Caramel Apple Monkey Bread

Caramel Apple Monkey Bread

First things first…some of you might be wondering, ‘What the heck is Monkey Bread?’ Monkey bread (aka pull-apart bread, bubble loaf and bubble bread) descends from traditional sweet, yeast rolls with centuries of history.

Food historians tell us the first people to make sweet, buttery rolls with cinnamon were ancient Middle Eastern cooks. These recipes and spices traveled to Europe in the Middle Ages with crusaders, travelers, traders and explorers and though recipes varied according to culture and cuisine, the concept remained stable.

German kuchen, French galette, Pennsylvania Dutch sticky buns and monkey bread all descended from these old recipes.

I had to chuckle a bit when discovering this history; the new fad of claiming and owning recipes would never fly with this bread would it?

Still I decided to mix it up and bit and thought what better this time of year than Caramel Apple Monkey Bread?

Caramel Apple Monkey Bread

It’s still a mystery as to who coined the name Monkey Bread and while there are several guesses, the most promising one is simply that the eating of this bread, which often involves picking off pieces to nosh on it, resembles the way monkeys eat.

Who knows…maybe it was a zoologist who came up with this moniker?

I first tried my hand at this recipe when my children were young and by that time a simplified version had emerged using canned biscuits. While I most often make everything from scratch this is one of a couple of tried and true dishes where I keep the tradition that is original to me.

Having a couple of quick and easy baked dishes up my sleeve has served me well over the years as I am often the first to raise my hand to bring something and also the first to run out of time and wonder what I was thinking…enter Monkey Bread!

Caramel Apple Monkey Bread

I’ve been thinking of a couple of fun derivations where I stray a bit from the original recipe of butter dipped dough balls that are then rolled in cinnamon and sugar and this is one of them. 

I LOVE everything Caramel and Apple; in fact I’m happy to bypass the whole Pumpkinville Extravaganza that is so prevalent this time of year and venture I’ll do a Caramel Apple Palooza instead…SO much more my forte!

I was very tempted to add a bite of booze to this recipe but I stuck to my original intent…mostly because the booze is coming in my next go around. Something for everyone!

I actually made this recipe twice for this post. It’s sort of ironic that Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen asked a question in a food blogger Facebook group the day, just as I was making this, about the time we invest in each post.

While many claimed to test their recipes at least 3 times I was not in that group. I make food for family and friends; if it turns out great I post it. If not I don’t but I don’t try and try again. Except with this.

I made it, I took the photo below and a couple more and I even had some neighbors over to help me eat it. They enjoyed it but I was just not crazy happy with the end result and just had to do it again.

I thought it a bit doughy and boy oh boy did I make a mess. I wanted the top flat so I could add some sauteed apples so I used an Angel Food Cake pan. BIG mistake. I mean HUGE!

No matter my precautions, the caramel that is poured over the biscuits and apples still managed to seep out onto the baking sheet I had it on.

Caramel Apple Monkey Bread

I also started baking it in my smaller oven and soon realized I needed to move it to the larger oven and I don’t think it liked that transition. Between the move and removing it a couple of times to collect all of the syrup that was running out I think it had a bit of a hissy fit.

Biggest lesson learned. Angel Food Cake Pan is a #Fail for this recipe. Don’t do it; trust me. Anxious for better results I found my plain and simple basic Bundt pan and it was perfect. Whew!!

I couldn’t put my apples on top but added some pecans because I LOVE caramel apples with pecans and it was SO much more what I had hoped for. I might not redo often but I’m glad I did it this time because I want to share what I love, not just what I like. 🙂

Great fun treat for a Halloween party and just as perfect for Sunday brunch. Think it’s time for your own #CaramelApplePalooza? Join me,  you won’t regret it.

Caramel Apple Monkey Bread
Print Recipe
4.78 from 9 votes

Caramel Apple Monkey Bread

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Cakes, Cupcakes & Cheesecake
Servings: 8 -10
Calories: 180kcal
Author: Creative Culinary

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Butter melted

For the Caramel Apple Sauce:

  • 2 cups 2-3 apples cored and chopped into medium size pieces. I used Gala and Honey Crisp
  • cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup Half and Half

For the Bread:

  • 2 cans of Grands Buttermilk biscuits
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup pecans chopped

Instructions

  • Pour the melted butter into a Bundt pan and with your fingers make sure to coat all surfaces.

To Make the Caramel Apple Sauce:

  • Put the apple pieces in a medium pot with the brown sugar, butter and Half and Half and cook over medium heat until the butter has completely melted and the mixture begins to bubble. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

To Make the Bread:

  • Open the biscuit tubes and cut each biscuit into 4 pieces each (I stacked 5 at a time and quartered them with a chef's knife).
  • pen the biscuit tubes and cut each biscuit into 4 pieces each (I stacked 5 at a time and quartered them with a chef's knife).
  • Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl and add the cutup biscuit pieces (I did a third at a time). Toss just enough to coat the pieces with the sugar mixture.
  • Put the chopped pecans in the bottom of the Bundt pan and pour 1/4 cup of the Caramel Apple sauce over the nuts.
  • Fill the Bundt pan with 1/3 of the biscuit pieces; approximately 20 pieces. Pour 1/2 of the Caramel Apple syrup over the biscuits and scatter 1/2 of the apples on top.
  • Fill with another 1/3 of the biscuits and repeat with the syrup and apples. Top with the remaining biscuit pieces.
  • Cover the Bundt pan with aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet with sides. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes (helps to insure the biscuits bake all the way through). Remove the foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes until nicely browned.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10-12 minutes. Carefully turn the bread out of the pan onto a large plate. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1grams | Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g

 

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22 Comments

  1. I used one can of jumbo flaky biscuits and 2 Macintosh apple and chopped walnuts and 2 sheets of Carmel used to wrap apples to make beef up the sauce.

  2. i made this and while it was good,the sauce in no way resembled caramel sauce. And I cooked it for the prescribed amount of time and still way too liquid. Tasted good but no caramel sauce running down the bread. So I may go get real caramel sauce and just cook the apples and add to that. It is very simple using the canned biscuits that’s for sure. I’d never done that.

  3. Barb, this monkey bread, with its gorgeous caramel makes me swoon. Loved reading about the history, and I appreciate you retrying the recipe to get the end result you desired. Brava!

  4. I haven’t made monkey bread in years! And, like you, I use the traditional recipe with canned biscuits. However…I’ve never had such a grand adaptation as this caramel apple version. Wow. And wow again. Absolutely perfect for Fall and a very welcome respite from pumpkin-all-the-things.

    1. I love you…and that we are so often on the same page. I will gladly have caramel-apple-all-the-things before I’ll go down that pumpkin hole. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating…’It’s SQUASH people!’ 🙂

  5. In reading the directions, it’s the first time you mentioned needing caramel sauce (except in the title). It would help those of us (me) who read the ingredients and go purchase them to have caramel sauce mentioned as an ingredient. Also, I was confused (and it obviously doesn’t take much) about the apples. You mention pouring the apple sauce and then half the apples (#6). Are the apples in addition to the ones in the sauce? Now, all that being said, this looks easy and I will try it. I’ve always wanted to make monkey bread so this looks like a good recipe to start with.

    1. Hi Barbara…and sorry for any confusion! When the combination of brown sugar, butter and apples is cooked together they make the caramel sauce. I’ve just revised the recipe to separate those ingredients out as such and make it a bit clearer; hope that helps. It is easy; hope this makes it even easier!

    1. I’m sure the original recipe called for homemade biscuits but this has long been a traditional method and I love the ease and yes Liz, the caramel and apple part!

  6. I think I would take caramel apple monkey bread over the traditional, partly because of the sticky wonderfulness of it. I’m with you–caramel and apple are so fall-ish and might even be able to break up the whole Pumpkin monopoly!

    1. I’m sick of pumpkin before I ever even think of making something. It is really not all that appealing is it. I honestly do not get it even if I like pumpkin pie OK. 🙂

  7. Oh canned biscuits? I can’t buy them in France 🙁 so I have to figure it out from scratch because this monkey bread looks fabulous! Delicious and autumny! Gosh yes I’d be picking off chunks of it every time I came into the kitchen!!

    I wonder who eats all the food all those bloggers make who test recipes 3 times and post every day?

    1. I wondered that same thing Jamie. I had a BITE of the first one and gave the rest away; but then the hubs of the group is young and strong and can eat half a cake without an issue…me on the other hand will now sequester this away in the freezer for a later date when I have guests over!

      No canned biscuits? One of the very few things I do enjoy sometimes. But just make a simple biscuit and follow the same instructions. It’s worth it!

  8. I agree the trend for claiming/owning recipes is kinda weird. Of course one credits sources, but no one “owns” mayonnaise, for example. And the whole point of French haute cuisine was that everyone cooked the same dishes using virtually the same recipe — it’s was how well you could prepare this dish, and not the recipe, that was important. Anyway, this has nothing to do with monkey bread! We rarely make it, and I don’t know why — it’s really good stuff! Great recipe, super pictures — thanks.

    1. I see very few recipes that are really new John; everything is a riff of something and even if I do make something in my kitchen from scratch that I think has come out of my head…I can usually find something very similar online. Food is meant to be shared and for me that includes recipes. This whole talk of ownership gets old; it’s all about money and for me food has always been about something completely different.

  9. I have never made monkey bread. Though looking at your photos I have to ask myself why not!? Thanks for sharing that an angel food cake pan just won’t work because that’s exactly what I would have used.

    1. You can not believe the mess; I lined the bottom with some foil but not enough and it bubbled over the foil and out onto the pan. It was everywhere…and this one just bubbled over a bit in the oven (luckily I do suggest using a tray under the cake pan!). This is so easy and so good; you really should try it for your grandkids one day Paula.

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