Granny's Monkey Bread is a sweet, gooey, sinful cinnamon sugar breakfast treat made with store-bought canned biscuit dough (in a tube) and lots of butter. This recipe is incredibly easy to make and is seriously the best monkey bread recipe ever!
Why this recipe works:
This is my most popular recipe and has been viewed more than 3 Million times! Here are just a few reasons why everyone loves this recipe.
- Easy to make ahead: This recipe can be prepared the night before so you can easily pop it in the oven in the morning. Or, because this monkey bread is so quick and easy to put together, you can simply assemble and bake the same morning you plan on devouring it.
- Canned biscuit dough: I used homemade biscuit dough in Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread and Apple Fritter Monkey Bread recipes, but it really doesn't get much easier than making monkey bread with canned biscuits.
This is definitely a treat everyone should experience at least once. It is gooey, perfectly sweet, and everyone's favorite.
Five simple ingredients needed:
- You'll need a total of 24 ounces of biscuit dough. I use three 8-ounce tubes of buttermilk canned biscuits from Trader Joe's. Opening those pressurized cans is like torture for me, but I put on a brave face and do it anyway. For my readers outside of the US who can't find canned biscuit dough, you can make your own homemade dough or use pizza or bread dough, although it will taste a bit more dry.
- Both granulated sugar and golden brown sugar.
- One cup of butter. That's two sticks! It's worth it.
- And, of course, cinnamon. If you're familiar with my recipes, you'll know that I often substitute pumpkin pie spice for cinnamon, so feel free to do so with this recipe if you wish.
How to make this easy monkey bread recipe:
Full instructions can be found in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.
- Cut dough: The biscuit dough will need to be cut into small bite sized pieces. Clean kitchen shears work better than a knife. You'll toss these dough pieces in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon and then set them in the prepared pan.
- Dissolve sugar in butter: The syrup is made by combining ½ cup of that sugar-cinnamon mixture along with the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan. You'll bring it to a boil and then immediately remove it from the heat to help dissolve the sugars. This mixture gets drizzled over the dough in the pan.
- Bake and invert: Pop it in the oven and bake for about a half hour. When it's still warm, you'll cover the pan with a plate and invert it. Take care not to burn those fingers when fighting for the first bite!
Cooking Tips and FAQs:
What is monkey bread?
Although there are endless variations, monkey bread is basically bite sized pieces of dough baked with other ingredients that tie all the flavors together. The most common variation is exactly what you see here, made with butter, sugar, and cinnamon.
It is believed that monkey bread got its name because it is eaten by people picking off pieces and putting them straight into their mouths. Much like you would picture how a monkey eats!
How can you tell when it's done?
It is sometimes difficult to tell when the monkey bread has cooked through. Cooking times can always vary depending on size of pan, starting temperature of dough, placement in oven, etc.
For best results, place pan in center of the oven and cook roughly 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Most importantly, ensure the internal temperature has reached 190°F by using a digital thermometer.
Can you make it ahead of time?
Yes. You can make it ahead of time. Simply prepare the recipe as written and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake it. Keep in mind you'll either need to increase the cooking time or allow it to come closer to room temperature before baking.
This recipe really is easy enough to make the morning of, though.
What kind of pan is best?
This monkey bread recipe is best enjoyed in a Bundt pan or a fluted tube pan because of the round shape with open center. You can also use other variations of deep baking dishes. Just be sure they are at least a 12-cup capacity.
Can you double the recipe?
I get asked this question all the time. Unless you have a baking dish with a 24-cup capacity, you cannot double the recipe. You can, however, make two batches and use two separate pans.
Monkey bread variations:
My loyalty will always lie with Granny's old fashioned monkey bread because it is over flowing with buttery cinnamon-sugar goodness.
If you want to get creative, though, you can certainly add fresh fruit or pie filling, nuts, chocolate chips, caramel sauce, or even marshmallows!
It's not just for the holidays.
Everyone makes this monkey bread on Christmas morning. If it's not yet a tradition in your house, it should be. But it definitely doesn't have to be a once-a-year-treat.
Want to be a rock star parent? Next time you go camping, delight your kids when you make Monkey Bread on the campfire in the Dutch oven. Can you imagine a better treat to wake up to?
How about enjoying a batch on a vacation morning? This is one of those recipes that just becomes tradition.
Full RECIPE and VIDEO below!
Watch me re-create this gooey masterpiece.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave me a comment below to let me know what you think!
Granny's Monkey Bread Recipe
CLICK TO PLAY RECIPE VIDEO
- 24 ounces refrigerated biscuit dough (I used three 8-ounce packages of buttermilk biscuits - use whatever size as long as it totals around 24oz)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon (or you can use pumpkin pie spice)
- 1 cup butter (salted or unsalted)
- ½ cup golden brown sugar (packed )
- Prepare pan: Heavily grease Bundt or fluted tube pan with butter (12-cup capacity). Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare the dough: Separate biscuits and cut each one into four equal bite-sized pieces. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a bowl or plastic bag. Drop roll each piece of dough in the sugar-cinnamon mixture and shake around to coat. Gently arrange the cinnamon-sugar biscuit pieces into the prepared pan.
- Heat syrup: In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar and butter. Add ½ cup of the remaining sugar-cinnamon mixture (discard remaining or use for another recipe). Gently heat to melt butter and bring mixture just to a boil and then immediately remove from heat. Stir until sugars have fully dissolved. Do not overcook the syrup; you simply want to help the sugar dissolve. Carefully drizzle the warm mixture over the rolled dough balls in the pan.
- Bake: Arrange pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Time may vary; see note below.
- Invert: Allow pan to rest for about 5 minutes, then cover with a large plate and invert. To eat, pull the desired amount off with your fingers (like a monkey would) and enjoy the gooey sweet sinful treat.
- To prepare the night before, follow all steps except the baking part. Cover and refrigerate. Bake as directed in the morning (may need a few extra minutes if its cold).
- Use the kids! Although the heating and melting of the butter should be handled by the adults, let the little ones cut the dough with kitchen scissors and dip each dough ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture!
- Cooking time may vary depending on oven and pan used. Continue cooking until tops are starting to crisp and turn golden brown. To be entirely sure that the monkey bread is fully cooked and not doughy in the center, use a thermometer to verify that the middle has reached 190°F. If the top is getting overly cooked and the center is still not at 190°F, lower the monkey bread in your oven or cover with foil to prevent over-browning.
This recipe has been viewed over 3 million times since it was originally posted in September 2014 and has been updated with more helpful tips based on reader questions. Don't worry - the recipe hasn't changed!
My grandmother used to make this recipe, completely from scratch, and her monkey bread was the absolute best! Even using her recipe, I couldn’t duplicate hers. Obviously I can taste the difference in the dough, but I’ve gotta say, this is really yummy! A close second to grandma’s. ♥️
This monkey bread is so good! It's easy too! I barely get any when I make it!
I received a pound of maple sugar for Christmas. Do you think the cinnamon would over power the maple? Any tweaks you can thin of to make a really special Maple monkey bread?
Oh man. That sounds like heaven. Maple sugar is sweeter so you can probably use less and have it turn out just as sweet. If you try it, will you let me know how it turned out?
Do you have to let monkey bread call after you cook it before you put the icing on top
I don't put additional icing on this monkey bread
Amazing! The reviews I’ve gotten have been superb. And I myself can agree it’s the best I’ve ever baked and eaten
This looks delicious! I make monkey bread every Christmas. Here are two things I do to save time:
1) I lay out the biscuits on a cutting board and cut them with a pizza cutter
2) I put the cinnamon sugar mixture in a paper lunch bag and shake the dough pieces in them in four batches. Shake and bake!
Have made this at least 4 times since thanksgiving my family loves it
Love it! Thanks for letting me know. I hope you're planning on making it on Christmas morning too!
I’m sorry if this has already been asked—is dark brown sugar or light brown sugar used?
Thank you in advance!
Light brown sugar. I should specify in the recipe. Thanks for pointing that out!
My monkey bread comes out sugary, not gooey. What is wrong?
I wonder if it either needed more time or it was too high in the oven?
I have made this 3 times since Christmas. My family loves it. During Christmas the store did not have the biscuits so I bought a bag of frozen cinnamon rolls and cut them up in 4 pieces each. It tastes so much better and the bag comes with icing if desired.
This monkey bread was absolutely incredible!!! So easy to make. Everyone in my family loved it so much 🤩
Make this quite often, always a favorite. My church loves it when i bring it
Incredible! It’s so simple and easy, but very good. The whole family loves it
You need a print button so I can print instead of writing it down.
Every recipe on my site has a print button.
If there is no print button You can always right click, and copy the recipe. Paste it into a word document or notepad that comes on your computer. Then print.
The print button is always on the recipe card
This monkey bread is awesome! I made it for my husband because I’m not crazy about cinnamon and then it looked so good that I had to have a bite. I didn’t stop there and we truly enjoyed it! Thank you
My first time making Monkey Bread. This is great!
I am looking forward to trying this to take to the beach this weekend
My cop buddies expect this every week ! They love it ! No more doughnuts .. it’s monkey bread now !!!
😂🤣😂🤣😂 The no more donuts part got me.
Jeremy Scott Brooks
Well, hello, Jen. My name is Jeremy and for this recipe, instead of using the cans of biscuits, which have a lot of bad stuff in them. My mom says they have a lot of bad stuff in them. I would use a bag of frozen bread rolls and some healthy ingredients. I do not like canned biscuits.
Amazing! I only had one 16 oz cans of biscuits which is 2/3 (8x2 instead of x3) of 24 oz so I scaled down the other ingredients accordingly and baked it in a 9x9” square pan. It came out perfect!
I added chopped pecans to mine which I highly recommend
Going to make this for Easter morning. Do u think it would ruin it if I rolled the dough in butterscotch cook and serve pudding powder and 1/2 off the sugar to make it even more caramely??
Sorry for the late reply! This is one of my most popular recipes and I never deviate unless its something simple like adding chopped nuts.
I was thinking the same thing, Lyncie! I make a killer Praline Coffee Cake with Rhodes rolls and butterscotch pudding.
The Monkey bread tasted AMAZING thanks for the recipe btw good choice on the toppings. 🙂