Recipe: Muffin-Tin Monkey Breads, 3 Ways

updated Jan 21, 2020
Mini Monkey Breads, 3 Ways
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(Image credit: Kaitlin Flannery)

It makes me sad how much of my life was spent “hating” monkey bread. It was an unfounded loathing, solely rooted in my own lack of understanding of how glorious such a thing could be. What is there, after all, to hate about buttery, cakey, cinnamon-sugar bread? Absolutely nothing, that’s what. There’s even less to hate when it’s served up in three single-serving sized flavors.

Technically all monkey bread is single-serving sized since you just pluck off as many pieces as you want. But wouldn’t it just be better if it were like a cupcake, in the sense that it could be entirely yours? You still get the satisfaction of eating monkey bread, but you also don’t have to share. It’s a win-win.

The hardest part in all of this is really deciding which monkey bread you want to eat — or rather, eat first. This short list of ingredients will result in 12 tiny, bumpy loaves, in three different flavors: classic cinnamon sugar, fresh lemon and blueberry, and rich Nutella and cinnamon. The solution to this problem, however, is just inviting good people over for brunch who won’t mind if you grab a piece off their plate!

Mini Monkey Breads, 3 Ways

Serves 12

Nutritional Info


  • Butter or cooking spray

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon

    finely grated lemon zest

  • 6 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/4 cup

    packed brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 2

    (8-count) cans refrigerator biscuits

  • 1/4 cup



  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin with butter or cooking spray; set aside.

  2. Place 1/4 cup of the sugar and cinnamon in a gallon-sized resealable bag; set aside. Place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and zest in another plastic bag; set aside.

  3. Combine the melted butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Put a tablespoon of this mixture into 8 of the muffin tin cups. Whisk the Nutella into the remaining butter mixture and set aside.

  4. Remove the biscuits from the package and cut each one into 6 pieces for a total of 96 pieces. Roll all of the pieces into balls. Put 32 into the bag with the lemon sugar, and put the remaining 64 into the bag with the cinnamon sugar. Seal the bags and toss gently to coat.

  5. Divide the lemon-sugar balls evenly among 4 of the muffin cups with the brown sugar and butter mixture at the bottom. Sprinkle with blueberries as you fill. You should have 8 balls for each cup.

  6. Divide 32 of the cinnamon-sugar balls evenly into the tins with the butter mixture at the bottom.

  7. Put the remaining 32 of the cinnamon-sugar balls into the bowl with the Nutella mixture. Gently fold to coat and divide evenly across the last 4 empty cups.

  8. Bake until the dough no longer feels squishy and raw when pressed on the top, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan for 1 minute, then invert onto a cooling rack or serving dish. Serve warm.