Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

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This pull-apart cinnamon roll monkey bread is sweet, perfectly cinnamon spiced, and drizzled with a cream cheese glaze.

This cinnamon roll monkey bread is the perfect breakfast for a fun occasion or can be served as a delicious dessert. With less than 15 minutes prep, you can have this treat on the table in no time.

Image of the cinnamon monkey bread baked and ready to eat on a cake stand

My oldest boy’s favorite treat is a homemade cinnamon roll. He actually doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, but when it comes to cinnamon rolls, he can do some serious damage. 

While he prefers homemade, he’ll happily eat them from the can if that means he gets a cinnamon roll. The other day he had several friends over so I thought it would be fun to make a twist on traditional monkey bread and make it with canned cinnamon rolls. Not only did this cinnamon roll monkey bread get two thumbs up all around the table, but my son also requested it for his birthday cake in a couple of weeks.

Up close image of the cooked cinnamon roll monkey bread with the cream cheese frosting on it

What cinnamon rolls to use:

I recommend using Pillsbury Grands Cinnabon cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing (not sponsored). Not only are they delicious (for canned cinnamon rolls), but they are the perfect size to use in this monkey bread.

If you aren’t a fan of the cream cheese icing, Pillsbury also makes one with “original icing” instead. Make sure to grab the grands size for this recipe.

Image of the cinnamon rolls that go into this monkey bread

Beyond getting the right cinnamon rolls, the most important tip for this cake: generously grease and flour the pan! Below is a quick break down.

How to grease a bundt pan

  1. First make sure you’re using a high quality bundt pan: use a solid metal bundt pan and NOT a springform pan or pan with a removable bottom (the sugar/sauce will leak through and ruin the cake/get messy). (If you don’t have a bundt pan, see below for baking this in a 9 x 13 pan!)
  2. Spray the bundt pan with cooking spray or brush an even layer of softened butter all over. Make sure every part of the inside of the bundt pan is covered so nothing sticks while cooking.
  3. Loosely sprinkle flour over the spray or butter and then tap and turn the pan to evenly coat with a light dusting of flour.
  4. Tap the pan upside down (over the sink) to remove any excess flour.
  5. Pan is ready for use now!

Images of the dough being cut and then rolled in the cinnamon sugar

Quick tips

  • Remove monkey bread after 10-15 minutes: it’s important that you give this cinnamon roll monkey bread time to cool, but you don’t want to give it too much time. Remove the monkey bread after about 10-15 minutes of cooling. If it cools for too long the sugar mixture will harden too hard and it will become difficult to remove. 
  • Fix up any loose pieces: if a piece does stick to the pan after you’ve transferred the monkey bread to a plate simply use the sugary glaze to place the pieces right back from where they fell. You can also use the glaze to cover up any small imperfections 🙂
  • Pretty drizzle: transfer the icing from the can into a plastic bag. Snip off the tip with scissors and pipe it all over this cake for a picture perfect iced cake!

Process shot-- Image of the dough pieces being added to the bundt pan and the brown sugar sauce being added on top

Cinnamon roll monkey bread storage

Does cinnamon roll monkey bread need to be refrigerated?

Monkey bread typically doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but if you use the cream cheese icing, it does need to be. Storing monkey bread in the fridge will make the cake stale and hard, so I recommend avoiding leftovers altogether if possible.

How to make ahead of time

  • Quarter the cinnamon rolls and then placing them in a well greased bundt pan
  • Cover pan with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge until ready to bake.
  • When you are ready to bake the monkey bread, remove the bundt pan from the fridge and allow the cinnamon roll pieces to come to room temperature (this should take no more than 30 minutes).
  • Whip together the brown sugar mixture, pour it over the dough in the bundt pan, and bake for 2o minutes at 400 degrees F.

How to freeze cinnamon roll monkey bread

Package your leftover monkey bread tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and then in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge. Freezing and thawing monkey bread will cause a loss in texture and flavor.

Never freeze the uncooked monkey bread dough as freezing will render the yeast inactive. 

Overhead image of the monkey bread on a cake stand with the frosting glaze over it

Cinnamon roll monkey bread variations

  • Cinnamon roll monkey bread from scratch: to make this from scratch, you’re going to want to make your own biscuits. I’d recommend Sally’s Baking Addiction for a from-scratch recipe!
  • Add ins: you can add finely chopped apples, raisins, and/or nuts to this monkey bread. Add half the cinnamon roll pieces and then sprinkle add-ins in the middle and a few more on top. For an apple add in, peel and then finely dice the apple and sprinkle throughout the cinnamon roll pieces.
  • Cinnamon roll monkey bread casserole: this recipe works in a casserole or 9 x 13 dish. To do so: follow the same steps as we do below on this recipe (place cut up sugared cinnamon roll pieces in greased pan and drizzle sauce over top.) Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.
  • Make in a loaf pan: make sure you grease 2 light colored (don’t use dark coated) loaf pans well and follow the below directions. Divide cinnamon rolls evenly between the two pans and then bake at 400 degrees F for 19-25 minutes. Removal from the loaf pan will be super similar to removing the monkey bread from a bundt pan. More details here.
  • Cinnamon roll monkey bread in a crockpot: I actually shared a similar recipe to this one, but prepared this cake in the crockpot. Check it out here!
  • Cinnamon roll monkey bread muffins: follow the ingredients in this recipe and then grease each individual muffin tin and add 4 cinnamon roll pieces to each muffin tin. Individually drizzle the brown sugar sauce on top of each muffin. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. More details here.
  • Add caramel: in place of the glaze, you can add caramel sauce instead!

Image of the cinnamon roll monkey bread on a cake stand ready to eat with the frosting over it

If you’re planning to make this cinnamon roll monkey bread bake for a holiday or special occasion breakfast, below are some great options to serve on the side.

Savory side dishes:

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Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

5 from 3 votes
This pull-apart cinnamon roll monkey bread is sweet, perfectly cinnamon spiced, and drizzled with a cream cheese glaze.
Print Recipe

Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

5 from 3 votes
This pull-apart cinnamon roll monkey bread is sweet, perfectly cinnamon spiced, and drizzled with a cream cheese glaze.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword cinnamon roll monkey bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 servings (it's sweet, so a little goes a long way!)
Calories 408kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (17.5 ounces) Pillsbury Grands cinnamon rolls (cinnabon)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously grease (with cooking spray) and then lightly flour a large bundt pan (12 cup).
  • Remove the cinnamon roll dough and cut each roll into quarters.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar and then toss the cinnamon roll dough quarters in the bowl until well coated.
  • Once well coated, add them to the prepared bundt pan.
  • Melt butter and stir in the brown sugar and vanilla, then pour over the dough inside the bundt pan.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until no longer gooey in the center. Remove then let cool for 10-15 minutes. Once it's warm, no longer hot, you can flip the cinnamon roll monkey bread onto a plate from the bundt pan.
  • Transfer the icing from the can into a plastic bag. Snip off the tip with scissors and pipe it all over this cake!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 408kcal

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Nutrition Facts in cinnamon roll monkey bread

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. I noticed it says in the body of your blog to spray or butter the pan. You might want to add that to the directions in case people miss that. Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it for guests!

  2. 5 stars
    We have been making monkey bread since I was in hs, 25+ years now and this is BY FAR the best and easiest recipe to date. Everyone including myself LOVED it!

    1. You can tent some foil over the top. Is your oven calibrated to the correct temperature? If the temperature is off, that might be why the outside is cooking quicker than the inside.

  3. After I took mine out I let it sit for 6-7 minutes. NOT long enough! It broke in a couple of pieces and some stuck to the bottom. Still edible just only for us. ????

    1. I’d let it sit more like 10-15 minutes after removing from the oven so it stays together! Glad you enjoyed though 🙂

  4. Hi! Would it be ok for it to sit overnight or will that mess up the monkey bread? Love your recipes by the way ????

    1. Thank you so much Jessica, I appreciate that! 🙂 To be honest with you, I’ve never made it overnight, so I’m not sure. I think the cinnamon rolls could deflate or dry out a little, but it was covered carefully, maybe it would be okay. Sorry, just guessing here!

  5. 5 stars
    SOOOOOOO delicious!! Made this for my son and his friends and they loved it! I ate what was left, and OMG! This is my go to monkey bread from now on!

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