My Auntie’s sticky buns!

WinkIvy says:

There is nothing in this world that tastes more like “home” than monkey bread. My Auntie used to make it- though she called it “sticky buns”- and she never told anyone her recipe. We’d ask and she’d change the subject. We’d try to at least get an idea of how she made them and she’s just shrug and tell us it was quite simple to make. Crafty lady, that Auntie.

I’ve tried several different ways of making the dough, including using different types of cinnamon roll dough and elephant ear dough and nothing was quite right. I got an email the other day from Pillsbury calling it “coffee cake”. It called for using Pillsbury refrigerator biscuits as the dough. Since it sounded a heck of a lot easier than these other, more complicated doughs I had been making, I tried it.

Lo and behold, I just about have Auntie’s sticky buns recipe down perfectly. I think that’s why she didn’t tell us the recipe- no self-respecting Hoosier farm wife would admit to using refrigerator biscuits as the dough for their famous sticky buns.

Because I’m not crafty like Auntie, I will share with you the recipe. The sound you hear is Auntie spinning in her grave.

Monkey Bread Recipe (because telling people you made “Ivy’s Sticky Buns” is kinda disturbing)

You’ll need:

2 rolls of jumbo buttermilk refrigerator biscuits*
1 cup of sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
1/2 tsp vanilla

(optional: Lots ‘o’ coffee cake/monkey bread recipes call for things like walnuts, raisins, etc. If you want to add them in, feel free, go with about a half cup for those items.)

Preheat your over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

So you’ll want to break out the biscuits**, cut them into quarters. I used my pizza roller because a. I’m cool like that and b. all my knives were being washed.

Take the cinnamon and white sugar and put it into a largish plastic bag. I used a turkey bag because I need to get more Ziploc bags***.

Toss in the biscuit pieces about 8 at a time and shake it up!

Arrange them neatly in a Bundt pan, tube pan, or 2 9 inch round cake pans. Don’t squish them together, just put them so they are just touching.

If you’re wanting to add walnuts or raisins, now’s the time to do so. Just intersperse them with the dough balls.

Then, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, add the brown sugar and vanilla. Boil it for one minute, then pour over the dough. Poke it in your 350°F preheated oven for:

Bundt or tube pan: 20 minutes
9 inch cake pans: 15 minutes

Keep an eye on them, because there’s nothing more horrid than burnt monkey bread. Except maybe stinky cookies.

Take it out of the oven, flip over onto a plate, and attempt to wait until it cools to start chowing down. Enjoy!

*Just because I got the idea from a Pillsbury email doesn’t mean you have to use the actual Pillsbury kind. I did, because they were on sale. I probably wouldn’t have, had they not been the same price as the store brand.
**Is anybody other than me kinda scared of the exploding biscuit can? It always disturbs me a little.
***The good thing about using a turkey bag is there’s LOTS of space for shaking. The bad thing is, I think they’re expensive. I wouldn’t know, since my mom keeps buying me turkey bags, in hopes of me getting over the Great Food Poisoning Incident of 1998 and starting to cook the T’giving turkey again. Her foolish ploys will not work on me.


  1. Hilary on May 29, 2007 at 6:43 am

    I am scared of the biscuit can. I don’t like sudden loud noises (OK, it’s not that loud) or popping surprises or anything like that. I flinch and turn my head away a little when I have to open one of those.

  2. Stephanie on May 28, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Sticky buns or Monkey Bread, neither title is very appealing. Where do these names come from?! As always you crack me up while at the same time making me want to go cook something!

    Thank you for the Make It From Scratch entry!

  3. bonnie on May 26, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    I’m sorry. I’ve also got to add that we roll the quarters in our hands to make balls (so fun!) and toss them in a bowl with the spices & just stir it around. It seems easier than the bag, but who am I?


  4. bonnie on May 26, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    yup. love it. we call it “bubble bread” and put it in a bundt, too. We don’t use jumbo either…


  5. Samantha on May 24, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    I have a variation of this. Instead of the canned bisquits, I use frozen yeast rolls (the round balls in the bag in the frozen food section). I place the frozen rolls in a bundt pan sprayed with pam and let them rise overnight (or if in a hurry, follow the “in a hurry” directions on the bag). Spray the top with more pam and cover with plastic wrap. FYI, don’t fill the pan full.. Only fill about 1/2 the pan or else you will have a HUGE mess when they rise. I use the same mixture of brown sugar, only using REAL butter, no margarine, but I add pecans and pour over them once risen. They are AWESOME!!

  6. Margo on May 24, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    I like the name “monkey bread” better than “sticky buns”. There’s just something unappealing about the words “sticky” and “buns” put together…

  7. amy on May 24, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    FYI–we make monkey bread the same way, but my mom gets those four-packs of tiny refrigerated biscuits which are, I think, cheaper than the jumbo variety. she still quarters them…unfortunately I can’t remember if she uses all four cans or just three.

  8. malia on May 24, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    If you have a large tupperware-like bowl with a lid, you can use that instead of plastic bags. Easier on the pocketbook, easier on the environment.

  9. knitaddict on May 24, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    I’m going to try this…it sounds easy and I haven’t had Monkey Bread since my Aunt Evelyn died…that was about 15 years ago! Long time, no eat Monkey Bread!

  10. Tuesday on May 24, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    I love monkey bread! My mom would make it in a bundt pan.

  11. Angela on May 24, 2007 at 10:18 am

    Oh my, those sound so good…I would try to make them, but would end up eating them all and that would not do the whole weight loss thing any good:) guess I will have to wait for some kind of party before I can make them.

  12. Heather on May 24, 2007 at 6:58 am

    I like to use frozen biscuits. I set them out to thaw in the fridge overnight before coating.