Monkey Bread Recipe

Published on July 16th 2022 by Sarah Leadon.
Last updated on March 20th 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Front View of Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread's history is a little unclear. The name "Monkey Bread" describes balls of yeast dough dipped in butter and baked into a loaf. Additionally, Monkey Bread was served as a dessert rather than a breakfast item. This dessert is said to have originated in the 1880s after Hungarians brought their recipe to the US. Another version of the story also credits Middle Easterners with developing monkey bread. 

Regardless of the origin, Monkey Bread became a hit sensation in Southern California in the 1940s. This version of homemade Monkey Bread contains orange zest, juice, and cranberries. Best of all, it's cooked in the air fryer. This easy-to-follow recipe will teach you how to make Monkey Bread in under an hour. 


How do I make monkey bread from scratch?

Making monkey bread from scratch is easy. First, make your dough, shape it into balls, and dredge it in cinnamon sugar. Next, add the dough to a bundt pan coated with non-stick cooking spray, then make the caramel, pour it over the monkey bread, and bake until it is golden brown.

How do you make dough for monkey bread?

To make monkey bread dough, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and orange zest, then add butter, almond milk, orange juice, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract and mix until a dough forms.

Do you need a bundt pan for monkey bread?

Although monkey bread, especially store-bought varieties, is baked in bundt pans, you can cook monkey bread in any pan. For example, you can cook monkey bread in a bread or loaf pan, cookie sheet, muffin pans, or ramekins. You can even cook the monkey bread in a tube pan. 


Why is my monkey bread not rising?

Your monkey bread may not rise due to several reasons. If you are using a yeast dough, it may be under-proofed. The room may also be too cold, or you may have used dead yeast. In contrast, if you are using a non-yeast dough, the baking powder may not be active. Additionally, the monkey bread may not rise because you used a different flour. Therefore, make sure you use a gluten-free all-purpose to make this monkey bread. 

Author: Sarah Leadon
Average: 5 (2 votes)
Total rating includes sum of all comments and anonymous votes.

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Time & Serves

Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
55 mins


For the dough
  • Non-Stick Cooking Spray 


  • 2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour

  • 1 tablespoon Orange Zest

  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder

  • 1/2 cup Granulated White Sugar

  • 6 tablespoons Butter, cold, cut into small pieces

  • 1/3 cup Almond Milk

  • 2 teaspoons Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

  • 1/3 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  • 1/3 cup Dried Cranberries

For the cinnamon-sugar mixture
  • 1/4 cup Granulated White Sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon Cardamom

  • 1/8 teaspoon Cloves

For the caramel sauce
  • 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

  • 2/3 cups Brown Sugar

  • 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup

  • 3 tablespoons Heavy Cream

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  • 1 teaspoon Orange Zest


Grease an air fryer-safe bundt pan or cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.


To make the cinnamon-sugar mixture, whisk the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves in a small bowl until combined. Set the cinnamon-sugar mixture aside. 


Add gluten-free all-purpose flour, orange zest, baking powder, and sugar to a stand mixer's bowl.

Fasten the paddle attachment and mix to combine. Add the butter and mix until it looks like coarse crumbs. 


Add the almond milk, lemon juice, Greek Yogurt, and vanilla extract. Fasten the dough hook and mix until a dough forms. 


Shape the monkey bread into 1-inch balls. 


Roll each ball of dough into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and add half of them onto the prepared pan. 


Place 1/2 of the cranberries between each ball of dough, then add the remaining balls of dough. Finally, place the remaining cranberries between each ball of dough.

To make the caramel sauce, add the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, heavy cream, and orange zest to a small pot and place it over medium-high heat. 


Preheat your air fryer to 325 °F.


Once the caramel sauce comes to a boil, cook it for 3-5 minutes, constantly stirring with a spoon, until the sugar dissolves and the sauce is thick and bubbly. 


Remove the caramel sauce from the stove and stir in the vanilla extract. 


Pour the caramel sauce onto the monkey bread, pouring it evenly over the bread. 


Place the monkey bread into the air fryer basket and cook it for 10 minutes.


Check the monkey bread. Cover the monkey bread with aluminum foil if it is browning too quickly. 


Return the monkey bread to the oven and cook it for 10-15 minutes until it is golden brown and the dough is cooked. 


Let the monkey bread sit in the bundt pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving dish. 


Let the monkey bread cool for 30 minutes before serving. 

Sarah Leadon

Delve into the fusion of food and mood with Sarah. Discover the emotional journey within each recipe. Beyond the kitchen, she's an avid reader and music lover, lost in the rhythms of life.

More posts by Sarah Leadon

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Sarah Leadon

Delve into the fusion of food and mood with Sarah. Discover the emotional journey within each recipe. Beyond the kitchen, she's an avid reader and music lover, lost in the rhythms of life.

More posts by Sarah Leadon