Monkey Bread is a pull apart bread that’s flavored with butter and coated with cinnamon sugar. This one starts out with an incredible soft dough that can be prepared the day before. A delicious treat to enjoy on Christmas morning or any time of the year.
I make Homemade Monkey Bread every Christmas morning and made it our family tradition. Sometimes traditions are passed down from generation to generation, and sometimes you create them. This is one I created for my kids on Christmas morning. It wasn’t until I had kids that I even knew what monkey bread was and once I tried it, I knew I had to make it.
I've tried a few recipes for homemade monkey bread, but found the results turned out dry, hard, and overly sweet - like break your teeth sweet. After years of perfecting the recipe for my rolls, I figured, why not use the same dough? The only change is cutting some of the sugar since the dough for monkey bread is already coated in it. The dough is made with oil along with a simple dough enhancer of lemon juice which produces soft flavorful rolls that retain freshness.
You also have the option of preparing the dough the night before. Placing the dough in the refrigerator the night before slows down the rise. Once the dough is kneaded, transfer it into a container like this one or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. If making this the night before, place it in the refrigerator overnight to slowly rise. When I made the last batch, I made it at 3 pm and let it sit in the fridge overnight until 11 am the next morning. Now all you have to do in the morning is cut, dip, coat, and bake. I don’t bother to roll the pieces of dough into balls. I don’t have the patience for that and find the uneven pieces of unshapely dough to be unique and interesting. If you want to roll them, by all means.
Since this is a good amount of dough, you will need a large sized bundt pan - at least 12 cups in size. This will continue to rise in the oven so you need to adjust your oven rack to a lower position to prevent the top from burning. One position below the middle is fine.
Make it fun! This is a great way for the kids to help you in the kitchen. It's a great and engaging way to have them start learning how to cook.
Having Homemade Monkey Bread is a Christmas tradition in our house and I hope it will be passed down to the next generation. Make it your tradition.
You may also enjoy these breakfast treats:
- Perfect homemade pancakes
- Maple scones
- Bakery style corn muffins
- Best blueberry muffins
- German pancakes
- French toast casserole
If you sprinkle in remaining sugar and tuck it in the pieces then pour the remaining butter all over instead of mixing the two and pouring it in, you'll get a lighter looking bread like the one above. Isn't it beautiful?
Life it too short for mediocre food.
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Homemade Monkey BreadPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
Bake in a 12 -15 cup capacity bundt pan.
- 1 ¼ cups of warm milk about 110 degrees
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon yeast*
- 5 cups all purpose flour 1 ½ pounds
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- ½ cup oil vegetable or safflower
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 2 large eggs room temperature**
- 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 - 2 tablespoons milk
- In a bowl of your standing mixer, add milk and sugar and sprinkle in the yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes while you are getting everything else ready.
- Add about half of the flour into the bowl with the yeast mixture. Start the machine and mix on medium high speed until it's smooth like a batter. About 1 - 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs, oil, and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Beat for about 1 - 2 minutes until smooth.
- Add the remaining flour and the salt into the bowl and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky but come away clean from the bowl.
- Grease a bowl with about a teaspoon of oil.
- Place the dough into a greased bowl or container and cover with plastic wrap or the container lid. I use tall plastic lidded containers that are perfect for dough. Let rise for 1 hour. OR...If you are making these ahead, place the dough in the refrigerator overnight. It will rise slowly. Remove from refrigerator and continue with recipe.
- Melt the butter in a bowl and set aside.
- In another bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugars and set aside.
- Flatten dough gently to remove excess air bubbles.
- Pull apart or cut pieces of dough about an 2 inches in size. I usually get 48 pieces of dough. I don't bother to roll the dough into balls and just dip as is but you can roll each one into balls for a uniform look.
- Dip each ball of dough into the melted butter to coat.
- Roll each piece into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Make sure it's all coated. I use a fork to toss them in the sugar and to scoop them up. The excess sugar falls through the tines of the fork. Arrange the balls in the bundt pan as you go.
- Combine remaining melted butter and sugar and pour over the top of the dough evenly. Get it in between the balls and it will melt beautifully coating them when baking.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes in a warm draft free place.
- Postition the oven rack one position below the center to prevent the top of the monkey bread from getting too dark. Preheat oven to 350°.
- Place bundt pan on a foil lined baking sheet to catch any possible drips and bake for about 40 - 45 minutes but check after 40. It should look golden brown on top with no doughy spots.
- Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then invert onto serving plate. Cool for at least 30 minutes, if you can, before eating. If drizzling with icing, make sure monkey bread is completely cool or the icing will melt.
Making the icing:
- Combine confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk. If too thick, add the second tablespoon. Drizzle over cooled monkey bread.
- Serve the monkey bread by pulling each piece and devouring it. You can also slice it but that may take away from the fun. Enjoy.
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