Taylor Tries to Cook: Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

The finished product!
The finished product!

As a second semester senior, I’ve been on my own in some capacity for almost 4 years now. I’ll admit that the first two years probably don’t count, as I was living in the dorms subsisting off of sub-par cafeteria food, Chick-fil-a, Sub Zero, and Taco Bell (rest in peace to those last two, gone but never forgotten).

My first experience living truly on my own was during my Disney College Program in the fall of 2014, where I hardly had any time to cook and ate mainly Hot Pockets, toaster waffles, and again, Taco Bell. What I’m getting at is that I really do not know how to cook. So, the purpose of this blog/column/whatever is for me to try to teach myself a few things about how to make yummy food, as well as give you all some recipes that you can make easily, cheaply, and hopefully in the dorms.

Now for my first week, I obviously can’t do something too serious. I want to do something simple to ease my way into this semester-long adventure. So of course, I picked a dessert. This dessert (full recipe will be at the bottom). Using pre-made cinnamon rolls might be cheating, and might be against what this whole thing is supposed to be about. But I’m giving myself a pass for the first week.

I received a crock pot from my family this past Christmas, you know, just in case I wasn’t sure yet that I was definitely an adult. The worst part is that I was PUMPED to have been gifted a crock pot. They’re basically the gateway into learning how to cook, right? You just throw in a bunch of stuff and let it do the work for you. So this is what I’m working with today.

All of the ingredients!
All of the ingredients!

Basically, you start out opening up your cans of cinnamon rolls (while trying not to let them jump-scare you. I failed this part). Set aside the icing for later. Then, just cut each roll into about 6 pieces. Once you have a pile of mutilated cinnamon rolls, grab a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and put the granulated sugar and cinnamon in it. Fill the bag with the cinnamon roll pieces, MAKE SURE you’ve sealed it, and shake until the little pieces are all covered in cinnamon-sugary goodness.

Next, melt the butter and mix in the brown sugar with it. Place half the cinnamon roll pieces in the crock pot, pour half the butter mixture over it, layer the other half of the cinnamon roll pieces, and (you guessed it) pour the remainder of the butter. Now turn the crock pot on high and, if you’re me, spend the next hour dying your hair. But I guess you can do whatever. At this point, I began to panic that there was entirely too much butter, but kept going because I refused to waste two whole cans of cinnamon rolls. Check on it after an hour, but it should take no longer than two to be fully baked and browning around the edges.

This turned out to be probably the gooiest version of a cinnamon roll that exists. I’m still not sure if it was meant to be this gooey. Who knows, I probably somehow messed up this super simple cheater recipe. But it was still delicious! I’d give it about an 8/10. It would be great for breakfast on a snow day, because we all know calories don’t count on snow days.

RECIPE (from Dorothy Kern at crazyforcrust.com):


  • 2 cans Grands! Cinnamon Rolls (5 per can)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted


  1. Open each can of cinnamon rolls. Reserve the icing. Cut each rolls into 6 pieces.
  2. Place the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a gallon size ziploc bag. Add the cut up cinnamon rolls (the pieces will fall apart a little) to the bag. Seal and shake to coat the pieces with cinnamon sugar.
  3. Stir together the brown sugar and melted butter.
  4. Spray a 5-7 Qt slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place half the dough pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour half the melted butter mixture over the top, then add the rest of the cinnamon roll pieces and the rest of the melted butter.
  5. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high power for about 2 hours. (Check it at one hour, then again at one and a half hours, just to be safe.) The edges will start to brown, but the top will still be a little gooey looking. Turn off the slow cooker and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  6. Optional: Drizzle the icing that came with the rolls over the top of the monkey bread in the crockpot, or pour it over like syrup after serving.
  7. Note: Not all slow cookers are created equal. Mine has a high 4 hour setting and that is what I cooked mine on.
  8. Note: The monkey bread will stick as it cools. Serve from the warm slow cooker and make sure that you take it all out before it cools all the way or it’ll require soaking.
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