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Chocolate hazelnut rolls

These soft and fluffy rolls have a nutella and chocolate filling, and are topped with a delicious chocolate hazelnut cream cheese frosting for a perfect chocolate twist on my classic cinnamon rolls!

After sharing my classic soft and fluffy cinnamon roll recipe I have been so excited to make my rolls with a fun twist. I have so many ideas for fun flavors, but since chocolate hazelnut is one of my all time favorites, it only felt right to start here!

The filling for these rolls starts with spreading a thin layer of nutella, and then you'll sprinkle a mixture of brown sugar and cocoa powder. This results in the most amazing gooey chocolatey filling that truly exceeded all of my expectations. For our topping, we'll use a cream cheese frosting, similar to our classic rolls, but of course with nutella. It brings the perfect amount of chocolate hazelnut flavor, with just the right level of sweetness.

To make your dough you'll follow a few steps, and really your mixer will do a lot of the hard work. First into your stand mixer you'll activate your dry active yeast with warm milk and sugar. I like to use a food thermometer for this to be sure my milk is the right temperature but you can definitely do it without. You'll then add in the rest of your dough ingredients in phases and mix with your paddle attachment quickly until a rough dough forms like the first picture below. Then, you'll switch to your dough hook and knead the dough for about 6 to 8 minutes. I like to check around 6 minutes and if the dough is super sticky (some sticking to the bottom is completely normal) you can add another tablespoon or two of all purpose flour. In the end, you'll know it's done if you poke the dough and it sort of unsticks and snaps back from a clean and dry fingertip. Finally you'll gently transfer your dough into your greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and you'll let it rise until it has doubled in size. To see what the dough looks like in each phase, check out my original soft and fluffy cinnamon roll recipe.

Once your dough has gone through its first proof, you'll remove it from your bowl and place onto a floured surface and roll it out to a 9 x 14 inch rectangle. Then you'll spread your nutella filling across the top. Next comes the cocoa and sugar filling. After you mix your brown sugar and cocoa powder together, you'll sprinkle it and lightly pat it down to secure it on top of your nutella layer.

Gently lift from the long side (the 14 inch side) and tightly roll your dough into a log. Ensuring the seam is on the bottom of the log, use a sharp knife to cut off about a quarter inch on each end using a back and forth motion to cut. Then, measure out your 9 rolls, each should be about an inch and a half. I like to score first making marks across the log so I'll know where to cut. When you place the rolls into your lined square pan, you can take the "tail" or end of your roll and gently tuck it underneath (you can see this in the photos below). This will help to ensure they don't separate or burst open when baking.

Then it will be time for one final proof before baking. And you have two options here:

  1. Option one is to cover your rolls and leave them at room temperature to proof for about 45 minutes

  2. Option two, if you want to bake the next day, you can cover and place your formed rolls into the fridge - I don't recommend doing this for any longer than 8 hours. The next day, just remove your pan from the fridge and let your rolls continue to proof until they're puffy and touching one another (30 minutes or less)

Then it's time to bake! Your rolls are ready when they're lightly golden on the top and you want to frost your rolls when they're still warm - about 10 or 15 minutes after they leave the oven.

Nothing against cinnamon rolls, but sometimes I'm not in the mood for cinnamon and these are perfect for a chocolatey swap in for a fun breakfast or weekend treat. These will wow any chocolate hazelnut lover, and the texture of the buns truly shines through.



  • 3/4 cup (2% or whole milk)

  • 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 24g

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature* 57g

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar 48g 

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 3/4 cups bread flour 210g

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour 150g

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

  • Neutral oil (for greasing a large bowl)


  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon nutella or chocolate hazelnut spread 93g

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar 64g

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 

Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3 tablespoons nutella 56g

  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese 45g

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 60g

  • 1 teaspoon milk

*Ensure your butter and cream cheese is soft to the touch, especially for the frosting.

Total time: 4-5 hours

Prep time: 30-45 minutes

Bake time: 22-26 minutes

Proof time: 2-3 hours

Servings: 9 rolls


  • 9x9in square pan

  • Stand mixer with paddle and hook attachments

  • Rubber or wooden spatula

  • Rolling pin

  • Offset spatula or flat tool for spreading

  • Parchment paper

  • Sharp knife

  • Other tools: medium and large bowls, plastic wrap, clean towel, food thermometer, measuring tape, bowls, whisk

Cooking instructions:

Make your dough. Warm your milk in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, getting it to about 100-110 degrees. It should feel warm, not hot.

Into your mixer with the paddle attachment, add your warm milk, yeast and granulated sugar. Mix for a few seconds and let sit for 5-10 minutes until your yeast blooms - it should look foamy.

Add in your soft room temperature butter, light brown sugar, egg and vanilla extract and mix on a medium speed until mostly combined for about a minute. Don't worry about your butter fully mixing in.

In a separate bowl, combine both flours and salt. Add in about half of your dry ingredients into your mixer and turn your mixer on at the lowest speed until your ingredients are just combined. Add in the rest of your flour mixture and mix at a low speed for another 30 seconds until a shaggy dough forms.

Scrape the sides of your bowl and your paddle attachment and then replace with your hook attachment. Turn your mixer on at a medium speed and leave to knead for about 8 minutes. Check at 6 minutes and if your mixture is too sticky (a little sticking to the bottom of your bowl is completely normal) you can add in 1-2 extra tablespoons of all purpose flour.

Once your dough ball has formed, add your dough into a large, greased bowl - the bowl should be at least double the size of your dough. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and top with a towel. Leave to proof for about an hour and a half or until your dough nearly doubles in size. Know that the temperature in your space will impact the timing (if it's warm it may take less time, and if it's cool it may take longer).

Roll and shape your dough. When your dough is almost fully proofed, get your filling ready. Ensure you have measured nutella filling ready to go. In a separate small bowl, combine your light brown sugar and cocoa powder until your sugar is fully coated in cocoa.

Onto a floured surface (use all purpose), add your dough and gently shape it into a rectangle. Sprinkle some additional flour on top and roll out your dough to a 9 inch x 14 inch rectangle.

Spread your nutella across the top of your dough and then sprinkle your sugar and cocoa mixture evenly on top and gently press into your nutella. Then, lifting from the 14 inch side, tightly roll your dough forming a 14 inch log. Use a sharp knife with a back and forth seesawing motion to cut 9 rolls about 1 1/2 inch thick discarding the very ends of your dough log (about a quarter inch on each end).

Place your shaped rolls spaced out into a lined square pan in three rows of three. I like to tuck the "tail" end of the rolls underneath when I put them into my pan. Cover your pan with plastic wrap and top with a towel again and let your rolls proof a second time until they are puffy and touching one another. This should take between 45 minutes and an hour. Note: if you prefer, you can place into the fridge for up to 8 hours once shaped, but before the second proof. This will "pause" or slow the proofing process and then you can leave your rolls at room temperature for about 30 minutes, covered, to finish proofing when you're ready to bake.

Bake and frost your rolls. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake your rolls for 22-25 minutes. You don't want to over bake them but the tops should be lightly golden across.

While your rolls are cooling just slightly, make your frosting. You can do this by hand with a whisk or using a stand or hand mixer. Mix your room temperature cream cheese and nutella together until completely smooth. Add in your powdered sugar and teaspoon of milk. Continue to mix until fully combined. You can always add more powdered sugar based on preference. Spread onto your warm rolls (about 10-15 minutes after they come out of the oven), slice in and enjoy!

You can store your rolls in the fridge for a few days or wrap individually and freeze. To enjoy again bring them to room temperature and then warm them up quickly in the microwave - about 10 to 15 seconds. Of course nothing beats fresh baked, but they really do taste delicious reheated too!

Carb and serving info: 

Carbs for full recipe: 578

Servings: 9 rolls

Carbs per serving: 62**

**Accounts for discarding the ends

Carbs in dough: 359

Carbs in filling: 122

Carbs in frosting: 98

Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.


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