Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie Monkey Bread

December 15, 2020

This Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie Monkey Bread is a delicious, flavorful Southern staple pull apart bread made from ready-made cinnamon rolls. How easy is that? This monkey bread is a killer combo of pumpkin pie spice + pecans, when together creates the most amazing bite. This recipe is the perfect family treat for the Holidays and makes for the best baking to-do on any given day! Make ahead + Overnight options.

Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie Monkey Bread

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Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie Monkey Bread—-the epitome of a Holiday dessert that comes jam-packed with delicious flavors! I mean, Gosh! This monkey bread is a BEAUTY if I do say so myself.

Growing up in the South, I knew just how much of a staple monkey bread was. It’s that one dessert that is a MUST at any table during any time of the year! 

If you’ve been an avid reader of Orchids + Sweet Tea, then you’ve probably already seen my previous rendition of Monkey Bread—Dairy-Free Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread, which was a remix of the traditional version made more like a bundt cake. 

However, with this recipe, I wanted to keep things more traditional in “pull apartness” and shape which turned out absolutely amazing! While I do understand that we are in the season of gingerbread, chai, peppermint, and chocolate, I definitely wanted to pay ONE LAST homage to pumpkin spice + pecans. Haha. 

Who else is with me?

Why is it Called Monkey Bread?

OK, so before we delve into this recipe, let’s talk about the name—Monkey Bread. So where did it come from? Why is it called that? To be honest, I’ve asked the same questions. Like, why monkey bread? Is it from monkeys? Haha. 

Well, believe it or not, Monkey Bread originated from the fact that it’s a finger food and is eaten by being picked apart much like how monkeys pick apart their food. Who knew? Haha.

Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie Monkey Bread

How to Make Monkey Bread with Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls?

Usually, I make my monkey bread entirely from scratch by making my dough, etc., however, with this recipe, I chose to use Pillsbury cinnamon roll dough, which I might add makes things A LOT easier. Of course, if you’re looking for a healthier option, Immaculate Baking Co. makes a great organic version.

When buying the necessary dough for this, simply purchase four cans of Deluxe-sized cinnamon rolls. To make the monkey bread dough, just remove each roll from the can and tear them apart individually. Once you have a single individual roll, place it flat unto the counter and cut in an equal half. Continue to do this until all rolls are halved. Lastly, you coat with the cinnamon sugar mixture and stack in your bundt pan. Wallah!

How to Make Monkey Bread from Scratch?

Start by combining 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast and 1 Tablespoon brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and slowly pouring in the warm milk-butter mixture (1 ½ cups milk + ¼ cup unsalted butter heated together and cooled), while stirring everything together. Allow 10 minutes for the mixture to sit and the yeast to activate (It’ll become foamy when done right). Add 2 eggs, one at a time and continue whisking until well combined.

Next, whisk together 5 cups all-purpose flour, ¼ cup brown sugar, ½ teaspoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and add them to the wet ingredients, mixing on low-speed until well combined. Change “mixer head” to kneading accessory and knead dough for 5-10 minutes on medium-high speed until dough ball becomes smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers. NOTE: If dough is too sticky, add 1 Tablespoon flour at a time until texture is achieved! Once dough ball is perfectly kneaded, add it to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit and rise for 1 to 2 hours.

Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie Monkey Bread

How to Make Monkey Bread as an Overnight Option.

If you don’t want to make your Monkey Bread on the same day, you can simply follow all steps leading up to the 1st initial rise (if making from scratch). Just cover prepped dough ball tightly (using foil paper of plastic wrap) and refrigerate it overnight or for 8-12 hours instead. In the morning, simply remove the dough and let sit at room temperature for at least an hour and continue step 6. Before adding bread to oven, let everything sit at room temperature for the dough to rise AGAIN for 20 minutes.

How Do I Store Monkey Bread?

Monkey Bread is best if eaten within the same day. However, leftovers can be kept fresh at room temperature when tightly wrapped or sealed for up to 1 day. Fresh for up to 3-4 days in the Refrigerator. 

Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie Monkey Bread

5 Tips/Hacks to Making the Best Monkey Bread.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Pan

Ensuring that you choose the perfect bundt pan or angel cake pan is important. As you may know, bundt pans come in all shapes and forms, however, understanding that the most intricately designed bundt pan will equate to a longer bake time is important. Therefore, the best option is using a standard bundt pan or an angel cake pan for even greater ease.

Tip #2: Never Over Fill!

As tempting as it might be to over-fill your pan with dough (for more goodness of course!), it’s never a good idea. I’ve learned (the hard way) that over-filling just causes the dough to fall over during baking since it all rises or whatever. Such a disaster. So, try to keep things 3/4 full, leaving the remainder for “growth” as it all bakes.

Tip #3: Place Baking Pan atop a Baking Sheet during baking.

Personally, I’ve found that the baking process of Monkey Bread can get a bit messy. Therefore, placing your Monkey Bread pan atop a baking sheet (or foil paper) during the process helps to keep all oil from the butter and other messy goodness from making a huge mess in your oven (which means a major clean later! Haha).

Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie Monkey Bread

Tip #4: Bake, Bake, Bake!

When it comes to baking Monkey Bread, patience is absolute key. Unlike other desserts, you have to ensure that the edges aren’t the only thing fully cooked through. I’ve learned the hard way that crisp edges don’t equate to a cooked inside. Therefore, baking on a decently low heat and using a cake tester (a small “poker” to ensure that everything is cooked perfectly) or a small toothpick helps greatly! I usually just poke small holes throughout the dough to ensure that everything gets cooked through. Rest assured, just baking for a little extra time does the ultimate trick!

Tip #5: The Rise Matters!

Most people actually take a complete shortcut with Monkey Bread by using refrigerated biscuits by Pillsbury, etc. However, since I enjoy making things from scratch, I opt in for the entire process. Much like cinnamon rolls, making Monkey Bread requires that it rises for an hour or two after the dough is kneaded. This step is super important, not only for more dough to be present, but for extremely soft pull apartness! More importantly, much like cinnamon rolls, there is a second rise that is just as important! NO SKIPPING!

Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie Monkey Bread

Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie Monkey Bread

Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie Monkey Bread

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Serves: 12 servings
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Ingredients

  • 4 (17.5 oz) cans store-bought deluxe cinnamon rolls (I use Pillsbury)
  • 1 cup organic brown sugar (I use Sugar int he Raw)
  • 2 Tbsps ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (I use Land O'Lakes)
  • 1/3 cup organic brown sugar (I use Sugar int he Raw)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (Not Pie Filling)
  • 1 cup pecans, halved (I use Diamond Nuts)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I use the Coombs Family Farm)

Instructions

  • Prepare Bundt pan by generously greasing it with butter and Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Remove cinnamon rolls from packaging and tear each piece apart. With each single roll, cut into four equal bite-sized pieces. Cut until all rolls within each can is in bite-sized pieces.
  • Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves together, whisking until combined well.
  • Drop each bite-sized piece into the sugar mixture and roll the pieces of dough until fully covered.
  • Add halved pecans all around at the bottom of the Bundt pan. Then, gently arrange each piece into the prepared Bundt pan, stacking them tightly until pan is ¾ filled. NOTE: DO NOT fill all the way to the top!
  • In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine brown sugar, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and butter, whisking everything together until mixture begins to boil, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and continue to stir until sugar has fully dissolved.
  • Carefully pour the mixture over the dough balls in the Bundt pan, until entire dough is covered. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until tops are golden brown and the centers are cooked through once tested with a kitchen knife or toothpick which comes out clean.  
  • Remove from oven and allow monkey bread to cool for about 15-20 minutes before covering it with a large plate and inverting out the bread.
  • To serve, pull apart desired amount with your fingers (or cut with a knife if preferred) and enjoy!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Monkey Bread is best if eaten within the same day. However, leftovers can be kept fresh at room temperature when tightly wrapped or sealed for up to 1 day. Fresh for up to 3-4 days in the Refrigerator. 
  • OVERNIGHT PREP FOR HOMEMADE DOUGH: If you don’t want to make your Monkey Bread on the same day, you can simply follow all steps leading up to the 1st initial rise. just cover prepped dough ball tightly (using foil paper of plastic wrap) and refrigerate it overnight or for 8-12 hours instead. In the morning, simply remove the dough and let sit at room temperature for at least an hour and continue step 6. Before adding bread to oven, let everything sit at room temperature for the dough to rise AGAIN for 20 minutes.
  • MAKE AHEAD: To make your monkey bread ahead using store-bought dough, simply follow all steps leading and stopping after Step 5 has been completed. Refrigerate the prepared dough overnight in the Bundt pan, covering the top with plastic wrap. When ready to make, remove from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for at least an hour and just continue to step 6.
 

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Easy Pumpkin Pecan Pie Monkey Bread.

ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA

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