So I’ve been in a bit of a baking rut lately…luckily, Halloween and the fall in general lends itself to awesome pumpkin recipes. Last year, I fell in LOVE with Southern Tier’s Pumking Ale. So when my husband showed me this recipe for monkey bread, I knew that if I only baked one thing this fall, it would be this. It’s from a blog called Pennies, Pints, Pittsburgh, and it is all recipes with beer. Pretty amazing if you ask me.
I call this “monkey cake” because instead of little balls that you pull apart, mine came out more like a cake. So we sliced it when serving, and instead of dipping in the sauce, we drizzled it on top of each slice. And yes, there are candy eyes on the cake. I had them leftover from when I helped a friend make this dinosaur cake and thought it would be perfect for Halloween.
Before diving into the recipe, let me first say that for the past two recipes I posted, I’ve used a different yeast, and I think it’s pretty fantastic. The dough had a nice, high rise and I’ve never gotten this before with the other yeast I was using. Here it is:
For those of you who bake a lot of bread, you can get it in a 48 pack on Amazon.
And now, here is the recipe that will totally change your life. Okay, maybe not…but it really is so damn good!
- For the Dough:
- 3/4 cup Southern Tier Pumking Ale
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- For the Caramel Sauce:
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Pumking Ale
- 3/4 cup heavy cream at room temperature
- 3 1/2 TBSP butter at room temperature
- For the coating:
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 1 TBSP ground cinnamon
- In a large saucepan, combine the Pumking ale, whole milk, vegetable oil, and white sugar. Heat until it is hot, but stop right before it begins to boil.
- Remove the pan from heat and let cool 15-20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the yeast on the surface of the mixture and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Transfer this mixture to a large bowl, and stir in the pumpkin puree until it is completely combined.
- Gently stir in 4 cups of the flour and the ground cinnamon.
- Let the dough rest covered with a towel for one hour. It should be very puffy and double the size when you left it.
- Stir in the remaining flour (1/2 cup), baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Next, combine the sugar and Pumking Ale in a medium saucepan, and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil, without stirring. Boil until the sauce is a deep amber color, about 5 minutes. Watch it, because it can burn easily.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Then stir in the butter. Transfer the caramel to a bowl and let cool.
- Melt the butter in a bowl.
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.
- Pull off small pieces of dough and roll them into slightly larger than golf sized balls. You should have about 40-45 balls. Dip each ball in the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place in the bottom of a greased bundt pan.
- Pile up all the balls until the bundt pan is filled.
- Pour 1/2 cup of the beer caramel over the coated dough balls.
- Bake at 375 degrees on a cookie sheet for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool 5-10 minutes, and then invert onto a large serving plate.
- Pull off pieces and dip into the remaining beer caramel, or slice and drizzle the caramel on top of each slice.