About the Monkey Bread or Rule Breaking 101

My mother-in-law has a wonderful Christmas tradition. Yes, you read that right. Christmas tradition.

I know it's only June, but there's a story here which applies.

She makes the most fantastic Monkey Bread.

Monkey Bread, for the uninformed, is a beautiful thing. Simply put, it's pieces of biscuit dough dipped in sugar and cinnamon and "glued" together to create a lovely baked, caramel bread ring. Seriously. It's a beautiful thing.

So, back to the Christmas tradition thing and how it applies today...

Eric's mom and Lucy usually make the coveted Monkey Bread the day before Christmas. It's their tradition. Grandma has taught Lucy how to make it, which, I just have to tell you, I absolutely love. I love that they do this together every year. I love that it's a family tradition being passed down through the generations. I love that they share this ritual.The rule is that Lucy and Grandma make the Monkey Bread every Christmas. End of story.

Monkey Bread is, seriously, Twelve Kinds of Awesome.

For Mother's Day this year, the kids offered to make me the breakfast of my choice.

"I wish there was Monkey Bread," I said wistfully. Because, as we all know, Monkey Bread can only be made at Christmastime and here it was only May. *sigh*

You know how, when you're a parent, you say things over and over and wonder if your kids are even listening? I think that one of the most satisfying parental moments are when my kids quote me back to myself.

"Mom, you know, there are no rules." (Let me be crystal clear: I absolutely believe in rules. But I also believe that in order to break the rules, you have to first know how to apply the rules. I usually say "there are no rules" when referring to holiday traditions and expected cultural norms, but that's not important right now.)

Picture the light bulb above my head turning on as the realization slowly hits me. "You mean...I could... have Monkey Bread? For Mother's Day??" (That's right. It was totally a double question mark moment.)

Monkey Bread! And it's not even Christmas! Get out!

There are no rules.

So I had a fabulous Mother's Day breakfast. With Monkey Bread. And I was delighted and oh-so very satisfied.

Monkey bread breakfast

And there was Monkey Sauce.

The Monkey Sauce was a happy accident.

We had Monkey Bread! And Monkey Sauce! And it wasn't even Christmas! Because there are no rules!

Here's the Darby Monkey Bread Recipe with Lucy's tweaks. And her Accidental Monkey Sauce®.

Read. And love.

Monkey bread

Darby Monkey Bread Recipe (with Accidental Monkey Sauce®)

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
1) Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray.

2) In large plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.

3) Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters.

Monkey Bread 1

4) Shake in bag to coat.

Monkey Bread 4

5) Arrange in pan. If you choose to add walnuts, do it now and add in-between the biscuit pieces.

Monkey bread 5

6) In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.

Monkey bread 6

7) Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown. The center should not be doughy. 

8) Cool right inside the pan for about 10 minutes.

9) Turn upside down onto serving plate.

10) Pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

Monkey bread with sauce

Accidental Monkey Sauce®


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter

Monkey bread 3

1) In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together until you have a rich, warm sauce. Serve warm. Pour over your finished Monkey Bread. What a happy accident!

Monkey Sauce

By the way, Lucy also made the Monkey Bread with Accidental Monkey Sauce® for Father's Day. Because, well, you know....

There are no rules. (You may quote me.)

Monkey bread & lucy

“There are no rules. -Marta Darby