Dark Chocolate & Toasted Coconut Cinnamon Rolls

rolls 11

As a young child, me and my sisters use to play with my cousins all the time. You could say we were a pretty tight family. One thing that connected all our cousins together was our love for baking and cooking. My grandmother is an accomplished, self-taught cook and the cooking genetics runs through from my dad’s side of the family. All of us cousins has a great passion and love towards cooking and baking. Just like my grandmother my cousin has always been talented and she was my inspiration. During her stay with us for 3 months one of the things that really rubbed off on me was her love for cinnamon. The pungent, dark, earthy spice that creates that beautiful scent in the house when added to almost anything. I became obsessed with cinnamon. Especially with cinnamon rolls. However after coming back from the US I realized that all the cinnamon rolls found in stores were frosted and slathered with white frosting. I’ve never been particularly fond of frosting, because for one thing I have an asian tastebud that cannot seem to appreciate sugar packed frosting. I was determined to  re-create the traditional cinnamon roll into a delicious but not-so-sweet treat that my family would be able to enjoy. This is the result of endless research – an impromptu cinnamon roll (from the pioneer woman, guaranteed by joy the baker) filled with bitter dark chocolate, toasted desiccated coconut, tons of earthy cinnamon and fine crystals of sugar. It is absolutely heavenly….. my mum loved it, my aunt loved it, my friends loved it……this is definitely a keeper.

A perfect cinnamon roll enjoyed by all.

no. 10

It might be slightly too brown on the top – trust me its our fault not the recipe’s fault. This recipe produces an extremely light, fluffy texture. I was amazed at how much it resembled store-brought cinnamon rolls. However we were sadly distracted by a video at the most crucial moment…and yes, it was slightly burnt. But the fact that these were TOO good compensated for the overly brown appearances. The smell was much too tempting to deter anyone in the house from taste testing these slightly burnt rolls. Cinnamon? Coconut? Dark Coconut? mm…

This combination actually came as a result of the leftover ingredients in our cupboard. We didn’t have any oranges and pistachios on hand so we decided that coconut would be the next best option. Well not the next best option, but in fact equally as delicious. Although this was mine and Zoe’s first attempt in baking bread, this is virtually a fail-proof recipe. A delicious recipe that makes you look professional!

No. 9

Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman & Joy the Baker


  • 4 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt (roughly)
  • 2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable/Canola Oil
  • 2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar


  • 50g lightly Toasted Coconut (add 50g more since the flavour isn’t too prominent)
  • 113g Dark Chocolate chips, blitzed in a food processor
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Cinnamon (up to personal preference)
  • 113g unsalted butter melted (used only about 75g)

Note: We didn’t add all the sugar and not a whole lot of cinnamon, but you can to make it sweeter and more flavourful. The dark chocolate does it give it sweetness and so not a lot of granulated sugar is needed. I like it the way it is, because it resembles the bread you can find in hk bakeries.


  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tbsp Caster Sugar/Granulated Sugar

How to Make:

  1. First combine sugar, milk and oil in a saucepan. Lightly heat until the sugar is dissolved, making sure the mixture doesn’t boil.
  2. Allow the mixture to cool down until warm to touch (watch the temperature carefully – we let it cool for 10 minutes).
  3. Preheat the oven to 100 Celsius.
  4. Sprinkle the yeast and 4 cups of flour directly into the saucepan, mixing until just combined.
  5. Turn off the oven and place the dough into the oven, covered with the lid.
  6. Allow the dough to proof for 1 hour, checking at 30 minutes to see if you need to start again.
  7. Thoroughly mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  8. Turn the dough onto the floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal portions.
  9. Roll out the dough into a 12″x 8″-9″ rectangular shape.
  10. Spread over half the melted butter using a pastry brush. Sprinkle half the chocolate, coconut and cinnamon.
  11. Roll the dough (with the 12″ side facing you and folding upwards) carefully.
  12. Using a sharp knife cut into 8 equal portions. Repeat with the other dough.
  13. Preheat oven to 200 C.
  14. Grease an 9″ x 13″ pan. Arrange 16 rounds into the pan, allowing them to rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  15. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  16. Prepare the glaze by heating the milk and dissolving the sugar.
  17. Using a pastry brush spread the glaze over the cinnamon rolls whilst hot allowing it to absorb in.
  18. This cinnamon roll is best served warm. Re-heat it in the microwave/oven before serving.


Zoe & Mia


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