Delicious Sticky Pecan Monkey Bread is a perfectly soft, ooey-gooey pull-apart brunch treat that’s super easy to make! This recipe requires just 5 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time. Your whole family will go crazy for this sweet pastry that will be the hit of any breakfast or brunch!

Top view of monkey bread topped with sticky pecans.

My grandma’s irresistible sticky monkey bread is a family favorite! We cannot stop with the warm, tender bread covered with a sweet caramelized glaze. It’s perfect for special occasion brunches and holidays like Easter or Mother’s Day! It’s our family tradition to enjoy it on Christmas morning.

In this recipe, we use prepackaged frozen dinner rolls as the base, which is so convenient. No need to make homemade icing either! Simply, sprinkle layers of brown sugar and butterscotch pudding mix over the rolls. Then, pour melted butter evenly over the top. Cover, and let the dough sit overnight to rise and soak in all of the deliciousness. Once baked, the frozen rolls transform into heavenly bites of goodness. Prepare this for your next brunch or gathering, and your friends and family will all be asking for the recipe! 

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • It’s so easy: All you need are 5 simple ingredients, and the assembly only takes 10 minutes!
  • Incredible flavor: It’s hard to resist the combination of soft bread with crunchy pecans. And then you have the buttery brown sugar butterscotch that’s sticky and sweet. Yes, please!
  • Perfect for special occasions: This monkey bread recipe looks and tastes fancy, but it’s quick and simple to put together, so you can easily make it ahead of a brunch celebration.
Hand pulling a piece of pull-apart monkey bread apart.

Ingredients needed

Level up store-bought frozen rolls with just a few extra pantry staples! With simple ingredients like brown sugar, boxed pudding mix and butter, no grocery trip is needed to make this soft, decadent monkey bread recipe! Here’s a note on everything that’s needed:

  • Pecans: Chopped pecans combine with the sticky butterscotch mixture to create the best topping for your pull-apart monkey bread.
  • Frozen dinner rolls: We like Rhodes brand best. They bake up fluffy and soft!
  • Sugar: You can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar to make this pastry perfectly sweet.
  • Pudding mix: Be sure to get a 3.5 ounce box Cook ‘n Serve Butterscotch Pudding Mix. Do not get instant pudding by mistake.
  • Unsalted butter: Melted butter adds richness and combines with the sugar and pudding mix to make the buttery brown sugar sauce.
Frozen dinner rolls on a baking sheet pan near pudding mix, melted butter, brown sugar and chopped pecans.

How to make this recipe

This easy monkey bread is quick to make with only a few simple steps! It’s the perfect thing to whip up for a holiday breakfast. We always enjoys it on Christmas morning! Here’s how it all comes together:

  1. Prep: Spray a 10-inch bundt pan or tube pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Add nuts and rolls: Sprinkle the chopped pecans in the pan. Place frozen rolls over the pecans in the pan.
  1. Add sugar and pudding mix: Sprinkle the brown sugar to coat dough balls. Then, sprinkle the dry pudding mix over the brown sugar.
  2. Add butter: Drizzle melted butter evenly over the top of the brown sugar mixture.
  1. Let rise: Cover with a kitchen towel, and let sit overnight at room temperature.
  2. Bake: When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes and until golden brown.
  3. Cool: Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and cool 5 minutes.
  4. Flip bundt pan: Set a platter larger than the pan over the bottom and invert the rolls onto the serving plate. Be careful because the pan, rolls and drippings will still be quite hot. Serve immediately.

Expert tips

Whether you serve monkey bread for breakfast, a sweet snack or dessert, it’s finger lickin’ good! Here’s some helpful tips, so it’s absolutely perfect:

  • Type of pan: A 10-inch bundt pan will work best for this recipe. We recommend choosing one with a very simple style and few crevices. This will allow the biscuits to expand easily and keep the simple shape. Next, generously coat the pan in oil or butter, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • For a smaller bundt pan: If you have a 9-inch bundt pan, reduce the number of rolls to 19 and keep the remaining ingredients the same.
  • Homemade dough: This particular recipe is not a completely homemade monkey bread. If you would like to make your own dough using flour and instant yeast, we recommend Sally’s monkey bread.

Frequently asked questions

Why is it called monkey bread?

Monkey bread gets its name by the way that it is eaten: picking off and pulling apart pieces of sticky, gooey bread with your fingers not unlike how a monkey might enjoy it!

How do you know when monkey bread is done?

When the monkey bread is fully cooked, it will get puffy and crisp on the top. To ensure it is done, you can insert an instant read thermometer in the dough and make sure that it reaches 190 degrees f.

Can you make monkey bread ahead of time?

Yes, in fact, this particular recipe requires you to make it ahead of time because the frozen dough balls need at least 8 hours to rise.

Variations

We are pretty obsessed with the recipe as-is, but here are some options for customizing it to your taste preference:

  • Omit or change the nuts: Not a fan of nuts? No worries, you can simply omit them. Also, feel free to use walnuts or almonds instead of the pecans.
  • Add fruit: Chopped apples would be delicious tossed with the dough balls. They would pair well with the butterscotch flavor!
  • Other add-ins: Feel free to add in whatever sounds good to you! Raisins, cranberries or chocolate chips would be delicious!
  • Add spice: Feel free to add about 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon for a cinnamon-sugar mixture. You could also add a pinch of salt and a little cardamom for extra flavor.

Serving suggestions

We like to serve this as part of a spread for holiday brunches. So, we usually pair it with a few other sweet options, but mostly other savory dishes. Here are some ideas:

  • Fruit: To keep things light, enjoy with some fruit, like sliced oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, grapes, pineapple, strawberries and/or blueberries. This would also go great with a simple fruit salad.
  • Quiche: My favorite quiche is this quiche Lorraine and the savoriness of a quiche pairs perfectly with the sweet pastry.
  • Breakfast casserole: This sausage, cheese and egg casserole is another recipe we always have for holiday brunches! So good!

Storage recommendations

Monkey bread tastes best served on the same day. However, you can store leftovers for a couple of days after making it. Here’s how:

  • At room temperature: Wrap bread tightly in plastic wrap and store on the counter for 1-2 days.
  • In the refrigerator: Store in an airtight container, plastic bag or wrapped in plastic wrap for about 5 days in the fridge.
  • In the freezer: This most likely will not have a nice fluffy texture after thawing but you can try storing in a freezer bag for 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
  • To reheat: Simply pop individual servings in the microwave for about 45 seconds to rewarm.
Monkey bread topped with chopped pecans on a white plate.

If you try this, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves this recipe as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

Top view of monkey bread topped with sticky pecans.
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Sticky Pecan Monkey Bread

Delicious Sticky Pecan Monkey Bread is a perfectly soft, ooey-gooey pull-apart brunch treat that's super easy to make! This recipe requires just 5 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time. Your whole family will go crazy for this sweet pastry that will be the hit of any breakfast or brunch!
Author: Kim

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (113g) chopped pecans 113 grams
  • 24 unbaked frozen dinner rolls, Rhodes brand is recommended
  • 1 cup (213g) light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 (3.5 ounces) box Cook ‘n Serve Butterscotch Pudding Mix, NOT instant
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

Instructions 

  • Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle the chopped pecans in the pan. Place frozen rolls over the pecans in the pan.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the rolls. Then, sprinkle the dry pudding mix over the brown sugar.
  • Drizzle melted butter evenly over the top of everything.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel, and let sit overnight at room temperature.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.
  • Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and cool 5 minutes.
  • Set a plate larger than the pan over the bottom and invert the rolls onto the plate. Be careful because the pan, rolls and drippings will still be quite hot. Serve immediately.

Notes

If using a 9-inch Bundt pan, reduce the number of rolls to 19 and keep the remaining ingredients the same.
Store leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave to enjoy warm.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 653kcal, Carbohydrates: 88g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 686mg, Potassium: 244mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 29g, Vitamin A: 362IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 263mg, Iron: 5mg

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