Monkey bread

Monkey bread

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(25 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 35 mins plus rising and proving


Serves 12

This American, pull-apart sweet treat is sticky, spiced and stuffed with pecans - an indulgent breakfast, brunch or dessert to share

Nutrition and extra info

  • raw, before final proving

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal546
  • fat27g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs65g
  • sugars32g
  • fibre2g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.7g
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    For the dough

    • 200ml semi-skimmed milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    • 85g unsalted butter
    • 2 large eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 550g strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading if doing it by hand
    • 2½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
    • 50g golden caster sugar
    • oil, for greasing

    To assemble

    • 125g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
    • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
    • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 225g light muscovado sugar
    • 140g pecans, toasted then roughly chopped
      Pecan nuts



      Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

    For the glaze

    • 100g icing sugar, sifted
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    • pinch of ground cinnamon
    • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


    1. Start with the dough. Put the milk and butter into a medium pan and heat gently until the butter melts and the milk is at a simmer. Cool for a few mins, then beat in the eggs with a fork. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl with 1 1/2 tsp fine salt, then add the liquid and stir to a sticky dough. Leave for 5 mins, then tip onto a floured worktop and knead for 5-10 mins until smooth and springy. Use a little oil to grease a large bowl, add the dough, turn it in the oil to coat, then cover the bowl with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size. Knead in a tabletop mixer with a dough hook if you prefer.

    2. To assemble, grease a 25cm bundt pan with butter. Melt the rest of the butter in a pan. In a medium bowl mix the spices and sugar plus a pinch of salt. Spoon 2 tbsp melted butter, 3 tbsp spiced sugar and 4 tbsp pecans into the bottom of the tin.

    3. Pull the dough into about 65 small pieces and roll into balls. Taking 4 or 5 at a time, dunk the dough balls into the melted butter, let the excess drain off, then tip them into the spiced sugar. Roll to coat, then put haphazardly into the tin. Repeat until there’s a full layer of dough in the tin. Scatter with the rest of the chopped nuts, then carry on filling the tin with the coated dough balls. Tip any leftover sugar and butter over the dough. Can be frozen now for up to 1 month. Defrost in the fridge then let prove.

    4. Cover the pan with oiled clingfilm then leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr, or until risen and the dough no longer springs back when you poke it.

    5. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Bake the monkey bread for 35 mins, or until well risen and golden. Let the pan cool for 5 mins, then give it a sharp rap on the counter. Leave in the tin until just warm.

    6. Whisk all of the ingredients together to make the glaze. It will thicken as the melted butter cools. Turn the monkey bread onto a serving plate, then drizzle with the glaze. Let it set, if you can bear the wait.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Mrs. H's picture
    Mrs. H
    24th Jun, 2019
    I omitted the nuts, but it was still delicious and moist , and it did not last that long once it had cooled down enough . My family demolished it and I have got the demands to make it again.
    1st Dec, 2017
    Fantastic loaf/dessert. One of the best tasting treats I have ever made and is great to share and dip in and out of. Make sure you have a warm environment and add the milk warm to get a good rise.
    21st Aug, 2017
    This recipe is amazing. I didn't use the nuts but it's so so moist and so tastie.
    14th Jun, 2017
    Very tasty, didn't add the pecans but followed the rest of the recipe exactly and it didn't even last 24 hours, my little boy is already asking when we can make it again. Delicious.
    3rd Jun, 2017
    Prep and cook times - fine, but factor in the proving times. Was really looking forward to eating this, but what the hell is happening with this glaze business? I have a mass that will not incorporate the melted butter. Can't understand what I have done wrong... everyone else seems thrilled with this recipe.
    18th Feb, 2016
    made this several times, normally for big friends gatherings or Christmas. It's just amazing, highly recommend it, it's always a hit with everyone. I now started adding cumin and ground ginger to cinnamon when making cinnamon buns and they got so much better:)
    5th Dec, 2015
    I'm just making this now and it smells heavenly! The dough was very easy to work with (I didn't need any extra flour when kneading). I will be making this as a centrepiece to my Christmas spread because of the festive flavours!
    sllyst's picture
    8th May, 2015
    This is absolutely amazing! It's brioche meets cinnamon buns and I can't recommend it strongly enough!
    7th Apr, 2015
    Did this again with half the amounts for a smaller cake, turned out great
    5th Apr, 2015
    It turned out amazingly delicious, was a hit at a dinner party! Once I mixed and kneaded the dough I left it to prove for longer than an hour as it didn't rise as much as I'd expected, but then eventually it did and was a great dough to work with. Tasted absolutely great - butter, sugar and spices is always a winner :)


    Rory's picture
    14th May, 2020
    Hello ! At what point can you let the dough prove overnight in the fridge is it part 4 or earlier on ? Thanks !
    lulu_grimes's picture
    15th May, 2020
    Hello, Yes, once you've assembled it at part 4. I hope you enjoy it, it was a favourite in the test kitchen! Lulu
    1st May, 2020
    Would walnuts work instead of pecans?
    Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
    1st May, 2020
    Hey, Esther from the cookery team here. Yes walnuts would be lovely! Thanks for your question!
    20th May, 2019
    Is it mandatory to have a bundt tin for this? I have a loaf tin was going to try it in that but unsure if it will bake evenly
    goodfoodteam's picture
    24th May, 2019
    Thanks for your question. You can cook this in a different tin but we can't give an exact size or cooking time without testing it.
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