December 2020 Recipes

Monkey Bread

by Angie Dimitri

Symposia Medicus Assistant Manager and Conference Planner Angie Dimitri shares a family favorite tear-and-share recipe. She invites everyone to dig in and rip off a piece of this dessert-in-disguise during breakfast this holiday season.     

Every Christmas morning of my life (and let’s just say that I have turned 29 many, many times), I have had monkey bread for breakfast. And although there is nothing better than the smell of something with cinnamon in it baking in the oven, I think I enjoy the tradition of this bread more than anything else.

When I was little, I had no idea how this Christmas morning treat got to our kitchen table; all I knew was that after frantically opening presents, monkey bread was ready for me and my family for breakfast. As I got older and stayed up a little later on Christmas Eve, I remember my mom, grandmother, and aunt together in the kitchen, laughing and preparing food for the next day. As time went on, I joined in on the fun.

Now that I’m an adult, I’m the one hosting the Christmas holidays and making the monkey bread for my family. In the beginning, late at night, my mom and dad would sit by the fire, watching my husband set up elaborate Thomas the Tank Engine train scenes or Matchbox car tracks for our sons to wake up to on Christmas morning—just like I used to wake up to roller skates and Barbie dolls. Year after year, my parents sat by the fire while my husband then put out things like Guitar Hero or hockey jerseys. Along the way, I was happy to assemble the monkey bread that we all woke up to on Christmas morning.

Fast forward to 2020 and this terrible pandemic. Our now college-aged boys elected to spend this academic year at home, going to school virtually. We have been doing a lot of cooking together and they have learned to make a great lasagna (among other things). And guess what? This Christmas Eve we will all sit by the fire and I will teach them how to make monkey bread.


  • 1 bag of frozen dinner rolls, partially defrosted (you will need 18 rolls)
  • 1 box butterscotch pudding (not instant)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cube butter


  1. Butter a Bundt pan
  2. Take nine of the dinner rolls, quarter them, and place evenly throughout the bottom of the pan
  3. Sprinkle with ½ package of pudding, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup nuts, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  4. Repeat with second layer of quartered rolls and remaining pudding, brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon
  5. Melt the cube of butter and pour over everything
  6. Place the Bundt pan in the lower third of the oven and let sit in the cool oven overnight
  7. In the morning, turn the oven on 325°F and bake for about 45 minutes (until golden brown)
  8. Remove from the oven
  9. After cooling for a few minutes, invert the bread onto a dish  
  10. Tear, share, and enjoy!

Angie Dimitri is an Assistant Manager and Conference Planner at Symposia Medicus. She lives in Danville, California.