star rating (11) rate this recipe »
Recipe photo


star rating (11) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Monkey bread–a.k.a. pull-apart bread or bubble bread–is a wonderfully kid-friendly introduction to yeast baking. Get the kids involved as you make these mildly cinnamon-y, tender treats: they'll carefully shape their own several pieces of dough, while you quickly take care of the rest. For step-by-step photos illustrating the whole process, check out our monkey bread lesson.

1 cup + 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) butter
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup (1 5/8 ounces) potato flour OR 1/2 cup dried potato flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup (2 5/8 ounces) water
1/2 teaspoon Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor, optional but good
4 cups Mellow Pastry Blend OR 3 3/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) milk
1/3 cup (2 ounces) Baker’s Cinnamon Filling OR cinnamon-sugar
1/2 cup (6 ounces) maple syrup or cinnamon syrup, optional
1/4 cup (2 ounces) melted butter, optional

Using your hands, a mixer, or a bread machine, mix and knead all of the dough ingredients till you’ve got a smooth, fairly soft dough. Remember, the more flour you add to cut down stickiness, the drier and tougher your final bread will be; so go easy on flouring your kneading surface, if you’re doing this by hand. Personally, I like to lightly grease my kneading surface, rather than flouring it.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and allow it to rise at room temperature for an hour; it’ll be puffy, though not necessarily doubled in bulk.

Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a clean work surface. Place the milk and the cinnamon filling or sugar in separate small bowls. Lightly grease two 9" round cake pans. If desired, pour 1/4 cup maple syrup or cinnamon syrup into the bottom of each pan.

Tear off 1"-or-so pieces of the dough. (If you bothered to round them into balls, they’d be about the size of chestnuts; but you’re not bothering to do that.) Dip the irregular dough pieces into the milk, then into the cinnamon. Place them, close together, in the prepared pans. Each pan should be full enough that you can only see the bottom of the pan in scattered places. Cover the pans, and allow the dough to rise for about 90 minutes, till it’s puffy, though probably not doubled in bulk.

Drizzle the bites with melted butter, if desired. Bake them in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 22 minutes, or until they’re beginning to brown around the edges, and they seem done. These are hard to check for done-ness, as their cinnamon coating makes it hard to see how brown they are; what I usually do is just take one of the pans out of the oven, use a fork to carefully lift out one of the bites, and break it open. If it looks wet and gummy, continue to bake; if it looks ready to eat, they’re done.

Remove the pans from the oven, and carefully turn the bites out of the pan onto a rack to cool. If you’ve used syrup, let them rest upside-down on the rack till they’re cool; otherwise, the syrup will stick to the rack. Serve the bites warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 64 bites.

Cinna-Bite Bread Pudding
Make the recipe above, enjoying one pan of bites, and reserving the other. Break the reserved bites into pieces; tearing each one in half is fine. You'll have about 8 cups of bread (about 16 ounces), gently packed. Set the bread aside.

Lightly grease a 9" round cake pan that's at least 2" deep. Spread 1 cup (5 ounces) cinnamon mini chips in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the chips with 1/3 cup (2 ounces) Baker's Cinnamon Filling; this will give the pudding a dark, cinnamon-y, gooey top when you turn it out of the pan. You can omit this, if you like, but it's certainly tasty.

Place the bread in the prepared pan. Whisk together 3 cups (24 ounces) milk, 3 large eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Pour into the pan, pressing the bread down gently till it's mostly submerged.

Bake the pudding in a preheated 325°F oven for 60 minutes, or until it feels set and firm. Remove it from the oven; the center will still look a little jiggly. Serve it right from the pan. Or run a table knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides, and turn the pudding out onto a serving platter. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Yield: about 12 servings.


1 2  All  
  • star rating 12/28/2014
  • Hoeesha from Central Massachusetts
  • Wow!! So good! This recipe is now my go to for "pull apart monkey bread"! Lucky if these two 9" pans last 1 day, we cannot not stop eating them! Yum!!! Rather than dipping in milk we dipped in melted butter then rolled dough in sugar/cinnamon, quiet decadent!!!
  • star rating 05/13/2012
  • Rachel from Chicago, IL
  • My family loves this recipe! The dough is great to work with and the house smells amazing while they bake. We like to drizzle a powdered sugar glaze on them as well. Delicious!
  • star rating 12/25/2011
  • kathybq114 from KAF Community
  • Easy and delicious! Does not call for the butter to be at room temp. I think that would have helped.
  • star rating 04/15/2011
  • larag35 from KAF Community
  • YUM.. I have been making the Monkeying around bread and thought that I would try this one.. I like it way better. The dough is sweet and flaky and with the addition of maple syrup and melted butter the taste is wonderful and the dough seems to keep its moisture longer. Five stars!
  • star rating 01/27/2011
  • mumpy from KAF Community
  • wonderful recipe...delicious taste, like philadelphia cinnamon buns for half the work - and about half the calories too, i think...i had the grandsons helping and they thought it would be fun to add some goodies to the maple syrup before putting in the dough balls...i thought this was gilding the lily, but have to admit, the raisins were good, the pecans were yummy and the diced dried apples were unbelievably time i'll add an extra tablespoon of maple syrup with the add-ins, becuase i think they absorbed some of the syrup, but the tastes were amazing...what a terrific recipe!
  • star rating 03/01/2010
  • Vicki from Monterey
  • While I would never replace my cinnamon roll recipe, this is so much easier and tastes similar. My kids and their friends ate both pans in under an hour! I've never had anything disappear so fast. I used the maple syrup and baker's cinnamon filling (one of the best products on the planet).
  • star rating 01/02/2010
  • Caren from Grand Forks, ND
  • This is absolutely fabulous! I'm getting ready to make it for the 3rd time in 2 weeks. We had it for Christmas morning breakfast and it was perfect. I make it the night before and leave it in the garage (or you could use your fridge) overnight and then let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes in the morning before popping it in the oven. The kids love it and it's much less messy to eat than cinnamon rolls.
  • star rating 09/19/2009
  • Cara from Nashville
  • We've made a few monkey bread recipes over the years. I especially like the dough in this version - the potato flakes make it soft and moist
  • star rating 06/14/2009
  • from
1 2  All