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Easy Cast Iron Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

These Cast Iron Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls combine the warm, comforting aroma of homemade cinnamon rolls with the rich, indulgent flavor of chocolate, making them a perfect treat for chocolate lovers and a delightful surprise for anyone who thought they knew everything about sweet rolls.

Imagine waking up to the smell of chocolate and cinnamon baking to golden brown perfection in your cast iron skillet—this recipe promises just that. Perfect for a special occasion or a cozy weekend breakfast, these rolls are made with a soft, enriched dough filled with a gooey chocolate filling and topped with a luscious chocolate cream cheese frosting.

We love cinnamon rolls around here in all kinds of flavors! These chocolate cinnamon rolls are so good!

FAQs

Q: Can I use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour? A: Yes, you can use bread flour for a slightly chewier texture. However, the recipe calls for all-purpose flour to create soft and fluffy rolls.

Q: How long should I let the dough rise? A: Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, which typically takes about 1-2 hours in a warm place for the first rise. The second rise, after shaping the rolls, should take about 30-45 minutes.

Q: Can I make the dough the night before? A: Absolutely! Prepare the dough, let it undergo its first rise, and then cover it with plastic wrap to refrigerate overnight. The next morning, proceed with filling, shaping, and the second rise.

Q: What if I only have instant yeast? A: You can use instant yeast in equal parts as active dry yeast. There’s no need to activate it in warm milk; simply mix it with the dry ingredients.

Ingredients

  • Milk (whole milk recommended)
  • Active dry yeast (or instant yeast)
  • Eggs
  • Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • White granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour (with a little extra)
  • Brown sugar
  • Cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Heavy cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Caramel sauce
  • Powdered sugar
  • Optional: chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks for extra chocolate flavor

Where to Serve

These chocolate cinnamon rolls are perfect for any setting that calls for a touch of sweetness and warmth. Serve them as a weekend breakfast treat, at brunch gatherings, during holiday festivities, or as a dessert at dinner parties. They’re especially fitting for special occasions like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or anniversaries, adding a homemade, heartfelt touch to the celebration.

Storage

To keep the rolls fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, refrigerate for up to 5 days. Warm them up in the microwave for a few seconds before serving to recreate that fresh-from-the-oven taste and texture.

Tips for Making This Recipe with Kids

  1. Let Them Measure and Mix: Kids can help measure out the ingredients and mix the dough. It’s a great way to introduce them to baking basics.
  2. Dough Art: Once the dough is rolled out, let them spread the chocolate filling over the dough. They might also enjoy sprinkling extra chocolate chips or chunks.
  3. Roll and Cut: Assist them in rolling up the dough and cutting it into equal pieces. A piece of dental floss is a kid-friendly way to slice the rolls cleanly.
  4. Decoration Time: Decorating the baked rolls with frosting can be a fun and creative activity for children. Allow them to drizzle or spread the chocolate cream cheese frosting and maybe add some sprinkles for a colorful touch.

Why This Recipe Works

This recipe succeeds because it balances the comforting, familiar taste of homemade cinnamon rolls with the irresistible allure of chocolate. The enriched dough, made with eggs, butter, and milk, provides a soft, tender base for the rich chocolate filling, ensuring every bite is moist and flavorful. The use of both cocoa powder and chocolate chips (or chunks) in the filling, along with a chocolate cream cheese frosting, elevates these from mere sweet rolls to a triple chocolate delight.

The cast iron skillet not only evenly bakes the rolls to perfection but also presents them beautifully at the table, making these homemade chocolate cinnamon rolls a guaranteed hit for any chocolate lover or anyone looking for a special breakfast treat.

Here are some more amazing cinnamon rolls recipes:

Easy Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

Easy Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Additional Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

These Cast Iron Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect blend of rich chocolate and warm cinnamon, baked to golden brown perfection in a cast iron skillet. They offer a decadent twist on a classic, making them an irresistible treat for any occasion.

Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 1 cup milk, warm
  • 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all purpose flour (extra ½ cup)
  • Filling:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Frosting:
  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • ⅓ cup caramel sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer bowl add the warm milk and yeast. Stir and let sit for a couple minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
  2. Once the milk becomes a bit puffy from the activated yeast, add in the butter, eggs and white sugar. Use the paddle attachment to beat these ingredients together until combined.
  3. Then add in the 4 cups of flour and salt. Beat together until the dry ingredients are JUST combined, then stop. Remove the paddle attachment and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, allowing the flour to soak up the wet ingredients.
  4. Then attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes until it becomes slightly tacky. If the dough is too sticky, add in the xtra ½ cup of flour, adding only a tablespoon at a time until no more is needed.
  5. Place a damp towel or plastic wrap over the dough and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. 
  6. While the dough is rising, make the chocolate filling. In a medium bowl add the softened butter, cubed. Then add the sugar and cocoa powder. Blend together with a fork until incorporated and a thick paste is created. 
  7. Add the vanilla extract, mixing once more until combined.
  8. On a clean floured surface, place the risen dough and fold into a large rectangle about 9 inches by 13 inches and ½ inch thick.
  9. Spread the chocolate filling into the dough slab evenly, covering every inch of the dough.
  10. Roll the dough lengthwise into a tight log shape.
  11. Use a very sharp knife or piece of string to cut 8-10 cinnamon rolls from the log. Each roll should be about 2 inches tall.
  12. Place all the rolls in the cast iron pan, with a small amount of space surrounding them if possible. Cover these rolls and let them rise again for another 20 minutes or until they have doubled in size.
  13. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  14. Once they have proved for the second time, pour the heavy cream all over the tops of the rolls.
  15. Bake in the oven for 24 minutes or until lightly golden brown and puffy.
  16. While they are baking, make the caramel icing.
  17. In a mixing bowl add the cream cheese and butter and whip with a hand mixer until smooth. Then pour in the caramel sauce and vanilla extract. Blend again until combined.
  18. Lastly add the powdered sugar in 1 cup at a time, mixing in between until a thick glaze is formed. If it is too thick, add a tablespoon of milk to thin out to your desired consistency. (Remember the icing will melt over the hot cinnamon rolls as well)
  19. When the cinnamon rolls are done, drizzle the glaze on all of these chocolate cinnamon rolls. Use a diagonally method if you want to still see those chocolate rolls under the icing.
  20. Serve while warm and enjoy!

Notes

Make sure the milk is warm and not hot or it will kill the yeast and the dough won’t rise properly.

Do not let the dough rise for too long in the initial rise or the cinnamon rolls will be too airy.

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