Christmas Monkey Bread: the fluffy and delicious dessert

Total time: 25 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist
Melted butter
2 tablespoons
milk warmed
1 cup of to 115 degrees
water warmed
1/3 cup to 115 degrees
White sugar
1/4 cup
yeast granules
2 1/4 teaspoons of fast-rising
All-purpose flour
3 1/4 cups
2 tsp of
1/2 cup of toasted
Christmas candied cherries
1/2 cup of chopped red and green
Brown sugar
1 cup packed
Ground cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons
Melted butter
1/2 cup of

If you’ve never heard of monkey bread before (I hadn’t before I saw this recipe!) It’s a kind of tear-and-share bread made up of individual dough balls pressed together in a loaf pan.

This particular version is full of the tastes of Christmas, with glace cherries, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Made in a bundt tin, this bread is perfect for serving up for a sweet Christmas morning breakfast (or an anytime breakfast!).


Preheat your oven for rising the dough. Turn it on to 175F/50C fan then turn it off when it's heated up.

In a large measuring jug, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast, stirring well to blend.

You can mix this recipe by hand, but using a stand mixer will make it much easier.

If you are using a stand mixer, mix flour and salt into the mixer bowl with a dough hook. (Oil the dough hook with a little vegetable oil before using to stop it sticking to the hook).

Use the lowest setting, and start the dough hook going. Slowly add the milk mixture. After the dough comes together, increase speed to medium and allow to mix until the dough is smooth and shiny. This takes about 6 to 7 minutes.

The dough should be slightly sticky, but if it is too wet to form into a ball, add an additional 2 tablespoons flour. The dough should just barely stick to your hands. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead briefly to form a smooth, round ball.

If you are mixing by hand, mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Create a well in the flour, then add the milk and yeast mixture, pouring into the well. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough is stiff and almost formed into a ball in the middle of the bowl.

Turn out onto lightly floured work surface and begin to knead with your hands, incorporating any loose bits back into the dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny. This takes about 10 minutes, but it’s great exercise for your arm muscles! Roll dough into a ball.

Put the ball of dough in a well-greased bowl, covering it up with a clean, damp tea towel.

Put it the preheated (but turned off) oven and let the dough rise until doubled in size. This takes anywhere from 45-60 minutes.

When the dough has risen, grease your bundt pan, then place a few cherries and pecans in the bottom.

Take out the dough and on a lightly floured work surface roll it into an 8 inch by 8-inch square.

Once you have the square, mark off 8 sections with a sharp knife, (each way) so you end up with 64 little squares of dough.

Cut the squares apart, making sure to separate them cleanly as you cut.

Melt the ½ cup of butter in a bowl, and in a larger bowl combine the brown sugar and 2½ tsp of cinnamon.

Roll a dough square into a ball with your hands, dip it in the butter, roll in the sugar mix, then place it in the bundt pan.

Build the bread up like you would build a brick wall, staggering the pieces like bricks so that the seams aren’t in the same place. Sprinkle a few cherries and pecans between each of the layers.

Leave to rise for the second time in a warm place. In about 45-50 minutes the dough will have risen almost to the top of the pan.

After you remove the dough pan from the still-warm oven where it has been rising, preheat the oven to 350F/160C fan/gas mark 4.

Bake the dough for around 22-25 minutes, or until cooked. It’s easy to overcook this bread, so keep checking on it regularly.


Sometimes, monkey bread just won’t stay together once it’s been removed from the pan – this has happened to me before. If your monkey bread falls apart into individual dough balls once cooked, don’t despair – they still taste great!

Build them up into a rough circle and serve as they are for everyone to help themselves.

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