Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls with Hazelnut Icing

The perfect way to jazz up any holiday brunch and make your guests extremely satisfied, these rich, delicious, chocolate cinnamon rolls with hazelnut icing will delight adults and kids alike!

For more holiday baking ideas, check out my popular posts for Quick-and-Easy Cinnamon Rolls, One Hour Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls, and Easy Crepes

yeast packets on table with cinnamon roll on plate with fork and red napkin

This post is in partnership with Fleischmann’s Yeast. All opinions are my own. 

Everyone should have friends who live in Belgium. Why? Because they’ll send you a big basket of European treats every Christmas! All throughout my childhood, our family friends in Europe have sent us a box of festive surprises and each year I looked forward to one variety of treat more than any other – chocolate and hazelnut anything and everything!

chocolate cinnamon roll on white plate with black fork

Now I can’t have the holidays without that chocolate and hazelnut flavor combination, and for that reason, I created this delicious chocolate-hazelnut cinnamon roll. It’s hands-down, the most perfect flavor combination for chocolate cinnamon rolls and the texture is so delightfully airy and fluffy.

Not only that, but they come together in just one hour thanks to the magic of Fleischmann’s RapidRise® Yeast. I have loved adding this tasty twist on cinnamon rolls to our family holiday tradition and you will too!

overhead view of brown icing and baked breakfast buns

Why This Recipe Works

Holiday feels — Okay maybe not your typical reason for baking but for me the food is everything around the holidays. Certain treats have to be made for it to feel like the holidays and these chocolate cinnamon rolls are no exception!

Day or night – Whether you are a cinnamon roll for breakfast person, or consider it more of a dessert, cinnamon rolls are always a good idea and since this version is so quick with only one quick, 10-minute rise you won’t need to sacrifice time with loved ones to make this delectable anytime treat a reality.

white pan of chocolate swirled cinnamon buns

Easy — Making these rolls is a lot easier than it might sound. I give you a head start on the rising process by using Fleischmann’s RapidRise® Yeast so there’s no need to spend hours waiting for the dough to rise – this yeast cut down rising time to just 10 minutes! Plus, I recommend you use a premade hazelnut spread as another simple shortcut to deliciousness. 

Leftovers — Sure, these are great right out of the oven, but they’re also delicious as a midnight snack or an on-the-go breakfast the following day. That is, if there are any left!

Travels well — These are such a great treat for sharing and so easy to drop off for friends or family! Oftentimes I’ll make the rolls and the icing and bring them together but wait to put the icing on until just before we’re ready to eat. (I pop the rolls back in a heated oven for a few minutes first to get them warmed up enough to let that icing melt a bit.) 

up close center swirl of baked pastry on plate

Here’s How You Make It

Making the rolls 

  1. Butter a 9×13-inch pan. 
  2. Get out a large mixing bowl and combine 2 cups of flour, the cocoa powder, sugar, yeast, and salt. 
  3. In another bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the water and butter. Microwave for 20 seconds at a time until the butter is mostly melted (check after each 20-second increment). 
  4. Pour the water mixture and the egg to the dry ingredients and mix well
  5. Now add the flour ¼ cup at a time to the rest of the ingredients and mix in between each addition. It’ll be sticky, but should be easy to handle if your hands are floured. 
  6. Now transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface with your floured hands. 
  7. Knead for 4-6 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth.
  8. Place the dough in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 10 minutes.  childs hands patting chocolate dough

Rolling out the rolls

  1. Take the risen dough out of the bowl and roll it into a flat rectangle (about 5-10 inches) on your lightly floured work surface. 
  2. Spread softened butter all over the top of the dough surface. 
  3. Stir the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle it over the buttered dough. 
  4. Place the long side of the rectangle toward you and begin rolling the dough tightly in the opposite direction. Pinch the seam to seal. 
  5. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 12 equal-size pieces. 
  6. Arrange the rolls cut-side-down on the buttered baking pan.unbaked cinnamon rolls in pan
  7. Cover and let them rise again for 1 hour in a warm place until doubled in size. 
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Once the dough has risen, bake in the heated oven for 25-35 minutes until no longer doughy. 
  10. Cool on a wire rack after taking them out of the oven for 20 minutes.swirled brown icing in glass bowl with spatula

Making the icing

  1. Whip the butter for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy with a hand or stand mixer. Then, mix in the 2 cups of powdered sugar. 
  2. Add the hazelnut spread and salt to the icing and cream together until it’s all completely incorporated.
  3. Add to this the rest of the powdered sugar and milk (one tablespoon at a time), until the icing is smooth and easily spreadable. 
  4. Spread icing over the cinnamon rolls and serve.

adult and child hand spreading icing

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • We pull out all the stops for the holidays, including when making food is involved because nothing tastes better than homemade! But, that’s not to say I don’t like a shortcut as much as the next person. That’s why I always use Fleischmann’s RapidRise® Yeast to help my chocolate cinnamon rolls rise more quickly. Fleischmann’s RapidRise® Yeast comes in a convenient strip of three packets so we can bake lots of homemade goodies without lots of trips to the store. Plus, you can even use the yeast in a bread machine, just add it right in!
  • Having issues cutting your rolls into 12 equal pieces without mushing the dough together? Try this dental floss trick: Make 12 marks on top of the roll log with a knife as to where you want to cut them. Place a long piece of dental floss under the roll, beneath the mark. Pull upward with the floss, slicing the dough right where you want it. Repeat for all the rolls.
  • You can store these rolls for up to 3 days in an airtight container on the counter, or up to a week in the fridge. For best results, microwave for 10 seconds to reheat the roll before eating. 

up close chocolate cinnamon roll

More Cinnamon Roll Recipes

Did you make this cinnamon roll recipe? WOOHOO – please rate the recipe below! 

chocolate cinnamon roll on white plate with black fork
  • Butter a 9×13 inch pan.

  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 cups flour, cocoa powder, sugar, yeast, and salt.

  • Combine water and butter in a bowl or liquid measuring cup and microwave for 20 seconds at a time until butter is mostly melted. (The water should be very warm but not too hot to touch).

  • Add water mixture and egg to the dry ingredients and mix well.

  • Add flour 1/4 cup at a time, until dough just starts to come together in a ball. (It will still be quite sticky, but you should be able to handle the dough with floured hands.)

  • With floured hands, transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 4-6 minutes until smooth and elastic.

  • Place dough in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 10 minutes.

  • Roll dough into a large flat rectangle (about 15×10 inches).

  • Spread softened butter all over the dough. Stir together cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle all over the buttered dough.

  • Beginning with the long side of the rectangle, roll tightly to the opposite side and pinch the seam to seal.

  • Use a sharp knife (or use the dental floss trick!) to cut dough into 12 equal-sized sections.

  • Arrange cinnamon rolls cut-side-down in the buttered baking pan.

  • Cover tightly and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes until no longer doughy. Cool on wire rack at least 20 minutes.

  • Prepare the icing by whipping the butter (with a whisk or electric hand mixture) for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Mix in 2 cups powdered sugar.

  • Add hazelnut spread and salt and cream together until completely incorporated. Add remaining powdered sugar and milk, one tablespoon at a time, until icing is smooth and easily spreadable.

  • Spread icing over cinnamon rolls and serve.

Calories: 718kcal | Carbohydrates: 140g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 68g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 6mg


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