Homemade Monkey Bread (aka Cinnamon Roll Bites).

Classic monkey bread is sweet pull apart bread baked in a bundt pan. And my version is made from scratch – heavy on the cinnamon sugar and sweet vanilla glaze!

Homemade Monkey Bread (aka Cinnamon Roll Bites or Cinnamon-Sugar Pull Apart Bread) - this homemade version is incredible! sallysbakingaddiction.com
Have you ever had monkey bread before? You either (1) have eaten it and love it (2) have no idea what I’m talking about.

If you fall into the latter category, let me explain what this outrageous recipe is. Monkey bread is a sweet, sticky, gooey pastry made from little balls of dough rolled in cinnamon sugar and baked together in a bundt pan. You can have it for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. Or dinner, or 2nd dessert, or lunch, or snack…

Monkey bread is a giant cinnamon roll. A mountain of cinnamon rolls, if you will. To eat it, you tear the bread piece by piece – sort of like how little monkeys pick at their food.

Homemade Monkey Bread (aka Cinnamon Roll Bites or Cinnamon-Sugar Pull Apart Bread) - this homemade version is incredible! sallysbakingaddiction.com

In other words… monkey bread is awesome. See what I mean? ↑ ↑

It’s been awhile since I made it, and to be honest – I’ve only made it with caramel before. Monkey bread is sooooo (x 100) good with caramel sauce.

Today’s version doesn’t have caramel, though. Rather, I prepared it the traditional way. This monkey bread is completely smothered with a brown sugar sauce before baking and then topped with vanilla glaze.

Homemade Monkey Bread (aka Cinnamon Roll Bites or Cinnamon-Sugar Pull Apart Bread) - this homemade version is incredible! sallysbakingaddiction.com

You’re going to make the dough from scratch. No short-cuts here, please! Pure, homemade, soft doughy goodness tastes so much better than dough you get in a can. The dough takes about 15 minutes to prepare and you can make it the night before to save yourself some time in the morning. Not too bad, right?

The next morning, set aside 30 minutes to roll the dough into balls and coat in cinnamon-sugar. Little bakers love to help out with this step! Good thing to note: the heavier the cinnamon-sugar coating, the more these little monkey bread bites will taste like gooey cinnamon rolls. That’s a good thing, trust me.

I prefer to use Red Star Platinum in my monkey bread recipe. In fact, it’s what I use in all my sweet dough recipes. Its premium formula strengthens dough, increasing puffiness and spring in your finished recipe.

Here are some step-by-step visuals for you:

Homemade Monkey Bread (aka Cinnamon Roll Bites or Cinnamon-Sugar Pull Apart Bread) - this homemade version is incredible! sallysbakingaddiction.com

All of the little cinnamon-sugar bites you pull apart are so sweet ‘n sticky! In a good way, of course. You’ll be licking your fingers clean and grabbing more and more from the big pile of cinnamon sugar goodness.

Imagine the best cinnamon roll you’ve ever tasted. This monkey bread is better than that – and you get a huge mountain of it in bite sized form. A bundt pan of heaven.

If you already love monkey bread, then you have to try this homemade recipe… and if you have never tried monkey bread, then you have to try this recipe!

Homemade Monkey Bread (aka Cinnamon Roll Bites or Cinnamon-Sugar Pull Apart Bread) - this homemade version is incredible! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Though my homemade version takes a little more time to make than shortcut versions, you will be quickly thanking yourself for going the homemade route! Once you smell the ooey gooey cinnamon sugar bubbling in the oven, you’ll know you made the right decision.

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

 

Homemade Monkey Bread

Makes 1 bundt pan of monkey bread, about 14 servings. This is an overnight recipe you have to make ahead. Be sure to read all of the instructions before baking.

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1 package (2 and 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast (recommended: Red Star Platinum)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110F-115F)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups warm 2% milk (110F-115F, 2% or higher milk fat, no lower)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour (measured correctly)

Coating

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Glaze

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream (or milk for a less creamy texture)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  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 high speed for 3 minutes (using a dough hook if you have a stand mixer or using a hand mixer). By hand add 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 5 minutes. Do not over-knead, which will yield a tough, 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 large greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. I greased the bowl with cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Make the coating: melt 1/2 cup of butter in a small bowl. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon together in another small bowl. Set aside. You will use the rest of the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla later.
  4. 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. You may need more cinnamon-sugar depending how heavy you coat each ball. Arrange them in the bundt pan as you go. 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.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of butter and whisk in the brown sugar and vanilla until combined. Pour the buttery mixture over the dough balls in the bundt pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cover loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly. Cool for 5-10 minutes and invert onto a large serving plate.
  6. Make the glaze: Simply whisk all of the glaze ingredients together and pour over the bread. You may either cut the bread into generous slices or let everyone pick off the gooey pieces themselves.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Did you make a recipe?

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© 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.

 

Try my Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel next!

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce

270 comments

  1. Can this also be made in an angel food cake pan? And would the cook time change?

  2. Hi Sally,
    I need to prepare everything in advance!
    So is it okay to have the balls rise for more than 45 mins in the pan??

    Thanks!

  3. I just made these. I used an average sized bundt pan and the dough rose out of the pan while it was cooking, and a lot of the balls fell out and burned at the bottom of the oven. Also a lot of the sugar mixture leaked out while cooking, and burned at the bottom of the oven. So now the monkey bread tastes like smokey burned sugar. I’m sure it’s a delicious recipe. I just thought I’d warn people to use a bigger pan when they make it or use two pans.

  4. My sister has been insisting I make monkey bread. I finally manned up.

    I ended up with about 50 or more little rounds of dough when it came down to it, I cut it really close with the toppings. The only issue I had was that when I turned out the completed monkey bread, a few pieces stayed in the pan and what came out began to slide apart slowly. That was alright, I could just as easily put it in a bowl or rimmed serving dish, and I did just that. I think this happened because I misinterpreted the instructions for the coating sauce: “Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of butter and whisk in the brown sugar and vanilla[…]”. I melted the butter in the microwave, then tried to combine them. I get the idea I was supposed to do all this in a saucepan, because what I got was a little thick and didn’t really pour as much as…ooze…out of the bowl. My bad! Near the end of baking, however, it had heated up enough that I could separate the chunks of dough and let the heated coating run in between the cracks. So that’s probably why mine didn’t hold together so prettily.

    Regardless of that little mishap, this was a roaring success and everyone enjoyed them! I might be back for your caramel monkey bread sometime.

  5. If you don’t have a night for the dough, you can always put it in a warm, not hot, over for an hour. First time making it, really yummy!

  6. Why does it need to rise overnight, rather than 1-2 hours at room temperature?

  7. I was planning on making these soon but with pumpkin. Would you have any suggestions on how much pumpkin to incorporate in the coating? Thanks so much! 

  8. I made these this morning. It was delicious! I usually make sticky buns as a treat, but I thought I’d try these. They were amazing! This website is slowly becoming MY addiction! 

  9. I made these this morning for a birthday for one of the guys at work. They are LOSING THEIR MINDS and requesting more tomorrow.

  10. Hey Sally,

    This is one of my favorite recipes. If I added apples between the balls of dough, do you think it would effect the cooking time?

  11. i used fleishmans quick rise yeast help i didnt think about it

  12. I’d like to incorporate pecans into my monkey bread. Any advice on how to do that?

  13. Is it really necessary to add the pre-baking brown sugar glaze? I know, I know, why not? Oh, too much sugar makes too much mom and dad! Seriously, can I do without it? I really just want it to taste like a cinnamon roll. With cream cheese frosting!

  14. Hi Sally!

    I’m thinking of making a non-sweet version of this (maybe with some ham, cheese and pepperoncinis?)… any advice? Your recipes always taste amazing so I’d like to try your dough recipe as a base and then get creative from there! ~Thanks!

  15. If I don’t use Red Star yeast, do I still need to let it rise for 45 min. after rolling the dough into balls? I will be in a bit of a time crunch the morning I make it and don’t want to have to waste any time letting it rise. Thank you.

  16. Hi Sally! I want to make this for a holiday party, but was wondering if I could substitute biscuit dough rather than making a homemade dough. Let me know!! Happy holidays 🙂 

  17. Hi!

    Would this recipe work if I made the dough on a Friday and let it rise for 8 hours, assembled the dough balls in the bundt pan and then keep the whole thing in the fridge until Christmas morning (Sunday)? I used the Red Star Yeast. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

  18. Hi Sally,
    I LOVE all your recipes, I have never been led astray. A question: how would using butter flavored shortening affect the butter/sugar/cinnamon sauce? I want to make a vegan version and was hoping to avoid buying margarine! I’ve seen some recipes that call for it, but not sure how trusteworthy they are. 
    Thanks!
    All my best!

  19. Hi! Do you have any suggestions for adjusting this recipe to bake at high altitude? I’m at 9,000+ feet. Thanks!

  20. Great recipe! I made this over Christmas and made the dough around 8pm (doubled recipe) and left covered until 11pm. It had risen well to double the size. I rolled and coated the balls and left in the fridge overnight in the bundt pans.the next morning took them out which they had again risen and then put them in the oven for 35 mins. Some of the butter/sugar spilled over the side, other than that it cooked perfectly, looked beautiful and was delicious. I will probably cut back a little on the sugar, it was a tad too sweet. Thanks for a great recipe!!!

  21. I followed this recipe exactly and it is DELICIOUS!  My children BEG me to make this.  I’m making it for the second time tonight– to cheer us through our Winter Blues.
    Thank you for this recipe!  It’s wonderful!

  22. Do I have to let the dough rise 8 hours at room temperature?
    Thanks .

    • Nooooo! Don’t ever let your dough do that! Unless you are making sourdough bread. You can put it in the fridge overnight, which retards the dough’s rise, slowing it down. Or you can let it rise to double in size and punch it down, usually takes 1-2 hrs. Then let it rise once more to double and use in your recipe. 8 hrs will ruin your dough.

  23. I usually make up the monkey bread….half a recipe. Put the balls in to a 9 x9 pan. place it in the refrigerator overnight. First thing in the morning I turn the oven on to 350 and put the buns in the cold oven…..this lets the dough rise a bit more before they actually stop rising. this works for me .
    I just used THIS recipe but added the brown sugar along with the white sugar to coat with. I hope it does not do a ””””bad””’thing like burn easily. I will try and see, as it already is in frig waiting for morning. I guess its good to read the whole recipe and not assume you know about it.

  24. Made this morning for my son’s birthday breakfast. Made the dough (doubled for 12 children) rolled out flat 1/4″ on floured surface cut into 1″ squares (pizza cutter) tossed into greased 9×13 pan. Let rise 30 minutes (crunched for time) melted 2 sticks butter, poured over dough squares, mixed brown sugar & cinnamon poured over. Baked 15 minutes, tossed with tongs to coat better, baked 20 minutes more. Turned over onto sheet pan, poured confectioners glaze over the top. All the kids ate it and loved it !!! Will make again ♡ wonderful recipe. Thank you Sally !

  25. I made this recipe exactly and put tin foil over it while babaking but when the top was golden and it was already 35-40 mins the monkey bread was still doughy underneath. Any advice?

  26. I really like your creative fist prints in the raw dough pic! It really strikes my fancy… I may have to recreate it, After I make this awesome yeast monkey bread!!! I have only ever done biscuit monkey bread, this looks 100x Better!!

  27. I am new to the gluten-free diet thing, as I discovered recently that my “reflux” was actually that. So I wanted to try this recipe and just switch out the kind of flour. (Gluten free instead of regular) Warning to others, do NOT switch it out as the dough will not rise at all and the bread will be dense, and not very tasty. It will also make handling the bread mkuch harder if you try to switch it out…

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