The Best Monkey Bread
This pull-apart monkey bread is ooey, gooey, and full of buttery cinnamon sugar goodness. The from-scratch dough is so easy to work with!
Monkey bread is a delight that I fully believe everyone should experience. This easy, homemade version is one of our go-to holiday breakfasts. Think of it like a pull-apart cinnamon roll!
Many versions of monkey bread call for using canned biscuit dough. No disrespect to those versions, but making a homemade dough is a game changer for monkey bread.
This dough is simple to make a dream to work with!
- Make the dough and let it rise until doubled
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured or greased countertop and pat into a thick square or rectangle.
- Cut the dough into 64 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a round shape (doesn’t have to be perfect!)
If you end up with a few more or a few less pieces, no biggie. If the pieces aren’t all exactly uniform and resemble dented ping pong balls rather than perfectly round balls, again, no biggie! A rustic attempt is a totally valid attempt here, because it all works out in the end.
Assembling Monkey Bread
Dip the dough pieces in melted butter followed by a roll in cinnamon + brown sugar.
You don’t have to do this one at a time. It works to pile a bunch of dough pieces in the melted butter, let the excess butter drip off, and then load those buttered pieces over to the cinnamon and sugar bowl for a quick dusting.
Layer all the coated dough balls in a well-buttered bundt pan.
Try to arrange them as evenly as possible staggering them slightly so they aren’t stacked exactly on top of each other.
Let the monkey bread rise until very puffy. This step is crucial! Rising long enough here ensures a light and fluffy pull-apart monkey bread that is irresistible (as compared to heavy dense pieces of monkey bread that will only make you very sad).
Bake until golden and then turn out onto a serving tray or plate. While still a little bit warm, drizzle with the glaze. It will sneak into all the little nooks and crannies giving an extra boost to the ooey, gooey charm of this best-ever monkey bread.
Without a doubt, this cinnamon sugar monkey bread is best served warm.
In fact, when I make it, my family helps devour it before it even has a chance to think about cooling off completely. The nibbly, bite-size, pull-apart pieces are irresistible.
There are hundreds of comments below of people who have tried variations or baked in different types of pans. Read through them for a whole heck of a lot of monkey bread inspiration!
Rave Reviews for Monkey Bread
This recipe has been receiving extremely high praise for over ten years. It really is the best monkey bread recipe.
Isabella: 10/10 love this!!!! Will make again
Sam: I am in love! Someone else commented that these taste like the center of a cinnamon roll and that is spot on. These are pillowy soft and indulgent. Your instructions were clear and I was able to create a picture perfect dessert. My family was certainly impressed. I must thank you so much for this recipe. I will be making these again and again for sure!
Amanda: Every piece tastes like the inside of a cinnamon roll, heaven!! I will never use biscuits again! Thanks for another winner.
Raquel: I made this for the first time today, and it was amazing. I did the make ahead method, and every step is informative and helpful. This really was the most delicious monkey bread I’ve ever had, It has a caramelized flavor that just keeps you going back for more. Wonderful Recipe!
FAQ for Monkey Bread:
Yes! Follow the recipe through step #5. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place the pan in the refrigerator before letting the monkey bread rise up to 12-18 hours. A couple hours before you want to bake it, remove the pan from the refrigerator and let the monkey bread come to room temperature and rise until puffy and risen 1-2 inches below the top of the pan (this exact measurement will depend on the dimensions of the Bundt pan you are using). Bake as directed in step #7 and proceed with the recipe. You can speed up the rising process by placing the refrigerated monkey bread into a warm oven (not warm enough it will bake the bread! just warm enough to help the rising – I preheat my oven to 170 degrees and then once it reaches temperature, I turn it off but keep the oven light on).
I have never baked this in another size/style of pan, but you could definitely experiment with a 9X13-inch pan for more of a rectangular presentation or split the dough into two loaf pans. I do not recommend an angel food cake pan; the sugar/butter mixture will leak out the bottom and make a big mess.
The Best Monkey Bread
For the pan:
- 2 tablespoons softened butter
- 2 tablespoons (57 g) melted butter
- 1 cup warm milk (about 105 to 110 degrees F)
- ⅓ cup warm water (about 105 to 110 degrees F)
- ¼ cup (53 g) granulated sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- 3 ¼ cups (462 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
Brown Sugar Coating:
- 1 cup (212 g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (113 g) butter, melted
- 1 cup (114 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- In a large measuring cup or bowl, mix together the milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture. Increase to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth, 5 to 7 minutes. Add additional flour a couple tablespoons at a time only if the dough is sticking to the bottom of the sides of the bowl. After kneading, the dough should be soft, supple and slightly sticky without leaving a lot of dough residue on your fingers.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let the dough rise until doubled, 1 to 2 hours.
- Spread the softened butter evenly in a 12-cup bundt pan, using a pastry brush or piece of wax or parchment paper to ensure all the nooks and crannies of the pan are well-buttered. Set aside.
- Lightly punch down the dough. On a very lightly floured or greased countertop, press the dough into a thick rectangle or square, about 8 or 9 inches across. Use a bench scraper or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 64 small pieces.
- Roll each piece into a round ball shape. It doesn't have to be perfect.
- Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl or shallow dish.
- Dip the dough pieces in melted butter and then roll evenly in the sugar mixture. Place the dough pieces in the prepared Bundt pan, offsetting the dough balls so they aren't stacked exactly on top of each other. .
- Cover the Bundt pan and let the bread rise until noticeably puffy and nearly doubled, 1 to 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the bundt pan and bake until the bread is golden brown and the bread is baked through, 30 to 35 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the bread should read 190 to 200 degrees F.
- Cool the monkey bread in the pan for no longer than 5 minutes (any longer and the bread will be too sticky and hard to remove!). Turn the bread onto a platter.
- In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar and milk together until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the top and sides of the warm monkey bread. Serve warm.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated
Recipe originally posted Oct. 2012; updated Jan. 2024 with new photos, recipe notes, etc.