Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

This Monkey Bread recipe is perfect or special occasion but easy enough for every day!

This isn’t just Monkey Bread, and it isn’t just Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread but  MAPLE BACON Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread!  This monkey bread recipe is SO easy made with refrigerated cinnamon rolls and SO delicious with crispy crumbled maple bacon, pecans and a maple caramel topping. This Monkey Bread recipe is perfect Christmas, holidays, special occasion breakfasts, brunch, dessert OR just because!  It can be prepared the night before and baked in the morning or just made in the morning because it’s SO easy!  

two fingered taking a piece of Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread Recipe

There are lots of variations of monkey bread out there, including making dough from scratch, but I believe this Maple Bacon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread is the most delicious morsels of bread/rolls/dough/etc. in any form you have ever tasted.  No joke. No monkeying around.  I would never tease you with such claims when such sweet savory bliss awaits.

This Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread recipe is extra easy because it starts with pre-made cinnamon roll dough and extra delicious because the dough balls are dipped in a mixture of butter and pure maple syrup, coated in pecans, bacon, cinnamon and sugar,  baked in a maple caramel sauce and then drizzled with icing.  Jaw drop.

What is Monkey bread?

  • If you have never devoured monkey bread before, it is like a giant sweet, sticky gooey cinnamon roll comprised of lots of small dough balls all baked together in a Bundt cake pan.
  • The Monkey bread is usually coated in butter, rolled in cinnamon and nuts then smothered in some sort of sugar topping – I went with maple caramel – hello delicious.
  • Monkey bread has a plethora of names: monkey puzzle bread, monkey brains, sticky bread, Hungarian coffee cake, golden dumpling coffee cake, pinch-me cake, pull-apart bread, pluck-it cake bubble loaf, bubble bread, pull-apart bread, and/or funky bread.
side view of easy Monkey Bread made made with cinnamon rolls

Why do they call it Monkey bread?

Monkey Bread got its name because it’s a finger food that you eat by pulling it apart with your fingers with out any utensils, much like a monkey would eat it.

Where Does Monkey Bread Come From?

While Americans call this soft, sticky pastry Monkey bread, it has been around in Europe for hundreds of years before it gained popularity in the US in the mid 1900s.

Monkey Bread originated from the Hungarian dessert Arany Galuska which translates to golden dumpling.  In Arany Galuska, yeast dough balls are rolled in melted butter followed by a mixture of sugar and crushed walnuts,  layered with raisins then baked.

When the Hungarian Jewish people immigrated to the US and began selling it in bakeries, it became an American classic.  It took several decades for the name to evolve into “monkey bread.”

Today, you can see every type of variation from Pillsbury biscuit dough monkey bread, cinnamon roll monkey bread, pretzel monkey bread, pizza monkey bread, crockpot monkey bread and on and on.  But my favorite?  This Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread with Maple and Bacon!

How to Make Monkey Bread

Make dough balls. You cut each unbaked cinnamon roll into quarters then roll them into balls.  Just think mini cinnamon rolls!

Showing how to make Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread by slicing cinnamon rolls into quarters with a pizza cutter
  • Coat dough balls in butter. Roll the mini cinnamon rolls in a mixture of butter and pure maple syrup.
Showing how to make Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread by coating dough balls in a mixture of butter and maple syrup
  • Coat dough balls in crispy coating.  Then toss the buttery maple cinnamon roll dough balls in some cinnamon and sugar and finely crushed pecans and bacon.
Showing how to make Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread by coating dough balls in crushed pecans, bacon, cinnamon and sugar
  • Layer dough balls.  Layer the cinnamon, sugar, bacon, pecan coated cinnamon roll dough balls into the bundt cake pan, sprinkling with remaining bacon and pecans.
  • Smother with Maple Caramel.  Smother the entire bed of dough with a maple caramel.  This mixture is a simple mixing of brown sugar, maple syrup and butter that seeps into the nooks and crannies and bubbles and caramelizes as the monkey bread bakes.
Showing how to make Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread by pouring caramel all over dough balls in a bundt pan
  • Glaze Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread.  Drizzle the bake monkey bread with with the pre-packaged silky cinnamon roll icing.
  • Eat! And the only thing left to do is dig into your Monkey Bread seeping with buttery brown sugar, maple, bacon and pecans.  Sweet, ooey gooey morsels with the perfect hint of savory bacon.  Because bacon makes everything better.  And maple bacon makes everything taste out-of-this-world!

How do you know when monkey bread is done?

It can be tricky to know if the center of monkey bread is done because the center can be doughy even while the outside is cooked.

To tell if the monkey bread is fully cooked, I carefully move around a few pieces to get to the center to check for doneness. If the center balls are too  doughy, then continue to bake for 2-5 more minutes and check again.

Tips for Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

Use a solid bunt pan.  Do NOT use tube pans with removable bottoms (springform pans), instead, use only solid bundt pans, otherwise the caramel sauce will leak from the removable bottom.

Alternative pans. If you don’t have a solid bundt pan, you can use your Dutch oven (baking time will vary) or a 9×11 baking dish and shorten the baking time because the dough will be more spread out.

Grease pan well.  You can grease your pan with nonstick cooking spray WITH FLOUR or grease and butter your pan.  Make sure you get every nook and cranny because the hot caramel sauce is sticky!

To grease and flour your pan:

  1. Brush an even layer of softened butter all over the inside of the pan (about 1 ½ tablespoons).  Make sure you get every nook and cranny!
  2. Next, sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of flour – starting with the top edges of the pan so it trickles down the pan – make sure you do the same to the tube too, and tap and turn the pan to evenly coat.
  3. Tap a few times over the sink to remove any excess flour.

Bake on a baking sheet.  If your bundt pan becomes very full and you are worried about it overflowing and dripping, then place on a baking sheet to avoid any drips in your oven.

Remove cake after 10 minutes. You don’t want to let the Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread cool any longer than 10 minutes or the maple caramel sauce can stick and harden like glue.

Loosen monkey bread.  When you’re ready remove the monkey bread, run a knife around the edges of the pan. Firmly tap the outside of the pan a few times until you feel the bread is loose, then invert the Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread onto a serving plate.

Patch up Monkey Bread. I have never had a problem with any of my Monkey Bread recipes sticking or falling apart, but if this happens to you, don’t be alarmed, it is super easy to patch back together.  Use some of the glaze to “glue” the pieces back in place then drizzle with glaze to hide any imperfections.

Monkey Bread Recipe Variations

  • You can omit the nuts and bacon and have a caramel cinnamon monkey bread.
  • You can make caramel apple monkey bread by omitting the bacon and adding 1 cup chopped peeled and chopped apples in between the layers of cinnamon roll balls.  Replace the maple caramel sauce with just caramel and replace the glaze with additional caramel.
up close side view of Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread made in a bundt pan

Does monkey bread need to be refrigerated?

Most Monkey Bread recipes are best NOT refrigerated because the cold can harden the dough.  This Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread, however needs to be refrigerated because it contains bacon.

To reverse the hardening effect caused by storing in the refrigerator,  warm the monkey bread in the oven at 250 degrees F until warm and softened about 5 -10 minutes.

Can I Make Monkey Bread Ahead of Time?

Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread makes the perfect special occasion breakfast because you can prep it all ahead of time and then just pop it in the oven in the morning!

To make ahead:

  1. Prepare the entire recipe up to the point of baking, including pouring butter, brown sugar, maple mixture over the dough.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake the next day.
  3. Before baking, let the unbaked monkey bread sit on the counter for 30-60 minutes to come to room temperature (so it will cook evenly).
  4. Proceed to bake per recipe instructions.

CAN I FREEZE MONKEY BREAD?

YES!  Freezing Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread will keep it fresh by avoiding staleness and crystallization that can occur by storing in the refrigerator.

To freeze Monkey Bread:

  1. Wrap cooled Monkey Bread tightly in plastic wrap followed by foil.  If your have smaller leftover monkey bread sections, you can store them in airtight containers or freezer bags.  Alternatively, you can freeze in smaller sandwich bags for individual servings.
  2. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  3. Thaw Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread in the refrigerator because it has bacon or thaw monkey bread on the counter if it doesn’t have bacon.
  4. Once completely thawed, place on a baking sheet and heat at 250 degrees F for 5-10 minutes or until warmed through.  You may need to pull it out of the oven, carefully pull it apart to check for warmth and continue to bake if necessary.
up close of two fingers pulling a piece of Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread made Pillsbury cinnamon rolls

Maple Bacon Pecan Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread.  Because you deserve indescribably delicious – just because!

Looking for more Breakfast Recipes?

Maple Bacon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread made easy with refrigerated cinnamon rolls and made irresistible with maple crispy crumbled bacon, pecans and a maple caramel topping. The perfect special occasion breakfast, brunch or dessert!

Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread with Maple and Bacon

This isn’t just Monkey Bread, and it isn’t just Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread but  MAPLE BACON Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread!  This monkey bread recipe is SO easy made with refrigerated cinnamon rolls and SO delicious with crispy crumbled maple bacon, pecans and a maple caramel topping. This Monkey Bread recipe is perfect Christmas, holidays, special occasion breakfasts, brunch, dessert OR just because!  It can be prepared the night before and baked in the morning or just made in the morning because it’s SO easy! 
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 slices bacon, cooked and finely crumbled
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 (8 count) cans Pillsbury Grands refrigerated cinnamon rolls
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 6 tablespoon pure maple syrup, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • Cinnamon roll icing from above listed canned cinnamon rolls

Instructions

  • Grease your bundt cake pan with nonstick cooking spray WITH flour or grease and flour your pan. Set aside.
  • Add bacon, pecans, sugar and cinnamon to a large bowl and stir to evenly combine. Add half of the mixture to a large freezer size bag. Set aside.
  • Cut each cinnamon roll into 4 quarters, then roll each quarter into a ball.
  • Melt ¼ cup butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Stir in 3 tablespoons maple syrup. Add half of the dough balls and gently toss to coat with a spatula. Remove balls from butter/maple mixture and add to sugar/bacon/pecan freezer bag and toss to coat. Arrange coated balls in the bottom of your bundt pan and sprinkle any remaining pecans/bacon/sugar from the bag on top.
  • Repeat process by adding all remaining dough balls to remaining butter/maple mixture and gently toss to coat. Add balls to freezer bag along with remaining cinnamon/sugar/bacon/pecan mixture and toss to coat. Layer coated balls in your bundt pan and sprinkle with any remaining pecans/bacon/sugar from the bag.
  • Melt ¼ cup butter in microwave safe bowl. Stir in 3 tablespoons maple syrup and ½ cup brown sugar and stir until smooth. Pour evenly over dough balls.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 30- 32 minutes or until balls are cooked through. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • Invert onto a serving plate and drizzle with pre-packaged icing when ready to serve..

Notes

If you don’t want to finely chop/crumble your bacon and pecans, you can sprinkle coarsely chopped bacon and pecans throughout the dough balls in the bundt pan.

Prep Ahead 

  1. Prepare the entire recipe up to the point of baking, including pouring butter, brown sugar, maple mixture over the dough.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake the next day.
  3. Before baking, let the unbaked monkey bread sit on the counter for 30-60 minutes to come to room temperature (so it will cook evenly).
  4. Proceed to bake per recipe instructions.

Freezer Instructions 

  1. Wrap cooled Monkey Bread tightly in plastic wrap followed by foil.  If your have smaller leftover monkey bread sections, you can store them in airtight containers or freezer bags.  Alternatively, you can freeze in smaller sandwich bags for individual servings.
  2. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  3. Thaw Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread in the refrigerator because it has bacon or thaw monkey bread on the counter if it doesn’t have bacon.
  4. Once completely thawed, place on a baking sheet and heat at 250 degrees F for 5-10 minutes or until warmed through.  You may need to pull it out of the oven, carefully pull it apart to check for warmth and continue to bake if necessary.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

Carlsbad Cravings Original

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 Comments

  1. Lynn | The Road to Honey says

    Woah! I would like to apologize to my waistline in advance. . .because with this around it definitely is going to get a little beat up. I mean come on. . .who possibly could resist this ooey gooey delight? And I am not monkeying around when I say that. No, really. 😉

  2. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! I totally agree “just because” – I quit making excuses or reasons years ago! I don’t often use prepared products, but I’ll make an exception here! 🙂

  3. Jason says

    This was absolutely amazing. I brought it to a Christmas party, and even people who don’t like sweets couldn’t stop eating it. The addition of the bacon makes it even better!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Jason! I’m thrilled it was a hit with everyone!