monkey bread

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Hey guys, remember this thing from my Christmas brunch?

Allow me to refresh your memory: it involves soft, pillowy dough, lots of cinnamon and sugar, and a warm, gooey, butterscotch glaze.  Is that jogging your memory at all?


You know those dishes that just instantly transport you back to your childhood?  You smell it cooking and suddenly you’re eight again at grandma’s house rolling pieces of dough around?

This is one of those dishes.

I know we all love to do all the things and make things from scratch, but sometimes it’s nice to just take it easy, ya know?

When I was little, monkey bread started with cans of biscuit dough and cinnamon sugar, then over the years taking bits and pieces from other family traditions the biscuits evolved into bread dough and the cinnamon sugar got amped up with pudding mix.

I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it at first too.  Pudding mix?!?

Yeah, wipe that skeptical look of your face.  It works, and it’s not only “good” but it’s like, irresistibly good.

So good that your fiance may have an intense internal debate on Christmas morning about which is more important: eating monkey bread or your relationship.


He may then stare at you in still in his pajamas, lured out of bed by the smell of baking cinnamon,  like you’re the meanest person in the world for telling him that he has to wait for company to arrive before he can eat it.

This may force you to remind him that the only way he will have monkey bread in his future is if you’re still around to make it.

All theoretical, of course.

Oh, and the best part about this delicious magical breakfast bread?  You can assemble it the night before and then just bake it in the morning.  Doesn’t that just beat the crap out of getting up at the buttcrack of dawn to make some fresh cinnamon rolls or pull-apart bread?

Yeah, I thought so too.  I mean, I love my family, but we all have our limits.

So make this and it can be your “easy” dish, or your only dish, no one will care how long it took (or didn’t take) you to make it because it’s so gosh darn delicious.

FH and I were still eating it like five days later and IT WAS JUST AS SOFT AS THE FIRST DAY.  I swear this stuff is magic.

monkey bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 13 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 1 bundt cake


  • 22 frozen dinner rolls, I use Rhodes
  • 1 small package cook-and-serve butterscotch pudding
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Set out rolls to thaw slightly - I laid mine on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap and then covered the tops with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. It took about 45 min to 1 hour for them to thaw.
  2. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Melt butter in microwave and then stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract; let cool slightly to room temperature.
  3. Cut rolls in half and toss into bundt pan.
  4. Once half the rolls are in the pan, sprinkle with half of the pudding mix and pour half the butter mixture. Repeat with remaining rolls, brown sugar mixture, and butter.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350F and set bundt pan on the counter about 30 minutes to warm to room temperature (I actually set mine on top of the oven while it was preheating to try to get more lift out of it).
  7. Once ready to bake, place bundt pan on a sheet pan and remove the plastic wrap. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through, covering with foil after 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Invert onto a rimmed serving dish (this is important, because there will be goo oozing everywhere).


*If you don't want to wait overnight, place your covered bundt cake on the counter and let rise until doubled in size (about 2 hours) and then follow baking instructions. The speed of the rise will depend on how warm your kitchen is.

*If you can't find (or don't want to use) frozen dinner rolls, you could definitely use homemade rolls - I recommend sticking with either white bread or brioche dough.



8 thoughts on “monkey bread

    • Looking at it now I almost wish I had picked it up and dropped it on the floor in front of him, just so I could have even better sad pictures. haha! (jk, FH, I would never do that to you…)

  1. HAHAHAHA YES! So i’m reading this and i’m all “pudding mix?!?!?!” and then you’re all “I know what you’re thinking…pudding mix!?!?!” and i’m all “YES THAT IS WHAT I’M THINKING!!!”
    i would probably be able to wrap my head around that but for FH staring out longingly with his 1,000-yard stare waiting for monkey bread he can not have. You can actually see the “are you kidding me right now? you’re kidding me right now…” in his eyes.
    i’m totally making this just to understand it. because we yes, make this one of two ways: mom makes it the way we always did, with biscuit dough cut in quarters and then cinnamon sugar, and then i’ve managed to get all Fancypants Magoo with it and make a from-scratch version from the Baked cookbooks. but pudding? dinner rolls? that could be something big.

    • Right? I was skeptical too when I first heard of it. Never again will I doubt the pudding. Never. Again. And seriously – it’s such a happy medium between the “this is so easy and required zero effort” and “this required all the effort” hahaha. So good. Have brunch soon and make it. Invite me over, you saw the look on Aaron’s face. He will buy a plane ticket if there is monkey bread at the end of the flight LOL.

  2. While I’m sure many of you cooking fans out there would prefer a monkey bread recipe that involved making your own dough, I’m simply not that savvy or dedicated to take the time to make such things. With that in mind, the WSL house decided to take the lazy route and use frozen bread dough for our newest Monkey Bread recipe.

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