Morning Cocoa Rolls


I made up this cocoa sweet rolls recipe the other day when I was working on recipe ideas that will be used at the CITR Retreat in breadbaking classes. (If you’re coming to the retreat, you will be either making these or eating these or BOTH!) Attendees in the bread classes will be making several different recipes during their class periods, and the sweet breads made will be part of what’s served at breakfast. (Every class will be making a basic loaf, a sweet bread, and a savory bread.)

All of the bread recipes made at the retreat will be Grandmother Bread recipes. My Morning Cocoa Rolls recipe uses the one-loaf standard version with cocoa powder and oil as add-ins plus additional sugar with a powdered sugar icing. You can let these rolls rise and bake them right away, or let them rise overnight in the fridge for a make-ahead easy breakfast! (Fabulous for lazy weekend mornings, company, or holidays. Recipe can be doubled for two pans of rolls.)

Printer-Friendly Printer-Friendly
How to make Morning Cocoa Rolls:

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2 cups flour

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt, along with oil. Let sit five minutes. Stir in the half cup of cocoa powder and the first cup and a half of flour with a heavy spoon. Add more flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.

A bowl of chocolate-y goodness:

Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again. Roll out onto a floured surface into an approximately 9 x 12 rectangle.

3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Brush dough with melted butter.

Combine sugar and cocoa powder; generously spoon onto dough, taking care to get right up to the edges. Roll dough from the long side.

Seal seams.

Dust the roll with a bit more flour if needed for easy handling.

Cat, supervising.

How many rolls you get will depend on how you cut the slices. I cut them about an inch thick to get 12 rolls. Before slicing, I make a slight cut in the middle of the roll, then a slight cut in each half, then each quarter is made into three slices.

That gives me fairly even rolls.

Place rolls in a large greased pan. To bake right away, let rise 30 minutes to an hour, until doubled, or for overnight rolls, stick the pan (covered) in the fridge. They’ll be risen and ready for you the next morning!

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for approximately 20-30 minutes. (How thick you cut your slices will vary your baking time, so keep an eye on ’em!)

Powdered Sugar Icing:
Combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk (two to four teaspoons) for drizzling consistency. Drizzle over baked rolls.

These rolls are decadently delicious just as they are, but you could do more if you like. Sprinkle chocolate chips and/or nuts before rolling and/or on top before baking for extra luscious, lavish extravagance! You could also drizzle the tops with a chocolate glaze if you prefer. I thought the white powdered sugar icing looked particularly pretty, though, and the bread itself is very chocolate-y.

Crazy delicious. Don’t bake them when you’re alone. You might eat them all.

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes for the handy printable:
Morning Cocoa Rolls.

See All My Recipes
Printer-Friendly Printer-Friendly


  1. Granny Trace says:

    :woof: They look sinkin AMAZING!! Love the idea!!
    Gonna make some and put in fridge tonight for the granny kids in morning. YUM YUM!!
    Thank you!
    Granny Trace

  2. Liz Pike says:

    Omg, Suzanne, I know what we’re having for breakfast this weekend. If I can wait that long…

  3. Miss Judy says:

    My mouth is watering! I think I might make them with cream cheese icing!

  4. TinaBell says:

    Wowza, do those ever look good! I wouldn’t trust myself not to eat most of the pan myself!

  5. Flowerpower says:

    Oh my! I couldn’t have those in my house! At first glance I thought they were just rolls…but then I see you have rolled them cinnamon roll style. EVEN BETTER! I make cinnamon rolls occasionally to give as presents but these look better. Chocolate added to anything is better! YUM! :happyflower:

  6. daria says:

    I bet the filling would be great with brown sugar, grated chocolate, and chopped pecans or almonds, too. Yum, what a delicious idea!

  7. manlovea says:

    Hi Suzanne: You may have answered this question many times, but I have to ask…when you roll your dough out, do you roll it out on tin foil? Do you put flour on it to keep it from sticking? I really struggle with rolling dough or anything out, so any tips you could provide would be helpful!

    I’m for sure going to try making these! YUMMY!

    ~Amy in WI

  8. boydsandthebees says:

    Hi Suzanne: I saw these this morning and had to make them. We just ate some and my 15 yo son and 11 yo daughter love them. I did add a few chocolate chips before I rolled them up. I have a little short cut for some of us lazier bakers!! I use my bread machine to mix the dough. Just put all the ingredients in your machine in the order specified by your machine manufacturer (i.e. mine is wet ingredients first, then dry) and run the machine on the dough cycle. Then just dump it out on your floured surface, knead a bit and continue with the directions. They came out great and while the bread is mixing, kneading and doing the first rise you can go on with something else. This works great for me. I do bread this way (I have 4 machines that I’ve picked up at yard/estate sales for $5 and less). Happy baking all and enjoy Suzanne’s wonderful cocoa rolls!!!

  9. ChristaH says:


  10. BuckeyeGirl says:

    Oh my! I didn’t really need to see this you know. :woof:

  11. mammaleigh says:

    BEG I was agreeing with you on that! It looks so good thankfully I don’t have all the ingredients in the house so I cant get in to trouble until next week!

  12. oct4luv says:

    Those look amazing! I need to get over my fear of trying to bake with yeast and try some of your bread recipes already!!! I used a yeast packet once many, many years ago in home economics/cooking class so I know it can work for me. :eating:

  13. Praiz says:

    These are crazy and brilliant! Why has nobody ever thought to do this before? I am so glad YOU did…..can’t wait to try these. :hungry:

  14. Sue, a Florida Farm Girl says:

    I knew there was a reason I didn’t look at the cooking posts!!! You’ve got me wanting to make all this stuff and then I’d be the only one eating it around our house. DH has health issues, you see, and he’s got the willpower to not eat what is bad for him. (sigh) So, no cheeses or chocolate rolls for us.

  15. Liz Pike says:

    Made these for Hurricane Irene!

  16. LadyV says:

    MMMMMMMMMMMMM!! Suzanne. That’s all I have to say about these delicious rolls! I’ve made cinnamon rolls with nutella and chocolate chips rolled inside, but never had I thought about a chocolate sweet rolls. These are amazing and you were right to warn me not to make them while alone; I’ve eaten about 6 rolls and as I’m typing, I’m craving another! This recipe is a keeper for sure in all of their choclatey deliciousness. Oh, did I mention you added the perfect amount of cocoa powder and sugar. I’ve made chocolate bread before, but this one beats all. MMMMMMMMMMMM!! Guess that wasn’t all I had to say after all. Thanks again for sharing this wonderful recipe, Suzanne. Up next, your bear claw recipe, and after that, I’m thinking dump cake and maybe another batch of these cocoa rolls. I’m considering shipping them to family, so they can taste the goodness that is these rolls!

Add Your Thoughts