These chocolate cinnamon rolls are more complicated than most, but they're fantastic and worth the effort.


Recipe Summary

30 mins
25 mins
2 hrs
2 hrs 55 mins
2 1/2 dozen rolls


Original recipe yields 30 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Dissolve yeast in warm water in a mixing bowl. Stir in 2 1/2 cups flour, cocoa, shortening, milk, 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turn greased side-up, and cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease two 9x13-inch baking pans.

  • Punch down dough and divide in half. Roll each half into a 15x9-inch rectangle. Spread each rectangle with 2 tablespoons butter. Mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon together in a bowl. Sprinkle half of the mix over each rectangle. Roll up, beginning at the wide side; pinch edges of dough into the roll to seal well. Stretch the roll to make even.

  • Cut each roll into 15 slices. Place slightly apart in the prepared pans. Let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

  • While rolls bake, mix confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Frost rolls while still warm.

Cook's Notes:

You can substitute softened butter or margarine for 1/2 cup shortening, and margarine for 4 tablespoons butter, if preferred.

If using self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour, omit the salt.

Nutrition Facts

179 calories; protein 3.1g; carbohydrates 28.9g; fat 5.8g; cholesterol 16.8mg; sodium 95.8mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1)

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Rating: 3 stars
These rolls were an interesting experiment to try. With that said I found them to be a bit dry almost too chocolatey with not enough cinnamon flavor and not the soft texture I was hoping for---they had more of a texture like that of Biquik cinnamon rolls with a hard crust on the outside and not much rise. I made them twice just to be sure there wasn't an issue with the yeast I was using (I proved it and it was fine) and had the same issues both times. The dough just doesn't rise much at all which makes them kind of dense and tough. The first time I made them like the recipe stated but found that dividing the dough into 30 rolls made really really small rolls that were even more dense. The second time I did not divide the dough in half added more filling (used 1 cup brown sugar 2 tbsps cinnamon) and cut the dough into 15 larger rolls. This yielded a slightly taller fluffier rolls--but not by much. I was also surprised at how little you taste the cinnamon in this. With that said they are quite chocolatey so if that's what you're looking for you've come to the right recipe. I will keep tinkering with this as I really like the idea of a chocolate cinnamon roll. But as-is it just didn't come out like I hoped it would. Thank you for the recipe! Read More