• Mocha Cinnamon Rolls

    by  • April 30, 2014 • desserts, giveaway • 46 Comments

    Today, we’re celebrating two things I love: mothers and the Fair Trade movement! Join us while a group of food bloggers, myself included, create a Fair Trade Brunch in honor of all the mother’s that work so hard to get food on our tables. Come and celebrate that “Moms Make a World of Difference.”

    Mocha Cinnamon Rolls recipe

    This year, two very special days fall on the same weekend: Mother’s Day and World Fair Trade Day (May 11-12) and I’ve joined forces with Fair Trade USA to not only share the love for Fair Trade, but to share with you the amazing things mothers all over the world are doing continue in their Fair Trade jobs. We’ll also have a big Fair Trade products giveaway at the end of this post, so be sure to scroll down and enter it!

    Coffee Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

    Now, what do these Mocha Cinnamon Rolls have to do with both Mother’s Day and World Fair Trade Day? Well, first of all this recipe uses FOUR ingredients from fair trade brands: Guittard Chocolate Company, Frontier Ceylon Cinnamon, India Tree Brown Muscovado Sugar, and Allegro Coffee! And with Mother’s Day – well, what mom doesn’t appreciate a brunch in her honor?!

    Mocha Cinnamon Roll Recipe

    The First-Ever Fair Trade Brunch on Pinterest
    In the spirit of Mother’s Day, Fair Trade USA invited food bloggers to bring a dish to their virtual brunch party. It has turned out to be one of the most delicious brunch spreads you’ve ever seen: a unique celebration of Fair Trade Moms around the world! Browse theses drool-worthy recipes and photos, and then vote (voting begins MAY 1ST) for your favorites by re-pinning them on Pinterest. I hope my Mocha Cinnamon Rolls are worthy of your re-pins! (Contest sponsored by Vitamix and Whole Foods)

    Mocha Cinnamon Rolls, Glazed

    What is Fair Trade? Your everyday purchases can help farming families in 70 countries earn fair wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment and keep their kids in school. Buying Fair Trade is an easy way to support the hard-working people who grow the products we love. You’ll find the Fair Trade Certified™ label on thousands of products throughout the grocery store, from coffee, tea and chocolate to bananas, honey and even wine.

    • Quality Products: Farmers receive training and feedback to help grow products that meet the quality requirements of the global marketplace. This increases their incomes and improves their communities.
    • Improving Lives: Workers receive fair wages, safe working conditions, access to education and healthcare. They also earn community development funds that allow them to invest in their futures.
    • Protecting the Environment: Farmers receive higher prices for organic crops and learn about sustainable farming. Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited.

    Mocha Cinnamon Rolls 01

    So when you bake up this recipe, not only will you be indulging in sweet, chocolate-stuffed, sugar & spice baked goodness, but you’ll be supporting an organization, a movement, a way of life. I wanted to showcase these products specifically (coffee, sugar, cinnamon, and chocolate) because they are also the main crops in the Dominican Republic, my home island. These four items are the ones I always try to buy Fair Trade – because I know I want the farmers, not only in the Dominican Republic, but everywhere else, to have a fair chance in gaining the wages they deserve. Read about our trip to an organic cacao farm in the Dominican Republic.

    Mocha Cinnamon Rolls, cut

    Mocha Cinnamon Rolls

    Prep Time: 5 hours

    Cook Time: 20 minutes

    Total Time: 5 hours, 20 minutes

    Yield: 10 large rolls

    A caffeinated treat, these mocha cinnamon rolls are perfect for a brunch or breakfast party!


      for the dough:
    • 1/2 cup brewed Allegro coffee, warm to the touch
    • 1 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
    • 1/4 granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/8 cup buttermilk
    • 1/2 large egg, whisked
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 cups unbleached bread flour
    • for the filling:
    • 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup India Tree dark muscovado sugar
    • 1 tablespoon Frontier ground cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1, 3 ounce bar of Guittard dark baking chocolate, finely chopped
    • for the glaze:
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 tablespoon corn or maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted


    1. In your mixer bowl, mix together the warm coffee, yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Let sit for five minutes until yeast is activated, or becomes "frothy".
    2. Add the rest of the sugar, salt, buttermilk, egg, and oil and throughly mix.
    3. Incorporate half of the flour and knead. Dough will be sticky, add the rest of the flour and knead on medium high for 5-8 minutes.
    4. Prepare an oiled bowl and place dough in it, in a warm place. Let proof for two hours. Once the dough has proofed, it is time for rolling it out and filling it.
    5. Punch down the dough and roll out to a large rectangle. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Slather rectangle with softened butter, sprinkle with sugar mixture and then evenly sprinkle chocolate.
    6. Roll the rectangle to a tight long and cut two inch pieces for the cinnamon rolls.
    7. Place in a buttered pan, covered for about an hour until rolls double in size. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
    8. For glaze: mix all the ingredients. If the butter doesn't incorporate too well, place glaze in microwave for 5-10 seconds.
    9. Serve warm with glaze and enjoy!


    Adapted from Lauren's Latest "Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls".


    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Fair Trade USA, but opinions are always my own. I fully support the Fair Trade organization and try to purchase as many fair trade products as possible. 


    As a freelance food & travel writer, I not only write for my own food blog, Cooking with Books, but collaborate with SheKnows, Honest Cooking, Marcus Samuelsson, and Startle – Forbes Travel Guide. My work has been published (online and in print) in Woman’s Day, NBC Latino, and other food publications.


    46 Responses to Mocha Cinnamon Rolls

    1. Laura P.
      May 6, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      I try to buy fair trade products when I can afford them. Tea and chocolate are my fav products to buy fair trade!

    2. Amy L
      May 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      I don’t usually buy Fair Trade foods simply because I haven’t seen them very often where I shop.

    3. cara marie
      May 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      sometimes i buy fair trade. but i don’t often shop in stores where fair trade is promoted, unfortunately. but i buy a lot of food from my college ag store…. does that count? :]

    4. Lacey
      May 5, 2014 at 11:06 am

      It’s not always available where I live, but I definitely do when I can!

    5. maggie
      May 5, 2014 at 2:35 am

      I do buy their coffee because it really is the best one you can find around

    6. Lauren S.
      May 4, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      I try to as much as I can afford to because I know how important it is to put dollars toward a good cause/the right recipient

    7. Josh R
      May 4, 2014 at 7:34 am

      I always try to buy fair trader. I like to know the little extra money i give for a product is going to smaller company’s rather then the super rich.

    8. Susan P.
      May 3, 2014 at 11:38 pm

      I buy Fair Trade products if I remember and see them.

    9. Renee
      May 3, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      Yes, I try to buy Fair Trade when possible knowing farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods are paid fair prices and wages and work in safe conditions.

    10. Linda Martin
      May 3, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      I do buy fair trade coffee and sometimes tea.

    11. Darla
      May 3, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      Yep! My favorite coffee is fair trade!

    12. constance ralph
      May 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      I havent heard of it before

    13. Bonnie K.
      May 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      I do buy Fair Trade products as much as possible. I know that when I do I’m am supporting some good business and that I am consuming some good products.

    14. Cindy M
      May 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      These look delicious and using fair trade ingredients make it even sweeter!

    15. Patricia Caradonna
      May 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      This is the first I have heard about fair trade. I will make sure I buy whenever possible.

    16. Kristen Varner
      May 3, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      I try to buy fair trade coffee and chocolate bc it’s the right thing to do.

    17. May 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      I sure try as much as possible

    18. Courtney D
      May 3, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      I do always try to buy fair trade coffee. It’s the right thing to do!

    19. Karen Lynch
      May 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      I have bought them in the past, usually as a deal. With a family we cut expenses where we can

    20. Laura
      May 3, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      I do buy fair trade when I have a choice, mostly coffee and chocolate.

    21. Jean Tav
      May 3, 2014 at 11:54 am

      I buy fair trade coffee, but living here in the middle of nowhere, I really did not know much about other items that are fair trade. Know I need to check it out.

    22. May 3, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Yes! Love buying fair trade :)

    23. May 3, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Yes, especially coffee and chocolate.

    24. Sandy Headtke
      May 3, 2014 at 11:04 am

      I haven’t been checking to see if I buy Fair Trade, where I live we have very limited options.

    25. Megan C
      May 3, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Yum! Gimme! :^}

    26. Dawn Wise
      May 3, 2014 at 10:31 am

      I’m so happy to see Fair Trade encouraged and prosper in order to help farmers around the world. I’m also excited about your give away. Thank you!!!

    27. Amy
      May 3, 2014 at 10:31 am

      I buy organic when I can and I have bought some fair trade.

    28. May 3, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Oooo I want all of this. I always look for the fair trade label when shopping!

    29. Amy
      May 3, 2014 at 10:28 am

      I want to win!

    30. angela
      May 3, 2014 at 10:25 am

      love organic and buy fair trade and/or local as often as i can.

    31. Denise Malia
      May 3, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Absolutely! I like to feel good about what I buy. (ツ)

    32. Jamie Mack
      May 3, 2014 at 10:16 am

      We are a union family so we are always trying to buy fair trade also!

    33. May 3, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Great giveaway. I love fair trade products and try to purchase when I can. I know we are lucky in this country and food is inexpensive, and few of the profits are passed on to the farmers in other countries. So I love seeing FT companies.

    34. May 3, 2014 at 10:00 am

      I love my fair trade coffee! What a fun giveaway!

    35. Mary W
      May 3, 2014 at 9:34 am

      I do try but Fair Trade mostly is sold in coffee selections at the moment.

    36. Heather
      May 3, 2014 at 9:24 am

      To be quite honest, I’m not sure if I do or not. I never really looked at the packages. Now I am curious and going to have to go raid the pantry!

    37. Jeffrey
      May 3, 2014 at 9:23 am

      I do but the availability is limited in my area.

    38. May 2, 2014 at 8:58 am

      I don’t buy much fair trade, but I live in the middle of a cornfield, and our grocery stores are severely lacking. No Trader Joe’s, no Whole Foods, no nothing. But, if I could, I would!

    39. Renata
      May 2, 2014 at 7:38 am

      Yes – I love fair trade brands as it supports people and quality products! And they taste yummy too!

    40. Georgiana
      May 1, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      Fair Trade is a great cause for people and I support it when I can!

    41. Ray
      May 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Absolutely! Fair Trade supports people, the planet and our whole community. Thanks!

    42. May 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      wow – those pictures are gorgeous! that drizzle is divine!!

    43. April 30, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      I buy fair trade when I can, but it’s not always an option where I shop.

    44. April 30, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      Umm, yes please! These cinnamon rolls are fantastic!

      And I love your shout out to fair trade! Such a good cause and program. But seriously back to those cinnamon rolls! Yum!

    45. Amy C.
      April 30, 2014 at 10:53 am

      I know I buy some coffee that is Fair Trade! I really need to learn more about it!

    46. April 30, 2014 at 9:09 am

      YES! I buy fair trade coffee and fair trade chocolate too. It feels like I’m supporting the right industries, and I’m getting some fabulous products too. Win-win!

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