These rolls are dedicated to all of the Nutella lovers out there - the ultimate Chocolate Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls. Every layer is packed full of chocolate hazelnut, from the Nutella brioche dough to the chocolate hazelnut filling and finally my super thick Nutella frosting.
Tell me about these rolls
- Super soft Nutella brioche dough. This is a bit of a chocolate hazelnut upgrade on the dough I use in my classic brioche cinnamon rolls, adding a bit of Nutella straight into the dough.
- Chocolate hazelnut and cinnamon filling. This recipe not only uses Nutella, but also finely chopped hazelnuts, milk chocolate chips and of course ground cinnamon, to ensure every bite is packed full of flavour and texture.
- Thick melted Nutella frosting. If you liked the Nutella glaze in my Raspberry Nutella Cinnamon Rolls, you're going to love this version, which is even thicker, creamier and more Nutella-y.
Ingredient Notes for the Dough
This dough uses essentially the same ingredients as my standard brioche cinnamon roll dough, used in recipes like my Coconut Cinnamon Rolls or my Biscoff Cinnamon Rolls. The main change here is that I also add Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread to the mix.
- Milk - full fat milk or whole milk. As part of the recipe this will need to be warmed to 104°F (40C) in order to activate your yeast.
- Dry active yeast - a standard sized packet of yeast should work in this recipe.
- Sugar - just a tiny bit of sugar helps to bring this dough together.
- Flour - all purpose flour or plain flour.
- Bread flour - sometimes called strong flour.
- Eggs - large eggs at room temperature
- Butter - unsalted butter, softened at room temperature and cut into small chunks. You don't have to be precise with the size of these pieces, but you want roughly teaspoon sized bits for them to incorporate best into the dough. You can also use salted butter here, but it will add saltiness to the overall recipe.
- Nutella - any chocolate hazelnut spread should work here, but I have not tested the recipe with everything available on the market. Aim for a good quality thick and smooth spread for best results.
How to Make Nutella Brioche
To make this brioche dough, you'll want to follow similar processes as when making my basic brioche with a few tweaks.
- Start by warming the milk with some of the Nutella added, stirring to help the spread dissolve into the milk. This will help infuse the flavour more strongly in the rolls.
- Once the milk is at temperature, remove from the heat and add your yeast. Stir this together and then leave until the yeast develops a foam on top.
- In the bowl of a standmixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together the flours, sugar and salt.
- Add the milk/yeast mixture to the flour mix, immediately followed by two eggs and one white. Reserve the remaining yolk as usual for an egg wash (or set aside for another recipe, like my Vanilla Custard or Chocolate Pastry Cream).
- Knead the mixture on a low setting for about 15 minutes until its come together in a dough that is pulling itself off the sides of the bowl.
- Next add your butter a few bits at a time and the remaining Nutella. Continue kneading on a low setting for a further 15 minutes until the dough is once again pulling itself from the sides of the bowl.
- Scrape the Nutella Brioche into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a slow proof overnight (or about 8 hours).
Ingredient Notes for the Filling
The filling for this recipe is made up of four ingredients. All you'll need is:
- Nutella spread - or any smooth chocolate hazelnut spread.
- Cinnamon - ground cinnamon is essential for any cinnamon roll!
- Hazelnuts - finely chopped roasted or blanched hazelnuts work best in this recipe. You can often buy these pre-chopped, but if not, use a food processor to blitz the hazelnuts to a rough crumb.
- Chocolate chips - milk chocolate chips or solid milk chocolate chopped into small chunks. You can use semi-sweet or dark/plain chocolate here, but the milk chocolate will accentuate the flavours in the chocolate hazelnut spread. Darker chocolates may overpower the hazelnut.
How to Make Chocolate Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls
After your dough's first 'slow' proof (image 1 below), it's time to get these rolled!
- Start by lining a square baking pan with parchment paper. This just makes life easier for serving.
- Then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work top and use a rolling pin to roll into a large rectangle (about 12" wide by 15" long).
- Spread the Nutella over the surface of the dough, leaving a gap around the edges. Then sprinkle the cinnamon over the surface. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips as well.
- Roll the dough up into a tight log from the bottom to the top. (image 2 below)
- Using flavorless dental floss or a thin kitchen twine, trim the ends of the dough log, removing uneven and unfilled rolls. Then divide the remaining log into 9 slices.
- Use the floss to cut these and place the 9 rolls in the lined pan (image 3 below) to proof at room temperature for about 2 hours, until doubled in size. (image 4 below)
Once the dough has completed it's second proof, you're ready to bake!
- Start off by preheating the oven and making a quick egg wash using the reserved yolk and a splash of milk. The milk for the egg wash doesn't need to be full-fat if you've run out from making the rolls!
- Brush your egg wash over the proofed rolls.
- Place these in the centre of the preheated oven and let bake for about 25-30 minutes, until risen and going lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes while you prepare the frosting.
Fudgy Nutella Frosting
In my Raspberry Nutella Cinnamon Roll recipe, we used a Nutella glaze which was essentially just Nutella, powdered sugar and milk whisked together. This was a thinner, but quick and simple glaze.
For this recipe, we're adding a bit more oomph and going for a thick, almost fudgy Nutella glaze.
- Nutella - or any other chocolate hazelnut spread. Ideally this should be smooth spread, otherwise you will have lumps.
- Powdered sugar - or icing sugar. This doesn't normally need sifted for this recipe, though I do always recommend sifting if your sugar has any really firm lumps.
- Vanilla extract - a touch of vanilla is great for bringing this all together.
- Milk - a few teaspoons of milk help to loosen this thick Nutella frosting up so that it is easier to spread over your warm rolls. This doesn't need to be full-fat or whole milk, though I do generally recommend using full-fat milk for my recipes. You can use 2% or semi-skimmed.
- Optional - chopped hazelnuts and/or chocolate chips for finishing touch.
The process here is quite similar to my Biscoff Cinnamon Roll Frosting. You'll want to start off with melting down the chocolate hazelnut spread in a small saucepan. Your goal isn't to bring this to a boil, just to warm it enough to be runny. Then remove from the heat and add the powdered sugar. Stir this together and then add the vanilla and milk, stirring until smooth.
Spread the frosting over the rolls immediately - it will begin to harden up like a fudge and will become more difficult to spread smoothly as it cools.
Tips and Tricks
- When activating the yeast, your foam may look slightly different, less full, than you're used to in making my other brioche doughs. Don't worry - as long as it does show signs of being active, it's fine!
- When you begin kneading your dough together in the stand mixer, you may find that you need to stop mixing and scrape the sides of the bowl to knock flour down into the dough. This happens at the start of the process (within the first minute or two) and will depend on the size/capacity of your stand mixer.
- Baking dough with Nutella in it can mean that the bread is a bit darker than you might be used to - this can make it tough to see when it starts going 'golden' and might make you feel it's getting brown too quick. To test the dough, gently press the centre of the central roll, this shouldn't sink down too much, but should spring back a bit - basically it shouldn't feel like you have uncooked dough underneath.
- The order of adding powdered sugar to the melted Nutella before adding the vanilla and milk is quite important. If you add the vanilla first, this will cause the hot Nutella to seize and may make it impossible for you to create a smooth frosting.
Just like any cinnamon roll, these chocolate hazelnut rolls leave you a lot of creative opportunity.
- Different chocolates - I recommend milk chocolate in these rolls to accent the Nutella spread, but you can use any flavour you like. Try a mixture of milk, plain and white for fun!
- Chopped nuts or not - so I've always like nut flavoured things, but when I was younger I was not a fan of the texture of adding chopped nuts. If this is you (or someone you're making these rolls for), don't worry. You can just leave out the additional chopped hazelnuts both inside and on top of the rolls. It will have no impact on the process and baking times you follow otherwise.
- Change the frosting - if melting chocolate hazelnut spread for the frosting doesn't sound like something you want to get into, try my Nutella Glaze from my Nutella and Raspberry Rolls. Similarly, if you'd like something a bit different (or *gasp* have run out of Nutella) you can pair these with a cream cheese frosting like the one I use in my Coconut Cinnamon Rolls (minus the toasted coconut).
Like my other cinnamon rolls, I firmly believe these are at their finest fresh. You can't really beat a warm fresh baked cinnamon roll and my hazelnut cinnamon rolls with chocolate are no different!
That said, you can absolutely enjoy leftovers for a few days. Keep these well wrapped at room temperature (in a relatively cool space) for best results.
You can also freeze these cinnamon rolls, but if doing so I'd recommend freezing unfrosted. Bake the rolls as directed, allow to cool completely, wrap well and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, allow to defrost at room temperature, rewarm in the oven and add the topping.
Absolutely! If my Raspberry Nutella Cinnamon Rolls left you in any doubt, let these Chocolate Hazelnut Rolls confirm that you can definitely incorporate Nutella into your brunch bakes.
These rolls are a particular treat for the Nutella lover as there is chocolate hazelnut spread in the brioche dough, plenty in the filling and a fudgy thick frosting all packed with the decadent spread.
Looking for more chocolate hazelnut inspiration? Try:
Chocolate Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls
- 8" square baking tray
- stand mixer fitted with a dough hook
Ingredients for Nutella Brioche Dough
- ¼ cup full fat milk or whole milk
- 2 tablespoon Nutella or other smooth chocolate hazelnut spread. This will be divided into two halves when adding to the recipe
- 2¼ teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour or plain flour
- ¾ cup bread flour or strong flour
- 3 large eggs ideally at room temperature, one divided into yolk and white
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter softened at room temperature and cut into small pieces
Ingredients for the Filling
- 6 oz Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
- 1 oz hazelnuts blanched or roasted, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 oz milk chocolate chips or solid milk chocolate, roughly chopped into small chunks
Ingredients for the Nutella Frosting
- 3 tablespoon Nutella or other smooth chocolate hazelnut spread
- ¾ cup powdered sugar or icing sugar, no need to sift unless especially lumpy
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoon milk with full fat (whole) or 2% (semi-skimmed)
Instructions for Nutella Brioche Dough
- Begin by warming the milk with half of the Nutella spread (1 tablespoon). This can be done in the microwave in bursts - stopping and stirring on 10 second increments until the Nutella is melted into the milk. Or, it can be done in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the Nutella dissolves.
- Allow the milk to cool slightly to be about 104°F (40C) and then sprinkle the yeast over top. Give this a stir and then set aside for about 10 minutes until the yeast has developed a foam.
- Meanwhile, place your flours, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Give this a quick stir.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour, immediately followed by 2 whole eggs and one egg yolk (just to note: if you're adjusting the size of this recipe, these measurements will need adjusted too).
- Turn the mixer to a low setting and knead for about 15 minutes, stopping occasionally at the beginning to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure all the flour is incorporated. Knead until you have a dough that is beginning to pull itself from the sides of the bowl.
- At this stage, begin to slowly add the butter a couple of small pieces at a time, with the mixer still on a low setting. Finally add the remaining Nutella. Knead on a low setting for a further 15 minutes until your dough is again pulling itself from the sides of the bowl.
- Scrape the dough into a greased mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in the refrigerator for a slow proof of about 8 hours (or overnight).
Instructions for Forming the Rolls
- After the first proof, line a square baking pan with parchment paper.
- Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a well floured work surface. Press the dough into a rectangular shape and then use a rolling pin to form a large rectangle about 12" wide by 15" long.
- Spread the Nutella over the surface of the dough, leaving a gap around the edges.
- Sprinkle the ground cinnamon over the top and then sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
- Roll the dough up from the bottom to the top to form a tight log.
- Using flavorless dental floss or a thin kitchen twine, an inch or so off the ends of the log to remove uneven and unfilled dough.
- Divide the log into nine and cut your rolls using the floss. Place these in your lined baking pan and cover with a kitchen towel. Allow to proof at room temperature for about 2 hours, until doubled in size.
Instructions for Baking
- After 2 hours, preheat your oven to 350°F (175C/155C Fan).
- Add a splash (about a half tablespoon) of milk to your reserved egg yolk and beat with a fork to create a quick egg wash.
- Brush the egg wash over the tops of your rolls.
- Place the rolls in the centre of the preheated oven to bake for about 25-30 minutes, checking for them to be risen and golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes while you make your frosting.
Instructions for the Nutella Frosting
- Melt your Nutella down until it is runny - this can be done in the microwave, in short increments, stirring between each until you have a runny spread. Or, it can be done in a small saucepan over a medium heat.
- Once the Nutella is runny, remove from the heat and add the powdered sugar. Stir this to begin incorporating and then add your vanilla and milk. Stir until smooth.
- Immediately pour the mixture over the warm rolls and spread. The frosting will begin to thicken and set (forming a bit of a crust) as it cools, so for best results spread it quickly.
- Top the rolls with chopped hazelnuts and/or chocolate chips for added decoration, flavour and texture.