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Cinnamon Monkey Bread

7 Mins read
monkey bread 5

You’ve stumbled upon the ultimate guide to making Cinnamon Monkey Bread! Ever wondered what goes into this delicious treat? Or maybe you’re curious about its history? You’re in luck!

We’ll walk you through each step of the recipe, share some handy tips, and even explore creative variations. Ready to roll up your sleeves and get baking? Let’s dive right into the world of Cinnamon Monkey Bread.

It’s simpler than you might think!

The History of Cinnamon Monkey Bread

monkey bread dough

You’re delving into the history of Cinnamon Monkey Bread, a topic that’s filled with tales from the kitchen and beyond.

This sweet, pull-apart bread traces its roots back to the 1950s in America. It’s believed that Nancy Reagan popularized it in the 1980s when she served it at the White House.

You’re probably wondering why it’s called ‘monkey bread’. The name’s inspired by the way you eat it, pulling it apart like a monkey would. Plus, its sticky, gooey texture adds to the fun.

Today, it’s a staple at family get-togethers, especially during holiday seasons. From its humble beginnings to its rise as a beloved dish, Cinnamon Monkey Bread’s history is as rich and delightful as its taste.

Decoding the Ingredients: What Goes Into Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Now that you’ve learned your monkey bread’s history, let’s decode what goes into it and how you can make this gooey delight at home. Your main ingredients are canned biscuits, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and butter. You’ll also need light brown sugar and vanilla extract for that extra burst of flavor.

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Cut each biscuit into quarters. Mix your granulated sugar and cinnamon in a bag, add the biscuit quarters, and shake until they’re coated.

Melt your butter, and stir in the brown sugar and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the biscuits in a bundt pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden and no longer doughy in the center.

There you have it, your homemade monkey bread!

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making your own delicious cinnamon monkey bread at home.

First, gather your ingredients. You’ll need canned biscuits, sugar, cinnamon, butter, and brown sugar.

Next, you’ll cut the biscuits into quarters. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bag, then toss the biscuit pieces in it.

Arrange these coated pieces into a greased bundt pan.

Now, you’re onto the sauce. Melt butter and brown sugar together until it’s a bubbly mixture. Pour this over the biscuit pieces.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

monkey bread dough balls

When it’s golden brown and the house smells like heaven, you’re done. Just be sure to let it cool before flipping it out of the pan.

Voila, you’ve made cinnamon monkey bread!

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Cinnamon Monkey Bread Every Time

By ensuring proper coating of the biscuit pieces in the sugar-cinnamon mix, and baking until golden brown, you’ll guarantee perfect cinnamon monkey bread every time. Don’t skimp on the sugar-cinnamon mix; that’s what gives the bread its signature flavor.

You might be tempted to pull it out of the oven early, but resist that urge. The golden brown color is your cue that it’s done.

If you’re worried about it sticking to the pan, use a non-stick bundt pan or apply a generous amount of butter. Remember, patience is key when letting it cool before turning it out. Rushing could lead to a crumbled mess.

Follow these tips and you’ll have a delicious, crowd-pleasing treat every time.

Creative Variations of the Classic Cinnamon Monkey Bread Recipe

Interestingly, you’re not limited to the traditional ingredients when whipping up a batch of cinnamon monkey bread; you can creatively modify the recipe to suit your taste.

Ever thought about adding some dried fruits or nuts for added texture? You can try it.

You’re also free to experiment with different types of sugar. Brown sugar can give your bread a richer flavor.

If you’re a chocolate lover, why don’t you drizzle some chocolate syrup on top or even better, incorporate chocolate chips into the dough?

Spice things up with a pinch of nutmeg or clove for a festive touch.

monkey bread in bundt pan



monkey bread 5

Cinnamon Monkey Bread

You've stumbled upon the ultimate guide to making Cinnamon Monkey Bread! Ever wondered what goes into this delicious treat? Or maybe you're curious about its history? You're in luck!
Prep Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes


  • 1 and 1/2 cups 360ml whole milk, warmed to about 110°F (43°C)
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast from Red Star 1 standard packet
  • 1/4 cup 50g granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup 5 Tbsp; 71g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups 625g all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • Coating
  • 3/4 cup 12 Tbsp; 170g unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 and 1/4 cups 250g granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup 130g packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Icing

  • 1 cup 120g confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons 45ml whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm milk, yeast, and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, butter, salt, and 1 cup flour. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the remaining flour. Beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. *If you do not own a mixer, you can mix this dough with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It will take a bit of arm muscle!*
  • Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer and beat for an additional 2 minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes.
  • 1st Rise: Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size. (I always let it rise on the counter. Takes about 2 hours. For a tiny reduction in rise time, see my answer to Where Should Dough Rise? in my Baking with Yeast Guide.)
  • Generously grease a 10-12 cup Bundt pan with butter or nonstick spray. (Nonstick spray is best for this recipe.)
  • Prepare the coating: Melt 1/2 cup (115g;1 stick) of unsalted butter in a medium bowl. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon together in another medium bowl. You will use the rest of the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla later.
  • Shape the dough: Use the video tutorial above as a guide for this step. When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Working one at a time, take small pieces of dough and roll into balls (about 1.25 inches in diameter each). You will need 40-45 balls total, so be modest with their size. Dip each ball, one by one, in the melted butter and then generously roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat them. You may need more cinnamon-sugar depending how heavy you coat each ball. Arrange the balls in the Bundt pan as you go. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel and allow the shaped monkey bread to rest for 20 minutes. The balls will slightly rise during this time.
  • Adjust oven rack to a lower position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). (It’s best to bake the monkey bread towards the bottom of the oven so the top doesn’t burn.)
  • Finish the coating: Melt remaining 1/4 cup (60g; 4 Tbsp) butter, then whisk in the brown sugar and vanilla extract. Pour evenly all over the shaped monkey bread.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cover loosely with foil if the top is browning too quickly. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then invert onto a large serving plate or cake stand.
  • Make the icing: Whisk all of the icing ingredients together. Drizzle over monkey bread. Cut the bread into generous slices or let everyone pick off the gooey pieces themselves. That’s the fun of this treat!
  • Monkey bread tastes best served on the same day. Cover leftovers tightly and store at room temperature for 1 day and in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Prepare recipe through step 4. After dough rises, punch it down to release the air, then roll into 40-45 small balls as directed in step 7. Do not coat the balls. Place shaped dough balls on a baking sheet, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Once cold, the dough balls won’t stick together anymore. Place them in a freezer bag or freezer-friendly container, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw dough balls in the refrigerator or at room temperature, prepare the coating and Bundt pan, then coat the dough balls as instructed in step 7. Continue with the recipe.
  2. Overnight Instructions: Prepare the recipe through step 3. Cover the dough tightly and refrigerate for up to about 15 hours. At least 3 hours before you serve the monkey bread the next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator, keep covered, and allow to rise on the counter for about 1-2 hours. Continue with step 5.
  3. Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Stand Mixer | Whisk | Glass Mixing Bowls | 10-12 cup Bundt Pan
  4. Yeast: Red Star Platinum yeast is an instant yeast. You can use Red Star Yeast active dry yeast instead. Rise times will be slightly longer using active dry yeast. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

What Is the Best Way to Store Leftover Cinnamon Monkey Bread to Maintain Its Freshness?

To keep leftovers fresh, you’d want to store them in an airtight container. It’s best at room temperature, but you can refrigerate it for longer storage. Just remember to warm it before serving again.

Can I Use a Different Type of Flour for the Cinnamon Monkey Bread?

Yes, you can! Substituting all-purpose flour with other types is possible. Whole wheat, almond, and oat flour are good alternatives. However, they’ll alter the texture and taste, so it’s all about personal preference.

Is There a Gluten-Free Version of the Cinnamon Monkey Bread Recipe?

Absolutely, you can make a gluten-free version. You’ll need to swap regular flour with a gluten-free blend. Just ensure it’s a one-for-one substitute, so you don’t need to adjust other ingredients. Happy baking!

Can Cinnamon Monkey Bread Be Made Vegan, and What Substitutes Would Be Needed?

Yes, you can make it vegan. Substitute regular milk with almond milk, butter with vegan margarine, and eggs with flax eggs. Ensure all other ingredients you’re using are vegan-friendly as well.

monkey bread in bundt pan 2

Can I Prepare the Dough for Cinnamon Monkey Bread in Advance and Bake It Later?

Yes, you can certainly prepare the dough in advance. Just cover it and refrigerate. When you’re ready to bake, let it reach room temperature before popping it in the oven. It’s a real time-saver!


So, you’ve traveled through the sweet history of cinnamon monkey bread, uncovered its delectable ingredients, and learned how to make it step-by-step.

monkey bread

With our tips and tricks, your monkey bread will always be a hit. Don’t forget, you can get creative and add your own spin to this classic recipe.

Now, all that’s left is to roll up your sleeves and get baking. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you!

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About author
Meet Sue Perera, the culinary aficionado behind our captivating recipe hub. An imaginative and talented young woman, Sue has an unwavering passion for all things food – especially those aromatic wonders, cinnamon and thyme. Her deep-seated love for these two unique spices inspired the birth of this website, but don't be fooled – her culinary repertoire extends far beyond these two ingredients.
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