If you're looking for a bit of a boozy brunch treat, these chocolate Guinness cinnamon rolls with Baileys Irish Cream are a winner! Soft and malty Guinness chocolate dough with a Baileys cinnamon sugar filling and a quick Baileys cream frosting.
Tell me about these rolls
These Guinness chocolate rolls were developed as a bit of a St Patrick's Day themed brunch. The chocolate and Guinness stout bread dough is soft, with a malted flavor from the Guinness accentuating the chocolate. Inside is a sticky Baileys sugar cinnamon filling, which will ooze out a bit as they bake.
The rolls are topped off with a two ingredient Baileys Irish Cream frosting for a bit of a boozy punch.
These rolls are made up of three parts: the chocolate stout dough, the filling and the frosting.
Stout and Chocolate Dough
- Milk - full fat or whole milk, warmed to 104°F/40C. The temperature here is important to activate your yeast.
- Dry active yeast
- Sugar - granulated sugar or caster sugar will be fine here. This sugar will be divided - a teaspoon added to your warmed milk to help activate the yeast and the rest added straight to your dry ingredients.
- Bread flour - this recipe uses white bread flour, sometimes called strong flour.
- Cocoa powder - I recommend dutch processed in this recipe to really bring out the rich chocolate flavor, but standard cocoa powder will work here too.
- Oil - a flavorless oil, such as canola oil or sunflower oil. You can use olive oil here, but olive oil does have a strong flavor which can impact the overall flavor of your recipe.
- Eggs - large eggs at room temperature.
- Guinness stout - you don't have to use Guinness in this recipe, any stout will work in this recipe to add a malt finish and accentuate the chocolate flavor of the cocoa powder.
Baileys Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- Butter - unsalted butter, softened at room temperature. You can use salted butter here but it will add saltiness to the overall flavor profile of the roles.
- Light brown sugar - sometimes called muscovado or soft brown sugar. Measurements for this should be firmly packed.
- Cinnamon - the key ingredient of any cinnamon roll! Plenty of ground cinnamon.
- Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur - or another whisky cream liqueur.
- Powdered sugar - or icing sugar. This doesn't normally need to be sifted for making a glaze like this one, but if your powdered sugar is particularly lumpy (especially if some of the lumps are pretty solid), you might want to sift it to break down clumps.
- Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur - or another brand of whisky cream liqueur.
How to Make Guinness Chocolate Dough
The chocolate stout dough in this recipe is a fairly straightforward yeasted bread.
- Start by sprinkling the yeast and a teaspoon of sugar over the warmed milk. Stir this and set it aside to become frothy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, give your dry ingredients a stir.
- Once the milk is ready, pour this in, immediately followed by the oil, eggs and stout.
- Knead for 12-15 minutes at a medium speed until the dough has come together and is starting to pull itself away from the sides of the bowl.
- Scrape the dough into a greased bowl, cover and place in a warm spot in the kitchen for about 90 minutes until doubled in size.
Filling, Rolling and Baking
The process for filling these rolls is essentially the same as my other cinnamon roll recipes. The key steps are:
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface to a large rectangle (about 12" wide by 15" long).
- Blend the filling ingredients together to form a spreadable flavoured butter - spread this over the surface of your dough.
- Roll into a log, starting from the bottom and working your way to the top.
- Trim the uneven ends and then divide into 9 rolls.
- Place these in a lined square baking pan and allow to proof at room temperature for 30 minutes, while you preheat the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes until well risen.
Easy Baileys Cinnamon Roll Frosting
To frost, stir together your cream and Baileys until you have a smooth glaze.
You can adjust the consistency of the glaze if needed - add extra Baileys to make it thinner or more powdered sugar to make it thicker. The measurements provided should give a thick, but spreadable frosting.
Once the rolls have cooled for about 10 minutes, carefully remove from the pan, frost and serve.
- The temperature of the milk is important - too hot and you'll kill the yeast, too cold and it won't activate. If after 10 minutes, the yeast hasn't become frothy, something is wrong and it's probably best to start over at this stage to ensure the yeast is working correctly before getting too far into the recipe!
- To speed things up slightly, I like to add my eggs, oil and Guinness to a jug, this can then be tipped into the mixing bowl straight after the yeast mixture.
- This is a sticky dough - not as wet as a brioche, but still don't expect it to come completely clean off the bowl (especially the bottom) as you knead. On a medium setting, it should come together and be slapping the sides of the bowl as you mix after about 10-12 minutes.
Like any cinnamon roll, they're at their best when baked fresh! You can keep leftovers for a couple of days, wrapped well at room temperature.
You can get a head start on these rolls! There are a couple of options here:
You can do a slow proof, which means putting the dough in the refrigerator overnight. Once the dough has come together in your mixer, instead of placing this in a warm part of your kitchen for its first proof, you can cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 8 hours (or overnight). The next morning, remove from the refrigerator. Let the dough warm up slightly for about 15 minutes before rolling as directed. The second proof and baking will be the same as instructed in the recipe.
Alternatively you can make the rolls, bake these and then wrap with foil. The following day, reheat in the oven for about 15 minutes at 325°F to warm through before frosting.
Yes - there is about a third a bottle of Guinness Stout in the dough for these chocolate stout cinnamon rolls. This will essentially bake out in the process of this recipe, however, the Baileys in the frosting will stay boozy as this does not bake.
If you want to make this recipe without the Baileys frosting to reduce the alcohol, you can easily substitute with a Cream Cheese frosting, like the one I use with my Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls or a vanilla glaze like the one I add to my Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Rolls.
The recipe itself, however, is for Guinness Rolls, which means that the overall recipe does use alcohol. This has not been tested with reduced alcohol or alcohol free stouts.
If you like the look of these rolls, you might also like:
Chocolate Guinness Cinnamon Rolls with Baileys Frosting
- 8" square baking tray
- stand mixer fitted with a dough hook
Ingredients for Guinness Chocolate Dough
- ¼ cup full fat milk or whole milk, warmed to 104°F (40C)
- 2¼ teaspoon dry active yeast
- ¼ cup granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 3 cups bread flour or strong flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoon flavorless oil such as canola oil or sunflower oil
- 2 large eggs ideally at room temperature
- ¾ cup Guinness stout
Ingredients for Baileys Cinnamon Filling
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Baileys Irish cream
Ingredients for Baileys Frosting
- 1 cup powdered sugar or icing sugar
- 3 tablespoon Baileys Irish cream
- Begin by sprinkling the dry active yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar into the warm milk. Stir this and set aside for about 10 minutes to allow the yeast to become frothy.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and remaining sugar.
- Once the yeast is frothy, add this to the flour, immediately followed by the oil, eggs and Guinness.
- Knead the dough at a medium setting for about 12-15 minutes until it has come together and is beginning to pull itself from the sides of the bowl. (see note)
- Scrape the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
Instructions for the Filling
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and Baileys until you have a thick spreadable butter paste. Set aside until ready to fill the rolls.
- Line an 8" square baking pan with parchment paper.
- Once the dough has finished its first proof, turn this out onto a lightly floured work surface and use a rolling pin to roll out a large rectangle, about 12" wide by 15" long.
- Spread the butter mixture over the surface of the dough and roll tightly from the bottom to the top, forming a log.
- Using flavorless dental floss or kitchen twine, trim the ends of the log to remove uneven or unfilled dough. Then divide the remaining log into 9 roughly equal rolls. Place these in your lined baking pan and cover with a kitchen towel to proof at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Instructions for Baking and Frosting
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175C/155C Fan).
- After the second proof, bake the rolls in the centre of your preheated oven for about 30 minutes until well risen.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes while you prepare your frosting.
- Stir together your powdered sugar and Baileys liqueur until you have a smooth thick frosting. (see note)
- Frost this over your warm rolls and serve.