This gluten-free monkey bread is made from the same EASY dough I use to make gluten-free cinnamon rolls.

It features fluffy dough balls layered with a gooey caramel sauce and chopped pecans. This is the perfect holiday or special occasion breakfast!

gluten-free monkey bread on a platter with a fork picking up a piece of monkey bread


 

This gluten-free monkey bread features my new favorite gluten-free bread dough made with King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Bread Flour.

I tested and re-tested the dough recipe to get it just right. It works amazing in monkey bread!

Why I Love This Recipe

  • Gooey and decadent: Monkey bread is made by rolling balls of dough in a cinnamon sugar mixture, then drizzling them with caramel sauce. The whole thing is baked in a bundt pan or loaf pan until golden brown, then it’s drizzled with more caramel and toasted pecans (if you’d like).
  • Perfect for breakfast and brunch: I love making this decadent, ooey-gooey treat for Christmas morning, holiday brunch, or any other special occasion.
  • Can be made ahead: This recipe includes an option for an overnight rise. Be sure to check the recipe notes!
  • Can be made dairy-free: You can even make this recipe dairy-free by using dairy-free milk and vegan butter! See the recipe note for my dairy-free recommendations.

Ingredients You’ll Need

overhead shot of ingredients needed to make gluten free monkey bread

Here are a few notes on some of the key ingredients to make this gluten-free monkey bread.

  • Gluten-free bread flour: I’ve been loving using this gluten-free bread flour that contains gluten-free wheat starch and xanthan gum. It makes dough that is very easy to work with and gives the taste and texture of traditional baked goods!
  • Instant yeast: Be sure to use instant yeast for this gluten free monkey bread recipe, which can be mixed right into the ingredients. (Active dry yeast must be mixed in water before adding to the dry ingredients.)
  • Butter: I like using salted butter rather than unsalted butter. It has more depth of flavor!
  • Pecans: Chopped pecans are optional, but I like the nutty, crisp texture they add to the gluten-free monkey bread. You also might like this gluten-free pecan pie or gluten-free granola with pecans.

Dairy-Free Options

To make this gluten-free monkey bread dairy-free, use cashew milk, almond milk, or another dairy-free milk in place of the whole milk in the dough. I like to use Elmhurst Unsweetened Cashew milk, which has a similar fat content to whole milk. Elmhurst doesn’t have any added gums or stabilizers that might interfere with the rise/crumb of the rolls. Use dairy-free butter in place of the butter and dairy-free heavy cream (I like Silk) instead of heavy cream in the caramel sauce.

How to Make Gluten-Free Monkey Bread

  • MAKE THE DOUGH: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the gluten-free flour, granulated sugar, instant yeast, baking powder and salt. Mix to evenly combine.
  • With the mixer running on low, slowly add the water, milk, eggs and melted butter. Turn the speed up to medium and mix for 3 minutes until very smooth. The dough will resemble thick cookie dough. This is normal!
  • Use an oiled spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 45-60 minutes, until doubled in size.
  • MAKE THE CARAMEL: Melt the butter, heavy cream, and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and heat for five minutes. Remove from heat.
  • PREP THE WORKSTATION: Melt the butter in a small bowl. In another small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Spray a 10-12 cup Bundt pan generously with cooking spray.
  • Pour ¼ cup of caramel sauce into the bottom of the greased bundt pan. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of pecans, if using.
  • ASSEMBLE THE MONKEY BREAD: Once the dough has risen, pull small dough chunks and roll into 1-inch balls. You may want to use wet hands to get the dough balls as smooth as possible. 
  • Dip each ball, one by one, in the melted butter and then generously roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat them well. You may not use all of the cinnamon-sugar depending how heavy you coat each ball.
  • Arrange ½ of the dough balls in the pan (about 20 dough balls – you’ll make 40-45 dough balls total), then pour over another ¼ cup caramel sauce and sprinkle ¼ cup chopped pecans. 
  • Repeat with the remaining dough, finishing with another ¼ cup caramel sauce and ¼ cup chopped pecans. (Save the rest of the caramel sauce for serving.) Let the monkey bread sit for a bit while the oven preheats. 

Caramel Should be Pourable

NOTE: If the caramel sauce cools and is too thick at any point, reheat it for 30 seconds or so in the microwave so it’s pourable.

  • Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cover loosely with foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking if the top starts to brown too quickly.
  • Cool for 5-10 minutes, then invert onto a large serving plate. Warm up the caramel sauce again and drizzle over the bread before serving. Serve immediately and enjoy!
a hand holding a gluten-free monkey bread ball and a hand holding a piece of monkey bread with a bite taken out of it

Storage Instructions

This gluten-free monkey bread is best when served immediately after baking. If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Reheat the microwave for 10-15 seconds before serving.

a slice of gluten-free monkey bread on a platter

Recipe Tips

  • GLUTEN-FREE BREAD FLOUR: This gluten-free bread flour is key for these gluten-free cinnamon rolls to turn out correctly. Other gluten-free flour blends will not work in it’s place.
  • MIXING THE DOUGH: I prefer using a paddle attachment on my stand mixer when making this gluten-free monkey bread, rather than the dough hook attachment. I find kneads the dough more effectively!
  • OVERNIGHT RISE:  This gluten-free monkey bread can be assembled the day before and baked the following morning. For an overnight rise, follow the recipe up until the “Assemble the Monkey Bread” section. Then cover the pan tightly and refrigerate for 8–12 hours. (16 hours max. 8–12 hours is best, but 16 hours is OK if absolutely needed. Do not exceed 16 hours.) The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise on the counter for 30-45 minutes before baking. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes. Cover loosely with foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking if the top starts to brown too quickly.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you try this gluten-free monkey bread, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you! 

gluten-free monkey bread on a platter
5 from 9 votes

The Best Gluten-Free Monkey Bread

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings
This gluten-free monkey bread is made from the same EASY dough I use to make gluten-free cinnamon rolls.
It features fluffy dough balls layered with a gooey caramel sauce and chopped pecans. This is the perfect holiday or special occasion breakfast!

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 4 ½ cups (680g) King Arthur Gluten-Free Bread Flour
  • cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons 1 packet instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup (236ml) water, warm
  • 1 cup (236ml) whole milk, warm
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) butter, melted

Caramel Sauce

  • 8 tablespoons (113g) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (320g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • large pinch of salt

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping

  • 12 tablespoons (170g) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans optional

Instructions 

Make the Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the gluten-free flour, granulated sugar, instant yeast, baking powder and salt. Mix to evenly combine.
  • With the mixer running on low, slowly add the water, milk, eggs and melted butter. Turn the speed up to medium and mix for 3 minutes until very smooth. The dough will resemble thick cookie dough. This is normal!
  • Use an oiled spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 45-60 minutes, until doubled in size.

Make the Caramel Sauce

  • Melt the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and sauce in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and heat for exactly five minutes. Remove from heat.

Prep the Filling Workstation

  • Melt the butter in a small bowl. In another small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Spray a 10-12 cup Bundt pan generously with cooking spray.
  • Pour ¼ cup of caramel sauce into the bottom of the greased bundt pan. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of pecans, if using.
  • NOTE: If the caramel sauce cools and is too thick at any point, reheat it for 30 seconds or so in the microwave so it’s pourable.

Assemble the Monkey Bread

  • Once the dough has risen, pull small dough chunks and roll into 1-inch balls. You may want to use wet hands to get the dough balls as smooth as possible.
  • Dip each ball, one by one, in the melted butter and then generously roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat them well. You may not use all of the cinnamon-sugar depending how heavy you coat each ball.
  • Arrange ½ of the dough balls in the pan (about 20 dough balls – you’ll make 40-45 dough balls total), then pour over another ¼ cup caramel sauce and sprinkle ¼ cup chopped pecans.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough, finishing with another ¼ cup caramel sauce and ¼ cup chopped pecans. (Save the rest of the caramel sauce for serving.) Let the monkey bread sit for a bit while the oven preheats.

Bake the Monkey Bread

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cover loosely with foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking if the top starts to brown too quickly.
  • Cool for 5-10 minutes, then invert onto a large serving plate. Warm up the caramel sauce again and drizzle over the bread before serving. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

GLUTEN-FREE BREAD FLOUR: This gluten-free bread flour is key for these gluten-free cinnamon rolls to turn out correctly. Other gluten-free flour blends will not work in it’s place.
MIXING THE DOUGH: I prefer using a paddle attachment on my stand mixer when making this gluten-free monkey bread, rather than the dough hook attachment. I find kneads the dough more effectively!
OVERNIGHT RISE:  This gluten-free monkey bread can be assembled the day before and baked the following morning. For an overnight rise, follow the recipe up until the “Assemble the Monkey Bread” section. Then cover the pan tightly and refrigerate for 8–12 hours. (16 hours max. 8–12 hours is best, but 16 hours is OK if absolutely needed. Do not exceed 16 hours.) The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise on the counter for 30-45 minutes before baking. Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes. Cover loosely with foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking if the top starts to brown too quickly.
DAIRY-FREE: To make this gluten-free monkey bread dairy-free, use cashew milk, almond milk, or another dairy-free milk in place of the whole milk in the dough. I like to use Elmhurst Unsweetened Cashew milk, which has a similar fat content to whole milk. Elmhurst doesn’t have any added gums or stabilizers that might interfere with the rise/crumb of the rolls. Use dairy-free butter in place of the butter and dairy-free heavy cream (I like Silk) instead of heavy cream in the caramel sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 594kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 438mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 880IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 1mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So good! My 17 year old son had NO idea it was gluten free and I was happy I could still eat one of our favorite items on Christmas morning.

  2. 5 stars
    Love the recipe! Question – if making the night before and you say stop at ready to assemble, do you basically roll the balls, roll in butter and sugar, add in the sauce parts and than once all assembled you put in fridge overnight?

  3. 5 stars
    Monkey bread is a Christmas morning tradition in our family so I was so happy to find this gluten-free version. I loved it and will be making it again!

  4. 5 stars
    This was a HIT at our Christmas brunch that we do every year. Everyone asked for the recipe and they didn’t even realize it was gluten free!! Thank you!

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