VEGAN CHOCOLATE CINNAMON ROLLS
4 ¼ cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided (plus more for flouring surface)
1 packet activated yeast
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
½ cup Valrhona Cocoa Powder
1 ¼ cup dairy-free milk, unsweetened
¼ cup salted vegan butter, melted and room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce or dairy free yogurt, room temperature
½ cup vegan butter, melted and hot
5 oz Amatika Chocolate, chopped
- Please read through all instructions before beginning.
- Prep: Grease a medium sized bowl with olive oil or coconut oil, and set aside. Make sure the vegan butter for the dough is melted and cooled.
- Activate the yeast: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the dairy-free milk until it reaches 110F- use a food thermometer to accurately measure the temperature. Any cooler or hotter, and the yeast won’t activate properly. Add in 1 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp sugar. Gently whisk together, then sprinkle yeast, mix with a spoon lightly, cover, and let activate for 10 minutes in a warm area.
- Whisk together the flour: In a medium bowl, add the Cocoa Powder to the remaining flour, and whisk together. Set aside.
- Make the dough: When the yeast mixture is activated, pour the mixture into a large bowl or a stand mixer with the dough attachment. Add in the remaining sugar, applesauce, melted vegan butter, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until combined. Then add in about half of the flour, and mix on medium speed until the flour starts to incorporate into the wet mixture. Add the remaining flour, and mix on medium speed until a shaggy dough forms. Lightly flour a clean surface and place the dough onto the surface, sprinkling some extra flour on top or kneading.
- First proof: Knead the dough lightly, for 2-4 minutes, until it forms a smooth dough ball that’s not sticky. Then place the dough into the greased medium bowl, cover with a cloth or wrap, and place into a warm area to let rise for 1 hour. It should be double in size. If it’s at least 80F outside, you can place the bowl outside, otherwise you can place it in the oven (which is turned off) and turn on the oven light or start preheating the oven to 350F and place the bowl near or on top of the oven.
- While the dough is rising: Grease a large casserole dish with oil and set aside. Then make the filling. In a medium saucepan, heat together the vegan butter, sugar, and cinnamon, mixing until the sugar is dissolved, and the butter mixture is hot. Add in the Valrhona Cocoa Powder, and whisk until you reach a consistent chocolate mixture. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and add in the Amatika Chocolate. Stir the chocolate into the mixture until it completely melts. Then set the chocolate filling aside to cool and thicken at room temperature.
- Make the vegan chocolate cinnamon rolls: After the dough has doubled, you can chill the dough for 1 hour in the fridge. This will help your chocolate filling not melt when you're spreading it onto the dough. Once chilled, lightly punch down the dough. You can use flour or Cocoa Powder to lightly flour a clean surface, and place the dough in the middle. Sprinkle a little extra flour on top of the dough and flour the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to be a large rectangle (12 in x 18 in). Spread the chocolate filling mixture to the edges of the dough. Roll into tight rolls and away from you. Slice the roll into 12 even chocolate cinnamon rolls. To easily slice, you can use a piece of thin twine or unflavored floss. Place into the oil-greased dish.
- Second proof: Cover again with a clean towel or wrap, and place over or by the oven while the oven preheats to 350F. Let the cinnamon rolls rise for 30 minutes while the oven is preheating.
- Bake the chocolate cinnamon rolls: Place the chocolate cinnamon rolls into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the middle of the cinnamon rolls does not sink. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the icing.
- Make the chocolate icing: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the vegan butter until hot. Stir in the Amatika chocolate until completely melted and you’ve created a thick ganache-like texture.
- Serve and enjoy! Drizzle the chocolate icing onto the chocolate cinnamon rolls, and serve warm. If you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container and place them in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, simply warm them on a baking sheet with parchment paper at 350F for 5-7 minutes.