So these chocolate pecan rolls with cream cheese glaze take a little time to make. But, oh man, they are so worth it!
Chocolatey, sweet, nutty, and fluffy - they’re everything you could want in breakfast.
Sticky Chocolate Pecan Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Forget regular cinnamon rolls because these chocolate pecan cinnamon rolls are the next breakfast obsession.
There’s still cinnamon in the mix and the filling calls for brown sugar and butter like you’d expect.
But there’s also chocolate chips and chopped pecans sprinkled in there too. So when it bakes, the middles get all sticky and caramelized, with chocolate oozing out of every bite.
Oh, and there’s a cream cheese glaze to top it all off! It’s sweet, creamy, tangy, and delicious!
This list is a bit long, but it’s so worth it! Make these for the weekend and you’ll want to make them a weekly tradition.
- Milk - warm milk helps to activate the yeast and you’ll need more milk for the glaze
- Yeast - you need active yeast for this recipe, not fresh or instant. So be sure it’s the right kind before you start
- Sugar - white and brown sugar make the dough sweet and the filling sticky
- Butter - for richness in the dough and to make the filling a tasty spread
- Eggs - to enrich the dough
- Vanilla - for sweet warmth
- Bread Flour - you need bread flour for the added gluten to make the rolls fluffy but sturdy
- Cocoa Powder - cocoa powder brings extra chocolate to cover every inch of the rolls, rather than just pops of melted chocolate
- Cinnamon - you can’t have chocolate pecan cinnamon rolls with it!
- Chocolate Chips - they make the filling gooey and delicious
- Pecans - for buttery crunch
- Cream Cheese - the glaze is optional but it makes them super decadent
- Powdered Sugar - to make the glaze nice and sweet
How to Make Chocolate Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
There are three key components here: the dough, the filling, and the glaze. They can all be made at the same time, but you’ll need to store the filling and glaze in the fridge until the dough is ready.
Here’s a quick rundown of the steps:
- Make the dough - bloom the yeast in the warm milk then mix in the sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour.
- Knead until smooth - this is key to developing the gluten and best done in a mixer
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl - rub a bit of oil on the dough too, cover it, and leave it to rise
- After an hour, make the filling - do this when the dough is almost ready to use. Just mix the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until smooth
- Punch the dough and roll it out - gently press the air out of the dough, turn it onto a floured surface, and roll it into a rectangle
- Spread the filling over the dough - make sure to cover the whole surface
- Add the chocolate and pecans - make sure the pieces are small and that they cover the whole surface
- Roll into a log - roll the dough into a long, tight log and pinch the seem
- Cut into portions - use dental floss or a sharp knife to portion the rolls. Then add them to a greased baking dish
- Let the rolls rise - cover the dish and leave them to rise for about an hour
- Egg wash and bake - bake until puffy and golden
- While they bake, make the glaze - mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk until smooth
- Glaze, serve, and enjoy - let the rolls cool a little, drizzle over the glaze, then dig in!
Overnight Chocolate Pecan Rolls - How to Make Cinnamon Rolls Ahead
Cinnamon rolls need time to proof. That usually means a couple of hours to double in size, followed by another proof once they’re filled, rolled, and portioned.
Not ideal first thing in the morning.
But did you know you can easily make these the night before?
Just follow all the steps, including making, proofing, rolling, and portioning the dough. Next, put the rolls into a baking dish, then cover with plastic and pop them in the fridge.
Take the dish out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you need to bake them, then bake as instructed. How easy is that?
Chocolate Pecan Rolls With Cream Cheese Glaze
- For the Rolls
- 235 ml of Warm Milk (1 cup)
- 7 grams of Active Yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons / 1 package)
- 100 grams of White Sugar (1/2 cup)
- 115 grams of Melted Butter (1/2 cup)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Paste
- 3/4 teaspoon of Salt
- 510-540 grams of Bread Flour (4 1/4 - 4 1/2 cups)
- 1 Egg (for egg wash)
- For the Filling
- 75 grams of Soft Butter (1/3 cup)
- 215 grams of Brown Sugar (1 cup, packed)
- 2 tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
- 2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of Salt
- 85 grams of Chocolate Chips (1/2 cup)
- 60 grams of Chopped Pecans (1/2 cup)
- For the Cream Cheese Glaze
- 55 grams of Cream Cheese (1/4 cup)
- 180 grams of Powdered Sugar (1 1/2 cups)
- 55 grams of Soft Butter (1/4 cup)
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Paste
- 3-6 tablespoons of Milk, as needed
- Make the dough:
- Heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave until it’s warm but not hot (you should be able to touch it with your finger).
- Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle in the yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Stir the yeast gently with a fork, then set it aside for 10 minutes.
- While the yeast blooms, get the rest of the ingredients ready.
- After 10 minutes, the yeast should be frothy. If it’s not foaming, the yeast has gone bad, and you’ll need to start again with a new pack.
- Add the rest of the sugar, eggs, butter, salt, and vanilla, then mix on low with a dough hook.
- Pour the flour into the mixer and keep it going on low until a dough forms.
- Turn the mixer up to medium speed and keep mixing until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky (about 7-10 minutes).
- Test the dough by tearing off a small piece and stretching it between your fingers. If it breaks, it’s not ready. If it stretches thin, into a windowpane-like sheet, it’s ready.
- Lightly grease a large bowl and transfer the dough, turning it over to grease the surface.
- Cover the bowl and leave it somewhere warm to rise. It will need about 1 hour to 90 minutes to double in size.
- While the dough rises, make the filling:
- Mix the soft butter with the brown sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth and well blended. Set aside.
- Chop the pecans into small chunks and chop the chocolate if you’re using bars. Set aside.
- When the dough is ready, assemble the rolls.
- Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- When the dough has doubled in size, gently press a fist into the middle to remove some of the air.
- Tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 15x10-inch rectangle. Turn the dough so one of the long edges is in front of you.
- Use a spatula to gently spread the butter and brown sugar mixture evenly over the surface of the dough.
- Sprinkle the chocolate and nuts on the top, then gently press them into the butter with your hands.
- Tuck a couple of centimeters (1/2 inch) of dough over the long edge closest to you, and press it down to make a seal.
- Carefully roll the dough into a long log, keeping it as tight as possible.
- Cut the log into 12 rolls and place them evenly in the baking dish.
- Cover the dish with a clean cloth and leave to rise again for about 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 175°C / 350°F while the dough rises.
- Lightly beat the extra egg with a splash of milk and brush it over the top of the puffy rolls.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant.
- While the pecan rolls are baking, make the glaze.
- Beat the cream cheese and soft butter in a medium bowl until well blended. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix again until smooth.
- Add the vanilla, salt, and half of the powdered sugar.
- Mix gently until most of the sugar is incorporated. Then add the rest of the sugar and mix gently until the sugar is mostly mixed in.
- Beat until smooth, then add milk as needed. It should be thick but pourable.
- When the rolls come out of the oven, leave them to cool for about 10 minutes, then pour the glaze over the top and spread it out evenly.
- Serve warm, and enjoy!