With a chocolate beet glaze, and oh so much cinnamon, all lovingly wrapped up in what I believe is the softest, fluffiest, most tender roll ever. Did I mention you don’t even need eggs? I know it’s in the title, but I thought I’d reiterate. For that extra punch. It’s so easy, so good, so lazy-sunday-morning. In the sense that you want to yield a rather extravagant final product without actually labouring over a myriad ingredients and techniques all that much. I tell you, this roll recipe is a keeper. After a shocking realisation that I had zero eggs left in my pantry, I heavily doubted the final result, for eggs are a crucial binding component in yeast-based recipes, often offering a great degree of moisture and richness to the final product.
As much as I support certain mainstay baking components such as eggs, I’ve always been intrigued by vegan takes, and the minimalism incorporated in its recipes are refreshing and revitalising. Thankfully, my initial doubt, that cringey reluctance, was turned into ecstasy and beyond.
Beet powder is of course optional here; these rolls would nevertheless taste wonderful without it. The addition of beet offers an earthiness, the quantity of which doesn’t overwhelm the obvious main star of the show here that is chocolate.
One important and rather underrated step here is the covering of the rolls with foil paper/ cling film prior to baking, which prevents burning the tops of the rolls and helps yield a firm outside and heavenly, tender inside.
Chocolate Beet Cinnamon Rolls (makes 8-9 medium rolls; roll recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker)
For the dough:
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup (240ml) milk of choice– I used a mix of almond and whole milk
45g (3.5 tbsp) butter
250g (around 1 3/4 cups) plain flour, plus more for sprinkling on counter before kneading
pinch of salt+1 tbsp sugar
For the filling:
45g (3.5 tbsp) butter, softened to room temperature
100g chopped chocolate– I used a mix of milk and dark for flavour variety
1 1/2 tbsp beet powder (optional)
7 tbsp sugar mixed with 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
For the glaze:
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp beet powder (again optional)
4 tbsp milk
35g (1/4 cup) icing sugar
Dough: In a microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan over low heat, heat together the milk and butter until the butter has melted and the mix is warm (not scalding) to touch. Pour the mix into a larger bowl, then sprinkle on the yeast on one side of the bowl, and the salt and sugar on the opposite side. Wait 5 minutes, then add a half cup of flour at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon between each addition. Once the dough is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured counter and knead for 2 minutes. The final result should be a smooth, rather taut ball of dough, so you may need slightly more or less than the aforementioned quantity of flour. Briefly grease the same bowl, pop the ball of dough in and let it rise until it doubles in size–around an hour. At this point, preheat your oven to 176C (350F) and liberally grease an 8×8-inch pan.
After the dough has risen, lightly flour your counter again and turn the dough out onto the counter. Roll it out into a half-inch thick rectangle. Brush on (I just used my hands here) the butter that’s softened to room temperature, then sprinkle on the cinnamon-sugar mix, chocolate and beet powder. Tightly roll the dough from the long end, so you end up with a long, pale tube of dough. Place the roll seam side down, and using a serrated knife, cut your tube into 8-9 rolls, each around 1.5 inches thick. Place them into the greased square pan. Cover the pan with foil (impt step– refer to above notes) and place inside your preheated oven. Bake the rolls for 17-20 minutes.
While they’re baking, mix together the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl. Once the rolls have finished baking, leave to cool for 10 minutes, then go ahead and glaze the heck out of them. These rolls are best eaten immediately or at least the day they’re made, however you can keep them for the next day and microwave them to revive a bit of tenderness.