Monkey Bread

Growing up in my household, there were a few recipes that my dad would make with us kids on a regular basis. Monkey Bread was always a Sunday morning favorite. It really helps to have some extra hands around when it comes to all the cutting and coating in sugar that is required. I think this recipe is the single reason why you could always find a 4 pack of Pillsbury biscuits in the fridge growing up.

I made this when Hubby’s siblings were in town and we all enjoyed the sugary sweetness just as much as I remember from my childhood. I later found out that my younger siblings back home made it that day as well since I had to call home to get the recipe.

Since this was the first time I’ve made Monkey Bread without the help of my Dad, I did overcook the syrup a bit. It caramelized more than it should. You really want it to be a gooey sticky mess gooing out of the bread. But even the more caramelized version was delicious.

One year ago – Tomatoes Stuffed with Salmon Dill Dip

Monkey Bread – recipe from my Dad – no idea where it originally comes from
4 cans Pillsbury biscuit (get the kind that come in a 4 pack, the small ones, not the Grands)

Sugar coating:
2/3 brown sugar – I was running low on brown sugar, so I used 1/3 cup white and 1/3 cup brown
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Syrup topping:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Spray your angel food cake or bundt pan.

Mix the sugar coating in a ziplock bag (feel free to add more cinnamon and/or sugar if you run out during the coating process). Cut the biscuits into 4 (kitchen shears work great for this). Drop the biscuit pieces into the ziplock bag and shake to coat. Drop coated biscuit pieces into the prepared pan.

Bring syrup ingredients to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then pour over biscuit pieces. Bake for 35 minutes.

Turn over onto plate and serve while hot.

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27 Responses to “Gooey Bars (aka Cream Cheese Bars)”

  1. #
    Sunshine — January 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    These look fantastic!

  2. #
    Jess — January 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    my husbands family calls them butter-gooey cake.

  3. #
    Kelly — January 20, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Hi! These are actually called Gooey Butter Cakes, and they are a Paula Deen recipe (hence the butter and cream cheese!) I love making them with a red velvet cake mix….so good.

  4. #
    Andrew's Mom — January 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Ooey gooey butter cakes have been around for decades – they started in St. Louis – very close to my hometown. I remember making this recipe years before Paula came on the scene. She just made them more famous! Everyone goes nuts when you make them – I make them with all kinds of flavors – pineapple, lemon etc. Yours look great.

  5. #
    Jen — January 20, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Thanks for all the information about where the bars originate from. Wherever they came from, they sure are good. I saw some comments on the link of variations that people have tried like swirling in some berries and using chocolate cake mix. Kind of like a cheesecake brownie

  6. #
    Dyanna — January 21, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Here in Kentucky they’re called Chess bars and have been around for a very long time. I’m not a native to KY and a coworker introduced me to these. I looked at them and thought “What the heck is that?” but once I tried one I was HOOKED! I just love how simple they are to make.

  7. #
    kitchen koala — January 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Whatever you call them, they’re pretty darned good!

  8. #
    Katie — January 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    YUM! Those look really delicious. And I love the colors you always put in the background.; The blue with the orange tint of the abrs is just perfect!

  9. #
    Ingrid — January 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Yours looks like how my first and only batch turned out but I think I’d like them better gooey and with a little less sugar.

  10. #
    Julie — January 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Yum…I love these things!

  11. #
    Colleen — January 29, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    These look delicious! And I love using boxed cake mix!

  12. #
    Kasey — March 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I made these for a friends birthday this past weekend and they were a big hit!

  13. #
    Tyler — September 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I just made these today and they are delicious! I left mine slightly gooey and it’s so good!

  14. #
    Lisa @ Cents to Save — April 1, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I love these bars!

  15. #
    Lindy S — March 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    ust made these, yum! But I am curious to know where I can find some variations, i.e., with nuts, chocolate, fruit flavored, etc……I love to experiment!

    • beantownbaker — March 16th, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

      I haven’t had a chance to play around myself with this recipe. I’m sure if you searched online, you’d find some other variations. Let me know what you try!

  16. #
    Britanny — May 13, 2013 at 6:31 am

    My mom used to make them for us when I was little. I am 25 now. And I am pretty sure they have been around for quite some time. Paula Deen probably only highlighted the fact that they were around. But yes Yum!

  17. #
    Stephen — July 28, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.

    It’s always interesting to read through articles from other writers and practice something from other sites.

  18. #
    Kathy — September 26, 2013 at 9:43 am

    How can you make these to taste like pumpkin? If you add in pumpkin, do you need to cut back on something else??

    • beantownbaker — September 26th, 2013 @ 10:33 am

      Oh that’s a great thought… What about using a box of pumpkin cake mix? And then throwing some pumpkin spices in the cream cheese mixture? If you try this variation, definitely let me know how it turns out!

  19. #
    jonay — June 2, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Omg these look amazing cannot wait to try! I will experiment though!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

      If you do, let me know how it goes!

  20. #
    Sheryl — August 21, 2014 at 8:16 am

    This has been around for years and yes it came from a Philly box. Was a family tradition for holidays at our house, but you can make with lemon as well

  21. #
    Judy Seggerman — February 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    I have been making these for years…but I dust with powdered sugar when cool. I can’t go to a family function without taking them.We call them Butter Cheese Squares.

  22. #
    bida — December 7, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    I have made these for over 20 some years. I mix pecan pieces in the crust. Family just loves them. Making them tomorrow.

  23. #
    Leisa McCannon — July 1, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I make mine with Butter Pecan Cake mix and they are awesome. I am trying lemon this weekend.

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