Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls



For the Dough:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the Filling:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

For the Glaze: (it’s optional)

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk, or enough to make a pourable glaze


  1. In a small saucepan warm the milk to just warmer than body temperature.
  2. Transfer milk to a large bowl and sprinkle yeast over the top. Add a pinch of brown sugar. Allow mixture to sit for 3-5 minutes to allow to yeast to activate, foam, and froth.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, brown sugar. Break the softened butter into a few large chunks and add to the flour mixture. Create a well in the center of the bowl and pour the warm yeast milk into the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon or hand beaters with the dough hook attachment and stir or beat until incorporated and a ball starts to form. Add more flour, a few tablespoons at a time if the dough feels to wet. Bring the dough together into a smooth ball by kneading by hand for 5 minutes or so.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a roughly 9 x 12-inch rectangle.
  6. Spread with about 4 tablespoons of butter. In a small bowl stir together sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder (if using), and salt. Generously sprinkle over the melted butter. Roll starting at the longer edge into a tight coil.
  7. Slice into 6 pieces.
  8. Use remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch baking pan. Place rolls in the pan leaving about 1/2 inch of room between them. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 20-30 minutes.
  9. While the rolls rise, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  10. Remove plastic wrap and bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown, puffed, and bubbling.
  11. Remove from the oven, allow to cool just slightly.
  12. In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle over warm rolls and enjoy!!