Samoa Monkey Bread with Ganache Dipping Sauce

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, heavily adapted from Pillsbury
Yield: 12 servings

Samoa Girl Scout cookies are good. Monkey Bread is good. Samoa Monkey Bread is INSANE. You have to make this one! It’s a little fiddly filling each dough ball with chocolate, but so worth it.

4 (7.5-ounce) tubes of refrigerated biscuits
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon coconut extract
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
3/4 bag of Hershey’s Baking Melts* for stuffing
1 cup chocolate chips (I prefer Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips for this ganache)
1/2 cup heavy cream
*Karly turned me on to these and they’re perfect for this application, but you can use chocolate chips or even chocolate kisses if you need to.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 12-cup tube or bundt pan. Toss sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup coconut in a gallon-size plastic zip bag to mix. Cut each refrigerator biscuit in half and place a baking melt on it. Pinch the dough around the baking melt to close completely. Put the dough balls into the prepared bag and toss gently to coat. Then place the coated dough balls into the greased tube pan. Once you get a full layer of dough balls in the pan, sprinkle on about 1/2 cup of shredded coconut flakes. Keep layering dough balls and coconut until the dough balls are all in the pan. Sprinkle a little more coconut over the top.

Mix melted butter, coconut extract, and brown sugar carefully and pour over the dough balls. Bake for about 45 minutes or until well browned (so the middle won’t be doughy). Remove the pan from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before (carefully — the hot butter might splash) inverting it onto a plate.

While it cools slightly, put the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave for about 1 minute — long enough to make it hot, but not enough for it to boil. Pour it over the chocolate chips and let it sit for 2 minutes. Then whisk in small circles to form ganache. Drizzle a little over the top of your monkey bread before pouring the rest into a bowl. Serve the ganache with the warm monkey bread for dipping.

22 Comments on Samoa Monkey Bread with Ganache Dipping Sauce

  1. Becky
    April 15, 2013 at 12:35 pm (11 years ago)

    As a Girl Scout leader, I second the motion of ‘why can’t they sell something else?’. My troop doesn’t sell cookies and I’ve gotten quite a bit of heat about that over the years. No one wants to be cookie mom – it’s a ton of work. So, we just don’t.
    I can’t wait to try this.

  2. Mom
    April 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm (11 years ago)

    Looks delicious! Make sure when you buy a fern you get the “Kimberly Queen” or something like that. They are very hardy (9.99 or so at Home Depot or Lowes) and last all season without much care. Ours sit on the porch all year and we just let the rain water them. (Boston ferns die on us every time!!)

    Why can’t Girl Scouts sell chia seeds or almond milk? Ha!

  3. Lisa @ Who Stole My Baby?
    April 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm (11 years ago)

    I can understand your student’s reluctance to change much of his story. That’s half the reason I blog – cause once it’s out there, it’s out there, whether it’s perfect or not, and I don’t have to torture myself with constant editing like I do on a book/story. It’s nice to see some typos in my posts here and there!

  4. Jenny @ BAKE
    April 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm (11 years ago)

    This is a lovely post! I can’t believe you picked a lock that’s incredible! this monkey bread looks like enough to put a smile on my face on the worst of days!

  5. Amy | Club Narwhal
    April 15, 2013 at 4:22 pm (11 years ago)

    I maybe cried a little bit reading #8–it’s the former teacher inside of me doing all sorts of joyful backflips for a student who has the confidence and pride in his work that I wish I could access more easily. What an amazing moment. And I’m glad that you were able to find 11 awesome things in the midst of a very hard week. Plus, Samoa monkey bread? Takes it to the next level of genius 🙂

  6. Amy | Club Narwhal
    April 15, 2013 at 4:24 pm (11 years ago)

    Oops–I meant # 9 but you got what I was saying, right?

  7. Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory
    April 15, 2013 at 5:09 pm (11 years ago)

    Melty chocolate on the inside and chocolate ganache on the outside? Sounds divine! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion
    April 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm (11 years ago)

    I love that your student is doing this.. I read and I will be follow it to see what other RAOK they perform.

    I must also make this bread, I see it everywhere.. although yours has chocolate…Mmmmmm.

  9. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    April 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm (11 years ago)

    How precious is your student’s blog! It warms my heart.
    And this bread! Well, if it can’t give someone hope, or if it at least doesn’t help you forget your problems for a short while, I don’t know what will! Here’s wishing you a better week ahead! xo.

  10. Cookbook Queen
    April 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm (11 years ago)

    Sooo..the bobby pin thing works, then? I always thought that was a myth.

    Also, I am now obsessively perusing that site for cake stands.

    Also, that monkey bread. Are you even serious with this? Need.

  11. Ala
    April 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm (11 years ago)

    Your students are wonderful, and it’s even more fantastic that you’re finding silver linings wherever you turn. What an inspiration you are, Julie! I particularly loved the anecdote about your student with the “perfect story”–it’s definitely something to keep in mind when I next teach creative writing for my middle schoolers, but I especially love his pride in his work. Thank you, as always, for sharing! It’s good to see you back and writing.

  12. PapaLos @ The Man, The Chef, The Dad
    April 15, 2013 at 7:56 pm (11 years ago)

    Wow, MacGyver.. I don’t know if you did it on purpose, but this is quite the inspirational post. From the Humans of New York link (which I got stuck on for a while) to the kid who wouldn’t change his story to the video of the 2 powerful poets – this post is so full of muse-filled win it’s incredible.

    I used to do a poetry blog so I know how powerful the spoken word can be. They remind me a lot of Yellow Rage. Check them out if you never heard of them.

    Oh yeah.. and the monkey bread! Freaking icing on the cake! And as sad as it may look, I loved the picture with the dying bouquet. Not only is it beautifully taken, it really compliments the tone you have in the post.

    Which, by the way, I hope that whatever caused you to compile such inspirational stories is just a bump in your road that you will be over soon. Thanks for the amazing post.

  13. Becca
    April 19, 2013 at 5:15 am (11 years ago)

    I love this post. Just the kind of thing I needed to read today! It looks delicious too!

  14. LeAndra
    April 19, 2013 at 11:42 pm (11 years ago)


    The timing of this post is one of those coincidences that removes the doubt I sometimes let creep in about whether or not there is something bigger out there guiding our actions. Things That Make Me Hopeful…

    It’s amazing how many things we can find to be thankful for or look forward to or just plain enjoy in any one day. Thanks for sharing this glimpse into the good things going on all around us.

    • Julie Ruble
      April 19, 2013 at 11:45 pm (11 years ago)

      I kind of couldn’t believe the timing, myself. God knows what we need and when we need it. I’m really glad this encouraged you, too. <3

  15. judith q stewart
    April 21, 2013 at 9:34 pm (11 years ago)

    …hello, sorry to be such a novice but i do not understand what a “…Place a baking melt on it?…
    what is a baking melt?
    i’d love to prepare this for my grandchildren but i am stuck on the 2 nd sentence of directions.
    thank you for your help.

    • Julie Ruble
      April 22, 2013 at 1:51 am (11 years ago)

      Hi Judith, If you click the words “Hershey’s Baking Melts” in the recipe, it takes you to a page that will show you. They’re like big chocolate chips that melt easily in your recipe to give you a gooey chocolate middle. They should be in the chocolate chip aisle near the chocolate chips. You can substitute a few chocolate chips in each dough nugget if you can’t find them in the grocery store!

      • judith q stewart
        April 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm (11 years ago)

        Oh Thank you so much Julie for your time and information, it was very kind of you. Judith

        • Julie Ruble
          April 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm (11 years ago)

          Sure thing! I hope you love it!


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