Cinnamon Pull-Apart Monkey Bread

I’ve been getting a lot of requests lately for this recipe specifically. It is a derivative of my Fast and Easy Cinnamon Buns. For those, I roll the dough out on the counter, fill it with the cinnamon pecan filling, roll it back up, cut the dough into rounds and place the rounds in a baking dish.

But Monkey Bread is so much more fun and you can have just a little poke of it. The kids (and by kids, I mean the adults) love to eat this straight out of the loaf pan by pulling apart the cinnamon pecan dough balls. They taste like a cross between a Tim Horton Timbit and a cinnamon bun. Leave the nuts out if you want to make these nut-free. Don’t worry about leftovers; you won’t have any, worry about not having enough.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Monkey Bread

Servings 6


  • Loaf Pan


For the Dough

  • ¾ cup cottage cheese (4% milk fat) 
  • cup buttermilk (or ⅓ cup milk and 1 tsp. lemon juice*)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar 
  • 4 tbsp (2 oz.) unsalted butter melted 
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups (260 grams or 9 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, more for rolling 
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder 
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt 
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda 

For the Filling

  • 4 tbsp. (2 oz.) unsalted butter, melted 
  • cup packed light or dark brown sugar 
  • tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) finely chopped pecans


  • Heat oven to 350˚F and grease a loaf pan with oil spray.

Make the Filling First:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans, set aside. In another medium bowl, place the melted butter.

For the Dough:

  • In a food processor, combine the cottage cheese, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and pulse in short bursts just until the dough clumps together (don’t over process). The dough will be soft and moist.
  • Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with floured hands 4 or 5 times until smooth. Pinch off a smaller than golf ball size piece of dough and roll into a small ball repeat with the remaining dough making 32 equal balls. I do this but cutting the dough into four, and each quarter into quarters, making 16 pieces and then each piece in half.
  • Toss each dough ball into the melted butter and then each buttered ball into the cinnamon, sugar, pecan mixture. 
  • Place all the dough balls into the loaf pan one by one, layering them on top of one another. 
  • Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, 40-45 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool a little, but they are really yummy warm!
  • The kids love to pull the dough balls apart.


*If I don’t have buttermilk, I mix the milk and lemon juice and let stand for 5 minutes, and voila…buttermilk!