Caramel Cashew Monkey Bread
By Lizzie on July 1, 2018
Hey my friends! I am so excited to bring you another sponsored post by my favorite yeast company, Red Star Yeast ! I can honestly say that their yeast is the best I have ever used, and all of my doughs come out so beautifully each and every time!!
Have you ever heard of monkey bread? I know most of you have, and it’s such a delicious and sweet treat made with bits of dough, cinnamon sugar and sometimes a caramel sauce poured over it. How can that be bad, right? Well, I decided to turn the same old recipe up a notch and use some different ingredients to make it extra scrumptious. Making homemade dough is such a wonderful and satisfying experience, and I really want you not to be afraid to try it. I can promise you, that if you follow my easy, step by step instructions, you can be a pro at homemade dough too!! Making sure you use the freshest ingredients…especially your yeast, is of the utmost importance in assuring your recipe will come out perfectly! This recipe will take a little time, so it’s the perfect thing to do when you want to spend the day baking…which is always my favorite thing to do 🙂 Using cashews instead of pecans, gives the bread a yummy crunch with a more subtle nut flavor, and a homemade, luscious caramel sauce takes this recipe over the top!! Make sure to look for Red Star Yeast at your local grocery store, and check out their Platinum variety. It’s so simple to use, and so forgiving it takes the intimidation out of baking with yeast! So, go on…bake your dough loving heart out 🙂
Check out these yummy ingredients!!
The dough becomes smooth and lovely after several minutes of kneading!
Look at the beautiful rise after about an hour!
Toast the cashews in the oven to really bring out their flavor.
You’ll want about 40 balls of dough, so I begin by cutting the dough into 1/4’s, then 1/8’s, and so on until you get about 40 balls of dough.
Dunk each ball of dough into the melted butter.
Pour a whole bottle of Dixie Crystals Cinnamon Sugar into a bowl and roll the buttered dough ball in the mixture.
Your fingers are going to be very sticky 🙂
Make your homemade caramel.
How luscious does this caramel look?
Pour half of the caramel and cashews into your buttered bundt pan.
Layer half of the coated balls of dough and press down slightly.
Pour the remaining caramel and sprinkle cashews over the layer.
Add the remaining balls over the top of the caramel and cashews. Press down slightly. Cover and let rise for about 30-40 minutes.
Place the bundt pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Loosely cover with foil so the top won’t burn. Bake for another 25 to 35 minutes depending on your oven.
Cool in the pan for no more than 10 minutes before inverting it onto a plate. Be careful not to burn yourself with the hot caramel in the process.
Isn’t this a thing of true beauty? 🙂
Try to wait for it to cool slightly before you start pulling pieces off….or if you are like me, don’t wait and burn your hand and mouth because it’s just simply too good to wait! 🙂
When it’s completely cooled, you can actually slice it and serve it this way too!!
This is what dreams are made of 🙂
Caramel Cashew Monkey Bread
Makes: 1 bundt pan Prep time: 2 hours including risings Bake time: 43 to 50 minutes
1 package, (1/4 ounce), Red Star Yeast Platinum yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 and 1/4 cups whole milk, warmed to about 110 to 115 degrees
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 cup Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for flouring your board when you knead the dough
To dunk and roll the dough balls
10 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 and 1/3 cups, light brown Dixie Crystals Sugar
1/2 cups unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon best quality vanilla extract
1 cup toasted whole cashews, ( I used unsalted, but you can use the salted variety if you like).
Butter your bundt pan and set aside. Set your oven to 350 degrees and place the whole cashews on a baking sheet. Bake them for about 7 minutes to bring out the flavor. Give them a rough chop and set them aside. You can turn off your oven at this point.
In a sauce pan, mix the milk and water. Cook on very low heat until it until it reaches about 110 degrees. Remove from the heat.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, sprinkle in the yeast and pour the warm milk and water mixer over the top. Stir until combined.
Add in the 6 tablespoons of slightly cooled, melted butter.
Stir in 1/4 cup sugar
Whisk the two eggs in a separate bowl, and slowly drizzle them in the yeast mixture so that they don’t curdle with the heat of the ingredients.
Add in salt and one cup of flour at a time. Beat until all ingredients are incorporated. The dough will look shaggy and sticky at this point.
Turn the warm dough onto a well floured board and knead for about 2-3 minutes. You can sprinkle a bit more flour over the dough if it’s too sticky. The dough will come together as a nice, smooth ball.
Scrape out the remaining dough pieces in your mixing bowl and butter it well. Place the dough ball back in and turn it over once to cover it in the butter.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour.
Make the caramel while the dough is rising in the last 10 minutes.
Place all of the caramel ingredients, except for the vanilla, into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and add in vanilla. Set aside.
After the hour rising is up, punch down the dough.
On a lightly floured board, divide the dough into 4 even pieces. ( I use a bench scraper to make this easier).
Cut each piece into 10 fairly equal pieces. (Don’t stress over this part..just eyeball them to make them look more or less the same size)
Melt your 10 tablespoons of butter in a microwave safe bowl. You will also use this bowl for dunking the balls of dough.
Pour the cinnamon sugar into a bowl.
Roll each dough piece into a ball and dunk first in the butter, then roll it around in the cinnamon sugar.
Sprinkle half of the cashews in the bottom of your bundt pan.
Pour half the caramel over the top of the cashews.
Place 20 prepared dough balls over the top of the caramel cashew layer. Gently push them down a bit into the caramel and cashews.
Sprinkle the remaining cashews over that layer.
Pour the remaining caramel over top.
Add the rest of the prepared dough balls over the caramel, cashew layer. Gently push the dough down again just a bit.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes. While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Take the plastic wrap off the risen bundt pan and gently push down the dough a bit.
Place the bundt pan on a baking sheet. ( Full disclosure here…a few dropped off the top while baking, so i just pulled them out and ate them) 🙂
Bake for about 20 minutes, then loosely cover the top with foil to prevent over browning.
Bake for another 40 to 50 minutes. If you shake the pan and you can tell that the dough may still be under baked in the middle, bake it for a few minutes longer.
Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Very carefully invert the pan onto a serving plate.
Serve warm, but not straight from the pan. The caramel may burn your mouth. (Yes, I did this myself because I just couldn’t wait one more minute) 🙂
If you have any leftovers, wrap in wax paper and foil. It will keep for a day or two…maybe….if you don’t have any midnight snackers in your house 😉