How to Make Healthier Monkey Bread (Yes, It Can Be Done!)
If there’s one weekend morning indulgence that hits all the notes, it’s monkey bread.
If thereâ€™s one weekend morning indulgence that hits all the notes, itâ€™s monkey bread. Oh yeah, monkey bread.
Havenâ€™t had this ooey-gooey treat before? Itâ€™s traditionally made with refrigerated biscuits, butter, cinnamon and both white and brown sugar. (In other words, not the healthiest ingredient list.) Most versions are made by rolling the biscuits inÂ a cinnamon-sugar mix, tossingÂ them in a tube pan, then dousingÂ the whole thing with a mixture of melted butter and brown sugar. After you bake it, everyone pulls off the pieces and eats themselves silly.Â Iâ€™m not going to lie, it's deliciousâ€”and nearly impossible to stop eatingâ€”but thanks to all the sugar and butter, you're pretty much guaranteed to have a stomachache afterwards.
RELATED: The Best Fat-Burning Breakfasts
The good news: We've created a healthier versionÂ of this luscious treat, so you can try monkey bread without feeling terrible. To give the traditional recipeÂ a better-for-you upgrade, we replaced the packaged biscuits with whole-wheat pizza dough, used far less sugar and butter, substituted maple syrup forÂ brown sugar, and bakedÂ it in a muffin tin to help control portions.
Keep in mind, this isnâ€™t necessarilyÂ healthyâ€”and these changes don't make Monkey Bread as good for youÂ as, say, aÂ Braised Kale Frittata. But not everything you eat has to be a kale frittata. Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with treating yourself and your family to a sweet indulgenceÂ like this every now and then. Our recipe is simply designed to help you do it and still feel good afterwards.
Healthâ€™s Monkey Bread
Yield: 12 muffins
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted (preferably grass-fed, like Kerrygold)
- Â¼ cup sugar (we like organic evaporated cane crystals, like Florida Crystals)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1 lb. whole wheat pizza dough, thawed if frozen
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (preferably dark)
1. Preheat oven to 375ÂºF. Use some of the melted butter to grease the cups of a 12-cup muffin tin.
2. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into 12 even pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, divide each piece into 5 or 6 smaller pieces. Roll them into rough balls. Roll the dough balls in the cinnamon-sugar mix and drop them into a muffin cup. Donâ€™t worry about making the dough balls the same size or arranging them neatly in the muffin cup; the more haphazard they look, the better. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. You will have cinnamon-sugar left over.
3. Whisk maple syrup into melted butter. Spoon 1 tsp. butter mixture over each muffin. Using a Â¼ tsp. measure, sprinkle remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over muffins.
4. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, until muffins just feel firm. Place muffin tin on a wire rack. Use a butter knife or small offset spatula to turn each muffin over. Let cool slightly, then serve warm.
RELATED: Brunch Fever? 25 Recipes That Wow