Halloween Nutella Cinnamon Roll Ring – the name says it all! I filled the awesome cinnamon rolls that make up the ring with Nutella rather than the traditional butter and sugar. Then, I topped the cinnamon roll ring with a luscious Halloween themed buttercream frosting. I finished it with a drizzle of melted chocolate. Are you drooling yet? Oh, and I used my bread machine to do most of the work in making the brioche type dough for the cinnamon rolls!
Dough for the Cinnamon Rolls
Through the years, I’ve used a lot of different types of yeast dough in making cinnamon rolls. Typically, a good cinnamon roll dough is enriched with egg and fats to produce a tender bite. For these cinnamon rolls, I decided to kick it up a notch and use a brioche type dough. Brioche is sweet yeasted dough that is enriched with eggs and butter. It sounds fancy, but is no more difficult to make than other types of yeasted dough.
For these cinnamon rolls, I used, eggs, milk, melted unsalted butter, Kosher salt, granulated sugar, bread flour and instant yeast.
I added the dough ingredients to the bread machine pan. Then, I set the bread machine on the dough cycle and walked away. Once the dough cycle was complete, I dumped the dough onto a floured surface. I patted it into a rectangle that was about 1-inch thick, wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator overnight. Because of the dough’s butter content, it was important to refrigerate the dough for at least an hour before working with it.
Making the Nutella Cinnamon Rolls
The next day, I removed the dough from the refrigerator about an hour before I was ready to roll it out.
After about an hour, I placed the dough onto a floured surface. The dough was a dream to work with. Actually, it felt more like rolling out sugar cookie dough than a yeast dough.
I rolled it into a rectangle that was approximately 8 inches by 16 inches. Next, I spread the dough with Nutella to about a 1/2-inch from one of the long sides. Typically for cinnamon rolls, the filling starts with a combination of butter and sugar being spread on the dough. I thought that it would be fun to try using Nutella instead. It worked brilliantly!
Once the dough was covered with Nutella, I sprinkled on ground cinnamon. After that, I rolled the dough into a log, beginning on one of the long sides.
I pinched the edges of the dough together so that the roll would hold together. Then, I cut it in into 12 pieces with a serrated knife. Each piece was about 1 1/4-inches wide. I only needed 10 cinnamon rolls but knew that the two end slices were pretty much scrap pieces!
I arranged the cinnamon rolls around the edges of a 10-inch cast iron skillet that I had lined with parchment paper. Then, I placed a round 4-inch metal pastry cutter in the center of the pan. The reason for doing this was to ensure that the cinnamon rolls had the proper shape when they had risen.
I covered the pan with plastic wrap and placed it in my electric oven that I had heated for exactly 1 minute and 45 seconds. This is a trick that I learned from Julia Child. It produces the perfect environment for the dough to rise. After about a hour, the cinnamon rolls had doubled in size.
I brushed them with an egg wash. Then, I baked the cinnamon rolls in a preheated 350° F oven for about 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, they were nicely browned and perfectly cooked.
I removed the cinnamon rolls from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes. Then, I removed the metal pastry cutter and ran a knife around the edges to loosen any parts that were sticking because of the egg wash. Next, I inverted the cinnamon roll ring onto a wire cooling rack and removed the parchment paper. Finally, I inverted it again onto another wire rack to allow the cinnamon roll ring to cool completely.
Making the Buttercream Frosting
Generally, when I make cinnamon rolls, I top them with a cream cheese frosting. This time, I decided to use a classic buttercream frosting. The two keys to making a perfect buttercream frosting are to (1) use 2 parts of confectioners’ sugar per 1 part of butter; and (2) beat the room temperature butter until it is very pale and light and fluffy.
Therefore, for the buttercream frosting, I used confectioners’ sugar, room temperature butter, vanilla extract, milk and orange gel food coloring. I also used mini chocolate chips for the drizzle on top of the frosting.
To make the buttercream frosting, I started by beating the room temperature butter on high for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, it was quite pale and light and fluffy. Then, I sifted in half of the confectioners’ sugar along with the milk and vanilla. I beat the mixture on high for about 3 minutes. After that, I sifted in the remainder of the confectioners’ sugar and beat it for another 3 minutes. At the end, I had deliciously smooth and light buttercream frosting.
Once the buttercream frosting was ready, I added orange gel food coloring. I beat the buttercream to thoroughly incorporate the coloring and added a bit more until I achieved the desired color. All told, I added about 20 drops of the color.
Finishing the Halloween Nutella Cinnamon Roll Ring
To finish the Halloween Nutella Cinnamon Roll Ring, I spread the buttercream frosting onto the cinnamon roll ring. In doing so, I allowed it to drip down into the center and down the sides a bit. Then, I used a trick that I learned years ago in a cake decorating class to smooth out the top. I heated a spatula by putting it into a glass of hot water. Next, I removed the spatula from the water and wiped it dry with a paper towel. I ran the hot spatula over the top of the buttercream frosting. The heat of the spatula slightly melted the buttercream allowing it to smooth out nicely!
Finally, I drizzled on some melted chocolate chips. As a finishing touch, I ran a toothpick from the center of the ring to the outside edge in 1-inch increments to produce a nice marbled web effect in the chocolate.
The Halloween Nutella Cinnamon Rolls were as delicious as they were impressive to look at. The Nutella and the cinnamon filling perfectly complimented each other. To wow your friends and family, you should try this amazing Halloween treat. Yum!
If you like the idea or turning cinnamon rolls into a ring type confection, you should check out my awesome Mardi Gras Cinnamon Roll King Cake!
Halloween Nutella Cinnamon Roll Ring
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup whole milk, or enough which when added to eggs equals a total of 6.25 ounces (See Tip 1)
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
Cinnamon Roll Filling
- 3/4 cup Nutella
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces, 1 1/2 sticks) salted butter (See Tip 2)
- 3 cups (12 ounces) confectioners' sugar
- 1 Tablespoon whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Orange gel food coloring (See Tip 3)
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted for drizzling
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- Place cinnamon roll dough ingredients in pan of bread machine in order listed. Program on dough cycle. When dough cycle is finished, transfer dough to floured surface. Pat into 1-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (See Tip 4)
- Remove from refrigertor; place on floured surface. Roll out to rectangle that is 8 inches by 16 inches. Spread with Nutella to within 1/2-inch of long edge. Sprinkle on cinnamon.
- Starting on long side, roll into a log; press seam. Cut into 12 1 1/4-inch pieces. Discard two end pieces.
- Line a 10-inch cast iron skillet or cake pan with parchment paper. Arrange 10 cinnamon rolls in circle around edges of pan. Place 4-inch metal pastry cutter in center of pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm location until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (See Tip 5)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Brush top of cinnamon roll ring with egg wash. Bake in prehetred oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven; allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove metal pastry cutter. Invert onto wire rack; remove parchment paper. Invert again on wire rack. Allow to cool completely.
- Beat room temperature butter in large bowl on high until very pale and light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Sift in half of confectioners' sugar; add milk and vanilla. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Sift in remaining confectioners' sugar; beat on high for 3 additional minutes.
- Add gel food coloring. Beat on high to thoroughly incorporate coloring into buttercream frosting.
- Spread buttercream frosting on cinnamon roll ring, allowing frosting to drip down the center and sides. Smooth frosting on top. (See Tip 6)
- Add chocolate chips to pastry bag or ziploc bag. Microwave on 50% power in 30 second increments until melted. Snip off tip of bag; drizzle onto top of cinnamon roll ring in circular fashion.
- Drag toothpick from center of cinnamon roll ring to outside in 1-inch increments to create a web effect.
- Yield: 10 servings.
Chula's Expert Tips
- I always weigh my ingredients to ensure the right proportions of wet versus dry. There is a lot of variability in the weight of a large egg. Therefore I add enough milk to bring the total weight of the eggs and milk up to 6.25 ounces.
- I used salted butter for the buttercream because salt cuts down some of the sweetness. If you use unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- I would recommend against using liquid food coloring here. It can negatively impact both the flavor and the consistency of the frosting. You can purchase gel food coloring at a hobby store or Walmart.
- Because of the amount of butter in the dough, it really needs to both rest and cool in the refrigerator before rolling it out. If you refrigerate it overnight, remove it about an hour before you want to roll it out to let it warm slightly.
- To produce the perfect environment for the dough to rise, turn on electric oven for exactly 1 minute and 45 seconds.
- You can easily smooth out buttercream frosting by using a spatula or knife that has been heated in a glass of hot water and wiped dry with a paper towel.