Fabulous Monkey Bread: With a Little Help from a Bread Machine

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Sneak Peek: This fabulous Monkey Bread is an easy scratch recipe you can mix and knead in a bread machine or a stand mixer. This pull-apart bread is so buttery and soft that your family and friends will quickly devour it!

Monkey Bread uncut and ready to serve with butter on the side.

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As you can see, this is not the usual biscuits-out-of-a-can-rolled-in-a-ball-then-coated-with-cinnamon-and-sugar kind of pull-apart monkey bread. Oh, no! 

Drag pieces of dough through a bowl of butter, then into a bundt pan. (I don’t usually coat the pieces with cinnamon and sugar, but you can. See the variation below.) You’re going to love it!

Three Reasons Why You Will Want To Share This Recipe

  1. The dough is rich and buttery.
  2. There are no small balls to roll. Instead, use a pizza cutter to cut the dough pieces quickly.
  3. Think versatility. Make the dough plain and buttery; follow one of the variations below, or let your imagination go crazy.

This recipe was designed to be mixed and kneaded in a bread machine. I much prefer to bake it in my oven, but if you need to use the bread machine for baking your bread, I have included instructions for how to do that below.

No bread machine? No worries! See the notes at the end of the recipe for mixing by hand or with a stand mixer.

Happy Bakers Speak Up

“Yum yum yum!!! Served it with a pork roast sliced thin for folks to nosh on during a group get together and everyone agreed….yum yum yum!” SUE

This recipe is one of my family’s favorite bread recipes (along with these Fluffiest Cheese Buns Ever. Don’t miss the traditional sweet monkey bread version below.

Monkey bread with pieces torn off to show the internal texture.Pin

Recipe Inspiration

Before children, I worked at The Greenhouse, a luxury health spa back then with connections to Neiman Marcus. Ms. Helen Corbitt, a celebrated chef at the time, had planned all of our menus using her recipes. That’s where I learned about this beautiful buttery, brioche-like bread.

baked savory monkey breadPin

I found this recipe in Helen Corbitt Cooks for Company(paid link). Of course, Ms. Corbitt did not have access to a bread machine, but I’m pretty sure she would be thrilled to see how much easier it is when mixed and kneaded with a bread machine.

This recipe was published in the ’70s. I converted it to mix in a bread machine and match my preferences.

old recipe with conversion notesPin
Ignore all the marks. I’ve been tweaking this recipe for 40 years.

Cinnamon-Sugar Monkey Bread Variation

After dipping the dough pieces in butter, coat them with 1 cup of granulated white sugar and two teaspoons of cinnamon. Arrange pieces randomly in a bundt pan. Let rise until almost double. Bake as directed.

Browned Butter Monkey Bread (in a Heart-Shaped Pan)

I used a heart-shaped pan to add to the festiveness. The dough is from the original recipe, but I dragged the dough pieces through browned butter instead of plain melted butter to take it to a celebratory level. If you want more sugar, try drizzling the baked bread with caramel syrup. Perfect for sharing.

After cutting the pieces and dragging through browned butter, the dough is layered in to the pan.Pin
Use 1/4 cup of browned butter for dipping.
Browned Butter Monkey Bread after. Baking.Pin
A Valentine's Day Treat of Browned Butter Bread Machine Monkey Bread using a heart-shaped pan.Pin

Three More Variations

  1. Garlic-Butter Monkey Bread: Add three chopped garlic cloves to the butter you dip your rolls in before placing them in the pan.
  2. Bacon Monkey Bread: After dipping the dough in butter, sprinkle lightly with cooked bacon bits.
  3. Herb Monkey Bread: After dipping the dough in butter, roll each piece in finely chopped fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or rosemary,

I have another recipe very similar to this with lemon flavors. If you are a lemon lover, check out this Lemon Pull-Apart Bread Machine Recipe. Another monkey bread variation that’s a bit more trouble but also unique is my Party Bread with Three Flavors. If you love adventures in the kitchen, don’t miss this one.

How To Roll Out the Dough for Savory Bread Machine Monkey Bread

I use this method when I use the bread machine on the DOUGH cycle. Baking this bread in a conventional oven makes the best crust and a beautiful golden loaf in a bundt pan.

Then, use a bundt pan to hold your dough pieces. The dough will rise in the pan one time, and then you will bake it in your conventional oven.

all ingredients in the bread panPin
Combine all the ingredients for the dough into the bread machine pan.
dough should start to clump immediatelyPin
Select the DOUGH cycle and press START. Raise the lid and check to ensure the paddle(s) is functioning and the dough starts to clump immediately.
dough should look like this towards the end of the kneading phase.Pin
After 12-15 minutes of kneading, the dough should stick to the sides, then pull away cleanly.
What the dough will look like when the DOUGH cycle is finished.Pin
Remove dough from the pan at the end of the DOUGH cycle.
shaping the dough into a circlePin
Push the bubbles out with your hands and shape the dough into a circle.
cut the dough into diamonds with a pizza cutter.Pin
Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into diamonds. They will not be equal sizes, but that doesn’t matter.
Adding pieces of dough to the panPin
Dip each piece into melted butter and layer them somewhat haphazardly into a nonstick bundt pan. Cover with plastic wrap, a cheap shower cap, or a tea towel.
prepared monkey bread after second rise--ready to bake.Pin
When the bread has risen to almost double its original size, place it into a preheated oven. (Don’t let the dough rise to the top of the pan. That likely means it is over-proofed and may fall when it hits the high heat in the oven.)
baked savory monkey breadPin
Bake at 375˚F (190˚C) for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature in the middle of the bread reaches 190-195˚F.

How To Mix, Knead, and Bake Monkey Bread in a Bread Maker

Baking bread in your machine doesn’t mean you are limited to ugly and weirdly shaped loaves. Yes, the final product will still be in the general shape of the bread machine pan, but the top will be different depending on how you shape it.

Summary: Select the REGULAR BAKE cycle. Pull the dough out of the bread machine before the last rise. (Check your manual.) Then, remove the paddles and shape the dough by hand. Then, place the dough back into the machine for the dough to rise before the baking phase of the bread machine starts.

Baking bread this way will result in a thicker and less tender crust than if you bake your bread in a conventional oven using the method shown below.

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Remove the paddles if they come out with the dough.Pin
Remove the paddles if stuck in the dough.
Shaping dough into a rough circle.Pin
Shape the dough into a rough circle.
Use a pizza cutter to make diamond-shaped pieces of dough.Pin
Use a pizza cutter to make diamond-shaped pieces. Make them big or small. Size doesn’t matter.
Dip each piece of dough into the butter.Pin
Dip dough pieces into butter.
raw dough pieces inside bread machine panPin
Layer dough pieces inside the pan.
monkey bread baked inside the mahinePin
Allow the bread cycle to continue and bake.
baked bread after removed from the bread machinePin
Immediately remove the bread from the pan and allow it to cool.
pullapart rolls with jelly on the sidePin
Turn out onto a serving platter. Allow your guests to pull apart the rolls.

FAQ About Bread Machine Monkey Bread

Why is my bread so dense in my bread machine?

There are many reasons for dense bread when using a bread machine. Inaccurate measuring can result in a dough that is too dry or too wet, among other things. Other causes include an extremely cold or hot kitchen, old yeast, inappropriate substitutions (using whole wheat flour instead of bread flour), or leaving out certain ingredients such as salt.

Can you substitute another pan for a Bundt pan?

Yes. You won’t get the same effect, but a loaf pan or a 1-piece angel food cake or tube pan will work. Your pan must be leak-proof, so a 2-piece angel food cake pan or a springform pan is risky. Opening your hot oven to smoke because the buttery coating or sugary mixture has leaked onto the oven floor is not a pleasant experience.

How do I make my bread more fluffy?

1. Weigh the flour instead of using measuring cups.
2. Open the lid of the bread machine and check the dough as it kneads. Add flour or water if needed.
3. Provide the optimum temperature (75˚F) for the bread to rise–not too hot or too cold. A microwave with a hot cup of water set inside is the perfect incubator. Yeast loves the humidity.

Can I make this recipe with whole wheat flour?

Try substituting 1/2 cup of wheat flour for 1/2 cup of white flour. If that goes well, you can increase it slightly the next time. Whole wheat makes a denser loaf and may require slightly more liquid and rising time. If you substitute wheat flour for more than half of the white flour, you may find yourself with a brick.

How do I serve this bread?

If you serve this on a buffet to people who don’t know about it, they often won’t touch it, thinking it is a dessert or cake.  But once somebody pulls off the first piece, it’s “Katie, bar the door!” because it will disappear quickly.

Can I make this the day before and bake it the next morning?

Yes. Mix and knead the bread with your bread machine or stand mixer. When the DOUGH cycle finishes, pull the bread out of the machine onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into pieces as directed in the recipe, dip them in butter, and lay them into your bundt pan. Don’t let the dough rise now. Instead, cover the pan and place it into the refrigerator overnight. The next day, set the dough on your kitchen counter (or a warm place) to warm up and get puffy before baking as directed in the recipe.

Parting Thoughts: I cannot express how much my family has enjoyed this recipe. It’s fun to make, especially with a bread machine, to do the hard work. I hope it will bring you as much joy and satisfaction as it has to us.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

uncut bread machine monkey bread on a plate with butter on the side.Pin
Yield: 16 servings

Buttery Monkey Bread: With a Little Help from a Bread Machine

I think you will love this pull-apart, brioche-like yeast bread, mixed and kneaded in a bread machine, then baked in the oven in a bundt pan. Kids go crazy for it.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 15 votes


Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Mix & Rise Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 35 minutes


  • ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (184 g) milk (cool)
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 large (50 g) egg (cool)
  • 3 tablespoons (36 g) sugar
  • ½ cup (114 g) butter (divided–half for dough, half for dipping)
  • 3 cups (360 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast


  • Dump all ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed:¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (184 g) milk, 1½ teaspoon salt, 1 large (50 g) egg, 3 tablespoons (36 g) sugar, ½ cup (114 g) butter (divided–half for dough, half for dipping), 3 cups (360 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, and 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast Select the DOUGH cycle and start.
  • Check the dough at least twice during the mixing and kneading phase by lifting the lid to take a peek. The first time, look immediately after the machine starts mixing to ensure the paddles are engaged correctly. 
    Look again 15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle to assess the consistency of the dough. For most recipes, the dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly.
    If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time.
    Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks just right. Read more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here.
  • At the end of the dough cycle, remove the dough to a floured surface. (It should be doubled in size. If not leave it in the machine until it doubles.) Roll or press until about 3/4 inch thick. No need to get the ruler. Preciseness is unimportant at this point.
  • Slice dough into approximately 1-inch diamonds or squares. I do not roll the dough into balls. It’s part of the tradition. In fact, I use a pizza cutter.
  • Melt 1/4 cup butter. Dip each piece in butter and layer rather haphazardly but evenly into a greased or nonstick bundt pan. Cover and let rise until double.
  • Bake at 375˚F (190˚C)for 30 minutes or until golden brown and/or temperature registers 190˚F. Cover with foil after 10 minutes to keep the top from over-browning. If the bread is not as brown as you would like, remove the foil for the last few minutes. This burns easily on top, so watch carefully.
  • Turn out onto a serving plate. Serve uncut and let people pull off what they want.


Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer:  Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on LOW to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 275mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 207IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

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Recipe Rating


  1. Mary Paulsen says:

    Our Christmas tradition is to have Carmel Nut Breakfast Bread in a bundt pan made with frozen rolls, a package of butterscotch pudding (not instant); 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (optional); & a stick of butter & 1/2 cup brown sugar that have been melted. Do you think I could use these ingredients with this recipe? Since it doesn’t sit overnight, I didn’t know if the melted butter/br. sugar would be a problem.

    1. Hi Mary,

      I haven’t tried it, but I feel certain your idea would work. Make the the dough using the DOUGH cycle. After the cycle finishes, remove the dough and make your rolls just like you always have in the past with this dough substituting for the frozen rolls. Cover and refrigerate immediately. The dough will likely rise quite a bit overnight. In the morning, remove the pan and allow the dough to warm up and get puffy. Bake as usual. I may have to try this myself. Thank you for writing.

  2. if i want the bread machine to bake this what setting should I use?

    1. Hi Sue,
      That’s a good question. Because different brands of bread machines have different choices of ways to bake, it’s hard to make a blanket statement. You may have to experiment. I use the regular bread cycle. However, your machine might have a sweet bread setting that works better. Sorry, I can’t be more helpful.

      Thanks for your kind words about the bread. Just thinking about your pork roast and that bread together makes my mouth water.

  3. Yum yum yum!!! Served it with a pork roast sliced thin for folks to nosh on during a group get together and everyone agreed….yum yum yum!

  4. Daina Janitis says:

    5 stars
    You are my idol! I will try this monkey bread for our traditional Christmas Eve meal at the fireplace with our kids. They are in their 40s now, but since they were little, it’s been meat, seafood, and vegetable fondue with various sauces and crusty bread. We use hot broth instead of oil- and at the end of the evening, toss all the leftover veggies and a few rice noodles into the fondue pot. My question is “technical”. Because I wanted an air fryer, husband bought me for my 77th birthday a Vollrath commercial counter top convection oven. I’m committed to all of YOUR recipes, but do you have a rule of thumb for how to adjust time and temperature if I do the final baking in the convection oven? Or would you not recommend using a convection oven for bread at all?

    1. Hi Daina,
      I love your Christmas tradition at the fireplace. Baking bread in a convection oven is the best! It gives you the prettiest crust. My air fryer is not big enough so I haven’t baked much bread in it.

      If you are using the same size pans, the time and temperature should be about the same. You probably already know this but convection temperatures are usually 25˚F higher. So if the recipe says to bake the bread at 375˚F, you would set the convection oven for 350˚F. Good luck!

  5. Hi Paula,
    Should we use bread flour or all purpose flour? Thank you!

    1. Hi Quinn,
      You can use either. Bread flour may give you a slightly higher rise and a chewier texture. All-purpose flour will still give you a light and fluffy bread that’s a little more tender.

  6. Suzy Charto says:

    5 stars
    I paused the machine, and took the dough out. I divided the dough into balls and rolled in butter and sugar cinnamon mixture. I put them back in the machine and continued baking. Wow – the smell was amazing the bread was delicious. I look forward trying variations on your recipe. Next I am going to try a babka. Thanks for the recipe this is so easy and so much fun.

    1. Kristi Williams says:

      @Suzy Charto,
      Just got my bread machine today. Silly question but how do I know when to take the dough out of the machine to add the butter sugar and cinnamon? My machine is a Hamilton beach. I have it set on the basic bread setting but am still trying g to figure it out.

      1. Hi Kristi,
        This recipe is written to use the DOUGH cycle, not the regular cycle. When the DOUGH cycle ends, take the dough out of the machine, cut it into squares and put the dough into a bundt pan. After if doubles in size, bake it in your oven. If you want to bake it in your bread machine, you will have to “catch” it at the end of the second rise (check your manual). Take the dough and the paddles out. Cut up the dough, dip in butter and cinnamon/sugar, then put the pieces back into the bread machine pan so the cycle will continue. Don’t stop the machine or it will mess up the cycle. I hope this works for you, but it’s rather complicated for a “first time.” I recommend my French bread recipe if you are a beginner. It’s hard to mess up. Let me know how it goes for you.

  7. On Monkey Bread made entirely in bread machine, what bread setting is used?

    1. Hi Bill,

      Every machine bakes a little bit differently so you may have to experiment. I would start with the regular cycle and set for a medium crust.

  8. Eric J Allen says:

    This reminds me of my Aunt Mittie’s monkey bread. She never made a sweet version and she passed away before I became interested in baking. Thank you for bringing back a cherished childhood memory.

    1. Food and memories go together, don’t they? Just like certain aromas and memories go together.

  9. Lynn Walls says:

    I’ve had my bread machine for a few year’s now, but as of yet,,, I’ve never used it. So today I went out 2 the market & purchased the bread machine flour & yeast. So later on today I’m going 2 try & fix, & make something that my family will enjoy. I was surprised that I found this link with recipes for my machine. Looking forward to seeing & trying out & finding more recipes. Thank you. Lynn

  10. 5 stars
    Made this (not in a bunt pan-spring form cake pan used) for a halloween party this weekend. Used red icing to top for a “brainy” look. It looked (and tasted) great!

    I am new to bread machining. This was my 3rd time using the machine (bought used $10). I am SO glad that I found this website. Will be visiting often, probably making each and every recipe you got (maybe twice)!

    Thank you

  11. Kathleen Johnston says:

    5 stars
    I just made this bread today and have just removed it from the oven. It is taking all that I have not to eat every bit of this. It is just lovely, sweet, and tender. I can hardly wait till my family can get to it. Thanks bunches. I am really enjoying my Zo….


  12. Joni Cole says:

    Hello Paula is there a certain way to mix the dough when doing it by hand?

    1. Hi Joni,
      Look online or in a basic cookbook like Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Gardens for a basic loaf of white bread. Mix and knead it according to the directions. After the second rise, come back to my recipe to shape it.

  13. One more question, how long does it take to rise?

    1. Depends on several factors, especially the ambient temperature. First rise may take an hour or more. Second rise may take 30-40 minutes or more. You want dough to double in size first time and almost double after you put dough in the pan before baking.

  14. I don’t have a bread machine help!!! Please

    1. You can mix and knead dough with a stand mixer, or you can do it by hand if you have the time and energy in your arms.

  15. Hi! I collect vintage cookbooks, but they have to have a story and Helen’s cookbooks all sit on my shelf. I loved reading everything about her! I found out about her in an article about the Zodiac Room and the Orange Souffle. I have the Cooks for Looks as well as the Greenhouse Cookbook! I can’t believe women were only given 850 calories a day!! With an exercise routine! For grins, I plan on starting the Greenhouse regime Monday, but I don’t see this amazing bread on the menus!!! =) Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing!!

  16. Hi! Question. Do you know if this recipie makes 1, 1.5, or 2 pounds of dough? My bread machine has to have that in the settings… I guess I could measure the ingredients?

    1. 3 cups of flour is roughly 1.5 pounds of dough when making bread.

      1. Thank you! I ended up using the 2 pound setting. The bread turned out amazing and my whole family gobbled it up! thank you. I will be saving this!

  17. Bobbie Bentneedle says:

    Question – can the “making” part be done on one evening, and the ready to go in the oven Monkey Bread be covered and refrigerated until the following afternoon? I presume that one would have to take it out of the fridge 1 – 1 1/2 hours before you’d normally think it’d need to start rising? After reading so many of your recipes, I finally dusted off my bread machine which I’d used 2 times and my MiL had used once… and started out with the swirly dog recipe – which was voted to “remain on the island!” I was thinking I could prep this for our Wednesday night potluck on Tuesday night, and Mom/DH could pull it out mid-afternoon to warm/raise then bake as normal for potluck? Thought?

    1. Hmmm. I’m not sure Bobbie since I have not tried it with this particular dough. Let me know if you do. My personal experience is that dough with potatoes in it works really good this way so I stick with that.

      1. Bobbie Bentneedle says:

        Thanks for the response. I love “potato bread” and have the sweet potato rolls on my list of recipes to try. Think that dough would do OK in the “monkey bread” form?

  18. 5 stars
    Made this (not in a bunt pan-spring form cake pan used) for a halloween party this weekend. Used red icing to top for a “brainy” look. It looked (and tasted) great!

    I am new to bread machining. This was my 3rd time using the machine (bought used $10). I am SO glad that I found this website. Will be visiting often, probably making each and every recipe you got (maybe twice)!

    Thank you

    1. Sylvia,
      What a cool idea! Perfect for the season. Glad you are enjoying your bread machine.

  19. Kathleen Johnston says:

    5 stars
    I just made this bread today and have just removed it from the oven. It is taking all that I have not to eat every bit of this. It is just lovely, sweet, and tender. I can hardly wait till my family can get to it. Thanks bunches. I am really enjoying my Zo….


  20. Thank you so much for your recipe! My mom would always make monkey bread when I was a kid! It’s just a buttery, pull apart bread! I am making this now for my husband and little monkey!

  21. my grandmother use to make this bread for us when we were growing up many years ago but she didn’t use no bread machine nor do i it sitll turns out great.

  22. I made this twice now and will definitely keep this recipe in the family. Bread was very light and delicious. Thank you

    1. Esther,
      Thanks for returning to say so. This is the most favorite bread recipe of both of my daughter-in-laws. I think they like not having to worry about making nice shapes.

  23. WOW! I have been looking for a great (white) bread recipe for the bread machine for quite some time… I also like monkey bread, so this looks like an awesome recipe for me to try…. going to make this today for my “monkies” thanks!

  24. Wow!! I don’t know what the original recipe tastes like but my non-dairy version is out of this world. I used soymilk and vegan “like” butter sticks and the results are excellent. I baked in a dutch oven and it’s delicious!!!! Thanks

  25. Gracias por la receta se ve rica

  26. Yum, this looks delicious! I may put it on my menu for next week when all the kids are home! I think you went to OCC with my sister, Suzette Hendrix Stephens. I work at OC now. My sister, Jane Buntley, sent me the link to your blog and I love it! I’m going to have to do the salad in a jar trick!

  27. Thanks for the recipe sounds like what I was looking for (something fun for Thanksgiving)

  28. It’s my first time here…what a lovely place to be.

    Your recipe sounds wonderful…and I have 7 monkey children that will love to pull it apart with abandon!

    thanks so much!!
    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted

  29. Wow that looks wonderful- I think my husband would love that!



  31. I LOVE your monkey bread, such a great recipe! It is definitely a crowd pleaser (or should I say, husband pleaser?)