All over the internet people are having baked oats and “nature’s cereal” for breakfast…and here I am with these! For the ultimate in breakfast (or brunch!) decadence: Chocolate Caramel Sweet Rolls!
I’m calling these babies Chocolate Caramel Sweet Rolls just for an easy name for them. What we’re actually talking about here are soft sweet rolls filled with chocolate filling and homemade dulce de leche. Then, after I topped them with a dulce de leche cream cheese frosting, I swirled some dark chocolate ganache into the frosting because CAN’T STOP WON’T STOP.
I really like to make homemade dulce de leche, but store-bought is still amazing! If you can’t find it in your local store, you can find some here. If you do decide to make your own, please heed my safety warnings in the recipe! I’ve never seen a can of sweetened condensed milk explode, and I don’t want you to, either!
Spoiler: this isn’t a quick recipe. Even if you choose to use store bought dulce de leche (as making/cooking it takes 5+ hours), the dough is chilled overnight for maximum flavor. I highly suggest a casual approach to these babies, starting the day before you plan to eat them!
I roll my dough out on a pastry mat for this recipe. It’s not a necessity, but it keeps the dough from sticking to your counter (and it won’t stick to the pastry mat!) without introducing additional flour to the dough. If you’re looking for one, you can find them online here.
I include specific instructions for spreading the dulce de leche and chocolate fillings on the dough to ensure you get both in every sweet roll! You can also check out the reel that I made on Instagram that shows you the whole assembly process!
Of course I used my favorite ingredient: vanilla bean paste! I can’t seem to make a single recipe without it! I just love, love the flavor and the flecks of vanilla bean in the frosting! If you’d like to get some for yourself, you can find some here. If you’d prefer to substitute, just use an equal measure of vanilla extract.
I almost listed the ganache swirled into the frosting as “optional” in the recipe, but I figure we’ve gone this far, what’s a little more chocolate?? I wanted to ensure we were still celebrating both the dulce de leche AND the chocolate in the frosting, so I just had to.
This recipe was so much fun to make AND to eat!! So treat yo’self to this decadent, delicious (and ridiculous?) breakfast! 🙂
Other posts you may like:
Recipe heavily adapted from Southern Living’s Cherry Pecan Swirl Bread.
Chocolate Caramel Sweet Rolls
Homemade Dulce de Leche:
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk (see note; reserve 3 Tbsp for frosting)
Sweet Roll Dough:
- 1 cup sour cream
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup sugar (+ 1 tsp sugar to activate yeast)
- ⅓ cup water, warm (100°F – 110°F)
- 2¼ tsp yeast (1 envelope)
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups flour
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 Tbsp dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup powdered sugar
Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (I used full fat)
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 Tbsp dulce de leche
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (see note)
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1.5 oz chocolate, chopped fine (I used 60% cacao)
- 1.5 tsp unsalted butter
For Dulce de Leche:
- Place the unopened can of sweetened condensed milk (removing any label) and place the can in a pot tall enough that you can cover it with a few inches of water. After filling the pot, with the can completely submerged, place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and keep the water at a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer 3 hours, checking regularly to ensure the can is still covered with water. Add additional water to the pot as necessary to keep the can submerged. **It is possible that the can will EXPLODE if not kept submerged. I think it's a small chance, but no one wants that!!**
- After three hours, turn the heat off and leave the can to sit in the water until it's cool enough to handle. Let the can sit at room temperature for at least two hours after removing from the water. If you want to make the dulce de leche in advance, it will keep up to one month (unopened) in the refrigerator.
- In a small saucepan, combine sour cream, butter, salt, and ¼ cup sugar. Warm mixture over medium-low heat just until the butter melts. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool to 110°F-115°F, about 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Combine sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook attachment on medium-low speed, gradually add the flour until a soft dough forms. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl, but will still stick to the bottom.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Try to add as little flour as possible while kneading.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning the dough over to grease the top. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough overnight (8-24 hours).
- After refrigerating, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 20"x16" rectangle. Introduce as little additional flour as possible. Alternatively, you can roll the dough out on a nonstick pastry mat (see note).
For Chocolate Filling:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add the cocoa and powdered sugar until smooth and thoroughly combined.
- Spread the chocolate filling mixture and the dulce de leche (reserving 3 Tbsp for the frosting) over the dough evenly, leaving a ½" border on the long sides with no filling. I spread my fillings in alternating stripes down the 20" length of the dough (see photo) to ensure that each roll would have both chocolate and dulce de leche in it.
- Roll the dough up from a long edge. Trim rough ends, if necessary, and discard. Using a thin, serrated knife, cut the roll into 12 equal pieces.
- Place the cut pieces in a greased 9"x13" pan. Cover the pan and let the rolls rise until doubled, about 1-1½ hours.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake cinnamon rolls 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden.
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth.
- Add the vanilla bean paste (see note) and reserved dulce de leche and mix until incorporated.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until well incorporated and smooth. Frost the tops of the sweet rolls with the frosting.
- Combine the chopped chocolate and butter in a small heatproof bowl. Microwave on 15-second bursts, stirring after each burst, until the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
- Dollop or pipe ganace on top of the frosted sweet rolls and swirl the ganache into the frosting with a spoon or offset spatula.Enjoy!