Delicious Cinnamon Monkey Bread Recipe

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(from 11 reviews)
Monkey Bread Recipe (Pull apart bread)

I was going through a couple of books I have and found this monkey bread recipe in the Baking for Dummies book by Emily Nolan.  This was the first book I bought to learn to bake.  It has all the basic information on baking principles, tools and techniques, a number of recipes, troubleshooting tips, and a lot more. This monkey bread is also called pull-apart bread because it has to be pulled apart with your hands instead of cutting it.

Why is it called the Monkey Bread?

It is believed that monkey bread originated in Hungary. Hungarian immigrants brought their dessert arany galuska (“golden dumpling”) with them when they immigrated to America. Monkey bread became the more common term for this Hungarian-Jewish dessert. But why the name “monkey” bread? We can safely assume that it has to do with how the bread is eaten, picking and pulling pieces of the bread just like how a monkey would go about its eating business without caring much about eating etiquette.


Monkey Bread (aka Pull Apart Bread) Recipe

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
15 Mins32 Mins16 Bread Pieces
Delicious Cinnamon Monkey Bread Recipe
5.0 from 11 reviews
A simple recipe to bake monkey bread (aka pull-apart bread) from scratch with step-by-step pictures using chocolate chips, all-purpose flour, milk, and sugar.
Part-1 Ingredients:
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 5 tablespoons cut into 5 pieces Cold Butter
Part-2 Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup Milk
Part-3 Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons melted Butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F for 15 minutes. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift and combine all the ingredients mentioned in Part 1 except butter.
  3. Using a pastry blender or a few pulses of a food processor, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  4. Kneading flour

  5. Stir in the Part 2 ingredients and combine to form a dough.
  6. Add milk to flour

  7. The final dough would look like this.
  8. Final dough

  9. Divide the dough into 16 balls and place in the prepared baking pan. The balls will touch.
  10. Cut into small pieces

  11. Drizzle the balls with the melted butter.
  12. Brush melted butter on the dough

  13. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle them with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  14. Sprinkle cinnamon powder on top

  15. Bake for 30 minutes, until light brown. Cool in the pan and set on a wire rack before removing from the pan.
  16. Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Bread

My Notes:
  1. For this monkey bread recipe, the butter has to be used straight from the refrigerator.
  2. If you don’t have a food processor or a pastry blender, you can use 2 knives or 2 forks to cut in the fat. To use a pastry blender, mix the ingredients while cutting into the fats with the blender using a rocking, up-and-down bouncing motion.
  3. To divide the dough into 16 balls, you can follow my method. First, divide the entire dough into 2 equal parts. Roll the 2 parts into 2 separate logs. Cut each log into 8 pieces. While doing this, flour the surface generously. I also sprayed my hands with non-stick oil spray, so handling the dough was easy.
  4. Similarly, use the butter wrapper to grease the baking pan.
  5. I pretty much followed the recipe, but for the 6th step. I melted the 3 tablespoons of butter in the microwave oven, and that was really a lot of butter. My husband was having “are you crazy to pour so much butter and sugar” look on his face. So instead of using the entire butter and sugar mentioned in the recipe, I followed his advice of just brushing the dough with little butter, sprinkling very little sugar, but took another 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon little cocoa and sprinkled it over the balls of dough.
  6. I baked the bread for 32 minutes. I would advise cooling it in the pan for at least an hour before taking it out. I tried to remove the bread after 30 minutes, and the bread started to fall apart and crumble. Anyway, I managed to get 10-12 good pieces. The bread was very moist inside but a bit dry on the tops. I guess it was because I did not use the entire 3 tablespoons of butter as mentioned in the original recipe. But the taste was phenomenal, with the melted chocolate chips, a hint of sweetness, and a freshly ground cinnamon aroma.
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  1. Cinnamon Monkey Bread | Sweet Pull Apart Bread - I camp in my kitchen

    […] When I first came across this name, I found it funny, so went and checked what the bread is made of here . I was not ready for yeast breads, so this no yeast bread sounded […]

  2. Chelsea Yost

    Have you ever made this and refrigerated over night and then baked it in the morning? I’m thinking about making this for Christmas morning, and I’d like to assemble it the night before and bake it the morning of. Thanks in advance!

    • Madhuram

      I haven’t tried that, Chelsea.

  3. Paul

    Hi, thanks for this recipe. One of my daughters is a coeliac, and her best friend is highly allergic to eggs and milk. I’ve made this with gluten-free flour, dairy-free spread, and soya milk. It works wonderfully. You have another 1/3 cup of milk and maybe a dash more, but still, it’s great.
    Thanks from the UK.

    • Madhuram

      You’re very welcome Paul. Great to know that gluten-free works too.

  4. varsha

    Hey Madhuram,
    I tried this today, as I had a big pack of chocolate chips left for a long time. Awesome! I loved the taste more than usual chocolate chip cookies (I just don’t like them), But this was really, really good. My kids, friends & everyone liked it. But the only thing is am not sure about is that it was a little soft inside. Is the texture like that? or should it be more crumbly?

    • Madhuram

      Thanks Varsha. I think you got the texture right.

  5. Shraddha

    Hey Aparna,
    Made these lovely monkey bread today.. Everyone at home r Lovin every bite of it.. I made them in pressure cooker! Yeh i know it old fashioned but i haf been unlucky when it comes to bake in oven! I took half quantity of everythin you specified. Only minor modification i did was tat i sprinkled light brown sugar instead of normal one.. Thanks for d recipe dear.. You infinitely Rock..!:)

    • Madhuram

      Thanks Shraddha. It’s Madhu and not Aparna.

      • Shraddha

        Awww sorry Madhu… Huhh.. As soon as I made/tasted them wanted to write you here… N m on cloud9 with my 1st successful attempt at baking something thats not cake. Thanks, Madhuuuu…

  6. Shapa

    I tried this recipe this weekend for a get-together at a friend’s place. I modified it a bit by using Self-Raising Fl, an extra tsp of baking powder and 2TBsp of Cinnomon to the batter. I found the dough to be extremely soft so ended up added a bit more flour and sheped them into rounds.

    They turned out really well and the aroma of cinnamon filled the house. My friends kids just loved it. Thanks for sharing – I will definitely try this one again.

    Thanks Shapa. I’m glad the kids liked it.