This Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
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Inspired by two favorite winter recipes, these Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls feature chocolate rolls drizzled with a marshmallow glaze. They’re perfect for cold winter days!
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Each and every morning, my grandpa would get up and make biscuits for us. Every good Southern baker needs a biscuit recipe, and I can still remember the taste of grandpa’s homemade buttermilk biscuits. Yum! And then in the evenings, my grandma would take over and whip up some sort of tasty dessert – often using the fresh blackberries or peaches that we picked that day. Needless to say, that rolling pin was used quite a bit in that house.
And now that rolling pin is in my kitchen. And I can say that it comes out of the cupboard on a regular basis. Take these Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls for instance. That rolling pin was put to good use here! Cinnamon rolls are quite possibly my favorite breakfast food, and I often make a batch of cinnamon rolls for holiday breakfasts. It’s really hard to beat a good tender cinnamon roll and a mug of strong coffee.
Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls
Brrr…it’s getting cold out there! Old Man Winter arrived early in upstate New York this year, and it looks like he’s here to stay. Close your eyes and picture a really cold morning. Like the kind of morning where the windows fog up just from frost. Now imagine opening your eyes and seeing a tray of freshly baked cinnamon rolls sitting on the kitchen counter.
Now close your eyes and picture a really cold winter afternoon. Like the kinda of afternoon where the snow is coming down, and you just can’t seem to shake the chill out of your bones. Now imagine opening your eyes and seeing a mug of hot cocoa sitting there on the kitchen counter.
Those two thoughts were the inspiration behind these Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls. Start with a classic cinnamon roll recipe, but add some cocoa powder into the dough. And then add some melted marshmallows into the glaze that gets drizzled on top of those rolls. Now we’re talking about a mighty fine breakfast (or snack…or dessert) for a cold winter day!
For these Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls, I used Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast. Now I know yeast might seem like a scary thing, but truthfully yeast is your friend. After all, it does all the work for you! All you have to do is mix it into the dough, put that dough in a nice warm place and then sit back and let the yeast do its job. I consider yeast to be my sidekick helper in the kitchen. I often have an actual sidekick helper named Robbie in the kitchen. This time, Robbie chose to watch cartoons instead, but you better believe he showed up when it was time to eat these Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls!
Nothing tastes better than home-baked treats. Nothing. Whenever I’m making yeasted doughs, I always turn to Fleischmann’s® Yeast. As a company, they’ve been around for 150 years, so they kinda know a thing or two about baking. Over the years, I’ve heard a number of folks say they won’t touch recipes that call for yeast. I get it. Yeast can sound scary, but it truthfully isn’t scary at all! Plus, Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast makes baking with yeast a cinch.
Tips for Baking with Yeast
One of the first tips about baking with yeast is to make sure your yeast isn’t expired. Take a look at the date on the package. Make sure that date is still in the future. Another key tip for baking with yeast? Make sure the water (or other liquid) you use is warm, not hot. The water should be around 120°F-130°F. Anything hotter could kill the yeast. (A kitchen thermometer is the best way to gauge the temperature.)
Finally, another tip for baking recipes with yeast is how long to let the dough rise. In the case of these Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls, the dough only needs to rest for 10 minutes on the first rise. At this point, the dough should spring back when you lightly press two fingers into it. From there, you simply roll and slice the rolls before letting them rise a second time. The second rise is a bit longer – about an hour – but it’s done in the baking pan itself. This is the stage where the yeast does all the work while you clean the kitchen…or sit back and sip on a mug of hot cocoa!
As you can tell, I love baking with yeast. Nothing beats the smell of homemade breads and other treats when they’re fresh out of the oven. These Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect example! The house smelled absolutely amazing. If you’re looking for a fun twist on the classic cinnamon roll, then give this version a shot. They taste even better after playing outside in the snow…or playing a late-night curling game. (I speak from experience here.) I hope you enjoy these Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls as much as we did! Happy baking!
Did you bake a batch of these Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). I’d love to see your version!
Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls
For the Cinnamon Rolls
For the Filling
For the Cinnamon Rolls
- Using a large bowl, add 2 cups flour, cocoa powder, sugar, yeast and salt; stir until well combined. Set bowl aside.
- Using a microwave-safe bowl, add water and butter. Microwave in 15-seconds intervals until very warm but not hot to the touch. (The target temperature is 120°F-130°F. The butter will not melt completely.)
- Add water and butter mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Add egg.
- Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until smooth. (Don’t forget to scrape sides and bottom of bowl occasionally.)
- Add 2 more cups of flour; beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
- Add just enough of the remaining flour for dough to come together and form a ball when mixed on medium speed. (Note: I used ¾ cup of flour at this stage.)
- Transfer dough to a lightly-floured work surface and knead for 6-8 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. (Note: Dough should spring back when lightly pressed with two fingers.)
- Cover dough with a towel; let rest for 10 minutes.
For the Filling
- Using a medium mixing bowl, add sugar, cinnamon and chocolate chips; stir until well combined. Set bowl aside.
- Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a 10”x15” rectangle.
- Spread softened butter evenly over dough, leaving ½” border on each of the longer sides. Sprinkle filling mixture evenly on top of butter.
- Beginning with a long side of the rectangle, roll dough up tightly. Pinch seams together to seal.
- Using a sharp knife, slice dough into 12 equal pieces. (Tip: A piece of unflavored dental floss is a great way to slice cinnamon rolls. Simply slide floss under the rolls, bring both ends up and cross over to cut dough.)
- Place pieces cut-side down into a greased 9”x13” baking pan.
- Cover pan with towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tops of rolls are golden brown. Let pan cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
For the Glaze
- Using a medium saucepan, add butter and place over medium heat.
- Once butter has melted, add marshmallows, milk and vanilla extract. Continue to cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, or until marshmallows have melted and mixture is smooth.
- Remove from heat and add powdered sugar; stir until well combined. (If necessary, add a bit more milk to make glaze easier to drizzle onto cinnamon rolls.)
- Using a piping bag with a small round tip (or a sandwich bag with one corner snipped off), drizzle glaze on top of cooled rolls.
Looking for more tasty cinnamon roll recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: