This is the easiest type of cinnamon bun you will ever make. You simply stir the dough together in a bowl, let it rise, place it in the skillet, let it rise again, then bake it in the oven. And the recipe is a sensory overload—the soft feel of the dough in your hands, the cinnamon-sugar aroma that transforms your house into a french bakery, and the crispy-tender texture which is truly magical: watch how quickly they disappear before your very eyes!
Cinnamon-Sugar Monkey Bread [Vegan]
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup for dusting the counter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast (see note)
- 1 cup lukewarm water (see note)
- Softened vegan butter, for greasing the pan
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted vegan butter, melted
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons non-dairy milk of any kind, plus more if needed
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, and instant yeast. Add the lukewarm water and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together into one sticky ball. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, 60-90 minutes. As a tip, set the oven to 400°F for one minute, then shut it off. The oven should be warm, but not hot. Place the covered bowl in the oven on the middle rack, close the door, and let the dough rise.
- While the dough is rising, use some softened butter to very generously grease an 8-9 inch oven-safe skillet or cake pan, and set aside. Place 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl, add the cinnamon, and stir well to combine. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the mixture and sprinkle over the bottom of the buttered skillet. Set the remainder aside for now. Scatter 1/4 cup of flour onto a clean counter.
- Once the dough has risen, remove it from the oven and set the oven to 375°F. Use two forks to pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl toward the center, deflating the ball. Use the forks — or your hands if the dough is too soft — to transfer it to the floured countertop. Dusting the dough generously with flour to prevent sticking, nudge and shape it into one round mass, then use a bench scraper or knife to cut the dough into 12 similarly-sized pieces. Gather each piece into a rough ball, and arrange them in the greased skillet in a single layer. Let them rise on the countertop uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Brush the tops evenly with the melted butter, then pour over the remainder. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly on top, then place in the oven and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
- While the bread is baking, make the glaze: combine the powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl, and whisk to combine. If needed to reach a pourable consistency, add more milk a few drops at a time. Once the bread is done, let it cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle the glaze over the top, serve immediately, and enjoy! Alternatively, after it cools for 5 minutes, you can invert the bread onto a plate, then invert it again onto a serving plate, before drizzling it with glaze.
Instant yeast is available in the baking aisle and online. It is sometimes labeled as “bread machine yeast” and requires no proofing, so it can be mixed directly into the flour. If using active dry yeast, it needs to be proofed first: mix the teaspoon of sugar into the measuring cup with the lukewarm water (see below) until dissolved. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Let it sit for 7 to 10 minutes, until foamy on top. Then pour the whole mixture into the bowl with the flour and salt, and proceed with the recipe as written. To make lukewarm water for proofing yeast, combine 3 parts cold water to 1 part boiling water, and voila: perfectly warm. So in this recipe, that would be 3/4 cup of cold water plus 1/4 cup of boiling water.