Citrus Cream Cheese Monkey Bread

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Today’s recipe comes to us from the wonderful Barbara from I emailed her a few weeks back about doing a recipe swap because I love trying new recipes and blogging about them! After she agreed to do it with me, the search was on. I browsed her site for at least two hours trying to find the perfect recipe! Well, jokes on me because they are all awesome! After narrowing it down and getting Barbara’s input, I decided to make her Citrus Cream Cheese Monkey Bread.

These little devils are so tasty it’s ridiculous! After tasting these, I totally understood why these turned into a tradition over at Barbara’s house! These pull-aparts are just the right amount of chewy, sweet and tang. I love a good sweet bread, but you probably already knew that. I also love baking with citrus because it makes the whole kitchen smell clean and fresh! If you take a look at the ingredients list, it’s really just a lot of easy to find plain jane things. But then you put them all together and magic happens. And then you continue to eat the entire pan two or three more!

Here’s an interesting/out of place/random/get to know Lo fact: I prefer citrus and/or vanilla over anything chocolate (much to my husband’s dismay). I still really like chocolate, but just not as much as lemon or orange… these rolls!

Anyways, the process of making these is really REALLY simple. Most of the work is done for you if you use the frozen dinner rolls! Honestly, the hard part is waiting, but you’ll probably see what I mean. A few things you shouldn’t do would be to over bake these puppies. I kind of did, but they still turned out great. Also, I got sleepy and let my rolls rise too much which sort of threw the texture off slightly. But, even with these slight mishaps, they turned out beautifully! I brought them to a family dinner Sunday evening, meant to be eaten for dessert. Well my family couldn’t resist, and they ended up becoming the appetizers and the pan was devoured in 4 minutes flat! (And they ALL loved them! All 9 of them!)

So, thanks again Barbara for allowing me to share one of your delicious recipes! Your rolls are delicious and I love your site! Go check out her recipes and her post today where she tested my favorite sandwich! You’ll be glad you did! Happy eating, friends!

More Pull-Apart Recipes to Try!

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Citrus Cream Cheese Monkey Bread

Sweet and tangy Cintrus Cream Cheese Monkey Bread is really simple because most of the work is done for you when you use frozen dinner rolls.
servings 12
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes


  • 1 package frozen roll dough 25-ounce, I usually use 18 Rhodes rolls
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine -- melted
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries such as Craisins, OR 1/2 cup dried apricots -- chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar divided
  • 2/3 cup 1/3-less-fat cream cheese 6 ounces softened - I usually just use 8 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  • Thaw roll dough at room temperature 30 minutes. (It usually takes much longer for them to be soft enough to cut.)  Preheat oven to 350º.Bake at 350º for 20 minutes. Cover with foil. Bake an additional 5 mintues or until rolls in center are done. Remove from oven; cool 15 minutes. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over rolls.
  • Cut rolls in half. Place 24 halves, cut sides down, in bottom of each of 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray. Brush butter evenly over rolls. Cover; let rise in a warm place (85º), free from drafts, 30 minutes. Sprinkle with dried cranberries.
  • Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cream cheese, orange juice, and egg; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over rolls.
  • Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and rinds. Sprinkle evenly over rolls. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size. (It usually takes much longer to double in size.) 
  • Preheat oven to 350º.Bake at 350º for 20 minutes. Cover with foil. Bake an additional 5 mintues or until rolls in center are done. Remove from oven; cool 15 minutes. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over rolls.
  • OVERNIGHT VARIATION: After pouring the cream cheese mixture over rolls, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12 hours. Gently remove plastic wrap from rolls; sprinkle with rind mixture. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. (It usually takes much longer to double in size.)Proceed with recipe as directed.


Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cream cheese monkey bread

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4 Responses
  1. Foodessa

    With all the variations in ovens that we have…it's a little difficult to get baked goods perfectly. If you wouldn't have mentioned it…I certainly would have never guessed it. It looks incredibly appetizing…and I love anything with citrus in it.
    I just came in from Barbara's site and I'm glad to have discovered yours.

    Flavourful wishes,

  2. shuttle5

    Actually, no, I like your picture better, way better! And yes, they were mouth-watering. I loved the strong lemon/sweet taste…

  3. Barbara Bakes

    Yours look great. Love the gorgeous brown color. I'm so glad you and everyone liked them. Thanks again for suggesting a recipe swap and all the sweet comments!