Gooey Monkey Bread is sweet and sticky, made with buttermilk biscuit dough, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ready in under 45 minutes!
You’ll love making both savory AND sweet breakfast dishes for every occasion, especially around the holidays, like this Breakfast Casserole, Easy Cinnamon Rolls (in 1 Hour!) and Easy French Toast Bake!
Monkey Bread is a holiday favorite breakfast (a Christmas morning tradition for many!) that is incredibly EASY to throw together because it uses store-bought buttermilk biscuit dough and a few extra ingredients you already have in your pantry like cinnamon, brown sugar, and unsalted butter.
It may sound like the ingredients aren’t that special, but together what you get is a sweet bread that tastes like a mix between a dessert and a coffee cake, with a caramel brown sugar mixture holding it all together.
Monkey Bread is a kid-friendly recipe from start to finish. The dough cooks up like dumplings so they have a great time pulling it apart. The dough is also perfect for kids to help with, a plastic knife is all you need to cut it into quarters for this recipe.
Want to make this more homemade? You can always make Biscuits for dinner the night before, and reserve half of the dough for the next morning in the refrigerator.
If your store doesn’t have biscuit dough, you can use another pop-open can of dinner roll dough to make this. The taste and texture of the classic biscuit dough version is preferred, but once you coat it in melted butter and cinnamon sugar, you might not even notice a switch in the dough you’re using.
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Frequently Asked Questions
This is traditionally called monkey bread because the cake is made up of little dough pieces, making it easy to pull apart with your hands, like a monkey would eat it.
It’s also called golden dumpling cake, monkey puzzle bread, and pinch-me cake, and is meant to be served while it is still warm so you can easily pluck it apart. A lot of families serve this sweet bread on Christmas morning.
Instead of melting the butter and brown sugar together, you can use a homemade caramel sauce for this monkey bread recipe instead. Here’s a homemade caramel sauce recipe, which would be the perfect sweet and sticky match for this monkey bread recipe!
Yes, you can assemble the monkey bread entirely, then cover it in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Store-bought dough makes this really easy. You don’t have to worry about the yeast rising too much and ruining the dough.
Monkey bread can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature overnight. We don’t recommend refrigerating bread after you’ve cooked the dough because it will go stale faster.
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Homemade Monkey Bread (From Scratch!)
This recipe uses store-bought buttermilk biscuit dough, but you can definitely make this homemade monkey bread from scratch by using the dough from our recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits. Just rip the dough into biscuit-sized balls and follow the rest of the recipe as written. Plus you can save some dough for later and make biscuits for dinner!
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Tips for Making Monkey Bread
- Try adding a touch of maple syrup to the brown sugar butter mixture, then topping the finished monkey bread with pieces of cooked bacon.
- If you’re serving this bread for a holiday, make it more festive by dusting with powdered sugar and cinnamon right before serving. You can also drizzle with some icing and top with chopped pecans.
- Use a non-stick bundt pan to make flipping the bread onto a plate easier.
- Instead of combining the brown sugar and butter on the stove, you can save time by melting the butter in a small bowl in the microwave for 1 minute at a time, then whisk in the brown sugar until well-combined before pouring over the biscuit dough.
- If you don’t have a bundt pan, you can make this in a loaf pan by cutting the cooking total time down by about half, then check it every 10 minutes or so until it’s done.
How to Store Monkey Bread
- Serve: This recipe is best served immediately after baking. Let cool for five minutes then serve so the sugars can set and cool a little.
- Store: This recipe can be stored at room temperature overnight in an airtight container or in the refrigerator for 2-3 days before it becomes too stale. Warm gently in a microwave.
- Freeze: You can freeze monkey bread wrapped tightly for up to 3-4 weeks. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight. This is best served warm, after it’s defrosted. Wrap in tinfoil and warming in the oven for a total time of 6-8 minutes at 325 degrees F, just until the bread is warmed through. This makes the butter and sugar mixture softer so the bread will easily pull apart.
- 3 12-ounce packages refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough , each cut into quarters
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar , packed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and add the sugar, cinnamon and biscuit quarters to a ziplock bag and shake well.
- Add the pieces to a bundt pan.
- Add the butter and brown sugar to a medium saucepan on medium heat and bring to a boil for one minute before pouring onto the bundt pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, remove from oven, let cool for 10-15 minutes then place a plate over the bottom of the bundt pan and flip over to remove.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.