Vegan banana monkey bread - this delicious pull-apart bread is sweet, sticky and utterly more-ish!
Soft, banana flavoured yeast dough balls are coated in butter and cinnamon sugar and layered with chopped walnuts to make an impressive, and addictive, brunch recipe.
This vegan banana monkey bread is the ultimate celebratory brunch recipe. It not only tastes amazing, but it looks really impressive too!
I made the dough with mashed banana, which I think makes the standard monkey bread even better. You can't go wrong with soft, tender banana scented dough, sticky cinnamon sugar and crunchy walnuts!
It is perfect served for brunch, a late breakfast, or even dessert. No need to portion it out, everyone can just tear off pieces with their hands. You won't be able to stop yourself from going back for more!
What Is Monkey Bread?:
Monkey bread is a sweet, sticky pull-apart style of bread consisting of small dough balls which are dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar before being layered up in a pan; commonly a bundt tin.
It is named monkey bread probably because it is picked apart and eaten with the hands, like a monkey would.
Monkey bread is well known in the US, but actually has it's roots in Hungary where it is called aranygaluska. It was brought to America by Hungarian immigrants where it became popular in the mid twentieth century.
What Do I Need To Make Vegan Banana Monkey Bread?:
Bread flour: White bread flour helps to give this bread its soft, fluffy, chewy texture. Plain (all-purpose) flour will work though the texture isn't quite as good. I don't recommend using wholemeal flour as that will make the bread too dense.
Instant/fast action yeast: I always prefer to use fast action yeast when making bread as it can just be added straight to the flour and doesn't need to be activated first.
Salt: You simply cannot make good bread without salt. Don't omit it.
Non-dairy milk: Soy milk is always my favourite for baking as it has the highest protein content so most closely resembles dairy milk. Any variety of non-dairy milk will work however, but go for an unsweetened one if you can.
Bananas: Make sure that the bananas are overripe ie: they have lots of brown spots. You will need about 3 small/medium bananas, but do make sure to weigh out the flesh; using too much or too little will affect the texture of the dough.
Sugar: You will need caster or granulated sugar for the dough, and light brown soft sugar to roll the dough balls in. You could use coconut sugar instead if needed, but do not swap the sugar for sweetener or syrup.
Vegan butter: While in most cases I only recommend using a block butter for baking, in this case a tub variety is fine as well (but not one of the low-fat ones!). I used Flora Original.
Spices: Obviously cinnamon, but I like to add some ginger and nutmeg as well.
Nuts: This is optional, but I like to scatter some chopped nuts over the dough balls for extra flavour and texture. I use walnuts, but pecans or hazelnuts would be great too.
How To Make Vegan Banana Monkey Bread:
(Full measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page)
Mix together the mashed banana, milk and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Add the flour, yeast and salt and mix on a low speed to form a rough dough.
Continue mixing until the dough is smooth and stretchy.
Add the butter and continue to knead on a medium speed until it is fully incorporated. It will look greasy and messy at first but it will come together eventally!
The dough should be sticky but not wet, should pull away from the sides of the bowl cleanly, and you should be able to stretch it to a thin windowpane withhout it tearing.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and set aside to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size.
Thoroughly grease a bundt tin. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of melted butter, 3 Tablespoons of spiced sugar, and 4 Tablespoons of chopped nuts into the tin.
Punch down the risen dough. Tear small pieces of dough off and roll them into balls.
Working with a few at a time, dunk the balls of dough in the melted butter, then roll them in the spiced sugar.
Place the coated balls in the tin and repeat until you have a full layer of dough in the tin. Scatter over most of the rest of the chopped nuts, then continue to layer the coated dough balls in the tin.
Once you have used all of the dough, drizzle over any remaining butter and spiced sugar, and scatter over the last of the nuts.
Cover the tin and leave to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes.
Bake for 35-45 minutes until nicely browned and crisp on top.
Allow to cool in the tin for about 20-30 minutes before turning it out onto a serving plate.
As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
You will need a 10-12 cup bundt tin for this recipe. I have this one. Alternatively, you can bake the bread in two 2 lb loaf tins.
Make sure that your yeast isn't out of date! Old yeast can lead to bread that doesn’t rise.
The amount of flour needed may vary a bit as different brands absorb different amounts of liquid and the weather can also affect it. Start with the quantity given in the recipe and add a little more as needed if the dough is too wet. This is meant to be a soft sticky dough however, so don’t add too much as that will make the bread dry.
If you want even more banana flavour, you can add some slices of banana in between the layers of dough balls.
If you want, you can give the dough it’s first rise overnight in the fridge rather than at room temperature. This breaks up the workload and gives the bread an even better flavour.
Alternatively, you can fully assemble the monkey bread in the tin in the evening, cover it and pop it in the fridge to prove overnight. In the morning, let it come up to room temperature for 45-60 minutes to finish proving, then bake it as per the recipe.
Can I Knead The Dough By Hand?:
This is a fairly soft, sticky dough so it is easier to use a stand mixer to do the kneading for you but yes, you absolutely can knead the dough by hand, just be prepared for a bit of a workout!
When kneading, you shouldn't flour the surface as you will end up incorporating too much flour and making the dough too dry. Instead, if the dough is sticking too much, you can lightly oil the worksurface and your hands to help, or just be prepared to get a bit sticky!
A bench scraper is incredibly handy when kneading dough by hand to unstick the dough from the surface.
How To Tell When The Bread Is Baked:
The best way to tell if bread is baked properly is to check the internal temperature with a probe thermometer. It should reach at least 90°C/194°F.
Overbaked bread will be dry and if it is under-baked then you will be eating raw dough, yuck! It is impossible to give a one-size-fits-all baking time as all ovens vary.
I really do recommend investing in a probe thermometer, it is an incredibly handy kitchen tool!
If you don't have a probe thermometer, then the monkey bread should be well-risen and browned. A skewer inserted into the centre should go in and out smoothly with little resistance and come out with no dough on it .
Can I Freeze It?:
This vegan banana monkey bread is best served freshly baked, ideally still warm; but it can be frozen if needed.
Freeze it on the day it is baked but allow it to cool completely first. Once cold, wrap it well to prevent freezer burn then freeze for up to 3 months.
Allow it to defrost at room temperature, then re-warm in a low oven for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
Can I Make It Gluten-Free?:
No, I’m afraid that you cannot use gluten free flour. Making gluten free bread is tricky and the entire recipe would need reworking. Gluten free baking is not my area of expertise so I cannot advise you.
It is best to use a recipe that is designed to be gluten free rather than trying to adapt a non gluten free recipe.
More Vegan Sweet Bread Recipes:
- Orange and anise snowflake bread
- Banana bread cinnamon rolls
- Chocolate chip pumpkin rolls
- Vegan cinnamon rolls
- Vegan Belgian buns
- Vegan chocolate babka
- Vegan pumpkin pecan babka
- Maple pecan bread wreath
If you tried this recipe let me know how it went! Rate it, leave a comment or tag @domestic_gothess on Instagram and hashtag it #domesticgothess
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Vegan Banana Monkey Bread
- 250 g (1 cup) mashed overripe banana
- 160 ml (⅔ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use soy) lukewarm
- 50 g (¼ cup) caster or granulated sugar
- 550 g (4 ½ cups) white bread flour
- 8 g (2 ½ teaspoons) instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 60 g (¼ cup) vegan butter softened
- 125 g (½ cup) vegan butter
- 250 g (1 ¼ cups) light brown soft sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 100 g (3 ½ oz) walnuts or pecans roughly chopped
- Mix together the mashed banana, milk and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Add the flour, yeast and salt and mix on a low speed to form a rough dough. Continue mixing on a medium speed until the dough is smooth and stretchy.
- Add the butter and continue to knead on a medium speed until it is fully incorporated. It will look greasy and messy at first but it will come together eventally! Scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times as necessary.
- The dough should be sticky but not wet, should pull away from the sides of the bowl cleanly, and you should be able to stretch it to a thin windowpane without it tearing. If it is too wet you can add a bit more flour, a spoonful at a time. Be careful though, the dough should be a bit sticky.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and set aside to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
- When the dough has risen, thoroughly grease a 10-12 cup bundt tin. Melt the butter and set aside to cool. Mix together the sugar and spices in a wide, shallow bowl.
- Spoon 2 Tablespoons of melted butter, 3 Tablespoons of spiced sugar, and 4 Tablespoons of chopped nuts into the base of the tin.
- Punch down the risen dough and give it a brief knead to knock out the air. Tear small pieces of dough off and roll them into balls. You want to end up with around 55-65 balls of dough so keep them small.
- Working with a few at a time, dunk the balls of dough in the melted butter, then roll them in the spiced sugar, making sure that they are fully coated in both.
- Place the coated balls in the tin and repeat until you have a full layer of dough in the tin. Scatter over most of the rest of the chopped nuts, then continue to layer the coated dough balls in the tin.
- Once you have used all of the dough, scatter over the last of the nuts and drizzle over any remaining butter and spiced sugar.
- Cover the tin and leave to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes. It is ready to bake when the dough is puffy and springs back slowly, leaving a small indentation, if you gently poke it with a finger. If it springs back quickly and fills in completely then it needs to rise for longer.
- When the dough is nearly ready, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until nicely browned and crisp on top. A probe thermometer inserted into the centre should reach at least 90°C/194°F.
- Allow to cool in the tin for about 20-30 minutes before turning it out onto a serving plate. You may need to give the tin a shake to release it. Best served warm and freshly baked.
- See post above for tips, details and step-by-step photos. If you have a question I may have already answered it in the post.
- As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!