Cooking With Confidence
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Breads, Breakfast/Brunch, Desserts, Side Dishes, Stuffing Stuff, Vegetarian

Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread

by Nick

You know you’re a food blogger when…

1) You are used to eating meals at room temperature because you had to spend 10 minutes photographing the darn thing.

2) You have the grocery store aisles memorized.

3) You bring baked goods to bars during happy hour just so you can get them out of the house.

Number three is exactly what happened with this delicious thing.  I made it, photographed it, ate more of it than I should have and then rushed out the door to catch a beer with some friends.

I was about to leave when I decided… what the heck… let’s bring it to the bar!  This was a good idea.  People loved it because the tiny little rolls are bite-sized.  Even our server snuck a few pieces!

While I was going to write that this recipe is really great for brunches, it also happens to be perfect for bars.

Yield
Serves 10.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread

Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk, warm
  • 1/3 cup water, warm
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 3.25 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (opt.)
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter, soft for bundt pan.
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, for rising
  • Brown Sugar Coating:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Helpful Equipment

Directions

1) Butter pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter and set aside for later.

2) In a large bowl, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar and yeast. Meanwhile, mix flour and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. If at any point dough is very sticky, add more flour by the tablespoon.

If you don't have a mixer, just mix the ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a rough ball. Then turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball, about 5-6 minutes.

3)Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball. Coat large bowl with vegetable oil or nonstick spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until dough doubles in size, about an hour.

4) For the sugar mixture, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place melted butter in second bowl.

5) To finish bread, remove the dough from the bowl, and pat into a rough 10-inch square. Sprinkle chocolate chips on half of the dough and fold it over. Then roll out again to a square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into tiny 1/4-1/2 inch pieces.

6) Roll each piece into a rough ball and dip into the melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into the bowl. Roll in the brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in the Bundt pan. Try to stagger the balls so they form a single thing.

7) Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for another hour until the balls are about 2 inches from the top of the pan.

8) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is deep brown, about 35-40 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a late and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

9) While the bread cools, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and milk in a small bowl until the lumps are gone. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the monkey bread. Serve warm.

Adapted from a Brown Eyed Baker recipe.

The Dough

This dough is basically a cinnamon roll dough.  It’s pretty much the easiest kind of dough to work with in my opinion.  It’s really easy to mix and knead.  It’s very soft and stretchy.  It’s really easy to roll out and shape!

Start it by mixing all the dough ingredients except the salt and flour in a small bowl.  Stir them together and let them sit for a minute or two to make sure the yeast is dissolved and active.  It should start foaming a bit.

In a mixing bowl, combine your salt and flour and add in the liquid stuff.  If you have a stand mixer, just mix this all together with the dough hook on low-medium speed until it comes together in a soft ball, about 5 minutes.

This is a really easy dough to make without a mixer though.  Just stir the ingredients together with a wooden spoon and once they are all together, knead the dough on a floured surface until it’s a nice smooth and soft ball.

Mixer or no mixer, if the dough ever gets sticky, add more flour.

making dough

Pretty straightforward

Once your dough ball is formed, add it to a bowl that’s been lightly oiled.  I just used some vegetable oil and coated the inside of the bowl.  Turn the dough ball over in the bowl so it gets nice and coated and then cover the dough and let it rise for about an hour.  It should double in size.

This was my finished dough ball.

after rise

After a short rise.

Making the Balls

Now for the fun part.  Scoop the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a large square.  Then sprinkle your chocolate chips on half of the square.

The chocolate is optional, but I thought it worked perfectly in the recipe.  You can use almost any chocolate chip.  I just used some semi-sweet chips that I had in my pantry.

You only need a few ounces to get some nice chocolate flavor.

rolled

No need to go crazy with chocolate.

Fold the dough over and pack it down so the chocolate chips are more or less enclosed in dough.

folded

Folded and lightly rolled.

Then use a knife or a dough scraper to chop up the dough into bite-sized pieces.  You should shoot for 60-70 little pieces.  About 1/2 inch squares is a good goal.

It’s actually good to have different sizes though so don’t worry about them all being totally even.

pieces

Approximately a million.

Filling the Pan

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.  Also use a separate small bowl and gently melt some butter in the microwave.

Working with a few pieces of dough at a time, roll them into rough balls and dunk them in the melted butter.

butta

No substitutions here…

Then toss them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture and roll them around.  A light coating is all you need.

rolled

Like an inside out cinnamon roll

Then toss the finished balls in a bundt pan that has been pretty heavily buttered.

Keep going until you use all your dough.  If you have a normal sized pan you’ll probably about half fill the pan which is perfect.

in pan

About half full is good.

If you don’t have a bundt pan, I don’t see why you couldn’t make this in a normal baking dish.  It might not be quite as attractive, but it would still be delicious.

Regardless of the pan you choose, after you finish stacking all the balls of dough, cover the pan and let them rise a second time.  About another hour should give you a great puffy dough.

While it might not look like these have risen much, keep in mind that they are also expanding to fill a bunch of little cracks that are in between all the dough balls.  This second rise is really important.

rise

A longer second rise.

Baking and Glazing

Once your dough has risen a second time, bake them at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.  They should be a nice golden brown and you might also notice some brown sugar bubbling up around the edges.  That means it’s done!

This was my finished bread and it not only looked great, it smelled amazing!

finished

Hello beautiful.

Let this cool in the pan for a few minutes and then invert it on a plate or platter.

Meanwhile, just stir together the powdered sugar and milk to make a very simple glaze.

Once the bread has cooled for 10 minutes or so, go ahead and drizzle the glaze all over it.

glaze

A simple glaze.

You could slice this, but I actually preferred serving it with toothpicks so people can just pick off the bread piece that they want.

Some people prefer the outer ones that get kind of crispy.  Some like the inside ones that are soft.

For the delicious and show-stopping dessert that is produced, this thing really isn’t that hard to make.  The dough is really easy to bring together and then it’s just a matter of rolling it, dunking it in butter and sugar and baking it.

In other words, you make do this.  Anyone can make this.

And everyone should.

Pull-apart dough balls baked in cinnamon sugar and filled with chocolate. Who doesn't love monkey bread?!

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34 comments on “Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread

  1. I LOVE monkey bread!! We used to make it by just using a few cans pillsbury dinner rolls, quarter the dough pieces and then do it the same as above (except the rise). However the last two times we did make the dough from scratch and the final product is a bit lighter and fluffier (aka better). But if you didn’t have the time, using the dinner rolls works out very well!

  2. Number 1 is the reason why I have such a hard time posting recipes on my blog. I’ll be halfway through a meal before I realize that I didn’t take enough pictures of the process or of the finished meal and then I just say f’ it, I’ll just do a better job next time. Oops.

  3. So THAT’S how Monkey Bread gets made! This is a new one for me, mate! Appreciate the step by step photos – as always. By the way, I have #2 from your list to still work on. Takes me WAY to long to grocery shop!

  4. This is awesome!! I made it today except I used a cream cheese glaze. It turned out amazing, but I can totally see why you took it to the bar to share this is way to much for two people.

  5. My Mom used to make monkey bread, but with pre-made rolls. I would love to make monkey from scratch, it looks so fun to make! Love the addition of the chocolate chips:-) So happy to find you on Pinterest! Take care, Terra

  6. I tried to make this for my roommates, only with my moms Monkey Bread recipe (rhodes frozen rolls, butter, butterscotch pudding mix, brown sugar and nuts) and didn’t have a bundt pan, and this is at least what I noticed, because it didn’t work out as well. If you do it in a pan relatively the size of a bundt pan but without the middle thing coming up, the middle doesn’t get cooked and comes out doughy even though the outside is totally brown. And it also rises a lot and puffs out of other pans that I tried that were lower sided. I am sure that there is a way to do it minus the bundt pan, but based on my trials, I would recommend just buying one! If you figure out how to do it minus the bundt pan, I would be super interested!

    1. Courtney
      Try a deep round baking pan (like a cake or spring-form pan) with a heavy oven proof coffee cup placed in middle. I have also used this trick when cooking in microwave to get even heat throughout and it works. Stoneware is usually oven safe but check your cup to make sure.

  7. Should this be served warm, or is room temperature fine? Wanting to make it for a party this weekend, but wondering if it can be made the day before?

    1. Hey Heather, it’s best warm…no doubt, but it should be fine a day later also as long as you cover it well. Good luck!

      1. Hmm, thanks. I wonder if I could just get it as far as the baking dish the day before, and then keep it in the fridge over night, then just bake it on party day. Think the dough would collapse in the fridge?

  8. So I just baked this and half of it is already over and it was eaten by two people! It’s so so so so so yum! The texture of the bread is unbelievable and had it fresh out of the oven and it’s just a melt in the mouth piece of goodness! Loved it!

  9. I study in a catering college and generally when we make bread , we bake it for 10 – 12 minutes at 220 degrees. So isn’t 350 degrees for 40 minutes too much in this one?

    1. Hey Meghna, the temp is in Farenheit, not celsius. I”m not sure what bread you only bake for 10-12 minutes (some sort of roll?) but this definitely needs 40 minutes at 350 degrees F.

  10. I made this tonight; it’s like a cinnamon bun married a chocolate chip cookie and had a monkey bread baby! Great dessert/breakfast/snack/I’ll eat this any time, any place food!

  11. These are fabulous! I had to double the cinnamon, though, to indulge my love.
    Interesting discovery–I found myself in need of two hamburger buns while making these, so decided to just appropriate part of the dough into buns! Believe it or not, they worked great! They had the right texture, and best of all didn’t fall apart half way through eating the burger! There is sugar in the dough, which might not sound good, but they were not too sweet, and the next time I want to make burger buns, guess where I will look?

    1. I make my yeast bread substituting the sugar for clover honey, in equal amounts. So if it calls for 1/4 cup of sugar, I use 1/4 cup of clover honey instead.

  12. Would it be possible to complete the recipe to the last rise, refrigerate overnight, and take out in the morning and let finish rising if necessary, then bake? I really want to do all the work the night before and bake in the morning. Thanks!

    1. This is what I do with my cinnamon roll recipe. While I haven’t done it with monkey bread, I’m guessing it should work. If you try it, let us know if it does, please!

      1. I made this last night and put it in the fridge to bake in the morning and it worked just fine. I used the quick rise yeast, let it rise the second time on the counter, and put it in the fridge. I just wanted to let everyone know it works because this would take way too long to make for breakfast!

  13. I have been researching letting dough rise in frig. and it is recommended you use regular yeast, not quick rise. Anybody?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Tammie, sorry for the delay on this. Anyway, you can definitely let it sit overnight in the fridge. Regular yeast should work fine as well.

      Cheers!
      Nick

  14. I always use the Pillsbury recipe for Monkey Bread. This is the first time I’ve seen a recipe for scratch. I’ll going to try this next time I make it. It’s always a crowd pleaser, probably because it’s yummy and there is no knife required to cut off a serving. Makes it real simple.

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