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 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!