This easy vegan monkey bread recipe uses a simple vegan bread dough that is baked and topped with cinnamon brown sugar and icing. Perfect for holidays and special occasions, this decadent breakfast treat is much-loved by all!

Close up of a monkey pull-apart bread on a plate.

Monkey bread gets its name from the way that it’s served. It’s a dessert or breakfast that has little balls of dough stuck together and baked into one shape in a bundt pan. Those pieces can be pulled off and eaten with your hands, just like a monkey would!

Monkey bread originated in Hungary and may be called pull-apart bread, golden dumpling cake, monkey puzzle bread, pinch-me cake, or sticky bread in other parts of the world. 

Using this recipe, you’ll make a basic dough that’s baked into a bundt pan then coated with a mix of cinnamon and sugar and topped with a sweet, homemade glaze. This recipe uses simple baking ingredients, making it an easy monkey bread recipe that is completely vegan and dairy-free! 


Recipe Features

  • It’s perfect to bring to a brunch. Not only is the presentation stunning, the flavors in monkey bread resemble that of a cinnamon roll which makes it a cross between breakfast and dessert. 
  • It uses simple ingredients. You’ll be able to find all the ingredients you need to make vegan monkey bread at your local grocery.
  • A great birthday cake substitute. Monkey bread is the perfect substitute for a birthday cake because kids love eating with their hands. Even better when topped with colorful sprinkles. 
  • You can freeze it. Make a double batch and freeze the dough for up to 2 months for a quick dessert in a pinch. 
  • Great for the holidays. Enjoy this special treat for Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and other special occasions.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Visual of ingredients for making vegan monkey bread labelled with text overlay.

Complete list of ingredients with amounts and instructions is located in the recipe card below.

  • Vegan Butter – You’ll need a vegan melted butter to make the dough buttery and dense. I like using Earth Balance. You’ll also need butter for the cinnamon sugar coating.
  • Dairy Free Milk – You’ll need some warm dairy free milk to mix with the yeast to help the rising process and to make the glaze. I like using cashew milk here but almond or soy would also work.
  • Cane Sugar – This helps to sweeten up the dough. It can be substituted with regular white sugar if needed, just be sure to check the brand if you’re vegan as some sugars are not.
  • Quick Rise Yeast – Quick yeast will help save you time in the kitchen by cutting down the time it takes for the dough to rise. 
  • All Purpose Unbleached Flour – This makes up the base of the dry ingredients and needs to be sifted to create a smooth texture in the dough. 
  • Salt – Helps balance all the flavors in the dough. 
  • Cinnamon – This gives the monkey bread a warming flavor. 
  • Brown & Cane Sugar – The mix of these two sugars add a sweet flavor and texture to the bread. Brown sugar can be substituted with coconut sugar, demerara sugar, turbinado or golden raw cane sugar.
  • Icing Sugar – This is for the smooth, sweet glaze. Look for organic powdered sugar or investigate the icing sugar brand if you’re vegan, as not all icing sugar is.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1.  Prepare your equipment. Grease your bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside for later. In a small bowl mix together the melted butter, warmed milk, sugar and yeast and set aside. 

Yeast and melted butter mixed together in a small, glass mixing bowl.

Step 2. Make a well. Take your sifted flour and salt in a medium bowl and create a “well” in the centre and pour in your liquid (this can also be done directly on your surface, as shown).

Step 3. Gently form the pull apart dough. Using a wooden spoon, slowly start incorporating flour in with the liquid, continue to mix until the mix is almost fully combined. 

Step 4. Knead the dough. Empty bowl onto a floured surface and continue to knead until a ball has fully formed and the dough feels “silky” usually about 3-5 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel, place in a warm draft free area in your kitchen and allow dough to rest and double in size, roughly 1 hour.

A ball of bread dough in a glass mixing bowl.

Step 5. Prepare the cinnamon sugar coating. While the dough is resting, prepare your coating. In a small bowl mix together both sugars and cinnamon. In a separate small bowl have your melted butter. Set both aside for later.

Sugar mixed together in a small glass bowl with a spoon.

Step 6. Form and assemble the dough balls. Once dough has rested, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll out into an 8-inch square. Cut the square into into 1-inch square pieces.

Roll each square into a ball and one by one, dip each ball in the melted butter, dripping all the excess butter back into the bowl, then roll in the sugar mixture. Place each ball in the greased bundt pan building upwards in a circular motion.

Let the dough rest a second time. When bundt pan is full, cover with saran wrap and place in the same draft-free corner of your kitchen for an additional hour.

Step 8. Preheat the oven. When it’s getting close to an hour, preheat your oven to 350 F.

Bake the monkey bread for 35-40 minutes. The balls should be golden brown when they are ready. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes but no longer or the sugar could harden in the pan, making it difficult to remove.

Step 9. Prepare the icing. While the bread is baking, mix the icing sugar and plant-based milk together until the consistency is smooth and shiny. 

Step 11. Cool and drizzle with icing. Turn out onto a plate let cool for an additional 5 minutes, then drizzle with icing and enjoy!

Spoon drizzling icing over a monkey pull-apart bread on a plate.

Success Tips

  • When using a stand mixer, use a dough hook and place flour mixture in the bowl and slowly incorporate liquid on speed 1. Once dough has started to turn speed up to 5 and mix for 3-5 minutes.
  • Make sure your yeast is activated. Before making this recipe, make sure your yeast isn’t expired. You’ll also need to make sure you are using milk that isn’t hot but warm enough to activate it. 
  • Monkey bread is VERY sticky which can make it stick to the pan. To prevent this, make sure you have enough non stick spray coated on the bundt cake pan. Do not leave the monkey bread in the bundt pan for longer than 5 minutes or the sugar could harden making it difficult to remove. 
  • Make evenly sized dough balls. This will ensure that the bread bakes evenly. 
  • Let the dough rise twice. It’s tempting to skip the second rise in the dough, but don’t do it! This will help make sure the texture of the pull apart bread is intact. 

FAQ


How do you know when monkey bread is done baking? 

When monkey bread is finished baking, it will be puffy but crispy on the top. The best way to make sure is to insert a toothpick into the dough and make sure it comes out clean.

What can you use instead of a Bundt pan for monkey bread? 

If you don’t have a bundt pan, you can use any loaf pan or cake pan. Just make sure it’s completely sealed (ie. not a springform pan) to keep the hot cinnamon sugar from spilling out and burning. 

Do you refrigerate monkey bread? 

It’s not a good idea to keep cooked monkey bread in the fridge as it runs the risk of drying out quicker. Store it in an airtight container on your countertop for the best quality. 

Monkey pull-apart bread on a plate with a cup of coffee and vase in the background.

Storing & Freezing

  • Storing: Vegan monkey bread can be stored in an airtight container on the counter top for up to 3 days. Over time, the coating will dry out becoming hard and sticky so it’ll need to be eaten before then which shouldn’t be a problem! 
  • Freezing: Cooled monkey bread can be frozen in sections or whole if it’s wrapped tightly in plastic wrap then in foil. You’ll need to add it to a freezer safe bag or airtight container where it will stay fresh for up to 2 months.
  • Defrosting & Reheating: Frozen monkey bread needs to be thawed in the fridge fully overnight. To warm it before serving, add it to a 325 degree oven for about 10 minutes until it’s warmed through. This amount of time may vary depending on the size of your monkey bread. 

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Print

Vegan Monkey Bread

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

This easy recipe for vegan monkey bread uses a simple vegan bread dough that is baked and topped with cinnamon brown sugar and glaze that makes the most delicious and decadent pull-apart bread. This sweet treat is much loved by all and perfect for holidays and special occasions!


Scale

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 2 tbsp melted vegan butter (30 g) 
  • 1 1/3 cup warmed dairy-free milk (110 degrees, 125 mL, I used cashew milk)
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar (60 g) 
  • 2 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast (8 g) 
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, sifted (580 g)
  • 2 tsp salt (10 g) 

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (15 g)  
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar  (75 g)
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar (60 g) 
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter or coconut oil (120 g)

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup icing sugar (125 g) 
  • 2 tbsp dairy-free milk (30 ml)

Instructions

  1. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside for later.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the melted butter, warmed milk, sugar and yeast and set aside. 
  3. Add the sifted flour and salt in a medium bowl and mix together, then create a “well” in the centre. Pour in the melted butter and mix mixture liquid. Using a wooden spoon, slowly start incorporating flour in with the liquid, continue to mix until the flour is almost fully combined. Empty the bowl onto a floured surface and continue to knead until a ball has formed and the dough feels silky, usually about 3-5 minutes. 
  4. If using a stand mixer follow in similar steps, using a dough hook, place flour mixture in bowl and slowly incorporate liquid on speed 1, once dough has started to from turn speed up to 5 and mix for 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Place the ball of dough in a large, lightly-greased greased mixing bowl and cover with a tea towel. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free area in your kitchen and allow dough to rest and double in size, roughly 1 hour.
  6. While the dough is resting, prepare your coating. In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, cane sugar and cinnamon. In a separate small bowl have your melted butter ready. Set aside for later. 
  7. Once the dough has rested, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll it out into an 8-inch square. Use a knife to cut the square into 1-inch square pieces. Roll each square into a ball. One by one, dip each ball in the melted butter, dripping all the excess butter back into the bowl, then roll in sugar mixture. Place in the greased bundt pan building upwards in a circular motion. 
  8. When bundt pan is full, cover with saran wrap and place in the same draft-free corner of your kitchen for an additional hour.
  9. When it’s getting close to an hour, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  10. Once the dough has risen, place in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. The balls should be golden brown when they are ready. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes but no longer or the sugar could over harden in the pan making it difficult to remove. 
  11. While the bread rests for a few minutes, mix together the dairy-free milk and sugar until the consistency is smooth and shiny. 
  12. Turn the bread out upside down onto a plate and let cool for an additional 5 minutes.
  13. Drizzle with icing and enjoy right away.

Notes

Monkey bread is best to enjoy the day of but will last up to 3 days in a sealed container at room temperature. Let cool completely before storing.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 454
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 90 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 7 g

Keywords: vegan monkey bread, vegan pull apart bread