Made with sweet and sticky spiced apple bread, this Apple Fritter Monkey Bread is the ultimate breakfast or dessert treat. You’re going to want seconds of this!
I have always been a huge pull-apart bread person and who doesn’t want something warm and delicious to pick apart with your hands. During the cold months I’m often craving the classic cinnamon and brown sugar flavor of apple pie or apple fritters. This bread is best served warm, and I’ve topped it with a decadent melted chocolate and salted caramel drizzle, so getting your hands in there and making a mess is all part of the fun!
Why You’ll Love This Apple Fritter Monkey Bread
I’ve always been a bit intimidated by bread recipes but even though this one looks (and tastes!) impressive, it actually comes together really easily, and you can have it on the table in just over two hours. I love serving this as a fun and interactive dessert at dinner parties, or you can make a batch at the beginning of the week and then reheat a slice whenever you want it in a warm pan so the edges get all caramelized and chewy – heaven!
The flavor of cinnamon and butter with apples is a tried and true favorite, but this is such a fun twist on a Christmas morning classic! It’s also perfect for Fall when apples are in season. We like to go apple picking and then make this monkey bread from our harvest.
If you’re having guests over, you know they’ll love the taste and who doesn’t enjoy pulling apart a warm, fragrant loaf of bread? This apple fritter monkey bread recipe is a real crowd-pleaser, and once you get the base recipe down-pat it’s really easy to try out different combinations with alternative fruit or spices to come up with some new, unique flavors!
Apple Fritter Ingredient Notes
This delicious Apple Fritter Yeast Bread is stuffed with roasted apples and cinnamon brown sugar and tastes just like an apple fritter.
- Granny Smith Apples: These apples are hardy enough that they won’t turn to mush in the oven, and the tangy bite will help to cut through the rich buttery layers. McIntosh or Honeycrisp can be substituted.
- Brown Sugar: If you don’t have brown sugar, you could substitute white sugar. However brown sugar brings a distinct caramelized, sticky note to the bread as the molasses in brown sugar retains more water than white sugar.
- Cinnamon: If you don’t have any cinnamon on hand, you could substitute this with nutmeg, allspice or even ginger for a more gingerbread-style loaf.
- All-Purpose Flour: You don’t want this bread to puff up too much, so make sure that your flour isn’t self-raising!
- Active, Dry Yeast: If you have instant yeast on hand, you can simply add the yeast to your dry ingredients, there’s no need to dissolve first. Make sure that your yeast is fresh! Expired or old yeast won’t rise to give your dough that soft, pillowy texture that you’re looking for.
(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.)
How to Make this Apple Fritter Bread
- Prep wet ingredients: In a small pot, gently warm the milk and butter until the butter has just melted. Then, remove from the heat and add the water and vanilla and stir to combine.
- Prep the dry ingredients: Combine the flour yeast, and sugar in the bottom of your stand mixer (or large bowl).
- Combine: Pour the milk mixture into the flour and, using the dough hook, mix together until well combined. Add the salt, cinnamon and eggs beat until the dough comes together.
- Rise: Let the dough rise in a dry/warm place for about an hour (I like to use my oven for this).
- Roll: Punch down the dough and roll it out to the size of a large rectangle on a well floured surface.
- Apple Mixture: In a medium-sized pan make the apple mixture by adding the butter, brown sugar and diced apples and cook until the apples are soft and tender.
- Assemble: Spread the surface of the dough first with the cinnamon and butter and then with the apple mixture. Cut the dough and place in a well buttered loaf pan.
- Bake: Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Drizzle: Once the bread has finished baking, feel free to top it with my salted caramel or drizzle with melted white chocolate!
Variations and substitutions
- Alternative fruits: For a peach cobbler style pull apart bread, substitute the apples for peaches or another stone fruit of your liking.
- Dairy-free: You can make this recipe dairy-free by using a plant based milk and butter of your choosing.
- Gluten-free: To achieve a similar texture for bread, it’s often recommended to use a blend of 2 or 3 different gluten free flours, or you can buy a specially blended gluten free bread flour instead.
- Add Nuts: For a nuttier version add walnuts or pecans.
How to Store & Reheat
Leftover monkey bread can be stored it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can reheat your monkey in the oven or microwave until warm.
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup milk (whole or 2%)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- Cinnamon Butter Mixture:
- 4 tbs. butter
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Apple Mixture
- 2 small granny smith apples, diced
- 1 tbs butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Combine the flour (leaving out ¾ a cup), yeast, and sugar in the bottom of your stand mixer (or large bowl)
- In a small pot, gently warm the milk and butter until the butter has just melted. Then, remove from the heat and let sit for about 2-3 minutes. Add in the water and vanilla and stir to combine.
- Pour the milk mixture into the flour and, using the dough hook, mix together until well combined.
- Add the salt, cinnamon and eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after each one.
- Add the remaining ¾ cup of flour and beat until the dough comes together.
- Remove from the mixer and place in a large, well oiled bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a dry/warm place to rise for about an hour (I like to use my oven for this).
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and roll it out to the size of a large rectangle on a well floured surface. Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a medium-sized pan make the apple mixture by adding the butter (1 tbs), brown sugar and diced apples over a medium heat and cook until the apples are soft and tender.
- Then, spread the surface of the dough first with the cinnamon and butter (mix together in a small bowl, if desired) and then with the apple mixture.
- Cut the dough into 5 strips from top to bottom. Then, cut again into thirds going from left-to-right.
- Stack the slices together and place in a well buttered 9x5 loaf pan.
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
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