When Gary posted a recipe for cream cheese and chocolate stuffed monkey bread to my Facebook wall, I immediately began thinking about how I could make it into a fall recipe. The first hints of fall are just starting to work their way into the air here in Florida. Though I know that Florida weather is fickle, and it could feel like summer again tomorrow, I’m enjoying it while it lasts!
If you’ve never had monkey bread before, it’s a sweet pull-apart bread, perfect for deserts or a sweet breakfast. It’s usually made by rolling pieces of biscuit dough in cinnamon and sugar, tossing all of the pieces into a budnt or loaf pan, drizzling melted butter and sugar over top, and baking until golden brown. There are tons of variations of monkey bread. While the chocolate cream cheese monkey bread sounded good, I thought a pumpkin cream cheese version would be perfect for the start of the fall season.
There are two ways to make this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pull-Apart Bread. A quick method, using store bought biscuits, and a from scratch version using a slightly healthier whole wheat biscuit (see the notes at the foot of the recipe for the from scratch method).
I made this recipe for the first time one Saturday when Gary and I were home all day. That was a mistake. A recipe this good can quickly disappear even when there’s just two of us here to eat it. The next day, we decided to go to a get together with friends that evening. I jumped at the chance to share this recipe, but there were only a few pieces left from the day before. It was the perfect opportunity to try the quick method. Gary ran to the store and picked up some biscuits, and I got to work.
Though the quick method, using store bought biscuits, was delicious and got great feedback, Gary, preferred the from scratch version. While it was a little more time consuming to make, I liked knowing that the biscuits were a little more wholesome when making the recipe from scratch. The from scratch recipe also uses part whole wheat flour, so you can feel a little less guilty about consuming all of the sweet, buttery, gooey deliciousness of this bread.
The pumpkin cream cheese filling for this bread is lightly sweetened, since there’s so much sweetness in this recipe without it. If you wind up with some left over filling at the end, it makes a perfect dip for sliced fruit!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pull-Apart Bread
- 8 oz cream cheese 1 package
- 1/4 cup canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 3 TBS powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 5 TBS butter
- 1 8 count package Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits see notes for homemade version
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Warm cream cheese until softened. (If microwaving, cut into cubes and microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring each time)
- Combine cream cheese, pumpkin, powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract in a large bowl stir until well blended. Then refrigerate mixture while you prepare the biscuits.
- Cut raw biscuits in half.
- Spread each biscuit piece out, pressing down to form a circle.
- Place approximately 2 tsp of cream cheese mixture in the center of each circle of dough and fold the edges of the dough up and over the cream cheese mixture, pinching at the top to seal.
- Once all pieces are filled and sealed, combine cinnamon and white sugar in a gallon sized bag and shake to mix.
- Place dough pieces into the bag, and gently shake to coat in cinnamon sugar. If the pieces stick together, carefully separate them and roll in the cinnamon sugar.
- Place biscuit pieces in a greased loaf or budnt pan.
- Combine the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl and microwave in 10 second intervals until the butter in melted, then stir until well mixed.
- Pour the sugar and butter mixture over the biscuit pieces.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown on top.
- Remove from oven and place a large plate over the top of the pan.
- Carefully turn the pan and plate over (this allows the glaze to run down and coat all of the bread).
- Leave pan in place and allow to rest for 10 minutes; then remove the pan. If the bread is stuck, gently run a butter knife around the edges.
- Allow to cool for an additional 10 minutes.
- Pull off pieces and eat! You may want to gently pull the first one open to make sure the filling has cooled enough to eat.
- Refrigerate leftovers. You can warm leftover pieces in the microwave before eating.
To make the from scratch version, replace the Grands! Biscuits with this recipe (click here). I made the following changes to the recipe however: I omitted the honey, and I diced a refrigerated stick of butter and mixed it with the flour using my hands until the flour mixture was crumbly, rather than grating a frozen stick of butter as suggested.