Healthy single-serve vegan monkey bread is the most delectable sticky-sweet bread with cinnamon caramel goo baked between puff-balls of gluten-free dough!
Maybe I don’t want a long slinky tail that would make wearing pants impossible. And the thought of inescapable fur in the middle of summer sounds torturous. And eating critters with my bare hands does not appeal to me on flavor or texture. But there is one thing that does make me kinda jealous of monkeys: they have the most delectable sticky-sweet bread named after them.
The first time I tasted monkey bread I fell absolutely in love with it. Like this-might-be-better-than-chocolate-cake in love. How could you not, it’s soft cinnamon bread with caramel goo baked right in between every little puff-ball of sweet dough!
Yes that’s right, I said goo. It’s a very technical term for a very delicious substance usually made of butter and sugar and a lot of it. But for this vegan monkey bread recipe we’re keeping it much healthier with a caramel goo made from dates, almond butter, and cinnamon.
The dates naturally have the exact caramel flavor monkey bread needs. The almond butter adds nutty richness, but is optional if you prefer to keep it low fat. And the cinnamon…well I don’t think that really needs an explanation, it’s monkey bread after all.
The dough itself is rather untraditional too, made without sugar, oil, or gluten. But perhaps the most untraditional part of the entire recipe (and which I have somehow neglected to mention until now) is that the whole thing happens in the microwave! No need to wait 30+ minutes for a mouthful of monkey bread. Just mix, roll, dunk, microwave, and dive in!
Oh, and there is an oven option too since I know not everyone has/uses a microwave.
Some monkey bread recipes mix up a whole separate glaze to go on top. But I have a feeling there is a reason you clicked on this mug cake version of vegan monkey bread: because you like easy just as much as I do! So to keep things simpler, I just thinned out the caramel goo with maple syrup to make an easy sweet topping and drizzled that on top followed up with a sprinkling of cinnamon. You could also thin it out with non-dairy milk or water to keep the recipe entirely fruit-sweetened, it’s up to you.
The outside pieces that are drenched in caramel goo—amazing. The inside pieces insulated by their doughy friends that stay extra soft and warm—so yum. And I highly recommend keeping an extra little cup of caramel goo/frosting/heaven on the side for double dipping.
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- 10 Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup water
- Optional: 1 tbsp almond butter (or any nut/seed butter)
- 1/3 cup oat flour
- ¼ cup date paste (above)
- 2 tbsps tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup date paste (above)
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Blend all the ingredients for the date paste. You may have extra date paste, but most blenders cannot blend with any less volume than this.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the dough. It should be quite sticky, but firm enough to roll into balls.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the caramel goo.
- Pinch off a small piece of dough. Roll it into a ball. Drop in the caramel goo and use a spoon to evenly coat. Place in a microwave safe ramekin. Repeat with the rest of the dough (I got about 8 balls).
- Microwave for 1 to 1.5 minutes on high. *See notes for oven option.
- Top with remaining caramel goo and a sprinkle of cinnamon Enjoy!
I actually prefer the texture of the microwave version with this recipe, but you can bake it in a preheated oven for approximately 15-20 mins at 375F.