Savor the Outdoors with Dutch Oven Monkey Bread

Dutch Oven Monkey Bread

As avid campers know, there’s an unparalleled joy to preparing and eating meals outdoors. Whether you’re at a campsite or simply enjoying your backyard, cooking outdoors can bring a unique twist to any dish. Among the plethora of outdoor recipes, one that stands out for its simplicity, delight, and downright deliciousness is the Dutch Oven Monkey Bread.

Monkey bread, traditionally known as a sweet, sticky, and irresistibly gooey pull-apart bread, can easily be transformed into the ultimate camping dessert using a Dutch oven. The magic of turning simple ingredients like canned biscuit dough, sugar, and butter into a luscious dessert is a testament to the beauty of campfire cooking.

Why Dutch Oven for Camping?

Before diving into the recipe, let’s take a moment to appreciate the star of the show: the Dutch oven. A heavy-duty pot with a tight-fitting lid, the Dutch oven is an incredibly versatile cooking tool. It’s ideal for long, slow cooking, like simmering stews and braising meats, but it’s just as handy for baking.

When it comes to camping, the Dutch oven stands out for its durability and versatility. Its thick walls and lid provide even heat distribution, making it perfect for cooking over a campfire or charcoal briquettes. The pot is perfect for roasting, simmering, frying, and yes, even baking desserts, including our beloved Monkey Bread. My favorite Dutch oven is the Lodge deep cast iron Dutch oven.

Recipe Overview: Dutch Oven Monkey Bread

Imagine waking up to a cool, crisp morning at your campsite. The fire is crackling, and the sweet smell of cinnamon and sugar wafts through the air. This can be your reality with Dutch Oven Monkey Bread. The recipe calls for simple, store-bought ingredients, making it as easy as it is delicious.

You’ll need refrigerated biscuit dough, granulated sugar, cinnamon, unsalted butter, and brown sugar. This recipe is incredibly flexible – consider adding in some nuts or raisins, or drizzle cream cheese frosting on top for added decadence.

Making the Monkey Bread

Start by heating up your Dutch oven. Aim for a temperature around 350°F, which can be achieved by placing the oven over about 15 charcoal briquettes. Remember, when cooking at a campsite, adjustments may be necessary based on factors like wind and altitude.

Meanwhile, prepare your dough by cutting the biscuits into quarters. Create your cinnamon sugar by mixing granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a resealable bag. Add the biscuit pieces to this bag and shake it until all pieces are coated.

Next, arrange these sugary dough balls in the Dutch oven, creating a base layer. Now, it’s time for the delicious caramel glaze. In a separate pot, combine butter and brown sugar, melting them together until you achieve a rich, caramel-like sauce. Pour this indulgent mixture over your arranged dough pieces, making sure to cover as evenly as possible.

Cover your Dutch oven and place it back on the heat. The bread needs to bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Check the bread occasionally to avoid burning, especially since heat can fluctuate in outdoor cooking.

Allow the bread to cool slightly before serving – the sugar will be extremely hot straight from the fire. Now, get ready for the fun part – pulling apart this gooey, sweet treat and enjoying the fruits of your campfire labor!

The Joy of Campfire Cooking

The Dutch Oven Monkey Bread is more than just a dessert – it’s an experience. The hands-on process of preparing the dough, creating the caramel sauce, and baking over an open fire makes it all the more satisfying. Plus, the anticipation that builds while the sweet aroma of baking bread fills the air creates a memory that will last long after the last sticky morsel has been devoured.

Beyond the tasty outcome, making Monkey Bread at your campsite can become a cherished camping tradition. It’s an activity that campers of all ages can participate in and enjoy. Children will especially love shaking the bag of cinnamon sugar and pulling apart the finished product.

Mastering the Art of Monkey Bread

Perfecting the Dutch Oven Monkey Bread is about understanding the simple yet critical nuances of outdoor baking. Although we have an estimated cooking time, the key to success is frequently checking the monkey bread during the baking process. This regular monitoring helps to avoid burning, ensuring you achieve that desired golden-brown color and a perfectly cooked center.

Temperature management is the heart of outdoor cooking. Achieving and maintaining the right temperature in a Dutch oven is all about controlling your heat source. Whether you’re using coals or cooking over a campfire, ensure you have enough heat at the beginning, and replenish as needed.

For more consistent heat and safer handling, consider investing in a Dutch oven with legs and a flanged lid. The legs will help the oven sit above the coals, while the flanged lid is designed to hold coals on top, providing all-around heat, much like a traditional oven.

Variations of Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread’s adaptability is part of its charm. For a delightful twist, why not experiment with some additional flavors? Here are a few ideas:

Nutty Monkey Bread: After laying your dough pieces in the Dutch oven, sprinkle in a generous handful of chopped pecans or walnuts. The nuts will add a delightful crunch that contrasts beautifully with the soft, gooey bread.

Fruit-filled Monkey Bread: Consider adding small dollops of your favorite fruit jam between the dough pieces for a surprise burst of fruitiness with each bite.

Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread: Sprinkle chocolate chips amongst the dough pieces before baking. As they melt, they’ll create a chocolatey swirl throughout your monkey bread.

Spiced Monkey Bread: For an autumnal treat, add a teaspoon of pumpkin spice mix to your cinnamon sugar. The added warmth of nutmeg, cloves, and allspice will take your Monkey Bread to the next level.

Tips for the Best Monkey Bread

A few additional tips can make your Dutch Oven Monkey Bread even better:

  • If possible, try to use a liner for your Dutch oven. This makes clean-up much easier and prevents any sticky sugar burns on your oven.
  • It’s essential to let the monkey bread cool for a few minutes after it’s done. This will allow the caramel sauce to thicken up a bit, leading to a much more enjoyable texture (and it’s safer too!)
  • Finally, remember that monkey bread is best enjoyed fresh and warm from the oven. It’s a dish meant to be savored in the moment, under the open sky, amongst good company.

Cooking is about bringing people together and creating lasting memories, and Dutch Oven Monkey Bread does just that. So the next time you’re planning an outdoor adventure, bring along these ingredients and tips. As you gather around the fire, sharing stories while your dessert bakes, you’ll realize that this is what campfire cooking is all about – community, shared experiences, and of course, delicious food.

In conclusion, Dutch Oven Monkey Bread encapsulates what we love about campfire cooking: it’s communal, interactive, and deeply rewarding. So, next time you pack your gear for a camping trip, remember to include the ingredients for Monkey Bread. There’s something magical about sharing a homemade sweet treat with your loved ones under the open sky. Happy camping – and even happier eating!

Another great Dutch oven recipe is the Dutch oven cinnamon roll breakfast.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I prepare Dutch Oven Monkey Bread at home? Yes, absolutely! While this recipe is designed for camping and outdoor cooking, you can easily replicate it at home. Just preheat your oven to 350°F and use a standard Dutch oven or any deep baking dish with a lid.
  2. Can I use homemade biscuit dough instead of store-bought? Of course! If you have a preferred biscuit recipe or prefer homemade to store-bought, feel free to use it. Just remember to adjust the cooking time as necessary, as homemade dough may require a different baking time.
  3. I don’t like too much sugar. Can I reduce the amount in this recipe? Yes, you can adjust the amount of sugar to suit your preference. Just remember that reducing the sugar will not only lessen the sweetness but also affect the caramelization and texture of the monkey bread.
  4. What other types of bread can I make in a Dutch oven while camping? Dutch ovens are incredibly versatile for baking. You can make a variety of other bread such as sourdough, cornbread, bannock, or even pizza dough. Just adjust your heat source and cooking time accordingly.
  5. Can I make the Monkey Bread ahead of time for a camping trip? Monkey Bread is best served warm and fresh, so it’s recommended to make it on-site if possible. However, you could pre-mix the dry ingredients (sugar and cinnamon) and pre-cut the biscuit dough at home to save some preparation time at the campsite.
  6. How do I clean my Dutch oven after making Monkey Bread? First, allow your Dutch oven to cool. Then, use a non-abrasive scrubber to remove any residue. Avoid using soap if your Dutch oven is seasoned, as it can strip the seasoning. Dry it completely to prevent rusting, then lightly oil it to keep the seasoning intact.
  7. What can I serve with Monkey Bread for a complete breakfast? While Monkey Bread is quite filling on its own, you can pair it with other breakfast items for a hearty meal. Consider preparing some scrambled eggs, bacon, or fruit salad to serve alongside your Monkey Bread.
Dutch Oven Monkey Bread

Dutch Oven Monkey Bread

The Dutch Oven Monkey Bread is a delightful camping recipe that transforms simple canned biscuit dough into a sweet, caramelized treat. Coated with cinnamon sugar, each dough piece is baked to perfection in a Dutch oven, all while nestled under a blanket of buttery brown sugar glaze. The end result is a golden, sticky, and delicious pull-apart bread that's as fun to eat as it is satisfying, making it a perfect comfort food for enjoying around the campfire.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 8 People


  • 2 cans refrigerated biscuit dough
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  • Prepare your Dutch oven: If you’re using charcoal briquettes, get them heating in a chimney. If you’re using a campfire, you’ll want some hot coals. You’re aiming for a temperature around 350 degrees F. To reach this temperature, place approximately 25 briquettes on the lid and 8 briquettes under your Dutch oven. Remember to adjust based on wind, altitude, and temperature outside. Meanwhile, lightly grease the inside of your Dutch oven.
  • Prep your dough: Open your cans of refrigerated biscuit dough. Cut each biscuit into quarters.
  • Coat your dough: In a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Add the quartered biscuits into the bag, seal it, and then shake until all the biscuit pieces are coated with the cinnamon sugar.
  • Arrange in Dutch oven: Once all biscuit pieces are coated, arrange them evenly in the bottom of your greased Dutch oven.
  • Make the caramel sauce: In a small saucepan or another pot, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the brown sugar is completely dissolved into the butter, remove from heat.
  • Pour over dough: Drizzle the butter and brown sugar mixture evenly over the top of your arranged, sugared biscuit pieces in the Dutch oven.
  • Bake: Put the lid on your Dutch oven and move it over your heat source. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the bread is cooked through and the top is golden brown. You can carefully remove the lid and test with a skewer – if it comes out clean, your monkey bread is done. If it doesn’t, give it a few more minutes before you test again.
  • Cool and serve: Allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving. Be careful, the sugar will be very hot. Enjoy your delicious camping monkey bread!


Remember to adjust your heat source as needed, whether that’s adding or removing coals or moving your Dutch oven to a cooler part of the campfire. The cooking time might vary based on the heat of your campfire or coals. Make sure to use a lid lifter or oven mitts when handling the hot Dutch oven.
Keyword Breakfast, Campfire, Dutch Oven, Monkey Bread

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