Gluten-Free Monkey Bread or Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Gluten-Free Monkey Bread or Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

This recipe for Gluten-Free Monkey Bread or Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread is gluten-free, yeast-free and free from the top 8 food allergens. 

No matter what you call it, you’re going to love this bread.

You may remember the “traditional” version made with canned biscuits. If you do, I’m sorry. I never liked canned biscuits, and masking them with loads of sugar, cinnamon and syrup-y glaze didn’t change that. (Sorry if you did like that concoction. If you did, you’re sure to fall head-over-monkey heels in love with this recipe!)

If you want the best Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread you’ve ever had, gluten-free or not, this is your recipe.

It’s super-simple, yeast-free, light, fluffy and full of sweet cinnamon flavor! Indulge!

I added some pictures at the end of steps along the way. ;)

Gluten-Free Monkey Bread or Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Free from: gluten, dairy/casein, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, corn, eggs and yeast.
Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 3 cups gluten-free flour (See notes at end of recipe for blend.)
  • ½ cup sugar (white granulated, light brown or coconut)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup fat, cold (dairy-free butter substitute or real butter if not dairy-free)
  • ½ cup milk PLUS ½ Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (Your favorite dairy- or dairy-free milk will work.)
  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt (dairy-free or dairy)
  • Coating:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Drizzle:
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup fat, room temperature (dairy-free butter substitute or real butter if not dairy-free)
  • ¼ cup milk (dairy-free or dairy)
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup (substitute honey, agave, or other liquid sugar of choice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a Bundt pan (or other tube pan).
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon coating ingredients; whisk to blend; set aside.
  3. Combine milk and vinegar in a small measuring cup or bowl; stir; set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend.
  5. Cut cold fat into cubes (if using stick butter or dairy-free baking sticks) OR scoop teaspoonfuls from the measured ½ cup of dairy-free spread (if your product comes in a tub). Add these small fat portions to the dry ingredients. Cut in with fork, pastry blender or your hands.
  6. Add yogurt and cut it in with a fork. (Hands = too messy.)
  7. Add milk/vinegar mixture; stir with spoon until dough is uniform. It will be sticky.
  8. Set up your work area by having the bowl with dough, a Tablespoon (measuring spoon) or small ice cream scoop, the coating mixture and your greased baking pan lined up. (This will keep the process moving along and keep the mess to a minimum.) I like to work near the sink for this so I’m able to keep the water at a trickle to run my hands under periodically. Moist hands mean no dough sticks while we work.
  9. With moistened hands, scoop dough in Tablespoon portions, roll gently into ball shape (not perfect rounds, just until smooth and formed), give each dough ball a good coating with the cinnamon sugar mixture, then place each in the prepared pan. You will make a complete circle in the bottom of the pan, then begin again with an inner, then an outer circle of coated balls of dough. No need to press the dough together.
  10. You will have leftover cinnamon/sugar coating mixture. Evenly sprinkle it over the top of the dough in the baking pan.
  11. Place the pan in your preheated oven and bake 25 minutes.
  12. While the bread bakes, whip up the drizzle by combining ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until mixture bubbles, then cook about 5 minutes. Removed from heat; set aside.
  13. When bread is baked, remove from oven, pour about ⅓ of the drizzle over the top and allow it to cool in the pan 10 minutes.
  14. After 10 minutes, invert it onto a serving plate. Pour remaining drizzle right on top and you’re ready to serve!

Thought you’d like to know…

  • I recommend Gigi’s Everyday Gluten-Free Flour Blend (Gum-Free) for this recipe. 
  • I use unsweetened coconut milk (carton).
  • This bread keeps well at room temperature up to 5 days (although it is unlikely it will last that long).
  • The bread freezes well. To freeze in single-serve portions, I recommend breaking the bread into individual portions (I’ll let you decide what that is for you, but I usually go with 3 to 4-inch sections), then wrapping each portion in wax paper. Place all the wrapped portions in a large zip top freezer bag and store up to 1 month.
Gluten-Free Monkey Bread or Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

The dough, when completely mixed, will be a bit sticky. Don’t add more flour, sticky is “just right”.

 

Gluten-Free Monkey Bread or Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

This is how the balls of dough coated with cinnamon sugar will look in the pan before baking.

 

Gluten-Free Monkey Bread or Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

After baking, the dough balls are connected, but maintain their individual definition… for pulling apart later.

 

Gluten-Free Monkey Bread or Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Pouring about 1/3 of the drizzle over the fresh-baked bread gives it a nice shiny glaze…

 

Gluten-Free Monkey Bread or Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Grab your plate! It’s time for gluten-free Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread!

 

 

 

 

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  • Gayle

    oh, this looks yummy!! I’ll have to see if I can make this for our family reunion – but will have to cook it at my sister’s house. I wish the “printable” view included the pictures and notes at the end, or at least the notes.

    • glutenfreegigi

      Gayle,

      Glad you’re going to give this a try!

      I’ll be honest with you, I do my best to accommodate as many readers’ needs as I possibly can.

      When it comes to the printable view, I’m going to ask that you please understand I create the content, develop, test and re-test the recipes (not to mention buying all the ingredients and the time that takes), and share it here with all of you free of charge. Could we please show gratitude for that?

      Thank you!

      • Gayle

        I’m sorry. I wasn’t intending to be ungrateful. I’ll refrain from posting in the future.

  • GigiC

    Cinnamon is one of my sensitivities….thinking that I might substitute cocoa powder :)

    • glutenfreegigi

      It works, and I love it with cocoa powder!! ;) xoxo

  • Nancy

    Are you concerned at all about the arsenic level recently discovered in all rice products? Some are substituting other flours, such as sorghum, for the rice flours. Are you considering that?

    • glutenfreegigi

      Hi, Nancy.

      I addressed arsenic in rice in this article: http://www.glutenfreegigi.com/yes-there-is-arsenic-in-your-rice/ some time ago.
      You may enjoy reading it.

      I always allow the science speak for itself, so no matter my opinion here.

      In regard to “Am I considering that?” I assume you mean the rice flour content of the flour blend linked here.

      First, this is not the first time you’ve seen rice flour on the site. I recently removed several blend recipes from the “Breads” section of my Recipe Index. I am replacing them with what I believe to be superior blends I have created.

      I share these, as I share all of my free content, for the benefit of anyone interested in using them.

      Using recipes or blends I share is up to you. If you do not wish to use rice products, then that blend is not for you. If you’d like to substitute something else for the rice flour, feel free. Please understand if you do, that is an experiment for you. I encourage experimenting, but want you to remember that means you may likely get different results that I describe.

      Here’s what I consider: My readers’ and their needs in terms of living the best gluten-free, allergen-free lives possible as they journey along the path to optimal health.

      I use many different blends, many without rice, and most, in fact, are actually entirely grain-free.

      But that’s not for everyone. Especially folks just beginning the gluten-free life, they want foods as close to the gluten-filled versions of what they love as possible. Everyone is in a different place. I respect them all.

      Oh, and the arsenic “discovery”, that wasn’t “recent”. We, in the science community have known this for many, many years. It seems recent to you because it took that long for the “trickle down” of info to the general public. ;)

      After my work in natural products research, well, you’d be shocked to hear some of the facts that just haven’t made their way to the masses yet. Staggering.

      Hope this answers your question.

      xoxo

      • Nancy

        Thanks so much for all the information! One more question – about your gum-free everyday GF flour blend. Is it the arrowroot flour that eliminates the need for a gum? If so, why? Sorry I’m so curious!

        • glutenfreegigi

          You’re most welcome, Nancy.

          The short answer to the question is “no” regarding arrowroot.

          There’s a lengthy answer to this one, and not time nor space here. I speak about and teach this, though, in my gluten-free living magazine (do you subscribe?), Food Solutions, and at live appearances and classes.

          Happy for your curiosity! xoxo

  • Stephanie

    Oh, thank you-thank you-thank you, Gigi!!! I’ve missed “monkey bread” so much since going gluten free! Like you, my family made it with yeast bread when I was a child. This looks just a delicious! Can’t wait to try it :)

    • glutenfreegigi

      Stephanie, wonderful news, love!! I am so happy you’ll have a favorite treat back on the menu! Please make it, enjoy the heck out of it, then race back here to let me know how happy your tummy is!!! xoxo

  • glutenfreegigi

    Ruth,

    It is truly all I am able to do to create all the free content, recipes and more that you are able to enjoy here.

    I do not feel spending my time calculating nutritional info is an efficient way to operate.

    My focus must be, as I am sure you will understand and agree, helping my readers live the best gluten-free lives possible. Counting calories is not at the top of that list. (In fact, I steer folks away from doing so, but that’s a different conversation.)

    If you need nutritionals, you can calculate them for yourself using the product labels and doing some basic math. It’s not difficult at all.

    Of course, any recipe for a sweet treat is going to have high calories and be less nutrient dense (at least the “traditional” baked items).

    I have a great mix of more traditional and very healthy sweets on the site. You may want to lean more to the healthier recipes if your weight/calories/etc. are a concern.

    Thank you for understanding!

    xo

  • Ninichick

    Thank you, Gigi. I do understand how time-consuming getting the nutritional values might be. I guess I hoped you might have a little helper in your kitchen who might be able to assist you. But, you are right, even though calories are a weight concern for me I should be concentrating more on the veggies and protein I consume where calories don’t matter. However, this recipe was so tempting! Perhaps I will make it anyway to apease my sweet tooth and give the rest away. Thank you for all your recipes…..I have made quite a few. I don’t have celiac desease but I want to be healthier so I have dropped the wheat, dairy (except for a little bit of cheese), corn, soy, peanuts, sugar/artificial sweeteners. All the subsititutes are marvellous and I love baking my own bread every week. Thanks again. Cheers, Ruth

  • Di

    For the yogurt can I use a greek style or does it need to be a stirred yogurt?

    • glutenfreegigi

      Di,

      I believe so.

      Note, I used So Delicious brand coconut milk yogurt in original flavor. It is a thinner product than Greek yogurt; however, I think there is minimal risk in this rather minor alteration.

      If you do, I’d love it if you’d return here to let everyone know your results. :)

      xoxo

  • quilty

    Thank you! That sounds wonderful–really have missed sweet rolls.

  • Holly F.

    Thank you for this recipe! My kids and I had a tradition to make cinnamon rolls twice a year and we haven’t done it since I had to go gluten fee two years ago. I appreciate this so much!

    • glutenfreegigi

      Absolutely, Holly! My pleasure…it’s a great tradition and I am honored you’re considering my recipe as part of it! xo

  • Hiedi T

    Thank you for sharing! Looking at this recipe…I am thinking you could do the same with your general recipe for the biscuit part of it as you could with the can of biscuits themselves! I have been looking to find something to substitute for quite a few different things in their recipes. I am thinking I might just have to try this in more than just the “Monkey Bread”. :)

    • glutenfreegigi

      Hiedi, Of course! In fact, I’ve already done it. ;) One such recipe is shared here –> Pizza Pull Apart Bread – http://www.glutenfreegigi.com/gluten-free-pizza-pull-apart-bread/ I’ve made dozens of different sweet and savory versions – there are some cases where ingredients must be tweaked, but for the most part, it’s simple! :) Have fun!!

  • Karen

    This looks beautiful and I want a piece right now”

    • glutenfreegigi

      Oh, thank you so much, Karen! :)

  • mindy

    What kind of dairy free yogurt do you use please?

    • glutenfreegigi

      Mindy, any dairy-free yogurt you like will work here. There are several types – coconut milk based, soy based, almond or other nut milk based. Pick one that works with your special dietary needs.
      Happy baking! :)

  • Amy McIntosh

    The Gluten free flour blend that I have on hand at the moment has gum. Will this affect the recipe? Should I not use it?

    • glutenfreegigi

      Hi, Amy.

      The blend with gum will affect the final result; however it shouldn’t “destroy” it and make it inedible.

      I did not test this recipe with a gum-based blend, as I try to avoid gums whenever possible for several reasons.

      The texture is likely what will suffer; however, for those used to eating foods made with gums added, you may not notice, you may even like it. For me, personally, gum ruins the texture of most baked goods. But, since we’re all different, if I were feeling like a mini-experiment in the kitchen, I’d give it a shot and just see the outcome.

      That said, please note, if your bread is gummy, doesn’t seem to bake all the way through regardless of how long you bake it, or seems “doughy”, that is the gum in the blend.

      I hope this helps!

      xo

      • Amy McIntosh

        Wow! You are amazing! Can I just come and hunker down in your kitchen for a couple months so you can teach me the ways of the force? Again, thank you for your excellent explanation. I think now I know why my coffee cake I tried to adapt took twice as long to bake and still tasted chewy. Does mix without gum make better biscuits also. Hmmm, I must search your website!

        • glutenfreegigi

          Aww, Amy, I sure do wish you could hunker down with me and we’d bake ourselves silly! :) Wouldn’t that be a hoot?? For now, though, we can co-bake from afar! Love the exchange of ideas, so don’t be a stranger.

          Oh, honey… biscuits, well, let me just say, I make the very best tender flaky gf biscuits and no gum at all! The recipe isn’t on the site, though. Most bread recipes (yeast breads, soft white sandwich bread, biscuits, etc.) are published in my gf living magazine, Food Solutions. ;) xo

          But lots of great recipes on the site, too!! Check ‘em out!

          • Amy McIntosh

            I am a pushover! Just bought the subscription. Where can I find that delicious recipe for biscuits.

          • glutenfreegigi

            Ah, thanks so much, Amy, dear! xo

            Now, you are ready to access the Dec. issue, which is live on the site now – go to “Get the Magazine!”, scroll over, click “Latest Issue” and you’ll be on the download page. Just click the latest issue link to download your Dec. issue.

            For biscuit recipe – I’ve published several but the latest, best version is in the Nov. issue of the magazine. BUT, just because you’re such an awesome gal and being so great to interact here on the site, and it’s the holidays and what-not, please go to the Contact Gigi! form here on the site and send me a note that you want the biscuit recipe and I’ll see that you get it. :)

            Also, if you email my customer service, they will send you a 4 recipe eBook free just for subscribing during the holidays! :)

            Thanks!!

            xo

          • Amy McIntosh

            I sent you a note 5 days ago and still haven’t received the awesome biscuit recipe. Was looking forward to trying it out this weekend.

          • glutenfreegigi

            Amy, please check your email. I sent you a very nice note and the recipe – complimentary – 5 days ago, on Dec. 14 at 11PM EST. Perhaps it is in your spam folder??

            Thank you, and in the future, please do use the contact form, as this is not really appropriate for the comments section here on the site.

  • Sarah

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been gluten free since the beginning of the year, and its been a tradition my whole life to make monkey bread on Christmas morning, and I was dreading having to skip out on it this year. I’ll be eagerly waiting to try this recipe in a few days. I couldn’t have come across this at a more perfect time, with Christmas next week. Thanks again!

    • glutenfreegigi

      Sarah,

      So happy to hear you found your new Christmas morning recipe for pull apart bread!! This makes my day, and I hope you love the recipe.

      Happy Holidays to you and your family!

      xo

  • Karen Michelle

    So excited to go shopping tomorrow so I can try this recipe!!! Looks so yummy!!! 2 questions… does it need a bundt pan or can a pie/square pan work as I don’t have a gf bundt pan (if yes will add to my list)… and next question is ever try this with chocolate chips??? I think they make everything better… would I mix it with the cinnamon and sugar between the balls or in the ball dough? Looking for done suggestion on a little tweak!!! Thanks for all the yummy recipes!!! I made the Apple crisp last week and was a big success!!!

    • glutenfreegigi

      Hi, Karen.

      You can make the bread in any type pan you like. If you take a look at my Pizza Pull Apart Bread recipe here on the site (under Breads category), you’ll see I make it in an 8×8-in. square dish.

      As for chocolate chips, add them if you love ‘em! ;)

      Either way, in dough or around it, you should be fine. It really depends on what you like.

      I’m glad the apple crisp worked well for you!

      Happy Holidays!
      xo

  • glutenfreegigi

    Tracey,

    I would never, ever “par-bake” anything like this, so for me, that is out. Also, freezing? I’m thinking no – just making the night before, I’m not sure why you’d want to freeze them.
    I’ve not prepped the night before, then baked the next morning, but if I did, I’d just get everything ready and in a non-metalic dish (in other words, do not use a bundt or tube pan of metal – use something like an 8×8-inch square baking dish with deep sides) and refrigerate overnight, then remove from oven 30 min. prior to baking to bring up to room temp, then bake as directed.
    Of course, no guarantees, as I’ve not tried this with this recipe.
    Great question, let me know if you try and how they turn out!
    xo

  • Melissa

    My daughter is gluten free, loves cinnamon, and often feels left out when she can’t eat baked goods. Can’t wait to make these with her!

    • glutenfreegigi

      Oh, Melissa, she will LOVE it!! Glad you found the recipe!

      Merry, merry…

      xo

  • Rachel Dettinger

    What about using pamela’s pancake and baking mix as the flour blend? Would that work?

    • glutenfreegigi

      Rachel,

      No, that mix would not make a good substitute. It contains xanthan gum, which will cause the recipe to be gummy and seem like it is undercooked. Those products also contain many allergens and preservatives, and also the almond meal is an issue when subbing.

      I really recommend the Everyday GF Flour Blend, as that is what the recipe was developed with.

      Thanks for asking!
      xo

  • Margaret

    This looks wonderful!! I have missed bread items like this!! I am so grateful to you for making this recipe gluten free!!! Many, many thanks!!!

    • glutenfreegigi

      Oh, Margaret, that is so sweet of you! I hope you enjoy the recipe! Merry Christmas! xo

  • glutenfreegigi

    Tracey,

    Definitely give it another try (I mean, who doesn’t want to eat more of this delicious bread??) but sounds like your turned out really nice!

    Merry Christmas to you, too!
    xo

  • glutenfreegigi

    Amy, I hope your bread turned out great and made Christmas morning extra-special for you and family!

    It is an excellent recipe for holidays (or any day!) ;)

    Smart pre-prep!!

    xo