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Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread on Platter
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We love Monkey Bread in our house. I make it every December at least three or four times. My mom, sister, and I first made this recipe when I was just a kid. I instantly fell in love with the warm, cinnamon-sugary deliciousness that is Monkey Bread. Although, in our house, we had always called it “Pinch-me-bread”. When I started making it for friends and coworkers, it became apparent that the rest of the world knew this treat as “Monkey Bread”!

Simple Ingredients – only 5. I forgot to include the vanilla extract in this picture!

All you need to make Monkey Bread, is 2 – 16.3oz cans of Pillsbury biscuits, 1 stick of butter or margarine, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 2.5 cups sugar (divided), and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. The buttermilk biscuits used to come in a 4-pack with 7.5oz cans. I always bought them that way, until 2 or 3 years ago when the 4-pack disappeared from the grocery stores. The larger cans work just as well; be sure to cut each biscuit into sixths or eights. To get started, preheat your oven to 350 degrees while you prepare the other parts of the recipe.

The Monkey Bread Dough

I typically start with 1.5 cups of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, stirred together in a good size Tupperware container with a tight fitting lid.

Cut biscuits into roughly equal sized pieces. I cut the larger biscuits into sixths, but might go with eighths in the future.

Once all the biscuits are cut up, roll each piece into a ball. This is a solid arm workout, depending on whether you have helpers!

Toss some of the balled biscuit pieces into your cinnamon sugar mixture. Once the lid is securely placed, I like to give the job of shaking the container to the girls. Just shake it around for a few seconds until all of the dough balls are coated in the cinnamon sugar mixture. This process has to take place in batches, usually 4 or 5 so things don’t get to crowded.

The dough balls will be a nice golden color when they are properly coated.

Arrange your cinnamon-sugar coated dough pieces in the bottom of a non-stick bundt pan. If your pan is non-stick like mine, no need to grease it. Our caramel glaze will do well to keep things from sticking during the baking process.

The Glaze

I typically have this process started earlier in the dough coating process, so we can do our layering efficiently. How easily I can multitask for the glaze, depends on how much help I have with the earlier steps.

Melt 1 stick of butter or margarine on low heat. Next, add 1 cup of granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

As you begin stir, the butter and sugar mixture will be fairly thin. Adjust the heat to medium-high.

The glaze will begin to boil and thicken. It is now time to remove from the heat and get ready to drizzle over the first layer of dough balls in our bundt pan.

Just drizzle enough to cover the dough balls in the bottom of the pan, should be 3 or 4 tablespoons. You can eyeball it. Our monkey bread is really starting to come together now! Go ahead and take the glaze off the heat until you have your next layer ready.

Add more of your cinnamon-sugar coated dough balls on top.

Move your glaze pan back to the heat, once it is bubbling again you can drizzle more of the caramel glaze over the top of the second layer. Our pan is getting wider, so it will take a bit more glaze this time.

Again, remove your caramel glaze pan from the heat.

Repeat layering again with the remaining dough balls. I usually end up with barely enough to call it a third layer, but that is OK! The dough is going to rise like crazy in the oven.

Return your caramel glaze back to the heat until it is bubbling again. Finish the preparation process by adding most, or all of your remaining glaze. We just don’t want to have a buttery flood on top. I used all but a couple of tablespoons of my caramel glaze. The picture below shows how your prepped dough in the bundt pan will look:

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Insert a toothpick or butter knife to ensure it is done. I almost never have to put it back in for a longer baking time.

Immediately, put a plate or cake stand on top of your baked Monkey Bread pan. Using 2 hands, with oven mitts on, quickly flip your bundt pan onto the plate/cake stand.

Don’t mind the steam! Doing this right away ensures our glaze doesn’t have time to harden in the bottom of the pan. Now gravity will be on our side, and the glaze will run through our Monkey Bread while it is cooling off.

Lift the pan carefully, and let your Monkey Bread begin to cool.

The final product: gooey and sweet on the top and in the middle, with nice crispy crunchy cinnamon-sugar bites on the very bottom. I can’t decide which part I like the best. All I know is, this recipe hits the spot every time!

Delicious Christmas Monkey Bread, serve it warm or at room temperature. Either way, you and your family will just love it.

Monkey Bread on Platter

Monkey Bread

Sweet cinnamon sugar Monkey Bread – perfect for the holiday season!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10


  • Bundt Pan


  • 2.5 cups Granulated Sugar Divided (1 cup for caramel glaze, 1.5 cups for cinnamon-sugar coating)
  • 1 stick Butter or Margarine
  • 2 16.3oz Cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

The Dough

  • Start by opening your 2 – 16.3oz cans of Pillsbury biscuits. Roughly 30oz of dough is what we are looking for. Cut each biscuit into sixths (or eighths, depending on how big your monkey hands are).
  • Roll each piece of dough into a ball, individually.
  • Pour 1.5 cups granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon into a medium sized Tupperware dish, and stir together.
    Add roughly 1/4 of your prepared dough balls into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Shake will for 30 seconds, or until pieces are coated with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
    Continue coating all of the rolled dough balls in batches until they are all covered in cinnamon-sugar.

The Glaze

  • Melt 1 stick of butter or margarine over low heat. You can do this while you (and your helpers, if you have them) are preparing the dough.
  • Once the butter is melted, add 1 cup of granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Raise heat to medium-high and let the glaze come to a boil and thicken slightly.


  • Place your cinnamon-sugar coated dough balls into the bundt pan in one, single even layer. No need to press or crowd them, just make a loose layer.
  • Spoon drizzle your caramel glaze over the first layer of dough balls in the pan. Just 2 or 3 tablespoons of glaze should be enough. Remove glaze pan from heat.
  • Add another layer of prepared dough balls on top of the first glazed layer. Return glaze pan to heat.
  • Once caramel glaze is bubbling again, drizzle over the second layer of dough balls in the bundt pan. Remove the glaze pan from burner.
  • Place all of the remaining prepared dough balls on top, in a final third layer. You may have just enough to call it a third layer, and that is OK. The dough is going to rise a lot in the oven. Return glaze pan to heat.
  • After the glaze begins to bubble again, drizzle most, or all of the remaining caramel glaze onto the final layer of dough balls in the bundt pan. There should be a good amount of caramel glaze, but don't feel like you need to use it all if you have good coverage.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. This recipe is fairly forgiving, I have never had to bake it for more than the 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick or butter knife into the center of the dough ring, and make sure it comes back clean.
  • With oven mitts on, place plate or stand on top of bundt pan, and immediately flip over. Do this quickly so the glaze doesn't begin to harden as the Monkey Bread cools.
  • Let cool, and enjoy warm or at room temperature.


Monkey Bread is best served the day it is prepared, or 1 day after baking.
Monkey bread cannot be prepped and stored in the fridge over night. You will not get good results as the caramel glaze solidifies as it cools off. The biscuits also puff up and the texture completely changes.
I have always used Imperial Margarine when I make this recipe. I know some people insist on real butter (which I do for many other recipes). You do what makes you happy, and make it with whichever one you prefer. The margarine has always worked well for me, and that is what we always had in our fridge growing up! 🙂
Keyword Best Monkey Bread, Canned Biscuit recipes, Canned Biscuits, Cinnamon and Sugar, Margarine, Monkey Bread, Pillsubury Biscuits

Like this recipe? Try my Glazed Pumpkin Muffin Recipe next!

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