Sticky, cinnamon-spice pull-apart monkey bread with caramel sauce. It’s much easier than you think! 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 (110°F (43°C)-115°F (46°C))
- 1 and 1/4 cups warm 2% or whole milk (110°F (43°C)-115°F (46°C))
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
Easy Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons heavy cream (no substitutions)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- optional: 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, 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.
- Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
- Caramel: If you like salted caramel, try my homemade salted caramel sauce instead of this caramel sauce!
- Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
- Dough recipe from Taste of Home Baking.
Keywords: caramel monkey bread