Sugar-Free Monkey Bread – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Single-Serve Monkey Bread, found over at Tasty Kitchen. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, and at first I was all “Ooh, monkey bread!” and then I was all “Oh. Sugar free monkey bread…” God knows I could use less sugar in my diet, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so off I went!


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Reduced-fat crescent rolls, Splenda (or Stevia or whatever sugar substitute you prefer), cinnamon, light butter (I honestly did not know there was such a creature as light butter), sugar free maple syrup.

I had intended to not EVEN tell Fred that this was a sugar free recipe because he can be a bit of a judgmental douche when it comes to sugar free, fat free stuff, but he wandered into the kitchen when I was gathering my ingredients, so the jig was up.

Here’s the thing about reduced-fat crescent rolls, or at least the ones that I had: they’re a pain in the ass. I got the first can of them open and went to unroll them, and they just kind of.. shredded. You’re suppose to take each triangle and divide it into three equal pieces, but as I went to pull the first triangle off the rest of the dough, it fell apart and I was all kinds of “OH, HELL NO.” and might have had a bit of a temper tantrum wherein I threw the dough into the pig bucket.

Luckily there was another entire roll of crescent dough yet to go, so I decided to halve the recipe (there only being the two of us, after all) and made Fred come into the kitchen and deal with the dough. I opened the can for him, and he started to unroll it, whereupon it fell apart on him.

(I was glad it wasn’t just me!)

He thought for a moment, then mushed the dough together, kneaded it for a moment, and then started pulling off pieces of dough and rolling them into balls. I had him put the balls on a plate while I mixed together the Splenda and cinnamon, and then had him roll the balls in that.

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Then I sprayed the muffin tins and had him put four balls in each tin while I mixed the syrup and butter and cinnamon. He was TOTALLY my kitchen bitch.

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I drizzled the syrup/ butter/ cinnamon over each set of four crescent dough balls, then stuck the whole shebang in the oven.

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It smelled really good while it was baking (I love cinnamon), and then after they were done baking, they had to sit for 15 minutes and I was drooling by the time that 15 minutes was up. I scooped one out onto a plate for Fred, who was waiting impatiently, and one for myself.

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Fred took one bite, spit it out, and dumped the rest in the trash, because he is a great big drama queen. I kind of wanted to stab him in the face, but I figured that was just anger due to hunger talking, and began eating mine.

I didn’t care for it, honestly. It tasted kind of fake and chemical and was just not my thing. I couldn’t even give the rest of the stuff to the pigs because Fred objected to giving them sugar-free stuff due to the chemicals (and yet doesn’t mind giving them cookies from the Dollar Store that are made in China and are likely comprised of nuclear waste and plastic, so I am totally rolling my eyes here), so hmph.

Not my thing but, y’know, they can’t all be hits!


Nance’s take:

Our family tradition is to have Monkey Bread every Christmas morning. I make it up on Christmas eve and pop it in the oven while we un-wrap gifts. By the time we’re done, the monkey bread is done and we chow down. It’s a fatty family tradition.  We call them Monkey Balls which is the original name (take a good look at them).  Apparently there are some uptight people out there that managed to get the name changed because only a few people still call them monkey balls.  They should have just called it cinnamon dough balls or some shit and got rid of the monkey part if they were going to be so bent out of shape about it.  I mean, really.  Why even keep the word monkey?  It makes no sense. It’s not like monkeys are known for their baking skills. Or their love of cinnamon sugar. All they do is make faces, screech and throw their feces!  And, oh my god, can I rant about the puritanical ways of people any longer?  SHUT-UP, NANCE.

122507 - Monkey bread.

This is a picture of what my usual monkey bread looks like. Pretty, if you’re into things that will make your blood sugar soar.  The recipe for this one is located here.

My husband loves monkey bread. But he’s a Type II diabetic and monkey bread loaded with sugar (and butter!) is something he shouldn’t be eating. Especially until I take out a few more life insurance policies (I just look stupid).

I’ll be honest, I don’t hang out at  I believe it’s founded by Pioneer Woman and I’m just not into her recipes (nothing personal, cute kids, just not into it).  I found this recipe when I was trying to find a way to make monkey bread just a little more healthy than my usual recipe.


Am I the only person that hates this fucking packaging? I mean I’m completely convinced that one of these days it’s going to blow up in my face. I tense up the minute I have to open the goddamn thing and then, and THEN, it’s a pain in the ass to get out of the freaking tube! Pillsbury needs to change the way it does things, man. Eh, who cares. I don’t usually buy their crap anyway.


Truth game. I made this recipe after 9 o’clock on Sunday night (with the entry due for Monday morning). I was not in the mood when I saw that the recipe said to divide each triangle into 3 equal pieces. BLOW ME.


I made 3 balls before I got disgusted and walked the hell away. Rick took over because he knows that I have no patience (and thankfully he has more than enough for both of us).  I took the pictures.


Splenda and cinnamon. I imagined that this was going to take ALL FREAKING NIGHT and OHMYHELL, WHY DID I PICK THIS RECIPE? Wah, wah, wah. I’m TIRED.


I decided to throw it all into a big plastic bag and do it that way. Rick thought it was a good idea until he realized I was going to put all 24 balls in at one time. He took the bag from me because I was doing it all wrong. Apparently one has to put only a few in at a time to make sure they are completely coated and WHO GIVES A SHIT?


Do not mock the old cupcake pan from hell. When I make cupcakes I use those foil cupcake wrappers that stand up on their own. You won’t believe how hard it was to find this damn thing. And also, the perfectly covered dough balls are compliments of the RickMonster (the ones that are not perfect, mine).


Stirring butter, syrup and cinnamon (hush, I needed more pictures).


This is my mom (tube-top/pajama bottom wearing Shirley) trying to get them out of the pan without smooshing them. I was PISSED because my beat-up cupcake pan led to an incident in which there is STICKY SHIT ALL OVER THE BOTTOM OF MY OVEN. Now I have to run the self-cleaner on my oven and DO YOU KNOW HOW ANNOYING THAT IS? AND IT SMELLS.

Bitch. Thy name is Nance. And Nance had a headache that required ice packs and a shot of whiskey (for Rick).


These look like calf nuts (shout-out to Pioneer Woman) on a platter. I think my pathetic monkey bread up there on the aluminum foil covered pizza pan looks better.


A close up. The outcome? Shirley liked them because she said that she didn’t think they were as sweet as the ones I normally make. Rick and I were not impressed. At all.  I thought they were a huge pain in the ass and why go through all that trouble for something that tastes sub-par? This recipe is not going into rotation. In fact, it’s already in the garbage. I may try and make my recipe with Splenda and Splenda Brown Sugar just to see what happens, but until then I’m going to stick with what I do every year. Make my regular monkey balls and only eat two balls. I’m pretty sure since Rick is watching his health, he’ll be joining me this year. We would rather have a little bit of something that tastes fabulous than a lot of something that tastes like crap. Lesson Learned.


Single-Serve Sugar-Free Monkey Bread - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe
Original Source/Author:
: Breakfast
  • 2 cans (8 Oz. Can) Reduced Fat Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • ¼ cups Stevia/Splenda (or Sugar Substitute Of Choice)
  • 3 Tablespoons Cinnamon, Divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Butter
  • ½ cups Sugar Free Maple Syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray (I suggest using non-stick muffin tin to prevent sticking!).
  2. Open up the cans of crescent dough and cut each triangle into 3 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece of dough into 3 equal-sized small balls, totaling 24 balls per pack of crescent rolls. (Note: balls should be smaller than golf balls, but big enough that about 4 balls will fit into each muffin tin.)
  3. Combine the stevia/Splenda (or whatever sugar substitute you choose) with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon in a small bowl. Toss the dough balls in the cinnamon-”sugar” mix until the balls are well-coated.
  4. Next, melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl for about 30 seconds, or until melted. Add the syrup and the remaining tablespoon of cinnamon to the melted butter. Stir and set aside.
  5. Place four balls into each individual muffin tin and pour the butter-syrup mixture over each muffin tin, until the dough balls are almost covered in the syrup mixture (if there isn’t enough to cover each muffin tin, I just add a bit more syrup to each tin).
  6. Bake for 15-–20 minutes, or until a caramelized crust forms on the top of each little monkey bread.
  7. Remove from the oven, and let cool for about 15 minutes. Use a knife to remove the edges and serve on a pretty plate, preferably while still warm!