Easy homemade monkey bread recipe! Make monkey bread from scratch in just over an hour with this recipe that uses a simple homemade dough. This cinnamon-crusted treat makes a delicious breakfast or dessert.
There are hundreds of monkey bread recipes out there, but most of the monkey bread recipes start with canned biscuits. I love a good shortcut, but I've never been thrilled with the way that biscuit-based monkey bread turns out.
Instead, I prefer to make it with a simple homemade dough because it makes this delicious 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.
Why Do They Call It Monkey Bread?
Monkey bread is so named because it is eaten by being pulled apart with the fingers - the way a monkey might eat it.
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.
Add the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture, brown sugar, and butter just to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour over the dough.
Cover, 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.
Can I Freeze Monkey Bread?
You can! I recommend waiting to ice the monkey bread until after freezing and thawing as the icing can melt into the bread.
To freeze the monkey bread, wrap pieces of baked and cooled bread in plastic wrap. Placed the wrapped pieces in a resealable plastic baggie and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.
More Easy Breakfast Breads!
If you’ve tried this monkey bread recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below. I love to hear from people who've made my recipes!
Monkey Bread Recipe
- ⅓ cup milk¹
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup butter
- 4 teaspoons instant yeast²
- ¾ cup warm water (105F – 115F)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1 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, ½ 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.
- In a sauce pan, combine ½ cup of the remaining sugar cinnamon mixture with brown sugar and butter.
- Bring mixture just to a boil and then immediately remove from heat.
- Carefully pour the mixture over the dough balls in the pan.
- 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. Whole milk will give you a richer dough.
- 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.
Originally published 2/3/12. Updated 9/30/19.