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These chocolate cinnamon rolls are incredibly delicious! These chocolate cinnamon rolls are filled with a chocolate cinnamon sugar filling and chocolate chips. They are topped with the most amazing a chocolate cream cheese frosting! These chocolate cinnamon rolls are made mixing two different methods. The brioche and the tangzhong method (method used in milk bread). Thagzhong is a slurry that gets add to the dough, making them incredibly soft and fluffy. It might be small extra step, but it makes them extra good!
These super fluffy and soft chocolate cinnamon rolls are a new weekend stable and are perfect to serve for brunch. These cinnamon rolls are so incredible and full of chocolate flavor. They have a soft dough, using both the brioche and the tangzhong method. Tangzhong is a slurry made of milk and flour that gets added to the dough. The rolls are filled with chocolate cinnamon sugar filling and chocolate chips and topped with a cream cheese chocolate glaze.
If you haven't tired the tangzhong method (the method used in milk bread), you'll never want to go back after you try it. It might sound new and like an extra step, but it a simple and quick extra step that will make them extra good!
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- Brioche and tangzhong dough: The dough for these rolls is so soft and incredibly delicious! You'll never want to make another dough than this one!
- Chocolate cinnamon sugar filling: Spread out over the dough is a delicious chocolate cinnamon sugar butter spread and chocolate chips.
- Chocolate cream cheese frosting: A simple chocolate cream cheese frosting is spread over the chocolate cinnamon rolls while they are still warm.
These are some of the key ingredients for this recipe. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Yeast: I use fresh yeast but you can also use active dry yeast
- Butter: Take it out of the fridge 1-2 hours before baking.
- Whole milk: Heat the milk up to 37ºC, make sure it's not warmer as it can kills the yeast if it's too hot.
- All-purpose flour: I use all-purpose flour. It is used both in the tangzhong and with the rest of the dough.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar gives lot's off caramel flavor notes.
- Unsweetened Cocoa powder: I use high quality dutch process cocoa powder for the best flavor, my favorite is from Valrhona or Ghirardelli.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS - DOUGH
Here is how to make and bake these Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls. This recipe needs a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment and a 25x18 cm baking tray lined with baking paper or a 8-inch baking pan.
The full recipe is down below in the recipe card.
STEP 1: Start by making the tangzhong. Add the milk and flour to a small saucepan. Stir it together with a whisk until the flour has mixed together with milk. Place it on the stove over medium-high heat. Keep constantly stirring until it becomes a thick paste. Place it in the fridge to cool down so it becomes cold.
STEP 2: Heat up the milk until it’s lukewarm (37ºC). Crumble the fresh yeast into the bowl of a standing mixer and pour in the heated milk. Stir it together until the yeast has melted. (If you are use dry yeast, let it bloom in the warm milk per instruction of the pack)
STEP 3: Add granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, tangzhong, egg, salt and using the dough hook, mix until it is all hydrated and there is no dry flour left. Then mix further for 4 minutes on medium speed.
STEP 4: Add the butter in two parts and continue on medium speed. Keep mixing the dough for 8-10 minutes.
STEP 5: Add the dough to a clean large bowl, with a bit of vegetable oil, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Let it rise for 1 hour.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS - FILLING AND ASSEMBLING
STEP 1: Mix together all of the ingredients for the filling together until one paste, and set it aside. After the first rise roll out your dough into a big rectangle shape, spread out the cinnamon sugar over the rolled dough with an offset spatula and sprinkle with the chocolate chips and roll it into a log. Cut 6 rolls. Place them in you baking tray and let them rise for a second time for 45 minutes under plastic wrap and a tea towel.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190ºC/ 375ºF conventional oven.
STEP 2: After the second rise, bake them for 23-25 minutes on the second lowest rack. For the last 5-10 minutes of the baking time, cover the cinnamon rolls with aluminium foil, to prevent too much browning.
STEP 3: Make the cream cheese frosting by creaming the butter and cream cheese together with a hand mixer. Add the cocoa powder, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix it all together until smooth and combined. Spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS
- Use a kitchen scale: My default setting for my recipes is grams. It is the most precise way of measuring out your ingredients, I therefore highly recommend using a kitchen scale.
- Don't over mix your batter: I always use a spatula after everything has mixed together, to give it one final gentle fold together. This makes sure everything in the bottom of the mixing bowl has been mixed into the batter.
- Light vs. dark baking pans: For the best result, use an aluminum baking pan, greased with butter and lined with baking paper in the bottom. Aluminum pans are light in color and therefore attract less heat. That means it bakes more gently which results in a softer cake. If you use a black baking pan it'll attract a lot more heat. That will then give a darker crust, which can result in a dryer cake.
Yes, let the dough rise its 1st rise in the fridge overnight, proofing for no more than 16 hours. Then follow the recipe as and let the dough do its 2nd rise at room temperature.
Yes, prepare each of the element, the day before, so you only need to assemble the cinnamon rolls the next morning. Make the dough as described in the FAQ above. Prepare the cream cheese frosting and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Prepare the chocolate cinnamon sugar filling and store it in an airtight container at room temperature.
Yes I recommend using a 20 cm (8”) or 22 cm (9”) round baking pans.
They they have a golden color they are done.
WHAT IS TANGZHONG?
Tangzhong origins from Japan’s yokone (or yudane). Tangzhong is a method used in yeasted bread and was popularized around Asia by Taiwanese cookbook author Yvonne Chen. It is a slurry that is made of flour and a liquid before adding it together with the rest of the ingredients. By precooking the flour and milk, it makes your bread incredibly soft and fluffy, more tender and extends the shelf life.
Source: King Arthur Baking
Store the chocolate cinnamon rolls in the fridge covered tightly with cling film. Best enjoyed within a 3-5 days. They taste the the best when reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Other Cinnamon Rolls Recipes To Try
Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
- 15 g all-purpose flour
- 75 g whole milk
- 100 g whole milk
- 15 g fresh yeast 5 g dry active yeast or instant yeast
- 30 g granulated sugar
- 280 g all-purpose flour
- 1 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 50 g butter room temperature
CHOCOLATE CINNAMON FILLING
- 50 g butter room temperature
- 50 g dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 60 g chocolate chips
CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 35 g butter room temperature
- 70 g cream cheese
- 55 g powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
The US customary cup measurement serves as a rough estimate, as it can have uncertainties, so for precise results, it's recommended to weigh your ingredients using a digital scale in grams. Baking is both an art and a science, which most often requires precision and accuracy.
- Start by making the tangzhong. Add the milk and flour to a small saucepan. Stir it together with a whisk until the flour has mixed together with milk. Then place it on the stove over medium-high heat. Keep constantly stirring until it becomes a thick paste, similarly to smooth mashed potatoes.15 g all-purpose flour, 75 g whole milk
- Take it off the heat and add it to a flat surfaced bowl so it can cool down faster. Place it in the fridge to cool down so it becomes cold. Give it a stir here and there. It’ll take about 15-20 minutes.
- Heat up the milk until it’s lukewarm (37ºC). Crumble the fresh yeast into the bowl of a standing mixer and pour in the heated milk. With a spatula stir it together until the yeast has melted. (If you are use dry yeast, let it bloom in the warm milk per instruction of the pack)100 g whole milk, 15 g fresh yeast
- Add the granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, tangzhong, egg, salt and using the dough hook, mix the dough on low-medium speed until it is all hydrated and there is no dry flour left. Then mix further for 4 minutes on medium speed.30 g granulated sugar, 280 g all-purpose flour, 1 large eggs, ½ teaspoon salt
- Continue on medium speed and add the butter in two parts. Add the second part of the butter, once the first part has mixed into the dough. This part looks messy but don’t worry. Once the second part has incorporated, scape down the sides of the bowl and keep mixing the dough for 8-10 minutes. It should end looking smooth and glossy, that is releasing from the bowl. This dough is very nice and soft so it’ll therefore be tacky.50 g butter room temperature
- Add the dough to a clean bowl, with a bit of vegetable oil, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Place it in a warm room temperature area in your house. Let it rise for 1 hour. See FAQ above for overnight rising.
CHOCOLATE CINNAMON FILLING
- While the dough rises, in a small bowl mix together all of the ingredients until one paste and set it aside.50 g butter, 50 g dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- After the first rise, it should now be double in size. Punch the air out of the dough, and with a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangular shape of 35x22 cm (14x9 inches).
- Spread out the chocolate cinnamon sugar in an even layer. Then sprinkle with the chocolate chips in an even layer. Roll it into a log from the short side.60 g chocolate chips
- Using a piece of unflavored dental floss cut 6 rolls. You can also use a serrated serrated knife instead of the floss.
- Place them in a 25 x 18 cm baking tray or an 23 cm/9-inch cake pan lined with parchment paper and let them rise for a second time on the kitchen counter for 45 minutes under some plastic wrap and a tea towel.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190ºC/ 375ºF conventional oven.
- After the second rise, bake them for 22-25 minutes on the second lowest rack. For the last 5-10 minutes of the baking time, or when they start to become golden in colour, cover the chocolate cinnamon rolls with aluminium foil, to prevent too much browning.
- Let them cool down on a wire rack while making the frosting.
CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- In a mixing bowl, start by creaming the butter and cream cheese together for 1 minute with a hand mixer. Sift the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and add it to the bowl with the vanilla extract. Mix it together with the butter and cream cheese until smooth and combined.35 g butter, 70 g cream cheese, 55 g powdered sugar, 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm. They are ready to be enjoyed.