Indulge in the ultimate pull-apart bread recipe with our gooey and delicious Lemon Blueberry Monkey Bread! Imagine layers of lemon sweet dough, coated in a zesty lemon sugar, and layered with homemade blueberry syrup and fresh, juicy blueberries. This delightful twist on a classic promises a burst of citrusy sweetness in every bite.
Today, I am so excited to share our family’s latest obsession – Lemon Blueberry Monkey Bread! My mom, Traci, has been whipping up amazing pull-apart breads for more than 30 years, and let me tell you, over the last 10 years, she has truly perfected her sweet dough recipe to not only be delicious, but incredibly easy to make!
And, if you’ve ever made our delicious Bourbon Pecan Monkey Bread, the seasonal favorite Pumpkin Monkey Bread, our classic Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread, or even our extra gooey Cinnamon Rolls, then get ready – because our Lemon Blueberry Monkey Bread is about to become your new obsession!
What is Monkey Bread?
Monkey bread is a type of sweet dough that is made to pull-apart. You pick it apart like…well, a monkey!
It’s a sweet and buttery dough, coated in sugar, with a sweet sauce generally poured over it before cooking. In our case, we put the sauce in the bottom of the pan so when you turn it out, you have all this wonderful gooey and sticky sauce dripping through every part of this monkey bread.
Why This Monkey Bread Is Sure To Be Your New Favorite
- Bursting with flavor. The combination of sweet lemon dough, zesty lemon sugar, and luscious blueberry syrup creates a burst of vibrant, citrusy flavors in every bite.
- Gooey Indulgence. The gooey and sticky texture, thanks to the homemade blueberry syrup, makes every piece a delightful, indulgent treat.
- Easy Preparation. Whether you’ve baked with yeast before or not, this recipe is written for ALL skill levels. It’s simple, with step-by-step instructions, and images to help you every step of the way.
- Versatile. Whether you’re looking for a bake to enjoy alongside a cozy brunch, as a sweet snack, or even a show-stopping dessert, this recipe is versatile enough to be enjoyed at any time of day!
- Shareable delicious. The pull-apart nature of this bread invites sharing and adds a fun interactive element to enjoying this decadent treat.
Grab These Ingredients
For The Dough:
- All Purpose Flour – With just the right amount of protein to add strength to the dough, all purpose flour is the best choice.
- Granulated Sugar – Not only does granulated sugar add sweetness, it promotes browning and helps to make the dough tender when baked.
- Lemon Zest – Using lemon zest gives the dough a bright, fresh, lemony flavor, as opposed to an extract which just tastes artificial.
- Instant Yeast – I prefer instant yeast because it is so easy to use and reliable. It requires no proofing, so it can be mixed in with the dry ingredients. For sweet doughs, I use SAF Gold, which is formulated to work specifically with enriched doughs.
- Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt – Playing a huge role in any type bread, salt enhance the flavor, strengthens the gluten, and controls the rise.
- Unsalted Butter – With a bright, fresh taste, unsalted butter adds richness and flavor.
- Whole Milk – It’s best to use whole milk, because it has the perfect amount of fat to contribute to the tenderness of this dough.
- Egg and Egg Yolk – A binder that also adds moisture and structure, egg is an essential component of enriched dough.
For The Sugar:
- Granulated Sugar – In addition to enhancing the lemon flavor, granulated sugar help hold the dough balls together during baking and helps keep the dough moist.
- Lemon Zest – When the bright, fresh, lemony flavor of lemon zest is combined with granulated sugar, it adds an extra pop of flavor.
For The Syrup:
- Fresh Blueberries – Fresh, ripe berries give this syrup its flavor.
- Granulated Sugar – Melting easily when heated, granulated sugar sweetens the syrup perfectly.
- Water – A bit of water is needed to thin this into a syrup.
- Lemon Juice – Helping to cut some of the sweet, fresh lemon juice is the best choice.
Here’s How To Make This Lemon Blueberry Monkey Bread (Step-by-Step!)
Step 1: Prepare dough
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, sugar, lemon zest, yeast, and salt.
Heat butter and milk in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter melts. Cool to 120℉.
Pour over dry ingredients. Mix at low speed until ingredients are just combined.
Add eggs. Mix at low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to medium. Knead dough until smooth and elastic (it will clean the sides and bottom of the bowl when done), about 5-8 minutes.
Step 2: Proof
Place dough in a lidded container that has been sprayed with cooking spray, or in a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1½ hours.
Step 3: Make sugar
Combine sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Process on high for 2-3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
Step 4: Prepare syrup
Combine blueberries, sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is melted and blueberries are soft enough to pop.
Carefully pour into the bowl of a food processor and process on high speed until liquified.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
Pour into the bottom of a 10 inch tube pan that has been sprayed with baking spray. Set aside.
Step 5: Assemble
Pinch dough off in ½ ounce pieces. Roll each into a ball.
Dip in butter. Roll in lemon sugar.
Place in tube pan on top of syrup, with the first layer beginning on the outside and working in, leaving about ⅛ inch space between the dough balls and the second and third layers beginning on the inside and working out.
Step 6: Proof and bake
Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place until noticeably risen, about 1 hour. Bake for 55 minutes or until cooked through (about 205℉), covering after 25 minutes to prevent over browning.
Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, until cool enough to handle without getting burned. Turn out onto serving platter.
You can, but it’s not recommended. It will take much longer to knead, which is a lot of work. It’s always best to use a stand mixer, if possible.
If your dough is sticky, one of three things have happened. Either the ingredients were measured incorrectly, the dough was not kneaded long enough, or the dough was over kneaded.
A properly kneaded dough should be smooth and shiny. Look at the photos above for help!
The recipe card/post states the times it took our dough to rise. We live in Texas. So, it tends to be a bit warmer here and doughs generally take less time to rise. If you would like to, you can purchase a proofing box to keep the temperature and humidity consistent which will improve your rising times.
There are a couple of reasons your dough might not be rising. First, check your yeast to make sure that it’s active. If that’s not the problem, you may not have cooled the milk mixture enough and it killed the yeast. It could also be the temperature in your kitchen. Sweet dough needs to rise at a warm room temperature (78℉).
When you make this Lemon Blueberry Monkey Bread, be sure to leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.
Lemon Blueberry Monkey Bread (Pull-Apart Bread!)
- 4½ cups all purpose flour*
- ⅝ cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, (Diamond Crystal)
- ⅝ cup unsalted butter
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1½ Tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1½ teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ cup salted butter, melted
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, sugar, lemon zest, yeast, and salt.
- Heat butter and milk in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter melts.
- Cool to 120℉.
- Pour over dry ingredients.
- Mix at low speed until ingredients are just combined.
- Add eggs.
- Mix at low speed until incorporated.
- Increase speed to medium.
- Knead dough until smooth and elastic (it will clean the sides and bottom of the bowl when done), about 5-8 minutes.
- Place dough in a lidded container that has been sprayed with cooking spray, or in a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap.
- Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1½ hours. You can also use a proofing box with a humidity tray set to 78℉, and leave the plastic wrap off.
- While dough is proofing, make the lemon sugar and the blueberry syrup.
- Combine sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor.
- Process on high for 2-3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
- Alternately, you can rub it together with your fingers.
- Combine blueberries, sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan.
- Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is melted and blueberries are soft enough to pop.
- Carefully pour into the bowl of a food processor and process on high speed until liquified. (You can also use a blender or a stick blender.)
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
- Pour into the bottom of a 10 inch tube pan that has been sprayed with baking spray. Set aside.
- Pinch dough off in ½ ounce pieces.
- Roll each into a ball.
- Dip in butter.
- Roll in lemon sugar.
- Place in tube pan on top of syrup, with the first layer beginning on the outside and working in, leaving about ⅛ inch space between the dough balls and the second and third layers beginning on the inside and working out.
- Cover with plastic wrap.
- Allow to rise in a warm place until noticeably risen, about 1 hour. (The dough balls should be about 1 inch below the rim.)
- While dough is rising, heat oven to 350℉.
- Bake for 55 minutes or until cooked through (about 205℉), covering after 25 minutes to prevent over browning.
- Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, until cool enough to handle without getting burned.
- Turn out onto serving platter.
Notes + Tips!
- Check your yeast and make sure it’s active.
- You can substitute frozen blueberries for the fresh.
- If you don’t have salted butter for dipping, use unsalted + 1/8 teaspoon salt. If you only have salted butter for the dough, reduce the salt to 1/3 teaspoon.
- A properly kneaded dough should be smooth and clean the bowl.
- If you don’t have salted butter for the assembly, you can use unsalted butter + 1/8 teaspoon salt.
- 2 average size lemons = 2 Tablespoons zest.
- Don’t overcook the syrup. You don’t want jam.
- Use an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is cooking at the proper temperature.
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Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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