Fall is the perfect time of year to bake. It’s finally cool enough to turn on the oven, and we love the sweet and savory smells that emanate from a busy kitchen.
One baking project that’s on our list is monkey bread because it’s so versatile. Whether you’re short on time or have a whole day to spend, you can tailor it to fit your schedule. Likewise, it can be sweet or savory, or both sweet and savory. Whatever you’re in the mood for, monkey bread can deliver.
What Do You Need for Monkey Bread?
The details differ based on your recipe, but below you'll find a few key requirements to make monkey bread from scratch.
Flour and Butter: You will need lots of flour and butter, unless you take a shortcut and use refrigerated biscuits. Sweet monkey bread recipes call for sugar too, though we’ll offer suggestions for cutting back where possible.
Foil: It’s helpful to have foil ready to cover the top of your bread if it’s getting too dark while baking.
Sweet Monkey Bread
This recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction makes classic monkey bread with dough from scratch. If you already have a bread dough recipe you love, start with that. Otherwise, follow Sally’s recipe for the dough.
We love Sally’s technique of dipping each ball of dough in melted butter before rolling them in cinnamon and sugar. You can even change up the spices in the coating if you like, or turn this recipe into a savory version by substituting fresh or dried herbs in place of cinnamon sugar.
Speaking of sugar: All the sugar in this recipe makes our teeth hurt just reading it, so we might forego the vanilla glaze. We’re certain this bread will be just as decadent and delicious without glaze. But if you’re determined to get that cinnamon roll look and flavor, go for the glaze.
Sweet and Savory Monkey Bread
Most of the ingredients in this recipe from Saveur are on the savory side — gruyere, rosemary, a healthy dose of salt and pepper — but the honey and butter glaze adds a touch of sweetness. While you could use your own bread dough recipe here too, we like how this dough doesn’t require a great deal of time or attention.
This monkey bread could be an elegant addition to the dinner table in place of rolls or biscuits, or you could serve it with breakfast or brunch. We’re normally big fans of compound butter, but in this case we think it’s better to let the delicate flavors of the bread shine through.
Savory Monkey Bread
We might rename this recipe from Good Dinner Mom, Everything Monkey Bread. But unlike an everything bagel where all the toppings are mixed together, this concoction includes individually-coated dough balls. Roll one in poppy seeds, another in dried dill, one more in grated cheese — you get the picture. Pop all of them into a Bundt pan, tube pan, or Dutch oven, and then bake.
While you could pass this platter of bread around a dinner table, we like this idea of serving it as an appetizer. Everyone can pull off a chunk with their preferred toppings. Plus, it saves you from having to accommodate everyone’s tastes with a limited number of appetizers.
The Monkey Bread Shortcut
This recipe from Just a Taste is another sweet one, but we wanted to highlight how they use refrigerated biscuits instead of dough from scratch. Don’t turn up your nose; refrigerated biscuits save time and are pretty tasty too. Use this shortcut to whip up a batch of monkey bread on short notice and make your home smell wonderful too.