Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

Wait…what?! Chocolate? Cinnamon rolls? Can I just say…? Chocolate cinnamon rolls are Y-U-M! I made these on a whim after trying an easy non-risen (i.e. no yeast, less time) cinnamon roll recipe that turned out wonderful. I loved the plain recipe so much, I figured it would be an instant success to add chocolate. I was right…

These are amazing. They’re rich and sweet, but still have a nice bread-y taste that keeps them from being cloying and over-powering. Plus, the cinnamon perfectly complements the chocolate. And don’t even get me started on the wonderful and magical things that happen between the icing and the gooey chocolate filling! Then there’s the fact that they’re totally easy to make, and they only take about 15 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes to bake, so you can definitely make them last minute. They are also easy to make ahead of time, which is always a plus. I wouldn’t say that I recommend these over plain cinnamon rolls every time, but it’s a close one. It definitely depends on whether you’re in the mood for chocolate. But if you are, these can’t miss!

To make these, all I did was alter the recipe that I used for Quick, Easy-Peasy Cinnamon Rolls, adding a little cocoa and chocolate chips.

For the filling, you’ll combine brown sugar, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt, in a small bowl. Add melted butter and stir with a fork until the mixture looks like wet sand. Set aside.

Meanwhile, for the dough, combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of melted butter and stir until just combined. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth. The dough starts out very soft and a little sticky, but should be smoother and less lumpy after kneading, although it will still be soft and slightly sticky.

Flatten the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches by 8 inches. Pour 2 tablespoons of the melted butter on and spread around with your fingers. Pour the filling over though dough and spread it evenly over the top, leaving about a 1/2 inch or so border around the outside edge. Press the filling down to sort of pack it on top of the dough. Sprinkle mini, or finely chopped, semi-sweet chocolate chips evenly over the dough then gently press them into the filling.

Starting on the long side of the dough, roll the side up, pressing as you go, to create a tightly rolled log (be gentle, as this will likely stick to the counter a bit). Pinch the seam closed and lay the log seam side down. Cut into 8 even pieces, laying each one flat as you go.

Gently press down on the top of each roll, then transfer them to the prepared cake pan.

Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

While the cinnamon rolls bake, make the icing. Cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add buttermilk and whisk well, until the mixture is smooth.

Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before frosting. I frosted these directly in the pan, but transferring them them to a wire cooling rack set over parchment paper and pouring the frosting over the cinnamon rolls is even better. Serve these while they’re still warm.

These will keep in an airtight container for at least 3 days.

I also decided to top mine with some sweet chocolate sprinkles…not that they necessarily needed more chocolate, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining! :)

These are rich and sweet, and definitely could double as a wonderful dessert, but I love making them on Valentine’s Day as a truly decadent breakfast. What better excuse for something completely dessert-like for breakfast than Valentine’s Day?! These are great to make for your special someone, or the whole family, early in the morning. Or fantastic to whip up with friends. Either way, you’ll all love how fast and easy they are, as much as how delicious they taste! Enjoy!

Some other sweet Valentine’s Day ideas:

Super Simple Chocolate Croissants

Mexican Hot Chocolate Donuts

World Peace Bacon Waffles

Sweet Chocolate Filled Raspberry Meringue Kisses

Chocolate Chip Cookie Truffles

Raspberry Cupcake Bites

The Best Sugar Cookies

Sweet Love Bugs

Sweet and Easy Valentine Cookies

Raspberry Chocolate Cupcake Bites

Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 8
Ingredients

FOR THE FILLING
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

3 tablespoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (or finely chopped regular chips)

FOR THE DOUGH
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or 5 tablespoons cultured buttermilk powder, plus 1 1/4 cups water)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE ICING
2 tablespoons cream cheese or unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons buttermilk (1 1/2 teaspoons powder, plus 2 tablespoons water)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

To make the filling: Combine all of the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and stir with a fork until the mixture looks like wet sand. Set aside.

To make the dough: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush a 9-inch cake pan with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (and the buttermilk powder, if using). Add the buttermilk (or water, if using buttermilk powder) and 2 tablespoons of the butter and stir until just combined. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth (it will still be very sift and a little sticky, but should be smoother and less lumpy).

Flatten the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches by 8 inches. Pour 2 tablespoons of the melted butter on and spread around with your fingers. Pour the filling over though dough and spread it evenly over the top, leaving about a 1/2 inch or so border around the outside edge. Press the filling down to sort of pack it on top of the dough. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the dough then gently press them into the filling.

Starting on the long side of the dough, roll the side up, pressing as you go, to create a tightly rolled log (be gentle, as this will likely stick to the counter a bit). Pinch the seam closed and lay the log seam side down. Cut into 8 even pieces, laying each one flat as you go. Gently press down on the top of each roll, then transfer them to the prepared cake pan. Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

To make the icing: In a medium bowl, cream the cream cheese and add the sugar. Mix until the sugar and cream cheese start to come together a bit. Add the buttermilk and whisk well, until the mixture is smooth.

Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack set over parchment paper. Pour the frosting over the cinnamon rolls. Serve these while they’re still warm.

These will keep in an airtight container for at least 3 days.

Recipe by Darla

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Comments

  1. Jaime says

    Ok, just stop it!!! This is too much. Chocolate + Cinnamon rolls?!?!?! That = 10 lbs I am going to gain if I make these as I will eat the whole pan!!! They look off the charts good!!! My belly thanks you, but my hips…not so much. LOL. :)

  2. Rosa says

    Best. Combination. Ever! My husband loves cinnamon rolls, I love chocolate, and combining the two sounds like heaven!! I’m going to surprise him with this recipe. : ) Thank you for sharing!

  3. Heather says

    I love you for posting this recipe. I made them this morning and they were a snap to put together. Everyone in the family (even my pickiest eater) LOVED them. Delicious!

  4. Elly says

    Just made these tonight- followed the recipe exactly and baked for 20mins and they were over baked…. still tasted really good but not as soft as i’d like.

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