Healthy Monkey Bread {Vegan}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Healthy Monkey Bread is the best - a sweet cinnamon-sugar, healthy pull apart bread that is hard to resist!
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1 Monkey Bread
Sweet Dough*
  • 2½ tsp dry active yeast or fresh yeast
  • ¼ cup brown cane sugar*
  • ⅓ cup water (*bath temperature, 110F/45C)
  • 1 cup almond milk (or light coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3½ - 4 cups white whole wheat flour + more for kneading
Sugar Coating
  • 1 cup brown cane sugar
  • ½ tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup almond milk (or light coconut milk)
Caramel Sauce
  • 5 tbsp applesauce*
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup almond milk (or light coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup brown cane sugar
For the Dough
  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown cane sugar in warm water (make sure your water is not too warm or it will kill the yeast). Proof your yeast (make sure it's active) by leaving it in the bowl for 10 minutes until it gets bubbly. You can skip this step if you are positive your yeast is active. Add the milk, applesauce and vanilla extract and stir until combined.
  2. Add the flour (3½ cups) to the wet mixture and beat using the dough hook on your mixer for a couple minutes until a firm and shaggy dough is formed (not sticky). Add extra flour is necessary - I added the entire extra half cup.
  3. Flour a dry surface where you will knead your bread. Knead the dough on the floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic. Do not over-knead your bread or your end result will be chewy. Your dough is ready to rest and rise when you poke it and it bounces back. Lightly grease a bowl (*or oven safe pot if using the quick method) with oil and place the dough ball into the bowl. Cover the bowl and leave it to rise overnight OR if you are using the quick method see next step.
  4. For the quick-rise method (one hour), place your bowl in a warm environment (75F/25C) for one hour. I warm up my oven to 200F/95C and then turn it off and leave the pot in the oven with the door open until the dough has tripled in size. After about 30 minutes I close the oven door to trap the warm air inside. Your dough might take an extra twenty minutes or so depending on the brand of yeast you used. Once your dough has risen, punch it to release the extra air.
Sugar Coating
  1. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a shallow bowl. Combine the milk and applesauce in a small bowl. Grease or spray a bundt pan with oil.
  2. Rip small pieces off your dough and roll them into balls (they don't have to be perfect). Make sure your balls are not too big - you need 35 - 40 balls in total. One by one, dip each ball in the milk and applesauce mixture and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Don't be skimpy with the cinnamon sugar! You might need more cinnamon and sugar depending on how much you use on each ball. Place and layer the coated balls in the bundt pan. Leave the dough to rise for a second time in a warm oven (using the same technique as before) for 20 - 30 minutes. The Monkey Bread has risen enough when the coated balls have reached the top of the pan (see photo).
Caramel Sauce & Bake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. While the oven is warming up, add the applesauce, coconut oil, milk, brown cane sugar and vanilla extract to a pot. Heat the caramel on a medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the caramel mixture thickens slightly. Pour ¾ of the caramel sauce over the risen monkey bread.
  2. Bake the Monkey Bread for 30 - 35 minutes in total until golden brown. 20 minutes into the baking time, pour the rest of the caramel sauce onto the monkey bread. If your Monkey Bread is looking a bit too golden cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for the remaining 10 - 15 minutes. Leave the Monkey Bread to rest in the pan for 10 minutes until inverting on plate. Best enjoyed and served right away.
1) You can substitute brown sugar or coconut sugar for the brown cane sugar.
2) If you don't want your caramel sauce to have an overly apple flavor, replace the applesauce with an additional 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil. Both ways are delicious.
Recipe by Ceara's Kitchen at