A tender, fluffy homemade sweet dough is rolled and smothered in a mixture of cinnamon, brown sugar and butter that makes this The Best Homemade Monkey Bread ever. I bet you won't be able to stop at just one bite!
This is the most requested dessert in our house and for good reason, it's to die for! Every piece tastes like the inside of a cinnamon roll and we all know that's the best part! Every time I flip my monkey bread over my jaw drops every time. But just wait until you see the beautiful sight that is the gooiest monkey bread and I bet you'll do the same. The brown sugar mixture caramelizes and sinks to the bottom of the bundt pan while baking, which ultimately becomes the top and once it's flipped, it runs down the top and sides sinking into each crevice making it the ultimate gooey treat!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Each gooey bite is hard to resist!
- So perfect for brunch or any special event or holiday!
- You can make the dough ahead of time! See more information about that below.
Monkey Bread Ingredients
- Butter: Unsalted or salted work fine. Omit the salt in the recipe if using salted butter.
- Milk: Whole or 2% milk
- Sugar: Granulated sugar is used.
- Yeast: This recipe calls for 1 standard packet (2 ¼ tsp) of active dry yeast. You can also adjust the recipe to use instant yeast.
- All-purpose flour
Brown Sugar Coating
- Brown sugar: Light or dark brown sugar.
- Cinnamon: For that cinnamon-y goodness flavor.
- Butter: Unsalted or salted butter both work fine.
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Cream or milk
Substitutions & Variations
- Cream cheese glaze: Add 1 oz of cream cheese to the glaze recipe.
- Nuts: Add nuts for a bit of a crunch. You'll want to add them just before baking when staggering the dough pieces in the pan. Pecans and walnuts are great options.
- Monkey bread muffins: Grease a muffin pan and stagger dough pieces in each well all the way to the top. Bake time will need to be adjusted.
How to make monkey bread
- To make the dough: everything gets made easily in a stand mixer (or you can prepare it by hand) and you set it to rise for one hour or until doubled in size.
- Prepare the dough: You'll then flatten the dough, cut it up into pieces and roll them into balls. Mix up the brown sugar coating and dip them in it. Stagger pieces into a well-greased bundt pan and leave to rise one more time until doubled and puffy and then you're ready to bake it up!
- Bake: To tell if the monkey bread is done, I usually move around a few pieces around the center to see if they are too doughy. If not, you're good to go! Just do not over-bake! You want your monkey bread to be gooey and delicious, not dry and crumbly.
- Glaze: Mix up the vanilla glaze and drizzle a little on top of each individual serving or the whole monkey bread.
Monkey bread is best served warm and fresh on the same day. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Yup! Make the recipe as directed 1 day in advance right up until ready to bake. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until morning. Remove from refrigerator and set on counter while oven is preheating. Bake it up!
The name comes from it being a finger food and we pull it apart like a monkey would pull it apart.
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The Best Homemade Monkey Bread
- 2 tbs unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup milk warm
- ⅓ cup water warm
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast 1 standard packet
- 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour plus extra for work surface
- 2 teaspoon salt
Brown Sugar Coating
- 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
- 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoons cream or milk
- Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan very well with non-stick cooking spray or softened butter.
For the dough:
- In a large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter. Heat in the microwave at 20 second intervals until very warm but not boiling to a temperature of 120°-130°F. Stir in sugar and yeast packet. Allow the yeast to get foamy so you know it's alive, about 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or a large bowl with a spoon if you are making this by hand), add flour and salt. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the yeast mixture. Once the dough starts coming together, increase speed to medium and mix until the dough is soft and smooth about 6-7 minutes. If the dough is too wet, add 1 tbs more flour at a time. The dough should still be sticky, but workable with floured hands.
- Take the dough out and either use the same bowl or grab another large bowl. Grease bowl well with non-stick cooking spray and place dough in, then flip to be sure all areas are coated. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.
- Tip: I like to turn my oven to 170 degrees, turn it off and place my bowl of dough in there to create a warm environment for my dough to rise.
Prepare the brown sugar coating:
- Melt butter and place in a small bowl. Stir the brown sugar and cinnamon coating together in a separate bowl. Set aside.
Shape the dough:
- When the dough is done rising, punch it down and cut the dough into 50-55 1" pieces. Roll each dough piece into a ball, it doesn't have to be perfect. Working one at a time, dip the balls in melted butter then quickly into the brown sugar mixture. Layer the balls in the bundt pan, staggering randomly to build layers.
- Cover the bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and let the monkey bread rise in a warm place again until puffy and it has risen almost to the top of the pan, about one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is deep brown and it begins to bubble around edges, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool the monkey bread in the pan for 3-5 minutes ONLY, then turn out on a large plate and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. If you wait too long, the brown sugar will stick to the pan and it will not release.
For the glaze
- Whisk the powdered sugar, cream or milk and vanilla together in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the warm monkey bread or each individual serving.
The provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Accuracy is not guaranteed.