January 10, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze {Naptime Everyday}

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls | The Naptime Chef

What’s Going on Today: Post-holiday down time. Everyone in their jammies, finally on the mend.

Naptime Goals: Make dough for Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls, allow to rise all afternoon. Bake them in the morning.

2011 was the year I finally became comfortable working with yeast breads. In the past I’d had lots of success with no-knead bread and pizza dough, but I was honestly, for some unknown reason, a little intimidated by the thought of making anything else. I credit my trip to King Arthur Flour with allaying my fears and teaching me to dive hands first into rising dough. After 24 hours with them I was much more confident that I wasn’t going to kill yeast with hot water or not knead dough well enough. Once my fears were gone I was, well, fearless. Now I am making yeast breads all the time and our latest favorite are these cinnamon rolls.

The big secret to this dough is not to over think it. It is made in the mixer (!) during naptime and left to rise for the afternoon. How easy is that? In this batch I played with the flavor by adding cinnamon to the actual dough. This idea came from my favorite Balthazar buns I used to get at Oren’s on the Upper West Side. The sweet dough is freckled with ground cinnamon which I think adds amazing flavor. Later in the afternoon I fill up the rolls, nestle them in the baking pan and leave them, covered, in the fridge overnight. The next morning the pan is slipped into the oven and breakfast is ready!

When it came to stuffing these rolls my daughter asked for chocolate chips. We’ve been experimenting with all kinds of fillings like spiced dried cranberries and cinnamon chips, but her favorite so far has been mini-chocolate chips. (Can you blame her?) Since the chips are so sweet I didn’t add a glaze to this particular batch, but I’ve include the simple vanilla glaze formula I do use when I want it. I find this glaze is so delicious over the buns when the filling isn’t quite so sweet. Either way, as far as cold weather breakfasts go these yeasted breakfast rolls are definitely here to stay.


Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls


1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 large egg
2 ¼ teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt


¾ cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ stick unsalted butter
½ cup mini chocolate chips


2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water, or more as needed


1. Melt the butter and milk together in measuring cup in the microwave. Add it to the bowl of a stand mixer and add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, egg, yeast, and salt. Mix it well for three minutes. Then add half of the flour and mix it just until the flour is absorbed. Add the rest of the flour and mix well.

2. Switch the beating attachment out for the dough hook and knead the dough with the mixer for about four minutes, or until it is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand.

3. Place the dough in large bowl that has been lightly oiled and cover it with a kitchen towel. Leave it is a warm, dry area to rise for about two hours.

4. Meanwhile, make the filling by melting the butter in a small bowl and stirring in the cinnamon and sugar.

5. Once the dough has doubled in volume roll it out to a rectangle that is about 14×12. Spread the butter mixture over it, leaving a ½-inch border all the way around. Then evenly sprinkle in the chocolate chips. Roll up the dough lengthwise and cut it into ½-inch wide slices. Nestle the rolls into a large baking dish, or two smaller 7×11 dishes and cover them with a kitchen towel again. Allow them to rise for at least one hour. Then, cover the dish with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge overnight.

6. The next morning, preheat the oven to 375F and bake the rolls for about twenty minutes, or until they are golden brown on top.

7. To make the glaze mix together the sugar, vanilla and water until the consistency is just spreadable. Spread the glaze over the warm rolls and serve.


Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

These serve a crowd beautifully and are so easy to make ahead. You can also freeze the dough if need be!

Naptime Stopwatch

20 minutes for the dough, plus rising time


Naptime Reviews

The double  cinnamon effect was a real hit with everyone. Not quite Balthazar, but getting there!


4 Responses to “Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze {Naptime Everyday}”

  1. Jean says:

    I need to start doing yeast breads again. This might be the best recipe to start with. I know the granddaughters would love this. 

  2. Amy says:

    I totally need to get over my fear of dealing with yeast. Practice makes perfect right?

  3. Robyn Stone says:

    Oh my goodness! What a wonderful recipe! My son would love this!