Monkey Muffins

Or monkey puzzle bread muffins.  Or individual pieces of heaven.  Or pull-apart cinnamon sugar muffins.  Nah, that last one is too literal, too Pinterest style.  Monkey Muffins it is.  Honestly, I have no idea why it's called monkey bread in the first place.  There is no banana involved, and as far as I know a monkey didn't invent the recipe.  Maybe people act like monkeys when they eat it?  Also sometimes called bubble bread, African coffee cake, Hungarian coffee cake, sticky bread, pinch-me bread, Pluck-Its, or even monkey brains.  Because that last one sounds SO appetizing.  A quick Google search has brought me to the conclusion that many people are also confused as to why it's called Monkey Bread, but might be so named because the bread resembles monkeys in a barrel (but does it?), monkeys like to pick at things, or it resembles the bark of the monkey puzzle tree.  I guess we shall remain shrouded in mystery, or shrouded in a barrel...of...monkeys. ahem.

On to the recipe!

Monkey Muffins

Makes 12 muffins



  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp oil ( 5 Tbsp total)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk


Make the Muffins

Oven 350 Fahrenheit

Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with liners (preferably grease-proof.) 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1 Tbsp sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add both milks and oil to flour mixture.  Stir with a fork until just combined.  Over mixing = dense muffins. 

Place 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl or container with lid.  Scoop out roughly one tsp of dough (you can use a teaspoon or just eye it), gently roll between your palms to create a small ball and plop in the sugar.  Repeat until you have an even layer of balls in the sugar.  Place on lid and gently shake to coat with sugar, or just shake the bowl until covered.  Place sugar-coated balls in muffin pan, six in each cup.  Repeat scooping, rolling, and coating process with remaining dough.

In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Divide and pour over each muffin evenly.  Place muffin pan on a baking sheet and bake for 17-19 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown and no longer look doughy. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 15 minutes before removing from pan so they don't fall apart.  Run a knife around the edge of each muffin to loosen.

Make the Glaze

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together powdered sugar and milk.  Using the whisk, a spoon, or spatula, lightly drizzle each muffin with glaze. 

Jenny's Notes:

*If you don't have buttermilk, which I frequently don't, sour milk can be substituted.  For every 1 cup milk add 1 Tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.  Stir and let sit for a minute before using.  Regular milk, coconut milk, or almond milk all work. 

Adapted from Cooking Classy