Homemade Monkey Bread

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This is a sweet pull-apart bread that your loved ones will be talking about for months.

There is so much to love about this incredible bread. It’s somewhere in between cinnamon rolls, homemade bread, and a sticky dessert. But even better.  Perfect for the holidays, any special occasion, or just a fun weekend project.

An untouched circular loaf of homemade monkey bread on a circular white plate next to a couple mugs of coffee.

How To Make Homemade Monkey Bread

Making this from scratch is really not that difficult, you just need to give yourself some time.

Most of that time is allowing the dough to rise, twice. This means you can be doing other fun stuff while this is happening.

When you remove the pan from the bread, it is truly breathtaking.


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What Kind Of Dough to Use

Many home cooks use canned biscuits or frozen dinner rolls when making monkey bread.

Although that’s still delicious, making the bread from scratch takes it all to the next level. There are different options when choosing yeast for baking, but for this recipe, we go with Instant Dry Yeast.

EXPERT TIP: You’ll want the dough to rise (or proof) in a warm, non-drafty area. The perfect place is your cool oven. Place it in the oven and turn on the interior light. That’s just enough warmth to facilitate rising dough.

A large ceramic bowl filled with risen bread dough.

Once the dough has doubled in size, it’s time to form the bread balls.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a rough 12″x 15″ rectangle.

Melt half a stick of butter and mix together 1 cup of sugar with two teaspoons of ground cinnamon.

Pinch off a piece of dough somewhere between the size of a marble and a golf ball. Roll into a bowl, dip in the melted butter, roll in the sugar, and plop into a buttered bundt pan or angel food pan.

A person forming a ball of dough and then dipping into melted butter and then rolling it in a cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Once you used up all the dough, your pan will be filled about halfway.

Don’t worry, this is normal.

You’ll need to cover the pan with plastic wrap one more time, and let proof for another 60 to 90 minutes.

Uncooked balls of dough that are coated in butter and cinnamon sugar sitting in a greased bundt pan.

Making the Gooey Caramel Sauce

Near the end of the 2nd round of proofing, it’s time to make the super-easy sauce.

In a medium-sized saucepan, over medium heat, melt 1½ sticks (12 tbsp) of unsalted butter. Add ½ cup of dark brown sugar.

EXPERT TIP: Use a whisk to stir the brown sugar into the melted butter. Keep whisking and stirring until the butter is fully incorporated. It will eventually become a solid brown color (the yellow from the butter will no longer be visible).

Pour this over the risen bread balls and allow the sauce to seep down throughout the pan and on the sides.

Caramel sauce being poured from a saucepan onto a bundt pan filled with risen balls of bread dough.

When To Serve Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread made from scratch is truly something special.

Which means it’s perfect for serving on a special occasion.

Imagine serving this on Christmas morning. Or at a baby shower brunch. Or, just an easy-breezy Sunday morning.

EXPERT TIP: To serve this in the morning, allow the 2nd round of proofing to happen in the refrigerator overnight. Set out on the counter an hour before baking. And then bake about 45 minutes before serving.

A bundt pan filled with cooked monkey bread sitting on a baking rack.

Serving, Storing, and Reheating

This bread is so much fun to serve to guests because everyone has a great time pulling their own pieces of monkey bread. Be sure to serve nice and warm.

The bread will keep (if there is any left) covered, on the counter, for several days.

You can easily reheat the bread in the microwave for just a few seconds.

Homemade monkey bread with a few pieces missing on a white round platter next to a glass cup of coffee. wi

Of all the food that has come out of the “How To Feed a Loon” kitchen, this is, without a doubt, one of our all-time favorites.

It’s heartwarming, delicious, and just so much fun.

Perfect for serving family and friends. Just amazing.

A small white plate holding several pieces of monkey bread and a silver fork.

Ready to make the best monkey bread ever? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowtoFeedaLoon!

An untouched circular loaf of homemade monkey bread on a circular white plate next to a couple mugs of coffee.

Homemade Monkey Bread

Homemade Monkey Bread is always a huge hit when served to family and friends. Making the bread from scratch is not difficult, you just need to allow time. See NOTES for how to serve this fresh in the morning.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast / Brunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make monkey bread, monkey bread made from scratch
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Proofing (Dough Rising): 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 604kcal


  • 1 bundt cake pan or angel food cake pan


For the Dough

  • 1 cup whole milk warm, 115°F
  • cup water warm 115°F
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
  • tsp instant dry yeast or active dry yeast, 1 package
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt

For the Monkey Bread

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted, plus more (softened) for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon ground

For the Caramel Sauce

  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter 1½ sticks
  • ½ cup brown sugar dark


Make the Dough

  • In a large measuring cup, add the milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Gently whisk. Set aside for about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, add the flour and salt. Mix with the dough hook for about 1 minute to combine.
  • With the mixer on medium-low, slowly pour the butter/yeast mixture into the flour. Continue mixing until a loose ball of dough forms. You may need to stop and scrape down the edges with a spatula.
  • Turn the mixer to medium and mix for 7 minutes, until the dough is soft and elastic.
  • Use your hands to remove the dough from the hook and bowl. Place on a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough for about 30 seconds. Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball, smooth the edges with your fingers.
  • Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough into the bowl and turn it over a couple of times to coat it with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, non-drafty area for about 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough has nearly doubled in size.

Form the Monkey Bread

  • After the dough has risen, transfer it from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a rough 10"x 13" rectangle.
  • Grease the cake pan (bundt or angel food) liberally with softened butter and a paper towel. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the sugar with the cinnamon. Melt the butter in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Use your fingers to pinch off a piece of dough and form it into a ball. It should be somewhere between a marble and a golf ball in size. Roll the dough in the melted butter and then roll it around in the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place in the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining dough, and fill the pan evenly (the pan will only be about half full at this point).
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in a warm, non-drafty area for another 60 to 90 minutes.

Finish Off the Monkey Bread

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • About 15 minutes before baking the bread, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and whisk until fully combined and uniform in color, about 4 minutes.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and gently pour the butter/brown sugar sauce all over the top. Very gently tap the sides of the pan to help the sauce seep down throughout the pan and bread. This takes a couple of minutes, you should see air bubbles appear as the sauce fills in around the bread balls.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Place a flat plate on the top of the pan and very carefully invert the pan. Tap on the pan in a few places to help the bread release from the pan. Gently remove the pan from the bread. Serve at once.


See the video near the top of the post for visual guidance.  If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Instead of making the bread from scratch, you can use 2 cans of non-flaky biscuits or frozen dinner rolls.  No need to allow any time for proofing.  Though the monkey bread will still be delicious, the homemade bread takes it to another level.
To serve this in the morning, prepare the recipe as is all the way up to the 2nd round of proofing, but instead of letting the monkey bread proof in a warm, non-drafty area, cover with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge.  The next morning, allow the dough to rest on the counter for about an hour while you prepare the caramel sauce.  Bake as indicated in the recipe.
Leftovers can be covered and kept on the counter for up to several days, or refrigerated and cover for up to 5 or 6 days.  The cooked monkey bread can be frozen for up to 2 months. 


Calories: 604kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 604mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 838IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!


  • 5 stars
    Another great recipe. When my husband and I feel like making something, we go straight to your site. Why bother anywhere else? Your attention to detail and dedication to providing great recipes really shows. Thanks for all you do. Your recipes have fed hundreds here in Albuquerque, NM.

    When does the cookbook come out?????
    Well, until then, I have my how-to-feed a loon recipe binder. lol

    • Hi Luke! We’ve got a cookbook in the works! They take some time, but, there is a growing demand for it! Before too long, we promise! Thank you again so much for your continued support!

  • 5 stars
    Hi guys! I made this recipe yesterday–outstanding!! Really delicious. It got my son’s highest rating (that would be “bangin’,” if you recall…). I would like your input on something, though. I followed the recipe to the letter. The dough was kneaded for the recommended 7 minutes. It was VERY, VERY sticky. If it’s supposed to be like that, fine. But the directions mentioned smoothing the ball of dough with your fingers. There was no way I could do that. Am I doing something wrong?

    • Hi Rhonda! Well, on the bright side…you got a ‘bangin’ review from your son!! The dough is quite sticky. There are slight variables that can make it extra sticky. If that happens again, just add some flour to your surface and make sure your hands a nicely floured, and work the dough until you can form it into a ball. I’ll update the recipe to reflect that. Sorry you had that issue, but, so so happy it still turned out great! And…we are so happy that you made the bread! It’s one of our favorites and we’ve been really hoping that folks try it! Thank you for sharing and for the GREAT review! That means the world to us! xoxo Kris & Wesley

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