This Cinnamon Monkey Bread from scratch, is going to become your sinful go to brunch treat to wow the pants off your guests. Fluffy pull apart sweet bread rolls dipped in butter, rolled in cinnamon and sugar and drizzled with a vanilla glaze. This pull apart monkey bread recipe from scratch is THE perfect brunch treat. All you need is now is a mimosa to wash it down with.
Excuse me while I lick my fingers as I type. They are covered in brown sugar cinnamon buttery goodness.
Believe it or not, when it comes to breakfast I’m a salty girl all the way. Bring on the crispy bacon. Everything bagels topped with a fried egg. Dripping in cheese as the yolk runs down my chin kind of salty girl. There are a few breakfasts that will make me stop dead in my tracks and put down that breakfast sandwich.
Monkey bread is one of them. Basically I love this stuff. ‘Nuff said. This is a great recipe for Christmas morning, Easter brunch, or really any Sunday that calls for Mimosas and stretchy pants. A monkey bread recipe from scratch is worth all the trouble and then some.
Why Is It Called Monkey Bread?
It’s kind of a goofy name right? But monkey bread is a rich dough, a yeast bread, where the dough is divided into small balls of dough, rolled into usually a cinnamon sugar and baked into a bundt pan. And apparently it has to do with it being a finger food. The idea is that you pull apart the monkey bread and eat it… like a monkey might do.
Well Monkey see. Monkey do if you ask me.
Now you can get store bought bread rolls or use biscuit dough, like my 6 ingredient overnight monkey bread or you can make it from scratch. I prefer making my monkey bread from scratch!
- Milk – I prefer to use whole milk for richness, but you can use a low-fat milk. I haven’t tried with plant-based milk.
- Yeast – I used active dry yeast, but you can also use instant yeast, but the rising times will be less.
- Flour – I used all-purpose flour for this dough. Be sure to measure your flour correctly by weighing it or spooning it into your cup and leveling it off.
- Butter – I always use and bake with unsalted butter so I can control the salt.
- Brown Sugar
- Powdered Sugar
How To Make Pull Apart Monkey Bread From Scratch
Monkey bread does take some time to make when making it from scratch. But it’s worth every single amazing bite.
First off, yes we are going to need to work with yeast on this. Now I know there are easier ways to make monkey bread by using frozen bread dough. But this is not that kind of recipe. So yes yeast. Yes you can do it. And yes I’ll help you every step of the way. You might want to give my Ultimate Guide To Making Homemade Bread Recipes a read.
This recipe for the dough comes from Bake From Scratch. I recommend using Red Star Yeast if you can find it. It’s a premium yeast that will yield premium results. I always get premium results with my yeast doughs when using this yeast, so I highly recommend it.
Preparing The Yeast
To make the dough, start by combining warm milk (I recommend using whole), sugar and your active dry yeast into the bowl of your stand mixer or a measuring cup. You want to let the yeast proof for about 10 minutes until it’s foamy.
Heather’s Baking Tip
If your yeast doesn’t get foamy and bubbly, then that means it’s dead and don’t bother proceeding with the recipe. Either your milk was too hot and killed the yeast or your yeast was expired. Be sure to check the expiration date on the package before using it.
Making The Dough
Once the yeast has proofed, then you want to start making your dough. For this I use my stand mixer. I transferred the yeast mixture to the bowl of my stand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can make the dough by hand in a mixing bowl.
To the yeast mixture, you will add in 1 cup of your properly measured flour. Then some melted butter, more flour and then your eggs.
Once the flour has been added its time to let the dough rise in a warm draft free place for about an hour in a greased covered bowl. Go do some dishes. Or Catch up on Netflix. Yea, I vote for Netflix too.
Heather’s Baking Tip
Yeast needs a warm environment to thrive! If your kitchen is cold, the dough will still rise but will take longer than an hour. Ideally your kitchen should be somewhere between 70-80oF for optimal results. If your kitchen is colder, try placing the dough in a warm spot like on top of your fridge or in the oven with it OFF and the oven light on.
Shaping The Monkey Bread
Ok phase two: time to get your hands dirty. In one corner of the arena: cinnamon + brown sugar. And in the other corner. Always a crowd favorite. Butter.
Basically get your bundt pan ready by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
You want to take a small 2-inch piece of dough, and shape into a ball in your hands. I just pinch the ends of the dough together in the center and the roll the dough around on the counter with my hands. Then dip each ball into the melted butter, then roll into the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.
Second rise and bake
You want to place each ball of dough into the bundt pan. You will still see the bottom of the bundt pan. But you are going to let the monkey bread go through a second rise. Just cover the bundt pan again and let it rise until doubled in size, and puffy – about 30 to 45 minutes.
With the leftover brown sugar mixture and butter, you want to combine the rest and pour over the monkey bread before baking. You may need to reheat the butter again in your microwave if it’s solidified again.
And then bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 350°F until an internal temperature reaches 190°F. Then you can prepare the glaze and drizzle over the monkey bread.
- Use a thermometer. You want to use a thermometer to test the temperature of your milk before adding your yeast. Yeast is a living thing, which means if the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If the milk is too cold the yeast will not proof properly. If you don’t have a thermometer, test it with your finger. If you can’t put your finger in the liquid, then it’s way too hot! If it’s too hot for you, it’s way too hot for the yeast!
- Measure your flour accurately. Either measure using this method described in this post, or use a kitchen scale for best accuracy.
- No stand mixer? No problem. You can use your stand mixer with a dough hook attachment to make kneading this bread easy or make your bread dough in a mixing bowl with a dough whisk, and knead your bread dough by hand.
I store leftovers, covered in the fridge, for up to 3 days then will reheat again.
Shape the rolls and place in your bundt pan. Then cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight. And when ready to bake, uncover and allow to come to room temperature and rise (the dough will get puffy) before baking.
Reheat any leftovers in the oven for best results. You can warm the monkey bread back up in an 250°F oven until warmed through (about 10-15 minutes depending on amount reheating).
If you don’t have a bundt pan don’t sweat it! You can bake your monkey bread in a casserole dish. It will actually bake more evenly and faster anyway! Monkey bread made in a casserole dish will only take about 20 to 25 minutes.
More Homemade Bread Recipes
So monkey bread from scratch = basically, drizzle. Lick. Repeat.
Pour a mimosa. Invite some friends over. And start pulling it apart.
Oh then grab a slice of bacon too if you aren’t too stuffed full of this cinnamon monkey bread.
Monkey Bread from scratch
For the dough:
- ⅔ cup (160 g) warm whole milk 105°F to 110°F
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 0.25-ounce package (8 grams) active dry yeast
- 3¼ cups (406 g) all-purpose flour, divided *spooned and leveled
- ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter melted
- 2 (100 g) large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the coating:
- 1 1/4 cups (248 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup (171 g, 12 Tbs.) unsalted butter melted
For the glaze:
- 1 cup (113 g) powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoons -2 Tbs. milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- To Make The Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
- With mixer running on low speed, add 1 cup (125 grams) flour, beating just until combined. 2. Add melted butter and ½ cup (63 grams) flour, beating until combined. Beat in eggs. Gradually add salt and remaining 1¾ cups (218 grams) flour, beating until a soft dough forms. (Dough will be sticky.)
- Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Loosely cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- To make the coating: In one small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir to combine. In a second bowl, melt the butter.
- Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with cooking spray.
- Punch dough down very gently to release the gasses to release. Then remove small amounts of dough to form into about 1-inch balls. Dip each ball of dough into melted butter first, then roll into the brown sugar- cinnamon mixture. Place each ball of dough into the prepared pan arranging them as you go. You will get about 30 balls of dough. You may still see some of the bottom of the bundt pan in the end, but these will double in size. Once you have used all the dough, then cover the pan with a towel and allow to rise for another 45 minutes in a warm draft free place.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Combine the rest of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture and butter. You may need to re-melt the butter. Then pour the mixture over the monkey bread before baking. Bake in your pre-heated oven on the middle rack for 30-35 minutes. Insert a digital thermometer into the center. The internal temperature should read 190oF. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, before inverting onto a plate.
- To make the glaze: In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. If the glaze is too thick, adjust the consistency by adding additonal milk. Drizzle over the monkey bread and serve while warm.
- Tools: Bundt Pan | Stand Mixer |Digital Thermometer
- Make ahead/storage: This monkey bread is best served warm. But it can be kept at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator. You can also make the dough and refrigerate it overnight before allowing it to go through the first rise. Then continue on with the rest of the recipe as followed!
- Stand mixer: If you don’t have a stand mixer you can knead the dough by hand but it will take slightly longer.
- No bundt pan? Bake this in a 9×13 casserole dish for about 20-25 minutes.