Chocolate Almond Cinnamon Rolls are stuffed with almond paste and cocoa. They are my take on the famous Cinnabons, only without the cinnamon.
This recipe is based on the recipe for Cinna-Buns from the wonderful bakers at King Arthur Baking (formerly King Arthur Flour). They are yeast based and not very difficult to prepare. Even a novice baker can make these wonderful treats.
One cold morning, I got up and decided I wanted cinnamon rolls. I was aghast when I realized I was out of cinnamon. Hard to imagine, right? Well, I did have cocoa and almond paste, two of my favorite flavors that go very well together, so I decided to use that for the filling instead of the traditional cinnamon.
You can buy almond paste in the baking section of your supermarket. You can also make it yourself if you are so inclined; I usually have it on hand in my pantry. It makes an easy filling for a variety of treats, including my Almond Paste Filled Crescents.
You could also make these wonderful rolls with sourdough starter or discard if you are trying to find a way to use it up. Simply replace 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of liquid with one cup of sourdough starter or discard. If you have freshly fed, very active starter, you can also reduce the yeast in this recipe.
Equipment for Chocolate Almond Cinnamon Rolls
One thing I highly recommend is a Silicone Pastry Mat. These mats usually have measurement markings on them so you can make sure that whatever you are rolling out, whether it be pizza dough or cinnamon roll dough is the size you need. Because they are non-stick silicone, you do not need as much flour to keep the dough from sticking.
~~ Dough ~~
- 1 cup Milk, lukewarm
- 2 eggs, large, at room temperature
- 5 tablespoons Butter, unsalted softened
- 4 ½ cups Flour
- 1 ¾ teaspoons Salt
- ½ cup Sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons Yeast
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
~~ Filling ~~
- ⅓ cup butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 4 ounce Almond paste
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
~~ Icing ~~
- 3 ounce Cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons Butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups Powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon Rum Extract
- Mise en place
- 1 cup Milk, 2 eggs, 5 tablespoons Butter, 4 1/2 cups Flour, 1 3/4 teaspoons Salt, 1/2 cup Sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons Yeast, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon almond extractMix together and knead all of the dough ingredients in a stand mixer. Let the mixer knead the dough for about 2 minutes.
- The dough should be soft and smooth.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to grease all sides, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise until it's nearly doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
- 1 egg, 4 ounce Almond pasteJust before rising time is over, put the almond paste and 1 egg in a food processor. Process it until you have a nice paste.
- To fill and shape the buns: Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Roll the dough into a 16" x 21" (40.64 cm x 53.34 cm) rectangle.
- 1/3 cup butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon cocoaSpread the dough with the 1/3 cup butter. Mix the powdered sugar and cocoa and sprinkle it evenly over the dough.
- Cover that with the almond paste mixture. Spread it all the way to the edges.
- Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log and cut it into 12 slices.
- Place the buns in a lightly greased 9" x 13" (33 x 23 x 5 cm) pan. Cover the pan and let the buns rise until they are nearly doubled about 30 minutes.
- While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 400 °F.
- When the buns have risen, bake them until they are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- 3 ounce Cream cheese, 4 tablespoons Butter, 1 1/2 cups Powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon Rum ExtractWhile the buns are baking, make the icing. In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and rum flavoring.
- Remove the buns from the oven. Spread the icing on the buns while they are warm.
- Serve the buns warm, or at room temperature. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for a day or so; freeze for longer storage.