Chocolate Monkey Bread

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Yield: One loaf, about 12 servings

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We've never been partial to chocolate bread; somehow, this cross between cake and white bread seems to fall short on both counts. But coat vanilla-scented white bread with a ground chocolate/sugar/cocoa combo, and you've got another animal entirely. The bread retains its soft, faintly sweet character. And the chocolate, rather than coming across as dull or bitter as it so often does in chocolate bread, fairly sings in concert with its soft, yeasty partner. Read our blog about this bread, with additional photos, at Bakers' Banter.

Chocolate Monkey Bread

star rating (5) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: One loaf, about 12 servings
Published: 01/01/2010





  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm milk


Tips from our bakers

  • Tip: How much water will yield the "perfect" bread dough? Use the lesser amount in summer, or in humid conditions; the greater amount in winter (or in a dryer climate; and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled.


1) To make the filling: Place the filling ingredients into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Set the mixture aside.

2) To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead everything together, by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle, till you've made a smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.

3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or other rising container. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it's nearly doubled in bulk. Rising may take longer, especially if you've kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.

4) Divide the dough into about 64 pieces. Just divide the dough in half, then each half in half again, and so on, until you have about 64 pieces. Don't bother to make the pieces perfectly even; and never mind rolling them into perfect little balls (though it's good to give them a quick roll between your palms).

5) Place the chocolate mixture into a shallow pan, such as an 8" round cake pan.

6) To make the coating, combine the 2 tablespoons melted butter and 2 tablespoons lukewarm milk. Dip 6 or 7 pieces of dough into the coating, then place them in the pan of chocolate.

7) Shake the pan gently to coat the dough with chocolate. Place the pieces into a lightly greased 10" tube pan or bundt-style pan; don't crowd them. You'll make two or more layers.

8) Sprinkle any remaining chocolate atop the dough in the pan. Cover the pan, and let the bread rise for 1 to 2 hours, until it's quite puffy, though not doubled in bulk. You'll start to see white dough through the chocolate coating as they bread rises. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

9) Bake the bread for about 30 to 35 minutes, till you can see it starting to brown underneath the chocolate. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf will register about 190°F.

10) Remove the bread from the oven, and sprinkle it with the chocolate chips. Return to the oven for about 5 minutes, till the chips soften and look shiny. Take the bread out of the oven, and let it cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm, or at room temperature, by pulling the bread apart piece by piece.


  • star rating 08/21/2014
  • Steph from Baltimore
  • A beautiful, decadent bread. It's absolutely essential to use the best chocolate you can get your hands on.
  • star rating 12/11/2008
  • Susan Gloor from Harrison, AR
  • Was disappointing after reading the comments. Rather ugly look, and not as sweet and tasteful as I expected.
  • star rating 10/29/2008
  • Judy G from Northridge, CA
  • My husband, the chocoholic, says "this is like eating 64 bites of heaven!" A great combination and best eaten warm. I am going to try using a bit of espresso powder next time to enhance it. Any recommendations as to how much?
    I'd start with 1/2 teaspoon and adjust from there. Frank from KAF.
  • star rating 10/26/2008
  • miukat from NY
  • Super yummilicious!!!!!!!! It was really easy to make with ingredients I had on hand. I had to substitute carob powder cuz I had no cocoa powder. I also substituted bittersweet chocolate chips and brown sugar with a touch of cinnamon. The flavor of the bread was awesome, although the final product was a little dry, compared to the caramelly goodness of the original. I'd like to see it a bit juicier. All in all, I would def. make this again, taking some hints from the original monkey bread.
  • star rating 10/24/2008
  • Denise from Valparaiso, IN
  • I first made this several years ago for my family's traditional Christmas brunch, and everyone loved it. It is now required on the table every year! It is to die for!