These chocolate cinnamon rolls are soft, fluffy, sweet, and decadent! These homemade rolls contain a chocolate dough, sweet brown sugar filling with chocolate chips, and chocolate frosting. Kids and adults love them. Great for birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, special occasions, brunch, and more!

Chocolate cinnamon rolls.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • These chocolate cinnamon rolls are sweet and fluffy.
  • The texture is perfect! They are soft and tender.
  • The brown sugar filling contains chocolate chips. The chocolate chips melt and become gooey.
  • In addition, the chocolate frosting adds a creamy texture.
  • They are decadent and rich.
  • Great for breakfast, brunch, and dessert.
  • This recipe can be made gluten free with gluten free bread flour.
  • Check out these Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls for another fun recipe!

Ingredients & Substitutions

These are the main ingredients and substitutions for these homemade chocolate cinnamon rolls. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and instructions.

First, use regular bread flour or King Arthur gluten free bread flour. This brand does include wheat starch, but it removes the gluten during processing. If you are wheat free or Celiac, I do not recommend this flour.

Cocoa powder makes the dough chocolaty.

Granulated sugar adds some sweetness.

Baking powder helps the dough rise while in the oven.

Sea salt balances out the flavors.

Mix the dough with warm water, melted butter, and whole milk. Use heavy cream if need be.

Only one egg is needed! Do not make this recipe without the egg.

For the filling, use melted butter, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and chocolate chips. Use regular or mini chocolate chips.

For the chocolate frosting, use powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, cream cheese, and cocoa powder. The butter and cream cheese must be at room temperature. Beat together until smooth and creamy.

Ingredients for chocolate cinnamon rolls.

Taste & Texture

These chocolate cinnamon rolls are rich and decadent. They have a strong chocolate flavor and cinnamon flavor.

These rolls are sweet and chocolaty!

How to Make

Step 1

First, make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the bread flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, yeast, and sea salt. Stir to combine.

Cocoa and bread flour in bowl.

Step 2

Then, add in the warm water, milk, egg, and melted butter. Mix for 2 minutes or until a thick dough is formed. Spray a spatula with nonstick spray and scrape the dough down the sides of the bowl to the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Chocolate batter in bowl.

Step 3

After 30 minutes, remove the bowl from the fridge. Lightly flour a large cutting board topped with parchment paper. Lightly flour a rolling pin. Place the dough in the middle. Gently roll out into a rectangle that is about 12 inches long and 6 inches wide.

Step 4

Next, make the filling. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Spread the melted butter all over the dough. Then, sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon mixture on top. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top.

Step 5

Use a pizza cutter to cut 6 long strips of dough that are each 1 inch wide. Carefully roll up each strip into a cinnamon roll. Place in a heavily sprayed baking dish.

Thin slices of roll dough.

Step 6

Once all 6 rolls are in the baking dish, place a kitchen towel on top. Place in your oven with the oven light on for 1 hour (the oven will be OFF at this point).

Chocolate swirls in pan.

Step 7

After 1 hour, the rolls will have grown slightly in size. Remove from the oven and remove the towel. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once preheated, bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the edges are lightly bubbly.

Step 8

Once the cinnamon rolls are just about done baking, make the frosting. Combine the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, cream cheese, and cocoa powder. Use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat until creamy.

Chocolate frosting in bowl.

Step 9

Finally, remove the chocolate cinnamon rolls from the oven. While still hot, top with the chocolate frosting and serve!

Frosted sweet rolls.

Expert Tips & Tricks

Follow these tips and tricks to make the best chocolate cinnamon rolls.

First, use regular bread flour or the King Arthur gluten free bread flour. I tried this recipe with other gluten free flour blends and it did not work well.

Use fresh yeast. Do not use old or expired yeast.

Do not skip the resting and rising time. This helps the dough grow and relax.

Lightly flour the cutting board and the rolling pin. This prevents sticking.

Use enough brown sugar to cover the rolled-out dough. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top.

Use a pizza cutter to make the strips of dough.

During the second rising time, the cinnamon rolls will not double in size. This is totally fine and expected.

Bake until the rolls are no longer gooey.

Beat the chocolate frosting until super creamy and no clumps of powdered sugar remain.

Add the chocolate frosting while the rolls are still hot.

Close up chocolate rolls.

How to Serve & Store

Serve these chocolate cinnamon rolls hot and fresh!

We love these for birthdays and brunch. Serve with baconquichebreakfast burritos, and hot chocolate.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a sticky bun and a cinnamon roll?

A sticky bun and a cinnamon roll both share a similar dough base, but the key distinction lies in the toppings. While a cinnamon roll is typically adorned with a sweet cinnamon and sugar filling, a sticky bun features a gooey caramel or pecan topping that creates a sticky and rich texture.

What do these chocolate cinnamon rolls taste like?

They taste like classic cinnamon buns with a strong chocolate flavor. They are sweet.

What type of flour should you use?

Use bread flour. Both regular bread flour and gluten free bread flour work well.

Can you double the recipe?

Yes! Bake in a 9 inch by 13 inch pan for 25 to 30 minutes.

Bite of chocolate rolls.

Equipment Needed

Hand Mixer: Use this hand mixer for the frosting.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer: This chocolate cinnamon roll recipe needs a stand mixer for the dough.

Pyrex 3 Glass Mixing Bowls: These are my favorite mixing bowls.

Check out all of my kitchen favorites!

You May Also Like

If you make this chocolate cinnamon roll recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. Join my exclusive Facebook Group for a behind the scenes look. I would love for you to follow along!  Check out these Breakfast Recipes for more great ideas!

Chocolate cinnamon rolls.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

These chocolate cinnamon rolls are sweet, soft, fluffy, and decadent! They have the classic cinnamon flavor with a fun twist. These cinnamon buns are great for breakast, brunch, dessert, and special occasions!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

  • 2 ¼ cups bread flour*, regular or gluten free
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp quick instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 10 tbsp warm water
  • ½ cup whole milk, or heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp melted unsalted butter

Filling

Chocolate Frosting

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Instructions 

  • First, make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the bread flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, yeast, and sea salt. Stir to combine.
  • Then, add in the warm water, milk, egg, and melted butter. Mix for 2 minutes or until a thick dough is formed. Spray a spatula with nonstick spray and scrape the dough down the sides of the bowl to the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the bowl from the fridge. Lightly flour a large cutting board topped with parchment paper. Lightly flour a rolling pin. Place the dough in the middle. Gently roll out into a rectangle that is about 12 inches long and 6 inches wide.
  • Next, make the filling. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Spread the melted butter all over the dough. Then, sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon mixture on top. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top.
  • Use a pizza cutter to cut 6 long strips of dough that are each 1 inch wide. Carefully roll up each strip into a cinnamon roll. Place in a heavily sprayed baking dish.
  • Once all 6 rolls are in the baking dish, place a kitchen towel on top. Place in your oven with the oven light on for 1 hour (the oven will be OFF at this point).
  • After 1 hour, the rolls will have grown slightly in size. Remove from the oven and remove the towel. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once preheated, bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the edges are lightly bubbly.
  • Once the cinnamon rolls are just about done baking, make the frosting. Combine the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, cream cheese, and cocoa powder. Use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat until creamy.
  • Finally, remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven. While hot, top with the chocolate frosting and serve!

Notes

  • This recipe can be made with King Arthur Flour gluten free bread flour or regular bread flour.  Do not use another gluten free flour.
  • FYI: King Arthur gluten free bread flour contains wheat, but not gluten.  If you are wheat free, do not use this recipe.
  • Follow the step by step photos in the blog post to help you.
  • Bake until the rolls are baked through and no longer gooey.
  • Immediately add the frosting.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave.
  • Check out all of my kitchen favorites!
Calories: 581kcal, Carbohydrates: 80g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 89mg, Sodium: 598mg, Potassium: 213mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 38g, Vitamin A: 796IU, Vitamin C: 0.02mg, Calcium: 107mg, Iron: 2mg

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