You will love eating my Mom’s Monkey Bread—small dough balls rolled in a cinnamon sugar mixture, placed into a Bundt pan, and sprinkled with brown sugar and butter. It is the perfect breakfast treat or afternoon snack. The entire family loves the fun of pulling it apart!
I found this recipe in my mother’s recipe box years ago after she passed away, and I can’t believe I’d never made it until now. This delicious monkey bread is such a fun recipe for kids because they LOVE to pull the pieces of bread apart. Honestly, I love doing it too! It is just so much fun, and your fingers get all sticky from the cinnamon, sugar, and butter!
This sticky pull-apart bread is a great treat for Christmas morning or other holiday mornings. It’s also a fun treat for special events like a baby shower. I adapted this recipe to keep things very simple, but there are endless variations if you want to jazz it up a little!
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What is Monkey Bread?
Monkey bread consists of some sort of bread dough, like biscuit dough, cinnamon rolls, or even homemade dough. These dough pieces are then rolled in a cinnamon-sugar mixture, placed in a greased Bundt pan, and drizzled with buttery brown sugar.
This fun recipe is called “monkey bread” because you pick it apart with your fingers like a monkey would! That is kind of a goofy name for this ooey-gooey treat if you think about it. You might also hear it called bubble bread or pull-apart bread.
What ingredients do I need?
To make this easy monkey bread recipe, you only need a few simple ingredients:
- 2 loaves of Rhodes Bake-and-Serve bread, thawed
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons of cinnamon
- 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
How to make Monkey Bread
This is such an easy recipe! It would be so fun and easy to make with your kids.
- First, to thaw dough, spray a 9 X 13′-inch baking pan or dish with cooking spray. Place the two frozen loaves into it. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place on top of the loaves to prevent sticking as it thaws. Place on counter to rise / thaw for 4-7 hours, until dough is about 1 inch above the edge of the pan. Timing will depend on the room temperature.
- When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Then generously coat a 15-cup Bundt pan or tube pan with cooking spray and set it aside. You need a large bundt pan because the dough will expand as it cooks.
- Mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Working in small batches, cut the thawed bread loves into bite-size pieces of dough. Toss only a few of the dough pieces into the cinnamon sugar mixture at a time and coat thoroughly. This will prevent the dough from sticking together, because it most certainly will until it’s coated in the cinnamon sugar. It’s time consuming, but believe me it is SO worth it.
- Place the small pieces in your prepared pan to make a bottom layer. Make sure the pieces are arranged into an even layer so you don’t have uneven monkey bread! Then, sprinkle 4 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar over the pieces.
- Continue adding pieces layer by layer, sprinkling more cinnamon sugar on top of each consecutive layer until no more remains. Sprinkle the cup of brown sugar over the top layer. Finish by spooning melted butter over the top.
- Bake the monkey bread for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown, then remove it from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 2-3 minutes. Tip the pan over onto a large serving platter or tray and let it sit for another 2-3 minutes before removing the pan.
This sweet treat is best when served warm!
Monkey Bread Variations
- Want to jazz up your monkey bread? Try this recipe for Apple Cinnamon Sweet Roll Monkey Bread, made with apple cinnamon sweet rolls and freshly diced apples.
- Mix in raisins or nuts! Pecans go really well with the caramel sauce this recipe makes.
- Make a savory version for dinner with garlic butter and cheese or your favorite pizza toppings!
- Add fresh fruit on top of the monkey bread. Bananas, pineapples, or apple chunks are some great choices!
- Make chocolate monkey bread! Wrap each piece of dough around a piece of chocolate before continuing with the recipe!
- Make mini versions by dividing dough pieces rolled in cinnamon sugar into muffin tins, then drizzle the butter and brown sugar over the top. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
How to store leftover Monkey Bread
My family ate up every bite of this when I made it for breakfast! If you happen to have any of this delicious treat left over, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. You can even freeze it by wrapping it in plastic wrap, then foil, and storing it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How do I reheat Monkey Bread?
You can reheat this bread in individual portions by microwaving it for about 15 seconds. Or you can reheat the entire thing in a warm oven (200 degrees) covered in foil, for about 20 minutes or until warm throughout.
Can I make Monkey Bread ahead of time?
You can make this gooey dish ahead of time and bake it when you are ready to serve it. I love to make this the night before, so I can just wake up and pop it in the oven for a quick, hot breakfast! Follow the recipe up to the point where you would put it in the oven. Instead, cover it with foil or plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 12 hours.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven as directed and continue from there!
More Quick Bread Recipes
If you like bread but don’t like the time it takes for things to rise, try one of these favorite recipes:
- Orange Cranberry Bread
- Chai Banana Bread
- English Muffin Bread
- Peanut Butter Bread
- Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread
More Breakfast Ideas
Nutella Knots are a great way to start off your day! Puff pastry, chocolate, and hazelnuts form these beautiful dough knots!
Baked Cinnamon French Toast is one of my favorite things to make to feed a crowd or for a special brunch!
Overnight Oats are all the rage, and you’ll love these Almond Banana Overnight Oats!
These Strawberry Danish Hearts are gorgeous and delicious! They are perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, or Valentine’s Day!
I love a good scone, and these Lemon Poppy Seed Scones fit the bill! They are so citrusy, sweet and tender, you’ll want to eat more than one!
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Mom’s Monkey Bread
- 15-cup Bundt pan or tube pan DO NOT use a smaller pan
- 2 loves of Rhodes Bake-N-Serv Bread
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter melted
- To thaw dough, spray a 9 X 13'-inch baking pan or dish with cooking spray. Place the two frozen loaves into it. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place on top of the loaves to prevent sticking as it thaws. Place on counter to rise/thaw for 4-7 hours, until dough is about 1 inch above the edge of the pan. Timing will depend on the room temperature. Or see Note.
- When ready to assemble, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Generously coat a 15-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon.
- Cut bread loves into 1-inch pieces. Do a few slices at a time because as it continues to rise and thaw, the dough will stick together making it difficult to separate.
- Using only about 4 pieces of dough at a time, toss the pieces into the cinnamon sugar mixture and coat thoroughly. It is a bit time consuming doing it this way, but it's the best way to prevent all the dough from sticking together, and it will until each piece is coated in the cinnamon sugar.
- Distribute pieces evenly into prepared Bundt pan. It doesn't have to be neat, but make sure they're all arranged in an even layer, so that it bakes evenly
- After you have created the bottom layer, sprinkle 4 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar over them. Sprinkle more cinnamon sugar on top of each consecutive layer until no more remains.
- Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the last layer.
- Spoon butter over the top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Place pan on a wire rack to cool upright for 2-3 minutes.
- Tip over onto a large serving plate or tray and allow to sit for an additional 2-3 minutes before removing the pan.
This recipe was originally published on 3/13/2014. It has been updated in format and with pictures on 5/17/2023.