Apple fritter monkey bread is an easy, yet impressive, pull-apart bread made with caramelized apples, a sweet and sticky cinnamon sugar filling and topped off with a vanilla bean glaze. Using store-bought frozen dinner rolls will make this monkey bread a breeze to make.
I’m a huge apple fritter fan. It’s always my first choice of doughnut. I love the cinnamon, apples and the pillowy dough and don’t forget about the glaze. This apple fritter monkey bread is basically an apple fritter, except it’s not deep fried. Instead, it’s in pull-apart form, made with frozen dinner rolls and baked in the oven. The doughnut version is excellent, but this cheater homemade version is, dare I say, even better?
Lets Talk Ingredients
- Frozen Dinner Rolls: These are the star of the show. Making monkey bread with frozen bread dough is a game changer. I know lots of people use canned biscuits, but I prefer the frozen dinner rolls. Most grocery stores carry frozen dinner rolls in a bag near the pie crusts and puff pastry. They come in perfect little balls of dough, and all you have to do is set them out to thaw for about 2 hrs.
- Apples: When it comes to sweet desserts, I always reach for Granny Smith Apples. Their firm texture holds up great in a baked dessert like this, and won’t get mushy. Perhaps more importantly, the tartness adds balance to the sweetness.
- Brown Sugar: I prefer brown sugar in my monkey bread recipe because I like the deeper flavour it produces. I adapted this recipe from one my mother-in-law makes, and hers calls for butterscotch pudding. Butterscotch is basically just caramel made with brown sugar, so instead of using granulated sugar, I used brown sugar to imitate the butterscotch flavour she achieves from using pudding.
How to Make Apple Fritter Monkey Bread
Let the frozen dinner rolls sit out and thaw for about 2 hours. Then, cut them into four equal pieces.
While the dinner rolls are thawing, prepare your apples. Peel, core and chop the Granny Smith apples into small pieces. Toss them with lemon juice, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sauté in butter for 5-6 minutes. You want the apples to be fork tender.
Grease a bundt pan very well with cooking spray and set aside. It’s important to grease the pan really well to ensure nothing sticks when you go to invert the baked monkey bread to transfer to a serving platter.
Toss the thawed and cut dinner rolls in some butter, then in a cinnamon sugar mixture. Add a small layer of cooked apples to the bundt pan, followed by a layer of cinnamon sugar coated dinner rolls. Repeat until you’ve used all the rolls and apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top layer may start to brown too quickly, so check halfway through baking, and cover with foil to prevent burning.
Once the monkey bread is done baking, invert it onto a serving platter immediately, and allow to cool for a few minutes before topping with a vanilla bean glaze. Apple Fritter Monkey Bread is best served warm and fresh.
Tips for Making Apple Fritter Monkey Bread
- Grease the bundt pan very well. I use a cooking spray and heavily coat it from all angles. This will make sure the monkey bread releases from the pan effortlessly. Even if your bundt pan is non-stick like mine, still grease it well.
- Make sure the serving platter you use to serve the monkey bread has a rimmed or raised edge. Once baked, the butter and sugar will have created a hot and sticky sauce, and it’s best to have it contained to the serving vessel. I like to use a cake stand with a lip or raised edge.
- To make this recipe ahead of time, prep everything the night before. The only difference, is that you’re not going to thaw the rolls. Prepare the recipe using frozen rolls instead, and cover and keep in the fridge overnight and bake in the morning. My mother in law does this every Christmas, and she doesn’t even cut the frozen rolls into quarters, instead she uses them in their whole form, making the pull apart pieces bigger, but still delicious. If you go this route, you may not need the full 18 rolls to fill the pan and only fill about 3/4 of the way, as the rolls will rise a bit while thawing and rise even more while baking.
- If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge in an airtight container. Warm in the microwave before serving again.
Looking for more dessert ideas?
- Streuseled Zucchini Bundt Cake
- Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares
- Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls
- Cinnamon Buns with Maple Coffee Glaze
- 3 Granny Smith Apples peeled, cored and chopped
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 18 frozen dinner rolls
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp milk or water
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla bean paste
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the frozen dinner rolls on the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel, and thaw for 1-2 hours.
- In a medium bowl, toss the apples with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and stir until well combined.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add in the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are fork tender, about 5-6 minutes.
- Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF
- Grease a bundt plan very well and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
- In a separate small bowl, melt the butter.
- Cut each thawed dinner roll into four equal pieces.
- Dip the dinner roll pieces into the melted butter, then toss to coat in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Repeat this until all the dinner roll pieces are coated.
- Add a small layer of cooked apples to the bottom of the bundt pan. Then add a layer of dinner rolls. Keep alternating between apples and dinner rolls. If you have any leftover butter, pour it over the top of the rolls.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cover with foil halfway through if the top is getting too brown.
- Remove from the oven, and immediately invert onto a large serving plate. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Vanilla Bean Glaze
- In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, water/milk and vanilla bean paste. Pour the glaze over the slightly cooled monkey bread.
- Best if served immediately and warm.
Nutritional calculation was provided by WP Recipe Maker and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator