This is such an easy and beautiful holiday recipe. This cranberry raisin monkey bread is a soft, sweet breakfast pastry that can be served as a dessert.
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First, you will need a BUNDT PAN.
The Best Holiday Dessert – Cranberry Raisin Monkey Bread
The fresh cranberries and homemade cranberry sauce set this dessert apart from the rest. It looks stunning on your table. But the best part is how incredibly easy it is to make. It looks intricate and time-consuming, but it’s not.
What is Cranberry Raisin Monkey Bread?
Monkey Bread is a pastry made by forming small balls of yeast dough and sprinkling them with cinnamon and sugar before adding in a glaze and baking it all together. Monkey Bread got its name from the treat being a finger food, the bread pieces get picked apart by the consumer, much like a monkey would pick apart its food.
Other names for Monkey Bread also include:
- bubble bread
- pull-apart bread
- pluck it cake
- monkey brains
Can you use fresh cranberries?
Yes! Fresh cranberries are called for in the recipe for cranberry sauce, but garnishing the Monkey Bread with fresh cranberries is a wonderful touch to the recipe.
Can you freeze Monkey Bread?
While room temperature storage is your best bet for saving Monkey Bread for later, it can also be frozen and reheated.
To make this Cranberry Monkey Bread recipe ahead of time, simply prepare it as the recipe explains and tightly wrap it in plastic before storing it in your freezer for up to three months.
When it comes time to eat this delicious dessert, simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight and warm it up at about 170 degrees Fahrenheit before serving. If you save the cranberry sauce until serving, the Monkey Bread can be thawed on the counter instead of the refrigerator as well.
Other Ways to Use Homemade Cranberry Sauce
After making the Cranberry Monkey Bread, you may find yourself wondering how to use the leftover cranberry sauce. Lucky for you, there are thousands of recipes for homemade cranberry sauce. Some of my favorite ways to use cranberry sauce include:
- Topping for pancakes, waffles, or french toast
- Mixed with vanilla yogurt and granola for a quick, on the go breakfast
- Cranberry sauce in meatballs, instead of grape jelly
- Glaze for grilled meats like chicken breasts, pork tenderloins, or pork chops
- Dipping sauce for jalapeno poppers, you can even give the sauce a little heat by adding in cayenne pepper
- Topping for cheesecake, pound cake, or angel food cake
How to Store Monkey Bread
If you intend to devour the Monkey Bread within a couple of days, it can be stored on the counter in a plastic bag to maintain moisture in the bread. If it will be longer than three days before the bread is served, I recommend storing it in the freezer, tightly wrapped in plastic.
Although freezing is a better option, it can also be stored in the fridge if absolutely necessary. You may need to breakdown the size of the Monkey Bread into smaller pieces when storing in a plastic bag or freezing with plastic wrap.
How long will monkey bread last?
Monkey Bread will last about two days if stored in a room temperature setting. If frozen, it can be saved for up to three months. When stored in the refrigerator, Monkey Bread will last about a week. However, fridge storage is not the best option due to the cinnamon and sugar crystallizing and hardening of the bread when kept between 36 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
What type of canned biscuits are best? Can you use crescent roll dough instead?
Pillsbury GRAND Homestyle biscuits are the most commonly used. Crescent roll dough can also be used if the grocery store is all sold out for the holidays. It will just take a bit more time and maneuvering to form them into balls.
When to Serve Monkey Bread
Monkey Bread is commonly served as a dessert, but it can also be served as a breakfast pastry. It is so easy to break up those leftovers from dessert and present them on a plate with scrambled eggs and bacon!
Monkey Bread can also be served at brunch. It is likely to be a hit at a brunch themed baby shower or engagement party.
How to Make Monkey Bread – Step-By-Step Pictures
I appreciate step-by-step pictures. It reassures me that I’m doing it correctly. Here are my pictures. If you want the complete recipe, it’s in a printable card at the bottom of the post.
1. Cut the dough and roll into balls
The first step will be forming small balls out of the biscuit dough. Here’s what mine looked like.
#2 Roll the Balls of Dough in Sugar
Next, roll each ball in the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
#3 Fill a Bundt Pan with the Dough Balls
Start with a single layer of biscuit dough and begin filling up the bundt pan, like this.
#4 Top Each Layer with Cranberry Sauce and Raisins
As you finish the first layer, spread some of the cranberry sauce and raisins on top. Do this for each layer that you create.
This is how the first layer should look with the cranberry sauce and raisins.
#5 Pour Melted Butter and Sugar on Top
After you have all the layers in the pan, melt some butter and stir sugar into it. Then pour this lovely mixture on top of all of it.
#6 Bake It
That’s it! Now you are ready to bake your monkey bread. Yum!
Cranberry Sauce Recipe
You are going to love this cranberry sauce recipe.
- ¾ cup of orange juice, pulp-free
- ¼ cup of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 12oz package of fresh cranberries, rinsed and stems removed
- In a large pan, bring water, orange juice, and sugar to a boil.
- Add in cranberries and cinnamon, continue to boil for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once cranberries have all opened, remove from heat and chill covered for three hours. (Sauce will thicken.)
Cranberry Pillsbury Monkey Bread Recipe
Here’s the complete recipe in a printable card. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it for you.
Pillsbury Cranberry Raisin Monkey Bread
- Bundt Pan
- 2 cans biscuit dough
- 1/8 cup cinnamon
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon.
- Take the dough and separate them. Take each disk, and cut it in half or quarters. Roll the cut dough into balls.
- Gently add a few balls into the sugar mixture, gently rolling in mixture to coat thoroughly. Tap off excess sugar.
- To a lightly greased (use cooking spray) flute baking pan add in a layer of coated sugar balls.
- Add a quarter cup of cranberry sauce, spreading it around. Add in 1/8 cup of raisins, spreading it around too.
- Continue with another layer.
- With the remaining sugar mixture, add butter. Mix together. Pour sauce over the dough.
- Bake 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.
More Holiday Recipes
The holidays are all about eating amazing food with family and friends. Here are some more holiday recipes you should make as well.