Overnight Bundt Caramel Rolls are easy to prepare, oo-ey, goo-ey, cinnamon-y bites of moist deliciousness! They’ve been an annual Christmas tradition in my family for years – they’re that easy and good.

White cake pan holding Overnight Bundt Caramel Rolls
(Photo by Laurie Smith)

What is Monkey Bread?

These Overnight Bundt Caramel Rolls, also often called Monkey Bread, are full of caramel and cinnamon flavor. I love the deep, richness of caramel, in just about any dish. Similar to caramel is butterscotch, which I also love. Technically in this recipe, the caramel sauce ingredients are actually for butterscotch (brown sugar, butter), including even butterscotch pudding mix. But years ago when someone first gave this recipe to my mom, it was called Caramel Rolls, so we’ve kept the name. If I changed it to Overnight Bundt Butterscotch Rolls, no one in my family would know what they were! And, regardless of the name, they are super delicious.

Not only does it only take about 5 minutes to prepare these Caramel Rolls, you prep them the night before, and pop them in the oven the next morning around 35 to 45 minutes before serving. Easy enough for everyday, elegant enough for special occasions and entertaining!

How to Make Monkey Bread

Time needed: 40 minutes.

Monkey Bread is incredibly easy to prepare. Here are the steps involved:

  1. The Night Before Serving.

    These are the steps to complete the night before you would like to serve these delectable rolls.

  2. Butter a 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan.

    Put around 1 tablespoon of very soft butter on a small piece of paper towel and rum generously all over the inside of a bundt pan. Make sure to get inside all of the nooks and crannies.

  3. Sprinkle bottom of pan evenly with chopped pecans.

    Make sure they are both in and outside of the pan crevices.

  4. Place bread rolls in pan, touching and filling the bottom first, then layering on top.

    Don’t thaw rolls. Spread them as evenly as possible around the pan.

  5. Sprinkle pudding evenly over top of rolls.

    Cut off one end of the pudding packet and gently shake the powder to spread on top of the frozen rolls.

  6. Make the sauce.

    In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat, stirring constantly to keep it from separating. Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved (the feel of the sauce will change and become less gritty once the sugar has dissolved).

  7. Pour butter mixture evenly over bread rolls and pudding mixture.

    Use a large spoon to help pour the butter mixture over the top of the rolls, spreading it evenly.

  8. Leave out, uncovered (do not refrigerate), overnight.

    It’s likely the dough will rise over the top of the pan, and that’s okay. Sometimes it doesn’t and that’s okay, too.

  9. The Next Morning.

    These are the few steps you follow the morning you’re serving these rolls.

  10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven, and put a cookie sheet on an oven rack under the middle rack (to catch any drippings).

  11. Bake rolls.

    Put bundt pan with rolls on the middle rack in the oven, centered over the cookie sheet. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until puffy and bubbly hot.

  12. Remove from heat.

    Place rolls on a trivet and let cool slightly in the pan (2 to 3 minutes).

  13. Remove from pan.

    Place a serving plate over the top of the Bundt pan and, using oven mitts, hold the plate and pan together and flip them over so the plate is on the bottom. Remove the Bundt pan. Using a spoon scoop any sauce remaining in the pan (there may not be any).

Monkey Bread Add-Ins or Variations

There are several ways you can make these Caramel Rolls your own. Here are a few ideas:

  • Substitute chopped walnuts or slivered almonds for the pecans.
  • Add 1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries or even dried blueberries. Sprinkle them in and around the frozen rolls.
  • Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips – or toffee chips. Sprinkle them in and around the frozen rolls.
  • Add orange zest. Stir into butter-sugar mixture before pouring over the rolls.
How long do these Caramel Cinnamon Rolls need to rise?

Frozen Rhodes Dinner Rolls take around 3 to 5 hours (depending on temperature of your kitchen) before they double in size and are ready to bake. Allowing them to rise longer doesn’t hurt this recipe!

Is it possible to make this Caramel Roll Recipe in less time if there’s no time to wait overnight? (Is there a quick rise method?)

As mentioned above, give the rolls 3 to 5 hours to rise or until they are doubled in size. Or, to make them even faster, thaw the rolls in the refrigerator ahead of time; then prepare the recipe as above. Let sit at room temperature (preferably in a warm place) for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in size before baking.

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White cake stand holding Overnight Bundt Caramel Rolls

Overnight Caramel Rolls Recipe

  • Author: (From “A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®” by Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings 1x
  • Category: breakfast and brunch, baking

Description

Overnight Bundt Caramel Rolls are easy to prepare, oo-ey, goo-ey, cinnamon-y bites of moist deliciousness! Not only do they take only about 5 minutes to prepare, you make them the night before, and pop them in the oven the next morning around 35-45 minutes before serving. Easy enough for everyday, elegant enough for special occasions and entertaining!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1819 frozen, unbaked bread rolls (do not thaw) – I use Rhodes brand
  • 1 package (3.5 ounce) dry butterscotch pudding
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Butter a 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan.
  2. Sprinkle bottom of pan evenly with chopped pecans.
  3. Place bread rolls in pan, touching and filling the bottom first, then layering on top.
  4. Sprinkle pudding evenly over top of rolls. Set aside.
  5. In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat, then stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Pour butter mixture evenly over bread rolls and pudding mixture. Leave out, uncovered (do not refrigerate), overnight. (Dough will rise over the top of the pan.)
  6. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Bake rolls for 25 to 35 minutes. Put a cookie sheet on the rack under the pan to catch any drippings. Remove from heat and let cool slightly in the pan (2 to 3 minutes).
  8. Place a serving plate over the top of the Bundt pan and, holding the plate and pan together, flip them over so the plate is on the bottom and remove the Bundt pan. The rolls hold together like a coffee cake and are topped with yummy caramel sauce and pecans. Pull the rolls apart with your hands as you serve them.

Notes

Note on removing cooked rolls from pan: If you wait more than 2 to 3 minutes to take the rolls out of the pan, you risk the yummy gooey sauce remaining in the pan. I invert them onto a serving plate, then place them in a warming (or 200 degree) oven to stay warm.

Lee Clayton Roper

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I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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3 Responses to “Overnight Caramel Rolls (How to Make Monkey Bread)”

    • Lee Roper

      Oh I’m so sorry! I’m not aware of that happening before, so I’m not sure why. Some possible reasons: did you put a cookie sheet directly under the bundt pan instead of on the rack underneath it? This would conduct more heat to the bottom of the pan, where the topping cooks. Or, maybe you left it in the pan a bit too long (more than 2 to 3 minutes)? If so, the topping would keep cooking in the hot pan. I hope this helps! Lee

      Reply

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