Ready for one of the best chocolate treats? It’s time for a Chocolate Butterhorn, a yeast roll filled with chocolate, similar to a chocolate croissant. They are perfect for freezing which makes them perfect for snacking — anytime.
If you’re someone who…
… finds yourself slowing down in the bakery aisle of your grocery store?
… can smell the tantalizing aroma of baked rolls and chocolate a mile away?
… crave a sweet treat on the weekends?
Then it may be time to try your hand at homemade chocolate butterhorn pastries. I promise it’s not hard. I once shook in my boots at the idea of making homemade dough. Not anymore.
And this recipe for Chocolate Butterhorn Pastries is a great one to try out.
Why Make This
It’s super easy. Chocolate Butterhorn Pastries are yeast rolls that come together quickly and easily. You can make the dough in a stand mixer, in a bread machine, or even in a mixing bowl with a spoon.
Chocolate Butterhorn Pastries are very freezer-friendly. These chocolate-laden rolls freeze beautifully – as all yummy baked goods should — and make for a delicious addition to any breakfast, brunch, snack, or dessert table.
Here’s what you need to make a batch of Chocolate Butterhorn Pastries:
milk – You can use whatever milk you like, dairy or plant-based, keeping in mind that the higher the fat content the richer flavor your chocolate butterhorn will have.
butter – Butter is a key ingredient in the Chocolate Butterhorn. I use regular dairy butter, but you can use a plant-based butter if you prefer.
sugar – You’ll need two kinds of sugar for this recipe, granulated for the dough and coarser demerara sugar for sprinkling on the finished chocolate butterhorn rolls. You can also sprinkle the tops with colored sprinkles if you like.
active dry yeast – Active dry yeast is what makes these butterhorn rolls light and fluffy. Don’t omit it.
eggs – Eggs add richness to the dough. You don’t really want to make a butterhorn roll without eggs. It really adds to the flavor.
flour – I use unbleached, all-purpose flour, but you can use regular as well as whole wheat pastry flour if that is what you have.
salt – Salt is key in yeast doughs, don’t leave it out.
chocolate chips – You can use chocolate chips (mini or regular) as well as chocolate chunks in these Chocolate Butterhorn Rolls.
whipping cream or half and half – Just a little cream or half and half brushed on the butterhorns prior to baking gives them a shine and helps the sugar or sprinkles stick to them.
If you want to fast track this recipe, you can substitute the dough ingredients and use refrigerator crescent rolls instead. The flavor of the roll is, of course, very different but it’s a quick and easy short cut.
The process of preparing Chocolate Butterhorns is fairly simple. Here’s how to do it:
1. Prepare the yeast dough and allow it to rise until doubled in bulk. You can make the dough really easily in a bread machine or stand mixer.
2. Divide the dough into four equal portions. Roll each portion into a large round. Cut the round into 8 equal portions.
3. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the surface of each wedge. Roll up each wedge, starting with the bottom of the triangle. Lay the rolls out on a lined tray, brush them with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar or sprinkles. Bake until golden. Cool on a rack. Enjoy!
FAQs & Recipe Costs
A butterhorn roll is a soft, flaky pastry in the shape of a crescent. Basically, a homemade version of those refrigerator crescent rolls you buy in a can. Only better! One source says that they are Austrian in origin and that the crescent shape is to symbolize the removal of the Ottoman empire from the region. I could only find one source who claimed that though, so if you can confirm this, please do!
Pain au chocolat is a flaky, French pastry filled with chocolate, usually in the shape of a rectangle. It’s made with the same type dough as a traditional croissant so it is often called a chocolate croissant, in English.
A chocolate butterhorn is similar to a pain au chocolat or chocolate croissant, but not exactly. The dough of a butterhorn is rich and buttery, but you won’t find the same type of layers in the pastry. It’s flaky, but not quite as flaky as a croissant.
I’ve adapted this Butterhorn Recipe to become CHOCOLATE BUTTERHORNS.
Baked chocolate butterhorns are great for freezing. Bake and cool completely on a rack. Then store in an airtight container in the freezer. To thaw, simply pull out as many rolls as you would like to serve and set them on a plate at room temperature. The rolls will thaw in about 20 to 30 minutes.
This recipe makes 32 rolls, meaning one batch should stock your freezer for a few weeks. Or help you host one fantastic coffee klatch.
Reheat the thawed rolls in a 300 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until warm.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- milk – $0.17
- butter – $0.75
- granulated sugar – $0.11
- active dry yeast – $0.33
- eggs – $0.30
- flour – $0.88
- salt – $0.01
- chocolate chips – $2.00
- whipping cream – $0.17
- Demerara sugar – $0.11
While your costs may vary depending on where and how you shop, you can expect to pay about $4.83 for a big batch of Chocolate Butterhorn Pastries, about $ /serving.
How to make this good and cheap:
You know I don’t typically want to make something if I can’t make it good as well as cheap. Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the price of flour, butter, and sugars can help keep the price down. And of course, stock up on chocolate when they’re at a great price!
- Buying in bulk – It’s rare that I would buy a small bag of flour. I hedge my bets by buying in bulk. I also have gotten into the habit of buying cases of flour from Bob’s Red Mill or VitaCost so that I always have baking supplies on hand. If the grocery store has a sale, I stock up!
- Load up on post-holiday clearance specials. You’ll find great deals on colored sugars and sprinkles after holidays. There are lots of ways to use holiday baking items creatively. Remember that chocolate candies can be chopped up and substituted for the chocolate chips in this recipe.
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Chocolate Butterhorn Pastries
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup butter cubed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast heaping
- 2 egg beaten
- 4– 4 ½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cup chocolate chips depending on how chocolatey you want them
- 2 tablespoon whipping cream or half and half
- 2 tablespoon demerara sugar or colored sprinkles
To make the dough in a bread machine:
- Combine all dough ingredients in the pan of your bread machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Set on the dough cycle and start machine.
To make the dough in a stand mixer:
- Warm the milk and melt the butter (in the microwave or in a pot on the stove). Stir in the sugar to dissolve. If the mixture is very hot, allow this to cool to 110 degrees.
- Transfer this mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Allow this to proof for five minutes.
- Add the eggs, flour, and salt to the bowl. Knead with the dough hook until a sticky dough forms. Allow the dough to rise for 60 to 90 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
To make the dough by hand:
- Follow the stand mixer instructions until it’s time to knead. Stir the dough with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are incorporated. The dough will be very sticky.
To assemble the rolls:
- When the dough is ready, transfer it onto a floured surface, divide it into four equal parts. Shape each part into a tight round.
- Roll each part into a 12-inch circle and cut each circle into 8 wedges. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the surface of each wedge. Roll each wedge like a crescent roll, starting with the bottom of the triangle and ending with the point.
- Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
To bake immediately:
- Place the rolls, point down on the prepared baking sheets. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 °. Brush with the cream and sprinkle with the coarse sugar or sprinkles. Bake the rolls for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.
To make the rolls to freeze ahead of baking:
- After rolling, place the rolls on a lined tray and place the tray in the freezer for a hour or two. Once they are frozen stiff, place them in freezer bags and store in the freezer until needed.
- To bake: Place the frozen rolls on prepared sheet. Allow to thaw and rise for five hours or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375 °, brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar and then bake the rolls for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.
This post was originally published on April 28, 2010. It has been updated for content and clarity.