I made something really, really yummy for you that involves yeast and cherries……need I say more? Please tell me you are among the group of awesome peoples on the planet who agree that chocolate and cherries are a match made in heaven. Like, it doesn’t get better than waking up to this yumminess!
So just fyi, “black forest” basically refers to anything chocolate-cherry in case you’ve never heard of it as a flavor before. I don’t remember the first time I heard of it but when I did I fell in love immediately (…..which is what I’m hoping will happen when you taste these!). It seemed like a new thing since I’d never heard of it before then, but apparently it’s from a classic German cake recipe that dates back to like the 20’s, so I guess I just don’t get out much.
All I know is that I heard the name and my brain went straight to a song called The Dark Black Forest that was on a dance dance revolution game that my sisters and I used to have for playstation. My little brothers are major game nerds but I never really got into video gaming much when I was younger. The ones that involve dancing though, those were so much fun to me. We would play them for hours after school with our friends and see who could get the highest score. (I kinda think you have to go and listen to this song now. Just let it play as background music while you finish this post.) Omg, hearing it makes me so happy and nostalgic! I feel like the good games went out of style forever ago, but this one was a classic. Would I sound really old if I said they don’t make em like they uses to?
Okay, so morning buns. I have name confusion when it comes to these. When I made caramel pecan rolls a few months ago I had the hardest time deciding what to call them because in my house everyone defaults to calling them “caramel cinnamon rolls” and these are ”cherry cinnamon rolls”. I decided on ”morning buns” because it seems like “sticky buns” are usually with caramel and “rolls” are usually with cinnamon and brown sugar, but I’m still confused a little.
Some of my trusted taste testers liked these even more than cinnamon rolls, believe it or not! I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned the fact that cinnamon rolls are kind of a huge deal in my family. My mom has made her famous rolls for years and the kiddos usually ask for them for their birthdays instead of cake. The ones who liked these more than cinnamon ones said it was because the bittersweet chocolate and tart cherries help to give it a more balanced level of sweetness, whereas cinnamon rolls tend to be over the top and wind up making you feel like you never want to eat again.
I was inspired to make these because our cherry season has seemed so short and feel like I almost missed it again this year. If it came down to a choice I’d honestly pick berries first over cherries but I’ve really been loving cherries this year more than I remember. I think they are also the perfect thing for it being Valentine’s Day weekend. I just wanted to at least make something to showcase them while it’s still summer here.
One more thing, something awesome thing about this recipe is if you make the dough and let it slowly rise in the fridge overnight it’s a really fast fix for breakfast and the perfect way to show how much you love someone when they wake up to them. I’m telling you, these rolls could win hearts!
Black Forest Chocolate Chip Morning Buns
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 cups full-fat coconut milk warm but not hot
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons oil plus more for greasing pan
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 1/4 cups flour plus more for work surface
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 1/2 cups fresh cherries pitted and cut in half
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of cinnamon optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup coconut cream *see note
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), dissolve yeast in milk and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until bubbly. Stir in sugar, oil, and salt until combined. Add flour a cup at a time until your dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of bowl. Cover bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place in warm place to rise until doubled in size. (Alternatively, you can refrigerate the dough overnight and have it ready for a quick breakfast. Just pull it out about an hour before you want to use it.)
Meanwhile, make your filling. Combine cherries, butter, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Bring mixture to a soft boil, stirring gently, and cook for 10-12 minutes until the the sauce starts to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and add vanilla and cinnamon, then set aside. Grease a 13x9 inch glass pan (or 2 8x8 inch or 2 10-inch round cake pans in which case you'll have 14 rolls) and spoon a few spoonfuls of the sauce from the cherries into pan(s).
Divide dough in half and roll out one half on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle, roughly 1/4 inch thick. Spread 1/2 of cherry filling in an even layer on top and sprinkle with 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Starting from the short end, roll it up until you have a log of sorts. Then using a sharp knife, cut into 6 (or 7 spirals if using a round pan) and place in prepared pan (spiral facing up). Repeat with other half of dough until you have 12 rolls. Cover pans and allow them to rise while oven preheats.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Bake for 30-40 minutes until edges start to brown. Remove pan(s) from oven and allow the to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
For the icing, whisk ingredients together in a medium bowl until thick and smooth. Serve on top of warm buns.
*If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.