Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

I’m usually a cereal-for-breakfast kind of gal and throughout the school year, it was the thought of Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat Cereal awaiting my consumption that got me up in the mornings. In this regard, I take after my dad as my mom has always been the baked-good/bread-for-breakfast kind of person in the family. But turned off by the glistening oily sheen of supermarket muffin packs and tooth-achingly sweet glazes on store-bought danish rings, I found myself in an opportune situation. Mom, you can say good-bye to that stuff and hello to freshly baked homemade treats!

There’s quite an extensive realm of baked breakfast goods to be had, but what better place to start than with cinnamon rolls. While cinnamon rolls are usually notorious for their lashings of butter and waterfalls of icing, these Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls defy both those stereotypes. Call it a “grown-up” modification, dark chocolate works double duty to replace the usual melted butter filling and blanket of brown sugar. Meanwhile, cacao nibs, walnuts, and espresso powder work harmoniously to take these rolls to the next level. A healthy compilation I’ve not yet seen in stores, these Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls were a hit!

Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 12 rolls2015-05-23 15.22.08


For the dough

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk, lukewarm
  • 480 g (4 cups) bread flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs

For the filling

  • 3 oz Godiva dark chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon


  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over milk and let stand.
  2. Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix together the dry dough ingredients (flour, sugar, espresso powder, and salt).
  3. Add the wet ingredients (yeast-milk mixture, butter, and eggs) and stir until a shaggy dough forms.
  4. Switch to your hands and knead the dough for a good 10 minutes (if the dough is sticky, add up to 1/2 cup extra bread flour).2015-05-23 09.46.31
  5. Let rise covered with a lid and towel until doubled in size (~1-2 hours).2015-05-23 09.49.27
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a roughly 20″ x 14″ rectangle (~1/4″ thick).
  7. Spread the melted chocolate in an even layer over the dough. Combine the rest of the filling ingredients (cacao nibs, walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon) and sprinkle this mixture evenly over the surface of the dough.
  8. Starting from the long edge, carefully roll the dough up into a log and pinch the edge to seal the seam. Cut the log into 12 pieces and place them in a parchment lined baking pan.2015-05-23 15.23.12
  9. Place the pan in the refrigerator and let the dough rise once more overnight (alternatively, let rise at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled for same day consumption). ~sweet dreams~
  10. The next morning, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until buns are golden brown.2015-05-23 15.07.302015-05-23 15.13.102015-05-23 15.15.102015-05-23 15.16.20

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