I’ve been on real cinnamon roll kick lately. Of course, with their the flavour and texture they’re kinda hard to ignore.
And with these snowy, blowy days, there is something so cozy about a pan of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. But I think a lot of it is the actual process of baking them up. Preparing the dough, letting it proof, and then rolling them up and letting them rise a second time. I love watching the whole process unfold.
And yes, the combination of butter, brown sugar, and loads of cinnamon will always make for the most amazing perfume in the kitchen. But these days, I’ve been playing with some variations on those flavours. When we were in Stockholm, I fell in love with Cardamombullar. They’re very similar to our cinnamon rolls, but with the emphasis on that wondrous spice that can be either savoury or sweet. These babies are not usually glazed the way we love, rather, egg washed and covered with pearl sugar.
So I decided that I would incorporate some cardamom into the latest version to come out of our kitchen. And instead of butter and brown sugar for the base of the filling, wouldn’t some decadent chocolate and nut flavoured filling be fun? So out came the Nutella! Combining this beloved spread with cinnamon and cardamom turned these cinnamon rolls into something sweet and smokey. Isn’t chocolate always a welcome addition to just about any baked good? Oooh, if you want to add a bit more chocolate into the filling (and amp up the decadence of these babies) add a 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips!
Instead of a simple sugar glaze, I had to cut through the sweet richness of the filling. So I thought, why not use a tangy cream cheese as the base. And then add some espresso for the thinning liquid? Oooh, this made for a glaze that I could eat with a spoon! I brought a batch of these to a potluck the other evening, and everyone seemed to like them. The baking pans were empty when I took them home 🙂
A trick that I learned from Becca, from the Displaced Housewife blog, is to use bread flour for a lot of baked goods, including cookies and muffins. So I figured, why not use them for cinnamon rolls? So glad I did. They puffed up so perfectly. The initial pastry recipe is one of Izy Hossack’s found here. I substituted the AP flour with Bob’s Red Mill Bread Flour, and it came together so easily.
The dough does require an hour of proofing before rolling out and filling. But you could slow down the rise by putting it into the fridge overnight. The rise will still happen, just more slowly. Then in the morning, it is just a matter of rolling and filling, cutting and resting for a bit longer. They are in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. So if you are having a lazy morning, you could start these first thing, and still have them up and running in a few hours. Start them at 7am and you and the family will be eating them 9:30am. That’s not too bad.
And because there is espresso in the glaze, you’ve already got a head start on your caffeine fix for the day!
Nutella Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls with an Espresso Glaze
Nutella adds chocolatey richness to the filling. The cardamom and cinnamon cut through the richness. And the the espresso cream cheese glaze balance the filling out perfectly. Perfect for a snowy morning. Or any morning really!
- 450 grams (1 pound/ 3 1/2 cups) bread flour, plus more for kneading
- 7 grams 1 packet dried yeast , each packet typically contains 8 grams, 1/4 oz or 2 1/4 tsp of yeast, see Notes
- 4 tablespoons honey or sugar I use sugar, and it works perfectly
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup Nutella , or any Chocolate Hazelnut spread
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cardamom
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
- 1/2 cup cream cheese , softened
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 oz espresso , cooled
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, honey or sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center of the ingredients, crack in the egg, and pour in 1 cup lukewarm water. Stir with your hands, then tip out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding a little more flour if needed, until you have a smooth, slightly sticky ball of dough.
Oil the bowl and place the dough in it. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Grease a large, deep ovenproof dish with some sunflower or avocado oil. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle, 20 x 12 1/2 inches.
Spread the Nutella over all of the dough.
In a small bowl sift the cinnamon and cardamom together. Using a small sieve, shake the spice mixture evenly over the Nutella.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the Nutella (if using)
Starting with a short edge, roll the dough into a 12 1/2 inches log, then cut the log into 12 even pieces and arrange each piece in the greased dish. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Remove the plastic wrap from the rolls bake for 35 to 45 minutes on middle rack until golden brown and well risen.
In the meantime, using a stand mixer or hand held version, blend the cream cheese and sugar together. Add the espresso and blend again till smooth. If you would like it thicker, add some more sugar. If you want it thinner, use a touch of milk.
Cool the rolls on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes before adding the glaze.
Spread the glaze over them. Let it set before serving.
Dough recipe is from Izy Hossack, found here. I replaced the AP flour with bread flour.
Yeast can be a tricky thing to measure. Most of us are using the packets of dried yeast. Typically they contain 8 grams, 1/4 oz, or 2 1/4 tsp of yeast grains. Even though this recipe calls for 7 grams, I just use the entire packet. I typically use a Quick Rise yeast. But I can't imagine that a Traditional Yeast wouldn't work equally well. Just might take a tad longer for the rise.