Fruitcake Monkey Bread

This post is sponsored by Rhodes BakeNServ®...all opinions are my own. Always.

This festive monkey bread never lasts long once it comes out of the oven. With a taste reminiscent of fruitcake and the ease of monkey bread…it’s a favorite for Christmas morning.

Fruitcake and monkey bread had a festive pull-apart bread baby and I am here for it. This recipe combines all your favorite flavors of fruitcake but utilizes Rhodes sweet bread dough to create the easy and delicious monkey bread.

What is Monkey Bread?

We call it monkey bread because of the way it's eaten...pulling bits off with the fingers. Kind of like monkeys grooming. I know...strange. But true!

Key Ingredients:

  • Rhodes sweet bread. Rhodes sweet bread dough (found in the freezer aisle) is perfect for monkey bread!
  • Dried fruit. I recommend a combo of dried cranberries, dried figs, and dried apricots.
  • Brandy. Use white grape juice for a non-alcoholic option.
  • Butter. Rolling the sweet dough in melted butter makes magic!

What can I sub for brandy?

The best non-alcoholic substitutes for brandy would be grape juice or white grape juice. Other liquor options are rum or whiskey...strongly flavored liquors.

How to Make Fruitcake Monkey Bread:

Check the recipe card for detailed instructions and tips.

  1. Preheat the oven and grease your pan.
  2. Soak the dried fruit in brandy.
  3. Place soaked fruit, walnuts, and cherries on the bottom of the greased bundt pan.
  4. Dip some of the balls into melted butter, and roll into the cinnamon & sugar mixture.
  5. Place the dipped balls in the pan on top of the fruit.
  6. Spread the remaining soaked fruit, walnuts, and cherries on the dipped balls.
  7. Top with the remaining dipped balls spread out as evenly as possible.
  8. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place.
  9. When the dough has doubled in size, bake until light brown.
  10. Soak the baked bread in the remaining brandy.

What pans can you use for monkey bread?

You can use a tube pan, a bundt pan, or even a loaf pan. A tube or bundt pan, however, allows for even baking because of the hot air circulating all the way around.

Does this really taste like fruitcake?

Real fruitcakes take months (did you know that?) of weekly soaking the cake in syrups and brandy. This monkey bread will give you all of the festivity of fruit cake and yummy flavors but nothing truly replicates real fruitcake. But this comes pretty tastily close!

Fruitcake Monkey Bread Recipe

| 8 servings
Prep Time | 16 mins
Proofing time | 2 hrs
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Ingredients
 

  • 1 loaf Rhodes sweet bread thawed according to the pkg instructions
  • 1 cup dried fruit
  • Brandy or white grape juice, enough to cover the dried fruit
  • cup Maraschino cherries cut in half
  • ½ cup walnuts or pecans cut in half
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • ¼ cup butter melted
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a bundt pan or tube pan.
  • Soak the dried fruit in brandy (or white grape juice), just enough to cover the fruit.
  • Divide the thawed sweet bread into about 2 dozen balls (around 1.5 inches round).
  • Stir the cinnamon and sugar together.
  • Place ½ of the soaked fruit (keep out as much of the liquid as possible), walnuts, and cherries on the bottom of the greased bundt pan.
  • Dip about ¾ of the balls into melted butter, and roll into the cinnamon & sugar mixture.
  • Place the dipped balls in the pan on top of the fruit.
  • Spread the remaining soaked fruit (without the liquid —but save it!), walnuts, and cherries on the dipped balls.
  • Top with the remaining dipped balls spread out as evenly as possible.
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until doubled in size. Note: Most monkey bread dough only takes about 1 hour to rise in size but because this recipe causes the bread dough to be extra wet…it takes longer.
  • When the dough has doubled in size, bake for 45 minutes or until light brown. Be sure to cook this dough until it is nicely browned…you want to avoid undercooked bread.
  • Slowly drizzle the brandy that remains from the fruit over the hot bread. Be sure to let it soak in between applications.

Nutrition

Calories: 324kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 5gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 312mgPotassium: 79mgFiber: 3gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 190IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 1mg

This was all gone in an evening...so good!

7 thoughts on “Fruitcake Monkey Bread”

  1. Could I knead some of the fruit into the rolls and let them rise before making this? That would be like hot cross buns meet monkey bread meet fruitcake! A regular party! But I have never used frozen buns before so I will rely on your expertise! Thanks! It sounds like something Mom would really love.

  2. After reading the recipe I was curious as to whether you pour the brandy over it while it’s warm in the pan or after you take it out of the pa.

    1. Good question! Either works just fine. I like to do it after I flip it out of the pan but you know what...it'll be great either way.

  3. 5 stars
    Simple take on a seasonal classic. It was a hit in our house. L I wasn’t sure how long to soak the fruit (went with a few hours until I could see it plump up some) but it turned out great. I feel like this is a hard recipe to mess up.

  4. 5 stars
    Okay, this one was fun. The only thing that I wish had been a bit clearer would be the amount of the sweet dough we should use. I used all 3 loaves, but I think I could have done it with 2 and not have it explode out of the pan. :)

    Overall, great recipe. I'm not a fruitcake fan and this was good. I used dried pineapple, figs, craisins, and cherries. My grocery store didn't have any others to choose from, so we made due.

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