These Chocolate Orange Morning Rolls are my jam!
These rolls on a Saturday morning make everything better. They are soft and warm and delicious. The combo of orange and chocolate will forever be a favorite of mine. It is classic Holiday vibes but I really feel like we should make space to enjoy them year around.
Orange and Chocolate Filling
Orange and chocolate is a classic Holiday flavor combo. Many people LOVE it. Some people dislike it. It’s truly a polarizing flavor combination that divides people right in half.
As you can imagine, I am in the group of people who LOVE this flavor combination.
The filling is gently spiced with some cinnamon and all-spice. The orange flavor comes from some fresh orange zest that is put on top of that filling.
How to Make Orange Chocolate Morning Rolls
This recipe utilizes instant yeast (rapid rise) which is a type of yeast that can be added to the dry ingredients. If you only have active dry yeast, no worries. Please refer to the *notes* section of the recipe on how to activate it. Since this uses instant yeast, it means that all of the dough can be mixed together all at once. No needing to have it be in steps.
This makes it super easy.
- Mix together the dough ingredients in a stand-up mixer with the hook attachment.
- The dough will be soft and smooth. And then let it rise in a draft-free place in your home for 1 hour.
- Mix and mash together the roll filling until super smooth.
- Roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4-inch thick and spread the filling all around.
- Roll up the dough and then transfer it to the freezer to firm up–it’s easy to cut this way!
- Slice up and rolls and let them rise one more time!
- Then, bake. While they’re baking, make the frosting.
- When they’re all done, add the frosting to the top and SERVE.
How to Make Them Ahead
Of course, if you wanted to make them ahead of time, you have some options.
- Make the dough and place in a large bowl, cover with a lid or kitchen linen and then transfer to the fridge overnight. It will rise overnight. Proceed with the recipe the next morning.
- OR, you can assemble the rolls entirely, stick them in the fridge to rise overnight.
- And then remove the rolls from the fridge and allow to shake off a bit of their cold for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Bake the rolls and smother with glaze.
If you make the rolls, let me know via Instagram
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast , (or active dry yeast - see *notes* for instructions on how to activate, if using)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water or warm milk
- 8 tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, at room temperature
Spiced Chocolate Filling:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup baking cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground all-spice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ounce milk chocolate, finely chopped
- Zest from 1 naval orange
Cream Cheese Vanilla Glaze:
- 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- In a stand mixer, with the dough hook, mix together all of the dough ingredients to form a mostly smooth, shiny dough. Don't worry; what starts out as a sticky mess becomes beautifully satiny as it kneads. Knead this dough on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
- Spray a medium bowl with cooking spray. Transfer the dough into the greased bowl, using a spatula because the dough will be a bit sticky. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. If you want to to make this for ahead, you can cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer it to the fridge and continue with the recipe the next morning. Or, you can continue with it immediately.
- In a bowl, mash all of the ingredients (except the chopped chocolate and orange zest) together until smooth.
To Assemble the Rolls:
- Grease and line a 9 x 4-inch baking dish.
- On a liberally floured surface, dump the dough out and roll it into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Spread the filling evenly onto the rectangle and stop about 1/4-inch before you reach the edge. Sprinkle with the chopped chocolate and orange zest. Roll the rectangle tightly, in a horizontal fashion, into a log. Transfer the log to a lightly floured cutting board and transfer to the freezer (this will help when we cut and form the babka) for about 10 minutes.
- After the log has chilled, remove it from the freezer. Using a sharp knife, slice off the ends and discard. Slice the log into 3-inch pieces. Carefully transfer the rolls to the prepared baking dish. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and place in a draft-free place in your home until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
To Make the Cream Cheese Vanilla Glaze:
- To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (you can use a hand mixer too), add the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and salt. Beat until smooth. Pour in the heavy cream and then beat for a full 2 minutes, until very fluffy. When the rolls come out of the oven, spoon the glaze/frosting on top. It’ll melt when it comes in contact with the warm rolls. YUM.
Want more cinnamon rolls recipes, here are some others!