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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Homemade Monkey Bread
- 1 bundt cake pan or angel food cake pan
For the Dough
- 1 cup whole milk warm, 115°F
- ⅓ cup water warm 115°F
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- 2¼ tsp instant dry yeast or active dry yeast, 1 package
- 3¼ 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 bowl, 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.