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Carrot Cake Monkey Bread

This Carrot Cake Monkey Bread will wow your family and friends! Make it for Easter Breakfast or Brunch, and they’ll be begging for more!

#Carrot Cake Monkey #Bread from www.somethingswanky.com

Do your kids watch Daniel the Tiger? It’s this PBS show that’s sort of an animated spin off of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. It’s cute enough, teaches good lessons like sharing and being kind. Anyway, Emma’s really taken a shine to it.

There’s this song that goes, “I like you, I like you, I like you just the way you are!” And she sings it all. the. time.


At first, it was pretty cute. She just kind of sang to herself everywhere we went. And anytime we started to say “I love you,” she’d break in with a chorus of “I like you, I like you, I like you just the way you are!”

But we’ve moved past cute to downright hysterical borderline embarrassing.

Because she’s all of a sudden discovered volume. And now she knows she can sing at the very top of her lungs, and she does it everywhere we go! For instance, we were checking out of the grocery store today. And the clerk starts to tell Emma that she likes Emma’s sparkly shoes. She says, “I really li–” which immediately triggers: “I LIKE YOU! I LIKE YOU! I LIKE YOU! JUST THE WAY YOU ARRRRRRRRRRRRE!!!!!!” The cashier waits for her to sing and then tries to say something polite, like “oh, she’s so cu–” but Emma bursts into song yet again, effectively thwarting any attempts at polite chit chat between me and the cashier.

So we continue the check out in silence (two of us, anyway), and I give her a smile and a shrug as I walk off, hoping to communicate “so-sorry-about-my-singing-cinderella-dressed-toddler-thanks-for-checking-us-out-have-a-nice-day!”

#Carrot Cake Monkey #Bread from www.somethingswanky.com

Anyway. That’s what’s going on in my life today. Just a whole ‘lotta cuteness. All day every day ;) .

That and Monkey Bread! Last month’s Red Velvet Monkey bread inspired this Easter Breakfast recipe, since it only involved switching out the Red Velvet cake mix for Carrot! The Carrot cake taste isn’t quite as strong in the recipe as it is in some of the others I’ve done (like this Carrot Cake Poke Cake), but I think that makes me like it even more. It has a great subtle spice cake flavor, and the cream cheese frosting and pecans set it off perfectly.

This is the perfect breakfast recipe to WOW any Easter guests you may have this year! It does take some prep time (basically, just letting the dough rise), so be sure to plan accordingly!

#Carrot Cake Monkey #Bread from www.somethingswanky.com #Carrot Cake Monkey #Bread from www.somethingswanky.com

Carrot Cake Monkey Bread


    For the Dough:
  • 1 box of Carrot Cake Mix
  • 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • For the Monkey Bread:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • optional: chopped pecans for sprinkling


  1. Fill a bowl or measuring cup with 2 1/2 cups warm (bath-like) water. I like to use a 4-cup measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over top, and then sprinkle the sugar over the yeast. Let rest and foam.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the cake mix, salt, and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  3. Once the yeast has proofed (looks foamy), pour the yeast and water into the mixing bowl. Add the vanilla. Attach the dough hook, and mix on a low speed until dough forms (add more flour if a dough ball doesn't form).
  4. With floured hands, remove the dough from the bowl and spray non stick cooking spray generously inside the bowl. Replace the dough in the bowl, and spray the top of the dough. Cover and let rise until doubled in size (I always set mine on a heating pad to rise, so it's done in about 30 minutes).
  5. While dough is rising, prepare the cinnamon sugar by mixing together the cinnamon and the granulated sugar in a gallon sized zip top bag. Set aside.
  6. Prepare the bundt pan by generously greasing and flouring the inside of the pan. Set aside.
  7. Once risen, punch down the dough and split it into two even portions. Cover one portion and set aside (either for another monkey bread, or to make an actual bread loaf-- like I did).
  8. Pinch of golf ball sized portions of the dough and place into the zip top bag filled with sugar (I did 4-5 balls at a time). Seal bag and shake until the dough is thorough coated. Place each dough ball into the prepared bundt pan. Continue with the rest of the dough. Bundt pan should be about halfway full.
  9. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, place the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute (or until butter is melted) and whisk until combined. Pour evenly over top of the dough in the bundt pan.
  11. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the dough comes out clean.
  12. Let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, use a hand mixer to beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  13. Gently push a rubber spatula down the sides of the bundt pan to loosen the dough from the sides of the pan (it also helps to firmly tap all around the outside of the pan-- and by "firmly tap," I mean "hit it hard." This should loosen it from the side of the pan pretty well.) Invert the bread onto a plate. Spread the cream cheese frosting over top (or you can pipe it on like I did) and sprinkle on the chopped pecans. Serve warm!

Notes about this recipe:

  • Yes, I do mean granulated sugar in the frosting recipe and not powdered sugar. I promise, it’s not grainy after about 2 minutes, and it’s a perfect consistency! You’ll love it, I promise.
  • I hear people like raisins with carrot cake. So if you’re a raisin lover, throw a handful or two in with the dough balls before baking! I’d rather die, but… that’s just me ;) .


Carrot Cake Recipes from Friends

Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.

47 comments on “Carrot Cake Monkey Bread”

  1. I miss mister rogers!!! And this monkey bread is definitely perfect for Easter morning!!

  2. My son Parker sings the song, “If you have to go potty, STOP! And go right away…flush & wash & be on your way!” Haha. We like that show too. :)

  3. Ashton, thanks so much for sharing the carrot cake truffles!! Your carrot cake monkey bread recipe is beyond brilliant. I wish I had more words to explain how genius it is!

  4. I don’t know if I can wait until Easter to make this – it looks amazing!

  5. OOH! I love this idea! Super cute and yummy! I’ve never made monkey bread yet, but I think it’s about time :)

  6. oh my. this is my first time popping by your lovely site and your pictures look absolutely awesome! And the font in the comment box as I’m typing is really cool too! ;)

  7. I love monkey bread and to combine it with carrot cake sounds amazing! Pinning asap!

  8. Oh this would be soooo good for Easter morning! I love that you made your own dough too Ashton! But what I love more is “the singing Cinderella dressed toddler” I love seeing little kids all dressed up!

  9. Aaah, this looks amazing! Such a special, delicious Easter treat!

  10. That is too funny and cute about your sweet little Cinderella wearing girl :-) It could be worse…she could be screaming bloody murder because you didn’t buy her a candy bar right? Now about this monkey bread…it looks down right delicious…so much so I know I would eat the entire cake in a day flat!!!!

  11. Ok saw this recipe and my jaw just dropped. I grew up on monkey bread and it was always made the same way, very plain which I love. But oh how I could love this too! My 4 yr old is the same with singing. My 1 yr old has discovered the word Hi! So we go around stores with her saying Hi, Hi, Hi to everyone in site!

  12. This looks sooo yummy!! I know since it’s monkey bread and not cake, is it possible to make this with a homemade carrot cake recipe instead of a box? Some how it makes me feel better to make from scratch and I do enjoy the carrot cake flavor, but I would probably have to omit some of the liquid in a regular recipe..

    • Hmm…… I see the appeal of baking from scratch! I’m just not quite sure how to do it here.. I’d definitely start out with a standard bread dough recipe, then probably add some cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves to the dough. Then maybe fold in some shredded carrots? That’s where I’d start anyway :)

    • One other question: I was going to make it for my birthday back in april, I bought all the ingredients but ran out of time. I now plan to make it for a co-workers birthday on Monday, but I don’t want to make two whole monkey breads (I won’t be able to eat it, so I don’t want it at home). Do you think I could half the water and flour while still keeping the full cake mix? Allowing the flavor to come through a little bit more maybe? Thanks for any input! I appreciate it! This recipe has been in the back of my mind since I first saw it! Happy I’m finally going to get a chance to make it!

    • I think you could half the recipe if you measure very carefully, but you definitely couldn’t still use all of the cake mix! Sorry to reply so late!! We were out of town last week!

  13. Definitely a great treat to bring for Easter brunch! My friend hosts every year I might have to bring this.

  14. I have a nephew that loves carrot cake and monkey bread … he will go nuts over this!

  15. Yes, Yes, and Yes. I want this NOW. Making ASAP.

  16. i’ve never seen a better lookin’ monkey bread before girl! it looks SO moist and perfect. oozing with flavor. and carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts. I need to make this… like yesterday.

  17. I am coming over to your house for Easter if you are serving this! Great recipe!

  18. Wow – this looks so delicious!!!

  19. For someone who says they don’t like carrot cake, you’re making some pretty good carrot cake desserts! I’m pretty much drooling over here right now. Carrot cake is one of my faves, and in monkey bread form?? Yep, on my Easter menu!

    Also: these pictures are amazing!

    • Lol! I’ve come to terms with carrot cake, but with a very specific stipulation: only if the carrot cake recipe originates from the cheapest box cake mix I can find! That way, I know I won’t have ANY big carrot chunks, raisins, or too much spice :) lol… I figure I can live with that, and then my readers can make theirs more “loaded” by using whatever cake mix they like best! Win-win!

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  21. *Jaw-dropped on floor*

    Really, no words…

  22. Aren’t kids delightful? I kinda can’t wait for my baby to do awesome stuff like this!

  23. oooooooohhhhhhhhh yeah baby! This looks awesome! And kids are so the best.

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  27. hi – i’ve committed to bringing this for Easter brunch. what do you think about making the day before? or is there a step i could get to beforehand and then bake when i get to brunch? i’m not that good at baking from scratch so looking for some advice. thanks!

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  32. Yay for the Fabulous Food Blog Recipes page! I’d never read your blog before and this monkey bread is gorgeous. :)

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  34. Hi Ashton! I love this recipe! Making monkey bread is like #2 on my to-bake list right after cinnamon rolls haha and I wanted to stop by to let you know I featured it in my Sunday Sweeties Easter Links :)

  35. I don’t know how I missed this the first time around! It looks incredible! Monkey bread is one of my favorites and I can’t wait to try this version!

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  37. WOW! This Looks amazing! Do you think Strawberry cake mix (and fresh strawberries) would work too? I would omit the cinnamon or honey perhaps…what do you think? Also, can you make this somewhat ahead? You advise to serve warm, but my co-workers would die for this!!

  38. Ashton, what an adorable little girl you have. Thank you for sharing your story. I believe you must be a superdad, especially after that story, seeing the pictures of the monkey bread, and reading the recipe. My son loves monkey bread and secondly loves carrot cake. What genius to combine the two! He will love it, I think. I will send it to his wife and give her the honor of making it for him. Thank you Ashton!

  39. How do you make the bread with the extra dough? Cooking time and temp?

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