This homemade vegan monkey bread recipe is made with a simple dough coated with lots of cinnamon and sugar! The buttery brown sugar topping is added to create a spiced, sweet pull-apart bread baked in a bundt pan. Sweet pieces of yeast bread can be pulled one bite at a time and as a favorite morning meal, but you can enjoy it any time of day!
Believe it or not, Monkey Bread is mostly an American fetish. So many delicious foods can be traced back to other countries, but not this one. If there is one culinary contribution to be proud of, it’s Monkey Bread!
Why is it called monkey bread?
If you’re not familiar with monkey bread, it’s a sweet, gooey pull-apart bread that you make by forming dough into little balls, rolling them in sugar, and baking them in a bundt pan. It’s eaten by pulling off the bite-size pieces, thereby picking it apart bit by bit, similar to how we might imagine monkeys eating bread. Or maybe because we like to affectionately refer to our kids as our little monkeys. Either way, it’s a term of affection for this beloved recipe.
Monkey bread has a reputation as a breakfast food, but you can have it for brunch, a snack, or even dessert. It’s delicious finger food at any time of the day! Of course, you can use storebought biscuit dough to make monkey bread. There are several brands that are accidentally vegan. However, I prefer making my vegan monkey bread from scratch. It doesn’t take long to make and the flavor is so much better!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Brown sugar adds a rich, caramel flavor to this bread, making every bite absolutely delicious
- Enriching the dough with whole wheat flour, which has a higher protein count, makes a tender dough that is also higher in fiber
- Sprinkling each layer of the dough balls with cinnamon infuses every bite with cinnamon sugar goodness.
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Yeast — I used active dry yeast, but you can also use instant yeast.
- Brown sugar — You can use light, dark, or homemade brown sugar.
- Olive oil — This is a neutral oil, or you can substitute melted vegan butter.
- Flour — I recommend using all-purpose flour or substitute whole wheat pastry flour or gluten-free pastry flour if you need gluten-free monkey bread.
- Whole wheat flour — This recipe also uses whole wheat flour to add more substance and fiber to the dough. You can substitute bread flour, which also has a higher protein content.
- Granulated sugar
- Ground cinnamon
How to Make Monkey Bread from Scratch
- Proof the yeast by stirring it with warm water and brown sugar. Let sit until it’s frothy then add olive oil.
- Stir together all-purpose flour and salt and then stir in the yeast mixture into the flour mixture.
- Turn dough onto a well-floured surface and knead in the whole-wheat flour until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in size.
- Tear off small pieces of the dough, shape it into balls, roll it in sugar, and drop them into an oiled Bundt pan. Then sprinkle with cinnamon. Repeat dough and cinnamon layers until ¾ of the pan is full.
- Let it rest by covering the pan lightly and setting it aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until golden on top.
- Set it aside to cool for about 10 minutes, then invert the pan onto a large serving dish.
- Drizzle with vanilla glaze.
If your yeast doesn’t foam in proofing, it’s a sign that the liquid was either too hot or your yeast has expired.
This easy vegan monkey bread begins with homemade dough. Here’s how to make it ahead of time:
- Make the dough the night before, cover it in the bowl and refrigerate.
- The next morning, let the dough rise until doubled in size (this may take a little longer because the dough is cold).
- Then proceed with rolling the dough balls in sugar, sprinkling with cinnamon, and baking.
The vanilla glaze is optional, but highly recommended. It’s easy to make because we’re simply combining powdered sugar with a little bit of vanilla-flavored plant-based milk.
Stir that together and then drizzle it over your baked monkey bread, or serve it on the side for dipping. It’s delicious either way!
Store entire loaf or broken-up sections in large sealed containers in refrigerator up to 7 days or freezer up to 2 months. If frozen, let sit on the counter for 10 minutes to defrost before serving. To serve, preheat the oven to 300°F and bake for 10 minutes on an ungreased baking sheet.
Quick Monkey Bread
If you’re in a hurry, you can use these tips to make quick vegan monkey bread:
- Use this recipe, but rise the dough in a fraction of the time in the microwave. I love these tips from Erren on her caramel monkey bread recipe where she recommends using your microwave’s defrost setting to raise the dough quickly. To do this, heat cup of water in the microwave until hot and steaming (to add moisture), then turn the power setting down to 10%, then heat the dough for 3 minutes. Let the dough rest in the microwave for 3 minutes and then repeat this process one more time. Your dough should be full risen at this point. Amazing!
- Substitute 2 cans of vegan biscuits for the dough (see my tips of accidentally vegan products) or use a known vegan brand such as Annies.
- Use frozen bread dough in place of the bread dough in this recipe. I’ve had good luck with frozen bread dough, although I don’t think it’s quite as good as homemade. Follow the instructions on the bread dough package to defrost it and then use it in this recipe.
If you love vegan cinnamon recipes, be sure to check out my Vegan Cinnamon Bread. It’s the best!
More Breakfast Breads
Vegan Monkey Bread
- 4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 cups warm water
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons vanilla soy milk
For the Bread:
- Combine yeast, brown sugar, and water in a small bowl. Let sit for 3 minutes until frothy. Add ¼ cup olive oil and stir slightly.
- In a large bowl stir together all-purpose flour and salt. Pour yeast mixture into the flour mixture and stir well. The dough should be slightly sticky.
- Turn dough onto a clean, well-floured surface and knead in whole- wheat flour, about 5 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Place dough in a large well-oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Let dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan by pouring the remaining 1⁄4 cup oil in the bottom and using your fingers to run it up the sides and in pan crevices.
- Place granulated sugar on a large plate. Punch down dough and tear it off in small pieces, shaping it into balls. Roll balls in sugar and then drop into Bundt pan. Repeat until there’s a layer of dough at bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with ½ tablespoon cinnamon. Repeat dough and cinnamon layers until ¾ of the pan is full.
- Bake 30 minutes until golden on top. Once done, set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. Use oven mitts to invert the pan onto a large serving dish.
For the Glaze:
- Combine powdered sugar with milk. Drizzle glaze over top of monkey bread.
- Store entire loaf or broken-up sections in large sealed containers in refrigerator up to 7 days or freezer up to 2 months. If frozen, let sit on the counter for 10 minutes to defrost before serving. To serve, preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C and bake for 10 minutes on an ungreased baking sheet.
(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.