This ooey-gooey Monkey Bread is ready in 30 minutes! Buttery biscuits coated in cinnamon, sugar, and a sticky caramel sauce. Serve warm with tangy cream cheese frosting for the ultimate breakfast or treat!
This is the best monkey bread ever. Hello, chewy, fluffy biscuits, cinnamon sugar butterscotch pudding coating, and warm, sticky caramel <– DROOL.
Not only is this SO DARN irresistible, it’s also ridiculously easy to make!
What is monkey bread?
Monkey bread is a soft and gooey sweet bread made up of little balls of dough. It’s typically baked in a bundt pan and coated with a sticky and sweet cinnamon sugar icing.
Today we’re making it easy by using cake pans and refrigerated biscuit dough!
Why is it called monkey bread?
Monkey bread is served pull-apart style meaning everyone eating just tears off small pieces from the larger chunk of bread! It’s similar to how monkeys pick at their food, hence the name “monkey bread.”
- Granulated Sugar, Instant Butterscotch Pudding Mix, and Ground Cinnamon – cinnamon sugar coating with a flavor twist! This delicious blend coats the dough before baking to add tons of sweetness and flavor.
- Refrigerated Biscuit Dough – monkey bread should be quick and easy, so we’re using pre-made biscuit dough! It’s so soft, fluffy, and butter-y! Why mess with perfection?!
- Chopped Pecans – adds delicious crunchy texture to an otherwise ooey-gooey dessert bread.
- Unsalted Butter, Dark Brown Sugar, Vanilla Extract, and Salt – creates a warm, caramel-y, and sweet and salty syrup to drizzle over the dough.
How to make
There are three parts to monkey bread: the dough (hello refrigerated biscuits), the sugar coating, and the caramel sauce. Don’t be intimated by the caramel, it’s SO quick and easy.
- Cut each biscuit of dough into quarters.
- Place sugar, pudding mix, and cinnamon in a gallon-sized ziplock baggie and shake to combine.
- Add in biscuit dough and pecans then shake until fully coated.
- Dump the dough evenly into two greased cake pans and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter, add in brown sugar, then remove from heat and add vanilla and salt.
- Pour the brown sugar/butter mixture evenly over the dough in each pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes then cool, serve, and enjoy.
How do you know when monkey bread is done?
You’ll know your monkey bread is done when the dough balls have puffed up and are slightly browned and crispy on top.
You can also use a knife to cut into one of the dough balls; if you don’t see raw dough, you’re good to go!
Should monkey bread be doughy?
Yes! It should still be slightly doughy and soft, but not raw, when you take it out of the oven. Make sure you don’t overcook it! You want your bread to be gooey and soft, not dry and hard.
This monkey bread is pretty darn incredible as-is but if you want to switch it up, here are some yummy ideas!
- Use a different pudding. If butterscotch isn’t your thing, try vanilla, cheesecake, pistachio, etc.
- Try a different nut. Chopped walnuts, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts would also be delicious.
- Omit the nuts. Don’t like nuts? No problem. Just leave them out! Although, they do provide an amazing crunch!
- Use cinnamon roll dough. Make it even sweeter with cinnamon roll dough instead of regular biscuit dough.
- Add chocolate. Layer on some chocolate chips or use Nutella as a dipping frosting.
How to serve monkey bread
Classic monkey bread is served pull-apart style, meaning everyone just grabs smaller pieces off of the larger chunk of bread.
I typically just leave the bread in the baking pans and serve as is, but feel free to turn the contents of each cake pan onto two separate plates, set them in the center of the table, and let whoever is eating dig in! Be sure to do this relatively soon after they’ve finished baking and run a knife along the edges so the caramel doesn’t harden and set against the pan.
I love to serve it up with the cream cheese frosting from my cinnamon roll recipe for dipping!
Can monkey bread be made ahead of time?
Yep! You can prep your monkey bread up to a day in advance.
To do this, toss the dough in the cinnamon/sugar mixture, layer it in the pans, then cover and refrigerate overnight. When you’re ready to bake, combine the two and bake as directed!
I don’t recommend making the caramel in advance, because it may harden or crystalize.
How to store
Store leftover monkey bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for an hour (if frozen) then warm in the oven or microwave!
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 (3.4 oz) package instant butterscotch pudding mix
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 (16.4 oz) cans refrigerated biscuit dough each biscuit quartered (each can should contain 8 biscuits)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1/2 cup = 1 stick)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Cream cheese icing for serving, if desired*
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease 2 (9 inch) round non-stick cake pans generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place granulated sugar, butterscotch pudding mix, and cinnamon into a gallon sized ziplock bag.
- Seal and shake to combine.
- Add in quartered biscuits and pecans, then gently shake until fully coated in the cinnamon sugar mixture - some of the sugar won’t stick, that’s ok.
- Dump evenly into the 2 prepared pans. Set aside.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan.
- Once melted, whisk in brown sugar and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for 1 minute, whisking constantly, then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
- Pour the hot liquid evenly over the 2 pans.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the biscuits have cooked through.
- Let bread cool slightly, then serve and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.