After making my first batch of quick yeast cinnamon rolls, they’ve become a part of our weekend routine. This weekend I decided to play around with the flavor and make Oreo cinnamon rolls!
It’s a sneaky way to normalize eating Oreos for breakfast, and I’m all for it!
The unique chocolate filling combined with a generous drizzle of delicious vanilla glaze make this recipe a wonderful way to start the weekend.
The Secret Ingredient in These Oreo Cinnamon Rolls
The trademarks of an Oreo are its unique chocolatey taste and that signature dark color.
To help translate both aspects into these oreo cinnamon rolls, I use black cocoa in the filling!
Black cocoa has a slightly higher pH than Dutch-processed cocoa (8 vs. 7) and is less acidic than natural baking cocoa (5-6).
This gives the cinnamon rolls a bittersweet, chocolaty taste just like an Oreo cookie!
It’s absolutely delicious, and pairs great with the brown sugar and hint of cinnamon in the filling.
Hershey’s makes a popular version of this that can be found at most large grocery stores.
How Much Flour Am I Supposed to Use??
One part of this recipe that can be a bit daunting or hard to interpret is the amount of flour this recipe uses. As you can see on the recipe card, it isn’t a set amount.
I tried so hard to find the perfect amount, but the truth is it will vary batch to batch, and kitchen to kitchen.
I’ve made these by hand, in a stand mixer, here in NYC, and in my childhood home in Seattle. Each time I use a slightly different amount of flour.
Now, the amount of flour you start with is set at 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour.
But as you add in your wet ingredients and a sticky dough ball begins to form, you will need to add in additional flour.
I do this as I knead the dough and add in a Tablespoon at a time. You need enough to create an elastic, workable dough that you can roll out.
However, if you add too much flour you can end up with dense, chewy cinnamon rolls. That’s why it’s a range.
When using my stand mixer, I usually add in 4-6 additional Tbsp as the dough is kneaded.
In some batches I’ve used less, and in a few I’ve used the full additional 1/2 cup of flour.
Making These Cinnamon Rolls by Hand vs. Stand Mixer
My first couple batches of cinnamon rolls were made when I was home for the holidays, and I didn’t have a stand mixer.
This recipe can be made by hand or with a dough hook / stand mixer.
Whichever method you use to make the dough, just be sure to knead / mix the dough until it gets an elastic texture and pulls away from the bowl or counter.
The dough should be tacky but not sticky once it’s ready to be rested.
I like to test the dough by pressing into it with my finger. It should feel tacky, but not leave any residue on your finger when you pull it away.
Once you get to this point, stop, and let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes.
If you continue to work the dough, the gluten strands can become too tight. Just like adding in too much flour, this can also lead to dense cinnamon rolls.
It’s easier to sense when the dough is ready if you’re kneading by hand. If you’re using a stand mixer, keep a close eye on your dough to ensure you don’t accidentally overwork it.
Topping These Cinnamon Rolls
The finishing touch on any cinnamon roll has to be its topping!
A cinnamon roll isn’t complete without sweet, melty icing. I decided to top these cinnamon rolls with a delicious vanilla glaze.
You can use a more traditional frosting if you prefer your cinnamon rolls that way though!
If you opt to make a vanilla glaze like I did, you want the consistency to be just right. The glaze should be thick enough to drizzle over your finger and keep its shape.
I use this test every time I make a glaze and show what I mean in the video shared with this post.
Substitutions and Swaps – Oreo Cinnamon Rolls
While I love this recipe just the way it is, I know some of you might not have all these ingredients on hand!
Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe:
- All Purpose Flour – I haven’t tested this recipe out with gluten free flour, but it should work if you use a good blend like King Arthur’s GF flour. Just be sure to knead the dough a bit longer, to help give it structure.
- Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use it in place of the unsalted butter in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the salt that this recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
- Whole Milk – Most alternative milks work fine in this recipe, including soy, oat, and almond milk.
- Instant / Rapid Rise Yeast – You can use active dry yeast in place of the instant yeast in this recipe, just be sure to activate it before adding it into the dough and allow the dough to rise for a bit longer. Active yeast takes longer to rise than instant.
- 1 Large Egg – This is an enriched dough, so it uses an egg. You can use a flaxseed egg in its place to make eggless or vegan Oreo cinnamon rolls
Tips for Making the Best Oreo Cinnamon Rolls:
- Use a ruler to make sure your dough is rolled out to the right size (12 in x 18 in), and cut into even pieces.
- Use dental floss to easily cut each cinnamon roll, rather than a knife.
- Let the cinnamon rolls cool for about 5-10 minutes, then add the glaze. This will allow it to perfectly melt over your cinnamon rolls.
- Only cut 9 cinnamon rolls from your log, to create tall and fluffy cinnamon rolls.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls in a greased, square pan (mine is 8 in x 8 in).
Making These Oreo Cinnamon Rolls in Advance
If you want to make these cinnamon rolls ahead of time, be my guest! I’m all about working ahead and making life easier.
This recipe can be made the evening before and then baked the following morning.
You can refrigerate these cinnamon rolls after they have been cut in a greased or lined pan.
Cover the cinnamon roll pan tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the seal is airtight.
If the cinnamon rolls are exposed to air, they can dry out and no one wants dry cinnamon rolls!
The morning you want to bake them, take them out 1 hour before you plan to bake them, then follow the recipe instructions to bake.
You can also bake the cinnamon rolls, then let them cool and freeze them individually.
This is what I do with our leftover cinnamon rolls. I leave the leftover rolls unfrosted, then tightly wrap each roll in a layer of plastic wrap then foil.
I move individual cinnamon rolls from the freezer to the fridge the night before I want to eat them.
Then in the morning, I unwrap the cinnamon roll and heat it up in the microwave until it’s warm and gooey (usually about 30 seconds!).
Let Me Know What You Think
If you try this recipe for Oreo cinnamon rolls, I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave a rating and a comment with your thoughts.
You can also tag me on social media @chelsweets or use #chelsweets so I can see your creations!!
Other Recipes You Might Like:
Chocolate Oreo Cinnamon Roll Filling
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (100g)
- 2 Tbsp black cocoa (12g)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (3g)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened - to be spread on the dough (56g)
- 1/2 cup crushed Oreos (50g)
Oreo Cinnamon Roll Dough
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + up to 1/2 cup addition flour to be added later in process (438g-500g)
- 2 tsp or 1 packet instant dry yeast (7g, 1/4 oz.)
- 1 tsp salt (6g)
- 1 cup whole milk (240ml)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (56g)
- 1 large egg, room temperature (56g)
- 1/2 cup crushed Oreos (50g)
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (8g)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (188g)
- 2 Tbsp whole milk (30ml)
- 1 tsp artificial vanilla extract (4ml)
Chocolate Oreo Cinnamon Roll Filling
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of black cocoa, and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and set aside.
Oreo Cinnamon Roll Dough
- Preheat your oven to 200 F / 95 C.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1 packet instant dry yeast (or about 2 teaspoons), and 1 teaspoon salt.
- In a separate bowl, add 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup softened butter, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar into a microwave safe bowl.
- Heat on high power for 60-90 seconds, until the mixture is warm to the touch and the butter is melted. Stir to combine the ingredients.
- Gradually add the warm milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix on medium speed with a dough hook until the dough comes together.
- Add in the egg and mix on a low speed until a sticky dough ball forms. Continue to mix on a medium low speed for 2-3 minutes, until the dough becomes more elastic.
- As the dough mixes, add in additional flour 1 Tbsp at a time until the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl. My favorite way to know if my dough is ready is to poke it with my finger. It should feel tacky but not sticky. As you pull your finger away, there should be no residue on your finger.
- Once you're done adding in the additional flour, mix in 1/2 cup of crushed Oreos on a medium speed. Mix until the Oreos are incorporated throughout the dough.
- Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to let the dough to rest for 10 minutes. The plastic wrap should fog up a bit from the warmth of the dough.
- Generously flour your counter and roll your dough ball into a large rectangle that's 12 inches x 18 inches. It should be about 1/2 cm thick.
- Spread 1/4 cup of softened butter over the dough, leaving 1/2 inch on the long side of the rectangle uncovered.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon roll filling (instructions above) evenly over the buttered area, and top with 1/2 cup of crushed Oreos.
- Tightly roll the dough horizontally toward the uncovered strip.
- Cut dough log into 9 equal pieces with dental floss (you can cut it into more pieces if you want smaller/shorter cinnamon rolls) and place in a greased square pan (mine is 8 in x 8 in).
- Turn the oven off! I REPEAT, TURN THE OVEN OFF.
- Cover the cinnamon roll pan with foil and place in a the oven for 30 minutes (or until the cinnamon rolls have risen).
- Remove the pan from the oven and take off the tinfoil. Turn the oven back on, and heat to 350 F / 175 C.
- Once the oven has preheated to 350 F / 175 C, bake for 26-30 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Rotate the pan halfway through to help the rolls bake evenly.
Vanilla Cinnamon Roll Glaze
- To make the vanilla cinnamon roll glaze, add 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter, 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of whole milk and 1 teaspoon artificial vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl. Mix together until smooth.
- Let the cinnamon rolls cool for 10-20 minutes, then drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon rolls. Garnish with some extra chopped up Oreos and serve warm.
Using the Right Type of Yeast: Active vs. Instant Yeast
Be sure you are using instant yeast! It comes in small packets that can usually be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.
You can use active dry yeast in place of the instant yeast in this recipe, just allow the dough to rise for longer (active yeast takes longer to rise than instant).
Tips for Making the Best Oreo Cinnamon Rolls
- Use a ruler to make sure your dough is rolled out to the right size (12 in x 18 in) and cut into even pieces.
- Use dental floss to easily cut each cinnamon roll rather than a knife.
- If you're struggling to cut your cinnamon rolls, place the cinnamon roll log on a baking sheet and chill it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. It will make it easier to cut.
- Cut 9 equal-sized cinnamon rolls from your log to make sure they all bake evenly.
- Try to let the cinnamon rolls cool for about 10-20 minutes, then add the glaze. This will allow it to perfectly melt over your cinnamon rolls!
Making these Cinnamon Rolls in Advance
This recipe can be made the evening before and baked the following morning.
You can refrigerate these cinnamon rolls after they have been cut in a greased or lined pan. Cover the cinnamon roll pan tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the seal is airtight.
The morning you want to bake them, take them out 1-2 hours before you plan to bake them to let them warm up and rise a bit. Then follow the recipe instructions to bake in step 18.
Amount Per Serving Calories 646Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 54mgSodium 427mgCarbohydrates 104gFiber 3gSugar 45gProtein 9g