Seriously, I hardly have any words to describe the glorious goodness of this monkey bread. And if you know me, you know it’s rare that I’m left speechless (what?? So I like to talk…sue me). But this magical monkey bread doesn’t really need any words.

Monkey Bread

It just needs your lips inhaling it as soon as possible.

And just for the record, I hate the whole snobby factor that comes with food. I’m not one to hide my feelings about cream-of-whatever soups but I really, really don’t care if you use them. And if you don’t make your own bread from scratch…guess what? We can still be friends and I’d still eat a sandwich at your house on your not-homemade bread. See? See how open minded I am?

Monkey Bread

But when it comes to this monkey bread, I have to beg and implore you to run far, far away from the canned biscuits and dry pudding mix that usually appear in monkey bread recipes. Invest a tad bit more time and elbow grease and make this recipe with homemade dough.

It’s unreal, people…unreal being a good thing in this instance. And you’ll come back and thank me from keeping you from the canned biscuit monkey bread (I mean, that just sounds wrong, doesn’t it?), I promise. There really is no comparison to this homemade Bundt-pan full of gooey, sweet, decadent love.

Monkey Bread

One Year Ago: Spooky Eats: Candy Corn Milkshakes
Two Years Ago: Romaine Salad with Chicken, Cheddar, Apples, Spiced Pecans and Cranberry Vinaigrette
Three Years Ago: Chicken Enchilada Pasta

The Best Monkey Bread

Yield: Serves 6-8

The Best Monkey Bread

Note: See below the recipe for instructions to make the dough without a stand mixer (i.e. by hand, you little pioneers!).


  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided, 2 tablespoons softened and 2 tablespoons melted
  • 1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Brown Sugar Coating:
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Butter a Bundt pan with the 2 tablespoons softened butter. Use a pastry brush or a paper towel or anything that will really help get inside all of those nooks and crannies. Set aside.
  2. In a large measuring cup, mix together the milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Mix the flour and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook (see below for instructions to make the dough by hand). Turn the machine to low and slowly add the milk mixture. After the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. If you think the dough is too wet (i.e. having a hard time forming a cohesive mass), add 2 tablespoons flour at a time and mix until the dough comes together (it should still be on the sticky side, just not overly wet). Coat a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat lightly with the cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, 1-2 hours (alternately, you can preheat the oven to 200 degrees, turning it off once it reaches 200 degrees and place the covered bowl in the oven to speed up the rising time).
  3. For the sugar coating, while the dough is rising, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place the melted butter in a second bowl or shallow pie plate. Set aside.
  4. To form the bread, gently remove the dough from the bowl and press it into a rough 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 64 pieces.
  5. Roll each dough piece into a ball (it doesn't have to be perfect, just get it into a rough ball-shape). Working one at a time, dip the balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into the bowl or pie plate. Roll the dipped dough ball in the brown sugar mixture, then layer the balls in the Bundt pan, staggering the seams where the dough balls meet as you build layers.
  6. Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and let the monkey bread rise until puffy and they have risen 1-2 inches from the top of the pan, 1-2 hours (again, you can use the warm oven approach to speed this up).
  7. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F (remove the pan from the oven if you placed it there to rise). Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the monkey bread in the pan for 5 minutes (any longer and the bread will be too sticky and hard to remove!), then turn out on a platter or large plate and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  8. For the glaze, while the bread cools, whisk the confectioners' sugar and milk together in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Using a whisk, drizzle the glaze over the warm monkey bread, letting it run over the top and sides of the bread. Serve warm.


Monkey Bread without a Mixer: Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour, then add the milk mixture to the well. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough becomes shaggy and is difficult to stir. Turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating the shaggy scraps back into the dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Shape into a taut ball and proceed as directed.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated

187 Responses to The Best Monkey Bread

    • Daisy says:

      My daughter has made this twice now. It is without a doubt the best monkey bread I have ever had. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  1. Catherine S. says:

    I just discovered your website via a link to this recipe. I admire your philosophy since making bread is relaxing, makes the house smell great, and is great for the hands and mind. (I detest canned biscuits and love cream-of-anything soups.) I’ve spent too long! exploring your recipes and haven’t found even one I wouldn’t like to try, and I’m pretty fussy! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity, imagination and talent in the kitchen. Now I need to get busy cooking, but what to try first?!

  2. Gena toppi says:

    Omg this was the best desert my family and I have ever tasted. I am not a baker by any means, this recipe was easy and fun! And the kids had a blast. Such gooey deliciousness! A little piece of heaven! Thank you for this recipe.

  3. Paul says:

    This was a really great recipe which I will make again. Just for fun, I spread a layer of chopped walnuts in the bottom of the pan before adding the dough balls. The walnuts adhered nicely to what became the top of the bread and added a very nice taste and texture.

  4. Adriana says:

    Hi! great recipes! want to try this one this weekend

    Can i replace the yeast with baking soda and lemon juice or with baking powder?

    is there a difference in the process? Thank you!

  5. Kristin says:

    My daughter made these for a cooking test at school. Her teacher even gave her and her group 2 extra credit points because it tasted so good. She bring me home some, and I have to say, they we delisous. She is going to make them for Thanksgiving and I’m really excited to see how they turn out. Thank you so much Mel, your recipes are delicious and I recommend this recipie to everyone. It took her a few hours, especially cutting the 64 pieces, but I think it was worth it. Can’t wait to get more and more of these

  6. Kristie says:

    If it takes 2 hours for the first rise in the bowl outside the oven, how long should I wait for it to rise in the oven?

  7. Caitlin says:

    If I have a whole bunch of melted butter left at the end of dipping the bread balls what do I do with it? Discard it or should it all be drizzled on top of the unbaked bread??

  8. Nina says:

    You do not need to allow the yeast to proof, correct?

  9. Rachel Russell says:

    our fav part of Christmas morning is this bread. We now make it early in the day on Christmas eve and put in the fridge covered in plastic wrap before the final rise. Then,late on xmas eve night, after all the wrapping and cleaning up (usually about 1 am ) we throw it on the counter (it is very cold after a day in the fridge) and from 1-7 am it comes to room temp slowly and does it’s final rise. At 7-8am ish when we wake up, we throw in the oven and it is PERFECT- and no fuss on Christmas morning. THANKS MEL!!

  10. Sara says:

    Can you make this at all the night before? We were hoping to have it for breakfast (my husbans’s request!) and I can’t imagine getting up early enough for all the rising! Thanks.

  11. Laura says:

    Okay…so I followed the instructions but the dough isn’t rising. Any idea why it’s not rising? Maybe I didn’t put enough extra flour or mixed it too long?

    • Mel says:

      Those two factors wouldn’t normally cause it to not rise – usually overflouring can be a culprit as well as expired yeast, something like that.

  12. Sandy says:

    Hi, I was wondering if this recipe was okay to make a day before it would be needed? Thank you.

    • Mel says:

      If it’s made start-to-finish (including baking), it might be a bit drier on the 2nd day but you could slightly warm it in the oven and see how it fares.

  13. Amy Yehnert says:

    Mel, I discovered your website a couple of months ago when I searched through google for “how to make homemade green enchilada sauce” (I didn’t want to pay the price it costs in the store!). I’ve enjoyed making a good number of your recipes since then and now have my sister hooked too! =)
    I realize this is a stretch but if anyone has attempted to make this recipe gluten-free (ha! good luck!), please let me know! I’m planning to make it Christmas morning for my family, but I have Celiac Disease so have to eat gluten-free quite strictly. Thankfully for my family, I derive a strange pleasure just from the feel and smell of real bread dough and bread as I make it. One of our sons is allergic to tree nuts and eggs so baking is a challenge but we’re managing. Looking forward to trying this!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Amy – I haven’t tried this with gluten-free flour. Sorry! I’m amazed at your initiative for home-baked goods despite the health challenges and allergies of your family. You are amazing!

  14. Tina. K says:

    I’m a total beginner when it comes to baking. I tried this recipe today without ever having had monkey bread before, but that picture looked so enticing that I had to try.
    The dough ended up amazing: fluffy, moist and subtly sweet. The whole thing tastes like a very good cinnamon roll, BUT… I must have done something wrong, because my monkey bread was dry on the outside 🙁 There was no wet caramel layer like in the photo, just a tiny bit of wetness on top. The sugar didn’t melt. It was hard and crystallized, but the dough was already cooked so I could not leave it in longer. Any idea what I might have done wrong?

    • Mel says:

      It sounds to me like it may have baked too long. What kind of pan are you using (dark, nonstick or light aluminum)? You might try reducing the baking temperature just a bit.

      • Tina. K says:

        It is a light metal springform pan. I used the bottom that turns the circle into a ring so it looks like a bundt pan, but it is flatter than a real bundt pan.
        I baked it for 30 minutes at 175 Celsius. It tasted really great, even with the drier sugary exterior :p can’t wait to make this right this time.
        Thanks so much for replying!

  15. Terri says:

    I love this recipe, and serve it the morning after Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to our overnight house guests. Can I make it a few days ahead and freeze it before the second rise? Then take it out the night before and refrigerate it to final rise? Finishing the rise in a warm place if necessary before baking? It is always a chore to do all the preparation after everyone has gone to bed and I’m exhausted.

  16. Sinalei says:

    When I wanted to ride the dough in the oven, I put plastic wrap on the bowl and shoved it in at 93C, but obviously in hindsight the wrap melted and now I’m concerned the dough is cancerous. This is an obvious mistake but if the recipe could make it clearer how to quicken the dough rising and possibly lower the temperature to around 30-40C that would be helpful

  17. Kaitlyn says:

    Never mind, blonde moment ☺️

  18. Kaitlyn says:

    Do you need caramel for this? If you do when do you put it in?

  19. Adam says:

    Hi Mel. I made your MB last night and it turned out looking beautiful (even without the glaze):

    But the non-caramelized parts at the bottom were dry once the bread had cooled. I baked for 32m in 50% humidity but had some trouble determined when to take it out of the oven, “deep brown” being a bit subjective. 🙂 (Caramel never bubbled around the edges, perhaps because I was using a silicone “pan”.)

    Any ideas for avoiding a dry result next time?


  20. Jessica says:

    Can we freeze the baked dough, then get out thaw and glaze morning of?

    • Mel says:

      I think they’ll taste best/freshest if they are baked and then glazed but I haven’t tried it the way you questioned so it’s always worth a try.

  21. Lisa says:

    I’m a home Baker with a pretty good reputation for making delicious stuff and this ranks up there as one of the best. I was actually shocked at how incredibly delicious (and beautiful) it was! A perfect Easter treat! As a sidenote I baked it in a springform pan which worked great and also I used almond milk instead of regular milk and it was perfect.

    • Diana Ferrell says:

      May 25th 2015 Hi Mel, I just read your recipe. I got all the ingredients out and they turned out so yummy. I will definitely make this again !!!!! They were wonderful!!!!! Thank you so much. I just didn’t want to use the biscuits

  22. Erin says:

    This is AMAZING!!!! Seriously this is my favorite treat right now!! Even though it doesn’t have chocolate 😉 You’re the best source of all of the best recipes!

  23. k says:

    This really is the best! The dough is fantastic to work with. I’ve made it with instant yeast and with regular yeast following your directions in the comment section and it turned out great either way. I make it Saturday night and put it in the fridge after the first rise and then pull it out before church. Pop it in as soon as we get home and it’s just heavenly!

  24. Julianne Farrey says:

    This is an amazing recipe! Mine just came out of the oven. I made your pretzel rolls and this monkey bread today! Now we just need some company to come eat some!

  25. Julia says:

    I made this tonight and it was absolutely sublime! Truly delicious. It was all gone in 20 minutes as my family stood around gobbling it down. Thank you so much for posting this delightful recipe. I will be making it again and again.

  26. sherrie says:

    Made for Christmas breakfast- Delish!!!! Made the night before and stored in fridge. Solo much better than cut up biscuits that taste, l like biscuits.

  27. Ellen Abel says:

    Can the dough for this recipe be made in a bread machine?

  28. Lisa says:

    I just made one today in a christmas tree mold. It came out very nice and it is yummy. I followed the recipe as you written. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  29. Jamie says:

    Decided to not add the glaze at the end. My family rated it a 10/10 served warm with vanilla bean ice cream on the side. 5 people devoured all but 1/8th of it. Everyone had seconds. My 15 year old is looking forward to the last pieces for her breakfast tomorrow after microwaving them a few seconds.

  30. Austin S. says:

    Just made this recipe, verbatim and it was amazing! It came out really similar to yours and it was extremely tasty! Thank you!

  31. Julie meisner says:

    This was unbelievable. It was fool proof (purchased a $5 thermometer for the yeast mixture) It was devoured in less than five minutes. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

    I wanted to make this to duplicate something we had as children called “pull-apart cake” from a bakery in Ventnor, NJ. I added 2 Tablespoons of room temp. whipped cream cheese to the frosting only because that was how I remembered it. Perfection!

  32. Bryn says:

    This is pretty much the best thing I’ve ever eaten!!! It is addicting!

  33. Diane Moody says:

    Hi Mel,
    I actually found you by browsing online for photos of monkey bread. Random, eh? Is there any chance you would let me use your photo of this monkey bread for a family cookbook I’m putting together? I would be more than happy to credit the photo to you. We’ll be making these available on Amazon, just so you know. No worries if you’d rather not. I’m just out of time to take my own photos at this point! Anyway, LOVE your blog!

  34. Dani B says:

    These were so delicious! We made them the day before, just like others had posted; prepared as directed up to the second rise stage, but instead of having them rise a 2nd time, we covered in plastic & put in the fridge overnight. Next morning, heated the oven to 200, turned it off, and let them rise for 30 minutes, then baked as directed. They were GREAT!

  35. Shalon Gough says:

    Do you know how long it takes the dough to rise in the preheated oven? Or if I can let it rise overnight in the fridge? Just trying to plan father’s day breakfast, hoping I don’t have to get up at 4am 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Shalon Gough – If it were me, I’d prepare the monkey bread all the way up until rising and baking the night before and cover it with greased plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge overnight. Then pop it in the oven while it preheats and it should bake up just fine!

  36. Jodi says:

    Kelsey, I used a round cake pan, and it worked okay… didn’t have quite the gooeyness because there was only one layer, but an 8 or 9 inch may have worked for that. Loaf pan is probably the best option for that gooeyness, though! (I actually made a savory one in the cake pan, so it didn’t need to be gooey anyway.)
    Also, for those who have done the overnight option, did you have a problem with it sticking in the pan? I buttered my pan VERY generously and was sure to get in all the nooks and crannies, but the top half of my loaf still stuck in the pan. I don’t know if there are any tricks for greasing for overnight or if I just left it in the pan 1 or 2 minutes too long. Suggestions?
    Lastly, this recipe was AMAZING! Very easy and tasted sooooo good!

    • Mel says:

      Jodi – I’ve made them several times overnight without them sticking so it might be more due to leaving them in the pan too long. I’ve done that and it is a terror trying to get them out! I am sorry they stuck. I am glad you liked the recipe though.

      • Katie says:

        I can’t seem to find the instructions for how to make these overnight. Can you please let me know? Thanks!

        • Mel says:

          It’s in the comment thread, I believe. I basically assemble the entire panful and place it covered in the refrigerator overnight (before it rises the second time). I either wake up early and take it out to come to room temperature and rise or the lazy way (which I do often) is to put it from the fridge into the oven while it preheats and then bake (maybe take a minute or so off the baking time). It doesn’t get quite as puffy as letting it rise until doubled but it’s a great shortcut.

  37. Jennifer Bassett says:

    I love to chop some pecans or walnuts and sprinkle them on each layer of dough!! so freaking good!!

  38. […] Monkey Bread (The Best Monkey Bread) (From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe) Dough: 4 T butter divided, 2 T softened and 2 T melted 1 c milk, warm (about 110 degrees) 1/3 c […]

  39. […] Anyway I wanted to share this recipe. It takes pretty few ingredients and if I don’t have milk (which happens here more than I’d like) I don’t use milk in a pinch and this recipe is for home made dough- not canned stuff This is NOT my recipe. It can be found HERE […]

  40. Audrey says:

    Wonderful recipe! I’ve always made monkey bread using the canned dough. I’m definitely going to try this recipe. I also like to sprinkle small pecan pieces throughout the bread.

  41. Angela says:

    I give this recipe 5 stars…gooey, sweet, makes a full bunt pan. Delicious!! I added some cream cheese/vanilla to my frosting due to my love of cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting, but I think the glaze alone would still be yummy. My kids loved helping roll the dough in sugar making it a fun family-memory-treat. I love that you can make it with ingredients I always have on-hand (although it takes a little longer) it’s a great recipe because it doesn’t require a trip to the store to buy biscuits 🙂 Thanks for another great recipe, Mel!

  42. Kelsey L. says:

    Also, followup to my last comment (sorry for not being concise!) do you think you could make this recipe with almond milk instead of dairy milk?

    • Mel says:

      Kelsey – I haven’t tried it, but another reader made this in 2 loaf pans and said it worked great. Also, I haven’t tried subbing almond milk but if you have done so successfully in other bread recipes in the past, it’s definitely worth a try. Good luck!

  43. Kelsey L. says:

    I am dying to make this recipe but I do not have a bundt pan! Can you recommend another kind of pan that would be next-best to the bundt?

  44. Joyce says:

    made night before: all directions up to coating stage. Arranged in pan, covered with plastic wrap placed in fridge overnight. Next morning took out for 45 min and then followed baking time. Turned out perfectly! 🙂

  45. Tracy says:


    I made this a few days ago and it was such a hit. SO good. As a note, I didn’t use anywhere near a whole stick of melted butter when dipping. I probably used half a stick at most. But man, this was great. Thanks for a keeper recipe!


  46. Madeline says:

    Mel, I just wanted to tell you that this is one of the best recipes that I have ever made. It is so good! 5 stars!!


  47. Cindy Hovey says:

    I’m making this for the second time now. You and I know it is absolutely delicious, but I’m still converting my kids. Sadly, I have to retrain their taste buds to appreciate the homemade goodness instead of the store bought convenience. On a side note, they have finally begun to realize how good air-popped popcorn is over microwave! (that one took a couple years!)

    • Helen says:

      Air popped??? How about in a pot with olive oil! The really good old-fashioned way. Nothing beats it, Cindy; please try it if you’ve never had it. It doesn’t even need butter, just sea salt (but is extra decadent if you do use it).

  48. Ken says:

    Can I get this recipe with metric equivalents?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Ken – I’m not an expert in converting the ingredients to metric but there are several online calculators you can google and get the equivalents. Good luck!

  49. Anna says:

    I love this recipe! I’ve made the monkey bread several times. But what I love so much is the dough–I have used it for sticky buns, ham & cheese pinwheels, Stromboli & pepperoni rolls. It works in both sweet and savory applications. This dough recipe has never failed me. I get compliments every time I make it–no mater how I use it.

  50. Katrina says:

    Just made this and it is ACTUALLY INCREDIBLE!!! Thanks Mel!

  51. Nicole says:

    Another fun way to do thus, that bakes faster and preps faster, is to divide the dough into roll size (15-20 per batch) then divide each roll into 6 pieces, all rough chopped, take that flat pile and dip it into the butter, turning a few times to coat, then same for the brown sugar mixture, then plop the pile into one muffin tin hole, repeating for each individual monkey bread “roll”. It ends up being faster, and baking more evenly, and you get more Carmelites edges each;)

  52. Catherine says:

    A little history on where “Monkey Bread” came from. Many maintain it was the creation of silent film actress ZaSu Pitts and her neighbor, Ann King, a Texas housewife who moved to Burbank during the 1940s after her husband landed a job at Lockheed Martin. The women reportedly named the bread after the neighborhood children, little meddling “monkeys” who couldn’t keep their fingers out of the steaming fresh-from-the-oven bread. (King opened a bakery specializing in monkey bread shortly after she returned to Albany, Texas.) Ann King opened a bakery in my hometown of Albany, Texas. I grew up on this bread. Albany is a small town North of Abilene with a population of less than 2000. She was the sweetest lady and we visited her bakery weekly.

  53. Roxane says:

    Woahhhh… This ain’t monkey business!!!
    The whole family requested this before even finishing it. This is a slam dunk.

    Thanks Mel for sharing all these amazing recipes with us. You got yourself a french canadian fan. Merci!

  54. Emily says:

    Hi! Knew I could come here and find something to bake on the first snowy day. Just FYI the print button isn’t working on this recipe.

  55. Shannon says:

    I made this today for my 5 year old’s birthday breakfast. I never really make the “other” kind because I feel like the pudding AND sugar and stuff just makes it too sweet for breakfast. Perfect start to a happy day! P.S. I made the dough late last night and popped it in the fridge and then assembled the rest this morning. I will plan ahead better and will do the cutting and coating the night before next time. Thanks!

  56. Annie says:

    Just as a follow up, this recipe is WAY better than my Mum’s. The individualised dipping of each piece in butter and then the cinnamon/sugar is essential for gooey, delicious Monkey bread. My family will be converted this Christmas when I make this recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  57. Annie says:

    After reading through the comments about this being prepared in advance or frozen, my family makes this every year for Christmas morning. I made this particular recipe (which rocks!) last weekend when we had houseguests and I wanted to prepare it beforehand. I made the monkey bread in full, dipped in the sugar and froze it before the second rising (wrapped well in saran and foil). The night before serving I removed from the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the oven with a loose covering of saran and a tea towel. Remove from the oven while it heats and bake as normal. My aunt, who is a professional baker also says that you could refrigerate it overnight, pop it in the oven in the morning as it heats to temperature and then bake for the 30-35 mins. This is what she does with her cinnamon rolls and it works like a charm.

  58. Melodie says:

    WOW Thank You so much ! I have been searching all over for a recipe that was with homemade dough, this looks amazing I can’t wait to try it out.

  59. Georgina says:

    I’ve tried the monkey bread recipe and everybody loved it, its was incredible the taste the looks u name it!!! wonderful…BUT I did it today and dont know what happened but it didnt come out the way it supposed to…what could have happened..I follow the recipe exactly like it is..???????/

    • Mel says:

      Georgina – unfortunately, without being right there in the kitchen with you and without a lot of details, I can’t determine what went wrong. Hopefully it works out if you try it again!

  60. Melissa says:

    Made this tonight so my boys (hubby and 10-year-old son) would have a quick breakfast befor they leave for a company pool party tomorrow.! House smells like a combo of Cinnabon and Wetzel’s Pretzels 🙂 Tomorrow it’s brownie time. Yum!

  61. Elizabeth says:

    I LOVE this recipe. I made it for the first time this past winter as a dessert to go with our chili, and we ate every single bit of it that night. I am in the process of making it again today. I will NEVER used canned biscuits for monkey bread again! So worth the extra effort.

  62. Hannah says:

    FINALLY!! A monkey bread recipe that DOESN’T call for canned biscuit dough! You are the best for posting this and we can’t wait to try it out!

  63. Tom says:

    I am so confused? You said.. on October 12, 2012 at 10:27 am
    Hey everyone, the make ahead option is a great idea and one I’ll be employing on Christmas. I haven’t tried it yet but my to make the bread, coat the dough balls, place them in the pan, cover tightly with the Saran wrap and place it in the fridge overnight. I’ll take it out 2 to 3 horse before baking then bake as directed. Once I actually try the make ahead, I’ll update the recipe.
    Umm I don’t recall 2 or three or any horses in this recipe? lol

  64. Lillie says:

    Mel- Did it work to do this overnight when you tried it?

    • Mel says:

      Hey Lillie – sorry that I haven’t updated this recipe yet with the make-ahead. I have made it the night before several times with good results (I think the best it has ever tasted was when I made it start to finish without the overnight rest but I like the make-ahead option). One of the times, I let the dough rise too much out of the refrigerator and it kind of fell while baking so I would just keep an eye on the dough after it comes out of the refrigerator in the morning. Otherwise, it works great.

  65. Lillian says:

    LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! I made these for my dad this last father’s day because he is a total cinnamon roll nut. He said he preferred this to the cinnamon rolls I made on his birthday, simple, gooey, deliciousness. I tried the tip and made it the night before and set it out a couple hours before I made it and it worked great! My siblings keep begging for more!

  66. Megan says:

    Can I make the dough in my bread machine??

    • Mel says:

      Hi Megan – I don’t know since I’ve never used a bread machine – as long as the quantities (flour/water) fit into your bread machine, it should work though.

  67. Damaris Hannah says:

    This is the BEST monkey bread recipe ever! I made it once for my uncle when he came down to visit my family, and we all loved it! Also, this makes enough to go around! There was my uncle, my 5 other siblings, and my mom and dad, and we had enough to stuff ourselves with this delicious meal!

  68. Stephanie says:

    I came back to leave my review.
    DELICIOUS! I am totally impressed. The dough made an amazingly soft fluffy roll. And taking the time to coat each one makes every single bite scrumptious!
    I had some leftover brown butter icing from some cinnamon rolls last week so I just used that in place of yours. I will be making this again, and will definitely try the overnight method too.
    Thanks Mel!

  69. Stephanie says:

    Hi Mel!
    I am going to try this today. I have made this with frozen dough as others have commented. I always used butterscotch pudding though.

    I’m interested to taste the difference.
    My hubby loves the caramel like flavor the pudding gives it, so we will see if this wins him over.
    Thanks for all your delicious recipes. I’m so glad you feel a need to share them with the world!

  70. Tyler says:

    Searched on the web for monkey bread but all usually ended up just scanning the recipe for the words Pillsbury or refrigerated biscuit dough… thank you!! Your recipe sounds really good. will have to try it out. Thanks

  71. Kaite says:

    I just put this in the oven and had a quick question:

    Do you think it would still be good without the glaze on top? I’m making this for my boyfriend, and he’s pretty picky about things like that. He doesn’t like anything complicated, just a “pure” taste of cinnamon and brown sugar. Anyone with tips would be appreciated!

    And thank you SO SO much for this incredible recipe! Everything is better when made from scratch, and I’m thrilled someone else shares this philosophy! I am definitely subscribing to your incredible blog 🙂

  72. Lydia says:

    I made this today and OMG was it ever amazing. I am sooooo full! As we were eating it, my friend Erin said she’s worshiping me today.

    I made a half batch since there were only 3 people eating it and I placed the balls in a regular loaf pan. It was perfect. Just perfect. I will definitely be making this again and again. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe.

  73. […] MONKEY BREAD Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  74. kathy says:

    MMM! Just a tip, to raise breads I put the bowl in the microwave with the door almost closed but the light keeps a gentle continuous warmth. Thanks!

  75. Ashlee says:

    I just glazed your Monkey Bread recipe! OMG! So good! We are having a bake sale tomorrow and I wanted to make something different. It is so worth the effort. My son and I had to sample it before I will package it up and we cleaned our plate in no time! Thank you for an excellent recipe!!!

  76. loRi :) says:

    Um. Yes. I made these this morning for my 9 year old daughter’s overnight birthday party guests. The search is OVER. Fabulosity at it’s finest. Instead of the glaze, however, I thinned a bit of leftover homemade cream cheese frosting I had on hand (from some caramel rolls I baked this past weekend) with cream. Drizzled it over the top. Oh man. Watch out, we were fighting over the last pieces. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  77. […] slightly from Cooks’ Illustrated, via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. Serves […]

  78. michelle says:

    Oh- because of my super, super humid climate (like 90%+ humidity all the time), I had to add a lot of extra flour; at least one cup. Still worked out great!

  79. michelle says:

    I made this today and we all LOVED it!!! Just a few thoughts- mine stuck so badly to the pan, although I waited exactly 5 minutes to turn it out. I think it was because I used my old bundt pan, which has no non-stick coating like my newer ones. In this case, it would have been good to flour it after using the butter, and maybe even turning it out a few minutes earlier. Because it stuck, it didn’t turn out all nice and clean in the shape of the pan, but just fell apart. The kids said it was “eaiser to eat that way” though, lol! There was leftover butter after dipping the dough balls, so I used it in the icing; mixing it with about 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar and a drop of milk. It made thicker, delicious icing that was wonderful. I would cover the bundt pan with foil the last 5-10 minutes of baking because the top was burning a little. Wonderful recipe; will have to make again sometime!

  80. Red Velvet Monkey Bread - Something Swanky says:

    […] The Best Monkey Bread by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  81. Susan Eardley says:

    Finally a monkey bread recipe that does not use prepackaged dough (I hate that stuff). So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!

  82. […] going ambitious (a.k.a. homemade and time consuming) with this one, just for the heck of it. For the record, this recipe sounds plenty delicious — and QUICK […]

  83. Shevaun says:

    Wow. This recipe was easy to follow. My three year old and I had a blast making it. The end product looked just like the picture and tasted delicious! My husband couldn’t believe we had made it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  84. Hannah says:

    I just made this monkey bread for my boyfriend to take back to college with him and it was a huge hit with he and his roommate! Such easy home made bread too, it was a piece of cake to put together. I ended up using about three times the brown sugar mixture though. I’m not sure why but my dough really ate it up. Either way, it was delicious, I’ll never use premade dough again. Thanks for sharing this!!

  85. Kathryn Ashby says:

    I made this fantastic Monkey Bread recipe on Christmas Eve for a family who had 19 people staying at their home over the holidays. It was a huge hit, and they said it was polished off in a few short minutes. I thought the recipe was easy to follow, especially since I’m not an experienced bread maker, and I would definitely make this again. I did increase the glaze by half again what the glaze recipe calls for – mmmmm…extra yumminess! Thanks for a great treat.

  86. Mary says:

    I made this for Christmas morning and it was mouth wateringly delicious! My husband eats some and looked at me and said, “You’ve been holding out on me!” I have to work at the hospital at 6 am on New Year’s Day and I’m making some tonight to take in with me in the morning, it’s the only thing that could get me going to work that early!

  87. Alicia Quigley says:

    Merry Christmas! About to put the monkey bread in the oven. I made it yesterday afternoon, had in the fridge all night. One hour in warm oven and it’s ready to go. Yeah.

  88. Michelle says:

    I made this for breakfast today. I made most of it last night – all the way up to rolling the dough into the butter and cinnamon mixture just like Mel explained. Then, I covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge over night. In the morning, I set it out on the counter for two hours and cooked at 350 for 30 minutes. It turned out perfectly.

  89. Jennifer says:

    These are rising in the fridge right now so they are ready for Christmas morning. I was in a hurry so I put the melted butter in a gallon sized bag, put in the rolls without rolling them, shook it up, added the sugar mix & shook again. It worked great, & was fast!

  90. Jill says:

    I made this today. It was absolutely wonderful.
    Definitely, DEFINITELY worth the effort.

  91. Judi says:

    These are great! And yes, they can be made the night before. I started dough in the afternoon, then left it to rise (more than 2 hours because that’s how my schedule was). Made the little balls (cutting with a pizza cutter), drizzled with butter (probably only used 1/2 stick of butter) & rolled them in brn. sugar/cinnamon (less there also). Covered with plastic wrap & refrigerated. Got them out around 6 a.m. & put them in the oven at 7:30. Drizzled with the glaze (only used about half a cup confectioners sugar) & they were a big hit! So much better than canned biscuits & really not much more work. I do tend to cut out some sugar & butter when I bake & these were still VERY GOOD with about half. Only need about 1 T. for buttering pan also. I will use this recipe for Christmas morning but perhaps can’t wait that long to make again:) I may also try with half white whole wheat flour next time to sneak in a little more nutrition.

  92. marla says:

    beautiful monkey bread!

  93. Omg this looks incredible! I just made honey dinner rolls and saw this on a Bread pin board – repinned!

  94. This sounds INCREDIBLE!!! – will definitely be part of my holiday baking! Thanks for sharing!!!

  95. Cammee says:

    I have never heard of people making this with biscuits, that is just wrong. I can’t wait to try this. The recipe I have used for years is from The Lion House and it is so yummy, but has boxed pudding in it. This is a better option.

  96. Carlin says:

    I made this tonight and it was delicious!! I hate to admit that I’ve been making the canned biscuit kind for years. But this really was amazing and I will be making it this way forever more:)

  97. Alicia Quigley says:

    My. Oh. My. This was amazing, so yummy!!! I’m so glad we made it today, thanks!

  98. […] Pasta e FagioliApple Pie BreadPumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate Chicken Pot Pie Soup Carrot Cake Scones The Best Monkey BreadFresh Tomato SoupMom’s SconesPretzel RollsWinter Minestrone SoupNutella Hot ChocolatePumpkin […]

  99. Kim says:

    I’ve made this multiple times and even my picky kid BEGS for it! Very time consuming but worth every step. My family likes to pair it with ice cream 🙂

  100. Kellie says:

    You’re right—this is THE BEST Monkey Bread!! I’ve tried many different recipes. Even used ‘exploding biscuits’ a time or two. And this is hands down the best recipe I’ve tried. D-Double-Delicious!! Thank you!

  101. Beth says:

    I had tried the ATK version of this a few years ago and was underwhelmed. Still, I trust your judgment and decided to save trying this for a cold weather day when I would be home. It snowed all day today (I lived in Canada– this kind of thing happens in October here), so I made this while the kids did crafts and the baby napped. It is unbelievably good. The perfect thing for a snowy day, breakfast, holiday brunch, dessert, really you don’t need an occasion– just make it. The dough you have here is more tender than the ATK version. As soon as the kids took a few bites, they said, “make this again!”

  102. Sounds so amazing!!!! Have to try it when we have company!

  103. Paula says:

    I’ve started making bread using the method in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I wonder how it would work with this recipe. Hmmm..

  104. Courtney says:

    Your pictures look amazing and I love the fact that you’re making your own dough. I don’t mind rhodes rolls, but dough from scratch is the best!

  105. Laura says:

    i make challah about once a month and then i freez the baked challah and use it when ever i want. so if i´m already making that dough i was wondering if i could use it to make monkey bread and just add the coating and the glaze before i bake it???

  106. Jennifer says:

    Mmmmm! Just like the one my mom made but with the addition of glaze! Holy cow! I didn’t think you could make cinnamon pull-aparts (that’s what we call it) any better! But apparently, you can….. Must… make… now…. (well, when the baby is sleeping that is).

    PS Congrats on a house…. and good luck with that 1200 sq ft issue. I know how hard that is going to be! I feel crowded in 1400 with 3 small boys and a baby so I’ll be thinking of you and wishing you the best through the winter!

  107. Never made a monkey bread but it´s one of those things that fill my dreams. Why I haven´t, I have no clue! I bake all the time! I pinned this in my recipes to try board and will certainly try it soon. And I have a feeling I will start and never stop with the variations!

  108. grace says:

    for the record, the worst monkey bread would still be pretty darn good. 🙂

  109. Tanya says:

    Yum… I haven’t had these for years! My mom used to make these little goodies. I was debating what treat to make for tonight… now I know.. and my kids will love them! Thanks again, and congrats on moving into your house!! Yay!! (you probably won’t want to stay in a hotel for vacation for a loooooong time!!) 🙂

  110. Michelle says:

    Thank you for sharing this!! I’ll definitely try it out!

    Monkey Bread was my family’s Christmas breakfast growing up, but I just can’t bring myself to make it (I don’t do canned biscuits either). Now I can! 🙂

  111. Sarah Moran says:

    I made these today for our FHE treat and they were a huge hit! Thanks for another great recipe!

  112. Lina Cachia says:

    Hi 1 i come from a small island called Malta i must admitted i never taste this recipes but for sure i m going to try it thanks for this wonderful website.

  113. Jenna says:

    I’m working on my list of “foods by Mel that I can make living in Italy.” Thankfully the list is getting longer as I’m figuring out what I can find at the grocery store. We love monkey bread/sticky buns, whatever you want to call them. I confess I have used a certain frozen dinner roll to make them in the past, but I can’t find the ingredients here and we’ve missed having them. After 10 months, we bought a real oven last week. Yep, I now have 4 burners and an oven (a move up from a large toaster oven). My U.S. cookie sheets are too large for this oven, but I will buy some new ones and find a pan for this monkey bread. You will hear my kids singing your praises next week when I make this for them! Thank you, thank you!!

  114. Lisa D says:

    Mel, I have been a fan of your blog forever. I am pretty sure I couldn’t cook, at all, until I found your blog! When I saw this recipe come up yesterday, well, I just had to make it right away. And it did not disappoint! So amazingly yummy! Just wanted to say thanks for all your wonderful recipes, and seriously saving my life when it came to cooking. You’re the best!

  115. SJ says:

    I was seriously going to email you today to ask if you had a recipe for this where you don’t use rhodes dough. THANK YOU!!! This looks wonderful. I will be excited to see if the overnight version works too.

  116. Anna says:

    Im in Australia and you cant get any kind of canned dough here, lol, so have been on a hunt for a recipe for ages for this to make from scratch. Thank you! Just need to get me a stand mixer, do you think if I tell my DH that I need one to make monkey bread, he’ll let me get one? 🙂 Hope you have a new home soon…

  117. Heather says:

    I think the best parts of reading through your website is reading all the in-depth background information that precedes each recipe. It’s so ridiculously hilarious! You are one fun gal! “So sue me”. So funny! Love it love it! 🙂 You’re quite the entertainer in addition to being a great cook! Have a great day!

  118. Jessica Chamberlain says:

    Hi Mel,
    I have been following your blog for almost a year now, and thought I should comment. I LOVE your blog. It is my go to food blog. I also like it because I have kids about the same age as yours, I had four boys, and was pregnant with number five when you had your little girl. I got boy number 5. Anyway, thanks for the great ideas!

  119. Martha P. says:

    This is what my family calls CHRISTMAS MORNING COFFEE CAKE! Have made for years – But – being a lazy baker, I use frozen Parker House dinner rolls cut in half, placed in greased bundt pan. Place all the ingredients(white and brown sugar mixed) over the rolls (plus chopped pecans) – cover and let rise overnight and – poof – ready to bake Christmas morning – or any other morning. You could roll the cut rolls in the ingredients if you wish. Never tried the glaze – will do this year. Never had any problems when dumping it out of pan. Picture perfect! Talk about good eating!!!!

    Hoping you are in your own house soon. Admire you – much.

  120. I’ve been really trying to revamp some of the classic childhood recipes that I love but making them all homemade as opposed to the popular semi-homemade versions. Monkey Bread has been on my ‘to-do list’ for a while (I saved a recipe from Food and Wine magazine a few years ago) but just haven’t gotten to it yet! I hope to try a homemade version soon because Monkey Bread is sooo good!

  121. Marcie says:

    I made this for my kiddos for an after school snack today. It was delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  122. Sacha Bikhazi says:

    I was searching the internet exactly one week ago for the “perfect” monkey bread and just didn’t know which one to trust. I was wishing YOU had one, and now you DO! Thank you so much.

  123. Morgan L says:

    Wow!! Made these today with my 3 year old & her little friend. They just went into the oven & look DEE-LISH! Can’t wait to sample them!!

  124. Brooke says:

    My MILs recipe uses Rhodes frozen rolls for the dough, and we LOVE it. Just in case someone is feeling lazy :).

  125. Janssen says:

    But. . .But. . .what about the pop of a can of biscuits? 😉 I’ve never made them with canned biscuits, but that SEEMS like the main appeal.

    Also, HOW are you still posting so much when you are living in a hotel? I’m in awe!

  126. These look amazing!! I DVRd this episode and had forgotten about it! {I love that I can print out your directions instead of copying them down from the tv! THANK YOU!} Totally agree with you on the canned biscuits in monkey bread. So bad. I like to short cut with Rhodes dough in monkey breads, but you’ve convinced me to try this!

  127. Cindy Hovey says:

    I didn’t know you could make this without the canned biscuits! You haven’t let me down yet, so I’m gonna give this a try for Saturday morning breakfast!

  128. carrian says:

    waaaaah, I just told the hubby we have to go back to treats only once a week and then you post this?!!! I can’t stand the temptation!

  129. AJ says:

    You had me at monkey bread. This is a family favorite and we have always done it with frozen rhodes rolls and pudding, etc. I want to try this more homemade version though. I am going to have to experiment to see if I can make it work for overnight like I usually do. Thanks for the recipe!

  130. This is so tempting me right now. I’ve always wanted to try monkey bread

  131. Mel says:

    Fran- I wish we were in a house! I’ve been using my mom’s kitchen after driving out here with the kids when my sweet grandma passed away. But we are going back to reality this weekend…crossing our fingers that we have a place to move into next week. This has truly been an adventure going on 6 weeks of homelessness.

  132. Mel says:

    Hey everyone, the make ahead option is a great idea and one I’ll be employing on Christmas. I haven’t tried it yet but my to make the bread, coat the dough balls, place them in the pan, cover tightly with the Saran wrap and place it in the fridge overnight. I’ll take it out 2 to 3 horse before baking then bake as directed. Once I actually try the make ahead, I’ll update the recipe.

  133. Lauren says:

    This looks so delicious!!

  134. vanessa shannon says:

    Yes, the night before is what I am curious about. I make this every year on Christmas Eve but I use the Rhode’s frozen roll dough (which tastes pretty close to homemade), pour the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top and let it rise overnight. That way Christmas morning they are risen and ready to go into the oven. This recipe sounds awesome but would love to be able to make ahead 🙂

  135. Joelle says:

    Tips on making the night before would be great! I imagine you could take it to the coated, loaded in bundt pan, covered in saran wrap and then keep it in the fridge over night, remove an hour before baking (or 2?) and then bake as written? If I get home early enough, this will be in my fridge before bed!

  136. Laura says:

    I agree with you 100% about the monkey bread biscuit madness! 🙂 Will be making this for sure this week! Thanks!!

  137. Mel–how are you baking these days? Last I heard you were in a hotel! Sure hope you’re settled in new digs…

  138. Teresa R. says:

    I was going to start a new diet today, but that will have to wait till Monday. I’ll be making this today!

  139. Emily says:

    I’ve used this recipe for a few years now and I will never go back to the canned biscuits. I make is the first Sunday in April and October…my metabolism can only handle it twice a year, but it’s so worth it. My husband and kids sing about it for weeks prior, they know it’s coming. It takes about 4 hrs to make from start to finish and I use the oven method for rising the dough. I let me kids help me cut/roll the dough. It’s more work but it’s worth the time and effort.

  140. Joan says:

    I make it without canned biscuits also. I like to let it rise overnight. It works well with frozen balls of dough (Rhodes is one brand). So, I’m thinking you could freeze the 64 balls of dough on a cookie sheet and then proceed with the recipe and let it sit overnight on the counter. Alternately, I bet you could make as described and let it sit in the fridge overnight for a cool rise.

  141. Janel says:

    This is a Christmas morning tradition in my family too! I enjoy making my family homemade bread, but the ease of plopping everything in a pan in the fridge to rise overnight helps out on such a busy morning. So I am wondering the same thing as Katie – I would love tips on how to make it the night before so I can just pop it in the oven in the morning.

  142. Brooke says:

    I don’t think it’s right to be so tempted this early in the morning! I’m going to be dreaming of this until I make it so it’s gonna happen soon. Thanks for sharing!

  143. Beth says:

    THANK YOU for this recipe! I love monkey bread and would love to introduce it to my girls, but those canned biscuits are so expensive here in Canada that I’ve never shelled out the dough (ha!) to make it. Now I don’t have to!

  144. Katie says:

    Can’t wait to try this. Any ideas on how you could make this the night before and then put in oven next morning?

  145. Kim in MD says:

    I have never had monkey bread, but it looks and sounds amazing! Do you have any idea why it’s called monkey bread, Mel? Anway, I know if it’s a CI recipe, or even adapted from one, and you loved it is going to be good! 🙂

  146. Johanna says:

    This is what we have on Christmas morning. Looks like I’ll have to put in a little elbow grease this year!

  147. I love that your recipe doesn’t use canned biscuits. Can’t wait to try it!

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