“Drunken Monkey” Bread

There’s nothing quite like sticky gooey Monkey Bread to give you that early morning sugar rush and sense of satisfaction. My “Drunken Monkey” bread recipe is just the thing to make your Christmas morning even more special.

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Christmas morning: the true story of Christmas has been read, presents are unwrapped, the kids have stars in their eyes as they flutter around, trying to decide what to play with first. Dad is tenaciously assembling toys with a million pieces each, and you…

You, in your robe and new Christmas jammies, have picked up the wrapping paper and are now working on a brilliant holiday breakfast to keep the Christmas magic alive.

how to make monkey bread

In planning for meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I like to incorporate dishes that can be made ahead. That way, during all the excitement, I’m not tucked away in the kitchen, missing out on memory-making moments.

how to make monkey bread 2

My monkey bread recipe is a dish I make only on very special occasions. It’s rich, loaded with flavor, and ultra sweet–so much so, I’d feel bad serving it to my kids on regular mornings, then sending them off for teachers to manage.

How to Make Monkey Bread Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com #recipe #holidays #monkeykbread

Christmas morning is different, though.

The little nippers are so hyped-up on Christmas magic, a bit of sugar isn’t going to make much of a difference.

How to Make Drunken Monkey Bread | ASpicyPerspective.com #recipe #holidays #monkeykbread

I first remember eating Monkey Bread at my Aunt Millie’s house, as a little girl.

Aunt Millie had a strong personality, an infectious laugh, and whole lot of spunk. I could count on her to have sticky-sweet Monkey Bread, hot and ready for the holidays, and a big smile and joke for her nieces and nephews.

This monkey bread recipe is in honor of Aunt Millie, who I’m certain did not liquor-up her version, but would have loved it all the same.

How to Make Monkey Bread Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com #recipe #holidays #monkeykbread

Adding a little booze to your monkey bread recipe, is strictly about flavor.

Along with the butter, sugar, and orange zest, a nip of your favorite liquor will saturate the dough, and leave a rich undertone that makes monkey bread just as exciting for the grownups as the kids.

Most of the alcohol evaporates while the bread is baking, so I’m comfortable serving it to the entire family.

Drunken Monkey Bread | ASpicyPerspective.com #recipe #holidays #monkeybreadFestive Christmas Platter from Villeroy & Boch.

This particular monkey bread recipe is a quickie version, incorporating frozen bread dough, to decrease your time in the kitchen.

You can make it “ahead” in two different ways.

1. One day ahead, let the dough rise according to package instructions. Then cut and sugar the dough, place it in a bundt pan, and pop it in the fridge. On Christmas morning simply whisk together the syrup, pour over the top, and bake.

2. Christmas Eve night, place the dough out to thaw and rise over night, covered in plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Christmas morning, cut and sugar the dough, place it in a bundt pan, immediately pour the syrup over the the top, and bake.

 Monkey Bread Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com #recipe #holidays #monkeykbread

The differences in the two methods:

Method 1 needs to bake a little longer (approximately 1 hour) and creates of a tender uniform loaf that you slice, but takes less of your time on Christmas morning.

Method 2 takes a little more time to put together in the morning, yet bakes faster (approximately 40 minutes) and comes out of the pan as more of a segmented pull-apart bread.

Both methods bake up a ridiculously moist and flavorful breakfast bread with a crusty exterior, that will be a hit Christmas morning.

Drunken Monkey Bread Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.com #recipe #holidays #monkeykbread

I plan to serve Drunken Monkey Bread with egg souffles and fresh berries, a meal my family will certainly remember.


Yield: 8-12 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes active time (+ thaw and rise time)

Cook Time: 40-60 minutes

Drunken Monkey Bread Recipe


  • 3 lbs. frozen bread dough or rolls, not the partially bakes varieties (Rhodes)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tb. pumpkin spice spice (or 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon + 1/2 tsp. nutmeg + 1/2 tsp. clove + 1/2 tsp ginger)
  • 2 1/2 sticks melted butter (1 1/4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Bourbon (Amaretto, Cognac, Brandy...)
  • Zest of 1 orange


  1. Place the frozen dough on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Spray a large sheet of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and cover the dough. Allow the dough to thaw and rise for 3-5 hours, according to package instructions.
  2. Once the dough has doubled or tripled in size, butter (or spray with cooking spray) a large bundt pan. Mix the granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl. Then use kitchen sheers to snip the dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks. Dust the dough chunks with the sugar mixture and place in the bundt pan. *At this point, you can cover the top and refrigerate over night.
  3. Move the oven rack to the bottom position and take out the other racks to give the monkey bread room to rise. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, liquor, and orange zest together in a large microwave safe bowl. Bring the mixture to a boil in the microwave--2 minutes. Then pour over the monkey bread dough and place in the oven.
  4. Bake for 40-60 minutes, until the top is brown, crusty and rising over the top of the pan.


Other Christmas Morning Breakfast Ideas:

Corned Beef Hash with Creamy Horseradish Sauce
Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheee Frittata
Boston Cream Pie Pancakes ~ Country Clever
Egg Nog French Toast Bake ~ Domestic Fits

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56 Responses to ““Drunken Monkey” Bread”

  1. #
    Rachel Cooks — December 19, 2012 @ 6:26 am

    OH man—this looks divine. And Iove that you called your kids “little nippers.” LOL!


  2. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — December 19, 2012 @ 6:46 am

    This looks so tasty!


  3. #
    Jen @ Savory SImple — December 19, 2012 @ 7:24 am

    Where has this been all my life?!


  4. #
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — December 19, 2012 @ 7:36 am

    I’ve had monkey bread a few times and it always looks so complicated… but now I’m going to have to give it a try!


  5. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — December 19, 2012 @ 7:42 am

    Now this is a breakfast I can get on board with.


  6. #
    Liz — December 19, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    I am definitely making this over Christmas break! A little booze added is perfect for the holidays! :)


  7. #
    Dara — December 19, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    I LOVE this bread. Monkey bread + bourbon? Amazing.


  8. #
    Anita at Hungry Couple — December 19, 2012 @ 8:25 am

    Oh, wow! I want to have Christmas breakfast at your house!! :)


  9. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — December 19, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    I love monkey bread in all its forms… drunken?! Yes!


  10. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — December 19, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    Oh. Oh I can’t move. Like I really cannot move.


  11. #
    Brittany — December 19, 2012 @ 9:31 am

    You shouldn’t be telling people that it’s safe for your kids to eat because all the alcohol in it. That’s simply not true. The USDA has a chart showing alcohol-food retention ratios.


    • Sommer — December 19th, 2012 @ 11:17 am

      Hi Brittany, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I will certainly investigate this, but 1/4 cup of alcohol, cooked for 40-60 minutes is not likely to retain much of anything. I will edit the post if I find information stating otherwise. :)


      • Sommer — December 19th, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

        Hey Brittany, after a little research, it looks like each serving would have approximately 1/4 tsp. of booze left in it. Personally, I’m ok with serving that to my whole family.

        Thanks again for the food for thought!

        • Paulette Knight — December 21st, 2012 @ 7:15 am

          Love your remarks to Brittany. Keep up the good work

  12. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — December 19, 2012 @ 9:41 am

    Boozy Monkey Bread. Um yeah!


  13. #
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — December 19, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    oh heavens yes please


  14. #
    katie — December 19, 2012 @ 11:21 am

    I love Monkey Bread and I think I might love it even more now with this boozy version!


  15. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 19, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

    Love that you used a handy little shortcut with the dough AND that it’s a drunken variety. Bourbon, brown sugar, orange – oh I could go NUTS with this stuff!


  16. #
    Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes — December 19, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    Oh how I love this – drunken monkeys! What a wonderful dish to feed a holiday crowd…


  17. #
    Karen — December 19, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

    You might want to rethink just how much of the alcohol is truly being “cooked” off. http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/11/alcohol-doesnt-really-cook-out-of-food-in-most-cases/ Won’t keep me from using but just FYI there are differing opinions out there.


    • Sommer — December 19th, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

      Hi Karen, thanks for sharing the link. It looks like 25-30% of the alcohol would remain–about 1 tablespoon for the whole recipe.


  18. #
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — December 19, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

    Any recipe that starts with the word “drunken” is pretty much good by me. Love this!


  19. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — December 19, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    Oh Sommer, I don’t even know where to start with this. Monkey bread is so fun – I have been making it for so long…we always made it with refrigerator biscuits. But the drunken-ness take it to the next level. Love it!


  20. #
    Carolyn — December 19, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

    I am all for drunken things…drunken makes me happy! :)


  21. #
    marla — December 19, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    Now this drunken cake is certainly fun for festive holiday parties!


  22. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — December 19, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    So, so gorgeous – I’m drooling!


  23. #
    jennifurla — December 19, 2012 @ 4:31 pm



  24. #
    Ashley - Baker by Nature — December 19, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

    Monkey bread is my go-to fun dessert. Your version looks AMAZING! Um… can I come over for breakfast!? ;)


  25. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — December 19, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

    Monkey bread is always so much fun. And I love how you amped it up!!


  26. #
    Tara @ Unsophisticook — December 19, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

    Love a good monkey bread, and I’m sure it’s even better with a touch of booze!