Monkey Bread Recipe with Bourbon

Drunken monkey bread

  • serves 12
  • A little effort

Sweet enriched bread dough doused in a sticky bourbon sauce – what's not to love? Serve it warm so it pulls into individual pieces easily





  • semi-skimmed milk 275ml
  • bourbon 2 tbsp
  • active dried yeast 2 x 7g sachets
  • strong white bread flour 700g
  • salt 1 tsp
  • golden caster sugar 50g
  • unsalted butter 50g, melted
  • large eggs 2, beaten with a fork


  • butter 125g
  • ground cinnamon 1 tbsp
  • granulated sugar 250g
  • walnut pieces 150g
  • maple syrup 50ml
  • light brown soft sugar 50g
  • bourbon 75ml


  • Step 1

    Warm the milk and bourbon to hand hot in a microwave or a pan. Sprinkle in the yeast and leave until frothy – about 10 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Mix the bread flour, salt and sugar in a big bowl, then whisk the butter into the milky yeast, followed by the eggs. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, then tip onto a worksurface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth (or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook). Put the dough back into a bowl covered with greased clingfilm and leave to rise somewhere warm until doubled in size.

  • Step 3

    Before assembling, melt the butter in a frying pan, then grease a 2 litre bundt tin with a small amount. Mix the cinnamon into the granulated sugar, then sprinkle a tbsp into the base of the tin with a few of the walnut pieces.

  • Step 4

    Pull the dough into about 50 pieces, and roll them into balls. One by one, dip into the butter to coat, drain off the excess, then roll in the spiced sugar. Put haphazardly into the tin until you have a full layer. Scatter with some more walnut pieces, then carry on layering the balls and nuts evenly in the tin. Cover with the tea towel, and leave to rise for 45 minutes – 1 hour at room temperature until the dough is risen and doesn’t spring back when you poke it.

  • Step 5

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4, and save 3 tbsp of the remaining melted butter. When the dough is nicely risen bake for 35 minutes until golden. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes, then turn it onto a serving plate, and give the tin a sharp tap to release the bread. Don’t move the tin off the bread though – leave it on so the monkey bread keeps its shape as it cools.

  • Step 6

    Once almost cool, remove the tin. Mix the maple syrup, brown sugar and bourbon with the reserved butter in a pan and bubble until syrupy. Drizzle the bread with the bourbon glaze to serve.

No-one knows exactly where this classic ’50s American bake got its name from but it is catching on here now (Maze Grill has it on their dessert menu). Our version takes the sweet enriched bread dough and douses it in a sticky bourbon sauce. Serve it warm so it pulls into individual pieces easily.

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 583
  • Fat 22.4g
  • Saturates 9.2g
  • Carbs 77.2g
  • Fibre 2.9g
  • Protein 11.8g
  • Salt 0.7g