Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread Recipe

Though you might not originally guess it, monkey bread has quite the global history. The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage explains how Hungarian immigrants first popularized the bread in the U.S., and the dish became so popular in mid-century Hollywood that glamour girls of the silver screen would serve it at their star-studded shindigs. During the Reagan era first lady Nancy served it at the White House and from there, it trickled down to home cooks eager to try their hand at this quick and easy breakfast bread.

These days there are all manner of monkey breads both sweet and savory, but recipe developer Jessica Morone's version sticks pretty close to the original apart from one notable twist. As she tells us, "This recipe is special because it uses canned cinnamon rolls, which makes this monkey bread even more packed with cinnamon flavor." She also notes that "canned cinnamon rolls come with frosting that you can top this monkey bread with" and describes the resulting bread as "a sweet, gooey treat."

You only need 5 ingredients for this monkey bread

As the base for her monkey bread, Morone uses three cans of cinnamon rolls, though she says you can use jumbo-sized rolls, just 2 cans of these, in which case you'd divide each roll into six pieces rather than four.

In addition to the rolls and their icing packets you'll need white sugar, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Morone adds that "you could definitely switch up this recipe by adding chopped nuts," suggesting that you stir these into the brown sugar/butter mixture.

Make the cinnamon dough balls

Preheat the oven to 350 F, then whack the cans on the counter, pop them open, and take out the cinnamon rolls. Be sure to save the icing packets, as these will be put to use later on. Cut each roll into four pieces, then roll each piece into a ball.

Mix the sugar and the cinnamon, then roll each dough ball in the cinnamon sugar until all of them are coated with the sweet stuff.

Assemble the monkey bread

Spritz a 12-cup (standard-sized) bundt pan with cooking spray, then fill it with half of the dough balls. Mix the brown sugar and butter, then pour half the syrup over the dough balls. Top them with the rest of the dough balls followed by the rest of the syrup.

Bake the monkey bread

Bake the monkey bread for 30 to 35 minutes. When it's done, the dough balls should be puffed up and golden brown in color. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then flip it over onto a plate. At this point, heat up the icing in the microwave for 7 to 10 seconds, then drizzle it over the monkey bread.

While the bread itself is best eaten warm, Morone says that you can refrigerate the leftovers, although you should cover them before doing so. You can also freeze them if you prefer. Either way, they can be reheated in the oven or microwave.

Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
This monkey bread uses cinnamon rolls for the dough, making for an extra warm and inviting treat.
Prep Time
Cook Time
monkey bread with white frosting
Total time: 40 minutes
  • 3 cans Pillsbury cinnamon rolls with icing
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a standard 12-cup bundt pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the packages and set aside the containers of icing. Cut each cinnamon roll into 4 even pieces. Gently roll each piece into balls using your hands.
  3. Add the granulated sugar and cinnamon to a medium-sized bowl and stir together until combined.
  4. Add the balls of cinnamon roll dough to the bowl and roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until coated.
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the brown sugar and melted butter.
  6. Add half of the cinnamon roll balls to the prepared bundt pan. Pour half of the melted butter mixture over the dough. Add the remaining cinnamon roll balls to the bundt pan, then pour the rest of the melted butter mixture over the top of the dough.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until the dough has fully risen and is golden brown.
  8. Allow the monkey bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then flip it over onto a serving plate.
  9. Add the reserved icing to a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for 7 to 10 seconds in the microwave, then pour it over the top of the baked monkey bread. Serve the monkey bread warm.
Calories per Serving 510
Total Fat 20.9 g
Saturated Fat 8.7 g
Trans Fat 5.3 g
Cholesterol 20.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 77.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Total Sugars 39.2 g
Sodium 915.5 mg
Protein 5.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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