Monkey bread muffins are a favorite breakfast treat. Homemade and delicious, rolled in cinnamon and sugar and drizzled with a luscious vanilla glaze, make a sweet, perfect breakfast bun that everyone loves.
We really love Blueberry Corn Muffins for breakfast, but pull apart monkey bread is a favorite breakfast treat, especially because of the vanilla glaze. My son loves homemade monkey bread muffins because his favorite animal is a monkey, likely because it matches his rascally monkey personality and he likes to get into monkey business! Or maybe because he loves bananas as much as a monkey does (he just LOVES chunky monkey oatmeal!).
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What is Monkey Bread?
Monkey bread is a cluster of dough balls baked together in a pan along with a sweet or savory flavoring or sauce. Monkey bread muffins can be made sweet or savory, and these cinnamon monkey bread muffins focus on the sweet. You could also add in some chopped nuts and dried fruit to change it up. This pull apart monkey bread recipe includes a lovely sweet vanilla glaze to drizzle on the top. Pure fun and delicious.
Cinnamon sugar monkey bread muffins are one of my daughter’s favorites. She just loves cinnamon, so much so that she usually doubles up cinnamon in Banana Bread Overnight Oats and even Banana Bread!
How to Make Monkey Bread From Scratch
An amazing monkey bread muffin begins with a great homemade monkey bread recipe. Unlike my favorite easy cinnamon buns, this is not an overnight recipe. Monkey bread ingredients include things that you likely have on hand:
- sour cream
Start with mixing up the dough, and allow it to rise (while you are making your main dish).
Divide the dough into round balls of dough for each monkey bread muffin. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Dip the dough balls in melted butter, then the sugar mixture and nestle into the pan.
Kids LOVE this job. I couldn’t help but include this picture of my boy licking his fingers after helping (and a shot of little hands putting the dough in the pan too).
Allow the homemade monkey bread to rise in the pan and bake. Cool for a few minutes, and turn out onto a serving platter. Drizzle with the glaze, and voila!
How to Make Monkey Bread Without a Bundt Pan
Like bundt cake, monkey bread is typically baked in a bundt pan (I can’t wait to get one of these Nordic Ware bundt pans!). For serving, the monkey bread is turned out onto a platter, then a glaze drizzled on the top.
In this fun cinnamon monkey bread version, we bake the monkey bread in muffin tins. I like to use a metal non-stick muffin pan, which makes it a little easier to remove the monkey bread muffins. If you prefer an aluminum muffin tin, this will work too.
For best results, make sure there is plenty of butter when dipping and squish the dough balls together slightly in the muffin tin before allowing to rise.
Bake in the muffin tins. Once baked, allow to cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin on a rack. Turn out onto a cookie sheet and flip over. Glaze, and serve!
These homemade monkey bread muffins are made using white sugar. Brown sugar will work as well. White sugar makes them taste a lot like the cinnamon donuts you get at the fair!
Monkey bread muffins don’t last long since everyone loves them so much. We served these at the lake, and the kids couldn’t get enough of them. Monkey bread muffins are best served the same day, but if any are left over, enjoy them the next day too.
If any cinnamon monkey bread muffins happen to fall apart when removed from the muffin tin, they make delicious bite-sized cinnamon buns! Dip the tops of the little cinnamon bubble buns in the glaze and set on a plate. They’ll be gone in no time!
Why is it Called Monkey Bread?
Monkey bread goes by many names. It is referred to as monkey puzzle bread, sticky bread, golden dumpling coffee cake, pinch-me cake, pull-apart bread, and Hungarian coffee cake. Hungarian coffee cake is believed to be the origin of monkey bread, brought over to North America in the 1880s. The main difference is that Hungarian coffee cake is not dipped in cinnamon, just butter. It seems that it was renamed monkey bread in America because it is meant to be pulled apart and maybe eaten like a monkey would, with your fingers.
Waking up to the smell of fresh baked from scratch monkey bread muffins is always a great way to start the day. I guarantee no one will complain about a breakfast monkey bread treat!
When it comes to a weekend breakfast, the best monkey bread recipe deserves to be paired with a lovely fruit salad or a yogurt bowl and a Breakfast Bake or Jalapeno Popper Quiche, depending on our mood!
This delicious monkey bread recipe has both a cinnamon sugar mixture and a vanilla glaze, so it’s also perfect as a dessert. Add a little ice cream anyone?
Monkey Bread Muffins
- 1 ½ cups sugar *
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter plus more as needed
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over warm water and let stand 5-10 minutes, until it bubbles. Using a wooden spoon, stir in melted butter, sour cream, sugar, egg, and vanilla until well combined.
- Stir in 2 cups of flour with wooden spoon until combined. Add remaining ½ cup flour and mix until dough is uniform, about 3-4 minutes.
- Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 3 minutes. If the dough is sticky, add flour ½-1 teaspoon at a time. (I did not need extra flour other than my floured surface.)
- Once dough is smooth, place in the mixing bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- With butter, lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin then add flour, tapping out excess flour.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Vanilla may seem to make it wet, but it will return to a crumbly texture.
- Melt butter in a small dish and set aside.
Make the Monkey Bread Muffins:
- Gently punch down dough, about 4-5 times. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Using a sharp knife, divide each of the 12 pieces into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
- Each muffin will use six balls. Roll each ball in melted butter to coat generously, and drop into the cinnamon mix, tossing to coat.**
- Place five balls in the bottom of the muffin tin around the outside, and nestle a sixth ball in the middle of the 5 balls snugly, pushing it in carefully so that it is even with the outer 5 balls.
- Once all muffins are prepared in the muffin tin, sprinkle remaining sugar mixture over top of the muffins. Using plastic wrap, loosely cover muffins and let muffins rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place the muffins on the center rack of the oven, and turn the oven down to 325°F. Bake until golden, about 20-22 minutes.
- Transfer the muffin tin to a wire cooling rack to cool for 5-10 minutes. Carefully turn the monkey bread muffins out onto a cookie sheet (or parchment or wax paper). For any that don’t come out, carefully run a knife around the edges until they’re ready to come out. With the sugar, you may find they need a bit of help. Place on the wire cooling rack.
- In a small bowl, mix the glaze ingredients until smooth. If you prefer a thinner glaze, use 1 teaspoon of milk to thin it out. Drizzle glaze on muffins.
- Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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Adapted from Sprinkle With Flour