Hot cocoa rolls—these delectable sweet treats are a play-on cinnamon rolls! They are filled with hot cocoa powder and topped with a gooey cream cheese marshmallow frosting.
I absolutely love cinnamon rolls! There is something about the warmth and richness of the gooey inside of the roll paired with the soft baked bread and stick, finger-licking glaze. I’m always looking for ways to change things up, and you can create a lot of variations working with the concept of a cinnamon roll.
These hot cocoa rolls do not disappoint. They have the delicious traditional texture of a cinnamon roll but with the flavor of a cup of hot cocoa. The marshmallow frosting has a cream cheese base to give you the sweet, smooth flavor you crave with a classic roll. You can even add things to the top of your rolls like you would your cup of hot cocoa if you like to customize.
Why You’ll Love These Hot Cocoa Rolls
- The baking process is calming. One thing I love about baking is how comforting it is. Working with the dough, letting it rise, filling the dough once it’s laid out, and then precisely rolling the dough brings me joy. Don’t let it intimidate you!
- These rolls are a new spin on a classic bakery item. They are delectable and a household favorite when I make them. The good thing about these rolls is that the bread is the same as a regular roll, so the only things changing are the filling and frosting. It makes these rolls the perfect amount of richness without being overly sweet.
- They are easy to make your own. In our family, we all have different things we like to add to our cups of hot cocoa. These rolls are no exception. You can top them just like you’d top your hot cocoa!
Equipment Needed To Make Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls
- Mixing bowls
- Stand mixer with dough hook (or you can knead by hand)
- Plastic wrap
- Rolling pin
- 9×13 pan
Ingredients For Your Hot Cocoa Buns
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- 1 Package instant yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- Unsalted Butter
- Whole milk
- Hot cocoa powder
- Large marshmallows
- Cream cheese
- Powdered sugar
How To Make Hot Cocoa Buns
- First, combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine warm milk, melted butter. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour milk mixture and egg into the center.
- With your mixer attached with the dough hook knead dough until it forms a ball and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. You can also knead the dough with your hands if you prefer.
- Place dough in a well greased bowl and lightly cover with plastic wrap. Then, let the dough rest in a dark cool corner until it doubles in size. This should take about 30 minutes.
- When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your fist. This will deflate your dough and release the gasses.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into a 16×9 inch rectangle. Then, spread softened butter over the dough and sprinkle with hot cocoa powder.
- Now, it’s time to make your rolls! Tightly roll the dough beginning with the long side. Then, pinch together the edges. Slice rolls evenly into 9 large or 12 medium sized rolls. Tip: Using dental floss to slice your rolls will give them a more neat and even cut.
- Place rolls into a lightly greased 9×13 inch pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise again while you are preheating your oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake rolls for 15-18 minutes or until the centers are lightly golden brown in color.
- Allow the rolls to cool while making the marshmallow frosting.
- To make the marshmallow frosting, place marshmallows in a large glass microwave safe bowl. Heat them for 30 seconds, then stir until smooth. If not smooth, reheat for 10 second increments stirring after each time.
- Then, beat in softened butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt; beat until smooth.
- Spread over rolls and enjoy!
Popular Additions to your Hot Cocoa Rolls Recipe
I like to add things to the top of my hot cocoa rolls, just like I would add things to the top of my cup of hot cocoa. Here are some of my favorites:
- Peppermint pieces
- Sprinkle of cinnamon
- Shaved chocolate
- Chopped nuts
How To Store & Reheat Your Hot Cocoa “Cinnamon” Rolls
If you have any leftovers, you’ll want to store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Make sure you let them cool completely, so you don’t transfer excess moisture to your rolls. The condensation buildup can make your cinnamon rolls soggy.
To reheat you can use a microwave and heat for 20-second intervals until warm. You can also reheat your hot cocoa rolls in the oven. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and place the rolls inside for 5-10 minutes until just warm.
Hot Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls FAQs
Why should you punch down dough?
Punching down the dough helps release the gasses and any bubbles that build-up while it is rising. When you punch down the dough, you are redistributing the components of your dough to ensure it has the proper texture.
Can I make my hot cocoa roll dough ahead of time?
Yes, you can! You can make your rolls and put them in the fridge, making sure they are sealed. The next day, you can bake them in the oven as directed. I wouldn’t store the dough in the fridge for more than 24 hours.
Can I use cocoa powder instead of the hot cocoa mix?
Yes! If you don’t want to or don’t have any hot cocoa mix packets on hand, you can use cocoa powder. You will want to add some sugar to your cocoa powder, or it will be very tart.
I recommended a light dusting of the cocoa powder followed by a dusting of sugar to balance it out. A 1:1 ratio would be best, depending on how sweet you like your rolls.
Can I use premade dough instead of making my own?
Sure! If you don’t feel like making your own dough for your hot cocoa rolls, you can use puff pastry sheets and even frozen pizza dough! Keep in mind that the texture will come out differently depending on which type of premade dough you decide to go with.
If you are making these for a special occasion, you might want to play around and do some test runs with different doughs to see what one you like best.
Other Bread Recipes You’ll Love:
Don’t Forget To Come Back And Let Me Know How Your Hot Cocoa Buns Turned Out!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 package instant yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup whole milk warmed
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup softened butter
- ¼ cup hot cocoa powder
- 15 large marshmallows 15 marshmallows
- 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup to 1 cup powdered sugar
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
In a separate bowl, combine warm milk, melted butter.
Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour milk mixture and egg into the center.
With your mixer attached with the dough hook, or your hands, knead dough until it forms a ball and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
Place dough in a well greased bowl and lightly cover with plastic wrap.
Let dough rest in a dark cool corner until it doubles in size, about 30 minutes.
When dough has doubled in size, punch down.
On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x9 inch rectangle.
Spread softened butter over dough and sprinkle with hot cocoa powder
Tightly roll the dough beginning with the long side. Pinch together the edges.
Slice rolls evenly into 9 large or 12 medium sized rolls.
Place rolls into a lightly greased 9x13 inch pan.
Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise again while you are preheating your oven.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake rolls for 15-18 minutes or until the centers are lightly golden brown in color.
Allow to cool while making the marshmallow frosting.
To make the marshmallow frosting, place marshmallows in a large glass microwave safe bowl. Heat them for 30 seconds, then stir until smooth. If not smooth, reheat for 10 second increments stirring after each time.
Beat in softened butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt; beat until smooth.
Spread over rolls and enjoy!