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Super Easy Gluten Free Monkey Bread

Super Easy Gluten Free Monkey Bread

This recipe for gluten free monkey bread is easy to make, especially for the little hands of little kitchen helpers, and makes the house smell like warm, cinnamon goodness!

Gluten free monkey bread drizzling with glaze.

What makes this monkey bread recipe so easy

This easy recipe is really just gluten free pizza dough, jury-rigged into monkey bread. You can use any of my gluten free pizza dough recipes, but these days I mostly use our Weight Watchers-style gluten free pizza dough because it’s the simplest method.

The recipe below has a few steps, but really the method couldn’t be simpler. Make the pizza dough and roll it into a 1-inch rectangle.

Next, cut out 1-inch rounds with a small cookie cutter, roll them in melted butter, then cinnamon and sugar, and place in a pan. Bake, drizzle with a simple confectioners’ sugar glaze, and serve.

You can make it in any baking container. I usually make it in a loaf pan, but muffin wells make lovely little portion sizes for monkey bread.

For a monkey bread that is more likely to hold its shape out of the baking pan or muffin tin wells, use one of our recipes for yeasted gluten free pizza dough. instead of the Weight Watchers-style quick pizza dough in the recipe card below.

Gluten free monkey bread raw in loaf pan, ready to go in the oven.

A fun indoor activity for kids

If you’re looking for a fun activity for your kids, especially small ones, little hands are really good at rolling out a simple pizza dough, cutting out rounds, and even rolling the dough a bit.

Ideally, the dough isn’t rolled because compact pizza dough rounds aren’t ideal in this recipe. But if you need the activity, cinnamon, sugar, and butter make everything taste good!

When my now teenage gluten free son was in later infancy, he was terribly sick. When we began a gluten free diet, he seemed to begin to improve overnight. But even once his overall health rebounded, he needed physical and occupational therapies.

He had the most amazing pediatric occupational therapist who  recommended that we make monkey bread using a simple pizza dough. He didn’t know that he was doing “homework.” He was just getting to play with food and then eat it.

Gluten free monkey bread raw in muffin tin, getting ready to go in the oven.

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy: There is dairy in both the pizza dough recipe (plain Greek-style yogurt) and in the monkey bread itself (melted butter). The bit of milk in the glaze recipe can easily be nondairy milk or even water.

For full instructions on how to replace the yogurt in the pizza dough, please visit our recipe for Weight Watchers-style gluten free pizza dough recipe. The short version is to use plain nondairy yogurt and either skip the water or use much less.

In place of the butter in the monkey bread itself, any nondairy butter replacement should work—but don’t use oil! Vegan butter, shortening of any kind (I typically use Spectrum brand non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening), even virgin coconut oil (although you should use less).

 

Super easy to make, this gluten free monkey bread is perfect for the little hands of little helpers and will make your house smell like amazing cinnamon-goodness!

This recipe for gluten free monkey bread is easy to make, especially for the little hands of little kitchen helpers, and makes the house smell like warm, cinnamon goodness!

This recipe for gluten free monkey bread is easy to make, especially for the little hands of little kitchen helpers, and makes the house smell like warm, cinnamon goodness!

Super easy to make, this gluten free monkey bread is perfect for the little hands of little helpers and will make your house smell like amazing cinnamon-goodness! https://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/super-easy-gluten-free-monkey-bread/

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

For the pizza dough*
2 1/2 cups (350 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter), plus more for sprinkling

1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1 7/8 cups (425 g) nonfat Greek-style plain yogurt

1/3 cup (2 2/3 fluid ounces) lukewarm water, plus more by the tablespoon as necessary

For rolling
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, melted

For the glaze
3/4 cup (86 g) confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon milk (any kind), plus more by the 1/4 teaspoonful if necessary

*For a monkey bread that is more likely to hold its shape out of the baking pan or muffin tin wells, use one of our recipes for yeasted gluten free pizza dough.

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a standard 9-inch x 5-inch (or smaller) loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper, making sure that some of the paper extends over the edges of the pan. Set the pan aside. Alternatively, line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with liners and set it aside.

  • To make the pizza dough, in a large bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add the yogurt and 3 tablespoons of water, and mix until the dough holds together well. If necessary for the dough to clump and hold together easily, without feeling stiff to the touch, add another tablespoon of water and mix to combine. Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface, sprinkle very lightly with more flour, and knead it with clean hands until it’s a bit smoother. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Using a small round cookie cutter about 1-inch in diameter, cut out rounds of dough, flouring the cutter as necessary to prevent sticking. Do not pack the dough or roll the pieces into a ball. Gather and reroll scraps and place the pieces aside as you work.

  • Place the granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt in a deep, small bowl, and mix to combine well. Place each of the pieces of dough in the melted butter, remove with the tines of a fork to allow excess butter to drip off and place in the bowl of cinnamon sugar. With a fork or spoon, toss to coat and place in the prepared loaf pan or the lined wells of your muffin tin. If using a loaf pan, create a single, even layer of prepared balls of dough on the bottom of the loaf pan, without packing them in, and build up until you reach the top of the loaf pan. You may have some dough left over, depending upon the size of your pan. Press down gently on the dough in the pan. If using a muffin tin, pile about 5 or 6 balls of dough in each well.

  • Place the loaf pan on a baking sheet in case any of the cinnamon-sugar mixture leaks out of the loaf pan. Place the pan (loaf pan or muffin tin) in the center of the preheated oven and bake until very lightly golden brown and the pieces feel firm to the touch. That should take about 25 minutes for the loaf pan, and about 20 minutes for the muffin tin. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan.

  • Make the glaze. In a small bowl, place the confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk. Mix well, until a thick paste forms. Add more milk by the 1/4-teaspoon, mixing to combine well, until the glaze falls off the spoon slowly, in a thick but pourable glaze. Add milk very slowly, as it is much easier to thin, than to thicken, the glaze. If you do thin the glaze too much, add more confectioners’ sugar a teaspoon at a time to thicken it. Drizzle the glaze generously over the top of the bread and serve immediately.

  • Adapted from the Cinnamon-Sugar Messy Bread on Spoonforkbacon.com. Originally published on the blog in 2014; some text, some photos, video new; recipe even further simplified.

Love,
Nicole

  • Kelen Kae Fleming
    June 25, 2020 at 9:21 PM

    I am 16 and I have celiac disease and I’m lactose intolerant and my family loves to make monkey bread but I can’t have it anymore? Is this recipe good for people that have celiac disease and are lactose intolerant?

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 26, 2020 at 9:52 AM

      Hi, Kelen, please see the Ingredients and substitutions section and you’ll find information on how to make it dairy-free, if that’s what you need!

  • Theresa
    May 30, 2020 at 2:43 PM

    Can this be par-cooked and then frozen to be finished at a later time? I’d like to make at home and bring camping with me to heat over the fire!

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 30, 2020 at 2:44 PM

      If you use the “2-ingredient”-style pizza dough, then I would say no. But if you use this yeasted gluten free pizza dough, then I think yes, Theresa!

  • Rach S
    May 3, 2020 at 12:24 PM

    Not sure what I did wrong, but making them in muffin tray, and the bottom balls just melted into gloop? The top few balls maintained their shape, but the lowest ones just melted? Is that right?

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 3, 2020 at 12:49 PM

      It sounds like the dough may have been too wet, Rach. Did you measure by weight, not volume, whenever possible? make any substitutions, particularly in flour blend?

  • Barbara
    April 26, 2020 at 6:32 PM

    Can you tell me what the consistency/inside of a ball should look like when it’s cooked? Because I find that the dough isn’t really cooking? I’m not sure if it’s just the consistency that’s throwing me off. Thank you!!

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 26, 2020 at 6:50 PM

      I’m afraid I can’t really explain it to you in any other way than how I already have with the photos, Barbara. The Greek-yogurt and flour dough, based on the WW so-called “2-ingredient” dough is very bright white in color, and in this recipe only the to will brown much. I hope that helps!

  • Alex Delgatto
    March 24, 2020 at 7:55 AM

    Can I make this in a bundt pan?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 24, 2020 at 8:59 AM

      Hi, Alex, I have a classic monkey bread recipe in my bread book (Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread) that is made in a bundt pan, and it works great. This recipe is much better made in nothing larger than a loaf pan since the dough doesn’t rise as high so the pieces tend to collapse if they’re piled too high during baking.

  • Lois yeager
    March 22, 2020 at 3:13 PM

    Do you have any recipes using sorghum flour?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 22, 2020 at 4:03 PM

      Yes, Lois. Please use the search function.

  • Susan
    March 22, 2020 at 12:57 PM

    Just found out that Better Batter is not available now on Amazon!

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 22, 2020 at 1:59 PM

      Don’t worry, Susan. Check directly with them on social media and ask when they expect to be back in stock. And in the meantime, you can make your own flour blend, or bake flourless! I’ve got you covered. I’m also creating mindmaps to help everyone figure out what they can bake with what they do have on hand. The page is called Baking With Limits, and you can find the link at the bottom of the site (and in this response).

  • Jeff Burke
    March 22, 2020 at 10:53 AM

    I love all the recipes I have tried from your site…thank you so much. My daughter is actually a baker at a gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan bakery. I love their stuff, but it can be expensive and always having same kind of stuff, I have come to Nicole many times and with total success, each time. I am going to try this because I love doughie kind of deserts. This will be perfect, especially while self isolating.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 22, 2020 at 11:10 AM

      Your daughter certainly has her work cut out for her, Jeff, making food free of so many things! I’m so glad you enjoy the sense of possibility that making your own gluten free food gives you.

  • Jackwelyn
    March 22, 2020 at 10:47 AM

    Would this work if you rolled the dough into a 1” log form and cut into 1” segments – seems like less work

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 22, 2020 at 11:10 AM

      Feel free to experiment, Jacwelyn, but I don’t recommend that since you will have to handle the dough a lot more and you’ll end up with a much tighter crumb.

  • Jackie
    March 22, 2020 at 8:32 AM

    Can I substitute with vanilla Greek yogurt?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 22, 2020 at 10:39 AM

      I don’t recommend that, Jackie, in normal times, but if that’s what you have and you don’t have access to plain yogurt, give it a shot!

  • Nikki
    March 21, 2020 at 5:21 PM

    Is there a replacement for the yogurt?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 22, 2020 at 10:38 AM

      Please see the ingredients and substitutions section, Nikki.

  • Julie L
    March 20, 2020 at 3:50 PM

    You are amazing. Thank you for this. My children have been wanting to make monkey bread for a while now, but I have been putting it off because of the time involved. We’ll probably use the basic GF pizza dough with Expandex . Do I just need one of that recipe for this (2 – 12 inch pizza crusts)?
    Here’s to our sanity in strange days…

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 20, 2020 at 6:31 PM

      Yes, that one recipe will make plenty of dough for this, Julie.

      Here’s to our sanity in strange days…

      Well said, Julie!

  • Anna
    March 20, 2020 at 12:16 PM

    Thank you! I haven’t been able to get my hands on yeast and we’re staying at home as much as possible so thank you for both a yeast-free pizza dough and a yeast-free monkey bread recipe!

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 20, 2020 at 12:42 PM

      You bet, Anna! When there’s a will there’s a way, right? I think we’re all relying upon that more than ever right now.

  • Jennifer S.
    September 24, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    How did I not respond to this? I love monkey bread and this will be a cinch! How long though in the oven?? I’m not so good with out a timer on!

  • Lucy
    September 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    It’s sounds like Jonathan has recovered very well, he has one smart mommy! Amanda’s health has improved so much as well, each day we hear from family and friends how well she looks and how much she has grown. She was diagnosed 2 years ago and the improvement is miraculous.

    You make it so easy to make healthy food with your recipes and she never feels left out because we have wonderful resources here. Thank you Nicole! We love you!

  • Michelle Moyer
    September 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    This looks delicious! I’m so sorry to hear about your son, but I’m glad you were able to figure it out and get him on the right track.

  • Donia Robinson
    September 18, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    Thanks you for sharing this story. Heartbreaking, but so wonderful that he is on track now. And thank goodness for an awesome doctor not taken in by dimples! Boys with dimples are absolute trouble! No one wishes for a disease for their child, but I try to remind myself that at least the one my child has is treated with diet alone. No needles, insulin, surgeries, or chemo; and for her, no OT needed.

  • Kim
    September 18, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Looks like heaven in a pile!

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