Monkey Bread

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Monkey Bread is a sweet and sticky pastry served as an indulgent breakfast or delicious dessert. This treat has cinnamon-sugar coated pieces of dough baked with a sticky sweet syrup. 

We love adding pecans to Monkey Bread, but you can also enjoy it nut-free or with different add-ins. Read on for how-tos and plenty of variation ideas!

Image of Monkey Bread on a cake stand.

If you’ve ever wondered about the odd name for this sugared biscuit cake, I’ve been there too.

Why do they call it Monkey Bread?

The name “Monkey Bread” comes from this dessert being a finger food. Monkey Bread requires you to pull it apart to get pieces, similar to how a monkey eats. Ha!

What biscuits to use

I recommend using Pillsbury Grands® Flaky Layers Biscuits (not sponsored). They’re the perfect size to use in Monkey Bread and they rise nicely.

Beyond getting the right biscuits, 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; don’t use a springform pan or pan with a removable bottom (the sugary sauce will leak through, creating a disaster. (If you don’t have a Bundt pan, see my instructions for baking this in a 9×13-inch 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 pan is covered, so none of the biscuits stick.
  3. Once sprayed, immediately sprinkle flour over the spray 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. And now the pan is ready to be filled with Monkey Bread dough pieces!

Process shot-- Image of the biscuits being cut and prepped.

Process shot-- Image of the pecan and brown sugar topping; the cinnamon-sugar biscuits being added on top for Monkey Bread.

How to know when Monkey Bread is done

When Monkey Bread is fully cooked it should be puffy and slightly crisp on top. A skewer, when inserted into the thickest part, should come out clean. You can also move a few pieces in the center to see if they are at all doughy. If you see doughy pieces, leave it in for longer; if not, it’s good to go!

Image of Monkey Bread being prepped for baking; coming out of the oven, freshly baked.

Monkey Bread storage

Does monkey bread need to be refrigerated?

No! In fact, it’s better to not refrigerate Monkey Bread. Refrigerating will make the cake stale and hard.

Room temperature storage is the best option. Monkey Bread is best stored in an airtight container on a counter and out of direct sunlight. I recommend a plastic bag as it minimizes moisture loss and keeps the bread soft for up to two days.

How to make it ahead of time

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

Freezing Monkey Bread

Tightly wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and then in an airtight container; freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge but note that freezing and thawing Monkey Bread will cause a loss in texture and flavor.

(Never freeze the uncooked dough, as it will render the yeast inactive.)

Image of freshly baked Monkey Bread, with a hand reaching to take a piece.



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    1. Sorry I’ve never tried this recipe in a cake pan; I have in a muffin tin though (just make miniature monkey breads)

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