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Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls With Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Glaze

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These chocolate cinnamon rolls are the perfect special treat to wake up to! We stuffed them with pecans and chocolate chips and covered then with a vanilla bean cream cheese glaze.


Cinnamon rolls are a big deal in our family. This recipe is my grandmother’s base recipe that we grew up waking up to every Christmas that we went to their house. When Nielsen-Massey asked us to come up with a chocolate recipe that would pair with their amazing vanilla products I immediately knew that these chocolate cinnamon rolls would be the perfect option!


The base is super basic to whip up and all I changed was adding in cocoa powder to the dough to give it the perfect chocolate flavor without being overwhelming. Then we stuffed them with crunchy pecan bits and chocolate chips. I tried this once with cinnamon in the filling and once without and personally we liked them both ways so it’s totally up to you!

I love white glazes but I hate how painfully sweet they usually are since the base thickener is powdered sugar. So instead we whipped together a delicious cream cheese glaze! It’s sweetened only with a few tablespoons of maple syrup which makes it perfectly sweet without giving you a headache.


The glaze is filled with the most amazing Neilson-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste vanilla bean paste. I personally am a huge vanilla lover but I always tell people it’s so crucial to buy the best vanilla you can find. Imitation vanilla is such a crime, it tastes nothing like the real thing.


The folks over at Nielsen Massey do an incredible job from start to finish with their vanilla’s and after meeting them earlier this year at a show I will only be using their products. A few fun facts about why good vanilla really is worth the cost:

  • Vanilla beans are hand-pollinated on family farms.
  • The curing process, which involves drying the beans in the sun by day and allowing them to sweat in a box at night, can take three to six months. The beans get hot enough in the sun to actually burn your hand.
  • Each vanilla flower opens for only one part of one day during the season. If it’s not pollinated on that day, no pod will be produced.
  • The entire vanilla-cultivation process, from planting to market, can take from five to six years.

Isn’t that amazing? I love knowing the history behind the products we use.


I hope you make this recipe for your family and track down some of this incredible vanilla bean paste. It truly elevates any dish you make with it’s flavor.

Note: We had a bit of a family disagreement on these sweet rolls. I loved them as they were but my hubby and dad said they weren’t quite sweet enough for them. If you or your sweetie loves it more sweet feel free to increase the sugar up to 1/4 cup in the pecan/chocolate chip filling and sweeten up your glaze more.

Disclosure: This chocolate pecan cinnamon rolls recipe was originally posted on Food Fanatic as part of our ongoing collaboration. We are grateful for our partnerships with amazing brands like Nielsen Massey!


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About Dani Meyer

Hi, I’m Dani! I’m most importantly mama to 3 wild little dudes. I spend my days cooking, photographing and exploring the Pacific Northwest. I'm a full time food blogger and online business coach.

I’m the author of Stress Free Camping, a 120+ page guide on making epic food in the woods. I’m also the founder of Food Blogger Entrepreneurs, the leading online academy and private community for food bloggers. → More About Dani

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