There are many theories about the name of this recipe – some say it’s because the finished loaf resembles the monkey puzzle tree, others that the act of pulling off the individual dough balls is akin to the way monkeys behave. But when it tastes this good, you’ll be hard-pressed not to use your hands!






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (47 votes)


  • 1 x 7 g yeast sachet
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) lukewarm milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110 g unsalted butter, melted, cooled, plus extra, to grease
  • 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 600 g (4 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon



  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100 g unsalted butter, melted


Salted pecan caramel sauce

  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) thickened cream
  • 60 g (½ cup) pecans, crumbled

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time 2 hours & 55 minutes
You will need a 22 cm Bundt pan for this recipe.

Liberally grease Bundt tin with butter. Preheat oven to 100°C.

Dissolve yeast in milk in a jug and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 10 minutes or until mixture bubbles. Whisk egg yolks, vanilla, butter and sugars together in a bowl.

Sift flour and cinnamon into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and add milk mixture and egg mixture. Stir to combine, then knead for 8 minutes or until dough is smooth (it will be slightly sticky). Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel. Turn off oven and place covered dough in oven for at least 2 hours or until dough doubles in size.

Punch down dough and shape into a 25 cm x 35 cm rectangle. Cut into 36 equal squares and roll into balls.

To make topping, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Using a fork and working one at a time, dip balls into melted butter, allowing excess to drip off. Then roll in cinnamon sugar and place in Bundt pan.

Cover Bundt pan with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes or until dough is about 3 cm from top of pan.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Return Bundt pan to oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Meanwhile, to make salted pecan caramel sauce, combine butter, sugar, cream and 1½ tsp sea salt flakes in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar, then simmer for 2 minutes. Add pecans and stir to coat.

Remove bread from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving tray while still warm. Pour over salted pecan caramel sauce and serve immediately.



Photography by Chris Chen


As seen in Feast magazine, Mar 2014, Issue 29. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.