Desserts, Meals, Snacks

Sunday Morning Treat: Monkey Bread

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any weight gain that might result from your inevitable addiction to the delicious, gooey, cinnamony, caramel-drenched bread described in this post.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you about monkey bread. Chances are, you’ve heard about or eaten this dish, which consists of bite-sized chunks of biscuit dough, dusted with cinnamon and sugar, bathed in melted butter and brown sugar, then baked in a bundt pan. I made a savory version with garlic butter and parmesan in seventh-grade home ec class, but I’d never had the sweet version until last year, when my good friend Ann came for a weekend visit. She had told me about the dangerous, addictive qualities of this bread, and how even the cold leftovers call out to you to nibble on them throughout the day, and how the hardened bits of caramel that collect on the plate are a perfect ice cream topping, but for whatever reason, I never made it. When she visited, she declared that on Sunday morning, we were going to make monkey bread.

Make it we did, and a part of me wishes we never had, because I’m pretty sure my waistline has expanded a few inches since I’ve been introduced to monkey bread. It’s so sinful that I don’t make it unless we have brunch guests, which means that we got to make it this morning because my friend Wa and her son spent the night. My boys were super excited; they love helping me make it, and of course they adore eating it. There are many recipes for monkey bread, but the one Ann introduced me to is Pastor Ryan’s Monkey Bread from The Pioneer Woman Cooks. 


  • Three tubes of buttermilk biscuits (do not buy the “flaky” ones). At my store, they actually sell a bundle of four Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits with a monkey bread recipe printed on the wrapper. Each tube in the bundle is smaller than standard size, so if you get it, you should use all four tubes.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter (that would be two sticks. Yes, I said two)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon (I prefer three)
  • 1 gallon-size zip-top bag
  • 1 bundt pan*

*For the love of God, please do not make the same mistake I made when Ann was here. She asked if I had a  bundt pan, and I said, “No, but I’m sure the angel food cake pan I have will do just fine! I mean, it has a hole in the middle, just like a bundt pan!” Ann asked me if I was sure, since the angel food pan has a removable center that might not work so well with the cup and a half of gooey caramel that’s poured onto the biscuits in the pan. I didn’t heed her warning. Let’s just say that unless you want to spend an hour cleaning the burnt caramel off the bottom of your oven, stick with a bundt pan, shown below:

THIS is a bundt pan. Notice that the center is not removable!

If you don’t have one, it’s worth your time and $10 to go buy one, even if you only ever make monkey bread in it. I promise. In fact, monkey bread is so good that even with half the caramel gone, the result was delicious.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put the butter and brown sugar in a small pan and set it to melt over a low flame. Stir occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, open up the biscuit tubes and cut each biscuit into quarters. You can use a knife, but I prefer to use my kitchen shears. I pile the little pieces on a cutting board.

    My younger son shaking up the biscuit pieces

  4. Place the cup of white sugar in the zip-top bag, along with the desired amount of cinnamon. Close the bag and shake it or mush it to thoroughly mix the sugar and cinnamon. (By the way, at this point, check on that brown sugar and butter mixture. It’s probably melted; if so, turn off the heat. It’s OK if the butter and brown sugar are separated; you can stir it together later.)
  5. Then, open the bag and drop in the biscuit pieces. I like to stop every once in a while, close up the bag, and shake it to make sure the biscuit pieces don’t all stick together in one big lump, and also to help evenly coat each piece. If you have kids, they’d probably love to help you drop the pieces in and shake the bag. In fact, my boys sing a little song to the tune of Hokey Pokey while we’re doing this: You put the monkeys in/Don’t take the monkeys out/You put the monkeys in/And you shake ’em all about/You’re makin’ monkey bread/And you’re havin’ so much fun/That’s what it’s all about/Monkey bread!

    My sons giving the biscuit pieces their final shake

  6. Once all the biscuit pieces are in the bag, close up the bag and give it a few good, hard shakes. Again, kids love to help out with this part! My sons and I have yet another song that we sing for the “final shake,” sung to the tune of KC & The Sunshine Band’s (Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty: Shake shake shake/shake shake shake/shake your monkeys/shake your monkeys(repeat several times). Making monkey bread is a very musical affair at our house.
  7. Empty the contents of the bag into your bundt pan. Stir the brown sugar and butter mixture if it’s separated, then pour the delicious goo over the bread. Mmm. Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  8. Once the monkey bread is done, remove it from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before inverting it onto a plate (inverting it onto a plate is what gives the bread its amazingly gooey look, since the caramel sauce is usually settled on the bottom of the pan).

    Monkey bread, fresh from the oven, before inverting onto a plate

Now, the only thing left to do is serve the monkey bread. We don’t have a song for this part, as we’re too busy stuffing our faces.

This will go straight to your thighs, but it's worth it

If it makes you feel better, round out the monkey bread with some fruit, eggs and turkey sausage, as I always do. It helps me feel like I’m at least serving some healthy things with the mound of sugar, butter and carbs. Happy Sunday, everyone!

About Saucy Mommy

I'm Beverly, a mom of two who loves to cook and write. Check out my blog at for family-friendly (but tasty) meal ideas and pictures of bento box lunches.


16 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Treat: Monkey Bread

  1. HOLY CRAP that last picture is DIVINE! I can’t believe it’s been so long since Erik and I have made this. Why have we been denying ourselves?? Insanity.

    I can’t stop staring at the picture of the finished product. Absolute perfection, Beverly.

    Posted by Ann Cox | October 23, 2011, 5:32 pm
  2. Thank you, Ann!! Although really, right now I want to curse you for the several pounds of monkey bread sitting in my stomach. So, you introduced this to me, and now you go and be all good and restrain yourself from making it?! I command you to go make this right now. You need to try that variation I keep reading about, where you tuck cream cheese inside some of the biscuit nuggets!

    Thanks for the compliment about that last photo! I love it too. It was trickier to capture the whole thing, but easier to get up close on a section!

    Posted by Saucy Mommy | October 23, 2011, 6:43 pm
    • The cream cheese inside sounds good, I read a recipe where they used apples inside. Now all I can think of is how good it would be with cream cheese and apples!

      Posted by janet greenwood | October 12, 2013, 2:34 pm
      • Yummmmmmm!!!! That sounds amazingly decadent!! I hope you have a great bday celebration. Wonderful idea to make monkey bread instead of cake 🙂

        Posted by Saucy Mommy | October 14, 2013, 9:30 am
  3. Looks so good! Reading about the lyrics to the Monkey Bread-making songs is almost as cute as hearing them in person. Wish I could have been there today, but I’m sure there will be leftovers for me tomorrow, right? 😉

    Posted by Johnny | October 23, 2011, 7:42 pm
  4. Love the song that goes with it! Makes it feel like all recipes should have an accompanying song. 😉

    Posted by Jennifer Harsany Simpson | October 24, 2011, 6:43 am
  5. *drool* I want some…

    Posted by Chantel Hisko | October 24, 2011, 4:52 pm
  6. Maybe, Johnny. 😉

    Posted by Wa | October 24, 2011, 6:11 pm
  7. Made this today after Erica R. told me about this recipe on your blog. Thanks for sharing! It was delicious!

    Posted by Sarah Falcon | December 11, 2011, 10:28 am
  8. This looks so good!!! I am making this for my birthday instead of a cake. We added lots of Pecans to it also. Thanks for the recipe.

    Posted by janet greenwood | October 12, 2013, 2:33 pm

    Posted by LISA D FAIRCLOTH | November 25, 2013, 2:00 pm
  10. I will be trying this recipe for my daughters bday/easter brunch this Sunday, mmmm looks delicious!!!!

    Posted by Angela | April 16, 2014, 8:36 am
  11. Unfortunately all the mesuring isn’t in metric sizes… :/

    Posted by Marianne Nielsen | May 1, 2014, 6:14 am
  12. I googled “monkey bread” images. Yours looked best so I’m going with your recipe. I haven’t made it yet but it seems easy and foolproof. P.S. Love your sense of playfulness with your sons and the songs that go with this recipe! You must be a great mom

    Posted by Star | August 25, 2015, 8:57 am
  13. I have recently made some monkey bread looked up a couple recipes and kind of “winged it” both times tho i used flaky biscuits.
    could you tell me why you prefer to not use them?
    thank you!

    Posted by Kayla D | February 17, 2016, 9:22 am

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