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For a Tuesday treat or springtime brunch, make these Easy Chocolate Cinnamon Crunch Knots. Made using pantry staple ingredients, a good amount of cinnamon, a touch of sweet brown sugar, and a bit of chocolate, for an extra special cinnamon knot. Beyond delicious and the easiest to make. These knots extra cinnamony, chocolatey, and have a little crunch with every bite. Fun to bake up today, but equally great for upcoming Easter and Mother’s Day.

overhead photo of Easy Chocolate Cinnamon Crunch Knots

I know I said springtime up there in our little intro paragraph. But in reality, it is still very much winter here where I am. We’ve received more snow in the last couple of days than we’ve seen all year. So it’s safe to say that I am dreaming of warmer spring days. Though all this snow does make things cozier, so I can’t complain about that.

Anyway, with Easter rapidly approaching, I really wanted to share a couple of new holiday recipes that are easy to recreate. These knots are delicious and feel a little different from the usual sweet cinnamon roll. In fact, I actually think they’re better. Bold statement, but something about these knots are extra special.

It’s the chocolate…and the cinnamon crunch topping…which has been a favorite of mine since my days of regularly eating Panera Bread bagels.

prep photo of preparing the dough

The Idea and the Inspiration

If any of you grew up similar to me, then you’re very familiar with Panera Bread. Their chicken noodle and broccoli cheddar soup in a sourdough bread bowl are really etched in my memory as some of my favorite childhood foods. The bread bowl is obvious, but the noodles they use for their chicken noodle soup are a game-changer. And something about their broccoli cheddar soup really makes it better than all the rest.

And then there are their bagels. They were always a special treat that my brothers and I begged my mom for when we were growing up. She didn’t splurge on them all too often, but when she did, it was the best. Occasionally we’d go for the chocolate chip, but nine times out of ten, it was the cinnamon crunch bagel all the way.

prep photo of twisting the knots

If you haven’t had a cinnamon crunch bagel, it’s the sweetest bagel you’ll ever enjoy. They have vanilla and cinnamon throughout the dough and the crunchiest cinnamon sugar topping to really takes them over-the-top. Especially when toasted with butter.

Beyond delish.

prep photo of knots before adding cinnamon crunch

Since I’ve always loved that special bagel topping, I’ve made a few recipes that use it, including homemade cinnamon crunch bagels, but never something with a little chocolate throughout…until now!

I look at these fun knots as a cross between a chocolate chip bagel and a cinnamon crunch bagel but with this the doughiness of a cinnamon roll.

prep photo of knots before baking

The Simple Details

I wanted to keep these easy and no fuss. The dough is actually something you might be surprised by, but works perfectly in this recipe…homemade quick and simple pizza dough. But I swapped in milk for the usual water to create a softer dough, it’s so easy. I’m talking easier than heading to the store and picking up some pre-made dough. Simply mix the dough, and let it rise, nothing fancy.

What I love about making these is that they’re knots, meaning, the more imperfect the better. So don’t stress about how they look. Trust me, once they bake up they will be delicious and pretty…because cinnamon sugar has that effect on everything.

The key to these knots? The sweet cinnamon chocolate filling and that crunchy, cinnamon, sugar topping. The filling is made with cinnamon sugar and mini chocolate chips. Or use finely chopped chocolate, you’ll want something smaller in size, it will twist up nicer within the knots.

The cinnamon crunch topping is a mix of brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Simply sprinkle the topping over top of each knot before baking. As the knots bake, the chocolate melts and becomes gooey, while the topping begins to caramelize becoming crunchy.

overhead close up photo of knots

Together they are DELICIOUS.

I do want to note that the cinnamon crunch will fall off the knots onto the pan. What I like to do is spoon/scoop the sugar up off the pan. Then simply spoon it back over each knot. This is why it’s important to line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

And that’s it. You have to eat these warm while the chocolate is melty. They are hard not to love. Make these for a fun treat today, this weekend, or for Easter. But be sure to keep this recipe in your back pocket to liven up your weekends ahead!

knots broken in half

Looking for other springy brunch recipes? Here are a few to try:

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Coffee Cake

Lemon Strawberry Dutch Baby with Ricotta Cream

Crispy Breakfast Potatoes with Chili Garlic Oil and Herbs

Lastly, if you make these Easy Chocolate Cinnamon Crunch Knots. be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Easy Chocolate Cinnamon Crunch Knots

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rising time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 12 knots
Calories Per Serving: 282 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, yeast, and honey. Let sit 5-10 minutes, until bubbly on top. Add the flour, the salt, and 1 tablespoon of butter. Knead until the dough comes together to form a smooth ball, 3-4 minutes, adding the additional flour as needed. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
    2. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
    3. In a bowl, combine the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
    4. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick (about 16x14 inches), adding flour as needed. Spread the dough with 4 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle the chocolate over half of the dough. Fold the dough in half, directly over the chocolate, pressing to adhere. Cut into 12 strips. Twist each strip into a loose knot, it doesn't need to be perfect. Some of the chocolate will fall out, just place it around your knots. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
    5. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and combine with 2 teaspoons cinnamon, the brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon flour. Spoon clumps of the brown sugar mix over the knots (see above photo). This is the "crunch" layer.
    6. Transfer to the oven and bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and, working quickly, carefully spoon any of the brown sugar that has melted off back over the rolls. Return to the oven and continue baking another 8-10 minutes, until golden.
    7. Enjoy warm or at room temp...though warm is best!
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Easy Chocolate Cinnamon Crunch Knots

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    1. Hey Sarah,
      Happy Monday!! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad it turned out well for you:)

  1. I am interested in baking these for a brunch. Could I bake them the day before and then re-heat the next day?

    1. Hey Leigh,
      I would probably prepare through step 4 and then pop them in the fridge. The next morning, bring them out to come to room temp and then freshly bake them:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xx

    2. I made these and my kids lived them. I thought they were not soft enough. I did notice the dough didn’t rise a lot. We went to the movies while it was rising. Did I let it go too long?

      1. Hey Rebecca,
        Thanks so much for trying this recipe!! I’m sure leaving them during the movie was just fine. What kind of yeast did you use? They should be not super soft, but more like bagel texture. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  2. Hi,
    Very excited to try these! Do you think I could use whole wheat bread flour (all I have today)? Would the dough be too dry?

    1. Hey Jenna,
      I haven’t tested that with this recipe, but I think it’s worth a shot! Let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

      1. Hey Lorraine,
        Sure, that would be fine for you to do! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  3. How do you think these would hold up in they were refrigerated and then baked the next morning? Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Hey Molly,
      That would work well for you, just allow them to come to room temp before baking. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  4. How much flour it says 2 1/2- 3 cups plus a teaspoon??I don’t want to make a mistake and it not turn out – thanks ?

    1. Hello! So I would start off with 2 and a half cups and then if your flour is still sticky add another half cup to make it three cups, and if it still feels like you need more add the teaspoon. Hope that makes sense! xTieghan

  5. 3 stars
    These were good but you really have to make sure you scoop up all the cinnamon sugar mixture halfway through or it will burn!

    1. Hey Laura,
      Yes, you can use an equal amount of GF flour here. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Sabrina,
      I’ve not tested this, but you could certainly give it a try. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    These came out perfect! And baking yeast bread at high altitude in Denver is always a crapshoot! A cross between a chocolate babka and a cinnamon roll. Bread very tender and springy. Added espresso powder inside filling and cardamom to crunch topping

    1. Hey Laura,
      Happy Monday! It’s so great that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a go! xTieghan

      1. Gosh Tieghan, you are a true wonderful gem!! I just love your recipes. I so enjoy making them and trying to make them look at beautifully tasty as your pictures as well. Everything I’ve tried has been so delicious. I’m constantly sharing your recipes with everyone i know all the time.
        Thank you for sharing all of your amazing recipes and visions with us!!

        Tina ?

        1. Thank you so much for your kind message, I am so glad you have been enjoying the recipes! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Chocolate Cinnamon Crunch Knots
    I had so much fun making these. They are Soooooo good!
    Thanks for sharing your recipe, Tieghan ❤️

    1. Hey Sally,
      Happy Monday! It’s so great that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a go! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    Just popped these babies out of the oven and they are delicious!!! So easy to make! Definitely making them for Easter brunch!

    1. Hey Alicia,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Hannah,
      No need to adjust anything, you can follow the recipe as is! Let me know how it turns out:) xTieghan

    2. 5 stars
      I made these for Easter yesterday and they were a huge hit! So delicious, once again Teigan, amazing recipe.