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Spiced Chocolate-Orange Knots

Your handy muffin pan and some crafty shaping are key to these mesmerizing knots. Filled with an inviting mix of cocoa, orange zest, cinnamon, and clove, these sweet treats are the perfect edible adornment for any holiday table.

*Scroll down to bottom of post to enter the GIVEAWAY!*

Spiced Chocolate Orange Knots

Spiced Chocolate-Orange Knots Video Tutorial

Watch video above for a step-by-step tutorial. Scroll down for printable recipe.

Platinum Yeast enhances the strength of this soft dough. It’s better baking made easy! Watch the video for lots of tips and tricks.

Spiced Chocolate Orange Knots

Knead dough until the gluten window is achieved. Cover and let rise.

Spiced Chocolate Orange Knots

Make the delicious spiced chocolate-orange filling. (Taste testing before spreading over the dough is completely optional, but we highly recommend!)

Spiced Chocolate Orange Knots
Spiced Chocolate Orange Knots

Fold dough in thirds, letter-style, over filling and cut in half. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes.

Rolling chocolate dough

Now it’s time to shape the knots!

Baker rolling dough knots

After rising, it’s time to bake! Place on wire rack to cool; dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Enjoy eating these with family or friends. Perfect for a holiday breakfast, and easy enough for any day!

Spiced Chocolate Orange Knots

Spiced Chocolate-Orange Knots

Spiced Chocolate Orange Knots
Your handy muffin pan and some crafty shaping are key to these mesmerizing knots. Filled with an inviting mix of cocoa, orange zest, cinnamon, and clove, these sweet treats are the perfect edible adornment for any holiday table.
Yield 14 rolls




  • 3 1/4 to 3 3/4 cups (406 to 469g) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup (55g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) Platinum Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (6g) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240g) whole milk
  • 1/3 cup (76g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) tightly packed orange zest
  • 1 (50g) large egg, room temperature


  • 6 tablespoons (84g) unsalted butter, room temperature (see Note1)
  • 1/3 cup (73g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (10g) Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon (6g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon packed orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Egg Wash

  • 1 (50g) large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) water


  • Confectioners' sugar


  • For dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup (125g) flour, brown sugar, yeast, and salt at low speed just until combined.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine milk, butter, and orange zest. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add egg; beat at medium-highspeed for 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2 1/4 cups (281g) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  • Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at medium-low speed until a soft, elastic dough forms, 6 to 12 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook; add up to remaining 1/2 cup (63g) flour, 1 tablespoon (8g) at a time, if dough is too sticky. (Dough may still stick slightly to bottom and sides of bowl. Dough should pass the windowpane test; see Notes2.) Turnout dough onto a clean surface, and shape into a ball.
  • Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Punch down dough; cover and let stand for10 minutes.
  • For filling: In a medium bowl, stir together butter, brown sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, orange zest, and salt with a silicone spatula until well combined.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 24×12½-inch rectangle with one long side closest to you. Using a small offset spatula, dot filling on top of dough, and spread into an even layer. Fold dough in thirds lengthwise, wiping hands clean as needed; roll or shape dough into a 25×4-inch rectangle. Cut dough in half crosswise to create 2 (12½x4-inch) rectangles; wrap each half in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes. 
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 dough rectangle into a 12½x4-inch rectangle, if needed. Using a sharp knife, trim 2inches off cut sides (all from one side or 1 inch from each side; see Notes3) to yield an even rectangle with clean edges. Cut rectangle into 7 (4×1½-inch) strips; cut each strip in thirds lengthwise, leaving about ½ inch of dough intact atone end. Braid dough strands, and pinch ends together. Turn braid with prettiest, cleanest side facing downward. Starting at short side with dough intact, roll up dough braid, jelly roll style. Wipe hands and surface clean as needed. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Spray 14 wells of 2 standard muffin pans with baking spray with flour. Place rolled dough in wells with loose end tucked under; cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed and dough holds an indentation when poked, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Brush tops of rolls with egg wash. 
  • Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking and loosely covering with foil during last 2 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 2 minutes. Carefully remove from pans, and serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.


  1. Unlike softened butter, room temperature butter should provide no resistance when pressed with a finger. At this point, the butter is softened enough to easily mix into filling and spread over dough.
  2. To use the windowpane test to check dough for proper gluten development, lightly flour hands and pinch off (don’t tear) a small piece of dough. Slowly pull the dough out from the center. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it until it’s thin and translucent like a “windowpane.” If the dough tears, it’s not quite ready. Beat 1 minute more, and test again.
  3. Don’t toss any tasty trimmings! Instead, shape scraps into fun coils, twists, or braids, place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, proof, and then bake as desired.

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Brian Hart Hoffman
Editor-in-Chief, Bake from Scratch

Spiced Chocolate Orange Knots

Brian Hart Hoffman is the editor-in-chief of Bake from Scratch magazine and made his way to baking through his love for travel and a previous career as a flight attendant. After years of traveling, stopping in bakeries all over the world, and returning home with a mission to recreate the baked goods he fell in love with, he took that same passion and launched a brand dedicated to the celebration of the global baking community. Bake from Scratch has grown into one of the world’s largest baking platforms, with magazines and best-selling cookbooks, a podcast (The Crumb), in-person baking retreats, and @thebakefeed on Instagram, where there are hours of Brian’s baking video content. Brian is a frequent guest on television shows all over the country and has appeared on Today, Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, and is currently hosting Williams Sonoma’s Baking School with weekly online classes. His mission to bake the world a better place brings frequent efforts to end childhood hunger in partnership with No Kid Hungry and other hunger relief organizations.


Spiced Chocolate Orange Knots Giveaway

Prize ($260 retail value) includes all the baking essentials to make your own Spiced Chocolate Orange Knots!


  • Platinum Yeast
  • Red Star French Rolling Pin
  • Red Star Bench Scraper
  • Platinum Oven Mitt
  • Platinum Moments Apron
  • Platinum Moments Tea Towel
  • Red Star Insta-Read Thermometer
  • The Bread Collection cookbook, signed by Brian Hart Hoffman
  • C&H Brown Sugar
  • Bob’s Red Mill Flour Voucher
  • Kitchen Scale
  • Two Muffin Pans
  • Dutch Process Cocoa Powder


Enter GIVEAWAY below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review & Comments

Laura | Reply

Would baking these be okay on a sheet pan? I haven’t had much luck baking bread in my 24-cup muffin pan. The bottoms brown much quicker than the tops. By the time tops are brown the bottoms are near burnt. Thank you!

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Laura,
Yes, just keep an eye on your knots as bake times may vary.
Happy baking!

Georgette | Reply

I tried all day to get into the give away why won’t it work

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Georgette – are you using a mobile phone or computer? Are you able to login with Facebook or your email?


I’m a baker so I know that this recipe will come out perfect. I also like the braiding of the knots, which I have done with my cinnamon rolls in the past.
Nice work!

Nadine Dunker | Reply

5 stars
Cannot wait to try the Cinnamon Orange Knots. The instructions are wonderful. Have a hunch this will be a neighbors gift for the holidays.

Mary A Tyler | Reply

Hi, Can I use the dough cycle in a bread machine to start these beautiful rolls? Mary

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Mary,
We developed using a stand mixer, but don’t see why not as long as ingredients can be added at appropriate increments. Mixing time may also vary. Make sure dough passes the window pane test.
Happy baking!

Belva Wallace | Reply

I love this yeast, it is so easy to work with and it works great on everything I have used it on. I haven’t made this but I am going to for Christmas it looks delicious.

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