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Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Monkey Bread

Time to give rum cake a little competition! If this boozy take on monkey bread is too strong for your taste, cut back on the bourbon or use milk as a non-alcoholic substitute. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1-1/2 hours + chilling Bake: 50 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    18 servings


  • 3/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon or whiskey
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 semisweet baking chocolate bars (4 ounces each) plus 1 ounce, broken into 1/4-ounce pieces (36 pieces total)
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup bourbon or whiskey
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 semisweet baking chocolate bar (4 ounces), chopped
  • 1/4 cup bourbon or whiskey


  • Microwave 1/4 cup butter until melted. Dissolve yeast in warm water and milk; let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. In another bowl, combine eggs, bourbon and melted butter; stir in 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, salt and yeast mixture. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover; refrigerate overnight.
  • Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide and shape into 36 rolls. Flatten rolls into circles; place 1 chocolate piece in center of each. Fold dough over filling; pinch edges well to seal. Melt remaining butter; pour into a shallow bowl. Place remaining sugar in another shallow bowl. Dip balls in butter, allowing excess to drip off, then roll in sugar.
  • For bourbon caramel, bring brown sugar, butter and bourbon to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Pour half of the caramel into a greased 10-in. fluted tube pan; layer with half the pecans and half the dough balls; repeat. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place a sheet of foil on bottom oven rack. Bake on middle oven rack until golden brown, 50-55 minutes. (Cover loosely with foil for last 10-15 minutes if top browns too quickly.) Cool in pan 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Meanwhile, for bourbon chocolate glaze, melt chocolate in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat; stir in bourbon until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm bread.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • You can make this beauty in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish if you don't have the right size tube pan.
  • Bourbon flavor is very pronounced in this decadent dessert. Feel free to substitute milk or water for some or all of the bourbon.
  • We take monkey bread to the next level with this bourbon-laced pecan and chocolate version.
  • Chocolate pieces can be wrapped in dough ahead of time and frozen in a single layer. Simply thaw in the fridge overnight before assembling the following day.
  • Rye, brandy and spiced rum can be substituted for the bourbon.
  • Nutrition Facts
    2 pieces : 445 calories, 20g fat (10g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 174mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 2g fiber), 6g protein.


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    • 7833louis
      Feb 14, 2019

      This was absolutely heavenly, time-consuming, but heavenly. A "test kitchen tip" described a freezer option. I did this part a week ahead of time. Next time I will cut the amount of chocolate that goes inside the rolls in half. I thought it was ok but my family thought it was too much. I used dark chocolate chips for the non-glaze chocolate - another time-saver. I used unsweetened vanilla almondmilk for the 2%. I also cut the amount of white sugar in half - still plenty sweet. The dough was so moist and fluffy! Thanks for sharing!

    • Connee
      Mar 25, 2018

      There are several short cuts for this recipe. I made this for a bridal shower and the guests went "ape sh**" over it . :-) I used two 16.3 ounce cans of refrigerated biscuits. Slice each into 4 pieces. I also used semi sheet chocolate chips instead of cutting apart a solid baking bar. Roll into 60 balls before dipping in the butter and sugar as instructed. GREAT recipe! P.S. 1/4 cup bourbon equals one miniature so you don't have to buy an entire bottle of bourbon.

    • I_Fortuna
      Dec 7, 2017

      Great recipe but . . .This is really a time consuming recipe especially during the holidays. I use refrigerated biscuits or stale bread and mine turn out great each time. Just look for those recipes using refrigerated products because the liquid ratios may be different.

    • jrgraydon
      Dec 7, 2017

      Wonder if you can use some other bread/dough to make this less time consuming. Would refrigerated work?

    • ensor17
      Dec 7, 2017

      Monkey bread