Peach Monkey Bread Muffins from scratch and refined sugar free! This is an easy recipe for homemade flaky biscuits shaped into monkey bread bites then coated with cinnamon and coconut sugar. And to celebrate the remaining days of peach season, we are adding fresh peaches and peach caramel to these muffins!
Sadly (maybe), this will be the last recipe posted for the summer of 2020. I got it in just under the wire – seeing as Fall officially starts next week. And I say sadly halfheartedly. Truth be told – I love Fall.
Not going to say this has been the greatest summer ever. I think we can all agree that it has been full of ups and downs. And a lot more downs than I care for. So, not only do I absolutely love Fall – I’m hopeful it will bring some better days!
Enough of that. Let’s talk about Monkey Bread!
Monkey Bread Muffins From Scratch
This isn’t my first Monkey Bread recipe. I made Mini Almond Cream Monkey Bread a while ago. With that recipe, I was reminded how much I like monkey bread.
It is fun to eat (pulling little dough balls and popping them in your mouth)! Monkey bread is pretty easy to make. And you can flavor it in about a gazillion different ways.
What makes this a from scratch recipe is we are not going to use store bought dough or biscuits. Not to say that it is bad to use store bought, I just have an affinity for making dough.
Don’t let the homemade biscuit dough worry you – it is the easiest dough. Seriously. And here is why:
- No yeast dough – phew! Even after making a handful of bread recipes with yeast, it still intimidates me.
- Few ingredients – Dough should only have a few ingredients, and this biscuit dough is no different: flour, buttermilk, BUTTER, baking powder, sugar.
- No resting or proofing required – Once you have made the dough, it is ready to shape and bake.
- Limited kneading – The dough is rough and we want it to be. So no fancy rolling, laminating, resting, refrigerating – and doing it all over again – required!
- Bakes fast – The oven needs to be hot, and from there, the biscuits are ready in about 20 minutes.
All that said, we have made these biscuits before. If you want to give them a try for your breakfast tomorrow. Wink. Quick and Easy Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits.
Peach Monkey Bread
I love using fresh peaches in baked goods. They keep their firm texture well, and the sweet flavor doesn’t get baked out.
Now, should you happen upon this recipe outside of peach season, go ahead and use frozen peaches. Just thaw them. I haven’t tested this recipe with frozen peaches, but I imagine the monkey bread muffins will turn out just as delicious.
We are also using peaches two ways in this recipe:
- Fresh peach chunks – distributed in the monkey bread
- Peach caramel sauce – ya-umm!
Peach Caramel Sauce – Refined Sugar Free
How is it that I haven’t talked about these Peach Monkey Bread Muffins being refined sugar free?! Every once in a while I’ll try to sneak in some healthier ingredient swaps, and this is one of them. And PSA – I’m no doctor and make no medical claims on the health benefits of coconut sugar vs. granulated sugar.
We’ve used peach and coconut sugar before in the Mini Peach Caramel Cake. Coconut sugar has a deep, rich, almost caramel flavor. Coconut sugar does cook down like regular sugar to form a thick caramel. And for this recipe, we are keeping it simple. The sugar, butter (obvi), and some peach chunks.
For a little more coconut sugar – the cinnamon sugar mix is cinnamon and – you guessed it – coconut sugar.
Tips For Making Peach Monkey Bread Muffins
- Fresh is always best – If you have/can get fresh peaches, I highly recommend it. But, if it is the middle of winter and a fresh peach is nowhere to be found, frozen peaches work too.
- All of the biscuit ingredients should be cold – That is, all of the refrigerated ingredients. The cold ingredients – specifically butter- have water in them. When the water is cold, then heated, it releases steam. That steam creates the flaky layers in the biscuits.
- Use cupcake liners – The liners hold the bubbly caramel and sauce that forms when the muffins are baked. And that translates to plain old goodness. Plus – liners make it a whole lot easier to get the muffins out of the pan.
- Use all of them caramel and cinnamon sugar – You may find you have a little extra cinnamon sugar. Or there seems to be too much caramel sauce. I recommend using it. Sprinkle/pour it between layers of monkey bread. I mean, you can never have too much caramel!
Cheers to the final days of summer!
More Easy Muffin Recipes
- Easy Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Caramel Apple Zucchini Muffins
- Small Batch Chocolate Cherry Muffins
- Strawberry Oatmeal Streusel Muffins
Peach Monkey Bread Muffins
- 1 – Muffin/Cupcake Pan
- 1 fresh peach, peeled and cut into small cubes - peeling the peach is optional
Biscuits / Muffins
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, cold
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Make the peach caramel first.
- In a small saucepan (or skillet), add 1/3 of the cubed peaches, sugar, and butter. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat until the sugar starts to thicken (caramelize) and the peaches start to break down – about 5-8 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the caramel – we don't want a burned or bitter caramel.
- While cooking, stir every so often to mix the peaches into the caramel. Towards the end of the cooking, stir in the cinnamon. Let the caramel cool – either in the pan or transfer to a heatproof jar or container – until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a muffin pan with 4 cupcake liners.
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- Add the cinnamon and sugar to a large ziploc bag, close, and shake to mix.
Biscuits / Muffins
- The butter for the biscuits should be very cold. Cut the butter into small cubes and place in the freezer for about 5 minutes before starting to make the biscuits. Recommendation – You can even grate the butter – using a cheese grater – so you get small butter pieces that are easier to mix in the dough.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- Add the cold butter cubes (or grated butter) and cold buttermilk. Using your hands or pastry cutter, 'cut' the butter into the flour until you have small pea-sized pieces of butter. If you grated the butter, you can just mix the dough with a wooden spoon. Mix just until all of the moisture has been absorbed by the flour. The dough will be scraggly and crumbly.
- Pour the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands, form the dough into a rough rectangle. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle a little flour over the top. Fold the dough in half, and press into a rough rectangle again. Sprinkling more flour over the top as needed. Fold and press the dough 3 times (this makes flaky layers).
- With a rolling pin or your hands, press the dough into approximately a 6-inch x 6-inch square. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Then divide each of the 4 pieces into 6 small pieces. Roll each of the small dough pieces into a ball. Add a few dough balls at a time to the ziploc bag with cinnamon sugar and and toss around to coat the dough.
- Press the dough balls into the cupcake liners – 6 pieces per. Layer peach cubes in between each dough ball. Spoon the peach caramel over the top of each muffin. Then, sprinkle any of the leftover cinnamon sugar over each muffin.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown and bubbly. Cool the muffins in the pan set on a wire cooling rack for about 5 minutes, then remove from the pan. The muffins are best enjoyed slightly warm and the day they are baked!
- You can swap the coconut sugar for granulated sugar 1:1.