Cinnamon Monkey Bread From Scratch

Cinnamon monkey bread is made of tiny balls of dough covered in a sticky cinnamon sauce and drizzled with vanilla glaze. It’s basically a Bundt pan of gooey pull-apart cinnamon rolls….plus it smells DIVINE!!

cinnamon monkey bread

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About The Recipe

First things first, what is monkey bread? Does it have anything to do with monkeys? Well, no it doesn’t. It’s made with small balls of dough, a rich dough made with butter and eggs, that’s topped with an aromatic cinnamon brown sugar sauce, and once baked it’s drizzled with a classic vanilla glaze. It tastes like mini cinnamon rolls and is served pull-apart style. But then why is it called monkey bread? Honestly I do not know but you can read more about it’s origin here.

You can have cinnamon monkey bread for breakfast, brunch, dessert or just as a tea/coffee time snack. Did I mention it’s perfect for a holiday breakfast table.

In the traditional monkey bread recipe, the dough balls are covered in melted butter, then cinnamon sugar and arranged in a Bundt pan. Then topped with a brown sugar sauce before being baked. In this recipe however, I skipped the first step of rolling the dough balls in cinnamon sugar and added the cinnamon in the brown sugar sauce instead. This make the monkey bread way less sweeter(I find the original too sweet) and more easier to make.

Homemade Monkey Bread Dough

This cinnamon monkey bread recipe is made with a homemade dough, and although it take more time than to use store-bought biscuit dough, the results are incomparable. The dough is rich, containing melted butter and egg, and when covered with the buttery brown sugar cinnamon sauce it results in a soft, fluffy, gooey treat! And each bite will make you want to come back for more! Trust me you will not regret making the dough by scratch!

What You Need To Make Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Ingredients for the dough:

Flour: use regular all purpose flour for this recipe not cake flour.

Butter: melt the butter and let it cool down before adding it to the dough, hot butter could kill the yeast.

Yeast: this recipe is made using instant yeast.

Milk: I used whole milk, but skimmed or any other type should work as well.

Ingredients for the brown sugar sauce and glaze:

Butter: no need to bring the butter to room temperature, it’s going to be melted anyway.

Brown sugar: I used light brown sugar because that’s what I had on hand, dark brown sugar will work as well.

Powdered Sugar: also known as confectioner’s or icing sugar.

How To Make Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Step 1: Make the dough. In a tall glass combine the lukewarm milk, yeast and sugar. let it sit for a few minutes, then mix in the melted butter and egg.

Step 2: In a large bowl/ or bowl of a stand mixer combine the dry ingredients. Add in the wet ingredients and combine to form a dough. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes by hand or using the dough hook on your stand mixer.

Step 3: Transfer to a greased bowl and let it rest for at least 1 hour (you can also make the dough a few hours ahead of time or even the night before).

Step 4: Once the dough has risen give it a punch and transfer to a floured surface. Roll it out to about 1/2 inches in thickness. Using a dough cutter or knife cut the dough into rows and columns (see pic below). Roll each of the square into a ball. They do not all have to be the same size, in fact irregular balls make the finished cinnamon monkey bread look even cooler!

Step 5: Arrange the dough balls roughly on top of each other in a greased Bundt pan. Cover and let them rest for 30 minutes.

Step 6: In the meantime prepare the brown sugar cinnamon sauce. In a small saucepan melt the butter with brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour onto the risen dough balls.

Step 7: Bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C / 350 °F for 30-35 minutes. Once baked let the monkey bread cool slightly before flipping it on to a cake stand or plate.

Step 8: Combine the powdered sugar and milk to form a glaze and drizzle onto the cinnamon monkey bread. And that’s it, you can now dig into this masterpiece with your bare hands! 🙂

Storing The Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Store any leftovers in an air-tight container at room temperature for 2 days and in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The bread should stay fresh for the first 3 days, after that it’s very likely to dry out, so make sure to enjoy it while it’s fresh!

Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Pro Tips

  • If you’re planning to make cinnamon monkey bread for breakfast, I’d recommend you make the dough the night before and refrigerate it overnight. So in the morning you’ll have your dough ready to go and only need to rest it for 30 minutes.
  • This monkey bread recipe is not too sweet at all(see why above), but if if you wanted to, you could skip the glaze at the end to reduce the sweetness
  • Don’t have a Bundt pan? No problem, this cinnamon monkey bread can also be made in any baking pan, just arrange the dough balls in any greased baking tray, then pour on the sauce and bake as usual.
  • If you have a convection oven (oven with a fan setting), reduce the temperature by 20 degrees.
  • If your Bundt pan is small or you’re using a different pans that’s not very tall, I’d suggest placing the pan on a baking tray wrapped in foil to catch any brown sugar sauce that might overflow out of the pan as the bread bakes and rises.

Check out my YouTube Channel for more delicious recipe tutorials! Made one of my recipes? Tag me on Instagram, I would love to see your creations!

Recipe Card

Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Cinnamon monkey bread is made of tiny balls of dough covered in a sticky cinnamon sauce and drizzled with vanilla glaze. It’s basically a Bundt pan of gooey pull-apart cinnamon rolls….plus they smell DIVINE!!

Prep Time: 1 hour 45 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Total Time: 2 hour 15 min

Course: Dessert/Breakfast

Servings: 8

Calories: 375kcal

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Ingredients

For monkey bread dough:

  • 3/4 cup whole milk, lukewarm (180ml)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 1 Tbsp instant yeast (12g)
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter, cooled (30g)
  • 1 large egg, room temp.
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (315g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For brown sugar cinnamon sauce:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed (118g)
  • 1/4 cup butter (56g)
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon, ground

For glaze topping:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (50g)
  • 1 Tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: In a small bowl combine the lukewarm milk, instant yeast and granulated sugar. Give it a whisk and set aside for 2-3 minutes. Add in the melted butter and egg and whisk to combine.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or large bowl), combine the all purpose flour and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and and beat on medium speed until the dough comes together. Knead the dough for an additional 2 minutes, or transfer to a floured surface and knead by hand for 2 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let it rest for at least 1 hour, until doubled in size.
  3. Once the dough has risen give it a punch and transfer onto a floured surface. Roll it out to about 1/2 ” thickness, then cut horizontal and vertical lines to create small squares. See pic. Roll each square into a ball and arrange in a greased Bundt Pan. Cover and let it rise for 30 more minutes.
  4. Prepare the sauce & Preheat oven: Once it’s been 20 minutes preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F prepare the brown sugar sauce. In a small saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Melt on high heat while stirring until homogenous. Remove from the heat and pour over the risen dough balls.
  5. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, cover the top with foil if it’s browning too quickly. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes then invert it onto a serving tray.
  6. Make the glaze: In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and milk to form a glaze (add 1-2 tsp more milk if the consistency of the icing is too thick). Drizzle onto the cinnamon monkey bread. Cut it up or serve pull-apart style! And enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 375.38kcal

Total Fat: 10.51g

Carbs: 62.25g

Sugars: 34.25g

Protein: 5.82g

Sodium: 97.44mg

Fiber: 1.58g


** Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more. **

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