foodFood & Drinkrecipes

Magical Apple Cider Monkey Bread + Giveaway

by Kristina Gill

I have been counting down the months for the release of Jerrelle Guy’s first cookbook, Black Girl Baking, since last autumn! We’ve had a preview of the quality and beauty of Jerrelle’s work from her blog, Chocolate for Basil, and her Instagram account. Believe me when I say how difficult it was to choose just one recipe to share with you this week, from that amazing chocolate cake on the cover to her pop biscuits, plum chai pie, and onion and red pepper quiche. I eventually chose the Apple Cider Monkey Bread because we are still in winter — when a warming cup of tea and the spices that go along with apple cider just seem to fit. A quick note to our vegan readers: Jerrelle includes vegan options for most of her recipes, so you can also enjoy her baked goods! —Kristina

Why Jerrelle loves this recipe:  The first recipe I made using yeast dough was a monkey bread on Christmas. Those holiday mornings everything is desperate to be picture perfect — my family is frustrated because I force them into matching red sweaters in South Florida heat — and no dessert is cooked without cinnamon, so it’s hard not to inhale. The yeast and cinnamon from this first memory of monkey bread was triggered when I walked through the Boston Public Market and smelled yeast, cinnamon, and the tang of apples from their apple cider doughnut holes. These scents are linked in my memory now.

To win a copy of Black Girl Baking, respond in the comments section below to the following question: What baked good — sweet or savory — do you most look forward to during the winter months? Do you bake it yourself? Is it on a seasonal rotation at your favorite restaurant? Tell us all about it!

About Jerrelle: Jerrelle Guy, founder of the popular food blog Chocolate for Basil, is a food scholar, award-winning food photographer, recipe contributor and Tastemade Tastemaker. She has been featured in Vogue, The Boston Globe, Food52, Instagram and more. Jerrelle currently resides in Boston, MA. Have a look at the loft where Jerrelle and her partner Eric create all the wonderful food for Chocolate for Basil. Find Jerrelle on Instagram at @ChocolateForBasil

{Photography by Jerrelle Guy}

Image above: cover, Black Girl Baking

Image above: Monkey bread in preparation

Image above: Jerrelle Guy

Apple Cider Monkey Bread

There’s a doughnut shop tucked away in the corner of the Boston Public Market not too far from Faneuil Hall. One day, I walked into the large building exhausted from a stroll through the rambunctious produce stalls at Haymarket, and might’ve passed by the small countertop had it not been for the glorious, wafting incense of buttery cinnamon and cider seeping toward my walking path. These people’s apple cider doughnut holes can and will steal a crowd just by turning on a ceiling fan. And I’m sure anyone living on our apartment floor will say the same about this monkey bread. I love knowing I can grab people’s attention so subtly. This recipe brings me back to my first-ever monkey bread Christmas morning.

Egg-free, vegan option

Makes one loaf


  • Dough
  • 3 tbsp (45 g) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water, at 115°F (46ºC)
  • 2 tsp (6 g) active dry yeast
  • 3–3½ cups (360–420 g) white whole wheat flour, divided
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) warm milk
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup (112 g) softened butter
  • Apple cider coating
  • ¾ cup (150 g) packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp (3 g) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (60 g) applesauce
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp (56 g) softened butter
  • Apple glaze
  • 2 tbsp (28 g) butter
  • 2 tbsp (30 g) applesauce
  • 5 tbsp (62 g) packed brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt



To make the dough, add the brown sugar to the bowl of warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the top, and let it bloom until a cap of foam forms on the top, 5 to 10 minutes.


In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine 2½ cups (300 g) of the flour and the salt. Mix on low speed, pouring in the warm milk, apple cider vinegar and bloomed yeast mixture. Add about ½ cup (60 g) more of flour and knead until all the flour is mixed in, you can help gather the dough together with your hands in the beginning.  Add the butter and mix until it’s completely worked in. Add extra flour gradually until the dough comes off the sides of the bowl. You may not need all the flour. Beat until the dough is smooth, about 2 more minutes.  Take the dough out of the bowl and place it in a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm, dark place for 1 to 1½ hours, or until doubled in size.


To make the coating, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, applesauce, apple cider vinegar, salt and butter in a bowl. Oil a Bundt pan and drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 ml) of the coating on the bottom of the pan.


Once the dough has risen, punch it down in the center to release the air. Pinch off about a 1½-inch (3.8-cm) piece from the dough, roll it into a ball and submerge it in the coating. Place the drenched ball into the Bundt pan. Continue until all the balls are coated and arranged in the pan. If there is any leftover coating, drizzle it over the top of the dough. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let the dough rise for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.


To make the glaze, melt the butter, applesauce, brown sugar and salt together in a saucepan on the stove top or in a bowl in the microwave. Set aside.


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C or gas mark 4) and position a rack in the center of the oven.


Remove the plastic from the risen monkey bread, and bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked through, and passes the toothpick/skewer test. Remove the monkey bread from the oven, allow it to cool slightly, and then carefully flip it out onto a serving tray. Drizzle it with the apple glaze, and serve warm.

Note: The bread can be assembled the day before and left in the fridge to slow rise overnight. The next day, remove the loaf from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before baking.


Vegan Option: Replace the butter with virgin coconut oil, at room temperature, or dairy-free butter, and make sure the milk is plant-based.

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