Whether it be Christmas morning or Easter brunch, The Ultimate Gluten Free Sticky Monkey Bread has become a tradition in many households around the globe. Start the day off right by having this celebratory Monkey Bread for brunch. Add a side of fruit and some cheese, and you’ll have everyone swooning.
With the holiday right around the corner, I took it upon myself to make the ULTIMATE gluten free Sticky Monkey Bread (or Bubble Bread) that I could.
After the success of my Best Gluten Free Cinnamon Buns last January, I decided to try using that dough to create the most ultimate Gluten Free Sticky Monkey Bread I could. I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but I think I’ve done it.
I did make a gluten free Monkey Bread last Christmas, and it was good, but wasn’t great. I’m always trying to raise the bar with gluten free baking, and improving existing recipes is a part of that.
This ultimate gluten free sticky monkey bread is the golden ticket. Soft yeasty dough, surrounded with a cinnamon and sugar mixture, baked in a gooey, sticky caramel sauce is pure perfection.
No, it is not a low calorie dish, sometimes calories shouldn’t be counted. This is one of those times. We generally only make this gluten free pull-apart Monkey Bread for Christmas, which is definitely a time to celebrate.
How to make the Ultimate Gluten Free Sticky Monkey Bread ahead of time:
The great news is I have done some testing with this recipe. You can form the dough, get it all prepped and in the baking pan, wrap it up in plastic wrap (a few layers is best), and put it straight in the freezer. Decide when you want to bake it (like Christmas morning), and take it out of the deep freeze the night before, letting it defrost (still covered) in the fridge.
In the morning (when you are awoken at 5:00 a.m. by the kids) place the gf Monkey Bread into a warm, draft-free place. I like to warm my oven slightly, and place the baking pan in there to get it nice & cozy warm. After it has risen, bake it, and it will be just as good as if you hadn’t made it ahead of time.
I would not recommend freezing it for longer than 1 week, but you can easily make it a few days in advance and use this method without a problem.
More recipes to help you make the ultimate holiday brunch:
- Make Ahead Baked French Toast
- Gluten Free Breakfast Muffins with Ham and Vegetables
- Gluten Free Cranberry Chocolate Bread
- Best Winter Fruit Salad
- Gluten Free Vanilla Scones
- Copycat Orange Julius
The Ultimate Gluten Free Sticky Monkey Bread Recipe:
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or corn syrup)
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch salt
Cinnamon & Sugar Mixture to Roll the Dough in:
- 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (more or less depending on how cinnamon-y you like it)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1/2 cup re-hydrated raisins (optional, I didn't add them, but if you like raisins in you cinnamon buns, you can add them to your Monkey Bread too)
- 1 2/3 cup brown rice flour
- 1/3 PLUS 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix (dry) OR dry milk powder
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast
- 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar and maple syrup. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Let the caramel sauce sit and cool while you prepare the dough. Pour mixture over the top of the dough.
Cinnamon & Sugar Mixture to Roll the Dough in:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ground cinnamon and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Set aside.
- Place chopped pecans (and raisins, if using) into the bottom of Bundt or tube pan. Set aside. Do not use a pan with a removable bottom, as the syrup would run through and make a huge mess.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix all dry ingredients until combined. Set aside.
- Put water and butter in a glass measuring cup and microwave just until the butter has melted. Remove from microwave and stir.
- Add milk, stir. Add other wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
- With the stand mixer running on low, using the paddle attachment, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrap down the bowl if you have to.
- Allow to mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
- Form the dough into 3/4" balls and roll them to coat them fully in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. I used my smallest cookie scoop and just dropped the dough into the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
- Place sugar coated dough into the Bundt pan, on top of the pecans. Be sure to not tightly pack the dough into the pan, allow gaps between the dough. Repeat until all of the dough has been formed, rolled in the cinnamon/sugar mixture & placed in the pan. If you have any cinnamon/sugar mixture left, sprinkle it over the top of the dough in the pan.
- Pour the cooled caramel sauce over the monkey bread.
- If you want to freeze the dough, now would be the time to wrap the pan in two layers of plastic wrap and place in freezer.
- To bake immediately, allow the dough to rise for 20-30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. When you remove the Monkey Bread from the oven, allow it to sit in the baking pan for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a serving dish or plate. To do this, place the plate upside down on top of the baking pan, and (while wearing oven mitts, just in case), quickly turn the plate and baking pan upside down. Your Monkey Bread should release from the pan without a problem. If there are still pecans and syrup in the baking pan, use a spoon and spoon the mixture over the top of the Monkey Bread.
- If you can wait, it is best to wait 10-15 minutes before serving. This not only allows the syrup to cool off a bit, but also allows the texture of the bread to improve (when gluten free bread cools slightly, it is less 'gummy').
If you froze your Monkey Bread for baking it later:
- Remove your baking pan from the freezer and place it in the fridge the night before. This allows the dough to defrost, but not begin rising too much yet. When you are ready to bake it, you want to place the baking pan in warm, draft-free place and allow it to rise for 30-40 minutes, or until the dough has nearly doubled in size. Baking directions are the same as if you were to bake it immediately.
Gluten-free AND Dairy-Free Monkey Bread:
I know many, many of you have asked how to change this recipe so that it is both gluten and dairy free.
REPLACE the instant vanilla pudding powder with 1/4 cup almond flour (although Jell-o brand pudding powder is dairy free)
REPLACE the 1/2 cup water and 3/4 cup milk with your favorite non-dairy milk
REPLACE all of the butter with vegan buttery sticks (I used Earth Balance)
REPLACE the heavy cream in the sauce with 2 tablespoons dairy-free milk.
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The images were updated in March 2018.