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

A caffeinated treat, these mocha cinnamon rolls are perfect for a brunch or breakfast party!
Print Recipe
Mocha Cinnamon Rolls Glazed
Prep Time:5 hours
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:5 hours 20 minutes


for the dough:

  • ½ cup brewed Allegro coffee warm to the touch
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ¼ granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • cup buttermilk
  • ½ large egg whisked
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups unbleached bread flour

for the filling:

  • ¼ cup softened unsalted butter
  • ½ 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 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted


  • 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".
  • Add the rest of the sugar, salt, buttermilk, egg, and oil and throughly mix.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Roll the rectangle to a tight long and cut two inch pieces for the cinnamon rolls.
  • 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.
  • For glaze: mix all the ingredients. If the butter doesn't incorporate too well, place glaze in microwave for 5-10 seconds.
  • Serve warm with glaze and enjoy!


Adapted from Lauren's Latest "Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls".
Servings: 10 large rolls

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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. 

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  1. Pingback: 101 Brunch Recipes
  2. I try to buy fair trade products when I can afford them. Tea and chocolate are my fav products to buy fair trade!

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

  4. cara marie says:

    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? :]

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

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

  7. Lauren S. says:

    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