Dark Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Buns


As a kid I kind of had a thing for cinnamon buns… and when I tell you that I had “a thing” for cinnamon buns, that’s basically just a nice way for me to say that I was something of a crazed cinnamon bun addicted child; a lover of soft fluffy yeast dough; a fiend for things smothered in cream cheese frosting! You get the gist… I was hopelessly devoted to the cinnamon bun stuff.

My mum would take me to the store to pick up groceries – and by groceries I mean ingredients like broccoli and wheat bran; Healthy foods that didn’t include things like store bought cinnamon buns. But it was okay, because I would strategically join her on these field trips to the grocery store for this very reason – to convince her that cinnamon buns were a necessary addition to our weekly grocery haul.

Upon entry into the store, I would separate from my mother {who was probably headed for the aisle with said wheat bran} and I would make a B-line straight for the bakery department –  I knew she would have no choice but to follow me. I was still a child after all, and as such I was not to be left to wander in the supermarket aisles unattended.

I may have been a crazed cinnamon bun addict, but I knew how the world worked…


I was a child on a mission, and seemingly one with blinders on, because none of the other sweet treats that littered the bakery aisles could catch my attention. I was not to be distracted – I knew what I wanted, and I followed my nose straight to the trays of the good stuff.

Our local grocery store sold this pan of 4 huge cinnamon buns that came slathered with a thick, gooey layer of cream cheese frosting, which essentially covered every square inch of the cinnamon bun tops. So basically it just looked like a giant tray of creamy, white frosting. {insert heart eyed emoji here}

I would just stare in wonder at the trays, upon trays of cinnamon bun goodness, while I waited for my mum to catch up. I would look up at her with wide eyes when she appeared beside me with a look of sweet defeat on her face that read something along the lines of …“Really my love? This is what your little heart desires?” 

The woman had {and still does have} the patience of a saint. So she would just shake her head and giggle to herself softly as she placed a tray of the cinnamon buns into our basket. I know now that it probably killed her inside to buy me the cinnamon buns that came complete with an inch thick of frosting, but she was too sweet to deny me.


Not a whole lot has changed since I was little. When anyone mentions the words “cinnamon buns” in my general vicinity, I still get a little bit crazy giddy – not crazy…. okay maybe I still get kinda crazy.

I guess the only thing that has changed, is that instead of getting my cinnamon bun fix by buying them from the store, I now much prefer to bake them from scratch at home. Let’s face it, there are few things more blissful than a fresh, warm, gooey, homemade cinnamon bun.

So yeah, I think it’s safe to say that I still have something of a cinnamon bun addiction. Like on the food addiction scale of one to peanut butter & chocolate…. cinnamon buns are definitely right up there with my other food obsessions.

What can I say, I just love the flavour combination of the soft, fluffy, yeasty dough with the brown sugar and cinnamon filling… is anybody else drooling?

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These cinnamon buns are a bit of a twist on the classic you see in the grocery store; a very tasty twist.

I created these Dark Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Buns on morning as the answer to my simultaneous need for cinnamon buns and chocolate. They are truly a labour of love, that is well worth the effort it takes to make them at home.

There is just enough cinnamon to compliment the flavours of the dark chocolate, espresso, and toasted pecans, so that it all comes together to make a thick, warm, gooey chocolate filling that is then wrapped up in my favourite fluffy yeast dough.

Cinnamon bun & chocolate lovers unite for this one – enjoy lovelies!

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Buns

Makes: 8 Breakfast Rolls
Things you need…
9×9 inch baking pan

Fluffy Sweet Roll Dough
1 pckg dry active yeast
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
1/4 cup butter
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

Dark Chocolate Espresso Filling
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp espresso powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped {optional}

How to make…

Fluffy Sweet Roll Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook add your yeast and a couple tsp of the sugar. Pour the warmed milk over the yeast and sugar and lightly whisk to combine. Allow your yest to sit in the warm milk like this for 5-10 minutes to proof. When you come back to your yeast after 5-10 minutes it should be frothy – this indicates that your yeast is active and good to go. If you come back and your yeast hasn’t gotten frothy or foamed up, discard the contents in your bowl and start over with new fresh packages of yeast and proof again using the same technique.

Once you have proofed your yeast, add the remaining sugar to the mixture as well as the softened butter and turn your mixer onto low to begin combining the ingredients. Mix for a minute or so until the softened butter is broken up into chunks. Add your beaten eggs in two additions allowing about 1 minute of mixing time in between each addition. Slowly begin to add your flour 1/2 cup at a time allow the flour to incorporate slightly before each addition.

Once you have added all of your flour, turn your mixer onto medium speed and allow it to mix the dough until a large smooth mass forms. The dough should be soft and a bit sticky, but not so wet that it is sticking to the sides of the bowl. If you find that your dough is sticking to the sides of your bowl, add a bit more flour 1 tbsp at a time until it comes away from the sides of the bowl. Allow to turn on medium speed for 5 minutes.

Remove dough from bowl – it should be smooth and elastic. Knead with your hands for an additional 2 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Next, place your dough into a large greased bowl, lightly grease the top of your dough and cover with a dry tea towel. Set your dough aside to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled in size.

** My oven has a warming function, so I usually set the warming function to low and let my dough sit in here to rise. If your oven has this feature, this is a great way to let your dough rise. If not, simply preheat your oven to about 200 degrees, shut it off and place the dough in there to rise as there will be enough residual heat in your oven to keep it nice a warm.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Filling
In a small mixing bowl beat together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, espresso powder and vanilla until fluffy. Add cocoa powder and beat until combined. Set your filling, chopped chocolate and pecans aside until ready to assemble.

Once cinnamon bun dough has risen, punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a rectangle that is 1/4 inch thick.

Spread chocolate filling out across the dough, leaving a 1 inch border at the bottom. Spread chopped dark chocolate on top of the chocolate filling, and gently press down to secure the pieces.

Roll dough up jelly-roll style and pinch the end together to seal. Cut into 1.5 inch rolls – which should make about 8 even rolls. Place rolls into greased muffin tin. Set aside to rise again for another 30 – 45 minutes.

While your rolls are rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle your rolls with granulated sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes.

Dust with icing sugar for an extra touch of pretty {and deliciousness} and serve while they are still a bit warm.

These rolls are best consumed the same day as they are baked, but if you end up with leftovers, just re-heat them a bit before serving to freshen them up.


Cole is crazy about these Chocolate Cinnamon Buns – in fact I would say that they are probably one of his fav creations of mine to devour.

He loves them so much that when I sent him to work with one last week, I got a text from him mid-day playfully asking me why there was “only one” in his lunch. Gotta love it – I would have asked the exact same question. I of course didn’t tell him that he only received one in his lunch because I took two… 😛

So I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do – Happy cinnamon bun baking lovelies <3

KP xoxo


3 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Buns

  1. Admiring the dedication you put into your blog and detailed information you provide.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that
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  2. And if you haven t tried the iced coffee, just imagine brown sugar meets espresso meets cinnamon and then bring tender cinnamon roll dough and semisweet chocolate chips to the party.

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