Christmas is around the corner and I baked for you a giant Christmas tree with chocolate-orange sweet rolls. You’ll have the best Christmas breakfast you’ve ever had!
Holiday baking is one of my favorite activity in this time of the year. I like the idea to bake some festive and creative recipes for my friends and family, or even better together with them. If you’ve ever seen my Swedish cinnamon rolls, which is a all-time favorite on the blog, you have probably noticed the little video in my article where you can see me baking with my nieces. It is so much fun! If you haven’t tried them yet, you should consider baking them as cinnamon is a perfect spice for the holidays.
Now if you want to bake something that is a little bit more Christmas-related, go for my Swedish cinnamon star bread! It might looks a little difficult to shape at first, but once you watch my video tutorial you will find it much easier and indeed very entertaining. Not to mention that the beautiful result is always very satisfying in the end. Yes to me, baking is among the best therapies that exists in the world (together with a regular physical activity, that clears my mind from negative thoughts and boosts my creativity).
Or – and this is my third option and also my brand-new recipe for the holidays this year – bake a Christmas tree! If you want to bake for a crowd, this is the perfect recipe. So how did I bake it? Well it is indeed much easier than it seems, I promise. Basically all you need to do is to shape some sweet rolls exactly the same way you would do for cinnamon rolls, then assemble them so that it makes a Christmas tree, placing the first sweet roll on top, and adding one more sweet roll for each row underneath until you obtain a beautiful and huge Christmas tree. That’s it! Oh, and don’t forget to make the foot by placing two additional sweet rolls in the center of the last row.
For the filling I didn’t go for cinnamon this time but instead I opted for a delicious chocolate-orange ganache, made with chocolate at 70% (if you are a chocolate lover, you should almost always use this type of chocolate in your bakings, and maybe even more in this one). I paired the chocolate with orange zests in both the dough and the ganache, which gives a delicate Christmas scent to the sweet rolls. The ganache has a beautiful soft and silky texture that will make the sweet rolls melt in your mouth.
You could of course skip the orange zest if you are not a fan of the duo chocolate-orange, or imagine any other filling of your choice: the cinnamon roll filling for instance, or the cardamom filling, the pumpkin pie filling, the vanilla one… Just pick the one you like the most. Once the Christmas tree has cooled, transfer it carefully onto a serving tray and place it in the middle of the table. You will soon see innocent little hands appear from all parts, pulling apart the sweet rolls from the tree. If you want to take a picture of your baking masterpiece, do it now before the tree disappears completely!
Oh, and feel free to leave me a comment or send me a picture, it’s always very fun for me and I would be happy to answer you! Happy holidays baking everyone!
- 17g fresh yeast
- ¾ cup (180ml) milk
- ¼ cup (60g) butter
- ¼ cup (50g) white sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (70g) dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
- (60g) unsalted butter
- 1½ Tablespoon (25g) confectioner's sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (15g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tablespoons orange zest
- 1 Tablespoon (15g) sugar
- 3 Tablespoons (45ml) hot water
- 1 Tablespoon (15g) sugar
- Crumble the yeast in a bowl and stir in a few Tablespoons of milk. Melt the butter and pour the milk on it.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and knead the dough for approx. 10-15 minutes (very important).
- Let the dough rise while covered at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, make the filling: melt chocolate and butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan. Add in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Stir well.
- Roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Spread the chocolate-orange filling over. Sprinkle the orange zests and sugar on top.
- Roll the dough the long way and cut the roll into about 30 slices.
- Place them onto a prepared baking tray covered with parchment paper or silicone mat, and form a Christmas tree with the sweet rolls, starting with the top and adding one more roll for each additional row. To stick them together, brush the joined parts with water. Finish with the Christmas tree foot with two sweet rolls in the center.
- Let rise under a cloth for about 60 minutes.
- Bake at 425°F (220°C) for about 15-20 minutes, until slightly golden.
- Brush them immediately with the prepared hot water and sugar, and let cool completely before serving.