This easy pull-apart Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread is made with canned cinnamon rolls and coated in a cinnamon and sugar mixture. This monkey bread makes the perfect holiday breakfast or just a treat for the family to pick at any time of the day!
I have found a very easy way to make fantastic cinnamon roll monkey bread. This recipe is easy enough to make on busy weekday mornings. It is a breakfast that everyone in your house is guaranteed to devour. Let me tell you all about it!
What is Monkey Bread?
Monkey bread is a soft, sweet, and sticky breakfast pastry made with bread dough, butter, cinnamon, and sugar.
The pastry was first created as a way to use up leftover scraps of dough. Small dough scraps were tossed in melted butter, cinnamon and sugar and then baked in a bundt pan or cake pan. The end result was a sweet bread that you could pull apart with your hands.
Why is pull apart bread called monkey bread?
Monkey bread got its name because you pull off pieces of the bread with your fingers, just like a monkey would do- no utensils required!
How to Make Monkey Bread with Cinnamon Rolls
Unless you bake a lot of homemade bread or work in a bakery, you might not have extra scraps of dough laying around. Rather than use bread dough scraps, you can simply use store bought cinnamon roll dough instead.
Making monkey bread with cinnamon rolls is incredibly easy. Here is a quick look at how to make monkey bread with cinnamon rolls.
Step 1 - Melt the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter is melted. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add in the butter and brown sugar. Let the butter melt while stirring occasionally.
Step 2 - Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a large bowl. Cut the unbaked cinnamon rolls into quarters and toss them into the bowl of cinnamon sugar.
Step 3 - Place the coated dough into the prepared bundt pan, piling the dough on top of the melted butter and brown sugar.
Step 4 - Bake the cinnamon roll monkey bread in your preheated oven. Let the monkey bread cool for just a few minutes in the pan and then flip it out.
PRO TIP: Flipping the monkey bread out of the pan while it’s still warm prevents it from sticking to the bundt pan- its a very sticky bread!
Step 5 - Drizzle the monkey bread with frosting from the cinnamon roll package.
Once your cinnamon roll monkey bread is baked and iced, it is ready to enjoy! Sure, you can cut slices of the bread with a knife but I prefer to pull off chunks and pop them right into my mouth. That is the beauty of a monkey bread after all!
What Cinnamon Rolls to Use
For my cinnamon roll monkey bread recipe, I like to use Pillsbury Grands. They are big and flaky which bakes into large, fluffy pieces of monkey bread. The big pieces bake together nicely to make a cohesive looking bread but they still pull apart very easily.
You really can use any kind of cinnamon rolls that you’d like. However, if you use the smaller sized rolls, I recommend getting 4 tubes rather than just 3. The smaller tubes of refrigerated cinnamon rolls are significantly tinier and you will need more dough.
Can I Freeze Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread?
You can freeze cinnamon roll monkey bread after it has baked. Let the monkey bread cool completely and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze the cinnamon roll monkey bread for up to a month. Let it thaw at room temperature when you are ready to enjoy it.
While freezing cinnamon roll monkey bread is easy to do, I highly recommend simply making this recipe fresh. It takes less than 25 minutes to put the whole recipe together and there is nothing quite like a warm, fresh cinnamon roll monkey bread straight out of the oven. Freezing the bread is doable but a fresh bread is just so much better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Monkey bread will keep for about 3-4 days at room temperature. Wrap the monkey bread tightly in plastic wrap and keep it on your kitchen counter. Another great idea is to use a cake holder. It is easy to pull a piece off and pop it into your mouth when it’s conveniently on your counter, too!
Warm up the frosting for a few seconds in the microwave and then drizzle it over the baked cinnamon roll monkey bread. This adds a sweet flavor to the bread and makes the bread pretty.
You can also heat the frosting slightly and then use it as a dip for your monkey bread. Pull off a piece of monkey bread and dip it right into the frosting. It doesn’t get any tastier than that!
You don't have to use a bundt pan for monkey bread. Any cake pan with a tubed center will work. The tube center of the pan helps the monkey bread bake evenly.
If you use a regular cake pan, the center of the monkey bread tends to still be raw while the edges begin to crisp.
If you do not have a bundt pan or tubed cake pan, I recommend making mini cinnamon roll monkey breads in a muffin tin. Cut the monkey bread pieces smaller and divide them into a well greased muffin tin. These mini monkey breads are cute, tasty and great for sharing.
You definitely can add nuts to this cinnamon monkey bread recipe! Chopped pecans are my favorite but any kind of nuts will work.
As you add the cinnamon sugar coated dough pieces to the bundt pan, sprinkle nuts in between the dough pieces. I would recommend using about 1 ¾ cups of chopped nuts for this recipe. More than that and the dough pieces may not bake together quite as well and cause your monkey bread to fall apart.
Looking for more Monkey Bread Recipes?
If you're looking for Homemade Monkey Bread, I have just the recipe for you. Whip up your own dough with this recipe.
Don't have an oven available? This Instant Pot Monkey Bread recipe gives simple instructions on how to cook your monkey bread in a pressure cooker.
Lastly, this Easy Monkey Bread is made with regular store-bought canned biscuits and not cinnamon rolls. They is made very similar but have different
Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread
- ½ cup butter melted
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 17.5 ounce tubes Grands! Flaky Cinnamon Rolls
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10 inch bundt pan or tube pan with nonstick baking spray.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add in the butter and brown sugar. Let the butter melt while stirring occasionally.
- Once the butter is melted, pour the topping into the prepared bundt pan.
- Add the sugar and cinnamon to a small bowl. Stir until combined.
- Quarter each cinnamon roll and roll in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Don’t break the layers apart.
- Place in the prepared bundt pan right on top of the brown sugar and butter. Try to layer the pieces evenly so it bakes evenly.
- Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon sugar on top once all of the biscuits are coated and in the prepared pan.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour 15 to 1 hour 20 minutes until done. Use a piece of foil that’s been creased in the middle as a tent if the biscuits on the top start to get too dark. You can check for doneness by gently pulling the one of the biscuits next to the center of the bundt pan. If it’s still doughy on the bottom side of the biscuit, it needs to bake longer.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for no longer than 5 minutes.
- Place a platter with a lifted edge on top of the bundt pan and flip it so the platter is sitting on the counter. Be careful not to get splattered with the brown sugar sauce.
- Carefully pull the bundt pan off the monkey bread. If a piece sticks, just pull it off the bundt pant and put it back in place while the brown sugar syrup is still hot.
- Let it cool to room temperature and serve.
- Warm the frosting for about 10 seconds in the microwave and drizzle over the top of the monkey bread.
- Place in a cake holder or cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)
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Toni Roberto says
When you are talking about monkey bread in the beginning you very specifically say to use cinnamon biscuits and not cinnamon rolls. However in your step by step instructions.. number 2 you say cinnamon biscuits and number 4 you say cinnamon rolls. Can you please clarify this
Miranda C. says
Hi Toni! The recipe uses cinnamon rolls. I like to use Pillsbury Grands but any brand of refrigerated cinnamon roll dough will work. Thanks for the clarification and I hope this helps!
You mention in the last step to "Warm the frosting for about 10 seconds in the microwave and drizzle over the top of the monkey bread." but I don't see a recipe for the frosting. Do you just use powered sugar and milk?
Miranda C. says
I use the small container of frosting that comes with the cinnamon rolls!