pumpkin monkey bread muffins


Monkey bread has long been on my to-bake list. There’s just something about a pull-apart bread coated in cinnamon-sugar goodness that I can’t resist! Instead of one large bread, the idea of individual servings appealed to me, hence these “muffins.” The spiced pumpkin dough is perfect for the season, and I dunked each dough ball into brown butter, maple syrup, and sugar for a nice glaze.

These muffins would make a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving menu, though I like one when I’m craving a treat during these chilly fall afternoons. Pour yourself a mug of coffee or tea and enjoy a warm muffin for a little escape.

Pumpkin Monkey Bread Muffins
1/4 cup warm water
1 package dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm low-fat milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup pure pumpkin
4 cups flour (approximate)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar

Combine warm water and yeast in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Combine lukewarm milk, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater. Stir in egg, butter, and pumpkin on low speed until combined, then stir in yeast mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; add to yeast mixture and mix until incorporated. Gradually add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough feels tacky but doesn’t stick to your fingers. Switch out the flat beater for a dough hook, and knead dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic (you may need to add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time – I added an additional 4 tablespoons). The dough is ready when it pulls away from the bottom of the mixer bowl.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray and cover with plastic. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour). Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a small bowl and cool slightly. Pour maple syrup into a small bowl and place sugar into a small bowl. Line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with baking cups; coat baking cups with cooking spray. Gently pull off small sections of dough, rolling into 1-inch balls. Roll each dough ball in brown butter, then maple syrup, and then sugar. Place three dough balls into each baking cup. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake muffins for 14 minutes, until golden. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 minutes before removing from pan to serve warm or cool completely. Store leftover muffins in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days; warm before serving.

Yield – 19 muffins (serving size: 1 muffin)
Calories – 190
Carbs – 35

  1. I love the idea of making monkey bread in muffin form! I love the combination of flavors and ingredients you used in this recipe too. The brown butter sounds like such a great way to flavor the bread; I’ve never thought of using it that way.
    These look so yummy!

  2. A splendid holiday recipe! Pumpkin Monkey Bread as muffins would certainly be easier to serve than a one large loaf, especially at a large gathering. Let the festivities begin!

  3. I think I’ve heard of “monkey bread” before but didn’t remember much about it. How interesting that you pull apart the dough and make small balls, then dip into each glaze and combine 3 balls into one muffins! I just love this little process and must be fun with the kids! I can already see my kids will be very addicted to these muffins. Enjoy the rest of your stay in Italy!

  4. Monkey bread is delicious in a bundt, a loaf and so cute in muffin tins. I think I would eat a dozen and that could be a problem. Love the pumpkin version:)

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