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Surprise Monkey Bread Recipe

Surprise Monkey Bread Recipe

When my neighbor hosts brunch, she always asks that I make this treat. I also make a savory version with garlic and cheese for dinner. —Lois Rutherford, Elkton, Florida
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 40 min. YIELD:12 servings


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 tubes (12 ounces each) refrigerated flaky buttermilk biscuits
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 20 cubes
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts


  • 1. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat brown sugar and butter on high for 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved; set aside.
  • 2. Flatten each biscuit into a 3-in. circle. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon in the center of each biscuit. Top with a cream cheese cube. Fold dough over filling; pinch edges to seal tightly.
  • 3. Sprinkle 1/2 cup walnuts into a 10-in. fluted tube pan coated with cooking spray. Layer with half of the biscuits, cinnamon-sugar and butter mixture and 1/2 cup walnuts. Repeat layers.
  • 4. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1 loaf (12 servings).

Recipe Note

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Halve the amount of cream cheese and add 1 teaspoon of your favorite jam to each biscuit for a fun, brunchworthy take on Danish.
  • No fluted tube pan? No problem! This works in a 13x9 pan as well.
  • Nutritional Facts

    1 slice: 467 calories, 24g fat (10g saturated fat), 41mg cholesterol, 625mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 1g fiber), 10g protein.

    Reviews for Surprise Monkey Bread

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    Luvs2Cook14 User ID: 7798403 219361
    Reviewed Jan. 31, 2015

    "My whole family loved this bread. It was so hard to walk away from it!"

    IslandWife User ID: 6007790 173774
    Reviewed Nov. 11, 2014

    "My hubby and daughter both said these were delicious! I made homemade biscuits, but otherwise made as directed. Thanks for sharing!"

    hamhock32 User ID: 7001222 158069
    Reviewed Oct. 24, 2014

    "Everybody loved this one. Want it again soon!"

    marciekaygreen User ID: 1044566 176756
    Reviewed Aug. 19, 2014

    "I have been making this for ages. Came from one of Paula Deen's cookbooks and was called Gorilla bread (according to Paula it kicks monkey bread's butt.)"

    reremcf User ID: 6555358 88084
    Reviewed Mar. 13, 2014

    "Absolutely LOVE this bread - for breakfast, as dessert - anytime! It is scrumptious!"

    pajamaangel User ID: 1603339 111994
    Reviewed Nov. 30, 2013

    "Sinfully delicous!"

    JeanGeair User ID: 405815 156712
    Reviewed Dec. 7, 2011

    "I made this for my husband coffee group. The men didn't leave me a crumb. One of the guys said this is the best recipe yet. I always made them "monkey bread""

    norgrl User ID: 1667789 104352
    Reviewed Oct. 16, 2011

    "Made this for a family brunch, and everyone all 25 family members loved it."

    smerkner User ID: 4457058 103523
    Reviewed Apr. 25, 2011

    "Delicious and easy! I made this Saturday night and refrigerated it overnight until I baked it Sunday morning, and it turned out great. But remember (as I did NOT) that if your cake pan has a dark interior finish, set your oven 25 degrees cooler."

    Lindsey&Milo User ID: 5827576 158068
    Reviewed Mar. 29, 2011

    "My friend and I made this tiday and it was sooo good. The only thing we didn't put in it was the walnuts. Very easy to make."

    Bklynlady101 User ID: 5096564 160783
    Reviewed Mar. 10, 2011

    "This is usually called Gorilla bread which I made many times with the added sugar and vanilla in the cream cheese. I've also made it in a round and rectagular pans, you just have to ajdust the time."

    fishcam1 User ID: 5241274 176495
    Reviewed Mar. 7, 2011

    "I made this for work and they loved it. It is a great dunking cake.I don't think you need 1/2 cup sugar with the cinnamon I would use 1/8cup"

    dogluvrrr User ID: 5857180 103509
    Reviewed Mar. 4, 2011

    "My sister & I used to make a similar recipe from Home-ec class many years ago & it is yummy! I had forgotten all about it til running across this! My old recipe didn't have cream cheese in it but am DEFINATELY going to try this! Never thought about a savory twist on it-I think I'll try using 1 of the flavored cream cheeses like garden vegetable or chive & onion for the savory type. Running to add to shopping list before I get sidetracked!! :)"

    puregolf User ID: 5022361 172748
    Reviewed Feb. 19, 2011

    "Tried this out for Superbowl Sunday as the start of the Feast, it was gone in moments! Very, Very Good, Very quick & easy!"

    newgrandma User ID: 1077052 172742
    Reviewed Feb. 16, 2011

    "I didn't have much time, so I made it in a 9x 13 pan and it had to bake about 30 minutes. It was very good the first day, but after that it looses taste."

    _Dodycooks User ID: 1645782 87906
    Reviewed Feb. 12, 2011

    "This was such a treat for this Valentine's Day weekend. The only thing I did differently was added a couple tsp of powedered sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla to the cream cheese for a more cheesecake taste. I loved how this was like a donut/cinnamon roll/stuffed french toast. Being really really sweet ,I think next time I may lesson the yummy buttery brown sugar glaze. This is a winner!"

    danamcclaflin User ID: 5639948 104351
    Reviewed Feb. 1, 2011

    "Brought this to work to share and it was a hit. I made a couple of changes. I dredged each biscuit in cinnamon and sugar after flattening them and then added 2 Tbls of sugar to the cream cheese and put a dollop in each biscuit."

    everlasting01 User ID: 2205967 140802
    Reviewed Jan. 30, 2011

    "I really enjoyed this recipe and would like the recipe for the garlic and cheese version please."

    cowanjudy User ID: 5610422 86203
    Reviewed Jan. 27, 2011

    "This recipe is so simple to make and really good. I won't use the cream cheese in the future because it doesn't match the sweetness. I will use a small pat of butter instead. My family really like this and it will be added to our "Favorite Recipes" file."

    pamdavis2 User ID: 3593815 172741
    Reviewed Jan. 27, 2011

    "I forgot to mention that this was in the December 2010 issue of Alabama Living"

    pamdavis2 User ID: 3593815 103507
    Reviewed Jan. 27, 2011

    "I just found this recipe in our Alabama Living Electric Co-op Newsletter. It was called Christmas Morning Monkey bread. I tried it like the recipe calls for the first time and everyone loved it. When I made it for Christmas breakfast I cut the creamcheese into smaller cubes and used 4 cans of biscuits and cut each biscuit into fourths. Everyone still loved it. I like the smaller cubes of cream cheese better. I wil try it with a savory garlic and cheese for a dinner bread like suggested. This is a recipe that my 17 year old daughter wants when she moves out on her own when she is old enough to start her own recipe collection."

    Ferris123 User ID: 5782117 86138
    Reviewed Jan. 27, 2011

    "easy and Delicious!"

    fe-eagle213 User ID: 5525917 111993
    Reviewed Jan. 26, 2011

    "This recipe is a Pillsbury Recipe. I too make it and add nuts, raisins or dried fruit."

    judybwest User ID: 431478 104345
    Reviewed Jan. 26, 2011

    "I have made this recipe for my family and they loved it..I used fat free items and splendia and even used the brown sugar splendia when I put this together and it tasted great!"

    dbkopp User ID: 3628299 172506
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2011

    "I make this in a 9x13 all the time bake 350 for 20 minutes and invert to a foil lined jellyroll pan, easy clean up and turns out great!"

    Mary7777 User ID: 4293292 140801
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2011

    "raised dough is better for this type of recipe"

    sharonflick User ID: 570052 100385
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2011

    "It is great"

    dsicard User ID: 1455080 172503
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2011

    "My family prefers without the creamcheese; this has been a family staple for our Christmas traditional family breakfast for over 25 years. I love making this for my family & they want to start pulling apart within minutes after it comes out of the oven!"

    SueFla User ID: 2076413 158066
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2011

    "Thanx Brenda! It sounds wonderful and will be fun to try........ :-)"

    Brenda D User ID: 1438504 103506
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2011

    "This is a great recipe and my family asks for it often. I also make it with garlic, some herbs and shredded cheddar cheese. I mix the garlic and herbs with the melted butter and sprinkle the cheddar between layers and over the top."

    bellmary User ID: 5101220 156711
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2011

    "I would like to make this bread, but do not have a tube pan, and really don't want to buy one for one recipe. Can I just use a flat pan? Would that change cooking times? Thanks for any advice."

    SueFla User ID: 2076413 87905
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2011

    "This is Paula Deen's recipe for "Gorilla bread" and it is a real family-pleaser, to be sure! Cheese & garlic for dinnertime, hmmm? Sounds like a good idea. Do you " replace the cream cheese with a cheddar-type cheese?"

    rclark1964 User ID: 2710083 172496
    Reviewed Dec. 25, 2010

    "Just found this recipe this Holiday season. Made it once and my family is already asking for it again. It is delicious!"

    firethistle User ID: 3850833 111992
    Reviewed Jun. 4, 2009

    "This was very yummy. It needed a little more time in the oven and I would suggest at least 50-55 minutes so it's not too gooey in the middle. I will so make this one again. ☺"

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