This Caramel Apple Monkey Bread is the clear winner in the category “Not Terribly Beautiful Baked Goods that Taste Amazing.”
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This may not be the most beautiful dessert in the galaxy. However, what it lacks in appearance, it makes up for with sticky, gooey, pulls apart deliciousness.
Caramel Apple Monkey bread
Many recipes for monkey bread calls for biscuit dough as the base. While I don’t have any issues with biscuit dough, my thoughts are that monkey bread should always be yeasted.
Particularly soft balls of dough wrapped in lots of cinnamon sugar.
An enriched yeast dough is one that has been enriched with butter and milk. You can let it rise on the counter for about an hour before shaping it and baking it. Or, you can put it in the refrigerator for a slow overnight rise.
I prefer to let the dough rise slowly in the fridge. It gives the dough a deeper flavor and makes it super easy to work with. Sometimes you want your monkey bread right away!
The cinnamon-spiced apple layers between the dough pieces and the apple cider caramel sauce drizzled over it are what really elevate this monkey bread.
This bread is a golden tear and share bread that’s loaded with tender spiced apples and lots of gooey caramel. This bread tastes best the day it is made, so invite your friends to share it with you!
Caramel Apple Monkey bread
PREP TIME: 2 hours 30 minutes
COOK TIME – 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 hrs 5 minutes
SERVINGS – 12-15 servings
- To make the dough:
- 1 1/4 cups (237mL) whole milk, warm (not hot).
- 2 teaspoons instant or active yeast
- 1/2 cup (50g) sugar divided
- 4 cups (560 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons (42g) butter unsalted, melted
- For the apples:
- 1 tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter
- One medium sweet-tart, peeled and diced apple (about 1 1/2 cups; I used Honeycrisp).
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt kosher salt:
- To make the caramel sauce:
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (118mL) apple cider, divided
- 2 tablespoons (28g), unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- To assemble:
- 1/2 cup (56g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Get the dough:
- In a measuring cup, whisk the warm milk with 2 tablespoons sugar and the yeast. It should be placed on the side until it becomes foamy.
- Use a stand mixer with the dough hook to mix the flour, remaining sugar, and salt. Add 3 tablespoons of butter. Mix in the yeast-milk mixture. Mix the yeast-milk mixture at low speed until it forms a shaggy dough. Next, turn the mixer to medium-low and continue to knead for ten minutes (or set a timer). The dough should be able to form a ball when it is done.
- Let the dough rise for at least an hour or overnight.
- Make a ball of the dough with your hands. Please place it in a greased bowl. Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour on the counter until it doubles in size. You can also place the dough in the refrigerator to rise overnight. If you refrigerate overnight, the dough may not double in size but should look puffy and rise.
- If you have chilled the dough overnight, make the apples right before the dough rises.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter. Mix in the chopped apples, cinnamon, and salt. Allow the apples to cook on medium heat for five minutes or until they are tender. Set aside to cool. You can make the apples up to one day in advance and keep them refrigerated.
- Make the caramel sauce.
- Combine the 1/2 cup of apple cider and the sugar in a large saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. After the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and increase the heat to medium-low to bring the mixture to boil.
- Keep boiling the mixture without stirring. Continue to boil the sugar until it turns a deep caramel color (320F to330F). Stir in the butter and 2 tablespoons cider. Whisk until smooth. You can cool the caramel sauce and keep it in the refrigerator for several days. Before assembling, heat the mixture briefly in the microwave or on the stovetop until it becomes a “drizzle”.
- Assemble the monkey-bread:
- Make sure to grease a bundt cake pan and place it aside. For assembly, melt the butter. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
- You can tear off small pieces of dough that are walnut- or golf-ball-sized and form them into balls with your hands. They don’t need to be uniform. Each dough ball should be dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar. Place in the bundt, allowing the butter to harden.
- Spread all the apples on the dough. Then, drizzle a third of the caramel sauce over it. Continue rolling out the rest of the dough and placing it in the pan. Add another third of the caramel sauce to the top. Save the remaining caramel sauce for later use.
- Let the monkey bread rise for between 30 and 60 minutes.
- Wrap the monkey bread in plastic wrap. The dough at room temperature will rise in 30 minutes. Dough from the refrigerator will take between 30 and 60 minutes. Let the monkey bread rise for about 30 minutes or until it looks slightly puffy and pillowy.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Make monkey bread
- Cover the bundt pan with a towel and place it on a sheet pan to catch any butter drips. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The top should be slightly higher than the pan.
- Cool and ready to serve:
- The monkey bread should cool on the wire rack for 15 minutes in the bundt-pan. To unmold the monkey bread onto the plate, place a plate on top of the pan.
- Serve with remaining caramel sauce. Take care; the bread may still be hot.