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You can make Easy Monkey Bread with cinnamon rolls, did you know? This is the perfect fancy or holiday breakfast and using canned cinnamon rolls just makes them even better.

We’ve been making this recipe for Christmas morning breakfast for over 10 years and we look forward to every bite!

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monkey bread with glaze on white plate
Table of Contents
  1. Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread
  2. Why is it called monkey bread?
  3. 5 Ingredient Recipe
  4. How to make Cinnamon Monkey Bread
  5. Do you have to make monkey bread in a bundt pan?
  6. Easy Monkey Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

When Jordan was four I decided to make Monkey Bread for Christmas morning breakfast. I’d made pancakes the year before and spent an hour flipping while everyone else relaxed and drank coffee, so I wanted something I could make ahead of time and just pop in the oven.

After searching the internet, I discovered the original recipe for this on the Pillsbury website. It used canned biscuits (easy!) and could be partially assembled ahead of time. I made it for brunch and everyone loved it – especially Jordan.

Now, over 10 years later, she still requests monkey bread on Christmas morning. (She also requests it on other holidays and random Tuesdays, ha!) Even if I want to make cinnamon rolls, I have to make them alongside monkey bread.

Why you’ll love this recipe

I’ve adapted the recipe to fit our likes and tastes over the past decade and this is the BEST Monkey Bread Recipe you’ll ever make!

My Monkey Bread recipe is even better, because it’s easy and starts with CINNAMON ROLLS instead of biscuits. It’s easy to spice up canned cinnamon rolls by making monkey bread with them!

This recipe works in a bundt pan OR a 9×13-inch pan!

monkey bread with glaze on white plate

Why is it called monkey bread?

This delicious breakfast pastry got its name because you can pick it apart with your fingers, like a monkey would. Most commonly associated with Pillsbury at this point, Monkey Bread is actually a descendant of a Hungarian dessert.

Monkey bread is a pastry that’s made with small balls of dough rolled in cinnamon sugar and piled in a bundt pan. It’s then topped with melted butter and brown sugar and baked until a flaky, doughy sweet pastry forms.

Pillsbury made this an easy recipe by using it’s canned biscuits for the dough, but you can make monkey bread from scratch (which I’ve done – it’s delicious). As much as I love the homemade version, I also love a semi-homemade easier version for holidays!

fingers pulling piece of monkey bread out

5 Ingredient Recipe

  • Canned cinnamon rolls (I use Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls, the larger rolls that come 5 to a can)
  • Butter – Unsalted or salted is fine
  • Brown Sugar – be sure to pack it!
  • Granulated Sugar and Cinnamon – to roll the cinnamon roll pieces in!

Variations

How to make Cinnamon Monkey Bread

  • Simply cut each cinnamon roll into 4 pieces. They’ll fall apart a bit, but that’s ok.
  • Mix together 1/4 cup granulated sugar and some cinnamon and add the cut up cinnamon roll dough to a large bag with the cinnamon sugar. Toss the bag around to coat the pieces.
  • Place the cinnamon roll pieces in prepared pan.
  • Mix melted butter and brown sugar and pour over the bundt pan cinnamon rolls.
  • Bake and then drizzle the top with the icing that came with the rolls!

Do you have to make monkey bread in a bundt pan?

Nope! I did for this post but I’ve made monkey bread without a bundt pan so many times. You can use:

  • A 9×13-inch pan
  • Two loaf pans or 2 pie plates
  • Cupcake pans

The bread bakes faster with each smaller pan, so if you’re trying to bake up breakfast quickly, use one of those three instead of the bundt pan.

Remove the bread from the pan within 10 minutes of it coming out of the oven so it doesn’t stick to the pan!

PRO TIP

FAQs

How do you serve cinnamon roll monkey bread?

I like to drizzle the icing that comes with the cinnamon rolls over the top for a nice added flavor and look. Monkey bread tastes best warm and gooey from the oven. Monkey bread doesn’t have to be served warm, however. It tastes good room temperature too; that’s how we enjoy any leftovers!

How do you make monkey bread without a bundt pan?

Use 2 pie plates, 2 loaf pans or a 9×13-inch baking dish to bake your monkey bread instead of a bundt pan.

How to store leftover monkey bread?

Store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Microwave to reheat.

Can you make monkey bread with Pillsbury Grands ahead of time?

You can prep this up to 24 hours ahead. Cut the cinnamon rolls and toss them with cinnamon sugar then store in the refrigerator. When ready to assemble, melt the butter and mix with brown sugar and place everything in the pan.

Making my Monkey Bread recipe with cinnamon rolls instead of biscuits will make your family so happy at breakfast time!

If you’ve ever wondered how to make monkey bread from scratch, try my homemade recipe! Want to make it from scratch with cinnamon rolls? Use my favorite quick cinnamon roll recipe.

Other recipes using Pillsbury:

Have you tried this recipe?

Give it a 5-star rating below!

Monkey bread loaf

Easy Monkey Bread

5 from 4 votes
This Easy Monkey Bread Recipe is made with cinnamon rolls instead of biscuits. It's a semi-homemade recipe that can be made with or without a bundt pan – it's the best breakfast or brunch recipe!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 10 servings
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients
 

  • cans Pillsbury Grands! Cinnamon Rolls
  • 1/4  cup  granulated sugar
  • teaspoon  cinnamon
  • 1/2  cup  brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup  unsalted butter melted

Instructions

  • Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Open each can of cinnamon rolls. Reserve the icing for later. Cut each roll into 4 pieces.
  • Place the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a gallon size resealable bag. Add the cut up cinnamon rolls (the pieces will fall apart a little) to the bag. Seal and shake to coat the pieces with cinnamon sugar.
  • Stir together the brown sugar and melted butter.
  • Place rolls in pan and drizzle with melted butter mixture.
  • Bake at 350°F for 40-50 minutes or until the top is a dark golden brown and the rolls are cooked through.
  • Cool 5 minutes then invert the monkey bread onto your serving plate. Do this carefully: the pan is hot! Drizzle cinnamon roll icing over the top of the monkey bread and serve warm.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Other baking pans:
  • 9×13-inch: 30-40 minutes
  • Loaf pan (9×5-inch): 30-40 minutes
  • Muffin tin (regular size): 10-20 minutes

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Author Dorothy Kern
Keyword breakfast, brunch, monkey bread, pillsbury

We always serve this with fruit, bacon and an egg casserole:

Cinnamon roll monkey bread collage

Easy Monkey Bread with cinnamon rolls is my favorite way to make this classic recipe! Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls make this an easy semi-homemade recipe. You can make this with or without a bundt pan and it’s the perfect breakfast or brunch recipe.

Last Updated on September 1, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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9 Comments

  1. I can’t wait to make alot of your recipes because you make everything looks so good and so yummy and easy I know how to make a lot of desserts from homemade scratch the way my Grandma and my Mom taught me but unfortunately they would never let me write nothing down and they are both gone now😢😢 and of course they didn’t use recipes they knew how to make it all for so many great years but I’m trying and I guess I’m doing okay cuz my family sure loves everything I made so far Thanks for sharing all your Great and Yummy recipes with us all and do you have any cook books that we can purchase and again I’m going to enjoy trying to make just about everyone of your recipes 😊 ☺️ 😀

  2. These were so yummy and so much easier to make than my original recipe using butterscotch pudding and frozen dough balls. Took them to brunch on Mother’s Day and everyone loved them. Thank you!

    1. I can’t wait to make alot of your recipes because you make everything looks so good and so yummy and easy I know how to make a lot of desserts from homemade scratch the way my Grandma and my Mom taught me but unfortunately they would never let me write nothing down and they are both gone now cuz they didn’t use recipes they knew it all but I’m trying and I guess I’m doing okay cuz my family sure loves everything I made so far

  3. I made this last year and the family loved it–thank you! I am wondering if I can make ahead (tonight) and then throw in oven in the morning. Would you recommend or not? Thanks!