Chocolate Swirl Buns

So I was totally ready to come out here and tell you about this awesome vegan chocolate cake. I really started to appreciate vegan baking, as everything comes out so moist and delicious. But then… then Deb from Smitten Kitchen posted these chocolate buns, and there I was at the store, buying butter by the pound. So we’ll leave the vegan cakes for another day, and now we’ll talk about butter and milk and dough and yeast and… oh my. Is it ok to admit that I’ve had these for breakfast 3 days in a row? And mid-afternoon snack too? And that I just had one for dinner like…5 minute ago? Oops.

Need a drink to go along with these? Dunk some coffee ice cubes into a glass of almond milk!


Chocolate Swirl Buns
Yields 12
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
275 calories
37 g
33 g
13 g
4 g
7 g
70 g
127 g
18 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 275
Calories from Fat 111
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 33mg
Sodium 127mg
Total Carbohydrates 37g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 18g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1/2 cup milk
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  4. 1 large egg, brought to room temperature
  5. 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  6. 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  7. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature,
  1. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. First, we should really bring the egg and the butter to room temperature, so take them out of the fridge and leave them on the counter for about a half hour.
  2. We'll start with the dough. In a small bowl, combine the milk and sugar and microwave for about 20 seconds. You want the milk to be warmed up a bit, but not so hot you can't touch it. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it gets foamy. If it doesn't get foamy, the yeast is dead. Either it's expired or the milk was too hot. Start over, this one can't be fixed. Once you've confirmed the yeast is all ready to go, gently whisk in the egg and the sugar. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour and salt. Add the milky mix to the dough, and with a dough hook, run the mixer on low until everything starts coming together, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and keep the mixer running on low for about 10 minutes. By now you should have a ball of supple dough. If you don't have a stand mixer you can do all of this by hand, and knead the dough for about 12-15 minutes. Let the dough rise for about an hour in warm place, until it's doubled in size. This may even take an hour and a half if it's cool in your kitchen. Just wait for it to double in size.
  4. In the mean time, we'll make the filling. And watch TV shows we're embarrassed to talk about on blogs. Ok, back to the filling. In a bowl, mix the chocolate with the sugar and microwave for about 2 minutes, until the chocolate starts getting a bit melty. Add the butter, salt and cinnamon and whisk everything together until you have a chocolate paste.
  5. Grease a 12-muffin pan; I used vegetable oil. Set aside.
  6. Once the dough is doubled in size, sprinkle a countertop with flour and turn the dough onto the countertop. Punch it down and roll it out into a rectangle, about 12x20 inches. If the dough keeps retracting when you roll it out, just let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then come back to it. Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the dough and spread it evenly. Roll out the dough from the short side, so that eventually you end up with a 12-inch log. Cut it into 12 equal sized pieces and place them in the muffin pan. Let the buns rise in the muffin pan for about 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the buns for about 15-20 minutes, until they turn golden brown.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
A Kitchen Odyssey