This Vegan Monkey Bread with Caramel Pecan Drizzle is a meal worth waking up for. It’s made of enriched yeasted dough and drizzled with coconut caramel sauce and toasted pecans for a decadent vegan brunch.
It’s almost Christmas! Are you ready?
I’m here to help. If you still need some help with gift ideas for your loved ones, make sure to check out my vegan gift guide. If you need some vegan cookie recipes for your holiday cookie swap, I’ve got you covered. And if still looking for that perfect Christmas recipe to serve this holiday season, make sure to check out my absolute favorite holiday recipes.
Good? Great! Now let’s turn our attention towards today’s recipe.
With Christmas just over a week away, it seems like it’s only appropriate to celebrate with something sweetly decadent. And I have just the thing! It’s a delicious, sticky, sweet, pull-apart monkey bread drenched in salted caramel sauce and covered with toasted pecans. It makes the perfect addition to your holiday brunch table and I think you’re going to love it.
What is Monkey Bread?
Monkey bread is a bread of many names. You might also know it as sticky bread, Hungarian coffee cake, pinch-me cake, and pull-apart bread. Monkey bread originated as a Hungary dessert which was brought to the United States back in the 1800s.
Monkey bread is a soft, sweet, sticky pastry. It is made with enriched yeasted dough, similar to cinnamon rolls or sticky rolls. The difference is how it’s served. The dough is rolled into small balls that are coated in butter and cinnamon sugar then baked together to create a sweet pull-apart bread. In the United States, monkey bread is often served as part of a festive breakfast or brunch but can also be served as dessert.
HOW TO MAKE MONKEY BREAD
It’s important to note that this vegan monkey bread recipe requires some time. The bread has two separate rises as well as a 40-minute bake. But good news, if you are short on time, this vegan sweet bread can be made in advance.
To make vegan monkey bread, just follow these steps:
STEP ONE – MAKE THE DOUGH
Enriched yeasted dough often sounds far more intimidating than it is. While it takes time, the process is quite simple. To start, activate the yeast in warm milk. Note: it is very important that your milk is warm but isn’t above 120F. Too hot and it will kill the yeast, making it unable to activate.
In a stand-up mixer, beat together 2 cups of flour, sugar, salt, and vegan butter. With the motor running, add the chickpea egg and the activated yeast/milk mixture.
Once the dough begins to pull away from the sides, flip it out onto a floured surface and kneed it for about 5 minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Roll the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover and place in a warm area to let rise.
WHAT IS A CHICKPEA EGG?
A chickpea egg is a vegan egg replacer made from chickpea flour and water.
Chickpea flour is high in protein, giving it serious binding powers similar to eggs and, when baked, is completely flavorless, meaning it won’t affect the taste of the bread itself (unlike some other vegan egg replacers). Additionally, it’s super simple to work with. There is no grinding, blending, whipping, or crossing your fingers that everything will come out okay.
For pastries and quick bread, chickpea flour is my go-to egg replacer.
Can I use regular flour instead of chickpea flour?
Unfortunately no. Chickpea flour is uniquely high in protein giving it binding and leavening powers that all-purpose flour simply cannot. You can find chickpea flour in most well-stocked grocery stores in the gluten-free aisle or you can pick some up online.
STEP TWO – SHAPE THE DOUGH
After about 90 minutes, the dough should have doubled in size. Punch the dough down to release the air and flip it onto a clean surface.
Now, rip off small pieces of dough, one at a time, and shape them into balls about 1″ in diameter. Dip each ball in melted butter followed by cinnamon sugar, rolling to coat completely. Place the balls in a 9″ bundt pan as you go.
Cover and let rest the dough rest for an additional 30 minutes.
STEP THREE – BAKE THE MONKEY BREAD
Pour half the salted caramel sauce on the top of the monkey bread, gently tapping it down for the sauce to reach the bottom. Bake the Monkey Bread for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and your house is deliciously fragrant.
Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before flipping it out onto a cake stand.
Tips and Tricks for perfect vegan monkey bread
Here are a few things to keep in mind when working with enriched dough:
- Activate your yeast properly. To do this, make sure your yeast is not expired and the milk is warm but not too hot. Otherwise, the yeast will not activate and you will not get a pillowy rise on the bread.
- Add flour slowly. The dough should be soft but not so sticky that you can’t handle it. This recipe calls for 4 1/2 -5 cups of flour. Add it 1/2 cup at a time until you’ve achieved the desired dough.
- Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Roll uniform balls for proper baking. Your dough balls should be between 1 and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. You will need about 40 balls to fill up the bundt pan.
- Generously spray the bundt pan to avoid the monkey bread from sticking.
- Don’t skip the 2nd rise. Let your dough rise for an additional 30 minutes for soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Can this monkey bread be made in advance?
Yes, it can!
If you want to make this sweet bread the night before, prepare the bread following the instructions below to the point of the 2nd rise. Once the bread is rolled and shaped in the bundt pan, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking.
Serving and Storing vegan monkey bread
To serve, flip the monkey bread out onto a serving platter or cake stand. Drizzle with the remaining vegan caramel sauce and top with crushed pecans. This bread is best served warm.
Tightly wrap leftover monkey bread and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Variations of Vegan Monkey Bread
Here are a few variations on monkey bread that are worth trying:
- Orange Cardamom – Add orange zest and cardamom to the caramel sauce. Top with Orange Glaze.
- Chocolate Hazelnut – Substitute warm Chocolate Ganache for caramel sauce. Top with hazelnuts.
- Chunky Monkey Bread – Top with caramelized banana and walnuts.
I think you’re going to love this Salted Caramel Monkey Bread. It’s perfect for your holiday feasts.
This Vegan Monkey Bread with Caramel Pecan Drizzle is the meal worth waking up for. It's made of enriched yeasted dough balls and drizzled with coconut caramel sauce and toasted pecans for a decadent vegan brunch.
Keyword: Vegan Monkey Bread
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 572 kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn
Generously spray a 9" bundt pan and set aside.
To make the dough, heat the soy milk over medium heat until milk is warm but not too hot to touch (about 100 degrees F). Stir in dry active yeast and set aside for 5 minutes for the yeast to activate. In a separate bowl, combine the chickpea flour with 6 tablespoons of water, whisking it together until thick and gooey. Set aside.
In the large bowl of a stand-up mixer, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and vegan butter. Using the hook attachment, mix to combine. With motor running, slowly add chickpea flour and yeast/milk mixtures, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time and beat to combine. Once the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl and is soft to the touch, the dough is done.
Transfer to a floured surface and kneed the dough for about five minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl, cover in plastic wrap, and place in a warm area of your house for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
To make the Cinnamon Sugar Coating, melt the vegan butter in a microwave. Place it in a shallow dish. In a separate dish, combine the cinnamon and sugar.
To make the caramel sauce, melt the vegan butter in a small saucepot over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, coconut milk, and salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes before removing from heat. Set aside to cool.
To shape the dough, punch it down to release the air. Flip it onto a clean surface and take small pieces of dough, one at a time, shaping them into balls about 1" in diameter. Dip the balls in the melted butter, rolling to coat, and then in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place the balls in the bundt pan as you go. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F. When you're ready to bake the bread, drizzle about half the caramel sauce over the monkey bread, tapping it down gently so that the drizzle reaches the bottom. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Remove when the top is golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before flipping onto a cake stand or plate. Drizzle the cake with the remaining caramel sauce. Sprinkle with pecans and serve.