Cinnamon Pecan Swirl Monkey Bread

Happy Leap Day!

Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

February has been one bitch of a month for me personally, so to celebrate the end of it I decided to bake something really, really naughty.  I was inspired by monkey bread, a heavenly concoction of cinnamon sugar covered dough that is baked in a sticky brown sugar and butter sauce.  The end result is sweet, buttery, and perfect for sharing.  Most of the recipes I found on the interwebs for monkey bread used a short cut:  canned biscuit dough.  That was not going to work for me.  Canned dough has that canned biscuit dough flavor, and why use that when fresh biscuit dough is so easy and so good?  So, I would make my monkey bread with homemade biscuit dough.  I reasoned that if I was making homemade biscuits I could add a little something extra to spruce things up.  Why not make them into mini pecan sticky buns?  Why not add bourbon?  You can see how I went down the primrose path of evil here.

Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

I was tempted to call this recipe Sticky Sin Rolls.  Seriously.  For me this bread is utterly, and instantly addicting.  Seriously, it was hard to shoot the photos smelling the warm cinnamon, buttery dough, and toasty pecans.  The finished bread has a subtly swirly look under a coating of shiny, sticky bourbon scented caramel.  As the bread bakes the outside edges get just a little crunchy, while the inside stays fluffy and tender.  The pecans, which get nice and toasty in the oven, add a chewy texture and earthy flavor.  This bread can be made up the night before all the way to lining the pan with the dough.  The next morning just pour over the sauce and bake.  This would make an impressive breakfast, but is also good as a snack, or dessert.

Cinnamon Pecan Swirl Monkey Bread   Serves 12

For the sauce:
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the bread:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, diced and chilled
1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, chilled
1 cup buttermilk

For the pecan filling:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 cup finely chopped pecans

For the coating:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat the oven to 350 F and generously spray a fluted tube pan, or bundt pan, with non-stick cooking spray.

Begin by preparing the sauce.  In a small saucepan combine the brown sugar, butter, and bourbon.  Place the pot over medium-low heat and cook until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and add the vanilla.  Set aside to cool completely.

Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the cubed butter and cream cheese and, with your fingers, rub them into the flour mixture until the mixture looks like coarse sand studded with pea sized pieces of butter.

Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

Add the buttermilk and mix until the dough is a shaggy ball.  Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and press the dough into a disk.  Fold the dough in half and press out again.  Repeat this process three more times, or until the dough is smooth.  Cut the dough into three pieces and chill for 15 minutes.

Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

While the dough chills prepare the filling.  In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, and pecans.   Mix until well combined.

In a small bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon until thoroughly mixed.

Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

Once chilled roll out one of the pieces of dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about a 1/4-inch thick rectangle.  It does not have to be perfect.  Spread 1/3 of the pecan filling evenly over the dough, then roll the dough along the long side into a tight log.  With a serrated knife cut the log into 1/2-inch rolls.

Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

Coat the rolls on all sides with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

Once coated, arrange the rolls in the prepared pan with the swirled sides facing out.  Use the ends of the cinnamon rolls to line the inside part of the tube pan.  Pour the cooled bourbon butter sauce over the rolls and tap gently to help the sauce settle.

Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the rolls are golden brown and any liquid that remains is very thick and bubbling.  Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a serving platter.

Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread

Enjoy warm.

Pecan Bourbon Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread


© 2012, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

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  • Ooooemmgeeee. How could this not be divine? Pinned this recipe immediately! 🙂

  • Jess – Thank you!! 😀

  • Wow!! I’ve never seen a better looking monkey bread!! This is incredible!

  • I don’t even have words to say how much I want to plant my face in this monkey bread an eat it all!

  • Fantastic! 🙂 I love how that looks.

  • Windy

    O.M.G. Where have you been all my life? For one you have Shenanigans in your name. For two, this recipe might just complete me. Thank you @iamtickledred for that retweet that brought me here. Mama likes.

  • Yes, I need this!

  • wow–this looks insanely delicious!!

  • Hmmmmmm…so decadent!

  • Oh wow!! Look at all that goodness all over the bread! I have to try this. Buzzed, saved & pinned! Yum!

  • Omg! This is such an amazing idea! I would eat way too much of this!

  • This monkey bread sounds amazing! I love monkey bread, but yours is over the top delicious with the nuts and plenty of spices!

  • Oh wow, this looks amazing! I’ve never had monkey bread, but sticky and cinnamon = happiness.

  • Sticky sin would be the perfect title for these…they look amazing. Actually, they look heavenly, so maybe Saintly sticky bread would be better 🙂

  • Holy. Crap. This is going to be the death of me. Now I just have to figure out how to make it vegan! You know… to make it healthy….. haha!

  • ohh wow!! I need this decadence in my life 😉 I bet these not only tasted amazing, but had your entire kitchen smelling like cinnamon-goodness. Great recipe!

  • Sorry that Feb. was such a tough month for you. Hoping March is much better…as good as this monkey bread 😉

  • O wow, I NEED to make this… like right now! This looks incredible! We have a family monkey bread recipe we always use but this looks soooo much better, definitely trying this out next time!

  • Mel

    Oh my gosh! I don’t think Sticky Sin Rolls gives this monkey bread enough credit!!!! Soooo good looking!

  • Liz

    Oh, gosh, what a fabulous version of monkey bread! My family would go nuts for this!!!

  • Love that this recipe is made easy by using biscuit dough – great idea. I have wanted to make monkey bread but all the recipes I have seen are so complicated. You have made it easy. And the addition of bourbon; well, that is right up our alley! I would call it cocktail bread!

  • Allia

    This recipe looks insanely delicious!

    Out of curiousity– what could I subsitute for the bourbon in the caramel sauce?


  • Allia – If you want to skip it just omit it and add nothing. It is sort of deliciously optional!

  • Leah

    Yikes! I was…was…searching for a cake for my sis’s 50th birthday party coming up. Forget it. She’s getting these instead! Thank you! 🙂

  • This does look like the perfect reward for a bitching month… I love how perfect the swirls turned out, even if it did take you everything to just snap the pics. It sounds fabulous.

  • Love your creative, decadent recipes. I think my children would go nuts for this cake!

  • Im definitely gonna save this recipe….the family will love this!

  • Pingback: Cinnamon Pecan Monkey Bread | An American Cupcake in London()

  • Jackie

    I made this exactly as written for Thanksgiving. Everyone loved it so much, I’m also making it for Xmas. Thank you so much for the recipe!

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