Breads/ Cookbook Reviews/ Recipes/ Yeast Breads

Monkey Bread in a Jar {or Cinnamon Sugar “Pull-Apart” Bread}

Have you guys seen Shaina’s new cookbook, Desserts in Jars, yet?! It’s pretty fabulous.

The concept is simple….sweets served in mason jars! I love it….especially because I am obsessed with mason jars. If you were in my kitchen right now and opened up my cupboard all you would see are mason jars. I bought a set of 25 of them recently at the hardware store for, like, ten bucks. You’d also see a slew of random mugs missing their handles since I am the clumsiest person alive.

But that’s beside the point. How cute are these little monkey breads baked right in mason jars?! I just love them. Before now, I’d never even though to actually bake in a glass jar. But these! Oh my, are they cute…and delicious, too! Ooey gooey pieces of pastry glazed in cinnamon sugar in a neat little personal sized jar.

See that dark syrup on the bottom of the jar above? That’s pure caramelized cinnamon sugar, baby, and that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Okay, let’s talk again now about how I am the clumsiest person alive. And how I also obviously don’t follow instructions well. Shaina CLEARLY wrote “DO NOT FILL THE JARS ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP WITH THE PASTRY DOUGH”.

Yet….I just couldn’t help myself.

So then this happened in my oven.

That’s right: monkey bread explosion. In my oven. All over my baking sheet. A volcano, if you will, of sweet cinnamony pastry dough! And you know I had to eat all the scraps that didn’t make the final cut. Crumbs like this don’t have calories, didn’t you know?

Oh, you didn’t know?

Well now you do. Amen.

You guys are going to love this….and you’ll love the cookbook even more! It’s just full of party-perfect dessert recipes.

Happy Monday!

Monkey Bread in a Jar

from Desserts in Jars

Print this Recipe!


12 tbsp butter

1 cup milk, heated to about 110 degrees F

1/3 cup water, heated to about 110 degrees F

1/4 cup sugar

1 (1/4th oz) package dry active yeast

3 cups flour

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg


Combine the warm milk, water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl. Let sit for five minutes. Be sure here that your water and milk are not TOO hot (temperature should feel like warm bath water). Liquid that is too hot will kill the yeast!

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt and cardamom together in another bowl. After five minutes, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on medium high speed using a dough hook attachment for about eight minutes, or until dough becomes a smooth ball. Alternately, you can do this by hand. Just keep kneading the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Spray a bowl with cooking spray and place your dough ball inside. Cover with a dish towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm spot to rise for about an hour. You want the ball to double in size. (I let my dough rise for 1.5 hours since my house was a little cool that morning).

After the initial rise, roll out dough to a large rectangle. Using a kitchen scissors, cut one inch squares of dough out of the rectangle.

Melt four tablespoons of the butter and use it to grease eight 8-oz glass jars (OR four 12-oz mason jars).

Melt the remaining butter and pour it into a small bowl. In another small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Dunk each square of dough in the melted butter and then into the brown sugar. Drop it into a greased glass jar. Fill each jar only half way full then set the jars in a warm spot to rise for another 50 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place jars on a baking sheet two inches apart and bake for 25 minutes, or until dough has cooked through. Serve warm!


2.5 hours


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  • Kristen @ notsodomesticated
    July 30, 2012 at 3:38 am

    What a super cute idea!! I love this!! And yes, you’re right. Calories do not count when you are eating scraps. That’s why I love to bake so much. 😉

  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance
    July 30, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Monkey bread was one of my favorite brunch desserts growing up. My sister used to make it all the time, but now I haven’t had it in years. I think my mouth is watering just looking at the pictures. Great idea with the mason jars! It’s so cute!

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    July 30, 2012 at 4:09 am

    Jenna this is AWESOME! Love this idea – the jar, the monkey bread, pull apart, so cute – just has it all going for it!

  • Erin
    July 30, 2012 at 4:34 am

    How cool is this! Sounds so delicious! If you get a sec, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my latest. xo

  • Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama
    July 30, 2012 at 4:40 am

    “Monkey bread” was the first thing I learned to bake in my junior high practical arts class. I don’t think I’ve had it since then but I remember thinking it was the best thing ever.

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    July 30, 2012 at 4:58 am

    I used to make this all the time when I was younger. So irresistible!
    Also, you should put the volcano on That website can have me laughing for hours.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    July 30, 2012 at 4:59 am

    Hehe it sounds like you follow directions just as well as I do!! 🙂 I adore cinnamon on everything so I’d be into this recipe for sure! And I agree on those mason jars… super cute for eating and drinking out of, and super cheap too! I just got 4 for 99 cents on the weekend

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    July 30, 2012 at 5:15 am

    So cute, and delicious looking! I would be hard pressed not to fill them all the way too. Is it bad that I know what happened with you and want to fill them to the top even more now. Everyone needs some non-caloric treats now and again.

  • Devon | the food bitch blog
    July 30, 2012 at 5:20 am

    Yeah I don’t follow directions either & now I’m thinking about how much of a pain that clean up had to have been. As much as I love cinnamon sugary goodness, it is sooo sticky. But it looks delicious!

  • Gabby (Quest for Delicious)
    July 30, 2012 at 5:28 am

    I love mason jars! This looks amazing.

  • jenna
    July 30, 2012 at 5:55 am

    oh yum!! i love anything in a mason jar.

  • britt
    July 30, 2012 at 5:59 am

    i love mason jars!! they make anything look cool. and that monkey bread looks divine!!

  • Jacqueline
    July 30, 2012 at 6:04 am

    This looks sooooo good!! I did this with a pie last Christmas – I didn’t read that it said “extra large” pie pan so I shoved it all into a normal one. Pecan pie party in the oven!

  • Maja
    July 30, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Oh, yum. I want this. Love eating with my hands. I can already see me picking away at this. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    July 30, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Those look so fancy!! And yes, scraps never count as calories – neither does licking the bowl/spoon. 🙂

  • Becky
    July 30, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I have not had monkey bread in a long time but it is sooooo good. I will have to try this, it looks great!

  • Liz @ IHeartVegetables
    July 30, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Oh my gosh I KNEW I bought mason jars for a reason 😉 this is awesome!!!

  • Samantha
    July 30, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Dessert in jars! Brilliance !

  • Laura
    July 30, 2012 at 7:18 am

    I must make these asap!

  • Cathy @ Noble Pig
    July 30, 2012 at 7:18 am

    These are the cutest ever, I mean adorable to the max! And no doubt they are delicious!

  • Jan
    July 30, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I’ve had monkey bread, but never in a jar like that! What a GREAT idea!

  • Mal @ The Chic Geek
    July 30, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I love monkey bread! That’s an ingenious idea to put them into jars, I love it!

  • Jill
    July 30, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I also have a bazillion mason jars lying around. What a great idea! I’ll definitely have to do this soon!

    July 30, 2012 at 8:12 am

    i love monkey bread and this is such a cute idea! perfect to give as gifts as well.

  • Carolyn
    July 30, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Mmmm. Looks delicious. I can’t help but think about how sticky your hand will get as you reach to the bottom of the jar … but I don’t think that’s a problem in my book : )

  • Madeleine
    July 30, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Oh my goodness, these are adorable! Love the pics, and I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • Caroline L.
    July 30, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Too much perfection, I can’t handle it!

  • Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    July 30, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I love canning jars too. They are so multi-purpose. I used two when I packed my lunch today.

  • Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen
    July 30, 2012 at 9:31 am

    LOVE Shaina, and her amazing cookbook. I made the monster cookies (they are naturally gluten free too!). Anyway it’s such a great cookbook especially if you throw parties a lot. This Christmas I plan on giving away mason jars filled with baking mixes as gifts. 🙂

    • Shaina (Food for My Family)
      July 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks, Monique! The monster cookies are one of my favorite cookies to gift and bake and eat. 🙂

  • Cait's Plate
    July 30, 2012 at 10:31 am

    This is SUCH a cute idea! My boyfriend loves monkey bread so I definitely need to make this for him!

  • kate l.
    July 30, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I gotta be honest. I want to pin this so badly so that I will make it stat. But I don’t want the word to get out and someone else in my circle of friends/family to get the idea and do it before me. That is sick and wrong, I know.

    I guess that means I shall be baking it today. 🙂

  • Margarita
    July 30, 2012 at 11:36 am

    what a cute and gorgeous and delicious and decadent idea! love this…

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel
    July 30, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Cute packaging idea and great for grabbing on the run! 🙂

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    July 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    How cute! What a great gift idea too. Pinning! 🙂

  • Angela
    July 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Just found your blog through googling black beans (your Cuban black beans are on the stove right now) and love it! I just added it to my feed

    • jenna
      July 30, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Welcome! 🙂

  • Leah @ Chocolate and Wild Air
    July 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Yummmmm – adding these to my “must make immediately” list!

  • Liz
    July 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Wow, interesting idea! I’ll just say (in case no one else has) to make sure you’re using real mason/canning jars! Don’t just use any old peanut butter jar or decorative jar from a craft store, or else you are risking big problems with cracking and exploding,

  • Madison
    July 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    OMGooodness gracious cinnamon goodness! When I saw this post, my mouth started watering. I love monkey bread and for it to be in a jar is even better!

  • Val @ EatRunAndFancyFun
    July 30, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    my grandmother, sister and I use to make monkey bread when we were younger. Absolutely love the stuff. I will definitely be making this soon!

  • Joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    July 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    LOVE these jars- soooo cute! I’ve never even had monkey bread, but I’m thinking I would love it!

  • Stephie
    July 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    My best friend just got married and her husband’s favorite thing in the WORLD is monkey bread. She makes it for him every year for his birthday and their anniversary (they’ve been together 8 years). I am definitely sending this her way, it would be perfect for them!

  • Elle Beautiful
    July 30, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    These look scrumptious! I weirdly love eating out of jars lol… My sister turned me on to the “5 minute brownie in a mug” – you put the ingredients in a mug and microwave it (just type it into Google for the full recipe) – it’s super simple and super addictive!


  • Hawley
    July 31, 2012 at 8:25 am

    DAAAyummmm those look awesome. I think I need more mason jars in my life as well, especially now that we’re living in the south and ummm iced coffee has never tasted better than when it’s in a glass jar.

  • Shaina (Food for My Family)
    July 31, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Jenna, I have to tell you a secret. I always overfill the jars. Cupcakes = overfill. Cheesecakes = overfill. Monkey bread = overfill. Bread pudding = overfill. It’s like a disease. I just want to stuff it full. I probably made most of the recipes twice as many times just because I had to redo them not overfilled. Guilty.

    Thanks so much for the write-up, and I am so glad you enjoyed them!

  • RachR
    August 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I made this last night with a friend and OH WOW DELICIOUS. Unfortunately, I was in such a rush to start baking I bought crystal jars instead of glass and ended up having to bake in a casserole dish. Regardless, all of the cinnamony bites are already gone. Thank you for the idea!

  • Javelin Warrior
    August 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I love this concept – so adorable! I also love monkey bread, so another win 🙂 I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I love the inspiration I get from your food…

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    August 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Just bought it on my Nook after seeing your post. Can’t wait to try out the recipes! Thanks for sharing!

  • SkyloR @ Sprouthealthlifestyle
    August 29, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I have always been a firm believer in the snack-no-calorie rule- I am the queen of picking up the scraps into my mouth! Too much money bread is never a bad thing 🙂

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  • Terri Burfield
    July 16, 2014 at 4:30 am

    I love mason jars too, it’s an obsession! I definitely am going to make these, but instead of using scissors to cut all those pieces, I will be using a pizza cutter! So quick and easy that way! Thank you for the recipe and this great idea!

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    […] Eat, Live, Run’s blog couldn’t be more rightly named! I want to eat this monkey bread in a jar, while living in awe of its portability, and then I’ll probably run back to the kitchen to make some more. It’s cinnamon, brown sugar, pull-apart gloriousness overflowing the jar they’re so generously crammed into. And I love how each mason jar is dressed to impress with a little ribbon for decoration. It’s all in the delightful details! […]

  • jenny work
    September 26, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Mason / Ball jars are not made of tempered glass. therefor they are not meant for the oven. Please be careful, they can shatter i ht even, causing a horrible mess.