The Easiest 4-Ingredient Dessert, According to Trader Joe's Test Kitchen|Recipes Spots

  • on January 30, 2023
Monkey bread dough rolls in cinnamon sugar

Monkey bread dough rolls in cinnamon sugar
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

“A butterfly rests with its wings open and a moth rests with its wings closed can we make more monkey bread I love you umma!” I have a 8-year-old that doesn’t breathe between sentences and uses mind-bending to get what he wants. He is referring to the monkey bread I made after listening to an episode of Trader Joe’s official podcast where a pro from their test kitchen revealed it as “one of my favorite hacks.” It’s the easiest monkey bread I’ve ever made that wasn’t from scratch, but tasted like I’d spent hours making the dough.

The test kitchen chef says, “I use four ingredients and 30 minutes of time and we have, like, an awesome hot, sticky, sweet, cinnamon-y bun concoction.” The recipe starts with Trader Joe’s fresh pizza dough, which is portioned, rolled in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and baked. Within 20 minutes of it coming out of the oven, it was gone—our sweets loving family is a fan and our dedicated baker (me!) is a fan because it’s SO easy to make.

Plate of Monkey Bread Pieces, and in the Background, More on a Cake Stand and a Mug on the Counter
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Monkey Bread Recipe

  • 1 pound Trader Joe’s fresh pizza dough
  • 1 cup brown sugar (3/4 cup was sufficient for me)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

Allow the dough to come to room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before using. Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the vanilla extract, if using, into the melted butter, which you’ll have in a separate bowl. Divide the dough into 1-inch pieces. The test kitchen suggests flattening the dough and cutting it with a pizza cutter. Roll each piece in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon sugar.

Layer them in the prepared loaf pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes—mine were done at the 30-minute mark—until lightly browned. Let it cool for at least 15 minutes. Then carefully flip the monkey bread onto a large plate. Serve warm and devour.

“It kind of eats like a collection of cinnamon donut holes,” the podcast host claimed. To that, I’d add: the most delicious, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth, warm cinnamon donut holes you’ll want to make again and again.

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