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Monkey Bread Muffins

These monkey bread muffins are insanely soft, pillowy, and buttery, with crunchy cinnamon-sugar coated all over them. They’re so good, I want to cry.

Seriously, these muffins are the stuff of legends.

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There’s just something about the combination of bread, cinnamon, sugar, and butter that’s just too good for words. 

Soft and Buttery Monkey Bread Muffins

They’re great for breakfast, dessert, and an afternoon or midnight snack. 

They’re perfect for the holiday season, but also incredibly easy to make any day a craving strikes.

You must be salivating by now, so I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s do this!

Monkey Bread Muffins

Monkey bread, also called sticky bread, African coffee cake, and pluck-it cake is a pull-apart bread coated with cinnamon, sugar, and butter. 

Created way back in the 1950s, it remains well-loved to this day, because, well, how can anyone resist it?

Monkey bread muffins are basically monkey bread in the form of muffins.

They have the same pillowy texture and ooey-gooey buttery goodness, but their miniature size makes them more charming.

And because they’re made in smaller, individual-sized portions, you can enjoy one whole piece to yourself – no sharing required.

Homemade Monkey Bread Muffins

Why is Monkey Bread called Monkey Bread?

Monkey bread gets its name from the way it is eaten.

It’s consumed by picking the pieces apart, which is the same way a monkey would have its meals (or groom its fellow primate). 

So, basically, it’s not really the bread that resembles a monkey, but those who eat it! 

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Ingredients 

  • Sugar-Cinnamon – A mixture of granulated sugar and cinnamon. I like to add a tablespoon of cinnamon for every half cup of sugar, but feel free to alter the ratio depending on your taste.
  • Biscuit Dough – The great thing about this recipe is while it still tastes like freshly baked bread, it’s really just made of canned biscuit dough! You don’t have to tell your friends – they won’t notice, anyway.

I like to use Pillsbury, but go for your brand of choice.

  • Caramel – a mix of melted butter or margarine and brown sugar. Drizzled all over, it coats every nook and cranny of the muffins, making the store-bought biscuit dough taste 100% homemade.

Either dark or light brown sugar works for this recipe, but I like to use the latter for aesthetic purposes.

Expect a super dark hue when you use dark brown sugar.

Pouring Milk Into Monkey Bread Muffins

How to Make Monkey Bread Muffins

It’s so easy, it’s embarrassing!

Prep: preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease muffin tins with baking spray or butter.

If you have muffin liners, though, better. With muffin liners, your muffin tins won’t be dirtied with sticky caramel.

This recipe makes 2 dozen muffins, so you’ll need to prepare two (1-dozen) muffin tins.

Make the cinnamon-sugar mixture. In a large, Ziploc bag, place the granulated sugar and cinnamon and shake until combined.

You can also do this in a bowl, but in the interest of easy clean-up, I usually opt for this approach.

Cut and coat the biscuits. Slice the biscuits into quarters. You can also shape them into balls for aesthetics.

Place the biscuits in the bag and shake until completely coated.

Stuff the prepared liners with 4 to 5 biscuits, or until 2/3 full.

Make the caramel. Combine brown sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Alternatively, you can also melt the butter in the microwave at 1-minute bursts.

Drizzle the caramel over the biscuits.

If there’s remaining cinnamon-sugar left in the bag, sprinkle it over the muffins as well.

Note: some recipes call for dipping the biscuits into the melted butter first before coating them in cinnamon sugar to make it stick more.

You can certainly go for this approach, but this short-cut method is perfectly fine, too.

Bake. Pop them in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden.

Cool and Serve. Allow them to cool slightly, about 5 minutes, and serve warm. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Sugar Monkey Bread Muffins

Tips for Making The Best Muffins  

  • If you’re using frozen biscuit dough, be sure to transfer it to the fridge or let it thaw on the counter beforehand. If you’re forgetful like me, though, you can always pop it in the microwave to thaw quickly.
  • Use a sharp pair of scissors to slice the biscuit dough into even pieces. 
  • You don’t have to melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan, the microwave will do. Just place the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave in 1-minute bursts until melted.
  • Grease the muffin cups well to prevent the muffins from sticking to the bottom. I prefer lining them with muffin liners so I can easily lift them out. It also makes for easier clean-up since the muffin cups won’t be all sticky with butter and sugar.
  • Don’t overbake the muffins, or they’ll be tough and dry. Don’t underbake either, or the dough will be undercooked in the middle. You’ll know they’re done when they start to turn golden.
  • Variations:
    • Add raisins, chocolate chips,  and/or chopped nuts (i.e. pecans, walnuts, cashews) to the melted butter mixture for more flavor and texture.
    • Mix in your choice of spices to the cinnamon-sugar mixture for more oomph. Nutmeg, all-spice, cardamom, and cloves all make great options.
    • Sprinkle the muffins with dried fruit, like cranberries, candied cherries, or apricot pieces.
    • Stuff the dough pieces with a few cubes of cream cheese for a salty surprise.
    • Instead of caramel, drizzle the muffins with sugar glaze instead. Simply whisk together 2 cups of powdered sugar and about 3 tablespoons of milk until combined. Add more or less milk depending on how thick you want the glaze. Top the muffins with the glaze after baking, not before. 
    • Top the muffins with chocolate ganache: a mix of equal parts melted chocolate and cream.
  • Serving Suggestions:
    • Serve with jam or warm butter on the side.
    • Serve with fresh fruit to make them more guilt-free.
    • Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top for a delectable dessert.
    • Enjoy them on their own!
  • Storage:
    • Place the muffins in an air-tight container with a paper towel inside to help absorb moisture. 
    • Store them at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week. Warm them in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds before serving.
    • Freeze the muffins on a baking sheet for 1 hour until solid. Transfer them into freezer-safe bags, squeezing out as much air as you can before sealing to prevent freezer burn. Freeze them for up to 3 months.
    • Thaw them in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave.
  • To make them ahead, assemble the muffins a day early and refrigerate them overnight. Bake them the following morning as instructed for a scrumptious breakfast.

More Cinnamon-Flavored Recipes You’ll Enjoy

Monkey Bread Muffins

Servings

24

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Calories

180

kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 3 (10-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuit dough, separated and sliced into quarters

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin cups with butter or baking spray or line with muffin liners.
  • Place granulated sugar and cinnamon in a 1-gallon Ziploc bag, seal, and shake to combine. Add the sliced biscuits and toss to coat.
  • Press biscuits into the prepared muffin cups 2/3 full.
  • Make the caramel: stir together brown sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drizzle caramel over the biscuits.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden. Let the muffins cool for about 5 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy.
Monkey Bread Muffins

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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