If you’re a Pioneer Woman fan, you know that cinnamon rolls and monkey bread are two of Ree Drummond’s most popular recipes. Rightly so, you can’t go wrong either for a special occasion like Mother’s Day brunch or just for a fun weekend baking project. But the two ideas combined in this Cinnamon Monkey Bread create a flaky, sweet, and indulgent treat that is simply next level.
How do you know when monkey bread is ready?
After inhaling the delicious aromas of brown butter and caramelized cinnamon sugar while baking, the last thing you want is to pull out a gooey piece of raw dough! Because all the action takes place deep in the Bundt pan, it can be hard to tell when the monkey bread is done. Look for two simple signs: that the monkey bread has puffed up in the Bundt pan (usually about 1 inch) and that the top is a toasted dark brown.
The most accurate way to ensure your monkey bread is cooked perfectly is to use an instant-read thermometer. Much like a steak, bread reaches a point where it’s cooked to the right temperature without drying out. For this cinnamon monkey bread, insert a thermometer in the center of one side of the bread and aim for a temperature of around 190° to 200°.
How to store monkey bread?
Because this monkey bread contains cream cheese in the frosting, it is best covered and stored in the refrigerator (up to 4 days). Remove the bread portions from the refrigerator and microwave on 50% power, for 20 second intervals, to reach the desired temperature.
What else can I add to monkey bread?
Cinnamon and sugar are just the start! Try adding a layer of pecans or chopped walnuts in the center of the monkey bread. You can also substitute apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice for cinnamon in the sugar mixture for a more complex spice flavor. For the fall season, add a layer of chopped roasted apples in the middle and a drizzle of caramel sauce instead of frosting. Imagine a fondant caramel apple, but so much better!
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10 – 12
17.5 oz. boxes of large cinnamon rolls, like the Grands
stick of unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
light brown sugar, firmly packed
cream cheese, room temperature
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- Preheat the oven to 350°. Open tubes of cinnamon rolls and remove cups of frosting; set them aside to come to room temperature. Separate the dough into individual cinnamon buns and cut each bun into 6 pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Put aside.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, continue to cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the mousse and butter underneath are golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla (it will bubble!). Once the bubbles have subsided, stir in the brown sugar until smooth and well blended.
- Meanwhile, carefully spray a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add half of the cinnamon roll pieces to the mixing bowl with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Mix well to coat the pieces. Place the pieces in the Bundt pan, creating an even layer. Drizzle with half of the butter-brown sugar mixture. Repeat mixing and layering with remaining ingredients, stirring butter and brown sugar mixture before basting, if necessary.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the monkey bread has puffed up about 1 inch in the pan and the top is dark brown. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then place a flat plate on top of the pan. With oven mitts, hold the pan and plate together, then turn them upside down. Carefully remove the bundt pan (give it a few taps if the bread doesn’t seem to come off) and let it slide onto the plate.
- Meanwhile, stir cream cheese with a small rubber spatula until very smooth. Add contents of cups of frosting, whisking well to combine. Spoon a dollop of frosting over the top of the monkey bread, let it melt on top and drizzle over the sides. Serve immediately.
If you can’t find large cinnamon rolls, you can substitute 4 12 oz. boxes of regular sized cinnamon rolls. Cut these little rolls into just 4 pieces instead of 6.
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