Thursday, September 22, 2011

Low Fat Monkey Bread

 So I contemplated going on a fast from sugar for awhile.  That lasted about one day until I decided to make this.  I'm telling you, I think my relationship with sugar is borderline stronghold status.  Someday soon I probably ought to go cold turkey for awhile, but not today.

I'm not really sure why it is called Monkey Bread, it contains absolutely no monkey and no monkeys were harmed in the making of it.  Perhaps, it is because it is so easy maybe even a monkey could make it.

There are certainly a lot of versions of Monkey Bread out there and I think between the various sleepovers I went to as a kid, I've probably tasted a lot of them.  This is my favorite.  It's made with frozen bread dough and instead of using gobs of butter, you make a cinnamon caramel sauce on the stove with just a touch of butter, milk and (I admit, quite a lot of) sugar.

The Monkey Bread pictured is actually a half batch.  I made a full batch of the sauce, though, which meant I had leftovers to experiment with.  My initial research findings: it makes an excellent dip for sliced pears and when stirred into coffee with cream, it makes a darn close imitation of a Starbucks' Cinnamon Dolce Latte (the coffee that tastes like a cinnamon roll--how could you go wrong?). 

Monkey Bread
1 1/4 cup granulated white sugar, divided
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
2 (1-pound) loaves frozen white bread dough, thawed (or 24 unbaked balls of dough for dinner rolls, cut into fourths)
cooking spray

Combine 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, milk, butter and 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cook 1 minutes.  Remove sauce from heat; cool 10 minutes.

Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a shallow dish, stir well.  Cut each loaf of dough into 24 equal portions.  Roll each portion in sugar mixture; layer dough balls in a 12 cup Bundt pan coated with cooking spray.  Pour sauce over dough; cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts 35 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Uncover dough, bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Immediately loosen edges of bread with knife.  Place a plate upside down on top of pan and invert bread onto a plate.  Drizzle any remaining syrup over bread.  Serve while still warm. 

Recipe Source: The Best of Cooking Light
P.S. I'm linking this recipe to The Frugal Girls Chic & Crafty Party! 


  1. This looks AMAZING! I love, love, love monkey bread--and the cinnamon caramel sauce?!?! Wow! I'm thinking it would also be great over some baked cinnamon apples. But I love the idea of stirring it into coffee--what a special treat that would be!

    Also, sent a blog award your way today. Happy Friday!

  2. Thanks, Ashley, for the sweet words and the honor! I think the baked cinnamon apple idea sounds great--or served over apple pie or crisp, mmm...yummy!

  3. I don't have a bundt pan. Is there another pan I could use? What about an angel food cake pan??

  4. How do I divide the bread loaves? You say how to divide the biscuits, but not the loaves.

  5. Good questions!

    I think an angel food cake pan would work great as a substitute for a bundt pan.

    You could also probably use a loaf pan but the baking time might be a bit longer (you can check to see if the top middle pieces are cooked through and no longer doughy and the top is golden brown--I'm thinking it could even take up to 15-20 min longer in baking, but I haven't tested, so I'm not sure on that).

    As for dividing the the bread loaves, I love to use kitchen shears. They're a really easy way to cut up the dough, especially if you cut it when the dough is still really cold or if you spray the shears with cooking spray to help cut cleanly.

    If you don't have cooking shears, you can use a sharp, serrated knife. It might help to cut while the dough is partially frozen to get cleaner lines.

    You can either eyeball it to cut into 24 approx. equal pieces or you can cut the loaf in half, crosswise, and then each piece again in half, and again until you get 32 pieces, if you like to be more precise!

    Finally, I know that a really traditional method of monkey bread is to use canned biscuit dough. I personally am quite partial to a yeast bread dough (either the loaves or dinner rolls---Rhodes is a great brand found in the freezer section)!

    Hope that helps! I look forward to hearing how it turns out for you. Thanks!

  6. I just posted a monkey bread recipe, tho the dough was made from scratch. I love the time saving substitute.

    I also, daily, contemplate a sugar fast. And it last approximately 24 hours, if I'm lucky!

    Saw you at Frugal Girls!

  7. Hey, Rebecca! I just checked out your monkey bread post (as well as your blog) and think they're both great! I am a new fan! : )

  8. Wow thanks i have been looking for theMonkey bread dessert for a long time.

  9. Don't use an angel food pan that the bottom comes out. I tried it once for monkey break and the gooey caramel oozed out all over the oven creating a burnt sugar, smoking oven mess!!

  10. Oh, that was a really good point about the angel food cake pans with removable bottoms. I was not even thinking that one through all the way. Thank you! You could probably cover the bottom in foil, but it still might be dicey!

  11. I just made this, making some changes. I used white chocolate raspberry International Coffee creamer instead of milk and I halved the recipe, putting it into a loaf pan. It's in the oven now, but the caramel sauce is divine!

  12. Those modifications sound really yummy! Thanks for the ideas!

  13. Thanks for coming up with a low fat version!