Updated November 17, 2014
teaspoons active dry yeast
cups unbleached all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking powder
cup butter, melted (for dipping)
ounces (about 1 stick) butter
ounces (about 8 tbsp) brown sugar
cup cashews, finely chopped
Dissolve yeast and a pinch of sugar in warm water in the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring milk to nearly a boil, about 190 degrees (or until bubbles form). Remove from heat and stir in shortening and sugar until dissolved. Place saucepan in freezer or refrigerator until lukewarm.
Stir milk mixture into yeast mixture and add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Beat until smooth.
Pour dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
In the meantime, melt 1 stick of butter, brown sugar and cashews in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture evenly into the bottom of a Bundt pan, tube pan or monkey bread pan.
Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in the microwave and allow to cool slightly (do NOT put in pan).
Divide risen dough into round balls about 2 inches in diameter. Dip each ball into cooled, melted butter and arrange in layers in the pan above the butter-sugar-cashew mixture. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or about 8 hours.
The next morning, place refrigerated pan in the oven next to or above a broiler tray. Pour 2/3 cup boiling water into the broiler tray and immediately close the oven door. Allow to steam for 20 minutes.
Remove tray and pan from oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Bake bread for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before running a blunt knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the bread. Invert pan on a round plate and serve warm.
More About This Recipe
- There are some breads out there that have no excuses.
They are not good for you in any way, shape or form. They are loaded with butter, doused in butter, ooey-gooied in butter.
This is one of those breads. But it is oh. So. Good.
This Cashew-Caramel Monkey Bread is not for the faint of heart, for the lackadaisical, for the idle eater. Once you pull off a chunk of this bread, warm and deliciously dripping in homemade caramel and sprinkled with crunchy cashew bits, eating will become your sole mission. You will be helpless. You may eat the whole thing in one sitting. Others may do well to stay out of your way.
The mixture of crunch and salt from the cashews and the buttery, sweet topping of soft caramel make this bread an indulgent breakfast, mid-morning snack, afternoon snack or dessert. Heck, if you want to eat it for lunch or dinner, too, no one's here to judge. Just be sure to have a lot -- I mean a LOT -- of butter on hand before making this bread. Also, practice the utmost care when preparing the caramel, as any splatters will be very, very hot.
One last thing -- eat it right out of the oven. Not a week later, when it's hard as a rock (this bread, unfortunately, does not keep well), not a few days later when it's gone rather stale, not even an hour later when that warmth is no longer penetrated throughout the fluffy bread, or when the caramel has hardened too much and makes it more difficult to eat. It's a finicky bread, yes, but trust me, it's undeniable. But I doubt you'll have much trouble getting rid of it right away.
Stephanie (aka Girl versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie's Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!
Caramel Monkey Bread
Easy rolls = easy fixin’ for kids’ sleepovers.
- 1 bag (24 Oz. Bag) Frozen Bread Dough
- 1 box (3.4 Oz. Box) Regular Butterscotch Pudding Mix
- ½ cups Butter
- ½ cups Brown Sugar
- ½ teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1 package (6-8 Oz. Package) Chopped Pecans
Spray pan with Pam or spread with butter. Place frozen bread in the pan or use frozen rolls. When partially thawed, cut into smaller pieces. Sprinkle butterscotch pudding over the rolls. Melt butter and brown sugar and pour over the bread dough. Sprinkle cinnamon and pecans over the top and leave sit out overnight in the pan. In the morning, bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and when done, turn upside down on a plate and eat.
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Joannie Clark on 4.15.2011
Hi Girlo, You use cooked pudding mix. I made this a few weeks ago and added pecan halves. It was out of this world! I could have eaten the whole thing!
Girlo on 2.11.2011
I have a question – by “regular” pudding mix, is that instant or cooked? This sounds so good and I can’t wait to try it!
Perfectlylovely on 10.2.2010
I’ve been trying to find this recipe for a long time! My dearest friend (who moved out of state) wrote it on a recipe card for me, but I’ve misplaced it. Thank you so much for sharing this!! You’re a peach!
Yes! If you want to make this monkey bread the night before, make the roll recipe as directed in the recipe card below. Let the dough raise once, then punch down and form into balls. In a bundt pan, assemble the gooey caramel mixture and pour over the rolls, then cover with plastic wrap and store overnight in the refrigerator.
If you’ve made the Caramel Monkey Bread the night before, take the roll out of the refrigerator, and let it rise for about an hour in a warm place. Then bake as directed. It’s so yummy and gooey. The best breakfast treat!
What is it?
I never really knew the answer to this question except for the fact it was probably the best tasting confection I had ever had made with canned biscuits. Now, as an adult, I find this marvelous recipe has been around since the 1940&rsquos. Bakeries in California made it for all of the stars, including Nancy Reagan! Thus traveling from the star studded home straight to the White House.
The funny name really has very little to do with monkeys, the only reference I could find was in this very informative article by Tori Avey. To read this great little bit of history, click HERE. What I have always thought is that is was more or less a finger food, thus the reference to Monkeys and this may be partly true. No matter what you call it, it is just doggone GOOD!
Gooey Caramel Monkey Bread
- Author: Lindsay
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
- Yield: 10 1 x
This Gooey Caramel Monkey Bread is LOADED with homemade caramel sauce and made with a pillowy homemade brioche dough. Perfect made-from-scratch, crowd-pleasing recipe that is conveniently low-maintenance. Just how I like it.
For the Dough:
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 packet instant yeast(about 2 teaspoons )
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup honey or sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup butter(melted)
- 4 1/2 cups flour(more for dusting)
You can also just use canned biscuit dough if you prefer, but I strongly recommend making your dough from scratch! The smells! The pillowy texture! Worth it.
For the Caramel Sauce:
- 1/2 cup butter(I prefer salted)
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- a hit of sea salt if you like that kinda thing
- Make the Dough: Mix all the dough ingredients together in a mixing bowl, adding flour last. The mixture will be sticky. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Set aside in a warm-ish place to rise for 2 hours. Once it has risen, transfer to the fridge to chill so it’s easier to handle.
- Roll the Dough: When the dough has chilled, roll out half of it on a floured surface to a medium thickness. Cut it into bite-sized pieces or roll into balls. Wrap the other half of the dough in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for next time.
- Make the Sauce: Melt the butter, heavy cream, and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and heat for exactly five minutes. Remove from heat.
- Assemble: In a bundt® pan or pie pan, layer: 1/4 cup caramel sauce, dough, 1/4 cup caramel sauce, dough, 1/4 cup caramel sauce. Reserve the remaining sauce.
- Bake: Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until the top pieces are browning a little bit. Invert onto a serving plate and top with extra sauce if you want (um, yes, I DO WANT). Enjoy!
Ideal schedule for warm, gooey, made-from-scratch monkey bread in the morning:
This batch makes twice the amount of dough you need, so I’d suggest that the remaining dough can be used for round two of monkey bread, or cinnamon rolls, or a tea ring… you name it! The dough doesn’t do great in the fridge for long periods of time (it gets a fermented taste to it), so I’d suggest freezing it. And then you will want to bring the chilled dough back to room temperature before baking. I usually just let it sit on the counter while I make the sauce and that seems to work fine.
The sauce will firm up as it cools. To use the last of your sauce on the baked bread, just gently heat it in the saucepan again and it should loosen back up.
It does not work to make the sauce ahead and save it. When I did this, the sauce on the monkey bread turned into more of a hard caramel. So make your caramel sauce fresh if you want it to be nice and gooey.
This recipe works best if your eggs are at room temperature (if they are too cold, it can affect the rise time for the dough). I usually just stick them in a bowl of warm water to warm them up and then crack them into the dough bowl.