An Easy Anytime Treat for Your Little Monkeys

Monkey bread

Cinnamon rolls are a near-irresistible treat, but they do require a lot of time and work. Monkey bread captures the same flavors with a lot less time and effort, which makes it an ideal anytime treat when you're in the mood for something fresh-baked with sugary goodness. This monkey bread recipe uses frozen bread dough for maximum convenience, and adds caramel sauce to make the finished bread even more delightfully addictive.

Total Time: 60 to 70 minutes | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 12 to 16


  • 2 loaves (1 pound each) frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping, or other caramel sauce


  1. Use a pastry brush to coat the inside of a large Bundt pan or tube pan with melted butter. Heat your oven to 350F. 
  2. Cut each loaf of dough into 20 to 24 small balls. Pour the melted butter into a large mixing bowl, then add the dough balls. Toss until they're evenly coated with butter. 
  3. Combine the sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl, and then sprinkle them over the dough balls and toss again. Finally, drizzle the balls with the caramel syrup and toss once more. 
  4. Pack the dough balls in layers into your tube pan. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it has roughly doubled in size. 
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the monkey bread is golden and firmly set. Remove the pan from your oven to a cooling rack. Let the bread rest in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn the pan over and tip the bread out onto a serving plate. Serve as soon as it has cooled enough not to burn those little monkey fingers. 


  • If you wish, you can glaze the warm monkey bread with a simple flat icing—milk and powdered sugar, whisked together—or with regular vanilla icing from the supermarket, warmed gently in the microwave until it's just barely pourable. 
  • To make the monkey bread even more kid-friendly, you can "s'more-ify" it by scattering a handful each of chocolate chips and mini-marshmallows between the layers.
  • For a more adult version, scatter coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans between the dough balls.