top of page

Pull-apart breads — sweet or savory treats

Neil Conway, Wikimedia Commons

Sweet and sticky monkey bread can be served at home or taken on a picnic or potluck.


Sweet or savory, pull-apart breads are always a welcome treat. You can eat them with a meal or just enjoy them as a snack anytime you like. They are also great for taking along to holiday picnics or potlucks. My family has a few favorites that I will share with you here.

Most pull-apart breads are easy to make, especially the recipes that call for the use of canned, refrigerated biscuits. By the way, those little pieces of biscuit dough make some pretty good doughnuts.

My oldest son earned a 4-H medal by giving a demonstration of cooking those little doughnuts. All he needed was a skillet with some hot oil, a can of biscuits and some cinnamon and sugar (or powdered sugar). He stuck his finger in each biscuit to make a hole, fried them in the hot oil, then placed them in a paper bag with some cinnamon and sugar. Shake them up a bit in a paper bag and they are ready to eat. Couldn’t be any easier.

Here are the pull-apart recipes; I hope they became your family’s favorites, too.

Monkey bread

3 cans refrigerated biscuits

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 stick butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons water

1. Preheat oven to 350. Quarter biscuits and roll in a mixture of the sugar and cinnamon. Place each piece of biscuit dough in a greased Bundt cake pan.

2. In medium saucepan, melt butter. Add brown sugar and water and stir. Boil mixture 2 minutes and pour evenly over the biscuit pieces.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Cool slightly, then turn out onto a serving platter. Allow to cool a bit before eating.

Apple fritter pull-apart bread

2 packages (8-count each) refrigerated cinnamon roll dough

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and grated

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/3 cup sugar

For the glaze:

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 to 3 tablespoons milk or cream

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick spray; set aside.

2. Remove cinnamon rolls and icing from packages. Discard icing or set aside for another use.

3. Take each cinnamon roll and stretch it out until it becomes flat like a pancake. Lay each one out on a parchment lined work surface.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together butter and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Spread the butter mixture evenly over each flattened cinnamon roll and then top with grated apples.

5. In a separate small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the apples.

6. Layer cinnamon rolls in stacks of 3 or 4. Once all rolls are stacked, transfer each stack to the loaf pan, standing them on end so no apple filling touches the ends of the pan.

7. Cover tightly with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more.

8. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.

9. While loaf cools, make the glaze by mixing confectioners’ sugar with 1 to 3 tablespoons of milk or cream until desired consistency is reached. If you would like a more pourable consistency, microwave for 10 seconds. Drizzle glaze over cooled loaf.

Pesto pull-apart bread

Cooking oil spray


1 loaf (1 lb.) frozen white bread dough, thawed

1/4 cup pesto sauce

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Coat an 8-by-4-inch (or 9-by-5-inch) loaf pan with cooking spray.

2. Placed thawed bread dough on a lightly floured board. Cut into 4 equal pieces. Cut each quarter into 4 pieces, making 16 pieces total.

3. With hands, roll each piece into a ball and place 8 in bottom of pan. Spread 2 tablespoons pesto over top. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.

4. Top with remaining balls of dough; there should be spaces in between them. Spread remaining pesto over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until bread almost reaches top of pan.

6. Position oven rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 375. Remove plastic wrap from bread and bake, uncovered, 30 to 35 minutes or until deeply browned.

7. Cool 10 minutes and turn out onto plate or bread board.

Pull-apart bacon bread

12 bacon strips, cooked about 5 minutes, then drained and diced

1 loaf (1 lb.) frozen bread dough, thawed

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup (4-oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

1 envelope (1-oz.) dry ranch salad dressing mix

1. On lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cut into 1-inch pieces and place in large bowl. Add the bacon pieces, cheese, dressing mix and remaining oil; toss to coat.

2. Arrange pieces in a 9-by-5-inch oval on a greased baking sheet with sides, layering as needed. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled. Preheat oven to 360.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Cover with foil and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until golden brown and bread is done. Note: The use of a double-layered baking sheet will help prevent overbrowning of the cheese on the bottom of the loaf.



bottom of page