Easy homemade monkey bread muffins are filled with tons of apples and cinnamon sugar, individual sizes mean they're perfect for your next brunch party! This mini apple monkey bread muffin recipe is perfect for your brunch table!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE monkey bread, like any excuse to make it and I'll take it. I especially love cream cheese stuffed monkey bread, its the bomb! Literally my favorite. I have made it many times. Last time my nan was here from England (she will be here Dec 5 for two months woo hoo) on her last day she requested monkey bread, one of my best friends requests it on her birthday each year and friends at work request it for early morning meetings or Christmas decorating mornings! Honestly SOOOOO good.
But naturally, with the season, I have become a tad bit obsessed with baking with apples, I freaking L_O_V_E cooked apples, like the Miley Cyrus song "And we can't stop, And we won't stop" I literally WILL NOT STOP cooking with apples. But really that is a good thing right, how does that saying go? An apple a day, keeps the doctor away? 😉 Try my apple bread pudding recipe next!
It only made sense that I would combine apples with monkey bread. I made the dough and also froze half for later so when I get the craving for cooked apples again I will be able to make these Mini Apple Monkey Bread on the spot!
I also really REALLY loved these muffins cold out of the fridge, I can't decide which is better hot out of the oven or chilled?! Maybe I should make these again to decide ?;)
Let's get to the recipe.
What are the ingredients
For this monkey bread dough, you could use store-bought dough or make your own enriched dough. You'll need:
- Yeast ( I use Rapid Rise/ Quick Rise)
- Warm Water (115F/46C)* See note below
- Whole or 2% Milk, warmed
- Dry Milk Powder
- Unsalted Butter, melted
- Granulated/ Caster Sugar
- Large Eggs, at room temperature
- All-Purpose/ Plain Flour
To make the apple filling you'll only need a few things:
- Light Brown Sugar
- Granulated/ Caster Sugar
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Ground Cinnamon
- Unsalted Butter, melted
- Cooking Apples. Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala, Braeburn, Cortland
Next time try my apple banana bread recipe.
How do you make monkey bread muffins
The most important thing in this recipe is to make sure your liquid is warmed to the proper temperature. Too warm and you could burn the yeast, too cold and your yeast won't activate properly.
In a large bowl or bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook add the yeast and warm water to dissolve yeast, swirl it around then let it sit for 5 minutes.
Add the warmed milk, dry milk powder, melted butter, sugar, eggs, and salt, mix until evenly combined.
Add the first 3 cups of the flour.
Mix on low-medium speed for 2-3 minutes then add in the remaining flour and mix until everything is incorporated.
You can knead with the dough hook in the electric mixer or remove the dough from the bowl and place the dough on a lightly floured surface then knead by hand for 6-8 minutes.
The dough should be tacky, but not too sticky. If too sticky you should add a little more flour.
Once kneaded place the dough in a large lightly oiled bowl and place a tea towel over it.
If you want to wait overnight before the rest of the dough. Place the bowl in the refrigerator with plastic wrap covering the dough to prevent it from drying out.
In the morning take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for 45 minutes to one hour.
If you want the dough to rise now place the dough in a warm spot. I turn the oven on to 200F/93C then turn the oven off and place the bowl in the oven with a towel over the top. This helps create a warm environment for the dough to rise. It should take around 1 hour.
Cut the dough pieces into one-inch size, place each piece on a Silpat lined baking sheet, then lightly cover with a towel and let rise another 45 minutes.
You may use all of the dough to make 24 mini monkey bread muffins or cut the dough in half and freeze the other half for use later.
Once the dough pieces have risen you are ready to assemble the monkey bread muffins.
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
Add melted butter to a small bowl, ideally a deep one, it is easier to dip.
In a medium-sized bowl mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon until evenly combined.
Take one piece of dough dip it in the melted butter then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Once all of the dough is dunked, add the apple slices to the remaining sugar and toss to combine.
Take the remaining butter mixture and use a pastry brush to grease each muffin cavity.
Take two to three dough chunks and alternate with some apple slices and place inside each muffin cavity, repeat until all the dough and apples are used up.
Place the muffin pan on a cookie sheet (The cinnamon sugar will bubble up and you don't want to smoke up the oven). Bake the monkey bread muffins for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. I like to use a digital internal thermometer to check the bread is baked to 190–200°F (88–93°C). I use my Thermapen MK4.
Once baked let the muffins cool for at least 5 minutes before placing a baking sheet on top and flipping over to invert the rolls out, give them a little wiggle to release.
These are best eaten right away. But I love them out of the fridge too! Next time, try my cinnamon roll monkey bread.
Apple Monkey Bread Muffins are one of my all-time favorite breakfast treats. I hope you love them as much as my family does.
Tips and Tricks
- Working with live yeast can be tricky but if you follow directions you are golden. One necessary part is to add the right temperature of water to activate your Yeast, generally around 100F-125F. Check the directions on the yeast you are using for the exact temperature.
- I highly suggest investing in an instant-read thermometer. I get SOOO much use out of my Thermapen Mk4 (affiliate link). From cooking filet mignon, tempering chocolate, roast turkey, making caramel and more!
- These mini apple monkey bread bites are also a delicious dessert served a la mode!
Craving more apple recipes?
★★★★★ Please let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a star rating and comment below!Print
Monkey Bread Dough
- 2 ¼ Teaspoons (1 package) Yeast ( I use Rapid Rise/ Quick Rise)
- 2oz (¼ Cup) Warm Water (115F/46C)* See note below
- 8oz (1 Cup) Whole or 2% Milk, warmed
- 2 Teaspoons Dry Milk Powder
- 2.6oz (⅓ Cup) Unsalted Butter, melted
- 50 grams (¼ Cup) Granulated/ Caster Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 625 grams (5 Cups) All-Purpose/ Plain Flour
- 100 grams (½ Cup) Light Brown Sugar
- 100 grams (½ Cup) Granulated/ Caster Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 3oz (6 Tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, melted
- 2 Medium-Sized Cooking Apples, peeled and sliced* I like to use Granny Smith
Monkey Bread Dough
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or large bowl add the yeast and warm water*see note* to dissolve yeast, let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the warmed milk, dry milk powder, melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt and 375 Grams/3 Cups of the flour. Beat on low-medium speed for 3 minutes then add in the remaining flour and mix until a firm dough is made. You can then knead with the dough hook or remove dough from the bowl and place the dough on a lightly floured surface then knead by hand for 6-8 minutes. Place dough in a large lightly oiled bowl and place a tea towel over it.
- Either place in the refrigerator overnight (if doing this then cover in plastic wrap to prevent drying) or turn the oven on to 200F/93C then turn oven off and place the bowl in the oven with a towel over the top. (This is creating a warm environment for the dough to rise)
- In the morning take the dough out of the fridge and let come to room temp for 45 minutes to one hour OR if the dough was rising in the oven take it once it is doubled in size about 45 minutes.
- Cut the dough into one-inch size pieces, place each piece on a Silpat lined cookie sheet, then lightly cover with a towel and let rise another 45 minutes (if you are in a cold environment I would do the oven trick again).You may use all of the dough to make 24 mini monkey bread muffins or cut the dough in half and freeze the other half for use later.
- Once the dough has risen, preheat oven to 350F/180C and grease a muffin pan.
- Add melted butter to a small bowl.
- In a medium-sized bowl mix together brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon together.
- Take a chunk of dough, dip it in the melted butter then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place three dough pieces inside each muffin, repeat until all dough is used up.
- Mix apples in remaining sugar mixture and place 2-3 apple slices in between dough. Place muffin pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before using an angled spatula to gently remove or place a baking sheet on top of the muffin tin and invert the monkey bread muffins. Best eaten right away.
*Cooking Apples: Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala, Braeburn, Cortland
**To ensure you are using the right temperature of water to activate your yeast I highly suggest investing in an instant-read thermometer. I get SOOO much use out of my Thermapen Mk4.
Dough recipe adapted from Taste of Home Baking
- Prep Time: 1 Hour 45 Minute
- Cook Time: 25
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: monkey bread muffins, apple muffin recipe, cinnamon apple breakfast
This post was originally published on November 11, 2013 as of February 21, 2020 the photos and text have been updated.