This Monkey Bread (canned biscuits) is an easy recipe with just 5 ingredients! It is the perfect gooey and sweet cinnamon pull apart monkey bread to enjoy for holiday breakfast or brunch, served with fresh fruit or ice cream.
Monkey Bread Recipe
I must admit that I did not know what a monkey bread recipe was until scrolling through Pinterest over 10 years ago to see this delicious-looking pull-apart bundt cake.
Some people seemed to know what it was and enjoyed it as a holiday tradition, while others I talked to had no idea what it was.
If you are in the latter category, once you try it you will know what you have been missing and skip the cinnamon rolls!
What is monkey bread?
Monkey bread is a sweet and gooey, sticky pastry bundt cake made from pieces of soft dough rolled in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
It is called 'monkey bread' because it is an easy pull-apart bread, that you can pull apart individual pieces with your fingers to eat like monkeys do.
They are many variations of monkey bread that are sweet or savory and either homemade from scratch or using an easy biscuit recipe for monkey bread that we are using.
This is the easiest cinnamon monkey bread recipe that you can make. It is similar to the monkey bread recipe from Pillsbury using Pillsbury biscuits.
Start new holiday traditions by serving this monkey bread recipe! You can enjoy this with my sausage crescent roll breakfast casserole, overnight blueberry french toast or Hawaiian roll breakfast sliders recipe!!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Easy monkey bread recipe with canned biscuits
- Just 5 simple ingredients
- Perfect for holiday breakfast, brunch or for dessert anytime
- Make ahead of time with company coming
Monkey bread ingredients
- Canned buttermilk biscuits - we made Pillsbury Grands monkey bread
- Brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Butter - at room temperature
Dark brown sugar can be used as a substitute for light brown sugar.
What are the best biscuits to use for monkey bread?
Regular canned biscuits work best in this recipe not the 'flakey' variety.
We used Pillsbury Grands biscuits but you can use any brand of regular store bought canned biscuits. You may have to buy more cans of biscuits.
How to make monkey bread without a bundt pan?
Monkey bread with biscuits can be made in different ways if a bundt pan is not available.
- Bake monkey bread in a 9x13 baking dish - baking time may need to be reduced to 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. This will make for a different presentation as it will be too large to invert on a platter but it will taste the same.
- Bake in 9x5 loaf pan - baking time would remain the same, test with toothpick, tent with foil if the top is becoming too dark
- Crockpot monkey bread - follow the same instructions but place in the crockpot and cook on low for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until done cooking
- Muffin tins - monkey bread in muffin tins for individual serving sizes.
Step by step instructions for how to make monkey bread
STEP ONE - Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a Bundt pan by spraying generously with cooking spray.
STEP TWO - Cut biscuit dough into quarters, or desired size.
STEP THREE - In a gallon Ziploc bag, add granulated sugar and cinnamon seal and shake to combine.
STEP FOUR - Place 8 to 10 cut pieces of dough in bag, seal, and shake bag to coat dough with sugar. Add coated pieces to pan and repeat until all dough has been coated and added to pan.
STEP FIVE - Melt butter and add brown sugar, stir to thoroughly combine. Pour butter mixture evenly over top of monkey bread.
STEP SIX - Bake for 35- 40 minutes. Remove pan from oven, place a serving plate inverted on the top of the monkey bread. Holding plate and pan together, carefully flip to invert Bundt pan, lift pan leaving bread on serving plate.
STEP SEVEN - Serve while warm and enjoy.
Variations for monkey bread recipe
There are many variations to make for monkey bread recipes.
To make an easy apple monkey bread with biscuits, add in 1 cup of ½ inch diced apples of your choice sprinkled throughout when placing in your pieces of dough.
You can also add in 1 cup of chopped pecans, walnuts or raisins when placing the dough or on top of the glaze. Or use a combination of them!
How to serve monkey bread?
Serve monkey bread for a fun sweet holiday breakfast with fresh fruit, your favorite ice cream like vanilla ice cream and whipped cream!
Top tips for making the best monkey bread recipe
- It is important that the bundt pan is well coated with spray to ensure an easy release from the bundt pan for a beautiful presentation
- Work fast, as cool dough from the fridge will rise better than warm overworked dough
- The sugar and cinnamon mixture can also be made in a large bowl, add cut dough and toss with a spoon to coat it
- The biscuit monkey bread may need to be tented with foil for the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking time if it is becoming too dark when baking
Make ahead monkey bread
To make monkey bread ahead of time prepare the monkey bread without baking and store in the fridge covered with plastic wrap or foil for up to 1 hour. Remove from fridge and bake.
Microwave monkey bread for reheating
To reheat monkey bread, place your portion in the microwave for 30 to 40 second intervals.
Reheat monkey bread in the oven
Place in an oven-safe dish covered with foil and place in a 200°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated.
Storage and freezing instructions
How to store monkey bread?
Store leftover monkey bread in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days or in the fridge for 3 to 4 days to help it stay fresh longer.
Can you freeze monkey bread?
Yes you can! Freeze monkey bread in a freezer-safe container for 1 to 2 months.
Thaw frozen monkey bread at room temperature before reheating and serving.