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Easy Chocolate Sweet Rolls

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Easy Chocolate Sweet Rolls are simple to make and dairy free (without milk or butter). They are sticky-sweet and oh so delicious!

Dairy Free Chocolate sweet Rolls in a round baking pan on a white wood table

Easy Chocolate Sweet Rolls are a terrific dessert or snack any time.

While the instructions may seem a bit daunting, the recipe is really very simple and the hardest part of this recipe is patiently waiting for the dough to rise!

Love yeast cakes? Try: Easy Cinnamon Rolls, Easy Chocolate Babka, or Easy Cinnamon Babka !

Dough before rising
Dough after it is approximately double

If I can bake, anyone can

I am the type who hates paying more for something than I feel it’s worth and and loathe paying a lot for something I can bake at home.

So, paying a lot of money for a cake similar to one I can bake on my own just doesn’t work for me.

My problem was that I couldn’t really make a layer cake. I could make one in a 9″ x 13″ pan, but not one that could be used for a birthday or celebration.

For years, I tried, failed, and gave up. Then again, tried, failed and gave up.

It normally wasn’t the taste that was the problem, it was other things such as density or lopsidedness.

One day, I decided that no matter what, I would learn to make a decent looking cake (I wasn’t even aiming for good-looking, just decent).

One day, my daughter Elissa came into the kitchen during one of my “I will learn to do this” phases and stopped.

“You are NOT really measuring oil in the palm of your hand!”

I wasn’t sure what the problem was. I couldn’t be bothered to stop what I was doing to get the measuring spoons and I certainly know what a tablespoon of oil should look like…

“You can’t bake the way you cook,” she informed me (I often cook by “it looks right” or “it tastes right”, not by directions – which I often find people make unnecessarily complicated).

Finally, I decided OK, I am going to follow directions. I will measure properly and that will be it. So, I did.

The cake came out tasting really good, but it was really heavy.

I complained to Elissa.

“I followed the directions and even measured and look at it!”

We decided that she would try the recipe to see what was wrong (she is great at following exact measurements and was tired of my complaining).

I read the instructions to her (off a very highly reviewed recipe) and was very gratified when it came out heavy for her too. Ha!

She insisted we go over the instructions again and she also wanted to see the original recipe. I gladly showed her.

“You doubled the recipe,” she accused me. “Why?”

“Because I wanted a higher cake.”

“That is NOT considered following directions. The recipe is for two pans and you put double in each pan, so it couldn’t rise.”

Oh. I took back my “ha” and never did that again.

After a while, I finally gave in. Now, I follow directions, measure properly, and use the proper tools.

Not surprising, everything I bake comes out as it should (of course…as long as I don’t forget to remove from the oven…!).

Baking Pantry Essentials

I never know when someone in my family is going to want a dessert at home, to bring to a friend’s house or need for an event, so I like to make sure I can bake anything with very short notice.  To that end, I keep a variety of supplies and ingredients in the house that will allow me to do just that. 

I can’t tell you how many times I was glad to have whatever I needed within reach for the last minute visitor or for when one of my kids went to a friend or had a school event without much prior notice.

I have slowly collected things over the years as I needed them (or if I found a good sale) and like to keep more than one of the smaller items, in case I don’t want to wash dishes in the middle of baking.

My basic “equipment” includes:

  • a stand mixer, which I use mostly for dough and, sometimes whipping
  • a hand mixer (for things that aren’t dough and I don’t want to mix manually)
  • a small scale
  • different sizes and shapes of baking pans, including loaf pans
  • mixing bowls (or just large bowls – I have plastic, glass, and metal)
  • cookie sheets 
  • pie dishes
  • dry measuring cups
  • liquid measuring cups
  • whisks
  • rubber spatulas (really good for when you don’t want to leave anything in the bowl)
  • rolling pins
  • a baking mat for rolling out dough
  • baking strips
  • a good supply of baking (or parchment) paper (also round for layer cakes)

I can certainly get by without a lot of the above, but it makes baking so much simpler when I just have whatever I need at my fingertips.

In addition to the equipment, there are the baking ingredients that I try to keep in the house at all times: 

  • flour
  • white granulated sugar
  • brown sugar (light/dark – I usually keep dark)
  • confectioners sugar(powdered sugar)
  • salt
  • baking powder
  • baking soda 
  • cocoa powder
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground ginger
  • ground cloves
  • baking chocolate
  • chocolate chips
  • instant dry yeast
  • vanilla and/or vanilla sugar
  • cooking oil/cooking spray
  • margarine or butter
  • eggs
  • honey
  • instant coffee
  • various extracts (real or imitation)

I also make sure that I have the following on hand to be able to make a variety of fillings, frostings, and toppings:

  • whipping cream
  • powdered pudding mix
  • powdered sugar
  • a good chocolate spread

Then, there is the following to make last-minute quick desserts:

  • packaged pie dough or ready-made pie crusts
  • puff pastry dough

Lastly, it’s not a bad idea to keep fun toppings, such as chopped walnuts, raisins, and the oh-so-important container of sprinkles.

A little about yeast

Ever hear of matzo, the large cracker that Jews eat on Passover?

The explanation for that flat “bread” is that the dough didn’t yet leaven and therefor is didn’t have time to rise (into bread) before the Israelites had to leave their homes and Egypt to go to the desert.

Back in those days, the flour mixture was left out and the microbes of yeast in the air would leaven it over time and it would rise. So, the mixture that the Israelites made had to be baked as it, before being leavened.

Here is some more interesting information about yeast:

Yield: 12 servings

Easy Chocolate Sweet Rolls

Dairy Free Chocolate sweet Rolls in a round baking pan on a white wood table

Delicious, chocolatey, sweet rolls, dairy free.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes



  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup warm water


  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)


  • 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar (150 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water, oat milk, or other dairy free alternative


    1. Pour 1/4 cup warm water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl. Let sit for a few minutes until the mixture becomes frothy, which will indiate that the yeast is active.
    2. Mix in oil, egg, salt, and flour.
    3. Knead mixture thoroughly using a stand mixer and dough hook or by hand, adding the rest of the water only a little at a time, until it becomes only a slightly sticky Play-Doh-like dough. If you add too much water, it will become too sticky. In that case add more flour, a little at a time, until you reach the proper consistency.
    4. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a towel or something similar. Let the dough sit rise until it has approximately doubled in size (the time it takes will depend on how warm the area is). *
    5. Next, remove the dough and place on a flat, clean, and lightly floured surface and roll out into a rectangle shape (doesn't have to be exact) that is approximately 1/4 inch thick.
    6. In another bowl, combine cocoa powder, sugar, oil, and cinnamon (if desired) to create the filling.
    7. Spread filling over the dough as evenly as possible to the edges.
    8. From the longer side, roll the dough tightly until you have a log shape.
    9. Cut the roll into 12 pieces and place the pieces in a parchment paper lined and greased 9×13 baking pan or a 9-inch round baking pan.
    10. Cover with platic wrap, towel or something similar. Let the and put in a warm place. Let dough sit rise until it has approximately doubled in size (again, the time it takes will depend on how warm the area is).
    11. Place the pan in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350°F and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the dough browns only slightly.
    12. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool.
    13. In a bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and water and mix well until you have a nice, thick, smooth glaze. If it is too thick, add a little more water at a time, mixing until you have reached a nice thick, but pourable, syrup.
    14. When the chocolate sweet rolls have completely cooled, spoon the glaze over the them. Best served room temperature.


* I have found that it takes the dough longer to rise than bread, so have patience or make sure the room is warm - the warmer the room, the quicker it will rise - or you can place in a warm oven to rise.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 185mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 5g

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