Great news – you can make monkey bread in muffin tins! This recipe is my all-time favorite dessert-breakfast hybrid because I get to enjoy pulling apart delicious monkey bread without having to fight with a large, sticky loaf (or with other people.)
People of all ages love pulling apart monkey bread and nobody can resist the flavor of cinnamon-sugar and caramel coated biscuit muffins. This is the ultimate crowd-pleaser that is guaranteed to disappear quickly and have people asking for more!
These individual monkey bread mini muffins are ridiculously easy to make and include far fewer ingredients than traditional muffin recipes. If you’re looking for a fool-proof and semi-homemade treat that will impress, look no further.
I’ve included some of my favorite variations of these muffins at the end of the recipe. Try them out or get creative with your own flavor combinations!
Suggested Equipment & Appliances
- 1 muffin tin with 12 cups (or two 6-cup muffin tins)
- 1 or 2 baking sheet pans
- Wire cooling rack(s)
- 1 whisk
- Small mixing bowl
- Medium mixing bowl
- Large freezer bag or large mixing bowl
- Medium saucepan
Recipe Yield and Cook Time
- Recipe Yield: 1 Dozen Muffins (12 Servings)
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Cool Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
For the Muffins:
- 24 oz of refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough (buy two 13-oz or 16-oz tubes)
- ½ cup granulated (white) sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup melted unsalted butter (1 stick)
For the Vanilla Icing:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 ½ tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the 12 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners if you have them on hand. Grease the lined or unlined muffin cups of your baking pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
- Start by thoroughly mixing together the granulated (white) sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Open the tubes of refrigerated biscuits over a cutting board and separate the dough into the individual pieces. At this point you can set aside any extra biscuits that you won’t be using for the recipe- 24 oz is what we want to use.
- Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut each biscuit into quarters. Pour the cinnamon-sugar mixture into a large freezer bag, along with the cut dough pieces.
- Gently shake the bag to coat the dough pieces. You can use a large bowl instead of a bag and dredge the dough pieces using your hands. Make sure to keep the leftover cinnamon-sugar mixture, because you’ll be using it later! I repeat: do not throw out the leftover cinnamon-sugar mixture!
- Put a few pieces of coated dough into each lined muffin cup- try your best to divide the dough evenly but don’t stress about it being perfect. You should aim to fill the cups about ⅔ of the way up.
- In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, melt the butter while stirring in the brown sugar. Continuously stir over low-medium heat until the ingredients are combined and smooth like thin caramel sauce.
- Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of liquid over each of the prepared muffin cups. If any liquid is overflowing off or out of your muffin tin, place a baking sheet pan underneath the muffin tin while you drizzle over and bake the monkey bread muffins.
- Bake your monkey bread muffins for about 20 minutes, or until lightly crisped and golden brown. While the muffins are baking, prepare your vanilla icing.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the melted and cooled unsalted butter, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and milk. Whisk these ingredients together thoroughly until your icing is thick but smooth.
- Place the muffin tins on top of wire cooling racks and let everything rest for at least 15 minutes. To prevent the icing from melting, wait until the monkey bread muffins are nearly lukewarm before glazing.
Tips and Tricks
- For optimal baking and perfect muffin texture, keep the oven door closed during the cooking time and center the muffin tin on the middle rack.
- If you don’t have paper cupcake liners around, you can use parchment paper as a replacement. Just cut 6” x 6” squares of parchment and press them down into each muffin cup, creasing around the edges so that they hold upright.
- These monkey bread muffins will keep well if stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- They also freeze well for up to 2 months! Just wrap the muffins tightly and freeze them in an airtight bag or container. Before serving, let the muffins thaw overnight at room temperature. You can also speed up the defrosting process in the microwave if you’re short on time.
- If you have any empty muffin cups in your baking pan, fill them ⅔ full with lukewarm water to ensure even baking of your muffins! Be careful not to spill some of the water onto the batter-filled muffin cups.
Fun Twists on This Recipe:
The following are some easy variations of this recipe for you to try out:
- Caramel Apple Monkey Bread Muffins: Peel and finely dice 1 large or 2 medium granny smith apples. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of diced apples into each muffin cup after filling halfway with dough pieces. Add coated dough pieces on top and gently press down to seal together before drizzling with caramel sauce and baking.
- Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread Muffins: gently press each coated dough piece into a dish of mini chocolate chips before dropping into the muffin cups. You can sprinkle some mini-chips over top of the muffins before baking as well!
- Nutella Surprise Monkey Bread Muffins: follow the instructions for Caramel Apple Monkey Bread Muffins (above), swapping the chopped apples for 1 tablespoon of nutella per muffin.
- Cinnamon & Spice Monkey Bread Muffins: add ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon cloves to the cinnamon-sugar mixture. You can also add ¼ teaspoon ginger powder for some extra oomph!
Pecan Roll Monkey Bread Muffins: toss in 1-2 tablespoons of chopped pecans along with the coated dough pieces. Coat the pecan-studded muffin cups with caramel sauce, then sprinkle with a few more nuts before baking. You can use plain, roasted, glazed, or spiced nuts, whatever your favorite is!