Rating: 4.5 stars
2190 Ratings
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  • 3 star values: 68
  • 2 star values: 26
  • 1 star values: 7

Refrigerated biscuits with cinnamon bake in a tube pan. My 7-year-old daughter, Leah, loves her monkey bread. Enjoy!

Recipe Summary

cook:
40 mins
additional:
10 mins
total:
1 hr 5 mins
prep:
15 mins
Servings:
15
Yield:
1 tube pan
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This sweet, sticky, gooey pull-apart bread, whimsically called "monkey bread," is a popular sharable treat for breakfasts, desserts, and snacks. Tasting like pull-apart sticky buns, monkey bread is easy to make with everyday pantry ingredients, and can be customized with add-ins like dried fruits, nuts, and spices to suit your tastes. And with thousands of ratings and reviews, this is one of our best monkey bread recipes. I'll show you how to make this top-rated recipe for monkey bread, with plenty of how-to tips to guarantee success.

What Is Monkey Bread?

Monkey bread is a pull-apart bread made with bite-size pieces of dough coated with sugar and spice and baked with a buttery brown sugar sauce in a tube or Bundt pan. To serve monkey bread, invert it onto a large plate and let everyone pull it apart into individual pieces with their fingers or forks.

Why Is It Called Monkey Bread?

That's a good question without a definitive answer. Some say it's called monkey bread because you pick the bread apart with your fingers as though you're eating like a monkey, and some say it's because the baked monkey bread resembles the zigzag pattern of a monkey puzzle tree (Chilean pine).

How to Make Monkey Bread

What is monkey bread made of?

Biscuit dough
This recipe uses cut-up pieces of canned biscuit dough as a convenient shortcut ingredient.

White sugar & ground cinnamon
Used to coat biscuit dough pieces both for flavor and to make them easier to pull apart after baking. You can substitute other ground spices such as cardamom or a pumpkin spice blend.

Walnuts
Optional. You could substitute pecans or leave out the nuts altogether.

Raisins
Optional. You could substitute dried cranberries or other small bits of dried fruit.

Margarine & brown sugar
Combined and briefly boiled to create the sweet caramel-like sauce that holds the monkey bread together. Many reviewers use butter instead of margarine. Be sure to pack down the brown sugar firmly into the measuring cup to get the correct amount. Some home cooks recommend adding about ¼ cup cream or milk to help keep the sauce soft even after it cools.

Making monkey bread step by step

Step 1.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9- or 10-inch tube or Bundt pan. Do not use a two-piece tube pan with a removable bottom because the hot caramel sauce will run out and make a big mess. The biscuits will expand as they bake, so it's important to use a large enough baking pan to contain the biscuits and the sauce. It's better to use a baking pan that's a little too big than risk using a pan that's too small.

Step 2.
Combine the white sugar and ground cinnamon in a sealable zip-top bag or in a large mixing bowl. Cut the canned biscuit dough into quarters and drop them into the bag or bowl. Shake the bag or toss the pieces in the bowl until they're separated and evenly coated. If you have cinnamon sugar left over, you can keep it in a jar for another use.

Step 3.
Lift the biscuit pieces out of the cinnamon sugar and arrange them in the pan. If you're adding nuts and raisins, sprinkle them in as you go. Some home cooks like to start with a layer of nuts and raisins so they'll be on top when you invert the baked monkey bread, but that's optional.

Step 4.
Place the margarine or butter and the brown sugar in a small saucepan and melt together over medium heat, stirring until combined. Bring to a full boil and let the mixture cook for 1 minute. Pour the warm sauce over the biscuits. It will seep down through the biscuits as the monkey bread bakes.

Step 5.
Place the pan in the heated oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, place a large plate over the pan, protect your hands with oven mitts, and turn over the plate and the pan. Lift the pan straight up to let the monkey bread slide out onto the plate.

Get more tips for How to Make Monkey Bread.

How to Serve Monkey Bread

Monkey bread is meant to be pulled apart and eaten with fingers or forks. There's no need to cut and slice. It's best when served warm and the sauce is still soft and sticky, but it's good eaten cold as well.

How to Make Monkey Bread Without a Bundt Pan

We recommend using a Bundt pan or one-piece tube pan to make monkey bread because the shape of the pan allows hot air to circulate to the middle of the bread and bake the dough evenly. But if you don't have a Bundt or tube pan, you can make monkey bread in a large loaf pan, cake pan, or 9x13 pan. Use a large enough pan to allow for the biscuits to expand. You may have to adjust your baking time so the biscuit pieces are fully baked in the center of the monkey bread.

How to Store Monkey Bread

Monkey bread can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three or four days. You can wrap and freeze baked monkey bread for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Fun to make & delicious to eat! I cut the recipe into ⅓ and only used 1 can of biscuits in an 8" round cake pan. Cooked for about 20 minutes. My 2½-year-old enjoyed helping me roll the balls. Also, previous reviewer suggested using a pizza cutter to cut the biscuits —great shortcut," says Allrecipes home cook BBURG_HOKIES.

Reviewer Stephanie C offers this tip: "Scrumptious! I used frozen yeast roll dough to get a more homemade yeast bread flavor and the results were outstanding! You can make it the night before this way: Thaw 18 golf ball-size raw yeast rolls over about an hour. Once thawed, cut each in half. Follow the recipe for coating and layering. After pouring the brown sugar mixture over dough, place in cold oven overnight to rise. Follow baking instructions in the morning. Absolutely perfect! The entire extended family loved it!"

"The only tips I could offer would be to make sure you don't press down on the dough balls once you get them in the pan, or else the sauce won't make it all the way through the loaf and get it all gooey and delicious on the inside. Also, I'd make about 50 percent more sauce than the recipe calls for, because people seem to go for the parts that have the most sauce," says reviewer JenniJ3333.

Editorial contributions by Vanessa Greaves

Ingredients

15
Original recipe yields 15 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9- or 10-inch tube or Bundt® pan.

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  • Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar-cinnamon mix.

  • Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in the pan. If using walnuts and raisins, arrange in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.

  • Melt margarine with the brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Nutrition Facts

378 calories; protein 4.6g; carbohydrates 57.1g; fat 15.2g; cholesterol 0.7mg; sodium 745.6mg. Full Nutrition
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