Easy monkey bread recipe that starts with a simple homemade dough. This cinnamon-crusted treat makes a delicious breakfast or dessert.
Originally published 2/3/12. Updated with new photos and tips 12/11/18.
There are hundreds of monkey bread recipes out there, but I prefer to make it this way because I end up with cinnamon sugar-crusted monkey bread with a simple sweet icing.
This recipe is gooey without being wet or underdone. And the cinnamon-sugar crust on the bread is just plain amazing.
How to make monkey bread
Begin by warming the butter, milk, and sugar. Add the butter mixture, yeast, and water to a mixing bowl.
Mix in salt and enough flour to form a soft dough. The dough should feel soft and slightly but shouldn’t come off on your fingers if you pinch it.
Let the dough rise for 10 minutes.
Pull off pieces of dough to form balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Smaller balls will give you more cinnamon-sugar coating.
Place dough in prepared bundt pan.
Mix melted butter and brown sugar together. Then stir in any remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Pour the butter mixture over dough, and let it rise for 15 minutes. Then bake!
Do I have to use a bundt pan?
The short answer is yes.
Please don’t use something like a springform pan or a tube pan because the hot cinnamon sugar could run out and make a mess or burn you.
You could absolutely experiment and make this in other ways (i.e. muffin tins), but, again, please use bakeware that is a solid piece to avoid mess and burns.
Is monkey bread a dessert (or a breakfast)?
Yes and yes. I love to have cinnamon rolls for dessert, so feel free to enjoy monkey bread for dessert, for breakfast, or whenever!
More easy breakfast breads!
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Monkey Bread Recipe
- 1/3 cup milk¹
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 teaspoons instant yeast²
- 3/4 cup warm water 105F – 115F
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons milk
- Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, stir milk, sugar, and butter together. Heat over low heat just until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to about 100-105 F.
- Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the yeast and warm water.
- Add 2 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture. Using a dough hook, mix on low speed for about 1 minute.
- With the mixer still going, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix about 1 ½ minutes, or until dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl.
- Knead on low speed for about 2 more minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic – the dough will still be slightly sticky to the touch.
- Place dough in a greased bowl, turning it to grease the top. Cover the dough with a clean, dry dish towel.
- Let it rise in a warm place, free from draft, for about 10 minutes.
- Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon for filling in a small dish.
- Divide dough into small balls, and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. The smaller the balls, the more cinnamon sugar coating they'll have.
- Place balls in layers in prepared bundt pan.
- Stir melted butter and brown sugar together.
- Stir in any remaining cinnamon sugar mixture, and pour over the top of the dough.
- Cover, and let rise for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 F, and place rack in the lower third of oven.
- Uncover, and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Run a thin knife around the outside of the pan.
- Invert and unmold onto platter.
- To make the glaze, mix melted butter, powdered sugar, and enough milk to make a pourable glaze.
- Drizzle glaze over warm bread, and break into pieces to serve.
- Anything from skim to whole milk will work.
- If you would like to use active dry yeast, prepare through step 4. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it foams. Then, continue with the recipe as-written.
- Nutrition values are estimates.