Monkey Bread Mini-Muffins

Monkey bread is a favorite amongst almost everyone, isn’t it? The sweet, delicate cake smothered in butter and cinnamon sugar is so much fun to pull apart and eat; it makes for a special breakfast, a quick afternoon snack, or a tasty dessert. The only problem is that the bread starts to look kind of ugly and sad after it’s been picked at by people all day. That’s why I decided I would prefer to make a portable version that is easy to hand out individually to each eager lover of the magical bread. You see, I wanted to bring some delicious monkey bread into work, but I didn’t think that anyone would be too keen on touching everyone else’s food with their hands. These mini-muffins are the perfect solution for that! While it might have taken me a while to pinch off 44 separate pieces of dough and then roll them into 3 more smaller balls, it was 100% worth it! You can make these into regular sized muffins, too, but I figured they were more adorable as mini-muffins, as well as being the perfect snack size for the office. Who can resist gooey, buttery, cinnamony goodness drizzled with vanilla icing? Nobody, that’s who. These little wonders had disappeared off the kitchen counter in a couple of hours, and I was happy to see them go. There’s no better feeling in the world than knowing people enjoyed the treats that you made with your own two hands!

Well, almost with your own two hands. If you’re like me, you hate kneading dough. I hate it mostly because it’s messy; flour gets everywhere, my counter gets all sticky from mounds of dough, and it’s a lot of work! If you enjoy kneading dough, you’re a saint. I’ve done it a few times and it’s never been something that I really liked. That’s why I was overcome with joy when I found that I could make the dough for this monkey bread in the bread machine! The dough was absolutely perfect and I was able to go about my day instead of worrying about the dough. I’ve included instructions for kneading the dough by hand, but if you have a bread maker, I suggest trying this out. You’ll want to make these monkey bread muffins over and over again! They’re also perfect for your July 4th parties; they’re an easily transported, perfect little bite that everyone can enjoy without making a big mess!

Monkey Bread Mini-Muffins
Your ingredients.

Monkey Bread Mini-Muffins
Add your wet ingredients to the bread machine first (the water, egg, and butter). Alternatively, if you’re doing this by hand, you’ll start with the dry ingredients (the bread flour, white sugar, salt, and yeast).

Monkey Bread Mini-Muffins
Top the wet ingredients with the dry ones (the bread flour, then the sugar, then the salt, then the yeast – you want to make sure that the yeast stays dry). Start the bread machine on the dough cycle and hang out for an hour and a half. If you are doing this by hand, add in the water, egg, and butter, and mix together for about a minute, scraping down the sides of your bowl, until just combined. Add in more bread flour if necessary so the dough will release from your hands.

Monkey Bread Mini-Muffins
On a floured surface, knead the dough for 5 minutes or so, then place in a buttered bowl and cover with a cloth, place in a warm place, and allow to rise for an hour until the dough has doubled in size. Alternatively, if you are using a bread machine, simply punch it down and remove it from the bread machine. Either way, the dough is ready to go when you press your finger down into it and your imprint stays for a minute or so.

Monkey Bread Mini-Muffins
Melt your butter in one bowl and combine your cinnamon and sugar in the other.

Monkey Bread Mini-Muffins
I made mini-muffins, so I had enough dough for about 44 of them. I pinched off 44 small balls (about the size of a ping-pong ball), then divided those balls into 3 more small balls (about the size of dimes). I dipped each smaller ball into the butter, then the sugar, and pushed them into the greased muffin tins. Don’t worry if they don’t look perfect – they will soon! Cover and allow to rise again for 30 minutes.

Monkey Bread Mini-Muffins
Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes (mine took about 14 minutes). Allow to cool completely before removing (if you don’t, they will fall apart).

Monkey Bread Mini-Muffins
Whisk together your powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until the consistency is thin enough to drizzle, but still thick enough that the icing takes a second or two to drip off of your spoon.

Monkey Bread Mini-Muffins
Drizzle the icing over your muffins and allow to harden before removing from the pan.

Monkey Bread Mini-Muffins
Enjoy for breakfast, as an afternoon snack, or for dessert!

Monkey Bread Mini-Muffins
  • 2¾ cups bread flour (plus more for kneading)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup very warm water (I just turned my faucet to its hottest setting, I didn't microwave the water or anything)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-4 teaspoons whole milk
  1. Place the dough ingredients into your bread machine pan, starting with the wet ingredients (the egg, butter, and water). Next add in the bread flour, then the sugar, then the salt, and then make a well in the dry ingredients and add in the yeast, being sure that it doesn't touch any moisture. Set your bread machine for the dough cycle and continue with your day for an hour and a half or so.
  2. Alternatively, you can make this dough by hand. In a large bowl, mix together 1½ cups of the bread flour, ¼ cup granulated sugar, the salt and yeast. Add in the warm water, unsalted butter and the egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently as needed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle and not too sticky (you may not need all of the flour, but I did when I used my bread machine).
  3. On lightly floured surface, knead the dough about 5 minutes or until it is smooth and springy. Grease a medium bowl with butter and place dough in the bowl, turning the dough to grease all its sides. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap or a clean cloth and allow it to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. The dough is ready to go if you press into it with your finger and the indentation stays for a minute or so.
  4. Grease 44 mini-muffin cups (or 12-15 regular muffin cups) with butter or non-stick spray (I used non-stick spray). In small bowl, mix the 1½ cups granulated sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon. Punch down the down if needed. Divide the dough into 44 equal ping-pong ball sized pieces for mini-muffins (a lot of work, but worth it) or 12 equal pieces for regular sized muffins. Pinch each piece into 3 small dime-sized balls for mini-muffins or 6 smaller balls for regular muffins.
  5. Dip the smaller balls into the butter, then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place the corresponding balls (3 dime-sized and cinnamon-sugar coated balls for the mini-muffins, for example) into greased muffin tins side-by-side. Do this until you've used up all of your dough.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes for mini-muffins or 20-24 minutes for regular sized muffins. Allow to cool completely before icing and/or removing. If you take them out before they've cooled, they will most likely fall apart.
  7. Combine your icing ingredients and drizzle over the muffins (you want the icing to be thin enough to drizzle, but still thick enough that it will stick to your spoon for a bit before falling off). Allow the icing to harden, then jimmy the muffins out with a butter knife or pop them out if they are less temperamental than mine were. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for 24 hours, then store in an air-tight container in the fridge for another day or two.
Adapted From


59 Responses

  1. Wei-Wei says:

    Can you believe I’ve NEVER had monkey bread before? Just something about all that extra butter and sugar sorta scares me… Plus I can’t knead very well either and I don’t have a stand mixer :(

    BUT. These look absolutely amazing, and it’s such a great idea to put them into muffin form instead! 😀


  2. Niamh says:

    Thanks Sydney! I’ve been dying to make Monkey Bread but every recipe I’ve found uses canned dough which we don’t have over here. Can’t wait to try this!

    • Sydney says:

      Niamh: Most recipes I’ve seen also used canned dough, and while there’s nothing with that, it was actually cheaper for me to just make it myself since I always have bread flour, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and yeast in my kitchen pantry. Let me know how you like it if you make them!

  3. Tina says:

    Oh my, you’ve done it again! I need to get a water proof keyboard ! There’s way too much drool on this one ! I make monkey bread all the time ,with frozen roll dough ,never thought mini muffins . Leave it to you to be so creative! Now I have to make it this way. Thank you for the idea . Happy 4th of July !!!!!

  4. Megan says:

    These are the best idea ever. I’ve been craving monkey bread lately! I mean, what’s better than cinnamon sugar?

  5. Krystle says:

    Yum! Love the ideas of making these mini’s. Monkey bread is delicious :)

  6. Nina says:

    Oh, yum! The descriptions and pictures are absolutely mouthwatering! As much as I love baking, I’ve shied away from making my own yeast breads, mainly because of time constraints. The bread machine has been a godsend. I can’t wait to make this monkey bread–my only regret is that most of the people at my job will be on vacation next week, so I’ll have to wait until the week after!

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!

  7. Jen T. says:

    Sydney, these look killer! I’m already making lemon sugar cookies today, though, so maybe I’ll just make fresh bread to hold me over until I can make monkey bread without feeling guilty :-)

  8. TabzChewy says:

    This looks like a good study snack *_* Is the recipe the same without a muffin pan?

    And by the way, the bowl in your 6th photo…I have the same one! Haha, did you get it from the dollar store??

  9. Memoria says:

    YUM! I have made these before, and they are amazing. In fact, I just made some bread dough for sausage buns and reserved half of the dough to make monkey bread. Your photos look great!

  10. Memoria says:

    P.S. Have you entered in my giveaway yet? Hmmmm….

  11. Karla says:

    I keep seeing monkey bread recipes and am dying to try it! I’ve never even tasted it but you make it look wonderful! I’ll be giving this a try! Thanks for the recipe!

  12. grace says:

    i have nothing but love for these. nothing but love. :)

  13. Lucy says:

    I’ve never had monkey bread before and I think it would be extremely dangerous for me to have in my house as I know I would not be able to stop eating it! Looks so good :)

  14. ingrid says:

    Yummmmm, they look wonderful! We love monkey bread and I’ve actually been making mine in mini form for a while now. It just makes everything easier and we get to dig in much faster. I haven’t though made my own dough. I cheat and use canned biscuits. I bet homemade REALLY sends these over the top. Oh,and I don’t know why but I’ve never glazed them. I need too!

    Happy 4th!

  15. Susi says:

    I have never had monkey bread but these look fantastic! I’m bookmarking this for our brunch!

  16. Oh my goodness — you had me at the first photo. But the frosting drizzling photo has these ingredients now added to my grocery list. :) These look amazing!

  17. Sara says:

    I’m so making these tomorrow. I also hate kneading dough, but I don’t have a bread machine :( it’s def. on my want list.

    • Sydney says:

      Sara: I asked for it for the holidays last year from my father-in-law and it’s one of my favorite pieces of equipment, right up there with my KitchenAid (which he also generously got for me) and my rice maker (thanks, Mom!).

  18. Auntie Donna says:

    I must run in the family, because I hate rolling out any form of dough! I have used my bread machine in the past just for the dough as well, very clever! I have also made pizza dough in it. They are going to LOVE you at work! PLEASE, PLEASE move to Atlanta and we can open up my little dream cake shop! I have the building picked out and everything! :)

  19. Ben says:

    I really love the imagery you conjure in your posts. For example, “Drizzle the icing over your muffins and allow to harden before removing from the pan.”

    Thank you

  20. Nero says:

    okay so this looks fantastic but i’ve never really dealt with yeast before so im afraid to make it. im going to be doing this by hand too! do i mix all my dry ingredients and my wet ingredients separately and then slowly incorporate the dry into wet? should i dissolve the yeast in the water first? would it be okay to use a hand mixer? sorry, im a newbie and have tons of questions

    • Sydney says:

      Nero: Don’t dissolve the yeast first! Don’t use a hand mixer, either, unless you have a dough hook. Don’t be scared! It’s not as hard as it seems! :)

  21. Taylor says:

    These were DELICIOUS!! I love monkey bread but had never made it myself before and was so surprised at how easy it was! My boyfriend had the idea to create a blueberry sauce over the stove and so we had one of these delicious little muffins with a bowl of vanilla ice cream and blueberry glaze. It was amazing! What a fantastic recipe, I’ll be printing this one and making it again and again and again… :)

  22. Traci says:

    Great!! Made these last night for church this morning and I can’t stop eating them! Thanks!

  23. Oh my God… this recipe looks delicious!! I’m searching for a good dessert recipe to make for a party this labor day weekend and I think this could be it! I don’t see how anyone could turn them down…

  24. Katherine says:

    I’m thinking of making these for the holidays, can I make ahead of freeze??

  25. SheilaW says:

    Good gracious. I’m making these so I can survive Black Friday!

  26. Angela says:

    Hi Sydney! I love love love your recipes. I just made these little devils. I ended up making the “bigger” version in normal muffin cups because I just hadn’t the patience for the little ones. But they smell divine. Just came out of the oven a few minutes ago. Woohoo! I’m planning to make your easy roast beef tomorrow.

  27. Lisa says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I just made them and they are AMAZING!

  28. Liz says:

    I made a batch of full sized muffins last month and they were amaaaaaaazing! It was really hard to not eat them all on the first night!

  29. Dena says:

    Huge hit at my house this weekend! Thanks so much!

  30. Kerry says:

    These look wonderful, and I’d like to make them Christmas morning. Do you think you could prep them the night before, put them in the fridge, and bake them in the morning?

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