Gingerbread monkey bread with whiskey-maple dipping sauce.

I won’t lie: making this takes the best part of a Sunday. But at the end of it
you’ll have a huge mountain of fluffy, chewy, bite-sized, toffee-coated,
heart-stoppingly sweet cinnabon boulders.


Based on Whisk Kid’s recipe.

1 sachet (2 + 1/2 tsp) dry yeast
1 tbs caster sugar
1/3 cup warm (not hot) water

2 tbs butter
1 cup milk (low-fat is fine)
1/4 cup molasses (or golden syrup)*

3 + 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg

8 tbs butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

For the dipping sauce:
4 tbs butter
4 tbs cream cheese
1/2 cup icing mixture
1 tbs whiskey (I used Sailor Jerry spiced rum, for obvious reasons)
2 tsp maple syrup


  1. In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and water and set aside while it does its thing (i.e. while you do the next few steps).
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the 8 tablespoons of butter with the molasses (or golden syrup). Set aside until room temperature.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if your stand mixer doesn’t have a dough hook), sift together the flour, salt and spices.
  4. Attach the dough hook and turn on to the slowest speed. (If you don’t have a dough hook, use your hands from here on.) Slowly add the room-temperature milk/molasses mixture and the yeast mixture. Once the dough has come together into a single lump, continue mixing/kneading for about 7 minutes.
  5. Turn off the mixer (if you’re using one), and knead the dough on a floured bench for another few minutes.
  6. Add a touch of oil to the mixing bowl (no need to clean it first), roll the dough ball around to cover the dough and bowl in oil, then cover the bowl in cling wrap and a tea towel (leaving a breathing hole) and leave it in a warm place out of the sun for 1–1.5 hours (until doubled in size).
  7. Once the dough has risen, melt the remaining 8 tbs butter (in the microwave is fine) and set aside. In another small bowl mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Grab a large, deep non-stick cake tin.**
  9. On a floured benchtop, roll out the dough into a large square, about 1.5 cm thick. Cut into strips and then small squares. About this size:
  10. Roll the squares into balls:
  11. Dip each ball into the melted butter, roll it in the brown sugar/cinnamon, then put it into the cake tin. Lay one single layer first, then add the remaining dough balls evenly over that (you may end up with a whole extra layer). Don’t push them in too tightly — they’re about to rise/spread a bit more.
  12. Set the oven to preheat to 175° C. Cover the cake tin as before, and leave to rise for another hour. (On top of the warming oven is a good spot now.)
  13. When the dough balls are puffy again, put the whole thing in the oven and bake for 30–35 minutes. The top should be dry, quite golden, and sound hollow when you tap it.
  14. Leave to cool in the tin for at least half an hour before turning it out onto a plate (any sooner and the toffee won’t have set/you’ll have monkey bits everywhere).
  15. When that’s almost cooled, grab a small saucepan and melt together all the ingredients for the dipping sauce over a medium heat, stirring until combined and smooth.
  16. To serve, pull of bits of bread and dip (okay, slather) them in the sauce.


You could pour the sauce over the whole thing as a glaze, but it will go soggy quite quickly — not ideal unless you’re planning to eat the whole thing at once (in which case GOOD LUCK TO YOU).

On that note, this didn’t keep particularly well in a sealed container at room temperature or in the fridge, but did perk up a bit in the microwave (or in the oven if you want to keep the edges firm/crispy). You can keep the sauce in a sealed container in the fridge for as long as the monkey bread lasts.

*Oil the measuring cup first so the molasses or golden syrup doesn’t stick. No spatula, no mess!
**Or a bundt tin. Or butter a large non–non-stick cake tin. Don’t use a springform tin, in case it leaks when the caramel forms. Don’t worry, the generous amount of melting butter/sugar in this should stop it sticking anyway.

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