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Sweet Monkey Bread


I’ve been meaning to make monkey bread as a Soul Food Sunday post for so long! But the fact is that most monkey bread is made with those “magic” processed rolls in a can, and those aren’t the kind I was interested in. But I finally found a scratch recipe to work off of (the Nancy Regan recipe apparently) and did my thing to make them healthy and even more delicious!

I feel like I’m really getting better at learning how to adjust a recipe to add in whole wheat without compromising flavor or texture. You have no idea how great it feels to see my hubs eating something I made with whole wheat and exclaiming “Delicious!” when he takes a bite. Best feeling ever. Not only does this recipe give you a healthy serving of whole grain, but I also used applesauce and heart healthy coconut oil instead of butter. The use of turbinado raw cane sugar instead of white sugar gives a really wonderful flavor and adds all sorts of awesome vitamins and minerals. Try it for yourself, you will not be disappointed! Definitely better than magic can rolls in so many ways.


Sweet Monkey Bread

by Lauren

Keywords: bake bread Southern

Ingredients (serves 12)

  • 3 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 T. sugar (I use turbinado)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. applesauce
  • 1/2 c. turbinado sugar
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. melted coconut oil


Combine the flours, salt, yeast, and sugar in a mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on low to combine.

Add in the milk, water, beaten eggs, and applesauce and mix on low until the ingredients are combined. Raise mixer speed to medium to knead dough until it is soft and elastic (about 5 minutes).

Add a little oil (I use spray canola oil) to the bowl and coat the dough with it.

Cover with a dish towel and let the dough rise in a warm place (like the oven with the light on) until the dough has doubled in bulk.

Gently punch the dough down onto a clean surface and cut it into large chunks. Don’t worry about the size or if they’re all equal, just go with the flow.

Have your melted coconut oil ready in a small bowl, and combine the cinnamon and turbinado sugar together in a separate bowl.

With each chunk of dough, dip it first in the melted coconut oil and then roll it around in the cinnamon sugar until it’s lightly coated.

Place the dough pieces into a greased bundt pan (or whatever baking dish you like). No need to make it neat or uniform, just go with the flow.

When the pieces are in your pan, cover the pan with a dish towel and let it rise again in a warm place for another 30-45 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the bread for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it over onto a plate.

Pull apart and enjoy!

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The sugar and coconut oil that you dip the dough in creates this beautiful thick glaze on the bread after it bakes. Warm out of the oven, there’s nothing quite like it.

And it so much fun to eat! Allow me to demonstrate.

Each piece pulls apart easily with just a gentle tug.

Mmmmm, good. Makes me miss home! And makes it a little easier to start the week off in a good mood.

Thanks for reading!


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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Allegra January 30, 2012, 3:23 am

    This looks AMAZING! I have seen so many pictures of monkey bread on Pinterest – your recipe looks so simple & the photos are divine! Definitely on my to-make list :)
    Allegra recently posted…Dinner on the GoMy Profile

  • Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean January 30, 2012, 7:10 am

    looks so good! a childhood fav of mine. and i love getting hubby to eat the whole wheat too!
    Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean recently posted…How To Make Your Own HummusMy Profile

  • Lauren January 30, 2012, 11:49 am

    Is that a second pan in the background? I’ll take that off your hands for you 😛
    Lauren recently posted…10 Things That May Surprise YouMy Profile

  • Heidi @ Food Doodles January 30, 2012, 4:20 pm

    This looks awesome!! I love that it’s a healthier version with the whole wheat flour. I’m very excited to try this some time – maybe for a special treat on the weekend 😀
    Heidi @ Food Doodles recently posted…Cheesy Spaghetti Squash and BroccoliMy Profile

  • Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 30, 2012, 4:36 pm

    I’ve never heard of monkey bread before but this looks fab!
    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes recently posted…11 thingsMy Profile

  • Lisa February 2, 2012, 12:03 am

    This is great! I’ve never been able to make monkey bread – I know I wouldn’t be able to control myself. Do you think this would work with 100% whole wheat flour (maybe a mix of whole wheat and white whole wheat) if you added some wheat gluten to the dough? Might have to try this with a little honey to sweeten. Thanks for the awesome idea.

    • Lauren February 9, 2012, 7:02 pm

      I haven’t tried it with 100% WW but my guess is will work but just be a different texture. If you’re used to that, then I say go for it!

      • Lisa February 10, 2012, 2:05 am

        Yup, I’m used to it. Have tried to completely remove AP flour from my pantry – with great success (now things made with it taste downright bland). I plan to make this as soon – will report back on how it turns out.

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