Have you ever made monkey bread? I honestly and truly believe it may be the first thing I ever baked- seventh grade- home ec. class and a can of biscuit dough. I’m also pretty sure we “baked” them in the microwave? It’s possible. Not familiar with monkey bread? I’ve decided t’s basically like the inside of a cinnamon roll. Rounds of soft dough are dunked in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar and then baked together. I mean sound’s pretty similar right? I’ve been thinking that I needed to make a for-scratch version of this for ages and thought a muffin-sized version would be fun. (Normally it’s made in a bundt pan but the muffin tins were cute as can be!)
Now if you follow me on instagram you know this- but I actually posted a funny picture of these before and after baking. I may have stuffed a few too many dough balls into each muffin well which resulted in over-flowing monkey bread madness. I edited the recipe accordingly (and may have just eaten all the extra pieces that didn’t fit in!) What I love about these is that while they stick together like muffins should- each little bubble of cinnamon sugary goodness can be picked off one at a time, making it really easy to have “just one more.”
The texture of each little bite of dough was soft and almost doughnut-like covered in a perfectly sweet cinnamon sugar crust. Caramel sauce would have been delicious over these, but I opted for a simple vanilla glaze. Wouldn’t these be a perfect addition to a Mother’s Day brunch spread? I actually really longed for little ones to help me make these as it’s the perfect process to have a helper for. You know some little hands to dunk the dough in butter and roll in in cinnamon sugar? Wouldn’t that be cute?? …. Ok I digress. :)
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup water
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-4 tablespoons of milk
- Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles (or the microwave), then remove from heat. Mix in butter; stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 2¼ cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt; whisk together. Add water, egg and the (cooled) milk mixture; beat well with an electric mixer. Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, using a wooden spoon to stir well after each addition. (dough will be too thick and sticky to use the mixers at this point.)
- When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. (dough will spring back when lightly pressed.)
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let proof for 45-60 minutes in a warm place- until doubled in size.
- Grease or spray 12 muffin tins- set aside. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- When dough has proofed, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and use your hands to spread it out into a large rectangle. Use a pizza cutter or bench scraper to cut the dough into 1-inch squares.
- Form each little square into a ball-like shape by pinching the four corners under tightly. Dunk each one in the butter and then roll it in the cinnamon-sugar. (If you don't have a helper for this step- I found that using one hand for the butter and one for the dry mixture helped keep them separate.)
- Fill each muffin well with about 6 dough balls- pressing them together slightly as you go. Cover prepared muffin tins with a clean dish towel and for a little more proofing- 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffy and golden. Cool on a wire rack until ready to glaze.
- In a small bowl whisk the glaze ingredients together, starting with 1 tablespoon of milk and adding more as needed for your desired glaze consistency. Drizzle over the warm muffins and enjoy!!
Recipe adapted from my favorite 90-minute Cinnamon Rolls