Try Something New: Tiny Kitchen Assistant Makes Monkey Bread

Today’s new thing: letting the 4-year-old cook. I promise that this blog won’t descend into Recipes Only a Preschooler Could Love. I was just delighted by the fact that he was so interested in cooking that he walked me through an entire recipe, specifically for publishing here.


“Mommy! I have a recipe for the Betty blog!” the Tiny Kitchen Assistant shouted. “We’re going to make monkey bread!”

I had to admit, I was skeptical. Ok, sure, they made it at school, but did he really know what he was talking about? I figured that it was worth a shot.

I’ll do my best to document this as it happened.


  • 2 “tubes of dough” (Grands or other buttermilk biscuits in a can)
  • “White sugar” (1/2 cup granulated)
  • “Cinnamon” (2 tsp; I think it could have used more)
  • “The yummy dark sugar” (1/2 cup brown sugar)
  • “Some butter, melted so you can pour it” (1 stick)

“First, you take the can of dough and peel the label off. Then you whack it against the counter until it explodes open.”

The wrapper from the can of Trader Joe's buttermilk biscuits.

“Then you peel the doughs apart and cut them into tiny pizza slice shapes, four of them for every dough.”

Following orders, I made pizza shapes.

“Then you take the little pizza shapes and roll them into balls, like this.”

Rolling the dough into balls.

“And then you toss them into a baggie with cinnamon and white sugar.”

“How much white sugar?” I asked.

He pondered that for a few seconds, then went to the drawer. “I think this one,” he said, pulling out the 1/2 cup measure. “The other ones look too big or too small. And the cinnamon should be two of these,” he said, holding up the 1 tsp spoon.

We mixed the cinnamon and sugar in the baggie, tossed in dough balls and shook like crazy.

Coating the dough balls with cinnamon sugar.

“Next, you dump the dough balls into a Bundt pan.”

“Do I grease the Bundt pan first?” I asked.

“Yeah, yeah. Coat it with the slimy stuff. Otherwise the doughs will stick.”

The first batch of dough balls goes into the pan.

“Then you keep doing it until all the doughs are in the pan.”

Dough balls in a sea of cinnamon sugar.

“Ok,” I asked. “What next?”

“I don’t like to talk about this part,” he said.

“Why?” I asked.

“It’s the butter part,” he said. “You know I don’t like butter.” [TKA quirk: He believes that butter is an ingredient, not a food; therefore it should never be visible. Same with eggs. Yes, I know it’s odd.]

“But it’s ok; it’s an ingredient,” I said.

“But I can see┬áit,” he said. “Can you do this part without me?”

“Yes, but you have to tell me what to do!”

“Melt a stick of butter in the microwave. Mix it with the same size cup of the yummy dark sugar. Make it pasty and pour it over the doughs.”

I made it pasty. It was ready for the oven.

“Now, put it in the oven.”

“How hot?” I asked.

“Oh, you know: oven temperature. Hot enough to cook it.”

[Note: This was the only time that I checked Google to verify anything he’d told me. Google said 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. In reality it took closer to 45 minutes. Don’t be fooled by the toothpick test. Use your eyes to see if the inner pieces look cooked and no longer doughy.]

Golden brown and delicious (I hoped).


We took the finished product to dinner with our friends and their 4-year-old. The adults thought that it was a little bit too sweet, but the kiddos loved it.

"I made that myself!" - Tiny Kitchen Assistant

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3 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    OMG, there are so many things about this that I love. The quirk about the visibility of the butter really hits home — kids are so funny with things like that!

  2. Alisa says:

    He has exactly the same rules about eggs. Where do these quirks come from?

    I was really ridiculously thrilled that he not only wanted to cook, but that he specifically wanted to make a Betty recipe. It makes me smile.

  3. Greg O. says:

    Whoa! The girls are gonna love him!

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