Baking with Susanna: Espresso cinnamon rolls

Susanna Kemp, Co-Editor-in-Chief

I’m impatient when it comes to breakfast. I eat cereal almost every morning, and I hardly ever make pancakes because I don’t feel like waiting half an hour after I wake up before I can eat. I’ll be honest, these cinnamon rolls still take about an hour and a half, but most cinnamon roll recipes take up to four hours to make, so I’ll take it. If you’re willing to wait a little while in the morning before eating, you’ll be justly rewarded. You’ll probably find me eating them at dinnertime, though . . . but hey, breakfast for dinner is pretty great.

Yield: 6 cinnamon rolls

Susanna Kemp



* ½ cup whole milk

* 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

* 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast

* 1 ½ cups flour

* 1 egg yolk


* 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted

* ½ cup granulated sugar

* ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

* ¾ teaspoon instant espresso powder

* ¾ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

* ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips


* ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

* ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder

* ⅓ cup heavy cream



1. Make the dough: Combine milk, sugar and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Let the mixture sit until it is still warm, but no longer hot.

2. Put the milk mixture in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on it. Stir, then let sit for 5 minutes, until the mixture has risen slightly and foams.

3. Add the flour and egg yolk to the bowl. Stir with a dough hook until the dough comes together into a ball. If the dough is still wet, you can add more flour.

4. Knead the dough several times with your hands, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.

5. Flour a work surface and roll the dough out into a rectangle that is about 9 by 12 inches. I find it easiest to measure a rectangle on the floured work surface and draw it with my finger before rolling out the dough.

6. Make the filling: Spread the dough with melted butter. In a small bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon, espresso powder and cocoa powder. Spread over the melted butter, then sprinkle with chocolate chips.

7. Roll the dough into a coil hot-dog-style (roll the long end) and slice into 6 pieces.

8. Grease or butter an 8-by-8-inch pan and place rolls in the pan, leaving space between them. Cover the pan with plastic wrap let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

9. Remove plastic wrap and bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

10. Remove from the oven and let cool while you make the glaze. Mix together the confectioners’ sugar, espresso powder and heavy cream. If the glaze is too thick, add more heavy cream. Drizzle over rolls and eat while warm!


Recipe adapted from Joy Wilson, Joy the Baker Cookbook