Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

Believe it or not, I haven't had a cinnamon roll in a decade.  It was just before college, when I was still vegetarian, but not yet vegan.  After that, I was off at college with no way to bake cinnamon rolls in a college dorm, and vegan versions weren't yet readily available from a local bakery.  Even once in an apartment with a kitchen, I never got around to ordering any of the commercial vegan cinnamon buns, available, at sites like, and never got around to making my own.

While it was time to remedy the lack.  Chocolate and cinnamon are two of my favorite things, as my fiance will laughingly tell you, so when I spotted this recipe, I had to give it a go.

  • 1 package dry yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cups warm non-dairy milk (between 100 and 110 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup melted vegan butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Ener-G eggs, divided
  • 4 cups bread flour, divided
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup vegan sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sifted vegan powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Dissolve the yeast and 2 tablespoons sugar in the warm milk, and let stand for 5 minutes.  Add the melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 Ener-G egg.  Lightly spoon the bread flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife.  Add 3 and 1/2 cups bread flour, the cocoa powder, and the salt to the yeast mixture, and stir to form a dough. Yum - chocolate dough.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes - you want the dough to be smooth and elastic at the end.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.  I haven't kneaded dough on this blog since the winter, so check out this link for a quick reminder.

3. Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning so the top of the dough is coated as well.  Cover and let rise some place warm and free from drafts for 45 minutes - a closed, unheated oven makes a great rising spot.

4. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll into a 16x8-inch rectangle.  Brush the dough with the remaining Ener-G egg.  In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar with the cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over the dough.  Roll the dough up starting at one long side, jelly roll fashion.  Pinch the seam to seal (but do not seal the ends of the roll).

5. Cut into 16 (1-inch) slices, and arrange the slices, cut sides up, in a 13x9-inch metal baking pan coated with cooking spray.  Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  While the rolls bake, prepare the glaze: whisk together the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; drizzle evenly over the rolls.

Nutrition Info:
16 servings (1 roll), Calories 188

Tasting Notes:
Remember how, as a kid, any cereal was that much better simply if it was chocolate?  Well, this was the adult version of that.  Cinnamon rolls, but chocolate, so wow!  I wish that there was a little bit more of a gooey factor - more gooey cinnamon-and-sugar filling, and more drizzled glaze - but the rolls were delicious and made for an indulgent breakfast treat.


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