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Monkey Bread: For All the Jungle Dwellers

Categories: Cooking, Food


Today my fourth born son turns nine. NINE?! When did that happen? I told him this morning that this is it; I will not tolerate anymore of this growing up.

He too wanted to make his own cake. By himself. With no help or interference. Luckily he picked Monkey Bread, which is as simple a recipe as there could possibly be. And in spite of what the name might suggest, is NOT made of monkeys.

My children have different theories on why it is called monkey bread. The dough in the finished product looks like monkey poop. It is easy enough for a monkey to make. You eat it with your hands like a monkey.

Your guess is as good as theirs and probably less gross.

Is your mouth watering? It should be.

You will need:

4 small cans of refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (you could use margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

You could also add raisins if you want, but why ruin this with the addition of something healthy.

Preheat oven to 350


Pop open those cans.


Remove the little dough discs from the can.


Quarter each disc. That means cut it into fourths.


Spray the inside of your bundt pan well. I missed a spot, probably because I was looking through my camera lens while spraying, and a section ended up sticking to the pan. Not that anyone else cared.


Put your white sugar and cinnamon into a ziploc bag.


Yes, the cinnamon too, I said.


Drop a handful of dough bits into the bag. Seal the bag up and shake to coat them. Having your hair look like you brushed it with the hand mixer is completely optional.


Put the pieces into the bundt pan.


While all that was going on and sugar was being shaken all willy nilly all over my kitchen. I put the stick of butter into a little pot. Put it on the stove and heat it over medium heat until it melts. Then dump the brown sugar in.


Let it simmer for one minute. Stir constantly.


I sprinkled some chopped walnuts into the bundt pan.


Then pour the butter/ brown sugar mix over the top.

Again, feel free to use a brush on your own hair. Apparently nine is going to be the year of the Bed Head.

Put into the 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then invert it onto a plate. Leave the pan covering it for another five minutes so that the monkey bread holds its shape.


Then dig in.


But hurry…


It won’t last long.

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30 comments so far...

  • Wow. That looks easy. And awesome. And easy. And yummy. And did I mention easy?

    Your kids are very cute, bedhead and all!

    carpot  |  March 25th, 2008 at 8:26 pm

  • hmm…I love monkey bread. I’m not sure if my recipe is just different or if I messed up one time and now it is stuck in my head this way, but I mix cinnamon with the butter instead of brown sugar. Also, the last time I made this I was completely out of cans of biscuits and felt very impressed with myself when I made biscuit dough from scratch (like with flour and stuff - not just bisquik).

    And if you don’t own a bundt pan (but who in their right mind wouldn’t own a bundt pan!?) you can also use an angel food cake pan (although set it on a baking sheet). And then you can wonder why you have an angel food cake pan but not a bundt pan?!?

    Jenni  |  March 25th, 2008 at 8:36 pm

  • I love eating monkey bread, but have never been motivated to write down the recipe before…its going in my recipe box today!

    Being 9 is the year of the bed head–just ask my red-headed bedhead boy. It looks so much worse when you’ve got white-white skin, freckles, and 9 yr old teeth to go with it!

    Beth  |  March 25th, 2008 at 9:48 pm

  • I just have to mention that I do not own a bundt pan. So there, Jenni. ;) Also no angel food cake pan. Didn’t even know there was such a thing.

    I’ve only had this once before at my husband’s parents house on Christmas morning…it was gooood. I definitely need to make this for my kids!

    Karly  |  March 25th, 2008 at 9:51 pm

  • I love monkey bread. YUM! I usually make it with frozen yeast rolls and let is rise overnight in the cold oven, then bake at 350 the next morning.

    BTW, I never realized how much Miles looks like your nine year old son until I saw that picture of him putting the biscuits into the bag.. TWINS!

    Love your blogs and your cute kiddos.

    Leeann  |  March 25th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

  • I think that is the same recipe that I use. Yum!

    Who cares about the bed head when you have dimples like those?

    Christy  |  March 25th, 2008 at 10:39 pm

  • If you don’t have a bundt pan, you could make it in 2 loaf pans, too. YUM!

    Jamie AZ  |  March 25th, 2008 at 10:48 pm

  • So if you own neither a bundt pan nor an angel food cake pan…is there hope? Can we substitute? I have square pans and rectangle pans and flat pans. And no cooking or baking ability, can you tell?

    Chris says: Yes you could substitute. The one thing you want to keep in mind though is that if all the dough is packed into a thick pan (like a bread pan) the inside won’t cook… so maybe a more shallow layer, like you make brownies in, would be good.

    Melissa  |  March 25th, 2008 at 11:26 pm

  • Wow — this looks awesome — and so impressed with your son! (BTW, my daughter is 3.5 and I consistently tell her that any more growing up is cause for a time out.)

    Nataly  |  March 25th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

  • I have never made a sweet version - my recipe has garlic powder and dill in place of cinnamon and sugar, which just sounds CRAZY now that I see this version.

    Chris says: You are right that is CRAZINESS!!!

    Elizabeth  |  March 25th, 2008 at 11:52 pm

  • Yummo! Haven’t made this in awhile- thanks for the reminder!

    ps- my youngest turned 9 today too!

    Deb  |  March 26th, 2008 at 1:02 am

  • I keep trying to decide if I need a bundt pan or not. You win commenters, I need one desperately so I can make monkey bread immediately. I’m stopping at IKEA tomorrow.

    Heather's Garden  |  March 26th, 2008 at 1:09 am

  • Chris - I like your recipe and think I will give it a try! Mine is slightly different and uses frozen rolls (that are circles like little dough balls) instead of the biscuits, and I also use butterscotch pudding (a few teaspoons sprinkled on top). Also, I leave mine out over night to rise & then cook it - - however if you use that method, I wouldnt recommend an angel food cake pan - Tried that once & whoa there was dough exploding everywhere!

    Keri  |  March 26th, 2008 at 1:13 am

  • I like to cut the rolls in half, and then fold in a small cube of cream cheese - yes, you will need more biscuits, and no, they don’t last any longer.

    For those that don’t own a bundt try a pie plate

    Henri  |  March 26th, 2008 at 1:48 am

  • mmm….we just had this as our easter sunday breakfast. What’s that you say? This is a dessert? A birthday cake? I was passing it off as a respectable breakfast food somewhere in the same neighborhood as cinnamon rolls (ok, not respectable, but traditional). Crud. Don’t tell my kid I gave her cake for breakfast or she’ll start requesting brownies.

    How is he 9 already?! And how do you keep 90 fingers from sneaking a few out while it’s setting for those 5 minutes!?

    We throw a bunch of pecan halves in the bottom of the pan first, then the rest just like yours (w/o walnuts) so when it’s flipped it’s covered in candied pecan halves. Yummo!

    julie  |  March 26th, 2008 at 2:07 am

  • How funny, I never realized other people “knew” about monkey bread. It was part of our traditional Christmas morning breakfast for as far back as I can remember when I was a kid and now we have the same tradition in my own family with our kids. I’ve never known anyone outside our family who makes it (could be because I live in a cave, yes). It’s always a special treat since we only make it once a year. Though my son prefers the spinach quiche we also serve at Christmas breakfast. Funny kid.

    Oh, and ya gotta have raisins. It would be so….flat, without them!

    Oh, and Melissa, we rarely use a bundt cake pan or anything of that kind. We just just use casserole dishes or cake pans or even a bread pan if you don’t pack it too thick (We like ours soft inside though, not dry, so we don’t layer it too thinly.). One year, we even used a Christmas tree shaped cake pan.

    t in hd  |  March 26th, 2008 at 8:18 am

  • my family has always made monkey bread too.

    i don’t use a bundt or angel food pan. i am single and am usually only making this for two people. i use a flat, round cake pan, and only one can of biscuits.

    after cutting the biscuits into fourths, we coat them in the melted margarine, then roll them in the cinnamon/sugar mix, then place them in the pan. any leftover margarine & cinnamon/sugar gets mixed together and poured on top. if i have any pecans, i throw them in too.

    i was recently visiting a friend who has two girls that like to cook. i was going to teach them how to make this, but all she had was those big ‘grands’ biscuits. i didn’t think those would work. the cheaper, the better. however, the other commenters’ suggestions of using yeasty rolls sounds good, but like more work than i am willing to do. i am very lazy and don’t usually plan ahead enough to prepare something the night before.

    kelly  |  March 26th, 2008 at 1:30 pm

  • You should make a recipe book and sell it.
    People would buy it. I would.

    Fina  |  March 26th, 2008 at 2:22 pm

  • That looks fantatic!! and so easy!! Thanks!

    Jaime  |  March 26th, 2008 at 3:49 pm

  • My family loves Monkey Bread! It’s a Christmas morning tradition at our house. I find it much easier (and faster) to cut the biscuits into quarters using kitchen scissors. I use my kitchen scissors for cutting everything–including slices of pizza.

    Kristen  |  March 26th, 2008 at 7:55 pm

  • Hmm, you reckon I could use Croissant dough? It’s the only kind of dough we can get pre-made in a can (we starve here in the UK, as you can tell). It wouldn’t be in quarters - more likely irregular blobs - but could it work? I don’t know enough about buttermilk biscuit dough to be able to judge it….

    Chris says: I think that would work just fine! You could also make your own biscuit dough if you were so inclined.

    Jen  |  March 26th, 2008 at 9:32 pm

  • My sister read an article about Cindy Crawford like 10 years ago and she mentioned monkey bread, so we made it for Xmas. It was kind of complicated. Then, I found a recipe in Martha Stewart Kids. That was beyond complicated.

    Then, I discovered frozen dough already cut into biscuit shapes. I melt a bunch of butter, dip the dough in butter and a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. No idea on the amounts, just mix until it looks good. Just be careful when you take it out of the oven. I tipped the pan and the goo spilled on my arm and I had monkey bread burns.

    I saved the previous recipes for laughs.

    Mom to 3

    AmyE  |  March 27th, 2008 at 2:14 am

  • I don’t own a bundt pan. *blushes*

    Chris says: That’s okay. We still like you.

    Julie  |  March 28th, 2008 at 3:40 am

  • Well, I own one of those cake pans with the hole in the middle (though I didn’t know it had a name). But the only place I’ve ever seen dough in cans like that is the USA. Nothing like that here in Cyprus. I seem to remember that your biscuits are roughly like our scones… can real home-made ones be used? Or, rather, real scone dough pieces?

    Chris says: I would go for a biscuit recipe, not a scone one. Scones are denser I think.

    Sue  |  March 29th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

  • My youngest daughter is 9 - and loves to cook! She and I will be using this recipe — thanks so much!

    BlapherMJ  |  March 30th, 2008 at 7:23 pm

  • Looooove the monkey bread. But we put raisins in — they aren’t healthy when they soak up the butter and sugar, right? :)

    But I need to know more about this cream cheese option. Henri?

    JennyM  |  April 4th, 2008 at 4:04 pm

  • It sounds delicious! Just wondering, after it is baked and ready to be eaten what is the texture? I am in Australia and our biscuits are your cookies. And our scones are smiliar texture to your biscuits, lol

    Just tring to work out what kind of dough to make as I am sure my tribe would love it.

    Clare  |  April 7th, 2008 at 3:57 am

  • Also, I forgot to add. I searched and found that the term comes from a monkey-bread tree in Africa. It has an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread.

    Clare  |  April 7th, 2008 at 4:14 am

  • I need help, I had Monkey Bread recipe made with Butterscotch in the mix, cinnamon + icing. It was in woman’s world magazine years ago, but I lost it. No pudding or brown sugar. It was about 1/4 cup Butter scotch and about 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. How can I subsitiute the above recipe slightly? Thank you in advance. Karen

    Karen  |  August 22nd, 2008 at 3:07 am

  • I was looking for a monkey bread recipe and found your page with the pictures and I was laughing so hard about your comments regarding your sons hair!! I have an 11 year old boy so I get it!
    Thanks for the recipe, pictures and laugh!

    andrea  |  April 23rd, 2009 at 7:58 pm