made ahead of time.

Additional Notes:

If you like salted caramel, try my homemade salted caramel sauce instead of this caramel sauce!

Dough recipe from Taste of Home Baking




© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Pretty much anyone with working tastebuds will LOVE this stuff.

Sticky, cinnamon-spice pull-apart Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce! sallysbakingaddiction.com

I covered my Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls with the same caramel sauce from today.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

This indulgent Caramel Monkey Bread is guaranteed to be your new family favorite!

182 Responses to “Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce.”

  1. #
    Deeposted December 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Sally!!! I can’t get off your site. I commented on your chocolate chunk cookies a few months ago. I am the one who is a cook and not much of a baker. Well, I can say I have become a baker now. I make pretty much all my food from scratch. It’s awesome how you give the science of the ingredients and what they do. It helps when I am trying to make substitutions. This monkey bread will be made for my Xmas shindig. Lol! I am going to put on a few lbs this season because everything I see on your page I want to make. I made the salted caramel apple pie for thanksgiving and everyone LOVED it (although they were skeptical at first). Thanks for taking the time to create and share these wonderful recipes. Happy Holidays


    • Sallyreplied on December 10th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      SO nice to hear from you again, Dee! Thanks for saying hi again. I’m glad you are learning so much from my site! I love this monkey bread. I know it will be a hit!


  2. #
    lizposted December 21, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I just found this by googling homemade monkey bread. I’d love to make it the night before and bake it on Christmas morning — do you think I could everything up until the baking stage, then refrigerate it and bake it in the morning?


    • Sallyreplied on December 21st, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Hi Liz! This monkey bread can only be made through step two – where I mention you can let them sit overnight. You can also make the caramel in advance as well.


      • lizreplied on December 21st, 2013 at 5:45 pm

        Thank you so much Sally for getting back to me! I guess we will make them Christmas Eve and heat them up on Christmas morning… hopefully some will be left! : )

  3. #
    Cassieposted December 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I don’t have a bundt pan. Is there a substitute pan you would recommend?


    • Sallyreplied on December 23rd, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      Hi Cassie! You could try to bake this monnkey bread in two 9×5 loaf pans instead. I hope you enjoy!


  4. #
    Deeposted December 27, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Hi Sally! I made the monkey bread as planned. I was sooo mad at myself because I forgot to add the salt to the dough (it was very late at night). I was freaking out but once I pulled myself together 🙂 I decided to add half of the salt to the caramel and half to the melted butter. It turned out just fine and was gone so quickly everyone was asking how I made it. I couldn’t find the platinum yeast but regular worked just fine. The dough rose so high. I am definitely making this again. Thanks and happy and healthy 2014!


    • Sallyreplied on December 27th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      That’s wonderful Dee! So glad the monkey bread turned out wonderfully for you. Love the idea of a salted caramel sauce on top! Happy new year to you as well 🙂


  5. #
    Andrea Cposted January 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Wow, I was browsing through cake recipes when I found this. i had to wipe drool off my desk… I will be making these, kinda carby, be good for carb loading before a long run day!!! LOL!


  6. #
    Osamaposted March 12, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Well sally , i discovered your blog few days ago , and since i have this passion for baking along time ago ( all types – espicially cakes and pastry ) it is difficult to get me satisfied with any blog and any recipes ! What i found here COMPLETES what i miss which is proffisional muffins , breads , coffee shop desserts that i need from time to time to improve my skills with these kinds of pastries .

    Bottom line , i have just pull out monkey bread from the oven while iam writing this post , i have tried your master muffin batter and i knew that your recipes are made for proffisional bakery style dessert not just for HOME MADE !! from the ingredients and techniques !

    I want to gongratulate you ! And i think i will become addicted to your blog cuz it completes what i miss !!

    Love the BLOG !

    Note: it is so good to cover the pan with a dry towel once you get it out of oven and remained covered for 10 minutes , it allows the steem to get within the bread which make the bread softer for along period of time !

    Thanks a lot , and please accept me as one of your fans , ,,



    • Osamareplied on March 12th, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      Yes , now after trying it ……..



    • Sallyreplied on March 12th, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Hi Osama! I’m so glad you found my blog and are loving my recipes. Love this monkey bread – and the master muffin mix too! Thanks for saying hi. Let me know any other recipes you try!


  7. #
    Sarah D.posted April 4, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Oh, wow. This really does look amazing. Going on my to-make list right now. You take wonderful pictures!


  8. #
    Ashley McDowposted April 24, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I’ve made this recipe before and it is delish! I wanted to make it again for my lovely Blues dancers but need to make the dough in advance (more than 8 hours, more like 36 hours) as i don’t have enough time to do it closer to when i actually need it.

    Is it ok to refrigerate the dough for a longer period of time?


    • Sallyreplied on April 24th, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      Hi Ashley! It’s certainly OK to refrigerate a little longer – but I would not go for longer than 1 day.


  9. #
    Sally Sandersposted May 10, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    From another “Sally” who shares your addictions, thank you so much for a great-sounding recipe. Can’t wait to try it. I’ve made an “unsweet” Monkey Bread for many years by simply dipping the dough balls into butter — a family tradition for Thanksgiving — but this one will be a breakfast delight!


  10. #
    Yvetteposted July 8, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Hi! This looks amazing! My husband will love it! However, I need to make it non-dairy. For the milk required for the dough, what can I use to subsitute? I typically subsitute with soy milk, but you mentioned a specific fat content.

    For the caramel sauce, I typically subsitute the “non-dairy whipped topping” (the cream one would typically whip for whipped topping) for heavy cream and it works out fine-not the same texture but usually tastes great.



    • Sallyreplied on July 9th, 2014 at 7:24 am

      Hi Yvette – I’ve never tried using non dairy whipped topping in a caramel recipe, so I’m unsure how that will taste but if you like it then you may try it. Almond milk (with about 3g fat per cup) would be OK.


  11. #
    Angelaposted July 12, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Yummy! I didn’t have a bundt pan so I used an angel food pan lined with lots and lots of baking paper. I also left my dough in the fridge for 2 days, which was perfectly fine. To speed up the second rise, I put it in a warm oven.


  12. #
    veronicaposted August 8, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Hi. Could I used chopped hazelnuts instead?


    • Sallyreplied on August 9th, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      That would be just fine. And yes, heavy cream and whipping cream are the same.


  13. #
    Emmaposted August 23, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Sally!
    I currently have the dough for this chilling in the fridge. I attempted to make the caramel sauce while I was waiting but it seemed to become frothy after I added the sugar and heavy cream when it was bubbling. When I set it aside to cool after stirring for 4 minutes, it became rock hard. Any idea what I may have done wrong?

    I’ve made a ton of recipes on your blog and this is the first time I’ve ever had any issues! I’m hoping you can shed some light on my possible error 🙂

    Thanks so much!


    • Sallyreplied on August 26th, 2014 at 8:17 am

      Hi Emma – were you sure to add enough butter? The moisture from the butter and brown sugar, AND the heavy cream should keep it from turning rock hard.


      • Emmareplied on August 27th, 2014 at 3:12 am

        Hi Sally,

        It seems I had the mixture over a temperature which was a bit high. I attempted the sauce a second time that morning over the lowest heat possible and it turned out perfect!

        Safe to say, two days later and the monkey bread is demolished.

  14. #
    Jessica Kellyposted October 23, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Hey married lady! I have done this recipe a few times, and my friends go cray cray for it. I was wondering if you were to make individual monkey breads in a muffin tins, how long do you think you’d bake them for? Methinks I’d like to try that!
    I hope you are blissfully happy! Love!


    • Sallyreplied on October 24th, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks Jessica! And I’m unsure of the bake time as individual monkey bread muffins. Truly, I have no idea. Around 20 minutes? Let me know if you try it.


  15. #
    jennposted December 25, 2014 at 12:32 am

    As newly divorced mom looking for fun traditions to start with my four year old son on the holidays I think this one has made the list. We made this together this afternoon (I used a slightly different bread recipe from my dad for sentimental value) and lounged around nibbling and watching Christmas movies. I think leftovers will be for breakfast with hot chocolate for him coffee for me. Nice easy breakfast to hold us over till Christmas dinner. A couple friends stopped by this evening and we’re also in heaven eating this and dipping into little dishes of extra caramel. Thank you!


  16. #
    McGill Ullreyposted January 4, 2015 at 10:06 am


    I made this for Christmas morning and the kids helped with the rolling and dunking. It was a delicious hit! A bit more work that the Frozen roll dough with vanilla pudding version, BUT oh-so-much better. Thanks!


  17. #
    mehruposted May 18, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Hey Sally,

    Can I half the recipe if i want to make it in a smaller pan?


  18. #
    Mayaposted May 26, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Hi Sally, I couldn’t manage to comment on your page for you Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce, just like to check if the sauce would be too solid after I top it on a cake for decoration, and put it in the fridge? I understand you mentioned to reheat before using in a recipe, but if I use it on top of a whole cake, will the homemade salted caramel sauce be too sticky or solid on the cake, after refrigerating the cake? Love your recipes, hope I can use your Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce to top a cake! Thanks heaps!


    • Sallyreplied on May 28th, 2015 at 8:01 am

      Hi Maya! It will not become too solid or sticky. It will be just fine refrigerated on top of a cake.


      • Mayareplied on May 29th, 2015 at 12:24 am

        Thanks for your prompt reply! Glad to hear! Can’t wait to try it out (:

  19. #
    Vivianposted September 2, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Hello Sally,

    This monkey bread looks amazing, what do you think, can I add apples in between the dough (balls) on the bundt pan and if yes should I cook them as in your apple cinnamon rolls or just put them raw and they’ll end cooking in the oven? Can I make the bread in advance and freeze?

    thanks !!


    • Sallyreplied on September 3rd, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Raw or cooked– I think either is fine. The apples will bake if you add them raw because this monkey bread takes awhile in the kitchen. You can freeze the monkey bread, yes.


  20. #
    Laura Nortonposted September 11, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I love your recipe, this is the 4th time I’ve made it and each time is just delicious. I bake it the same day as I make it so I let it rise for about an hour. Also we live in Colorado so I increase the temperature to 375 and bake it for only 20 minutes. It comes out perfect every time.


  21. #
    Paulaposted December 16, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Is it possible to pre make the entire monkey bread the day before? Leaving the Carmel sauce till the next day before baking? I want to make this for Christmas morning but have a 1 & 3 year old, so not much time:-)

    Thank you & sounds Amazing!!!!


    • Sallyreplied on December 16th, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Absolutely! Keep it covered in the fridge and maybe warm it up in the oven for 10 minutes before adding the caramel topping!


    • Jen Youngreplied on January 11th, 2016 at 3:38 pm

       I assemble the monkey bread and then refrigerate in the bundt pan, ready to go in the morning. Christmas morning, or any other morning


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