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5-Ingredient Sticky Toffee Monkey Bread

2013 December 16

If you were to keep one easy, cozy breakfast recipe in your back pocket for a special occasion (or snowy day), few things are more comforting than this ooey, gooey Monkey Bread. With some smart tweaks, I transformed the traditional (time-consuming) dish into a insanely delicious treat you can get on the table in under 45 minutes!

monkey bread

You see, classic monkey bread is made using a homemade yeast dough, cut into pieces, then baked in a brown sugar coating and topped with a drippy glaze; amazing but also a ton of work. That’s why many recipes you’ll find online call for refrigerator biscuit dough. It’s a fabulous shortcut ingredient! True it lacks that yeasty, DIY flavor but you’re coating these babies in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon—I promise you won’t notice!

Monkey bread

Even though the recipe only calls for 5 ingredients, this quickie Monkey Bread is coated with two layers of sweetness: Each dough ball is rolled in cinnamon-spiked brown sugar, then soaked in a stove-top toffee sauce. The flavors are inspired by Sticky Toffee Pudding, an old-school British dessert (basically sponge cake soaked in toffee and custard).
monkey bread

If you’re willing to splurge on an extra ingredient or two: Feel free to add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and/or bourbon to the toffee sauce (step 4) but this recipe is truly addictive as is.

monkey bread

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Just reheat and top with extra toffee sauce before serving!

monkey breadphotos by Erin Phraner

5-Ingredient Sticky Toffee Monkey Bread
serves 6 to 8

2 sticks butter, plus more for the pan
2 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 (16-ounce) cans refrigerator biscuit dough (original or buttermilk)
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter a 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside.
2. Put 1/2 cup brown sugar and the cinnamon in a resealable plastic bag; shake and knead the sugar mixture in the bag until combined.
3. Separate the biscuit dough into individual biscuits. Tear each into 2 to 3 pieces and roll into balls. A few at a time, put dough balls in the bag with the cinnamon sugar and shake until coated; brush off any excess sugar and arrange in the prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
4. Bring the heavy cream, 2 sticks butter and remaining 2 cups brown sugar to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring and/or whisking occasionally, until melted and combined.
5. Pour half of the toffee sauce over the dough balls in the Bundt pan; save the remaining toffee sauce for serving. Bake the monkey bread until fluffy and golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and invert onto a serving plate (if using a cake stand, set a plate underneath to catch any initial drips). Serve with remaining toffee sauce for drizzling and dipping (heated in the microwave, if needed).

monkey bread

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Erin Phraner

Erin Phraner

Food Contributor, blogs at Hey, EEP!
Food editor & recipe creator living in Brooklyn, NY.
Erin writes the '5 Ingredient Recipes' column.
Erin Phraner

Latest posts by Erin Phraner (see all)

25 Responses Post a comment
  1. December 16, 2013

    This looks so amazing… and dangerous! If there’s brown sugar and butter, count me in.

  2. December 16, 2013

    this looks so delicious! I can’t wait to bake and EAT!!!!!

  3. December 16, 2013

    My family makes a slightly different version of monkey break for Christmas morning breakfast. It uses frozen dinner rolls, butter, and butterscotch pudding mix! Super easy, and SO delicious. Now you’ve got me craving it!

    • December 16, 2013

      LOVE the idea of using butterscotch pudding mix, Amanda! Do you dissolve it in the butter or do you roll the balls in it, kind of like the sugar mixture here? I’d love to know! Thanks for sharing xo – Erin

      • trubi permalink
        April 25, 2015

        I put dinner rolls in a bundt pan melt a stick of butter pour it all over sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar and one package butterscotch pudding pkt over it all, let sit out over night. In the morning I bake it at 350 til golden and slightly crunchy on top remove from oven and invert bundt pan onto a larger platter and serve. It’s amazing, quick and so easy.

  4. December 16, 2013

    This looks dangerously delish!


  5. December 16, 2013

    Yum! I’ve always wanted to try monkey bread! How nice to have a freutcake approved recipe 🙂

  6. December 17, 2013

    I LOVE monkey bread, it’s been way too long since I’ve had it. Must make this when I go home for Christmas!!

  7. December 18, 2013

    This looks truly dangerous! Something to make when there will be lots of family around so I won’t be tempted to eat most of it myself! Thank you for an easy monkey bread!

  8. December 22, 2013

    Oh. My. Goodness. This IS going to be our new Christmas morning tradition. So glad I stumbled across your blog. Thank you!

    Wishing you sunshine cheer!

  9. Laura permalink
    December 23, 2013

    Uh oh. I just made this and used all the sauce instead of saving half. I have it in a 13 x 9 pan. Think it’ll be ok?

  10. Michelle permalink
    December 29, 2013

    Oh. My. Thighs!!!

    All the buttery goodness – made this today and it was simply fab and oh so easy! Just wish I’d found this recipe in time for Christmas morning breakfast! I know what I’ll be making next year!!

  11. Bridgette permalink
    March 13, 2014

    Anyone know if I can make this without the Bunt pan?

    • March 13, 2014

      I would try making it in a round cake pan instead! The center might be a bit gooey but it’s definitely worth a try. Or, make small individual versions in muffin tins!

  12. Robby Stanley permalink
    September 13, 2014

    My 7 yo son and I just ate our first slices of monkey bread thanks to this recipe! We had a fun time making it. There were many steps where he could help out. I added about 3 tsp of Goslings Black Seal rum to the sauce and it tastes fantastic. My son says, “It’s really delicious and I asked if I could have seconds & thirds! But we need to leave some for Mom and my sister.” I cooked it an extra 10-12 minutes just to make sure all the liquid didn’t hinder the baking of the dough balls in the center core of the ring. It turned out just fine. We used buttermilk biscuits. I’m curious what would happen if we used a different dough or even croissant dough. We will make this more often!

  13. Kelly permalink
    February 14, 2015

    We love making monkey bread, the only tweak we do compared to this recipe is adding chopped nuts in the bottom of the bunt pan first. This way, they will be on the top when cooked and covered with all the yummy goodness!

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