Citrus, cinnamon and chocolate come together in these fluffy homemade Chocolate Orange Cinnamon Rolls that will bring the sleepiest of heads out of their beds in the morning!
- 1 cup warm whole milk (110°F degrees)
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast (2–1/4 teaspoons)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
- 2–1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 cup chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate chips)
- 1–1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest, for garnishing
- Warm milk on the stovetop or in the microwave to 110°F.
- In a large bowl, stir together the yeast and sugar. Gently pour the warm milk over the sugar and yeast. Allow to proof, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk in the beaten egg and melted butter. Stir in the flour and salt with a wooden spoon until a smooth wet dough is formed. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll dough to a 15×20-inch rectangle.
- For the filling, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until well combined. With a spatula, spread filling mixture evenly over dough almost to the edges. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons orange zest and then the chocolate chips.
- Beginning at the 20-inch side, roll the dough up tightly and pinch the edge against the side of the roll. Using a serrated knife, cut the roll into 12 slices, roughly 1-1/2 inch cuts, discarding the very ends that have little filling in them.
- Place the roll slices, cut side down, slightly apart in a buttered 13×9-inch baking pan.
- Place the pan in the oven and turn the oven to 350°F. The rolls will rise as the oven preheats. Bake until rolls are lightly browned on top, about 25 minutes total. Check the rolls after 15 minutes of baking and if they’re already lightly browned on top, cover them with foil and let them continue to bake until baked all the way through. Let rolls rest in the pan while you prepare the glaze.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth and of drizzling consistency. If the glaze is too thin, add additional powdered sugar. If the glaze is too thick, add additional orange juice.
- Drizzle glaze over warm rolls. Garnish with 1 tablespoon orange zest. Serve.
Leftover cinnamon rolls can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat for 5-10 minutes in a warm oven.