French in a Flash: Pain au Chocolat Cinnamon Rolls with Crème Fraîche Icing and Walnuts

RECIPE: Pain au Chocolat Cinnamon Rolls
Pain au Chocolat Cinnamon Roll

Pain au Chocolat Cinnamon Roll

When I was young, I learned a lot of French words before I learned the phrase “French kiss.” And when I did, I needed some comfort chez maman. This week for French in a Flash on Serious Eats, I roll my American school and French home up into one perfect pastry: Pain au Chocolat Cinnamon Rolls with Creme Fraiche Icing and Walnuts. Using store-bought puff pastry stills gives you golden layers of croissant, the dark chocolate inside melts to a perfect sweet brown mess, and the top is sweet with white icing. And you can find the recipe and full text article here! Bon app…

Pain au Chocolate Cinnamon Roll Inside

Pain au Chocolat Cinnamon Rolls
makes 12

Pain au Chocolat Cinnamon RollCinnamon Roll Ingredients

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed but cold

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Icing Ingredients

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche

  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Mix together the sugars, cinnamon, and salt.

  3. Unroll both sheets of puff pastry, and paint both lightly with melted butter using a pastry brush.  You will have some butter left over.

  4. Divide the sugar-cinnamon mixture between the two sheets of pastry, spreading evenly.  Divide the walnuts and chocolate chips evenly across both pastry sheets.

  5. Use the remaining butter to grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

  6. Roll up both sheets of puff pastry, and use a serrated knife to cut each log into 6 cinnamon rolls.

  7. Place 1 roll in each muffin cup, cut-side-up.  If any of the filling falls out, just divide it between the cinnamon rolls.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, make the frosting by whisking together the powdered sugar, the crème fraîche, and the milk.

  9. Use a knife to help lift the cinnamon rolls out of the muffin cups and onto a wire rack to cool.  When they are cool, spoon the frosting over the top of the cinnamon rolls.

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Categories: 60 Minutes, Breakfast & Brunch, Easy, Eat, French in a Flash, Pastries, Recipes, Series, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

6 Responses to French in a Flash: Pain au Chocolat Cinnamon Rolls with Crème Fraîche Icing and Walnuts

  1. Anonymous says:

    What a little temptress you are!! I am not EVEN going to try this because I am sure I would love it. This looks too delicious. When I was a little girl living in France my mother would give my little sister and me money to walk (yes we walked imagine that) to the village and buy pain au chocolate. This is a true comfort food for me.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Haha, I try! Oh, if you know you’re going to love something, you have to try it. I found that with these, saving three for myself, and giving the rest away makes me very popular…

  3. Pingback: Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Crème Fraîche Glaze | TramplingroseTramplingrose

  4. Jess says:

    Do you think these could be refrigerated overnight in the pan and baked in the morning?

  5. Pingback: How to make: Pain Au Chocolat Cinnamon Rolls |