This easy vegan monkey bread recipe uses a simple vegan bread dough that is baked and topped with cinnamon brown sugar and icing.

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

What is Monkey Bread?

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!

Classic monkey bread originated in Hungary and may be called Hungarian coffee cake, 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 yeasted dough that’s baked in a bundt pan then coated with a mix of cinnamon and sugar and topped with a sweet glaze. Each bite is crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside and lands somewhere between a freshly baked roll, donut and a cinnamon bun.

Perfect for brunch, holidays like Christmas, Easter and Mother’s Day, or any special occasions, this decadent breakfast treat is much-loved by all!

Recipe Highlights

  • Completely vegan (dairy-free and eggless).
  • Perfect for brunch get-togethers!
  • Uses simple ingredients.
  • Great for the holidays.
  • Ooey and gooey with a crisp exterior surrounding the soft doughy inside.
  • Easy to make and fun to eat!
  • It’s a fun treat for kids so works as a birthday cake alternative!

Ingredients You’ll Need

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

A complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.

  • Vegan Butter – You’ll need 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. If you’re not vegan, you can use regular butter.
  • Non-Dairy 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 milk, oat milk or or milk 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 adds 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 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 with Photos

Before You Start: Grease your bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray or a light coating of oil or butter and set aside.

Step 1: Combine Yeast Mixture

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: Combine Wet & Dry Ingredients

Add the sifted flour and salt to a medium bowl and create a “well” in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. This can also be done directly on a lightly floured surface, as shown below.

Using a wooden spoon, slowly start incorporating flour in with the liquid, and continue to mix until the mix is almost fully combined. 

A pile of flour with a well of liquid in the middle on a marble surface.

Step 3: Knead the Dough

Empty the bowl ingredients onto a floured surface if you’re not already working on a countertop.

Knead the dough with your hands until a ball has formed and the dough feels “silky”. This should take 3-5 minutes of kneading.

Step 4: Rest Dough 1 Hour

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

A ball of bread dough in a glass mixing bowl.

Step 5. Prepare Cinnamon & Butter

While the dough is resting, prepare your cinnamon sugar coating by mixing the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl.

In a separate small bowl, prepare the melted butter for coating.

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

Step 6. Form Balls & Add to Pan

Once the dough has finished resting, place it on a floured surface and roll it out into an 8-inch square.

Bread dough rolled out into a square on a marble surface.

Cut the square into 1-inch square pieces and roll each piece of dough into a ball.

Bread dough rolled out and cut into squares on a marble surface.

One by one, dip each dough ball in the melted butter, dripping all the excess butter back into the bowl, then roll in the sugar mixture.

Small balls of dough being rolled in a butter and cinnamon sugar coating.

Place each ball in the greased bundt pan building upwards in a circular motion.

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

Raw monkey bread dough balls in a bundt pan.

Preheat the oven. When it’s getting close to an hour of rising time, preheat your oven to 350 F.

Step 8: Bake & Cool

Bake the monkey bread for 35-40 minutes. The balls should be golden brown when they are ready.

Remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes but no longer or the sugar could harden in the pan, making it difficult to remove. Turn the bread out onto a plate and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before icing.

Step 9: Ice the Bread

Mix the icing sugar and plant-based milk together until the consistency is smooth and shiny. Drizzle the icing all over the bread and enjoy!

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

Success Tips

  1. When using a stand mixer, use a dough hook and place the flour mixture in the bowl and slowly incorporate liquid on speed 1. Once the dough has started to turn, speed up to 5 and mix for 3-5 minutes.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Make evenly sized dough balls. This will ensure that the bread bakes evenly. 
  5. 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. 

Notes

  • This vegan caramel sauce can be used as an alternative to powdered sugar icing.
  • You can add 1-2 tsp vanilla extract to the icing for a vanilla glaze.
Close up of a monkey pull-apart bread on a plate.

FAQ

How do you know when monkey bread is done baking? 

When monkey bread is finished baking, it will be puffy but crispy on 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 countertop 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 and 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 F 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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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
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Description

This easy vegan monkey bread recipe uses a simple yeasted dough baked and topped with cinnamon sugar and glaze. This sweet pull-apart bread is much loved by all and perfect for holidays and special occasions!


Ingredients

Scale

For the Dough

  • 2 tbsp melted vegan butter (30 g) 
  • 1 1/3 cup warmed dairy-free milk (325 ml, unsweetened almond, soy or cashew)
  • 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. Prepare Pan: Grease a 10-inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside for later.
  2. Mix Wet Ingredients & Yeast: In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, warmed milk, sugar and yeast and set aside. 
  3. Mix Flour and Salt: Add the sifted flour and salt to a medium bowl and mix together, then create a “well” in the centre.
  4. Combine Wet & Dry Ingredients: Pour in the melted butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, slowly start incorporating flour in with the liquid, and continue to mix until the flour is almost fully combined.
  5. Knead Dough: 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. Note: 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 form, turn the speed up to 5 and mix for 3-5 minutes. 
  6. First Rise: Place the ball of dough in a large, lightly-greased greased mixing bowl and cover it 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.
  7. Prepare Coatings: 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, prepare the melted butter ready. Set aside for later. 
  8. Roll Out Dough: Once the dough has rested, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll it out into an 8-inch square.
  9. Create Dough Balls: Use a knife to cut the square into 1-inch square pieces. Roll each square into a small ball.
  10. Dip Balls & Add to Pan: One by one, dip each ball in the melted butter, dripping all the excess butter back into the bowl, then roll it in the sugar mixture. Place each dipped ball in the greased bundt pan building upwards in a circular motion around the pan.
  11. Second Rise: When the bundt pan is full, cover it with saran wrap and place in the same draft-free corner of your kitchen for an additional hour.
  12. Preheat Oven: When it’s getting close to an hour, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  13. Bake: Once the dough has risen, place it 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. Turn the bread out upside down onto a plate and let cool for an additional 5 minutes.
  14. Ice & Enjoy: While the bread rests for a few minutes, mix together the dairy-free milk and sugar until the consistency is smooth and shiny. Drizzle the icing all over the top of the bread, letting it drip down the sides. 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