Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread
Enjoy this classic peel-apart dessert with a fall twist! Classic monkey bread is made with homemade dough and filled with a sweet pumpkin spice frosting.
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Table of Contents
- About Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread
- What is monkey bread?
- What’s in pumpkin spice monkey bread
- Can you use store-bought biscuit dough instead?
- Pumpkin puree vs pumpkin pie filling
- Can you still use pumpkin pie filling?
- What type of pan should you use?
- Can you make this in advance?
- How long is monkey bread good for?
- Can you freeze monkey bread?
- More delicious recipes with pumpkin
- Other fun finger foods
- How to make pumpkin spice monkey bread
- Recipe Details
About Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread
Perfect for a hassle-free dessert during the fall and winter holiday season, this pumpkin-infused monkey bread is a crowd-pleasing favorite that’s easy to make and fun to eat!
What is monkey bread?
Dating all the way back to the 1800s, Hungarian immigrants brought this dish over when they immigrated to America. It’s made by rolling small golf ball-sized pieces of dough into balls, arranging them in a pan (typically a bundt cake pan), and baking them together to form a solid baked good that’s easy to pull apart.
Traditionally, monkey bread is a sweet and sticky dessert covered in cinnamon, but this has expanded over time to include other flavors and fillings (such as this pumpkin spice monkey bread). Monkey bread also comes in savory varieties, with meat and cheese as fillings.
What’s in pumpkin spice monkey bread
In order to make your own party-friendly fall-infused monkey bread, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:
- Milk, granulated sugar, active dry yeast, and coconut oil – Dough ingredients that are also used to proof the yeast (called process called blooming) so that you know the yeast is good and will yield a light, fluffy dough.
- All-purpose flour and salt – After blooming the yeast, these are the final ingredients for delicious homemade dough.
- Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice – The stars of the show! Used to add flavor to the delicious filling within each roll of monkey bread.
- Cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salted butter – Classic baking ingredients to create a sweet and creamy texture for the monkey bread filling.
Can you use store-bought biscuit dough instead?
Sure! Just skip the ingredients for making the homemade dough (milk, active dry yeast, coconut oil, flour, and salt) and whip up the pumpkin spice filling as instructed. You may need up to two cans of dough to meet the same yield as the homemade dough recipe. And when using biscuit dough, you should use one pre-cut biscuit in place of each piece of dough used for assembling the rolls in the monkey bread.
Pumpkin puree vs pumpkin pie filling
When it comes to holiday treats, you’re going to be faced with two types of canned pumpkin in the baking aisle:
Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling.
And while these types might seem interchangeable, there is a slight (yet significant) difference.
With pumpkin puree, the only contents are cooked and mashed pumpkin (or a variety of winter gourds), with no added flavors or spices. Pumpkin pie filling is made with cooked and mashed pumpkin, too, but it also has flavor added, typically with pumpkin pie spice.
The key difference here is convenience. If you don’t have (or don’t want to buy) pumpkin pie spice, using pumpkin pie filling can save you some time and effort; you simply add it to the recipe and skip measuring the spices. However, it does limit your ability to control the taste, and if you’re using the pumpkin pie filling with other flavors, there’s no way to guarantee how they’ll interact.
This is why you’ll see many homemade recipes use pumpkin puree (which, again, is just the gourds, no added flavor) and season and spice the recipe by hand as needed. It is a tad more work but it also gives you more control over the flavor of your fall treats.
Can you still use pumpkin pie filling?
If pumpkin pie filling is what you have to work with, then yes, you can use it in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the pumpkin-themed spices (ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg) when mixing the ingredients.
What type of pan should you use?
You can use any style 10-inch bundt cake pan for this recipe, but I would recommend one with a rounded, smooth design as opposed to anything too intricate. In most cases, monkey bread will easily bake into smooth curves but won’t properly fill in detailed or sharp edges. Plus, too many dips and curves could make it harder to see and grab the individual rolls of monkey bread.
That’s not to say you can’t use a bundt pan with a fancy design – you totally can, it will bake the monkey bread just fine – just be prepared that the bundt cake design won’t fully transfer and it could distort the classic look of peel-apart monkey bread.
Can you make this in advance?
Certainly! This monkey bread can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.
To do this, follow the recipe as instructed, but instead of letting the monkey bread rise a third and final time, cover the bundt pan with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, set the bundt pan on the counter and allow the dough to come back to room temperature (about 45 minutes to one hour) then continue to follow the recipe as instructed. NOTE: The dough will continue to rise more overnight and while on the counter; this is okay.
How long is monkey bread good for?
Once prepared and cooled, this pumpkin spice monkey bread can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for up to two to three days.
Can you freeze monkey bread?
Yes, you totally can!
One prepared and cooled, leftover monkey bread and be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag for up to six months.
More delicious recipes with pumpkin
Other fun finger foods
How to make pumpkin spice monkey bread
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – Bloom the yeast by adding warm milk, granulated sugar, active dry yeast, and coconut oil to a small bowl. Let it rest for about five minutes. Once you see some bubbles, the yeast is good to go!
Step 2 – Add the flour and salt to the yeast, then use a spatula to mix until a thick dough forms.
Step 3 – Turn the dough out onto a floured work area, then knead it with your hands until smooth and elastic.
Step 4 – Place the dough back in the bowl and let it rise for 30 minutes.
Step 5 – While the dough rises, prepare the filling by whipping together cream cheese, pumpkin puree, powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and melted butter until smooth. Set this bowl aside for now.
Step 6 – When ready to assemble the monkey bread, grease a 10-inch bundt cake pan with cooking spray and mix together a little more sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
Step 7 – Scoop out a golfball-sized piece of dough, flatten it out, and place a little of the pumpkin spice filling in the middle. Pinch the dough closed, roll it into a ball, roll it in pumpkin spice sugar, then place it in the prepared bundt cake pan. Repeat this step until all the dough is used.
Step 8 – Bake!
Step 9 – Let the monkey bread rest for a few minutes in the pan, then turn it out onto a serving plate. If you have any remaining filling or pumpkin spice sugar, feel free to spread it on top of the monkey bread.
Step 10 – Serve and enjoy!
Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread
- 2 1/4 cups warm milk
- 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for working dough
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- In a large bowl, add warm milk, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, active dry yeast, and coconut oil. Quickly whisk to dissolve yeast, then cover bowl with a towel. Let mixture bloom for 5-8 minutes (will look foamy.)2 1/4 cups warm milk, 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons active dry yeast, 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Add flour and salt to bowl, then use a spatula to gently fold in with other ingredients. Mix until dough comes together, about 5 to 7 minutes.5 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons salt
- Generously dust a work area with flour. Turn out dough to work area and knead with your hands until dough is smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. If dough is too sticky to handle, dust with more flour as needed.
- Transfer dough back to mixing bowl, cover with a towel, and let rest for 30 minutes.
- While dough rests, make the pumpkin spice filling. Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + medium bowl), whip together cream cheese, pumpkin puree, powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and butter on medium speed until combined, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer mixture to refrigerator to let chill for 10 minutes.4 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons salted butter
- When ready to assemble, generously grease a 10-inch bundt cake pan with cooking spray. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1/4 pumpkin pie spice to a small bowl, then mix well. Set both nearby.2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Bring dough and prepared filling over to work area. Scoop up a golfball-sized piece of dough, flatten it out, and place 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice filling in center. Wrap dough around filling and pinch seam closed, forming a ball. Roll dough ball in pumpkin spice sugar, then place in prepared bundt cake pan. Repeat this step until all dough has been used. NOTE: If any pumping spice filling or pumpkin spice sugar remains, reserve them for frosting monkey bread after baking.
- Cover bundt cake pan with a towel and allow monkey bread to rise a final time for 30 minutes.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bake monkey bread, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until top is lightly golden.
- Allow monkey bread to cool for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate. If any pumpkin spice filling or pumpkin spice sugar remains, use it to garnish top of monkey bread.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.