This Pull-apart Monkey Bread is a classic! Not only does it taste delicious, but you get to eat it with your hands…and that makes it even better!
The beginning of Spring is such a great time of the year! The end of March is always difficult for me as I feel like the weather should start warming up…but Old Man Winter is stubborn here in upstate New York. We end up with frigid days that often still involve snow. And all the while, I keep seeing these commercials on ESPN for the Masters down in Augusta, Georgia. The grass is bright green and the azaleas are all in full bloom. Then I look outside and see snow.
But April brings hope of warmer weather! I start to plan out what to plant in the garden (even though we have to wait until mid-May to actually plant). I start to clean out all of the dirt and sand that’s collected in the garage over the winter. And I might even venture outside in a t-shirt. Funny enough, temperatures are totally relative now that we live in the north. Growing up in the south, I’d pull out a jacket if the temperature got into the 50’s. Now once the temperature hits 50 °F in the Spring, I’ll venture out in a short-sleeved shirt.
One of my favorite memories from Spring is actually getting my first car. One spring, my grandparents made the long roadtrip from east Texas to Raleigh, NC to give me their old car. Sure, it might have been a hand-me-down car from my grandparents, but as a college student I didn’t care what I drove. It had 4 wheels, and the promise of getting to venture off campus occasionally was enough! And you know what? I put some miles on that white Chevy Malibu. From college roadtrips to my years living in south Louisiana and then up to Atlanta, that car treated me well. I finally traded it in for a new car once I got my first job after grad school. But I gotta admit that it was strange getting out of that car for the last time at the dealership.
Another favorite memory of Spring? Pull-apart Monkey Bread. My Mom always made this Pull-apart Monkey Bread on Easter morning. She’d get up and prep the bread while my sister and I stretched for our annual Easter egg hunt. (I had to be in tip-top shape to find those eggs!) Then we’d come inside, eat some of this monkey bread and then head off to church. There may have been more Pull-apart Monkey Bread involved post-church, too. Just sayin’.
This monkey bread is pretty much one of my favorite treats ever! It’s definitely loaded with butter and sugar, but it’s so worth the extra workout or two! Plus, you get to eat with your hands…and that makes everything better. I’ve seen monkey bread made with biscuit dough, and I’m sure that’s tasty. But I love making my own dough. And truthfully, this dough is pretty darned easy to make. It does involve resting overnight in the fridge, though. So spend that extra 10 minutes the night before making the dough. Trust me when I say it’s worth it! Enjoy!
Pull-apart Monkey Bread
For the Dough
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast i.e. one ¼-oz. package
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1½ cups whole milk warm but not hot
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
For the Filling
- 1 cup unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tsp ground cinnamon divided
- 1¼ cups brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
For the Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1½ Tbsp milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
For the Dough
- Using a countertop mixer, add flour, yeast, sugar and salt; stir until well combined.
- Add milk, butter, eggs and additional egg yolk; mix on low speed until well combined. Increase speed to medium, and mix for 3-4 minutes or until a smooth dough forms.
- Transfer dough into a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.
For the Filling
- The next morning, spray a 10-12 cup bundt pan with baking spray; set pan aside.
- Make the filling by melting ½ cup (4 oz.) of butter in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and 2 tsp of ground cinnamon. Set butter and cinnamon-sugar aside. (Note: Remaining butter and cinnamon will be used later.)
- Turn dough out onto lightly-floured countertop or cutting board. Fold dough several times to remove air. Pull off a piece of dough and roll into a ~1 ball. Dip ball into melted butter and then roll in cinnamon-sugar. Place ball into greased bundt pan. Repeat with remaining dough. (Note: You should aim for for ~40 dough balls in this stage.)
- Cover pan with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Melt remaining ½ cup (4 oz.) of butter in a medium bowl. Add brown sugar, nutmeg, vanilla and remaining 2 tsp of cinnamon; stir until well combined. Spread mixture evenly on top of dough balls in pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, or until top of monkey bread begins to turn golden brown. (Tip: Put a baking sheet on a lower rack in the oven. The Filling sometimes bubbles over and drips out of the pan, and the baking sheet will make clean-up easy!)
- Let bread rest in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto large serving plate. Let cool for 10 more minutes.
- In a medium bowl, make the Glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Drizzle glaze over top of monkey bread.
Looking for more tasty monkey bread recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: