Monkey bread has been around forever; most people remember having it when they were kids. Fond memories of the house filling up with the smell of cinnamon and eating a sticky treat with your fingers make monkey bread a certified comfort food.
There are different variations of the monkey bread recipe. It is said to be a derivation of arany galuska, (golden dumplings) a recipe introduced in Hungary in the late 1880’s. The dish was soon brought to America and often served in Jewish Hungarian bakeries.
- The modern recipe for monkey bread originated in cookbooks in the 1950's.
- Betty Crocker helped popularize monkey bread with their recipe in the 1970s.
- Fried dough, cinnamon rolls, and donuts are great alternatives to monkey bread.
Easy Monkey Bread Recipe
The recipe for monkey bread as we know it started appearing in cookbooks in the 1950’s, but it became even more popular when a recipe for arany galuska was published in a Betty Crocker cookbook in the early 1970’s. The recipe Crocker published was very similar to monkey bread but, rather than the biscuit being dipped in cinnamon and sugar, it was dipped in only butter.Print
The following is a tried and true Monkey Bread recipe; it isn’t grainy like some recipes that are too heavy on the sugars or too light on butter.
- 4 cans refrigerated biscuits
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raisins (these are optional, it’s great with or without them)
- 1/2 pound cream cheese
- 1/2 pound butter
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9-10 inch tube pan.
- Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a medium sized plastic bag. Cut the biscuits into halves or quarters and place six to eight biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Shake well.
- Arrange pieces in the bottom of the greased pan. Continue layering until all the biscuit pieces are coated and in the pan. If you are using raisins, place them among the biscuit pieces as you are layering.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the layered biscuits.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Pull apart and enjoy!
- Allow cream cheese and butter to get to room temperature.
- Beat butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl with a mixer.
- Slowly add in the pound of powdered sugar.
- After all the powdered sugar is added mix for 12 minutes (do not mix less than that).
- When almost done, add in the extract and lemon juice.
Do not use a pan with a removable bottom! The sugar mixture gets extremely hot and can burn hands if it leaks out during handling.
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 35 Minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: how to make monkey bread, easy monkey bread
Similar Dishes You Can Make
If you like monkey bread, then you'll enjoy these other similar dishes!
Fried dough. A fair classic, this food is often sprinkled with cinnamon or powdered sugar. If you choose to make it at home, make sure you exercise caution around the hot oil. Remember to never pour oil down your drain!
Cinnamon rolls. If the cinnamon aspect of monkey bread is what you really like, then try cinnamon rolls! You can buy pre-made cinnamon roll dough in the store, or you can make your own. These rolls are great for breakfast, but they can make a nice snack or dessert as well!
Oliebol. A classic Dutch and Belgian snack, these are deep-fried in oil to give them a crunchy exterior and soft, chewy interior. If monkey bread is a comfort food for you, then Oliebol is definitely a must-try. While Oliebol are traditionally sprinkled with sugar, you can dust them with cinnamon if you want it to be more reminiscent of monkey bread.
Turnovers. If you want something a little crispier than monkey bread that still provides that “comfort food” feeling, turnovers are a great option. They are generally filled with a fruit filling, but you can put whatever you want in them! You can even pair turnovers with an apple filling with monkey bread for an apples-and-cinnamon experience.
Donuts. Buying donuts from Dunkin' is great, but making them yourself is even better. You can make traditional donuts with holes in the center, or you can make cream- or jelly-filled ones for added complexity. If you want to keep the monkey bread theme going, try making cinnamon donuts.
For these pastry recipes and more, check this out. When you're done, check out our other recipes! We have dozens of recipes for all occasions on our site.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Carolyn Dietrich/Shutterstock.com.