Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 6 nutella cinnamon rolls // Total Time: 2 hr. 10 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.

Cinnamon rolls are amazing on their own, but what if we added hazelnuts in the middle and topped them with nutella? Well, then we’d end up with these delicious nutella cinnamon rolls!

Nutella cinnamon rolls

These nutella cinnamon rolls are made with a buttery, light and fluffy brioche dough and feature a twist on the classic cinnamon roll: hazelnuts in the filling! To compliment and add flavor to these rolls, we’ll pulse up some hazelnuts and add them to the filling. This leads us to a deliciously nutty and sweet filling, that’s all wrapped in a brioche roll, and generously topped with nutella. These are seriously so delicious, and as always are small batch but can easily be doubled as desired. You can easily prep the rolls the night before to just bake them off in the morning for a perfect and easy morning treat.

Nutella cinnamon rolls recipe tips

Weigh your ingredients

Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient. In a small batch recipe it is especially important to get those correct measurements because there is less room for error. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!

Kneading the dough

Kneading this dough will take a longer time than you are probably used to. This dough is enriched with eggs and butter which makes it take longer for the proper amount of gluten to develop. Kneading in the mixer can take me anywhere from 10-20 minutes. The dough is ready to be used when it passes the windowpane test and has pulled away from the sides and bottom of the bowl. If you are weighing your ingredients, just trust the process! If you are using cup measurements and the dough just is not coming together, try adding in 1 tbsp. of flour at a time.

Room temperature ingredients

It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. Take out the egg and butter at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. To bring an egg to room temperature quickly, you can place it under hot water for 1 minute. To bring butter to room temperature quickly, slice it, place it on a plate, and microwave it in 5 second intervals!

Heating the milk

Heating the milk is important for bringing the yeast to an optimal temperature for rising. The milk should be heated to ~100°F / 38°C but it does not have to be exact. As long as the milk is between 95°F – 110°F, it is good to be used. If the temperature exceeds 110°F, wait for it to cool down before using so that you do not kill the yeast!

Ingredients and substitutions

For the brioche buns:

All purpose flour: for structure and chewiness.

Active dry yeast: for making the dough rise. You can easily substitute in instant yeast if that is what you have on hand. You will just skip the step of combining the warm milk, sugar, and yeast!

Salt: for balancing and bringing out the sweetness of the brioche. Salt also “controls” the yeast to make sure that it does not overly expand.

Granulated sugar: for sweetening the brioche and for helping the yeast with rising. We will use a little bit of sugar in the brioche as well as in the hazelnut sugar.

Eggs: for binding and adding moisture.

Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the brioche rolls and giving them a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth feel. I would not recommend substituting in salted butter since salt is important to controlling yeast growth and the amount of salt in salted butter is quite variable.

Whole milk: for tenderizing and hydrating the dough. Whole milk will provide the softest rolls because the extra fat helps tenderize the dough. You can however swap in 1%, 2% or your favorite non dairy milk alternative! Just note that the dough may be a little less soft and fluffy due to the varying fat content.

For the filling:

Unsalted butter: for flavor.

Light brown sugar: sweetens and adds some flavor to the filling.

Ground cinnamon: wouldn’t be a cinnamon roll without cinnamon!

Hazelnuts: we’ll pulse some hazelnuts into the filling for a delicious and nutty twist on regular cinnamon rolls.

For topping:

Nutella: we’ll generously top these cinnamon rolls with nutella. If you want to use chocolate hazelnut spread to save some money, I promise no one will be able to tell the difference, and I often use it instead as well!

How to make nutella cinnamon rolls

While making brioche might seem hard and scary, it’s really super easy and most of the time you are just waiting for the dough to rise!

1. Make the dough. Mix together the warm milk, sugar, and yeast and leave to rest until the mixture begins to foam. Then, combine all of the dough ingredients in a stand mixer and knead. You will know the dough is ready when it passes the windowpane test (more details later in the post!)

2. Let rise overnight. These buns are made using a brioche dough, meaning it’s been enriched with eggs, butter and milk (all the good stuff!) I recommend letting the dough rise in the fridge overnight so that it is easier to work with. However, you can certainly make this all in one day (more details later in the post!)

3. Make the filling. In a food processor, pulse together the hazelnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon until the hazelnuts are small and nicely distributed throughout the mixture. Mix the hazelnut-sugar mixture with the softened butter until you have a paste.

4. Roll out the dough. Once the dough has finished rising (whether overnight or same-day), lightly punch it down to remove excess air in the dough. Transfer the dough to a clean and lightly floured surface, then roll it out to a 12″ x 10″ (30 x 25 cm) rectangle.

5. Form the rolls. Carefully spread the filling over the dough. Tightly roll the dough up into a cylinder starting from the longer (12″) side. Use a sharp knife to slice the roll into 6 even cinnamon rolls.

6. Let the dough rise. Transfer the rolls to a lightly buttered 9″ pie dish or 9″ cake pan. Let the rolls rise in a warm environment until doubled in size, ~30 minutes.

7. Bake. Bake the rolls at 350°F / 175°C for 15-20 minutes, until the tops of the rolls are golden brown.

8. Serve and enjoy. Generously top the cinnamon rolls with nutella, serve, and enjoy!

The windowpane test

The windowpane test is (in my opinion) the best way to tell that your dough has been properly kneaded. Once the dough starts to pull away from the sides and the bottom of the mixing bowl, it is most likely ready. However, just to be sure that it’s good to go I check if it passes the windowpane test. To do that, take some of the dough in your hands and start to slowly stretch it out. If it can get thin enough to where light passes through it before tearing, then it’s good to go! If not, keep kneading until it does!

How to store nutella cinnamon rolls

Is there anything better than fresh brioche? These will taste their best on the day that they are baked. If you are not going to eat them right away, simply store the rolls at room temperature in an airtight container. When you’re ready to eat them, pop them in the microwave for 5-10 seconds, top with nutella and enjoy!

Nutella cinnamon rolls Q & A

Can I double this recipe?

Yes! I can’t emphasize using a kitchen scale enough for especially this recipe already, but if you are going to double or half the ingredients it is even more important that you weigh your ingredients. The dough is very hydrated and slight alterations can change the texture of the dough.

Can I use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast?

Yes of course! Instead of mixing the heated milk, sugar, and yeast together, just pop all of the dough ingredients into your mixing bowl to start kneading. I do highly recommend refrigerating the dough overnight to make it easier to work with and more flavorful. However, if you are making the recipe all in one day, and using instant yeast, simply let the dough rest for just 10 minutes before shaping the rolls. After shaping the rolls and adding on the matcha streusel, let the buns rise until they are doubled in size and then bake!

Can I make the dough ahead of time?

Yes, and I highly recommend it! Brioche dough is a very enriched dough that can be hard to work with when warm. There are two ways you can go about making these ahead of time:

  1. Make the dough the night before. This is the method I recommend. Simply knead the dough together, cover it, and leave it to rise in the fridge overnight. When ready to make the nutella cinnamon rolls, simply take it out of the fridge and proceed with the recipe.
  2. Assemble the rolls the night before. After assembling the rolls, they can be covered and placed in the fridge overnight. When ready to bake, simply take them out of the fridge and let them sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before baking.

My yeast mixture isn’t foaming, what should I do?

The mixture should start foaming around 5 minutes in. If it has not foamed after 10 minutes, the yeast is likely dead. You want to make sure that the milk temperature does not exceed 110°F / 43°C or it will kill the yeast. If you try it again and it still does not foam, the yeast you are using may be expired and you will want to purchase some more before proceeding.

Why do you measure in grams?

My recipes are all written in grams because it is a more accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!

A note on oven temperature.

Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you. I use this one.

Tools and ingredients

Small food processor: I love this small food processor because it’s easy to clean and easy to take out when needed.

For a full list of tools, equipment and ingredients that I use and love, you can check out this page here.

Did you make these nutella cinnamon rolls?

If you made these nutella cinnamon rolls I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!

Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

Print Recipe
Buttery brioche cinnamon rolls filled with a hazelnut cinnamon filling, and generously topped with nutella
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword brioche, cinnamon rolls, hazelnut, nutella
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Proofing Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings 6 rolls

Ingredients

Brioche Dough

  • 60 g whole milk (¼ c.)
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 160 g all purpose flour (1 ⅓ c.)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 42 g unsalted butter room temperature (3 tbsp.)

Hazelnut Cinnamon Filling

  • 56 g unsalted butter room temperature (¼ c.)
  • 105 g light brown sugar (½ c.)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 32 g hazelnuts (¼ c.)

Topping

  • nutella for topping

Instructions

Brioche Dough

  • In a microwave safe measuring cup, heat the milk to 100°F / 38°C. Whisk in the yeast and the sugar. Set aside until the mixture begins to foam. (~5 minutes)
  • While waiting, add the flour, salt, egg, and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. When the yeast mixture begins to foam, add it in to the rest of the ingredients.
  • Knead the dough on low speed for 1 minute to allow the ingredients to come together. Increase the speed to medium-high and knead for an additional 15 minutes, or until the dough passes the windowpane test. (This will happen after the dough has cleaned the sides and bottom of the bowl)
  • At this point I would recommend covering the bowl with plastic wrap and leaving it to rise overnight in the fridge. If making the buns in one day, cover the bowl with a towel and leave it to rise in a warm environment until doubled in size (~1 hr.)

Hazelnut Cinnamon Filling

  • In a small food processor, pulse together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and hazelnuts until the hazelnuts are small and distributed throughout the filling.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the hazelnut-sugar mixture and softened butter until a cohesive paste is formed.

Assembly & Baking

  • Once the dough has doubled in size (or after taking it out of the fridge after rising overnight), lightly punch it down to remove excess air.
  • Turn the dough out on to a clean, lightly floured surface. Roll it out to a 12" x 10" rectangle.
  • Carefully spread the filling over the dough. Starting from the long end, roll the dough up into a tight cylinder. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough into 6 equal rolls.
  • Place the rolls evenly spaced apart in a lightly buttered 9" pie or cake pan. Lightly place a towel over the pan and allow the rolls to rise in a warm environment until doubled in size (~30 minutes)
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the rolls are golden brown.
  • Generously top with nutella, serve, and enjoy!


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