Do you love lemon poppy seed muffins as much as I do? Or even just a lemon loaf? And I’m sure you must love an ooey gooey monkey bread as well, right? Well, I went ahead and combined those two favorites into a perfect bundt pan recipe, the lemon poppy seed monkey bread!
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Lemon Poppy Seed Monkey Bread is so good
The best part of making monkey bread is that you can use store bought ingredients and turn it into something divine. This monkey bread uses Rhodes frozen dinner rolls as the base, so that you don’t also have to make homemade bread dough to have this special treat.
The other great thing about this recipe is that it feels a bit “lighter” than traditional ooey gooey monkey bread does (which I clearly love as well, especially with chai spice). Lemon poppy seed anything is a classic flavor profile. It’s not one that most people make at home outside of the occasionally lemon poppy seed muffin, but the flavors are a real favorite at our house and this treat really lets them shine.
A few notes on the ingredients:
- Lemon Sugar: this is not something that you want to make too far in advance or the natural oils in the lemons will dissipate leaving you with a lemon sugar that isn’t so potent.
- Frozen dough: I like to use Rhode's Rolls frozen dinner rolls, but you can use any frozen bread dough you like. In a pinch, you can also substitute canned (or even homemade) biscuit dough.
Simple step by step instructions
First, you’ll start by following the directions on the package to defrost the frozen dinner rolls. I use Rhode’s brand dinner rolls and they thaw in about 3 hours (in a warmish house).
Spread them on a parchment lined baking sheet and give them room to rise.
Once the dough balls have warmed up and start to rise slightly, cut them each in half.
Then spray your bundt pan LIBERALLY with nonstick baking spray. When the sugar caramelizes in the oven it gets sticky, making it tough to get out of the pan. At the same time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Now, make the lemon sugar. Zest the 3 lemons and toss with one cup of sugar. Set aside.
Now for the fun part. You’ll want to mix the lemon sugar and poppyseeds together. I like to do this right on a cookie sheet so I can keep the mess contained.
Melt the stick of butter in a small bowl and place the bowl on the baking sheet as well.
Now, roll each of the balls of dough in the butter, then in the lemon sugar and poppyseed mixture and toss into the pan.
Keep dipping in butter and rolling in sugar mixture until the pan is about ¾ full (no more or you’ll be cleaning your oven for hours, trust me).
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto your serving platter and enjoy.
Be careful as you dig in, those middle pieces of monkey bread stay hot a long time!
Frequently Asked Questions
To make lemon sugar, simply take lemon zest and mix it well with your sugar. You can do this in advance if you’d like and store it in an airtight container.
Nope, If you can’t find these frozen dinner rolls at your grocery store, any frozen dinner roll will work. Just follow the directions for thawing and cut it with a pair of scissors into small balls once partially thawed. Any canned biscuit dough is another easy substitution that works as well.
Yes, definitely. This recipe can be made dairy free by using a butter substitute (Try Country Crock plant based spread) and a non-dairy frozen bread dough (which Rhodes Rolls are).
One more simple tip
- If you have leftover dough balls after you’ve made you lemon poppy seed monkey bread, go ahead and pop three of them into a muffin tin and make the simplest cloverleaf rolls ever. Bake as directed on the package. Just brush with a little butter immediately upon taking them out of the oven and enjoy with Minestrone soup or a Giant Greek Salad.
Looking for more simple baking ideas? Try these:
When you try this recipe and love it 😍 let me know by leaving a comment below or 5 ⭐ rating!
Lemon Poppy Seed Monkey Bread
- Bundt Pan
- 24 frozen dinner rolls
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- 3 lemons zested and juiced (separate the zest and the juice)
Rising the dough balls
- Following the directions on the package, defrost the frozen dinner rolls. I use Rhode’s brand dinner rolls and they thaw in about 3 hours. Spread them on a parchment lined baking sheet and give them room to rise.
- Once the dough balls have warmed up and start to rise slightly, cut them each in half.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven preheats, spray your bundt pan LIBERALLY with nonstick baking spray.
Make the lemon sugar
- Zest the 3 lemons and toss with one cup of sugar. Set aside.
Assemble the Monkey Bread
- Mix the lemon sugar and poppy seeds together. I like to do this right on a cookie sheet so I can keep the mess contained.
- Melt the stick of butter with the juice of two lemons in a small bowl and place the bowl on the baking sheet as well.
- Roll each of the balls of dough in the butter lemon mixture, then in the lemon sugar and poppy seed mixture and place into the prepared bundt pan. Keep dipping in the butter and rolling in the sugar mixture until the pan is about ¾ full (no more or you’ll be cleaning your oven for hours).
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the top is browned.
- Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto your serving platter and enjoy.
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