Monkey bread

This American, pull-apart sweet treat is sticky, spiced and stuffed with pecans – an indulgent breakfast, brunch or dessert to share

  • Prep:1 hrs 15 mins
    Cook:35 mins
    plus rising and proving
  • Serves 12
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 546
  • fat 27g
  • saturates 12g
  • carbs 65g
  • sugars 32g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 9g
  • salt 0.7g


  • 200ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 550g strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading if doing it by hand
  • 2½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • oil, for greasing
  • 125g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • 140g pecans, toasted then roughly chopped
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


Get ahead

To make this for next morning, you can let the dough prove in the tin in the fridge overnight. Let it acclimatise at room temperature for 45 mins-1hr in the morning, to complete the proving, then bake.

To toast nuts

I always tend to toast nuts before using them in baking as it enhances their flavour and adds crunch. Scatter over a baking tray and cook for 5-8 mins at 180C/160C fan/gas 4.


  1. Start with the dough. Put the milk and butter into a medium pan and heat gently until the butter melts and the milk is at a simmer. Cool for a few mins, then beat in the eggs with a fork. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl with 1 1/2 tsp fine salt, then add the liquid and stir to a sticky dough. Leave for 5 mins, then tip onto a floured worktop and knead for 5-10 mins until smooth and springy. Use a little oil to grease a large bowl, add the dough, turn it in the oil to coat, then cover the bowl with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size. Knead in a tabletop mixer with a dough hook if you prefer.

  2. To assemble, grease a 25cm bundt pan with butter. Melt the rest of the butter in a pan. In a medium bowl mix the spices and sugar plus a pinch of salt. Spoon 2 tbsp melted butter, 3 tbsp spiced sugar and 4 tbsp pecans into the bottom of the tin.

  3. Pull the dough into about 65 small pieces and roll into balls. Taking 4 or 5 at a time, dunk the dough balls into the melted butter, let the excess drain off, then tip them into the spiced sugar. Roll to coat, then put haphazardly into the tin. Repeat until there’s a full layer of dough in the tin. Scatter with the rest of the chopped nuts, then carry on filling the tin with the coated dough balls. Tip any leftover sugar and butter over the dough. Can be frozen now for up to 1 month. Defrost in the fridge then let prove.

  4. Cover the pan with oiled clingfilm then leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr, or until risen and the dough no longer springs back when you poke it.

  5. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Bake the monkey bread for 35 mins, or until well risen and golden. Let the pan cool for 5 mins, then give it a sharp rap on the counter. Leave in the tin until just warm.

  6. Whisk all of the ingredients together to make the glaze. It will thicken as the melted butter cools. Turn the monkey bread onto a serving plate, then drizzle with the glaze. Let it set, if you can bear the wait.

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