Make Easy Monkey Bread with Pre-made Pillsbury Dough

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Inside: Adapting an old classic recipe to use Pillsbury Grand dough and make gooey, sugary Monkey Bread; great recipe to make with little kids; best served warm.

Making monkey bread has been on my baking bucket list for a very long time. I watched a baking show years ago (so long ago, we lived in our city condo!) and quickly became obsessed with the idea of sweet, pull apart bread that was covered in gooey, sugary, caramely goodness.

easy pull apart monkey bread recipe

Of course, the challenge is always finding the time to make it from scratch. Most monkey bread recipes require you to make sweet bread from scratch and let it rise and so on; but I wanted big payoff the easy way LOL 

I started thinking about how to adapt that classic recipe using Pillsbury dough. It’s pretty generic dough, despite it being marketed for crescent rolls and I know you can do a whole bunch of things with it. I figured I could use my DIY brain to develop a crescent roll hack HAHA and come up with a super simple and fast Monkey Bread recipe.Update: I recently used Pillsbury Dough to make delicious Cream Cheese Peach Danishes too!!

So we got to work. Piper and I popped open two cans of Pillsbury Grands (the crescent roll kind) and I cut each pre-sized section into four quarters. Each container of dough essentially yielded 16 pieces of dough.

I melted butter into a dish and then spread a mix of light brown sugar and cinnamon onto a shallow baking pan. 

monkey bread with cream cheese recipe pic (1)

Piper and I rolled the pieces of dough into balls as best we could, dipped them into the butter and then rolled them into the sugar. Okay – I did that. Piper just ate the sugar LOL But she was right into it and kept saying “We’re making MONKEY BREAD MAMMA!” She loved it. 

monkey bread with cream cheese recipe pic (2)

We put each sugary ball into a coated bundt pan and then I poured the remaining butter and sugar right over top of them. The baking instructions on the crescent rolls said 28 minutes at 375, but a few other monkey bread recipes said 350 for way less time. 

This was a challenge for me, so I set the oven to 350F hoping that would keep the dough fluffy and still crisp the outer edges of the dough. My first check was at the 10 minute mark and they looked SO GOOD… but I knew they were still raw inside. 

I ended up baking them for a total of about 25 minutes, though they could have been in for a teensy bit longer, I think. 

While the pan was cooling, I whipped up a super quick glaze with icing sugar, milk and vanilla. This is entirely unnecessary, but adds a nice moisture to the bread and I mean, why not? 

If you’re digging pull apart bread, check out my recipe for my Gramma’s Old Fashioned Holiday Pull Apart Bread. It’s delicious and we used it to sop up warm chilli last week. (You can just leave the glacee cherries off to make it all season sweet bread.) 

As for this Monkey Bread recipe? It’s a definite keeper. I’m obsessed and so excited that this canned biscuit hack worked for us!! If you try it, please let me know. I’d love to hear your experiences. 

If you can’t get enough of monkey bread recipes, have a look at these monkey bread variations:

easy pull apart monkey bread recipe
Yield: 1

Make Easy Monkey Bread with Pre-made Pillsbury Dough

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 26 minutes
Total Time: 36 minutes

Make this delicious, sweet, pull apart bread using pre-made dough in a can!


For Monkey Bread

  • 2 cans Pillsbury Grands
  • 1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted

For Glaze

  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cold milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and set rack to the middle position. Spray a round bundt pan with vegetable oil and set aside.
  2. Open Pillsbury Grand dough, roll out and cut each can into 16 even pieces.
  3. Loosely mix brown sugar and cinnamon and spread out in a shallow dish or baking pan.
  4. Stretch dough pieces into balls, dip into the melted butter and roll in the sugar mixture and place loosely into the prepared pan.
  5. Layer the dough in circles in the pan and pour remaining butter and sugar mixture over top.
  6. Place in the pre-heated oven for approximately 26 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway mark.
  7. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before turning it onto a plate.
  8. For the glaze, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over monkey bread while it is cooling.
  9. Serve warm.

Did you make this recipe?

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