My vegan version of monkey bread goes a step beyond cinnamon and sugar. It’s chocolate chip banana monkey bread and I felt like the name made sense because monkeys eat bananas, right?
At least I know they do in cartoons! I always wondered why it’s called monkey bread. I discovered it’s simply because you eat it with your fingers. So, pull-apart bread? I don’t know the difference between the two. Either way by the time you figure out what to call this magical pan of sweet dough, it’ll likely be all gone, so don’t spend too much time that.
The recipe uses “that dough” recipe from my first cookbook Vegan Comfort Classics. By now, I’m sure you’ve made your fair share of it. I’ve included the recipe that dough below since variations of it appear all over my blog.
Why did I make this recipe to share with you? As usual, I had some overly ripe bananas lying around and was bored. Bored always means… bake! Typically I freeze overly ripe and use them for smoothies, but when the mood strikes it’s always fun to make something new. To bake the chocolate chip banana monkey bread in the classic shape, you can use a bundt pan, or do what I did and put a ramekin or small jar in the middle of a regular springform pan to create a hole.
chocolate chip banana monkey bread
- 3 C all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp quick-rise instant yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp neutral vegetable oil
- 1 ½ C warm water (between 120°F to 130°F)
- ½ C 1 stick salted vegan butter (butter the pan and melt the rest)
- 2 ripe mashed bananas
- ½ C packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ C mini vegan chocolate chips
- 1 ripe banana, sliced
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- To make the dough I prefer using a stand mixer, but you can also do it without one. In the bowl of your stand mixer or another large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and sea salt. Ensure you place the sugar, yeast, and salt in different spots on top of the flour. Stir to combine these ingredients together. Attach the bowl to your stand mixer with the dough hook and over low speed add the oil and gradually pour in the warm water. Otherwise, create a well in the dry ingredients and add the oil and warm water. Then fold together with a spatula or wooden spoon until the dough comes together. You will knead the dough by hand on a very lightly floured surface until it becomes smooth and tacky about 3 to 5 minutes. For the stand mixer method, increase the mixer speed gradually until the dough comes together and starts to form a ball around the dough hook. Continue to knead a minute longer until it becomes smooth and tacky. Do not add more flour if it’s slightly sticky, just continue to knead. Let the dough rest in the bowl after being kneaded for about 10 to 20 minutes covered with a tea towel.
While the dough is resting, prepare your bundt pan by greasing it with a bit of the stick of butter. If using a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then grease the bottom of and sides of the pan with the butter. Also grease the ramkein or jar for the middle and place it in the center of the pan. Melt the remaining butter stick in a medium bowl in the microwave. To the melted butter add mashed banana, brown sugar, and cinnamon and stir until well combined.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 12 x 18-inches. Spread ⅔ of the filling onto the surface. Add half the chocolate chips and the entire sliced banana in an even layer.
Fold the top and bottom edges of the dough into the center along the longest side. Now you have a long envelope of dough that is 18-inches long x 6-inches wide. Pinch the left and right ends together to seal the two edges. Then fold this envelope of dough in half again along the long edge. Cut 1-inch pieces along the length so you end up with 18 strips. This doesn’t have to be perfect and it will be a bit messy.
Place 9 strips, bunched and twisted, in messy bundles around the circumference of the bundt or springform pan. Add half the remaining filling and half the remaining chocolate chips evenly on top. Add the remaining 9 pieces on top of the first layer in the same fashion. Add remaining filling and chocolate chips on top as well as any filling that may have spilled onto the counter.
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar together for the topping in a small bowl. Sprinkle this evenly on top and let the whole thing rest with a tea towel on top for about 20 to 30 minutes or until proofed – it should be fairly puffed up before going in the oven.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Once proofed, remove the tea towel and bake for 35 to 40 minutes on the middle rack. Remove the bread onto a wire rack to cool for at least 40 minutes before removing it from the pan or removing the springform.