Lightened Up Monkey Bread

Snow days have been turning into big indulgent breakfast days at our house.  I love to make the kids a yummy time consuming breakfast but I refuse to do so on a school morning.  I just can’t do it!  Get up, feed the cat, make mulitiple visits back to the girls’ bedrooms to tell them to get up, pack the lunches, put them in the backpacks, and finally start on a quick and hopefully somewhat healthy breakfast of toast, cereal, frozen waffles, possibly eggs if time allows and a bit of fruit…and we’re off.  It’s a hectic routine each morning, especially in the winter when everyone (including myself) wants to stay in the confines of their toasty warm flannel sheet laden bed.  So, snow days and weekends mean a long cup of coffee or two and taking our time getting to breakfast. When we got the call last week that informed us that school was cancelled for the following day, I walked to the freezer, took out a loaf of Rhodes frozen bread dough (left over from my Classic Stromboli), put it in an opened zip lock bag and stuck it in the fridge to defrost for the morning.  I thought I’d make some monkey bread for the girls because it’s fun to pick apart and it’d been years since I’d made it.  I’ve never really followed a recipe for monkey bread, just played around with the proportions of butter, sugar and cinnamon.  I started looking around online at monkey bread recipes to remind myself how long it needed to cook.  I came across a monkey bread recipe from the Pioneer Woman (who I love and I don’t mean to throw her under the bus but I’m going to…); it had TWO sticks of butter in it — TWO!  Holy smokes, that’s ridiculous, I thought.  There was my challenge: make a good, traditional, gooey sweet monkey bread with as little butter as possible but so that no one would know the difference.  I got it down to half of one stick of butter (1/4 cup) and significantly reduced the amount of sugar and it tasted delicious.  I’m not trying to suggest that this is a healthy recipe, but if you are going to make monkey bread, try out my lightened up version and I think you’ll find that it’s just as good with slightly less guilt!


Lightened Up Monkey Bread (Serves 6)

*You can easily double this recipe and it will still fit in one Bundt pan, it will just be taller and may need a few more minutes to cook.


1 1 lb loaf of frozen bread dough, thawed (I use Rhodes which is found in the freezer aisle usually in a pack of 5 1 lb loaves).

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup butter (1/2 of one stick or slightly more if need be)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut bread dough in 1 in slices and then in four pieces.  In large zip lock bag (or medium sized bowl) mix together cinnamon, sugar and brown sugar.  In microwave safe bowl, melt butter in microwave for 30-45 seconds or until melted.  Roll each dough piece in butter and add to sugar mixture to coat (If using the bag, you can put about 10 pieces in the bag and shake to coat).  Repeat until all pieces are thoroughly coated with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Spray Bundt pan with cooking spray.  Place sugar coated dough pieces evenly in bottom of the pan.  If any melted butter is left, drizzle it over the dough pieces.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes, then flip onto a platter.  Serve immediately.


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