Donuts and Bread, Favorites

Soft & Gooey Monkey Bread Skillet

First of all, happy new year! It has been about a month since my last recipe which is waaayyy too long, but you know, holidays, Etsy cookie orders, and sitting on the couch kind of get in the way. 😁 I have really missed taking time to just bake simple things and share them with the community. I’m finally getting back on here to do that and boy oh boy, this is a good one! This soft & gooey monkey bread skillet is nothing you’ve had before and when I say it’s soft, I’m not kidding. The dough balls are so tender and delicious, it amazes me, to be honest.

how is this gooey monkey bread different and 10x more delicious?

Each little ball is coated in a sweet cinnamon sugar mix and then nestled between each other in a cast iron so the sugary mixture becomes bubbly and gooey. While it bakes, each ball gets a little bigger and all the sugary mixture bubbles into heaven. I’ve really only had monkey bread a handful of times in life, but this is something else. Baking it in the skillet makes it much crispier than just the typical bundt pan. I took some inspiration from Butternut Bakery and her vegan monkey bread skillet, but mine is a bit different. I obviously took the full fat, full-calorie path and went all-in with plenty of milk and butter in the dough, along with a different sugary filling.

This monkey bread skillet is the absolute perfect breakfast/brunch treat for a small crowd (or just you and your bestie for the weekend). My favorite part is how easy it is to grab and go. Each little dough ball can be pulled and snacked on!

If I’m being honest, one or two little dough balls kind of fill me up, but of course, it depends on the size you make them. The smaller the balls, the more you could stuff in; the larger, not so much.

Stuck in a holiday brunch rut? You need this! Late-night binge movie fest? Need this too!

goods you need

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Instant Yeast
  • Milk
  • Melted Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Powdered Sugar

making the soft & gooey monkey bread dough

I’ve always known monkey bread to be store-bought biscuits cut into little pieces and tossed with sugar. Of course, that is always delicious and easy, but let me introduce homemade dough balls. It may seem like a bit of work, but I guarantee it’s not hard and the soft dough is nothing like I’ve had before. (Shhh, a little secret: This might be my best bread yet.)

To make the dough, add one portion of the flour, sugar, and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough attachment. If you don’t have one, a large bowl and a wooden spoon will be just fine.

Next, add in your milk and give it a stir. Then, add in your melted butter and continue stirring. Begin to add in your flour one cup at a time. I used 3 cups in total.

The dough will start to form and pull away from the bowl. It will be somewhat sticky and soft. Let the mixer knead the dough on medium for 2-3 minutes. Again, if you don’t have a mixer, you can knead it by hand. To test if the dough is kneaded enough, lightly press your fingers into the dough and if it starts to immediately spring back, it’s done, if not, knead a little more.

Form the dough into a ball and place it in the bottom of the bowl. Next, cover with plastic and proof for at least 1 hour or until doubled in size. It’s best to proof your dough in the oven at the lowest heat setting, for me it’s 170F.

taking the shortcut

If that sounds like too much, here’s a quick hack for a similar result.

Buy 2 flaky biscuit packages at the store. Take one biscuit and cut it into 4 even chunks. This is used in place of your homemade dough balls. Individually coat them in cinnamon sugar and place them in your cast iron skillet. (You can coat them by rolling them in a bowl or adding them all to a bag with the cinnamon sugar and giving it a few shakes).

baking the skillet

Once all the dough balls are coated and tucked into the pan, pour the remaining cinnamon sugar and your melted butter right over the top. I suggest doing sugar first, then butter, so it can all be absorbed.

Place your cast iron on a cookie sheet (in case it overflows) and bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

eating & storing

The monkey bread skillet is best eaten the same day and almost right away. Nothing beats those melt in your mouth buttery dough balls! Once baked, let it cool for 10 minutes before glazing, then dig in!

If you have some leftover, scoop it into a Tupperware or airtight container and chill for up to 1-2 days. It is best to enjoy warmed-up because the dough balls harden over time.

Love breakfast as much as me, check this out:

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Please tell me below in the comments or tag me in a picture on Instagram @tuesday.treats

Soft & Gooey Monkey Bread Skillet

Recipe by Gillian VolzCourse: Donuts and Bread, FavoritesCuisine: BreakfastDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Proofing time



This soft & gooey monkey bread skillet is the absolute breakfast or brunch bomb! Each little dough ball is super soft and coated in a gooey sugary mix. You won’t need a holiday brunch for this, make it any weekend!


  • Monkey Bread Dough
  • 3-4 cups flour

  • 3 tbsp sugar

  • 1 packet instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp)

  • 1 1/2 cups milk, warmed

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)

  • Gooey Cinnamon Sugar Filling
  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup butter, melted (2 sticks)

  • 3 tbsp brown sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

  • Icing
  • 2 tbsp milk

  • 1 – 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Add 1 cup of the flour, yeast, and sugar to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment or to a large bowl. Mix until just combined.
  • Warm your milk in the microwave or on the stove until it just begins to bubble on the sides. For the butter, you can also melt it in the microwave or on the stove until fully melted. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before adding to the dough to make sure it doesn’t harden with the milk.
  • Next, add in your warmed milk. Mix until just combined. Then, add in the melted butter and comtinue to mix.
  • Mix in the flour 1 cup at a time mixing in between. It will be ready when the dough is slightly sticky and soft, but able to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Pre-heat the oven to the lowest setting (170F). This will help to proof the dough.
  • Let the dough hook knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. If you are hand mixing, remove the dough from the bowl and knead with your hands. The dough is kneaded enough if it springs back after you lightly press your fingers into it. Knead more if it doesn’t spring immediately.
  • Form the dough into a ball and place back in the bowl. Cover with plastic and proof in the oven for at least one hour or until doubled.
  • Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside. The dough balls will be tossed in this. Melt the butter and set aside.
  • Grease a 9″ or 10″ cast iron skillet with non-stick spray or butter. Set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
  • Once proofed, punch the middle of the dough down to deflate it. Add the dough to a lightly floured surface and flatten it into a rectangle. Cut the dough into 1-2″ even-ish squares.
  • Take a square and smoosh it in your fingers. Pull the edges around the ball and pinch it at the bottom so the seam is only underneath. Pinch to seal. The top should be completely smooth. Roll the ball in the cinnamon sugar and place it in the cast iron skillet. Nestle each dough ball snug to each other. If you have extra balls, stack them on top. Continue this for all of your dough balls.
  • Pour the remaining cinnamon sugar and your melted butter over the dough balls. I suggest sugar first, then butter. Make sure each one gets evenly coated.
  • Place the skillet on a cookie sheet (in case it spills over) and bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  • Once baked, let the skillet cool for 10-15 minutes. During this time, whip up the glaze. Add all of your ingredients to a small bowl and then drizzle over the warm monkey bread skillet. Enjoy!


  • If you want to make ahead here’s what to do: Make the dough and form the balls. Tuck them into the skillet pan and cover with plastic wrap overnight in the fridge. Don’t add sugar or butter to them yet. The next morning, remove the skillet from the fridge and let sit at room temp while the oven heats. Now, pour over your butter and sugar and continue directions as listed.
  • Be careful not to over knead the dough otherwise it will be tough and not as moist.
  • If you want to take a shortcut and not make any dough, buy pre-made flaky biscuits. Take 1 biscuit and cut it into 4 cubes. Treat these biscuit chunks as your dough balls and continue as directed. You can hand coat them in cinnamon sugar or toss them with the sugar in a bag.

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