Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

These were so good. Even days later. I had never thought to try chocolate cinnamon rolls before but there was a recipe with other variations that the Fudgelet saw. He wanted us to try them, so that’s what I did. I spent some time in the evening making the dough, then let it rise during bedtime things and finished it when the kids were asleep. Then I baked them for our lunch.

Even the Chiplet got to have some since I just left his without icing on it. This recipe turned out chocolatey but also really tender. I wasn’t sure if they would be dry or chewy. Nope. A great recipe that was fairly simple since you could do it without a mixer (the icing is a bit easier with a mixer but you can certainly do it by hand).

And in case you’re wondering, the cinnamon goes really well with the chocolate. I’ve had coffee cakes with a mixture of the two before and it can really work well.

Directions for Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

Slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine (December 2018)

Dough

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2.25 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 egg yolks

Heat the water to 100 degrees F in a bowl then stir in the yeast and 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar. Let stand until foamy (about 5 minutes while you continue).

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, milk powder, salt, and remaining granulated sugar. Make a well in the center. Whisk the butter and egg yolks into the yeast mixture, then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth but still a bit sticky (a few minutes). Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, turning to coat the sides with the grease, then cover the top with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise until doubled, about 1-1.5 hours.

Make the filling while you wait.

Filling

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick really softened butter
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix the sugars, cinnamon, and chocolate chips in a small bowl. When ready, roll out the dough into a 10-by-18 inch rectangle. Spread the butter on the dough, leaving a one inch border on one of the long sides. Sprinkle the sugar mixture on top, pressing it into the butter with your hands. Brush the clean border with water, then roll up the dough into a log, using the other long side and rolling to the clean side. Pinch the seam to seal.

Grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Slice the dough log into 12 pieces (I did a few more and made mine a bit smaller) and place them cut-side up in the dish.

Cover with plastic wrap and either let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour (until doubled) or in the refrigerator overnight. If doing it in the refrigerator, let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours before baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the rolls and bake for about 25 minutes. They will look darker, bake into each other, and look dry. Let cool at least 15 minutes in the dish while you make the icing.

Icing

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Mini chocolate chips

Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla, then beat until combined.

Spread on the rolls and sprinkle more mini chocolate chips on top, if desired.

Directions for Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls (without pictures)

Slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine (December 2018)

Dough

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2.25 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 egg yolks

Heat the water to 100 degrees F in a bowl then stir in the yeast and 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar. Let stand until foamy (about 5 minutes while you continue).

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, milk powder, salt, and remaining granulated sugar. Make a well in the center. Whisk the butter and egg yolks into the yeast mixture, then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth but still a bit sticky (a few minutes). Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, turning to coat the sides with the grease, then cover the top with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise until doubled, about 1-1.5 hours.

Make the filling while you wait.

Filling

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick really softened butter
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix the sugars, cinnamon, and chocolate chips in a small bowl. When ready, roll out the dough into a 10-by-18 inch rectangle. Spread the butter on the dough, leaving a one inch border on one of the long sides. Sprinkle the sugar mixture on top, pressing it into the butter with your hands. Brush the clean border with water, then roll up the dough into a log, using the other long side and rolling to the clean side. Pinch the seam to seal.

Grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Slice the dough log into 12 pieces (I did a few more and made mine a bit smaller) and place them cut-side up in the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and either let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour (until doubled) or in the refrigerator overnight. If doing it in the refrigerator, let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours before baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the rolls and bake for about 25 minutes. They will look darker, bake into each other, and look dry. Let cool at least 15 minutes in the dish while you make the icing.

Icing

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla, then beat until combined. Spread on the rolls and sprinkle more mini chocolate chips on top, if desired.

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