Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls are soft and warm rolls filled with a rich and gooey chocolate filling and chocolate glaze. These homemade cinnamon rolls are a chocolate lover’s dream!
Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe is a bit longer than your normal cinnamon roll recipe, but it is worth the chocolatey result. The chocolate filling just melts in your mouth with every bite. This is more of a dessert-style cinnamon roll, but it can be eaten for breakfast if you choose.
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
Instant Yeast: You need this to be able to let the dough rise. This will be combined with the warmed milk, egg, and butter to activate it.
Flour: You will need white bread flour so that the dough becomes sticky and airy.
Sugar: You will need three types of sugar, dark brown, regular sugar, and powdered sugar for the filling and glaze.
Cinnamon: This of course is where you get the cinnamon rolls and you can you more or less depending on what you prefer.
Cocoa Powder: I prefer using Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder, but Hershey’s brand will work as well. You will also need semi-sweet chocolate for the glaze.
How To Make Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
Step 1. In a large mixing bowl with a dough hook, put in the warm milk, yeast, egg, sugar, salt, and melted butter and combine with a whisk by hand until fully incorporated. Put in the flour and combine on the lowest speed setting for 3 minutes and use a spatula to scrape the sides as needed. Use a dry finger to test if the dough is sticky enough. If it does stick to your finger, add about 1 tbsp of flour until it doesn’t. Add a bit of oil into a large clean bowl and flip the dough into it. Spin the dough to coat it in oil then cover it with plastic wrap and leave for an hour in a warm area to double in size.
Step 2. In a bowl, add the softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder and combine until fully incorporated with a spoon. If the butter isn’t soft enough, you can melt it. When the dough has doubled, punch it to release the air and place it onto a lightly floured counter. Roll the dough into a rough rectangle using your hands. It should be about 40cm by 20 cm. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate and cinnamon filling evenly on top of the dough. Leave about a 1 cm gap from the sides. Sprinkle the chopped semi-sweet chocolate on top and press gently into the dough using your hands.
Step 3. Make sure to clean your hands before rolling the dough so none of the chocolate touches the outside of the roll. Starting with the longest side facing you, use your hands to tightly roll it into a log. Pinch the seam with your fingers before cutting the roll in half. Slice into 6 even portions which you can eyeball or measure with a ruler. In a large baking dish, add 1 tbsp of butter and arrange the rolls into the prepared dish with a little space between each. Place plastic wrap on top to cover and set aside for 30 minutes in a warm area to puff up.
Step 4. Set the oven to 350 degrees. Use 2 tbsps of melted butter and brush onto the rolls evenly. Place the baking dish into the middle rack of the oven and bake for 22 minutes or until light brown. Take out of the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Prepare the glaze while the rolls cool.
Step 5. In a bowl, add the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and milk and combine with a whisk until thin and pourable. Add about 3/4 of the prepared glaze on top of the rolls in the baking dish. Take the rolls out and drizzle with the rest of the chocolate glaze. Serve warm and enjoy!
How To Store Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls?
Place the rolls in an airtight container for the best storage method. These can be kept at room temperature, but it’s best to store them in the fridge because they will only last a short while at room temperature.
Can You Freeze Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls?
If you want your recipe to last a lot longer, you can extend the shelf life by keeping them stored in the freezer. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Cinnamon Roll Recipes:
- Cinnamon Roll Crockpot Cake
- Cinnamon Roll Sweet Potato Pie
- Microwave Cinnamon Roll in a Mug
- Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake
Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
- 1.75 cups whole milk warmed (*see notes)
- 2.25 tsps./1 packet instant yeast
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp butter melted
- 4.5 cups white bread flour plus extra if the dough is sticky
- 1 Tbsp butter for greasing the dish
- 2 Tbsp butter for brushing the rolls
For the filling
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 3 Tbsp dark brown soft sugar
- 2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder Dutch processed
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate finely chopped
For the glaze
- 4 Tbsp cocoa powder Dutch processed
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4 Tbsp whole milk
- To make the dough. Fit a stand mixer with the dough hook and large mixing bowl. Add thewarm milk, yeast, egg, sugar, salt, and melted butter into the bowl. Whisk thoroughly by handuntil combined.
- Tip in the flour and turn the stand mixer to its lowest speed. Mix for 3 minutes. You will needto scrape down the dough once or twice.
- After 3 minutes, touch the dough with a clean dry finger. If the dough doesn’t stick to yourfinger it is ready. If it does, add extra flour a tablespoon at a time, mixing as you go until thedough doesn’t stick to your finger when you test it. (SEE NOTES ON CHECKING DOUGH)
- When the dough is ready it will feel tacky and pliable. Add a small drizzle of any oil to a largeclean bowl and turn your dough out into it. Rotate the dough so that it’s oiled on all sides thencover it with cling wrap and leave to rise somewhere warm for 1 hour. It should double in sizewithin that time.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Add the softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoapowder to a bowl. Use a spoon to thoroughly mix all the ingredients. You can melt the butterfor a few seconds in the microwave first if it’s not soft enough. Set aside for now.
- When the dough has risen, punch the air out then transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Useyour hands to shape the dough into a roughly rectangular shape then roll it out to a rectanglemeasuring 40cm by 20cm. It doesn’t have to be exact.
- Spread the chocolate and cinnamon filling over the surface of the dough leaving a gap ofabout 1cm around the edge.
- Scatter over the chopped chocolate. Use your hands to gently press the chocolate into thedough so that it doesn’t escape when you roll it up.
- Wash your hands before you begin rolling so none of the chocolate transfers to the outside of the rolls.
- With the longest edge facing you, tightly roll up the dough into a sausage shape. When you’redone rolling, pinch the seam together with your fingertips then cut the dough sausage in themiddle so that it’s easier to handle.
- Cut each section into 6 equal pieces. You can eyeball it or measure it with a ruler for accuracy.Our rolls were 4.5cm each.
- Grease a large baking dish with 1 tbsp butter then arrange the Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls sothat there is a little room in-between each one. Cover with cling wrap and leave somewherewarm for 30 minutes. The rolls will puff up in size during that time.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Once risen, brush the rolls with 2 tbsps of melted butter.
- Put the dish into the center of the preheated oven and bake for 22 minutes or until goldenbrown. Remove from the oven and place the dish on a wire rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the chocolate glaze. Put the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and milk into abowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined. The glaze will be a thin, pourable consistency.
- Pour 3/4 of the glaze directly on top of the Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls while they are still in thebaking dish.
- Remove from the dish and drizzle over extra chocolate glaze.