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Slow Cooker Monkey Bread

Slow Cooker Monkey Bread is much easier to make than you might think! Soft, fluffy pull-apart bread covered in gooey melted sugar is always a huge hit. 

Slow Cooker Monkey Bread on a baking sheet lined with brown parchment paper and a hand taking out a piece of bread.

This slow cooker version takes just over two hours to make and no proofing of the dough is needed. That happens in the slow cooker as the bread bakes.

All you need to do is whip up the dough, portion it out, shape the portions into balls, roll the ball in melted butter and sugar, and bake in the slow cooker. Enjoy deliciously sticky monkey bread in a snap!


About slow cooker monkey bread

I first experimented with baking in the slow cooker when I made slow cooker orange sweet rolls. They came out fabulous and the process was super simple.

This has led me to try more baking in my slow cooker.

I have a tropical monkey bread here on the blog and it always gets rave reviews but the process is tedious. The dough needs to proof before baking and that can sometimes be time-consuming. But not today's recipe!

Today, introduce the easiest monkey bread I've yet to make. It's made completely from scratch but doesn't require extra time for proofing the dough.

How amazing does that sound?!

Let's go over the process for making slow cooker monkey bread.

Overhead view of raw slow cooker monkey bread dough balls in a slow cooker lined with brown parchment paper.

First, you need to make the dough. We're not using refrigerated biscuits for this bread! We are using staple ingredients to make our own dough - flour, salt, eggs, sugar, butter, milk, water, and yeast.

You most likely have these ingredients on hand.

I like to use my stand mixer when making dough from scratch. It just makes it tens times easier! If you don't have one, that okay. You'll just need to mix everything by hand and then knead the dough.

Start by proof the yeast in warm water with a little sugar. For this recipe, we are using instant yeast because the rise time is typically much shorter.

Just heat the water to about 110°F, stir in the sugar and yeast, and let it sit for five minutes. It's ready when the yeast is fully dissolved and foamy.

Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer or use a large bowl and wooden spoon for mixing. Combine two cups of the flour, salt, and the remaining sugar. Pour in the dissolved yeast, milk, butter, and eggs. Mix on low speed until combined.

Overhead view of slow cooker monkey bread in a slow cooker.

Add the remaining flour and mix on medium-low speed until a soft dough forms. You'll know when the dough is ready because it will pull away from the sides of the bowl and will no longer feel sticky to the touch.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Allowing the dough to rest so the gluten can relax will make it much easier to handle and shape.

Before we shape the dough into balls for the monkey bread, we need to melt butter for the coating. You can do this in a small saucepan over low heat or microwave it for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

In a separate bowl, combine white and brown sugar with cinnamon.

Pinch off about two tablespoon-sized portions of dough and roll them into balls. Dip the balls into the melted butter then roll them into the sugar mixture until they are evenly coated.

Arrange the dough balls in a slow cooker lined with parchment paper.

Set the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for two hours. I like to place a piece of paper towel under the lid to prevent condensation from dripping on the bread.

Slow Cooker Monkey Bread on a baking sheet lined with brown parchment paper.

The actual hands-on time for today's recipe is around twenty minutes. That's it. The slow cooker does the rest and you have time to sit and relax.

More bread recipes you'll love

  1. Ciabatta Bread
  2. Chocolate Swirl Bread with Cherries
  3. Slow Cooker Bread

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Slow Cooker Monkey Bread on a baking sheet lined with brown parchment paper and a hand taking out a piece of bread.

Slow Cooker Monkey Bread

Yield: 14 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Slow Cooker Monkey Bread is much easier to make than you might think! Soft, fluffy pull-apart bread covered in gooey melted sugar is always a huge hit. This slow cooker version takes just over two hours to make and no proofing of the dough is needed. That happens in the slow cooker as the bread bakes. All you need to do is whip up the dough, portion it out, shape the portions into balls, roll the ball in melted butter and sugar, and bake in the slow cooker. Enjoy deliciously sticky monkey bread in a snap!

Ingredients

For the bread

  • 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast, 1 packet - SEE NOTE 1
  • ¼ cup warm water, 105-115ºF
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, measured correctly - SEE NOTE 2
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups warm milk, 105 -115ºF
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the coating

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

Make the bread

  1. Line a 6-quart slow cooker with parchment paper and spray the paper lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the warm water and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Stir in the yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes, until yeast has dissolved and the mixture begins to foam.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir together 2 cups of the flour, remaining sugar, and salt. Add the yeast mixture, warm milk, butter, and eggs. Mix on low speed until combined. Add the remaining flour and beat on low speed until a soft dough forms, about 10 to 15 minutes. The dough will be ready when it no longer sticks to the sides of the mixing bowl. It should feel soft but not sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and let rest for 10 minutes.

Make the coating

  1. Meanwhile, melt the butter for the coating in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugars and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Pinch off 2 tablespoon-sized portions of dough and shape them into balls. Roll each dough ball in the melted butter then in the sugar mixture to evenly coat. Arrange the dough balls in the bottom of the prepared slow cooker. 
  3. Place a double layer of paper towel under the lid to prevent condensation and cook on high for 2 hours. Remove the bread by lifting it out with the parchment paper or invert it out onto a large serving plate.
  4. The bread is best enjoyed the same day but will keep for up to 5 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Notes

  1. Instant yeast must be used in this recipe in order for the slow cooker method to work.
  2. It's important to measure the flour correctly so the bread doesn't come out too dense. My How to Measure Four post explains this in great detail.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 14
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 339

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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Nick De Bonis

Friday 19th of February 2021

Can this be made in a round Ninja Foodi?

Jen Sobjack

Saturday 20th of February 2021

I've never used a Ninja Foodi so I'm unsure how it works. If it's a slow cooker, then it may work.

Chari

Sunday 12th of July 2020

Are there any substitutes for parchment paper? Planning to make this tomorrow morning but it’s too late to run to the store.

Jen Sobjack

Tuesday 14th of July 2020

You could try a slow cooker liner or aluminum foil. But I've found the parchment paper to work best.

Mary Cameron

Sunday 10th of May 2020

What size is your slow cooker? I have just tried to make this, but ended up with burnt greasy mess on the outside and raw greasy mess on the top and inside. Youngest child devoured the burnt greasy mess, but the rest got binned. I assume that the issue is the capacity of my slow cooker Vs the quantity of dough. So, what size is yours?

Jen Sobjack

Sunday 10th of May 2020

My slow cooker is a 6-quart oval cooker.

Tiffany O'Toole

Thursday 16th of April 2020

My monkey bread is still in my slow cooker as I write this review. I would like to say that it took me a total of two hours to measure, mix , rest, roll dough, dip in butter, roll in sugar arrange. Also in the end I had a ton of melted butter and sugar left, you could probably melt 1/2 the amount of butter and use at least 1/2 the sugar. I am left with ingredients that I don’t know if I can save and reuse.

Nadine

Tuesday 1st of October 2019

I love that you make your own dough, but don't want to do that...will this same recipe work with store bought biscuit dough? Thanks!

Jen Sobjack

Tuesday 1st of October 2019

I've never made this with store-bought biscuit dough so I'm unsure how it will turn out. It's worth a try, I guess. Let me know how it goes.

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