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 I Love This Recipe
This is one of my most popular recipes and has been viewed more than 3 Million times! Homemade monkey bread has similar flavors to cinnamon rolls but is much easier to make. Here are just a few reasons why everyone loves this recipe.
Perfect for Holidays
We always looked forward to Granny making this monkey bread every summer when we had an extended family vacation. It was a highlight for everyone!
But it definitely makes a great treat on holiday mornings too. Especially on Christmas morning.
You can even make monkey bread in a Dutch Oven over a campfire.
Basically, I'm saying you should find any excuse to make it.
Make It Ahead of Time
This recipe can be prepared the night before so you can easily pop it in the oven in the morning. It's an easy recipe that even the most novice bakers can master.
Canned Biscuit Dough
The heart of monkey bread lies in its dough. Using refrigerated biscuit dough, you'll create small balls of dough that will transform into heavenly bites of goodness. Not only does using canned biscuit dough make this recipe super quick and easy to make, but the butter in the dough melts during the baking process.
This is definitely a treat everyone should experience at least once. It is gooey, perfectly sweet, and everyone's favorite.
- Canned biscuit dough
- Granulated sugar
- Golden brown sugar
- Melted butter
- Ground cinnamon
How To Make This Easy Monkey Bread Recipe:
Prepare the Dough
Separate the biscuits and cut each one into four equal bite-sized pieces. Clean kitchen scissors work better than a knife.
Combine the white sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl or plastic bag. Drop each of the dough pieces in the sugar-cinnamon mixture and shake it around to coat. Gently arrange the cinnamon-sugar biscuit pieces into a greased pan.
Make the Brown Sugar Mixture
In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and butter. Add ½ cup of the remaining sugar-cinnamon mixture to the butter mixture (you can discard the remaining sugar mixture or use it for another recipe).
Gently heat the mixture to melt the butter and bring it just to a boil. Then, immediately remove it from heat. Stir the mixture until the sugars have fully dissolved. Do not overcook the syrup; you simply want to help the sugar dissolve.
Bake the Monkey Bread
Carefully drizzle the warm buttery brown sugar sauce over the rolled dough balls in the pan.
Arrange the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. The cooking time may vary depending on the oven and the type of pan used.
Continue cooking until the 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 browning too much and the center is still not at 190°F, lower the monkey bread in your oven and/or cover it with foil to prevent over-browning.
Once you take the monkey bread out of the oven, allow the pan to rest for about 5 minutes, then cover it with a large serving plate and invert. To eat, pull the desired amount off with your fingers (like a monkey would) and enjoy the gooey sweet sinful treat.
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! This delightful treat, also known as bubble bread or pull-apart bread, has been a staple in many households for generations.
It is sometimes difficult to tell when the monkey bread has cooked through. Cooking times can always vary depending on the size of the pan, starting temperature of the dough, placement in the oven, etc.
For best results, place the pan in the 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.
Yes. You can make it ahead of time and cook it the next day. 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.
This monkey bread recipe is best enjoyed in a Bundt pan or a fluted tube pan because of the round shape with an open center. You can also use other variations of deep baking dishes. Just be sure they are at least a 12-cup capacity.
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.
My loyalty will always lie with Granny's old-fashioned monkey bread because it is overflowing 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!
You can also try my Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread and Apple Fritter Monkey Bread which I made using homemade dough from scratch.
Full Recipe Instructions
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!
This is the perfect recipe. I cannot believe how much this Recipe does NOT need to be changed…I mean spot on with EVERYTHING
I made this for Thanksgiving and the whole thing disappeared. I made it again for a potluck and added 1/8 cup Jack Daniels and used all dark brown sugar and WHOA.
Ummmmm... I think I'll follow your method next time. YUM!
Hi Krissy! I'd really like to try it with the Jack Daniels as well. Could you suggest how to best add it so the monkey bread doesn't get soggy? Or reach out to Shelby and ask her how SHE did it? Thanks so much!
I would add the JD to the melted butter. I might try making it with 1/4 cup but would let it cook down a bit so the alcohol flavor isn't so strong. I don't think it'll make it soggy. I just might have to make a whiskey monkey bread based on this feedback!
Hi! Did you take anything out to add the Jack Daniels or no? I want to try it! I just want to make sure the consistency isn't too runny! Thank you!
Shelby- what’s the receipt /how much jack to make it.???
Is it possible to bake this the night before and serve the following day? I have to bring it into my office and there is no oven there. I would probably recommend that people heat up whatever they plan to eat in the microwave before eating it? Will it still taste good?
Sorry for the late reply. Yup! Fresh is best but it definitely still tastes good the next day.
CAN I bake this in air fryer?
Hi Susan, I have never done that but since air frying is basically just convection baking, I think it would work. I would plan on it cooking faster and getting crispier on top (which actually sounds wonderful). Just keep an eye on it and take it out when it's done.
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. 🙂