Homemade Monkey Bread Muffins


I promised you lots of purple, green, and yellow sprinkles, and today, I’m delivering.  If you’re not as jazzed about Mardi Gras as I am, then you can certainly leave off the sprinkles.  They’re more for panache than actual flavor.

Monkey bread is the first recipe I ever made by myself.  I made it in home economics in middle school.  In Texas, everyone (boys and girls) takes home ec. one semester, and then wood working the next semester.  If I remember correctly, everyone liked home ec. better—even the boys.  The reason is probably this monkey bread.  Would you rather have splinters or monkey bread?  Thought so.

This might be the world’s most perfect recipe:  biscuits doused in butter, sugar and cinnamon, and then baked.  You can’t mess this one up.


I made homemade biscuit dough for this recipe.  There’s hardly a store-bought biscuit package small enough to serve two, but also: homemade is always better.  Always.  You can quote me on that.  For life.

I rolled the dough into twelve balls, each slightly smaller than a ping pong ball, doused them in cinnamon sugar, and popped 3 into each muffin cup.  The recipe for the brown sugar butter sauce came to me in a dream one night, and it was destiny that they topped these cinnamon biscuit bites.


This little guy, I just want to eat him right up:


I hope you enjoy these!

POP QUIZ!:  do you want to see more purple, green and yellow sprinkles on desserts this week?  (there is only one right answer).

5.0 from 1 reviews
Monkey Bread Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: 4 muffins
Serves: 2
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cold
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • ⅓ cup milk (I use 2%)
For the syrup:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Optional topping:
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • purple, green and yellow sprinkles
  1. Preheat the oven to 375, and lightly grease 4 cups in a muffin pan.*
  2. In a shallow dish, stir together the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and set aside.
  3. Next, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Next, add the shortening and butter, and cut it into the flour with your finger tips or a pastry cutter. The fats should be evenly distributed throughout the flour, and no large pieces should be visible. We're essentially making biscuits.
  4. Next, stir in the milk until a dough forms. Don't over work the dough; stir until it just comes together.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 pieces (press it flat in the bowl, then score it with your hands into four pieces). Divide each piece into 3 balls. Roll the dough balls between your hands, then roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat for all of the dough.
  6. Place 3 dough balls in each muffin cup. If there is any sugar-cinnamon mixture left, sprinkle it over the muffins.
  7. Next, make the syrup by melting the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together. You can do this in the microwave or a small pan. Pour the mixture evenly over the 4 muffins, then bake for 14 minutes.
  8. Serve warm with colored sprinkles!



  1. says

    I kind of wish I had gotten to take home ec, though I definitely am glad I didn’t have to go through any woodworking… Yay for Mardi Gras! One of my favorite times of the year because of all the fun food that appears around the blogosphere. These monkey bread muffins are fairly perfect. I love that you made the dough pieces from scratch…so often i see certain canned doughs being used!

  2. Julie says

    Our junior high home ec class was French Breakfast Puffs. Only girls took home ec, because I’m old. I almost wept for joy when I saw that you had the homemade biscuit dough. Yes, yes, yes. Homemade is always best.

  3. says

    Christina, monkey bread is delicious in its original home ec form. Monkey bread drizzled with caramel syrup is the stuff dreams are made of (literally!) Mardi Gras monkey bread muffins…? Fun, festive, fantastic!

    P.S. My hubby really enjoyed your Sweet Tea Fried Chicken — me, too. Man, that chicken is moist!!!

  4. says

    Too cute! I’ve only had one monkey bread experience, and it involved me stuffing too much dough in the dish… then hopping in the shower while it baked. The result was a very smoky kitchen! These look pretty manageable, though – I don’t think even I could mess them up!

  5. KayZee says

    Love the idea of mini monkey bread! Can’t wait to try them. (fyi – the recipe says to roll the dough balls in “powdered sugar” vs. cinnamon sugar mixture.)

  6. says

    I love these, Christina! Can’t wait to try them. I agree that homemade is always better, but onneeee exception I have, my guilty pleasure, are those super thick Lofthouse (or other random brand) sugar cookies with the thick icing and sprinkles. Omg, I go crazy for those things.

  7. Aislinn says

    I am weeping with joy at a small batch recipe, cause let’s face it, if it is in the house it will get eaten and I, for one, am suppose to be on a low carb diet. This small batch will let me have a little treat without going into a carb coma. :D Thank you!!!

  8. Karen says

    These look fantastic. Do you think I could make the dough ahead of time, refrigerate overnight and bake them in the morning?


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