Apple Monkey Bread with Bourbon Cream Cheese Glaze

Making apple monkey bread is so easy! Create the ultimate brunch pull-apart monkey bread using canned biscuits! Get your kids or friends to help you make this. Have them cut the biscuit dough with a butter knife and mix the cinnamon sugar in a bag. We make ours in a Bundt® pan, but you can use any pan you have!

Granny smith apples are used in this recipe because they provide a nice tart contract to the sweetness of the caramel. These apples also hold up well in baking, and do not get mushy. This pull apart bread will be a huge hit for a weekend brunch. We use bourbon vanilla in our cream cheese glaze to give this breakfast another layer of flavor.

The fun part, of making this apple monkey bread is opening the refrigerated biscuits, cutting them into quarters and tossing them into the cinnamon and sugar. If you have kiddos helping, they can do this with a butter knife! So much fun!

Although you can make apple stuffed monkey bread by just rolling the biscuit dough in cinnamon and sugar, we prefer to make a decadent sauce with dark brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and bourbon vanilla. This creates a cinnamon apple monkey bread that will be on repeat all Fall long!

What is Monkey Bread?

Monkey bread, also known as monkey puzzle bread or sticky bread, is a sweet, pull-apart pastry that consists of small individual dough balls coated with sugar and cinnamon, usually baked in a Bundt® pan or a loaf pan. The exact origin of monkey bread is not definitively known, and its invention is attributed to multiple sources.

One popular theory is that monkey bread was created by Hungarian immigrants who settled in the United States. They brought with them a traditional pastry called arany galuska, which translates to “golden dumpling.” Arany galuska is made by rolling small balls of sweet dough in melted butter, then coating them with sugar and ground nuts before baking. Over time, this Hungarian treat evolved into what is now known as monkey bread.

The name “monkey bread” is said to have originated in the 1950s. The reason behind the name is uncertain, but it is believed to refer to the act of pulling apart the bread with your hands, similar to how monkeys might eat. The term “monkey bread” gained popularity and became widely known across the United States.

Pillsbury played a significant role in popularizing monkey bread in the United States. In the 1950s and 1960s, Pillsbury began promoting monkey bread as a quick and easy recipe using their refrigerated biscuit dough. The company developed a recipe that utilized their pre-made dough, which made it accessible and convenient for home cooks.

Pillsbury’s marketing efforts and widespread distribution of their refrigerated dough products helped introduce monkey bread to a broader audience. The Pillsbury Bake-Off contest, a popular cooking competition sponsored by the company, also featured monkey bread recipes, further increasing its visibility and popularity.

Does Monkey Bread Require a Bundt® Pan?

Although the traditional monkey bread is in a Bundt® shape, it’s not a necessity. Monkey bread cooks up in a bread pan, ramekins, or any baking dish. This pull apart apple cinnamon bread can be even baked in foil! While we personally love using a Bundt® pan for that perfectly shaped presentation, you can absolutely utilize any pan you have on hand.

Is there another name for Monkey Bread?

Common names for pieces of dough baked together in a pan include bubble bread, bubble loaf, jumble bread, pull-apart bread, & pinch-me cake.

Can I make this without bourbon?

Of course! Simply sub the bourbon out for additional half and half. This creamy cream cheese frosting is so smooth and tasty with or without bourbon.


Apple monkey bread with a serving and a blue napkin

Apple Monkey Bread with Bourbon Cream Cheese Glaze

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, bourbon, breakfast, brunch, bundt pan, monkeybread, strawberry cream cheese frosting
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 432kcal
Author: Bruce and Dina Miller



Ingredients for the caramel sauce:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla can use regular vanilla and a splash of bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Ingredients for the bread:

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 7 ounce cans refrigerated biscuits we buy the value pack of 4 cans
  • 1 cup sugar granulated
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon divided
  • 2 apples

Ingredients for cream cheese glaze:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla can use regular vanilla, and a splash of bourbon
  • 4 tablespoons half & half can use milk


  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Spray a 10-inch tube or Bundt® pan with cooking spray.
    Cooking spray
  • Add the butter to a medium pot set over medium heat. Measure in vanilla and cinnamon, and brown sugar. Using a wooden spoon, stir mixture till it melts. Cook till it is smooth and no more sugar granules show. About 5 minutes.
    1 stick butter, 1 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla, 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Put white sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon into a plastic freezer bag. Close bag and shake to mix the sugar and cinnamon.
    4 7 ounce cans refrigerated biscuits, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • Cut biscuits into quarters.
    4 7 ounce cans refrigerated biscuits
  • Core and cut apples into cubes. We leave the skin on, but feel free to peel them, if you prefer.
    2 apples
  • In batches, add biscuits into bag about 8 pieces at a time and shake. Remove from bag and layer half of the biscuit pieces into the pan. Pour half the caramel sauce over the dough. Add half the apples. Repeat this process.
  • Add the extra teaspoon of cinnamon to the bag, and repeat the process with the biscuit dough.
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown across the top.
  • Cream the butter and cream cheese with a mixer, and gradually add in the powder sugar, vanilla and half and half to create a smooth glaze. Add more milk or cream, if needed for the consistency you want. Set aside.
    8 ounces cream cheese, 4 tablespoon butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla, 4 tablespoons half & half
  • Remove monkey bread from oven. Allow to cool 10 minutes; run knife around edge of pan to loosen. Place heatproof serving plate over pan and turn over; remove pan. Cool 5 minutes longer.
  • Drizzle the apple monkey bread with glaze. Serve!


Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 164mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 64g | Vitamin A: 646IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

Hi, we are Bruce and Dina Miller. We love to cook every night. We enjoy making a few healthy dishes, and also comfort food. We love crafting cocktails too! Come take a look, we would love to share our recipes with you.

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