Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Monkey Bread

Total Time

Prep: 1-1/2 hours + chilling Bake: 50 min. + cooling


18 servings

Updated: Mar. 29, 2023
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, Plesant Prairie, Wisconsin


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 1/2 cup butter; pour into a shallow bowl. Place remaining 1 cup sugar in another shallow bowl. Dip balls in melted butter, allowing excess to drip off, then roll in sugar.
  4. 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.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°. Place a sheet of foil on bottom oven rack. Bake bread 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.