Stuffed Carrot Cake Monkey Bread
I cannot explain how excited I am to share this recipe! I whipped this up over the Easter period for a little dinner party and it went down a treat. So much so, that one of my guests euphorically HELD THEIR HEAD whilst eating it... and he didn’t have a headache may I add. So I figured it’s my duty and obligation to share this Bundt pan brilliance with you all.
Look away now if you’re on a diet. Otherwise, I insist on having your undivided attention.
It goes a little something like this: Warm, comforting , carrot cake inspired dough balls stuffed with cream cheese, rolled in buttery cinnamon spiced goodness and cream cheese glaze drizzled on top. Drooool. I think I’ve put on a few pounds just by reading that last sentence. On the upside, it’s made up of small one portion sized dough balls. How handy. I can’t promise you’ll stop at one though. My bad.
This is a great recipe if you’ve got quite a large number of guests as its tear and shareable. It’s also best served warm so I wouldn’t recommend you waste this or let it go cold... not that it stopped me, when no one was looking of course. It’s like that tree in a forest saying. If it falls and no one is there to hear it does it make a sound? If I gobble up a dough ball when no one is looking did I really eat it? Moving on...
A couple of points to mention here. Kneading. I’m a very hands on kinda girl when it comes to dough and always opt for kneading by hand, but you can always use a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Although this recipe can be prepped and baked on the same day, you can rise the dough in the fridge over night before assembling. This has been known to add depth of flavour to the dough although I haven’t attempted it myself for this recipe. The second prove will be made at room temperature once the monkey bread is assembled and ready to go in the oven. Additionally, it can be prepped and made ahead of time. Assemble in the Bundt pan (once it’s had its first rise of course), cover with cling film and freeze. Then, once ready to use, take it out of the freezer, defrost in the fridge and let it sit at room temperature to prove. Bake as normal.
Prep Time: 2 hours (includes first rise)
Total time: 3.5 hours
For the Dough:
550g Strong bread flour plus extra for kneading
7g sachet fast action yeast
50g light brown sugar
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground all spice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
200ml semi skimmed or full fat milk
80g unsalted butter
170g finely grated carrot, dabbed with kitchen paper to absorb any excess moisture
For the Stuffing & Coating:
120g cold cream cheese, cut into small cubes
230g granulated sugar
130g butter, clarified
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground all spice
¼ tsp ground cloves
For the Cream Cheese Glaze:
60g cream cheese
3 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
Half a tsp of of vanilla extract
Handful of walnuts, crushed
Make the dough. Whisk all dry ingredients apart from the salt in a large bowl and set aside.
Microwave the butter and milk in a small bowl until melted and warm. Set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk 2 eggs into the milk mixture. Add salt to the dry ingredients and whisk well. Add the grated carrots and mix in until well incorporated. Make a well and pour in the liquid mixture. Using your hands, bring the flour in from the sides and mix until you get a rough, sticky dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth, elastic and springy to the touch.
Place in an oiled bowl, turning the dough to evenly coat it. Cover with cling film and allow it to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size. To speed up this process I whack my oven on full heat for 1 minute, switch it off and prove the dough in there. It’ll normally take an hour.
Grease a 10 inch Bundt pan with butter or spray oil. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
Combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and cloves in a medium bowl.
Tear off small pieces of dough (about the size of a golf ball) and flatten into discs. Gently roll a cube of cream cheese in the sugar mixture and place in the centre of the dough, encasing the cube and rolling the dough into a ball. Dip the ball into the melted butter and roll into the sugar mixture, covering it well. Place into the Bundt pan. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Pour in any leftover butter and sugar. (If you would like to freeze the monkey bread now is the time! Defrost it in the fridge and prove in a warm place before baking.) Cover with cling film and allow to prove for an hour until risen and no longer springy to the touch.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and well risen. Remove from the oven and leave it alone for a few minutes before giving it a sharp knock on the counter. Cool the monkey bread for a further 10 minutes before carefully turning out on a serving plate.
Make the glaze. Combine all the glaze ingredients and whisk till smooth. If need be, add a touch more milk or sugar to get the desired consistency. Drizzle over the warm monkey bread and sprinkle over some crushed walnuts.