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Cherry Chocolate Rolls | the little epicurean

Cherry Chocolate Rolls (Black Forest Rolls)

An ode to the flavors of Black Forest cake. Enriched chocolate dough filled with vanilla butter spread, fresh Bing cherries, and a mixture of white and dark chocolate chips.
Yield: 12 rolls
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Dough Rest Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cherry chocolate rolls, black forest rolls, sweet chocolate rolls, cinnamon roll variation
Servings: 12
Author: Maryanne Cabrera


Chocolate Dough:

  • ¼ cup warm water, about 110°F
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk, room temp
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 3 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder


  • cup unsalted butter, softened, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 5 Tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tablespoon white chocolate chips
  • cup chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted, halved
  • 2 pinches kosher salt

Vanilla Glaze:

  • 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 Tablespoons whole milk, or heavy cream


  • Sprinkle yeast over warm water. Add 1 tsp sugar and stir to combine. Let sit for 5-7 minutes to allow mixture to bubble and active.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add dissolved yeast mixture, milk, remaining sugar, salt and egg. Whisk together. In another bowl whisk together flour and cocoa powder.
  • Add one cup of flour mixture to stand mixer. Use the hook attachment to combine ingredients. Follow with coconut oil. Add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time. Knead until dough is smooth and cleans the sides of the bowl. If dough is too sticky, add 1 Tbsp of flour.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest at room temperature for 60 minutes.
  • To make filling: Meanwhile, combine softened butter and vanilla paste. Stir together. It should resemble the consistency of mayonnaise. Set aside.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured working surface. Roll dough into a 18 x 12-inch rectangle. Spread softened vanilla butter over dough, leaving a ¼-inch border around all sides. Sprinkle brown sugar over butter. Top with white chocolate chips, chocolate chips, and cherries. Gently press filling into dough. Sprinkle salt over filling.
  • Roll dough into a tight log, starting with long side. Slice log into 12 equal slices. Place cut slices into a lightly greased 13x9-inch pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30-45 minutes until dough has risen.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover rolls. Bake for 28-30 minutes. Let rolls cool slightly before pouring vanilla glaze.
  • To make vanilla glaze: mix together powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste and milk. Stir until smooth. If glaze is too thick, add milk 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is achieved.