This post has been sponsored by Bridgford® Foods Corporation.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Orange zest and tart cranberries are tucked into every nook and cranny between pillowy soft rolls in this Cranberry Orange Pull-Apart Monkey Bread that will be a showstopper at any holiday gathering, whether it’s for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!

Orange zest and tart cranberries are tucked into every nook and cranny between pillowy soft rolls in this Cranberry Orange Pull Apart Monkey Bread that will be a showstopper at any holiday gathering, whether it's for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!

Cranberry Orange Pull-Apart Monkey Bread

Every bit of soft Bridgford® Frozen Parkerhouse Style Rolls Dough gets dunked in melted butter, rolled around in orange scented sugar, and then nestled into a bundt pan with fresh cranberries for this Cranberry Orange Pull-Apart Monkey Bread that is sure to delight your friends and family this holiday season.

I wish there was a smell feature to go with these photos because the delish scent of this citrus and cranberry easy overnight monkey bread is just heavenly. Every buttery bite of sweet-tart monkey bread just melts in your mouth and tastes like the holidays. It’s just as perfect for a festive dessert as it is for a centerpiece at Christmas brunch, which is how I usually serve monkey bread.

An image of a cranberry orange monkey bread next to white plates with sliced oranges and fresh cranberries beside it.

Find where to buy the Frozen Parkerhouse Rolls dough near you because they make it so easy and convenient to assemble the Cranberry Orange Pull-Apart Monkey Bread the night before. Then all you have to do is pop it in the oven when you wake up to have some warm, gooey monkey bread! And don’t forget to snag a coupon for a discount on both the Bridgford® Frozen Parkerhouse Style Rolls Dough and Bridgford Frozen Ready-Dough® to save you time & money this holiday season!

An image of Bridgford Parkerhouse Style Frozen Rolls Dough with fresh cranberries and orange for making cranberry orange pull apart monkey bread.

Monkey bread is a classic holiday menu item that I love because it doesn’t take too much time in the kitchen. Time which can be spent enjoying the company of family and friends, watching parades, wrapping gifts, trimming trees, or doing any number of the other festive activities we love to do during this time of year.

And it’s a great one for getting the kids involved since they can help with almost every step of the process to make this Cranberry Orange Pull-Apart Monkey Bread, from snipping the partially thawed Parkerhouse Rolls in half (for older kids) to rolling the dough in citrus scented sugar (for younger kids).

What is Monkey Bread?

If you have never had monkey bread before, you have been missing out! Or maybe you just know it by one of its many pseudonyms such as monkey puzzle bread, sticky bread, Hungarian coffee cake, golden crown, golden dumpling coffee cake, pinch-me cake, or pluck-it cake (all names mentioned on the wikipedia page dedicated to monkey bread!).

But the name monkey bread itself comes from the idea of this sweet treat being picked apart bit by bit, just like a monkey might tear apart its food.

Classic caramel pecan monkey bread is made from a soft dough sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar, pecans, and lots and lots of butter. Once baked, it has a cinnamon caramel taste that is pretty near impossible to resist.

An image of a glazed loaf of easy pull apart bread made with fresh cranberries and orange zest for a Christmas brunch, breakfast or dessert.This sticky bread treat known as monkey puzzle bread or pull apart bread is made with orange zest and fresh cranberries for a fun, festive holiday twist on the classic version.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Pull-Apart Monkey Bread

Rather than making classic monkey bread, I wanted to incorporate some of my favorite holiday flavors and do a monkey bread variation using fresh (or frozen) cranberries and oranges. You could use dried cranberries if the fresh or frozen ones aren’t available, but I find that they don’t pack the same burst of tart cranberry flavor. And if you love fresh cranberries like I do, you also need to try these fresh cranberry shortbread bars I made last year!

An image of an orange slice, fresh cranberries, and a loaf of cranberry orange monkey bread.

I always make this the night before and let it rise overnight so it’s ready to pop in the oven the next morning.

  1. Cut 24 partially thawed Bridgford® Frozen Parkerhouse Style Rolls Dough in half to make the bites of this monkey bread more manageable. I find it’s easiest to work with frozen roll dough when it is still frozen or partially frozen so it doesn’t stick to itself.
  2. Roll the dough in melted butter, then roll it in a mixture of granulated sugar and orange zest.
  3. Gently toss 2 cups of coarsely chopped cranberries in with the balls of sugar covered dough, then transfer to a bundt cake pan that has been generously sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise overnight.
  5. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 45-50 minutes, covering with heavy duty foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent the top from browning too much.
  6. Immediately invert the monkey bread onto a serving plate, then drizzle with a simple citrus glaze made by whisking together powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest.

An image of an American breakfast treat sometimes called a golden crown but more often known as pull apart bread or monkey bread, this one with cranberries and orange zest for a Christmas breakfast.An image of a gorgeous, glazed loaf of cranberry orange pull apart monkey bread with sliced oranges and fresh cranberries next to it.

Tips for Cranberry Orange Pull-Apart Monkey Bread

  • Don’t be afraid to spray your bundt pan really well with cooking spray, then be sure to invert the pan right after baking while the filling is still molten and hot.
  • If using frozen cranberries, make sure they are completely defrosted, then chop them up a bit (I just grab a paring knife and slice a bunch of them in half) and squeeze them to get rid of as much excess liquid as you can. I’ve made the mistake before of just throwing the frozen cranberries in and they released so much juice that my monkey bread completely fell apart.
  • To glaze or not to glaze, that is the question. Is the glaze necessary? No, definitely not. There is enough sugar to balance the tartness of the cranberries and create a sticky-sweet coating around each bite of monkey bread. Do I love the extra glaze anyway? Absolutely. You are probably making this Cranberry Orange Pull-Apart Monkey Bread for the holidays or a special occasion. I say go for it.

An easy overnight monkey bread is made festive with the addition of fresh cranberries and orange zest instead of the classic caramel pecan version.This easy overnight monkey bread is glazed with a sweet citrus glaze and loaded with flavor from fresh cranberries and orange zest.

More Sweet Breakfast Ideas You’ll Love

Cranberry Orange Pull-Apart Monkey Bread
Yield: 8 people

Cranberry Orange Pull-Apart Monkey Bread

Orange zest and tart cranberries are tucked into every nook and cranny between pillowy soft rolls in this Cranberry Orange Pull-Apart Monkey Bread that will be a showstopper at any holiday gathering, whether it's for breakfast, brunch, or dessert!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours

Ingredients

Pull Apart Bread

  • 24 Bridgford Parkerhouse Style Rolls Dough, frozen or only partially thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • Zest of 1 1/2 oranges
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, chopped and squeezed to release excess juices

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons orange juice
  • Zest of 1/2 orange

Instructions

  1. Cut each roll in half and set aside.  Generously spray the sides and bottom of a bundt pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and orange zest.  Melt the butter in another bowl.  Dip each piece of dough first in the melted butter and then in sugar zest mixture.  Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add the coarsely chopped cranberries to the bowl of sugar coated dough and toss to combine, then transfer to the prepared bundt pan.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise overnight until the rolls are puffy and reaching the top of the bundt pan.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, then bake the monkey bread for 45-50 minutes until the rolls in the center are cooked through.  Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil for the last 20 minutes of baking to prevent the rolls on top from browning too much.  
  5. Remove the monkey bread from the oven and immediately invert onto a large plate or serving platter.  Whisk together the glaze ingredients and pour over the monkey bread while still hot, then serve for guests to pull apart while warm.

Notes

Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans if you would like an extra crunch!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 527 Saturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 30mg Sodium: 102mg Carbohydrates: 55g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 53g

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