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Chocolate Monkey Bread with Rhodes Rolls

Gooey chocolate oozing out of warm caramel bourbon monkey bread, yes please! This small batch chocolate monkey bread recipe with 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, 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!

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

Ingredients

  • 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, I am sure it is.

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 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 & Monkey Bread

  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?

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.
  • Don’t want to use 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 we have erased much of the allure by removing the taboo.

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 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 Monkey Bread Recipes from my blogging friends!

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Chocolate Stuffed Monkey Bread on a red platter with doily.
Yield: 9 Servings

Chocolate Stuffed Monkey Bread

Prep Time: 30 minutes
 Cook Time: 45 minutes
Rise Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Gooey chocolate oozing out of warm caramel bourbon monkey bread, yes please! This small batch breakfast or brunch treat uses frozen bread rolls to make it a snap to put together! But start the night before!

Ingredients

For Chocolate Stuffed Dough Balls

  • 9 Frozen bread dough rolls, thawed overnight according to package directions
  • 2 semisweet or dark chocolate baking bars, broken into ¼ oz squares | I used the Trader Joes Belgium chocolate bar which breaks into perfect sized squares.
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar | I use organic cane sugar, white sugar is fine

Bourbon Caramel Sauce

  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar, I used light, but dark would be fine
  • ¼ cup cold butter, cubed
  • ¼ cup bourbon or whisky (non-alcoholic use heavy cream)

Bourbon Chocolate Glaze (optional)

Instructions

  1. THE NIGHT BEFORE -> Spray a baking sheet with oil or baking spray and lay out bread dough rolls on baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. NEXT MORNING | Grease a bundt pan well! For a Small Batch I used this 6 cup bundt pan, double the bread rolls for a 10-12 cup bundt pan (see notes on doubling).
  3. 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.
  4. Melt 1/4 cup butter and remove from heat, placing 1/2 cup sugar into a bowl. Dip each chocolate filled dough ball in the melted butter, then roll in the sugar and return to the baking sheet.

Bourbon Caramel Sauce & Monkey Bread

  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. Pour half of the caramel into greased 6 cup bundt pan (or if doubling, into a 10-12 cup bundt pan). *I also toss in the extra pieces and crumbs from the chopped chocolate into the bottom caramel. 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.
  3. 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. Cover loosely with foil for last 10-15 minutes if browning too quickly. 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

  1. Melt chocolate in small saucepan (heavier is better) over low heat, remove from heat; stir in bourbon and vanilla 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!

Keep in an airtight container or well sealed on counter for 3-5 days, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days and may be frozen up to 3 months.

Notes

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

Substitutions & Additions

  • Replace the bourbon with heavy cream for a non-alcoholic version of this monkey bread.
  • Use brandy, rum or other dark liquor in place of bourbon.
  • Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans to the middle layer, when assembling.
  • If doubling the recipe, I typically double the bread and the chocolate, but keep the caramel sauce the same, but feel free to double all aspects, the gooier the better right!
  • 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.

DOUBLING TIPS

  • Simply remove 18-20 rolls for thawing the night before
  • Use a 10-12 cup bundt pan instead of the smaller 6 cup
  • Double the amount of chocolate you need for stuffing
  • Double the amount of butter (½ cup) and (1 cup) sugar for dipping
  • 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!
  • You will need to bake closer to 50-55 minutes, remember to cover with foil the last 15-20 minutes if getting too brown.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 24gProtein: 0g

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kathleen

ABOUT KATHLEEN

I enjoy sharing easy recipes that are wholesome and delicious. I am fed by my faith, family, friends & food! Welcome to my kitchen! Read more...

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