Chocolate Pinecone Rolls

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chocolate pine cone rolls recipe
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

What’s for breakfast: cereal or pastry chef Erin McDowell’s chocolate pinecone rolls? (We think we know the answer.)

“This delicious, lightly sweet chocolate bread is so wonderful for the holidays,’’ McDowell tells us. “Full of rich, deep cocoa flavor, the yeasted dough is flecked with pieces of bittersweet chocolate and finished with a dusting of powdered sugar.”

Oh, and one warning: There will be no leftovers.


4 cups (482g) all-purpose flour

½ cup (43g) cocoa powder

½ cup (99g) granulated sugar

1½ teaspoons instant yeast

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ cup (170g) sour cream

1 cup (227g) warm water (around 100°F)

4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, melted

1 large (56g) egg

2½ ounces (71g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Confectioners’ sugar, as needed for finishing


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, yeast and salt to combine.

2. Add the sour cream, water, butter and egg; mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes more. Add the chocolate in the last minute of mixing and mix until incorporated.

3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. It may not double in size, but it will look noticeably puffy.

4. When the dough has risen, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces. Use your hands to form the dough into rounds, then roll one side of the round to make a cone-like shape, slightly pointed at one end. Transfer each piece to the prepared baking sheets.

5. Hold a pair of scissors at a 45-degree angle over the dough and snip the surface all over to create a pinecone effect. Loosely cover the rolls with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

6. Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the rolls until they are set on the surface and appear browned at the edges. (Despite the dark color of the dough, you’ll see it clearly darken at the base, 15 to 18 minutes.)

7. While the rolls are still warm, sift confectioners’ sugar all over them. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts
  • 287 calories

  • 10g fat

  • 47g carbs

  • 6g protein

  • 13g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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erin jeanne mcdowell
Erin McDowell

Freelance Food Editor

Erin Jeanne McDowell is a recipe developer, food stylist and author of multiple cookbooks, including The Fearless Baker, which was named one of the Best Baking Books of 2017 by...
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