An irresistible monkey bread loaded with caramelized apples in a brown sugar cinnamon syrup and dripping with a light glaze.
Today’s recipe is one I developed for Red Star Yeast to share on their website. I love making yeast breads and sweet rolls this time of year. The smell of cinnamon bread baking is intoxicating.
For years my mom made Monkey Bread on Christmas morning. She put it together the night before, so it was ready to pop in the oven Christmas morning. The first year after I lost her I made my first Overnight Monkey. Last year, I changed it up and made Overnight Pumpkin Monkey Bread with Maple Cream Cheese Icing.
This year’s version, Overnight Apple Fritter Monkey Bread, may be my favorite yet. I added caramelized apples to the dough to create an apple fritter monkey bread. You caramelize the apples before adding them to the dough, so they’re sweet and tender.
It’s easy to turn yeast bread recipes in to overnight recipes. Red Star Yeast has a Postpone Baking section on their website to help you turn your favorite recipe in to an easy to make overnight recipe.
Monkey Bread is also known as Bubble Bread or Pull Apart Bread. It’s irresistible little bites of sweet, cinnamon bread kind of like getting the best part of a cinnamon roll, the ooey, gooey middle in every bite.
Overnight Apple Fritter Monkey Bread
- 3 Fuji or other apples peeled, cored, and cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup milk
- ⅓ cup unsweetened apple juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 –4 cups bread flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoons 1 package active dry yeast
Brown Sugar Coating
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Caramelized apples: In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and all the liquid is evaporated. Spread in a thin layer on a baking sheet to cool to room temperature.
- In microwave safe bowl, heat milk, apple juice, sugar, salt and butter to 120° to 130°. Stir to dissolve sugar.
- Mix 2 cups flour and yeast in stand mixer fitted with a beater blade. Turn machine to low and slowly add the heated liquid mixture. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Switch to the dough hook, gradually add the remaining flour (add more or less as necessary) until dough clings to the hook and almost cleans the sides. Knead until the dough is smooth.
- Scrap the dough off the dough hook in to the bowl and add the cooled apples. With the dough hook, knead the apples in to the dough, adding more flour as necessary to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form a round ball. Coat a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and rise in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 2 hours.
- Butter a 12-cup Bundt pan with non stick cooking spray.
- Make brown sugar coating: Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Place melted butter in second bowl. Set aside for the sugar coating.
- Punch down the dough and pat into an 8-inch square on a flour surface. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces. (I used a pizza cutter.) With floured hands, roll each dough piece into a ball.
- Working one at a time, dip balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into bowl. Roll in brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in Bundt pan, staggering the dough balls to build layers.
- Cover Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.
- Approximately one hour before you want to bake your Monkey Bread, remove it from the refrigerator and let the dough come to room temperature and begin to rise. (It will rise a little in the refrigerator overnight.)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap pan and bake until top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out on platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
- For the glaze: whisk powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in small bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the top and sides of the bread. Serve warm. (I like to put the glaze in a Ziploc and snip off the corner. To drizzle glaze on top.)
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast, but all opinions expressed are always my own. You can also find Red Star Yeast on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
we found that the apples should be quite small – almost diced, and this works better with the dough. We didn’t get it completely done on first try, therefore although top balls were done, the bottom did not stick together and were doughy. We put it back in the pan – they never came together but it was good enough, we are thinking with some tweaking this might be quite good. We also found that there was intense caramelization in the bottom of pan (which would be top of bread). We upped the cinnamon for the apples as we like a stronger cinnamon taste (we may also use an apple spice next time).
Hi, I’m from Germany, and I made this yummie cake just now – it’s now in the fridge. It looks already mouthwatering!! First thing tomorrow morning will be let it rise once more and pop it in the oven.
My question is: how do you eat the cake when it’s done? Do you tear the segments apart or do you cut it like a usual cake? (I have never seen nor eaten monkey bread)
Thanks for sharing a great recipe and best regards from Germany
Hi Lisa – how fun that you made it and will enjoy it in the morning. You eat it like a pull-apart bread and tear the segments apart to eat it. Enjoy!
Just wondering if I make this the day before will it need to be cooked earlier in the day the next day. I’m planning on making it but it’s for tomorrow evening. Wasn’t sure if the yeast will drop if it’s left in the fridge too long.
Hi Lucy – I haven’t tried it, but it should be fine. I’ve done bread dough in the fridge for 5 days and it rises beautifully when baked.
This question may be a silly question but do you have to use a bundt pan to bake this in? I’m asking because I don’t own a bundt pan but I’d love to make, well lets face it, all of the monkey bread recipes I can find that are completely made from scratch. I’m fine with buying a bundt pan just for monkey bread since it sounds and looks devilishly delicious, was just curious if you could use something else, like a round cake pan or a rectangular glass baking dish. Thank you to whom ever answers my question.
Hi Jenn – the beauty of using a bundt pan is that it also cooks from the inside out. You could use another type of baking dish, you’ll probably need to increase your cook time – and be careful not to overfill the pan or you’ll have a mess on your hands.
liz | carpé season
Me again. I’ve been reading other monkey bread recipes / comments and am seeing that it unmolds best if you flip it out pretty quickly after it comes out of the oven. I am guessing I left mine in the pan too long – about 10 minutes (thinking 5 mins. was a minimum)…do you agree that might have been the problem?
Hi Liz – so glad you thought it was a great recipe, even if it wasn’t as pretty as you’d hoped. I think you’re right, waiting the extra time probably caused the problem unmolding it. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment so others won’t have the same experience.
liz | carpé season
Quick question – I tried making this today for the first time, and it was delicious! However, despite greasing my pan within an inch of it’s life, the monkey bread ring fell apart when I flipped it, even after I let it cool for the recommended 5 minutes. We just ate the toppled balls out of a bowl, still delicious, but not nearly as pretty.
Wondering if you have any suggestions or if anyone else has had an issue with this?
(PS – I used my most faithful bundt pan that I can usually turn things out of without problem, so I’m wondering if I didsomething wrong here 🙂 )
Hail to Barbara! This recipe is incredible and the directions were easy to follow. Thank you so very much for sharing! It was a huge success with the family. Absolutely perfect and I cannot wait to make again when it’s not the holiday so I can eat even more. You rock lady!
I can not get unsweetened apple juice – only apple nectar juice – do you think that I could subsitute it and leave out the sugar in the dough?
Yes, I think that would work well. Enjoy!
I am so glad that it’s still vacation time -totally making this!!!
This was truly one of the best things I have ever made! It was the star of Christmas breakfast. I have one of those cool rose shaped bundt pans and it came out perfect. Thank you so much for the recipie!!!!!!
Hi Jennifer – I’m so glad everyone loved it. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. Merry Christmas!
Oh my, this looks amazing! The apple fritter flavor is perfect 🙂
My mouth is watering! This is the perfect Christmas breakfast!
OMG this looks sooo good. Definitely going to try this with my kids this holiday. One of them is obsessed with all things apple and wanted to make an apple dessert for Santa. Thanks Barb I am sure Santa will love it !
Kathy - Panini Happy
My GOODNESS, Barbara – this looks amazing! I’m going to send it to my mom – we need to have this on Christmas morning. 🙂
my mom did the same thing growing up. we had monkey bread and sausage balls and I still make them to this day for my kids and even just my husband and i before we had kids. I love your apple version and can’t wait to give it a try
Yummers!! This apple monkey bread looks so good! I love the addition of apples.
I have missed leaving comments on your blog! I have been following you on Feedly, though. Never stopped. ¿Cómo has estado? ¿Todavía tomas clases de español?
Red Star Yeast
This is definitely a must-try recipe! Might not make it all the way to the breakfast table… 🙂