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Easy Rhodes Rolls Monkey Bread Recipe (with Chocolate)

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Gooey chocolate oozing out of warm caramel chocolate monkey bread, yes please! This small batch easy Rhodes rolls monkey bread recipe is stuffed with real chocolate and has an optional bourbon sauce. Rhodes rolls to make it a snap to put together! Perfect for special breakfasts, like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter brunch or any special breakfast!

I am not sure who named this divine, gooey, sweet breakfast pastry monkey bread, but this pull apart breakfast bread is one of our family favorites, I have modified it to be ideal for a family of 4-6. But it is easily doubled for crowd-sized monkey bread!

If you are a fan of gooey, sweet breakfast recipes, then you should try our Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Rolls, Easy Chocolate Chip Croissant Casserole Bake or this simple Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake.

Chocolate Stuffed Monkey Bread on a red platter with doily.

Look in any church cookbook and you will probably find at least 6 recipes for monkey bread, all slightly different, but all incredibly delicious! Our standard monkey bread recipe is pretty much butter, vanilla or butterscotch pudding mix, Rhodes rolls and cinnamon, delish!

This chocolate stuffed monkey bread recipe is fabulous for a special occasion, it takes a bit longer since you have to thaw the bread rolls and then stuff them with the chocolate, but it couldn’t be easier! Instead of putting it all together the night before, you simply lay out the rolls, then assemble and bake it the next morning.

Ingredients for Rhodes Rolls for Monkey Bread

Ingredients for Chocolate Monkey Bread. L-R regular sugar, brown sugar, bourbon, Rhodes rolls, chocolate, butter.

For the full ingredient list and instructions, print the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Frozen bread dough rolls | thawed overnight (I used Rhodes Rolls)
  • Semisweet or dark chocolate baking bars | I used the Trader Joes Belgium dark chocolate bar which breaks into perfect sized squares.
  • Butter | the real stuff, nothing soft coming out of the fridge
  • Sugar | I use all natural organic cane sugar, white sugar is fine
  • Brown sugar | I used light, but dark would be fine
  • Bourbon or whisky | if no alcohol is preferred use heavy cream instead
  • Vanilla extract or try this amazing bourbon vanilla extract too! (optional)

See, super simple, even the ingredient list is easy!

How Do you Make Monkey Bread from Scratch

The original recipe for Chocolate Monkey Bread is from Taste of Home and you actually make your own bread dough, I am not saying this is not worth it, but usually when the whim to make easy Rhodes Rolls monkey bread hits, I just want to get it going!

I wanted to make this fancier version of monkey bread a bit simpler, so I modified using frozen bread rolls. And I know you will love it!

THE NIGHT BEFORE – Thawing the rolls

  1. The hardest part sometimes is remembering the you need to start most monkey breads ahead of time.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and lay out frozen bread rolls 2-3 inches apart — spray plastic wrap and cover loosely.
  3. We just want them to thaw, not necessarily rise, so you will place the pan in the fridge overnight.

The Next Morning – Stuffing Rolls & Assembling the Monkey Bread

Process shots for Chocolate Monkey Bread recipe. 1. Chopping chocolate, bundt pan and thawed bread rolls. 2. flattened bread roll in hand. 3. piece of chocolate in center of bread roll. 4. Pinching bread roll around chocolate.
  1. Grease a bundt pan well (use spray or butter)! For a small batch monkey bread, I used this 6 cup bundt pan, double the bread rolls for a 10-12 cup bundt pan (see notes on doubling).
  2. Chop or break chocolate into nine 1/4 oz (roughly) squares and set aside. Flatten bread rolls into circles; placing 1 chocolate piece in the center of each. Folding dough over, pinch edges to seal well, return to the baking sheet until you finish all of the rolls.
Process Shots for how to dip bread rolls and sugar in prep for Chocolate Monkey Bread Recipe.
  1. Melt 1/4 cup butter and remove from heat, placing 1/2 cup sugar into a bowl.
  2. Dip each chocolate filled dough ball in the melted butter, then roll in the sugar and return to the baking sheet.
Process shots for Chocolate Monkey Bread Recipe making the Caramel Bourbon sauce 1. brown sugar, butter and bourbon in pan with wooden spoon. 2. Bringing caramel mixture to a boil. 3. Pouring in bottom of bundt pan. 4. placing bread rolls on top of caramel.

Bourbon Caramel Sauce for Rhodes Rolls Monkey Bread

This recipe, unlike many others does not use pudding mix, nothing wrong with those, but this recipe without pudding is easy and superb!

  1. Place brown sugar, butter chunks and bourbon (or heavy whipping cream) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly until it comes to an easy boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook stirring for 3 minutes.
  2. Toss any leftover shards and pieces of chocolate into the bottom of the pan, then pour half of the caramel into greased 6 cup bundt pan. Layer with half the dough balls; pour a little more caramel, then place rest of dough balls and pour any remaining caramel. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap, let rise in warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

To create a warm place to rise bread, before placing the dough in the oven, heat to 100 degrees, then turn OVEN OFF. Place covered dough in warm oven and close door.

Final Process shots for Chocolate Monkey Bread 5. Pouring caramel sauce over bread dough. 6. finished rolls ready for rise. 7. covered in plastic wrap and rising in the oven. 8. Risen bread rolls in bundt pan
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place bundt pan on baking sheet (in case of spillage). Bake on middle rack for about 40-55 minutes until lightly brown on top. If browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil for last 10-15 minutes. Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then place serving plate on top of bundt pan and invert, removing the bundt pan.

Optional Bourbon Chocolate Glaze

  • Melt chocolate in small saucepan (heavier is better) over low heat, remove from heat; stir in bourbon until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm bread. I do not typically make the chocolate glaze, but I have drizzled a little chocolate sauce over the top! YUM!
  • Melt chocolate in small saucepan (heavier is better) over low heat, remove from heat; stir in bourbon and vanilla extra if desired, until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm bread.

I do not typically make the chocolate glaze, but I have drizzled a little chocolate sauce over the top! YUM!

Gooey Chocolate Monkey Bread recipe with hand tearing apart a chocolate stuffed bread roll.

Can I Double this Recipe for Easy Monkey Bread?

Yes! Follow these easy steps:

  1. Simply remove 18-20 rolls for thawing the night before
  2. Use a 10-12 cup bundt pan instead of the smaller 6 cup
  3. Double the amount of chocolate you need for stuffing
  4. Double the amount of butter (½ cup) and (1 cup) sugar for dipping
  5. I actually never cut in half the original caramel bourbon sauce, so you should be fine just making that same amount, but heck, gooier is better right!? So go ahead and double if you please!
  6. You will need to bake closer to 50-55 minutes, remember to cover with foil the last 15-20 minutes if getting too brown.

Substitutions and Additions

I am always ALL about making it yours! Thank God we all have different tastes, likes, dislikes and more! Here are a few ideas!

  • Substitute the bourbon for Scotch, Whisky, Rum, or Brandy.
  • No Alcohol? No worries, replace Bourbon with Heavy Cream or even half and half.
  • Add nuts! Pecans are perfect to add to this chocolate monkey bread recipe. About 1 cup chopped, also try walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts!
  • Stuff the rolls with white or milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate.
  • Can’t find the right baking chocolate? Use Semisweet chocolate chips instead, use about a tablespoon per roll.
  • Make smaller “monkey pieces” if desired by cutting each roll in half, you will need to double the amount of chocolate, stuffing each smaller portion of roll with a piece of chocolate.
image of small chocolate monkey bread recipe on a red pedestal with a doily, sitting on a table with candied bacon and paper plates with forks nearby.

Do you let kids eat food with alcohol baked in it?

I am asked this all the time. My husband and I have a more European take on alcohol with our kids, we believe by occasionally giving small amounts of alcohol and talking a lot about it, this has erased much of the allure of alcohol.

Since our boys were little we’ve offered them sips from our drinks (to which they always would wrinkle their noses), served them foods with alcohol in them, like this Honey Bourbon Chicken or Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs.

Never enough to get close to them even getting tipsy. Plus in recipes like this one, the alcohol almost always cooks or bakes out completely, leaving behind the amazing flavors.

Facebook image for Chocolate Bread Recipe. Hands tearing a bread roll with oozing chocolate from the center.

Does Easy Monkey Bread need to be refrigerated?

I treat monkey bread like I would any other sweet bread or coffee cake; safe on the counter sealed tightly for 3-5 days, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days and may be frozen up to 3 months.

Whether you call this Monkey Bread or Pull Apart Bread, you are going to LOVE it, especially if you are a chocolate lover, my family has gone ga-ga over this delicious breakfast pastry.

PIN to your favorite Breakfast Sweets Board

Long pin with two images for Chocolate stuffed monkey bread. Top image hand pulling apart a chocolate stuffed roll. Bottom image a close up of small batch chocolate monkey bread sitting on a red platter oozing with chocolate and caramel.

Here are a few more fun Rhodes Rolls Monkey Bread Recipes from my blogging friends!

More fantastic brunch sweet recipes

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Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

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8 Comments

  1. This monkey bread was a serious treat! I made it and we enjoyed it after dinner this past Sunday. I think my mother in law went back for THIRDS?! LOL! (maybe it was the booze???) At any rate! Totally making it again!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this for my girls recently, and we were all blown away… to the extent that we ate most of this monkey bread in one sitting. The chocolate just pushes it over the top, and it was so easy to make!

  3. I would make monkey bread for my kids all the time when they were younger. Made this boozy version (yes, to the booze) and wow what a delicious treat, Plus the chocolate surprise in the middle is heavenly!