Say goodbye to boring breakfast recipes and hello to these Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls! These homemade cinnamon rolls are what dreams are made of, with warm chocolate chips, a creamy hazelnut spread, and crunchy pecans.
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Cinnamon rolls are easily one of the best breakfast options, with their soft dough and ooey gooey icing. There are so many ways to customize cinnamon rolls, from Nutella Cinnamon Rolls to more festive options like Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls and Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls. You can even take that cinnamon roll flavor and make some Cinnamon Roll Waffles or Apple Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes! The opportunities to indulge in that cinnamon swirl goodness are endless.
What Are Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls
Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls are the fancy version of basic cinnamon rolls. They're made with traditional ingredients like yeast, flour, butter, cinnamon, and sugar, but we add a fun twist. The decadent, creamy filling consists of pecans, Nutella, cinnamon, chocolate chips, and cream cheese hazelnut icing. These delicious cinnamon rolls are so rich you'll think you're eating dessert for breakfast.
A little bit on the background of the elusive cinnamon roll. Swedes and Germans claim to have created this delicate masterpiece, going back to the 17th century! Although cinnamon rolls have been around for quite some time, it wasn't until 1956, when Pillsbury created their cinnamon rolls in a can, that these sweet treats became more accessible to the public. However, we're still partial to making homemade cinnamon rolls at home!
Why you'll love this recipe
You don't need to be a pro baker to make this easy recipe! With a few easy steps and simple ingredients, you can craft these chocolate cinnamon rolls like a pro!
In addition, these gooey cinnamon rolls will surely become a fan favorite to whoever eats them! Their warm, rich chocolate cinnamon center and creamy cream cheese icing will make you the favorite amongst your friends and family.
For the Rolls
- Packages Active Dry Yeast – This can be found near the flour in the baking aisle of the grocery store.
- All-Purpose Flour
For the Filling
- Chocolate Chips – Dark Chocolate Chips
For the Glaze
- Cream Cheese
- Confectioners' Sugar
- Hazelnut Bakery Emulsion
How to Make Cinnamon Rolls
Preparing the Dough for the Rolls
Mix the yeast in a measuring cup along with the warmed buttermilk. Allow the yeast mixture to sit for about 5 minutes until it turns foamy, a sign that the yeast is activated and ready to work its magic. In the meantime, take a large bowl and whisk together the melted butter, sugar, salt, and eggs until they form a smooth and creamy blend.
Now, use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. Add 2 cups of flour into the mixing bowl, creating a well at the center to accommodate the buttermilk mixture. Gradually pour in the buttermilk-yeast concoction and the butter-egg mix, starting the mixing process on low speed. Continue to gently add the remaining 1 ½ cups of flour in increments of ½ cup at a time. Allow the mixer to knead the dough for around 5 to 10 minutes until it comes together and forms a cohesive ball. If the dough appears to be a bit reluctant, don't hesitate to incorporate the last ½ cup of flour.
Let the Dough Rise
Once your dough is smooth and ready, transfer it to a large, greased bowl. Cover it up and place it in a warm place to rest and rise. The first rise should take approximately 1 ½ hours, during which the dough will double in size.
Creating the Filling
While your dough is rising, toast the pecans. Pop them into a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for about 5 to 7 minutes until they become fragrant. After they've cooled down, give them a good chop to prepare them for their role in the filling.
Add the Filling
When the time comes to roll out the dough, divide it into halves and carefully shape each into a large rectangle with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Then, spread the velvety Nutella filling evenly across the dough, leaving an inch of space along one of the long edges for the rolling maneuver. Next, sprinkle some cinnamon and scatter the chopped, toasted pecans on top.
Roll the Dough
Roll the dough tightly towards the edge. Once it's rolled up, cut the cinnamon roll dough into equal sections. Then, place the rolls cut-side down in a well-greased baking dish, and cover them up. Let them rest for a second rise, which should take around 45 minutes to an hour.
Bake the Cinnamon Rolls
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Slide the prepared baking dish into the oven and bake rolls for about 25 to 30 minutes until they become golden brown and are fully cooked through. Let the rolls cool.
Make the Icing
While your chocolate chip pecan cinnamon rolls are gracefully cooling down, make the glaze. Take your softened cream cheese and blend it with powdered sugar, buttermilk, hazelnut bakery emulsion, and a touch of cinnamon. Generously spread the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls, letting it melt into every crevice. Lastly, sprinkle some more of those toasted, chopped pecans on top of the warm rolls! Serve and enjoy!
What to serve with Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Pair these easy cinnamon rolls with other savory breakfast options like this Potato Frittata and Breakfast Pizza. If you're feeling extra fancy, you can make this Prime Rib Omelet for the ultimate brunch sesh.
Expert Recipe Tips
- Freeze the unbaked cinnamon roll dough after its first rise in the freezer for up to 8 hours before baking or 6 weeks. The night before baking, thaw the cinnamon rolls in the fridge and bake as directed.
- Another freezing option is to freeze the prepared uncooked cinnamon roll dough after its second rise when it's cut into rolls. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake as directed.
- Use floss to cut the cinnamon roll dough. It will come out much cleaner than using a knife and won't smush the rolls!
- Measure the flour by scooping it into the measuring cup and leveling it off. Simply scooping out the flour will be too much flour for the dough.
- Don't skimp on the rise time. The yeast needs enough time to ferment, allowing the cinnamon rolls to become fluffy.
- Activate the yeast with buttermilk that has been warmed to 100-110 degrees F. Any hotter will kill the yeast and any colder won't activate it.
- Use a large enough baking dish so the rolls aren't overcrowded, which can result in uneven baking.
Leftovers & Reheating
Store any leftover cinnamon rolls in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days and in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze the cinnamon rolls to enjoy at a later date for up to 2 months.
More Breakfast Recipes
These Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect way to enjoy your morning cup of coffee! The warm chocolate, cinnamon center, and dreamy cream cheese icing produce a supremely decadent treat to start your day. If you try this recipe, please rate the recipe card to help out the next reader!
For the Rolls
- 2 ¼ oz packages active dry yeast
- 1 cup buttermilk - warmed to 110 degrees F
- ½ cup butter - melted and cooled
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 3 ½ - 4 cups flour
For the Filling
- ½ cup pecans
- 1 cup nutella - warmed but not hot
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup chocolate chips - I used dark chocolate chips
For the Glaze
- 3 oz cream cheese - softened
- 1 tablespoon powered sugar
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- ¼ teaspoon hazelnut bakery emulsion
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
For the Rolls
- Mix the yeast in a mixing cup with the warmed buttermilk and allow to sit for 5 minutes until foamy.
- Meanwhile, whisk the butter, sugar, salt, and eggs in a large bowl.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add 2 cups of the flour and make a well in the center for the buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk-yeast mixture and the butter-egg mix and start mixing slowly adding in the remaining 1 ½ cups flour, ½ cup at a time.
- Knead on low for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough forms a ball. Add the remaining ½ cup if the dough is not coming together.
- Transfer the dough to a grease bowl, cover and allow to rest in a warm dry area, until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean working surface sprinkled with a bit of flour. Divide in half and roll out into a large rectangle
For the Filling
- Toast the pecans in a preheated oven at 400 for 5 to 7 minutes, until fragrant. Remove, allow to cool, and chop.
- Spread the nutella filling evenly over the rolled out dough., leaving an inch on a long end to roll. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chopped toasted pecans.
- Tightly roll towards the edge that has been left clear, and cut into equal portions.
- Arrange the rolls in a grease baking dish, cut side down, and cover.
- Allow to rest, 45 minutes to 1 hour, until risen again.
To Make the Chocolate chip Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and cooked through.
- Remove from oven to cool
Make the Glaze
- While the chocolate chip pecan cinnamon rolls are cooling, whisk the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar, buttermilk, hazelnut bakery emulsion and cinnamon. Spread over the cooled (but still warm) rolls and sprinkle with more toasted chopped pecans for serving.
Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.
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